Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It’s the holidays again (so soon?) and I hope everyone has a wonderful time with friends and family. It’s been a tough year for many, but there’s finally some light at the end of the economic tunnel. Good things are in store for 2010!

Soon, it’ll be time to wrap up this decade and move on into the next. Y2K doesn’t feel that long ago, and about the time I became interested in technology, which set me up on a path to where I find myself today.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Prince Edward Island. It’s been several long years since I’ve seen some of my closest friends. With many of us graduating and heading off into the wide world this year, I’m uncertain when I’ll see everyone congregate in the place I still call home, after so many years.

Nostalgia reigns supreme these days. Recently, I had a vivid memory of walking with my best friend through his old elementary school playground, on the way to our high school, and seeing his younger brother. He’s at university now. I watched that kid grow up. Gosh, I feel ancient. I’m going to be like that uncle who thinks his nephew has forever stayed 8 years old.

Trivial

You know something I really miss? Or perhaps you really miss? When I used to do at least one post per day on this blog. Like back when I had almost zero work to do and I spent 70% of my waking life posting? I still remember waking up one morning, actually I believe it was the morning right before our first Seussical performance and I wrote up a little entry. Yes, back in the days when the sun was bright, the winds warm and friends were all around.

*sigh* Time to read more C#.

Growing Up…

So I was home this past weekend and had a few nice talks with the parents. You know, when you’re at university, you just don’t get the time or chance to do that and you realize how little you really see them. It used to be that I’d go home everyday and you’d just know they’d be there or if not right then a little later. But when you’re no longer at home, it really puts things into perspective. Taken for granted? For sure I’m shamed to say. It’s not until it’s taken away from you that you truly realize what you had.

Okeee… moving on. So where was I. Right, talking with the folks. So we were just finishing up dinner Saturday night and were talking about my housing for the next semester. For those of you who don’t know (I’m surprised, most of you don’t!) I’m going on my first work term this coming semester. So, recently I’ve been on the lookout for an appropriate place to live. Apparently, it’s pretty hard to find a decent place. It’s either living in some person’s basement for a semester or sharing an apartment with several unknowns. All my friends here got jobs elsewhere or haven’t gotten jobs yet. And I can’t realistically wait for them to get jobs. Anyways, the point wasn’t the housing itself. I realized that I’m well, growing up. There used to be a time when you could easily retreat to the safety of home to lick your wounds. Those days are quickly drawing to a close. In a way, living here at residence is really shielding us to the reality we’ll soon have to face. There is still some sense of control and organization enforced onto us by the housing people here. Once we move out, we’re really on our own.

This semester has really flown by. In fact, you know what, my whole life has flown past when I really look back on it. I can still picture Michael and I standing at the back of the West Kent playground planning the Millenium Group’s eventual conquering of the world. Oh I can still see the maps we made of all our ‘armies’. And we went on that grade 6 trip to Cape Breton when a bunch of the other schools were going to like Mill River (the Islanders will get this one =P). And yeah Mike and Alex, remember that trip?! Haha, see those were good times. Then it was junior high and somehow I became amazing friends with Nick. I don’t even know how it happened and the last time we talked about that, he couldn’t come up with the real progression of our friendship either. I recall our band trip in grade 9 and playing that solo in Shark Bait in that school. Apparently it was really good, but I couldn’t really understand why I was so pumped that day.

Then senior high school at the Gray. Those were the best days of my life. Especially grade 12. Grade 10 and 11 weren’t all that special. I had a weird obsession with school those days. I really let loose in grade 12 and I don’t regret it one bit. Two musicals and four band trips in three years. I will always think back to those days with great fondness. And those were the times when I solidified my friendship with all you special people back home. (Yes, I still think of PEI as home; cute isn’t it?) Oh yes friends, that brings me to my next thought…

I was talking to this person here at university about what we left behind. This person has become better friends with the people here at university than they had ever been with the people back in their hometown. Now this isn’t some loserish person who never became good friends with the people back home. Quite the opposite. I can tell this person would’ve been a very popular person who most likely was well-liked.

I thought about this in my context. Am I better friends with the people here than I am with the people who are still back on the Island (or on exchange)? The resounding answer is no. Oh don’t get me wrong. The people here I’ve become friends with are awesome people. They’re nice and share so many things in common with me. But that doesn’t really seem to matter. The people I’ve left mean something totally different to me. There’s something special with them that I don’t think I’ll ever find in anyone else. Yes, that’s saying a lot, but I’ve met a lot of people and I just don’t see that sort of … element to them. I’m going to be with many of these people for the next 5 years of my life and I will grow very close to some of them, but it won’t be the same. Some people told me when I was leaving PEI that I’d find other friends, other very good friends. I accepted this, but I also accepted the fact that I may never find the friends I had from back home. That’s why I’m so excited to be going to visit next summer for a couple weeks. Yeah, it’s such a long time away, but I’ll be looking forward to it each and every day. I miss you guys and the Island so much that I came the closest to crying this weekend I have in a long time when I was looking at some pictures of my time there. Not even ashamed to say it.

So it’s only 12:10AM but I think I’m going to hit the sack and listen to a podcast or something. This is going to be the earliest time I’ve gone to bed in the past month and I’m definitely looking forward to it. Sorry to all those I haven’t written emails to (specifically Michael, Nick, Alex, Sean, Maryse, and… I think that’s it. You guys wrote me great emails and I feel terrible for not having written back… in some cases in more than a month). I promise to get some out tomorrow. It’s an awfully nice feeling to be finished of assignments in advance of the day they’re due.

P.S. This whole post is actually totally off topic to what I orignally intended. It just started flowing so I thought I’d let it go for now. I’m continue my original train of thought in a later post.

Random Musings

We had a really nice dinner tonight, lots of food I really like. Anyways, I had a few more beers than I usually would and that got me into a thinking mood. We talked about quite a range of topics. A few of them are definitely worthy of me putting down on this blog.

First thought. I’m one of like 6 billion people on this Earth. Sure your parents have always thought you of as something special, I know my parents still do. But out of those 6 billion people, what says I’m going to do anything out of the ordinary. I think I have this idea I’m going to do something out of the ordinary, but what really gives me that idea? What says I can? What makes me different from the rest of the people on this Earth? How am I really so special? You see I have this dream of leading a research and development team in semiconductors. Now sure it’s not the I’m going to rule the world dream, which is practically inconceivable, but this is pretty ambitious as well. A lot of people are intelligent and knowledgable. A lot of people have gone through engineering programs and have ended up as regular Joe Blows out there. What am I or going to do differently that will allow me to achieve my dream? What if I do end up as an average guy? Will I regret all that I’ve done through my life? Will I trudge through my monotonous job and wonder why I even exist?

Then my train of thought went back to when I was quite a bit younger. Some people can say they remember events from when they were very young, and I mean only like 3 or 4 years old. Sure I think I have memories of when I was that young, but in all honesty, I think those aren’t really memories, but more images that have been put into my mind by people talking about what I’ve done in the past. I don’t think I actually remember anything that heppened before I was 5 years old. I think I have glimpses of when I was around 5 or 6 because I don’t remember ever telling anyone about those events so I can only imagine that they’re my actual memories instead of some image fabricated by my mind. I know an extraordinary man who is getting to be quite old now. He’s something of a godfather to me if those exist for non-religious people. Anyways, he made a point of remembering things of when he was very young. So now even at his current age, he still can recall things that happened a long time ago. I’m only 17 and I can’t even remember things from ages he can. I truly wish I had made that conscious decision earlier, but I am now.

But this is a memory I do remember quite vividly. I used to bike a great deal when I was younger. I biked with a friend up the road, specifically Andrew. We ploughed through the trails in the woods and it was common for me to scrape my knees and arms on branches and trees jutting all over the place. I remember meeting a person for the first time who also lived up the road, but further. There was like a divide in that road. I knew the people from the bottom half pretty well. He was from the undiscovered upper half. He had a bigger bike than the rest of us even though he was our age. I sort of envied yet at the same time was threatened by him. He went by the name Ryan.

Funny thing is, I met this person again in high school and we became good friends. He still lived in the same area, but like me, he had lost the biking enthusiasm. He also remembered me from when were young. He wasn’t intimidating anymore. He wass in fact a lot like me. We were even going to go to the same university. That didn’t end up happening but we’ll keep in touch and we’ll meet again sometime soon.

The last thing we discussed was the matter of bad memories. My mom came up with the idea that we should be able to wipe away bad memories. But would you really want that? Those bad memories and trying times are the things that define who I am. Without the struggle and final success or failure, I wouldn’t have improved my person and many of those experiences are some of the most important in my life. If we could erase all the things we don’t find the most appealing in our lives, what would our lives be? I would forget a great many people who have made a difference in my life even if those contacts don’t make of the best memories. Or perhaps a tragic moment in time left me feeling totally crushed and dead inside. But without those things that make us human, we would be monotonous boring people. I could meet one of you and said that I met all of you. You would all be the same. I can think back to events that could seriously make me cry on the spot. Sure they were far from enjoyable times, but would I ever want to forget them? No, definitely not. They’ve pushed me to places I haven’t been and tried my character. I haven’t yet broken and they made me stronger. I will always remember the worst times in my life just as I remember the best times.

This post has been the result of too much alcohol in my system but sometimes I do honestly think better and deeper when it happens. It’s awfully depressing when I think about it, but I wouldn’t trade myself for anything in the world.