It’s Not The End

Well, I can now say it’s my last night on the Island. It’s a sad occassion and something that comes once in a lifetime. I got to see my friends one last time and generally had a good time. It’ll be something I’ll hopefully remember for a long while. So here I am sitting up in Nick’s room with my laptop on my knee writing to my heart’s content. I just ripped the Killers’ new CD here too. The joys of a laptop eh? 😉

I don’t know, it’s kind of weird to think that I actually won’t see these people, the people I’ve been around and have seen almost every day, for a long, long time. I’ll be doing a co-op program which means I won’t even have summer breaks. That means I’ll have very litte opportunity to visit my friends and places back here on the Island. Not nearly as much as I’d like to for sure. But change is inevitable and I’ll have to embrace it one way or another for me to move ahead in life. I can’t honestly expect to stay in one place and do the same things forever. That just isn’t the way I want it to be. I mean who really knows, I’ll probably enjoy my time at Waterloo and make a bunch of new friends, but as always, uncertainty is the mother of all worries.

It’s funny the things you remember from your younger days. I’ve been with many of my friends since my days at West Kent Elementary. Those were the days I tell you. No hard work, no problems and nothing to worry about. We’d go about our days innocent as hell and lived as we wanted. We were so unassuming and young. I didn’t even know English for godsakes. I still remember the times when I’d try to find my bus with the help of Emily and Kayla. They’d guide me like a blind dog or something and help me around all day. I can’t believe they did that when we were in like grade 1. And I still think back to that day when I learned my first swear word: Shit. Oh, I felt like a badass… Pretty pathetic huh? We’d sit on the swings and one person would say “sh” and the other would say “it” just so that we couldn’t get in trouble for swearing. Of course, I really didn’t know what it meant at all. But it was pretty damn cool to know how to swear. All I can do is laugh now that I think back.

Then came the later elementary stage. That’s when we had the Millenium Group, when we decided to make our devious plans to take over the world. We even made maps with pretend armies spread throughout the globe and our organized world domination ideas. That kept us occupied for a good several months, maybe even a year. That god old when we realized that world domination just simply wasn’t in the cards. Who knows, it may still happen… (hehe)

Junior and senior high school was when the real strong friendships formed. I met the group that I’m still with today which is pretty amazing. I mean six years is a long time. Our crew was basically all in band which helped bring us closer together. We went on band trips together and were in classes with each other. That guaranteed that very little time would pass without us seeing each other and socializing. I didn’t realize that I would become such close friends with a specific few of that group though. Those friendships are different from anything that I think you’ll ever find again. High school friendships just seem like something special. When I think of my parents for example, they have friends, but they don’t share the same kind of connection. It’s probably cause we’re young and have time to those kinds of relations while working adults don’t really. I don’t know. It could be different for me. I haven’t been through their life so I can’t really say yet.

Through all of the friends and good times, I pursued several activities on my own that have really charted the course which I have taken through my years. The first being music (piano in particular) and the second being computers.

Music, music, music. I started off with classical piano when I was about 8. I have some videos of when I was younger and practicing with my dad at my side. Every time I made a mistake I would cringe as I prepared myself for the criticism. At the time I hated it, but now that I look back, I thoroughly glad that I went through it all. I ended become faily proficient at the piano and I won my fair share of awards. You can’t understand the pride you get when you’re up on stage getting presented with awards. It’s an amazing feeling and it’s not because you get a “I’m better than you” feeling. It’s because you understand that all that crappy hard work you put in and slaved over really paid off in the end and you’re motivated to do it again and again. You realize that people actually do enjoy your music making and you realize that you enjoy it quite a bit yourself.

Then in junior high, I was exposed to jazz piano. We started up a combo at the end of grade 9 and played on Victoria Row. That was the defining moment in my music ‘career’. It was when I decided that I enjoyed jazz much more than classical piano. It seemed to me that jazz came much more from my soul that classical. I read notes off a page for classical while jazz was truly what I felt. I, for the first time, really enjoyed the music I was playing. I looked forward to playing on Victoria Row with the group. It’s probably one of the things I’ll always regret in life though, the fact that I never continued something that I’ve really loved. Who knows, maybe I could have become a master jazz artist (yeah right, who am I kidding) if I really applied myself to it. But something else got in the way.

Ah computers. I’m probably going to sound like the biggest geek here in a minute, but I really don’t mind. I enjoy it thoroughly and I have no qualms with sharing my love of it. I started up with computers when I was about 12. It all began when I installed that Radeon All-in-Wonder in that old Dell box. That was truly a sight. I did my research at some tech hardware sites and decided on that video card for it’s TV tuner and video input abilities. Of course, I rarely used either function but the install was a sucess. I had never played games in that kind of glory until then. Pretty sad considering my dad and I played stuff like Simcity and the sort back then. Of course, my next project was much more ambitious. I did my research and decided to assemble my own computer from scratch. No more Dell boxes for our family. I was going to pick out the parts and get exactly what I wanted. After an initial stumbling block (I plugged the wires into the wrong pins) we were off and running. Each project after that was more intense than the last until I became a pretty knowledgable computer enthusiast. Even now I constantly read about the latest trends in the computer industry. As of late, I’ve been focusing more on computer software, although I just built a laptop for university.

So here I sit about to leave this place I’ve called home for the past 12 years of my life and just about all of my memorable life. I mean I don’t really remember too much from my first 5 years or living. I still remember arriving here at the small Charlottetown airport, seeing my parents for the first time and wondering just what life would be like in a small ‘city’ after living in a large one for the early part of my life. I can say I have absolutely no regrets. I’ve met so many people I’ve grown attached to and it’ll definitely be hard to say goodbye to a place I’ve grown accustomed to. It will be sad, but I look forward to my next phase as I hope it will be as fruitful as these past years have been here in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. As one of my good friends said tonight, it’s not the end.


8 Replies to “It’s Not The End”

  1. Charlie, congrats on your performance on Sunday…i was amazed at how much the combo grew in 3 years. You are an amazing person who has so much talent to share with the world. Never forget about all of the people who care about you and who will always be supporting you. Good luck next year and beyond, don’t forget to keep in touch…we will miss you

  2. Hey Charlie…Deryl Gallant here ( bassist from the Jive Kings ) …you guys rocked on Sunday…I’ve seen you play over the last few years on the street and at Colonel Grey and man you’ve grown as a player…awesome…

    Speaking from Experience Music and Computers go nicely together..I have my bachelor of Music as well as a diploma in computer programming…

    Have fun and succeed at University and try to keep your chops up!


  3. You’re right, Charlie, it is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. It is most likely just the end of the beginning. Who knows which paths you will end up taking? As long as you step out in faith, open to all the possibilities that lie ahead of you while still carrying all that you have learned and experienced in the past – you can’t go wrong. And who knows….you may be back in Charlottetown, PEI much sooner than you think!

  4. PS….

    Thanks for all you’ve done with Jazz Vespers, the community BBQs and other SPY-centred activities. It’s been an honour getting to know you. So, thank you for that privilege! Here’s to the rest of your journey!

  5. I know it’s not the end. Like you said, we’ve made some incredibly strong friendships, and even if it’s never the same, they’ve all still taught us everything we know (or, whatever our parents couldn’t teach us).

    And it isn’t like we were going to stay here forever. It just came sooner than I thought it would, I guess. We’ve got so much more to see and experience that just cannot be offered here.

    So make the best of your time at the next stop on this journey. I know you will.

  6. Yes indeedy everyone. I do look forward to the challenges and fun to come in the near future. I was at one point very apprehensive about the matter, but I think it’s turning more into excitement now. I’m also sure that I’ll be visiting the Island soon enough as I miss it already. Flying into Toronto made me realize just how much I like the smaller, closer setting of Charlottetown. In any case, I wish everyone a good upcoming year. I’ll forever be an Islander at heart.

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