I began officially seeing my boyfriend in December of 2013 & shortly after this, my mental constructs began to change. Countless hours on the phone, tears and laughter later, he convinced me to come to Alberta (where he went to work after graduating) for my summer break.
In small towns, everyone knows everyone. I have known Landon since grade 9 but we really never spoke until Grade 12 Exercise Science class and when we shared a spare together. Over the duration of the year we became closer until we were essentially best friends by the time we graduated. We spent time together after school watching TED talks and often helping eachother with relationship issues as friends at that time. He left for Alberta that summer and I headed to University in the fall. When he moved away we lost touch for the summer until I began talking to him again at the beginning of University & he moved back to Ontario briefly in the Winter/Spring of 2013/2014. We picked back up our relationship where it had left off and he decided to ask me to be his girlfriend.
After 6 months of a rocky, long distance relationship, as he had returned back out West for work while I was still in school, I bit the bullet and decided I was going to take a risk and move out to Edmonton with him for my 4 month summer break. I told my parents, bought the ticket without their approval and wrapped up my first year of University. I ended up landing an interview with the YMCA of Northern Alberta as an swimming instructor/lifeguard and was ready to go… With no idea on what to expect.
Summer 2014 in Alberta
Why I Needed to Do This
I was such a sheltered person that never took risks and knew nothing more than the basic life that I thought was expected of me.
“The comfort zone is a beautiful place in which nothing grows”.
I challenged myself over the summer to do new things and to follow Landon’s guiding to the outdoors. I was lucky to partake in hiking & mountain trips to the mountains, skydiving, golfing, fine dining experiences and to meet a whole company worth of people, all while immersing myself in a brand new environment. It was kind of a big deal leading to where I am now, as it lead me into the realization that there is so much more to the world than I could have ever imagined, while this experience was just a mere taste. I did not not have all my family’s support on this, both close and distant. Fortunately, I’ve never been very good at doing what my parents say so with the knowledge of freedom at 18 tucked in my belt, off I went. I am so happy that I decided to do what I wanted to do anyways regardless of the negative thoughts my family put in my head prior to my departure.
The Moral of this Story
Do what you want!
If there’s something you want to do, do it. Do not base the way you live your life by the expectations and ideals of any other human being. This is your life, this is your happiness. I loved every minute of this summer being spent in a new place, learning new things, living with my best friend. What I didn’t know, was how contagious the ideology of “Fuck It” actually was. These few months transformed my “basic” life into a whirlwind of emotion, carefreeness and openmindendess. Little did I know that I would catch wind of this and run with it.