Reflections

In the last couple months a whirlwind of events have taken place in my life. Not only have I completed my degree at university, but I’ve had this dream of a trip to prepare for. At times it has been so frustratingly stressful and at others, when given the chance to breathe for a moment, my heart races and I look to the sky with a smile, feeling like the luckiest guy in the world.

However, throughout the exciting storm that is my life right now, the one thing that has hit me the hardest is all of the “see you soon’s” I’ve had to say. Moving out of the city I called home for four years was something I had been genuinely excited about for a very long time. Yet when it came time to say farewell my tongue was stuck halfway down my throat. My mind raced to all of the memories it held and the places that meant everything to me. My chest ached knowing I would never experience anything like it again. Having your best friends living in the same place, it’s something I wish lasted longer in life. I felt similarly when I left my cottage after a two-week visit following the conclusion of classes. That place is so very dear to me. Even knowing I would be back in a relatively short amount of time had me choked up as I stood on the end of the dock, closed my eyes, and listened to the wind and the waves on the shore one last time before we left.

Leaving loved ones is a completely different story.
But I’m not here to be sad.

I’m here to thank the beautiful people I am lucky to call my family and friends. You have all listened to me talk about this trip for what seems like an age. I can’t even begin to think how often I’ve brought it up or mentioned it. I appreciate your patience and interest, feigned or genuine. I want to also thank you for your help. A large number of you have offered advice, wisdom, talents, places to stay, actual gear for the trip, and some, even funds. I am moved by the generosity that you have extended to both Jasmine and I. Some of these things may seem insignificant for you to offer, but to us it is quite literally, everything.

The last and most important thing I want to thank you for is the time we have spent together.

Whether it was our time in Waterloo hanging out in our shitty little apartment, partying on the apple farm in Aylmer, snap chatting our lives back and forth, going out for drinks or coffee to catch up, seeing each other for one hour or even just passing by and having a chat, thank you. Whether it was taking a weekend to have adventures at the cottage, heading out to the gun range to shoot a few rounds (and getting me hooked!), growing our friendship over late night discussions on loss and life, or experiencing the inspiration of true love in matrimony first hand, thank you. Whether it was the construction on various parts of our new home, visits in Waterdown, enjoying a beer in your beautiful backyard while trying to fit years of conversation into an afternoon, or lunch and a hike to follow, thank you.

To my mom, I don’t think that I can ever convey my thank you. You have been instrumental in my continuing sanity as we have prepared for this trip. You have always supported me. The time we have spent together has been so important, especially the most recent trek up north. They were perfect days. Thank you for all that you do, now and forever. I’m going to miss you and Burke.

My message to you all is this:

I look up to each and every one of you. You are all my inspiration. You are all capable of such great things.
I know it because in some form, you’re all already achieving them. If you ever need my help, for anything, just ask.

I am consistently blown away by the beauty of nature, and now, thanks to you all, I have been blown away by humanity.
The memories and times we’ve shared will always be the ones I hold the closest. I hope one day we get the chance to do it all over again.

This is where I leave you, for now, with one of my favourite quotes for company.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Adios and see you soon,

Aaron

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Categories: Canada, Ontario

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