Do you ever just sit back and wonder at all the experiences you’ve had over the course of your life? How about the different versions of you that you’ve either consciously or unconsciously been over the years?
To me, it begs the question of how many lives do we live in a single lifetime…
Many think that life is just one long continuum, however for me, like many of us there is no way that I can draw a single straight line through life.
I feel as though the experiences have moulded and shaped different eras or versions of me over the years. Sometimes these are driven by circumstance (e.g., your childhood years), others by your relationships, and yet others by happenstance.
My formative years growing up in a small rural town in southern Australia definitely shaped my view of the world and my outlook and future prospects.
However, that all changed with me going to university (the first in the family), and me being able to see a bigger world beyond my cocoon of country life.
Having a university degree allowed me to work in different towns and cities around Australia doing a host of jobs.
These jobs ranged from being a farm labourer, to truck driver, waiter, and barman, to working in a fitness center as well as teaching at all three levels of education – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.
Strangely, this list is just the tip of the iceberg… seriously!
I’d always been a dreamer, imagining a bigger life. It just took me a while to realize that I actually was in control of my destiny and that if I wanted a different type of life, I had to make it happen.
After saving my money from these experiences I was able to fulfil a life-long dream of travelling the world. My first foray was a year-long backpacking adventures around the world.
Then a chance meeting in a hotel lobby in Salzburg, Austria changed my life irrevocably when I met Nancy. She was also the impetus for to move to Canada and spend almost three decades living in Toronto.
Just though that single meeting I began a whole new chapter in my life.
Even though my marriage with Nancy did not last, it did bring me to Canada to meet my second wife Jodie and ultimately marry and have Zach and Sam. Honestly, I can’t imagine a life without them.
Interestingly, their childhood years just flew by… they were great kids and never really caused too much drama. Surprisingly, even as teenagers, which isn’t always the case and particularly, given that they were from two single parent homes.
After 14 years of marriage my separation began another new chapter in my life. My objective was to ensure a stable household where the kids would always feel at home, and a big part of this was to always have a home cooked meal (yes, I had to learn to cook) when they were with me.
Another major aspect of my life during this period was for me to begin writing my weekly essay, creating my own business, and ultimately travelling the world, often with either Zach, Sam, or both.
Over the years we’ve had some amazing trips and adventures. Sam and I spent Christmas in China (Shanghai and Hong Kong), Zach and I have Eurailed our way through central Europe for 16 days visiting Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
We’ve travelled to Australia and Ireland a couple of times, as well as Iceland, Israel, Hawaii plus too many road trips within Canada and the US to count.
After they both were settled at university it was time for me to once again re-evaluate my life and determine what was important for me.
The weather won out and so I decided, in consultation with Zach and Sam to search for a home in Australia.
They were supportive and helped me search and ultimately find us a new home here. Zach has since completed his undergraduate degree at McGill and moved to Australia to begin his graduate studies at The Australian National University in Canberra.
Sam still has two more years to complete her 5-year co-op degree from the University of Waterloo, but hoping that she’ll then be able to spend time with me here in Australia once completed.
I find it hard to believe that I’ve been back in Australia since Nov 2020 and immersed in my new life.
This new chapter of my life now includes Judy who’s finally been able to join me here in Australia. She’s slowly getting used to the climate, critters (geckos etc) and the way of life here in Newport, Queensland.
All I know is that it’s a far cry from New York!
I can’t imagine a life that hadn’t followed this path… Who knows where I’d be in my life if just one of these things didn’t happen?
We often talk about sliding doors, and a single moment that changes your life forever. These are often the smallest, and at the time inconsequential moments yet they shape your life irrevocably from that point on.
As you reflect back on your life can you identify those sliding door moments? I suppose that is the beauty of life, making those tiny decisions that often cast us into the unknown!
Until next week