I woke up at 6 A.M after finally falling asleep between 4 and 4:30 A.M. The date was June 30th and it was already pretty humid outside. I had gotten home late from a party at like 2:30 am earlier that morning and still had to pack. That’s why I’d fallen asleep so late. I felt TERRIBLE. The fatigue made me contemplate just staying home and missing the flight. I recommend getting more than 1 and a half hours of sleep when you have an 11 hour journey ahead of you. I pushed through the lethargy and got showered, dressed and brushed my teeth. I didn’t give myself enough time to have breakfast, so I left without eating. I also advise against skipping breakfast when you have an 11+ hour journey ahead of you. My mom drove me to the airport. I felt a lot of different emotions as I got closer to the airport and I could tell my mom and everyone else who knew I was leaving were feeling the same way. “Am I making the right decision?” “What if this blows up in my face?” were just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind as we got closer and closer to the airport.
Pearson International Airport
We arrived at the airport. I could see planes taking off as we pulled in and there were people everywhere scrambling to get to wherever they were going. It really started to sink in at this point… I was actually about to move to the other side of the country. I couldn’t believe it… at 25, I was finally moving out. I know a lot of people move out way earlier, but I didn’t. Anyway, I checked my bag in and hugged my mom and then went through security. My mom was visibly sad and cried because I was leaving. I still didn’t know what to feel. I went through security and got to the waiting area.
I ordered booster juice, so that I wouldn’t pass out from exhaustion and went over to the gate which was now opening, so I scrambled to finish the drink as fast as I could because I wasn’t sure if they’d let me bring it onto the plane with me. This led to early morning brain freeze which is not fun at all, trust me!
I boarded the plane and sat down. Shit was starting to get real. A lot of thoughts started racing through my mind at this point.. one of which was getting off the plane and begging for my bags to also be removed, so that I could stay behind. I didn’t act on these thoughts and waited.
The plane started moving. This was it! I was doing it! There was no going back at this point. The plane made its way to the runway and prepared to take off. My heart was racing at this point because 1; I’m very afraid of flying and 2; because this was it. There was absolutely no going back. The plane started moving again. It went faster and faster until I felt it leave the ground. My ears popped as it got higher. There was really no going back now…
The road to Edmonton
I honestly felt really weird using the word “road” when I was clearly on a plane, but I’m sure y’all understand what I mean. The flight to Edmonton was really long. I mean reeeeeally really long. It was under 6 hours, but my fatigue made it feel like it was triple that. The plane touched down and I got off. It was my first time in western Canada. I immediately opened apple maps to see where the blue dot was. I couldn’t believe it. I raced over to the window to see what lay outside of the airport and there was nothing at all. Disappointed, I grabbed some vegan food and then made my way over to the waiting area to board my flight to Vancouver.
The road to Vancouver
The flight from Edmonton to Vancouver was significantly shorter than the previous flight. I was able to stay awake for the most part and made use of my time by listening to an audio book.
Soon, the pilot announced that we were preparing for the final descent and that everyone needed to put their seatbelts back on. I took this moment to look out of the window and see the mountains and the city as they expanded before my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I was about to land in Vancouver! The plane touched down and I got out and checked the blue dot on Apple maps as usual. I swiped back over to Ontario and took a moment to really take in how far I had just traveled. After that, I made my way to the window to see what I’d find. To my delight, I saw mountains, as far as the eye could see. I was ecstatic! Now I just had one more flight to Comox.
The road to Comox
The flight to Comox was so short that I almost feel like it doesn’t deserve its own header. The flight attendant wasn’t lying when he said it would be an extremely short flight. It felt like the plane literally reached cruising altitude for 3 minutes and then descended into the airport.
I arrived in Comox without even knowing how to pronounce the name of the city correctly.
I waited for my bag to come out and put it on. I forgot how heavy it was and almost broke my back trying to get it on and then asked a lady where I was supposed to go to get the ferry to Powell river and when it would be departing. She checked and told me that I had about twenty minutes and that I’d either have to get a taxi or ask somebody to drive me to it. I was still in my Ontario mindset, so I couldn’t fathom asking somebody to drive me into town and them actually doing it. An Australian man who had lived in the area for 15 years overheard all of this and offered to give me a ride either into the downtown area or to the ferry’s dock. I asked him how much money he’d want for that and he said he do it for free. I was shocked at the niceness and hospitality. He waited for his friend and then we drove into downtown. I chose downtown because I didn’t want to be stuck at the dock for like 3-4 hours while I waited for the next ferry in case I missed the first one. I took this time to explore downtown Comox which didn’t seem very much like a downtown area where I was coming from. It almost just seemed like a normal street in a suburb. It was beautiful nonetheless. One thing that I did find odd is that EEEEEEVVVERRRYBODY stared at me. I felt like I was a Martian. I assume there aren’t very many travellers that pass through this area with big back packs or maybe they hadn’t seen very many people with long dread locks.
I walked around town and took a few pictures. I also ate and then sat at the restaurant to kill time. I talked to the waitress who was from Montreal and got a bit of French in which really lightened the mood despite the fact that I still had a long wait ahead of me.
Eventually, I called a taxi and made my way down to the ferry. The guy who drove me was a really cool guy from farther up north who was also of Punjabi descent. We talked about Toronto and Punjabi music which was cool.
The Powell River Nightmare.
I got to Powell river which is where it was agreed that I’d get picked up and brought to my final destination to begin working. I arrived and nobody was there. I waited a bit and a random man and I started talking. He and his wife offered to let me hitch hike 1/3 of the way into town. I still can’t fathom how nice everyone is in these small towns. I turned them down because I didn’t want to miss my actual ride in case it came. The man told me there was a hostel really close by if worse came to worse. I thanked him and they left. I continued to try to contact the people from my final destination. I tried contacting them every way possible, but nothing went through. I sat on a bench near the dock for about an hour and fell into deep contemplation. Every possible thought crossed my mind. A lot of people supported and were fully behind my decision to move out here, but a lot of people made it very clear to me that they believed I was making the stupidest decision of my life and now I had just been stood up, so their words were repeating over and over and over in my mind.
Side note; I appreciate and respect all opinions and feel blessed that people sometimes feel comfortable enough to be so blatantly honest with me. I think it’s important to surround oneself with people of different opinions and view points whether it hurts one’s feelings or not.
Anyway, back to the story.
I sat there for a while and really questioned if my decision actually had been the stupidest mistake I had ever made. I started to feel really shitty. I was on the complete other side of the country with no family and significantly less money than I would have liked to have had in a situation like that. I felt defeated. I realized I may actually be stranded. I felt like I may have been stood up or something like that. I really fucked up….
I desperately began searching Hostelworld for the hostel the man was talking about, but couldn’t find it anywhere. There was an Inn behind me, but I wasn’t trying to spend anymore money because I didn’t know what I’d have to do or where I’d have to go next. I decided that if I couldn’t find the hostel, I’d just sleep on that bench.
I had been keeping my family updated with what was happening and my cousin called me to check in on me. I explained the situation to her and she searched for the hostel on her end. Not only did she manage to find it, but she also called it and informed the worker that I’d be coming. I make my way there. It turns out the hostel was literally 40 steps away from me, but was hidden around the corner behind a huge Thai restaurant. I arrive and am greeted by a very friendly Swiss man in his pyjamas. I book a room for the night and put my stuff down. I lay on the bed and stare at the wall for like ten minutes thinking about how bad I had just fucked up.
The hunger began to hit me as time went on. Feeling like you made one of the biggest mistakes of your life sure works up an appetite. I start looking for food, but find nothing on the map. I ended up asking the Swiss guy and he told me about a 7/11 that was near by. I make my way over there only to find that there was hardly anything I could actually eat. (My body doesn’t tolerate a lot of foods). I grab what I could and am about to pay when… Bears and mountain lions cross my mind, so I say to the worker “I’m from Ontario and I know this is probably the stupidest question you’ve gotten tonight, but do I have to worry about bears out here?” I silently await a comment about how stupid people from Ontario are and how we know nothing about British Columbia when.. “Yes”. His response shocked me out of my deep thought. “w-w-wait, what? I actually do have to worry about bears?” I ask. He goes on to explain how people see them around town when, suddenly, he’s interrupted by the guy behind me who explains how he just saw a bear on his driveway a couple days prior. I let out a nervous laugh and respond by saying; “Y-y-you must live super far away, r-r-right?”. “Nope, I just live around the corner”. I felt my heart sink into my feet. I thought I was going to drop. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I stranded, but I was now going to get eaten by a bear on my way back to the hostel and worst of all my stomach was still empty and I hadn’t showered after the long trip. Was I really going to die sweaty and hungry? On the way back I heard the bushes rustle. My adrenaline instantly filled every single vein in my body and I was prepared to be attacked. I quickly realized that it wasn’t a bear, but a man… watering his lawn.. at 12:17 in the morning… He just stared at me as I walked by as if he knew what he had just done to me. I decided to walk a bit faster at that point.
Long story short I made it back to the hostel and spent the night there.
The road to the final destination
I woke up in the morning and still felt lost and defeated. I booked a second night because I wasn’t sure what to do next. I was literally on google flights about to book a flight back to Vancouver when I got a call from the place I was supposed to be working at. I still don’t understand how none of my modes of contact went through, but I think there may have been a black out or something and I think that that coupled with the poor cellphone service in the area may have been why I wasn’t able to get through to anyone.
I took a taxi to my final destination and was shocked at how beautiful the area was upon arrival. I saw seals on my very first day there… in the wild! I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that I’d be staying in such a beautiful place. When I passed the pictures and messages on to my friends back home, they expressed that they wanted to come out there too.
My optimism and hope had been restored until… my second shift at work.
Everyone knows that starting a new job is difficult and I knew that coming into this. I just really underestimated the learning curve. I got utterly decimated. Decimated to the point that I went back upstairs to my room and contemplated if I wanted to go on and if this was truly the right decision. I felt like I was on the park bench all over again. Lost, defeated and insecure.
After pitying myself for a couple minutes longer, I stood up and decided that I’d get back out there. I don’t like to give up when the going gets tough and when would I even have another opportunity like this? Even if I did get another one, I’d probably just end up quitting it too if I allowed myself to think in such a defeatist mindset. I got back up and went back down.
Alright cool, but why are you telling me all this?
You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with the title. Let me explain! This article was inspired by a call I had with my brother a couple days ago. He was telling me about how he had started printing shirts that he was hoping to sell. He talked about how it was really hard and he made a ton of mistakes the first time including printing the logo the wrong way and melting one of his products. Despite all this, he persevered and was able to print out a shirt that actually looked pretty good.
Despite his mistakes, he still pushed through it and the finished product was good. He will continue to make mistakes, but that’s how he’ll get better. You can’t get better at anything without making tons of mistakes, it simply doesn’t work that way. I’ve been aware of this for a while, but just like your comfort zone, if you don’t keep reinforcing positive, constructive beliefs, they’ll start to fade. I made this mistake and fell into a very negative mindset and way of thinking. Talking to my brother helped snap me out of it and brought me back to my senses.
OBVIOUSLY I’m going to make tons of mistakes at any NEW job. OBVIOUSLY I’m going to annoy people with my constant mistakes and questions. It’s part of learning. I made the mistake of not seeing the bigger picture. Instead of looking at how much I’d improved compared to the first day where I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I was just looking at each day as a singularity in which I’d made a ton of mistakes. The mistakes completely overshadowed my progress. Talking to my brother made me see things as a collective experience. It made me compare my progress on my 6th shift to how bad I was doing on my 2nd shift. On the second shift I had to ask about literally everything and on my last shift, I still had to ask a lot, but was autonomous for the most part. When I look at the smaller picture that may not seem like a big improvement because I still need help, but it’s huge in the grand scheme of things.
I need to keep up this mindset so that I can keep improving and one day not have to ask any questions or make any mistakes at all, but to get to that point, I have to keep making more mistakes.
You miss out on EVERY opportunity you don’t take!
We’ve all heard this saying in some form or another. “You miss every shot you don’t take” or what ever. This is very true. I didn’t take the opportunity to come out here when I was 18 because I was scared and that was it. That opportunity is gone. I got offered a relatively high paying job with benefits a year ago and didn’t take it. That opportunity is also gone. When this opportunity came up, I took it! I didn’t want to add it to my long list of “I just wish I…”. Now I’m here. I had the opportunity to leave and walk out on the second day and I also had the opportunity to stay and keep making mistakes. I chose to stay and keep making mistakes. Obviously this may have not been the right decision and I’m fully aware of the fact that it may still blow up in my face, but at least I’m trying. I’d rather try and fail, then never try and always wonder “what if?”. That is the mindset that I’m going to try and maintain and that’s the mindset that my brother is trying to maintain with his shirts.
Am I a Dreamer or a Doer?
Only you can really answer that question about yourself. I’ve personally spent most of my life as a dreamer. I’d lay in bed and stare at the ceiling before falling a sleep every night and just fantasize about all the things I’d like to accomplish. The problem was that I’d only dream and not do. Dreaming is easy, all you have to do is close your eyes. Doing is difficult because it requires action and vulnerability. The only difference between a dream and reality is whether or not the dream gets realized. In other words, the only thing separating dreams and reality is ACTION. I dreamed about moving away from my hometown for eeeeevvveer, but never took action or allowed myself to be vulnerable. I chose the safe route and although I was safe, I was unhappy. I was comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time which was a terrible feeling. I chose to finally take action and make this all happen. I turned the dream into reality and now I’m here, on the other side of the country… finally out of my hometown.
Cool, but what does this all mean?
What this all means is that despite the hardship and bullshit I had to face to get to this point, I still tried. People and life have taught me that this is how you accomplish things that are worthwhile in life. Yes it was scary as I sat on that park bench. Yes it was scary as I stared at the wall in that hostel, not knowing what was going to happen next. Yes it was scary when I was stranded in Ireland because of the freak snowstorm, Yes it was scary when I asked a girl on a date for the first time. Yes it was scary when I drove on the highway for the first time. Yes it was scary when I started my Youtube channel. Yes it was scary when I started this blog and guess what? I made tons of mistakes doing all of the aforementioned things, but that’s ok because that’s how I was able to learn and get better! That’s how I was able to get out of sticky situations. Sometimes shit got HARD in my life as in EVERYONE else’s lives, but I’m here and so are you if you’re reading this. Mistakes do NOT define us, they make us into better definitions of ourselves and our sense of identity changes over time, so we all have a lot of mistakes ahead of us. Mistakes allow us to learn!
The good date formula
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about dates and did the same myself too. Most people who have dated have had at least one bad date in their lives. Doesn’t matter what makes it bad, it was just bad. I came up with a formula that helped me always get something positive out of every single date. Before every single date I ever go on, I tell myself “I want to either enjoy myself, the girl to enjoy herself, to learn something new or I want the girl to learn something new”
Following this formula, the girl and I both walk away in a positive manner whether it goes poorly or not. It just comes down to our mindsets. If we meet up and don’t click at all, we both learned something new; That we’re not compatible. If we both meet up and I hate my time, but it brightens her day in any way; She enjoyed herself and I learned that it wouldn’t work out in the long run. If we meet up and she thinks me laughing at my own cheesy jokes is weird and hates her time because of it, I had a good time and she learned something new; That she wouldn’t like me in the long run.
With his formula, the date may still suck, but there was still a positive gain for all parties involved. I’m trying to apply this to other areas of life. The same thing applies to me being in British Columbia right now. If I hate my time here and have to go back to Ontario it would mean that I learned that this province or area isn’t for me. If I hate my time here, but can make someone else’s life a little bit more positive even for a couple minutes; I will have learned that this province isn’t for me, but still have brightened someone else’s day or life. I’m a strong believer in the ripple effect. If you help one person they may help ten, who may help 100 and so on.
No matter what happens, unless of course I get eaten by a shark or something, there is a positive in it if I adopt and maintain the correct mindset.
The moral of the story
The moral of the story is that it’s better to try and fail than it is to never try at all. You will face tons of adversity in your life. I’m only 25 at the time of this post, so even if I live a long healthy life, there is still tons of adversity headed my way, but I still need to try! You’ll make a lot of mistakes, but that’s how you get better. Don’t beat yourself up, just keep pushing and ask for help when you need it. Life is a learning experience. I still have tons to learn, trust me. I may not even agree with what I’ve written here in the next couple of months or years. Perseverance is the important thing. Don’t allow yourself to fall into uncomfortable comfortability because it hurts and you and I both KNOW it does. If this article sucked, but you still made it this far, please promise yourself.. or me if that makes you feel more accountable that you will at least try!
I really like that one quote by Henry Ford that goes like this; “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” Although I would argue that it’s not completely true, It still illustrates how important your mindset is in the grand scheme of things!
You miss every shot you don’t take, so shoot!
You got dis!