Even when I was a kid I thought I was a grown up. I know now that’s not true; I’m still in the process of blossoming, of blooming, of decaying, and rejuvenating. Just like every other person on the planet I’ll be doing this dance for my entire life. Birthdays may mark the years, but they’re only arbitrary sign posts – they do not chart my real growth, only my societally imposed age.
I have planned my life for as long as I can remember. In grade twelve I approached my guidance counsellor for a consultation armed with a twenty page document – it included information on my top three schools, my preferred majors for each institution, and the average cost to attend each school. Two out of the three universities were in province – The University of Ottawa and Carleton University – while my third option was Bishop’s University.
Located on the other side of the Ontario/Québec border I fantasized about leaving home for Bishop’s, starting anew, making new friends, and all of the other things every future graduate thinks about – but the biggest draw was certainly the allure of independence. The day I presented my pitch about Bishop’s to my parents I was in grade eleven (I told you I planned ahead) and I remember them being cautious but supportive. I remember running upstairs and blasting “Independence” by The Band Perry; I can still feel the excitement running through my veins, and the high of opportunity making me feel as if I was on cloud nine.
I don’t think it had anything to do with Bishop’s at all (although the school and its programs are highly recommended) it was more so the freedom attached to attending a school outside of my own province.
In the end Carleton won out – by a landslide – I’m pretty sure I whooped in joy when I got my acceptance to the Humanities program. My parents were happy that I was happy – that I am happy. I have never once regretted my decision to attend Carleton. But then again I knew from the get go that I was supposed to stay home for university (to save money for grad school). And that’s fine. It’s a great idea.
So I went to Carleton, I enrolled happily in HUMS, and I’ve never looked back. Except when I do – it’s inevitable. I know that it’s part of our human nature to desire to know (HUMS is applicable to the real world you know), and well, I take that one step further by wondering. I don’t doubt because I know that HUMS is where I’m meant to be; it’s my second home (there’s no question about that) but it would be interesting to see where I would be had I left home at graduation.
Who would I be? Where would I be?
Well, all I can say is that is the path not taken, and right now all I can do is slog up the steps of Plato’s Cave in pursuit of that elusive beast Philosophy.