Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Milestone Moment

It seems sometimes we evolve slowly into maturity.  There are growth marks on the wall that creep upwards or more complicated books being read.  We hardly notice until some great-aunt says how big you are becoming.  These are often passive times, when we do little to change beyond the typical day-to-day stuff. 

Then there are times when you grow suddenly.  It's like someone flicked a switch and a new room of your life is revealed.  I remember one such moment in my teen years.

I was 16 and working at a summer camp on Georgian Bay.  It was a beautiful and I was thrilled to be away on my own, making new relationships with peers without constant grown-ups present.  We'd work a camp session then have a few days off before the next group.  Before we had headed out, the staff planned on coming back a day early to party together.  Awesome! 

... Except I didn't get the memo.   I guess I'd left before the final plans and they weren't coming back early.  My dad dropped me back at camp that afternoon and I was alone.  Completely alone.  The main cabin with the phone and kitchen was locked but my cabin was open. 

So I made a choice.  I could have hiked down the road to a cottage and called home.  But I didn't.  I spent the night alone at camp.  I have never been more glad that I don't watch horror movies!  Music kept me company and I got to enjoy the simplicity of being by myself.  *click!*  A piece of me became an adult that night.  I was free from distraction and my confidence in myself grew.

The next morning I was floating in an inner tube on the bay when the crew arrived.  I was happy to see them but it wasn't as big a deal as I thought it might be.  I liked the person I saw in the mirror that next day.  She didn't need to be a piece of someone else's plan, she had plans of her own.  It is the best foundation I could have given myself. 

Do you recall a milestone moment?  Do share!


  1. NO, I'm too busy being freaked out that you spent the night ALONE AT A SUMMER CAMP!!!!! Because I watched a LOT of horror movies. I would have cried myself to death. Or just read a book, I guess.

  2. WOW. I am hugely impressed with your 16-year-old self. I'm pretty sure I would have been freaked out in that same situation.