De­tours, dead ends and al­ter­nate routes

Seaway News - - Opinion -

In my pre­vi­ous col­umn we got as far as the mile­stones of child­hood.

For most of us, the ca­reer path of the rest of our life be­comes clear: Univer­sity? Trade Ap­pren­tice­ship? Di­rect en­try into the labour pool? Mil­i­tary ser­vice? For some, the road ahead lacks guid­ing signs.

So what comes next? If not a life-long ca­reer choice, per­haps an in­terim job that puts bread on the ta­ble and a roof over one’s head. An ap­peal­ing de­tour in the road may present it­self, It may come in the course of some recre­ational pur­suit, or a chance meet­ing during trav­els: a hid­den tal­ent emerges, a win­ning lot­tery ticket; a pas­sion be­comes a lu­cra­tive en­deav­our…. Bingo!

I re­mem­ber my first cam­era, a fixed-focus, fixed-aper­ture Ko­dak Duaflex IV with a re­flex viewfinder; then a used 35 mm cam­era and even­tu­ally an SLR. My dis­cov­ery of Ko­dachrome slide film was ex­cit­ing. My pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy re­sulted in job ad­vances and an even­tual ca­reer change. I hope you too had a sim­i­lar lucky de­vel­op­ment in your work life.

I once called Amer­i­can Air­lines to book a flight from Tuc­son Ari­zona to LA. A sweet-voiced ticket agent asked, “Will your wife be trav­el­ling with you, sir?” I was all of seven­teen at the time, but al­ready pass­ing as a ma­ture man of the world, with the deep voice that went with it.

I was 19 years of age, with only 45 days of teacher train­ing when I landed my first full-time steady job with a class of 40 grade six and seven boys. My first day on the job they stared at me, and I stared back at them. It was a roller coaster learn­ing curve ride for all of us, and cer­tainly a ca­reer defin­ing de­vel­op­ment for me.

Get­ting my first car in 1961, a VW Bee­tle, not only be­came a pos­si­bil­ity, it be­came a ne­ces­sity. I no longer had to beg Dad for the Oldsmo­bile.

An­other big move: leav­ing home. Life brought many more changes. A se­ries of steady girl­friends even­tu­ally led to mar­riage, then three chil­dren. Through teach­ing and par­ent­hood I soon learned that not only did I not know all the an­swers, I didn’t even know the ques­tions.

One of the most ex­cit­ing mile­stones in life is mov­ing into one’s first home. That was par­tic­u­larly true for us: I’d de­signed our dream home and cleared the land. Luck­ily an ar­chi­tect friend cor­rected some of my mis­takes.

Chil­dren came along, each unique. One by one, all three went off to school. One by one, through a va­ri­ety of cir­cum­stances and events, they never came home again. A child­less house is an­other way­point, but the trip is not over yet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.