Friday, 23 June 2017

A Series Of Fortunate Events

It turns out dreams actually can come true.

(Author's Note:    This post was written several days ago, during my flight home from GP Las Vegas.)

I was sitting in my window seat a few minutes ago, during my flight home from Grand Prix Las Vegas when I felt a tear start to well up in my eyes.   Not the most common variety of tears though, which are caused by sadness or sudden pain.   No, this tear was caused by a moment of extreme gratefulness, and pure elation.    In one perfect moment I was just overwhelmed by so many amazing factors in my life converging at once.   Let me explain...

Chapter 1: The Early Years

I grew up as the second child in a single family income.  As I was an 'unexpected surprise' that came along years after my parents had stopped thinking about having more children, there were certain realities we had to deal with.   Like most families, money was always a factor in the background of our lives.   I was lucky to be in a family where we were always well fed and dressed nicely, and I remember enjoying some lavish Christmas mornings with piles of new toys waiting under the tree.   

The trade off for all of the wonderful little perks growing up would have been that my Dad had to work insanely long hours in his job.  As an adult now, I clearly can appreciate the incredible sacrifices that he made for all of us in our youth, although I think I will always go through my life envious of the closer relationship that my brother enjoys with Dad.   

A somewhat unknown fact about me would be that as a child I had extremely poor health for years.   My Mom had to do a lot of extra work all the time, ensuring that I received the required medication cocktails of various pills each day to maintain my fragile condition.   At one point in my childhood I was allergic to almost every food imaginable; from nuts to chocolate, tomatoes to oranges.   Even bread and milk were out of my diet at one point.

Between my poor health, my Dad having to work 60 hour weeks, and Mom watching my medications like a hawk, there was never any opportunities for us to take any vacations as a child.   I have always dreamt of travelling and until recently (relatively speaking), it had always been an impossibility.  I wanted to visit all of the fun places I had seen in movies, to see them with my own eyes.  

This was especially frustrating as I am now a Father myself, and like all parents I want to be able to give my child everything that I couldn't have as a kid.

And then I became a Magic Judge.

Chapter 2:   A Magical Revelation

Magic gave me a great way to bridge the gap that often forms between parents and their children, as they become teenagers.   Suddenly we had something new in common, a game that we both loved and could get excited about.   And on top of that, we also had a whole new group of mutual friends in the gaming community.

Although my Son couldn't come along for this trip to Las Vegas (it's just not a fun place to visit as a minor), it has only been three weeks since we both travelled by train to Montreal for an incredible 5 days of Magic and sight seeing, where we made some memories together as Father and Son that will last us both for a lifetime.

Magic Judging has literally given me the World.   In the past 18 months since I have reached Level 2 I have travelled all over North America.    I have been to Providence, Rhode Island on the eastern seaboard.   I flew to both Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas in the south this past March.    And as I am writing this right now, I am enjoying my return flight from Las Vegas, Nevada.   And those aren't even half of the new cities I have been able to finally visit, thanks to the gift of Magic.   In fact, this flight right now is the tenth one I have been on since October.   That still just blows my mind sometimes.

Chapter 3: The Perfect Song

I was in high school when I Mother Earth reached the peak of it's popularity.   They had become my favorite band during my high school years, and I was devastated when they announced they were breaking up after the end of their tour, back in '97 or '98.  I was still 18, and their last show was going to be ages 19+ at Georgian College, not far from where I lived.   To miss seeing them in person was one of my biggest disappointments.

Until last year.    Fate would bring them together again, and their final show of their tour with Our Lady Peace would be at Casino Rama, where I could finally see them perform 'Another Sunday' in person.   It was close to a spiritual experience for me, seeing a childhood dream of mine become reality after nearly twenty years of waiting.

Chapter 4: The Perfect Moment

I was sitting here, just an hour ago from my perspective, looking out my window as the desert sands of Nevada stretched put into the distance below me.   Memories of Las Vegas and the friends whom I saw there were filling my head when I decided to listen to some music on my phone.  I hit play without looking at the playlist, and the very first notes I heard were the unmistakable beginnings of I Mother Earth playing 'Another Sunday'.    Two dreams of mine coming true collided in perfect synchronicity.   

The sick little 8 year old boy, the one with all the terrible food allergies hiding inside of me called out and asked me to raise a glass of orange juice to to celebrate that perfect moment, and so that is exactly what I did.  And that was when felt a tear coming on, just for a moment as I took it all in and wondered how my life had finally become so wonderful.

Chapter 5:  A Brave New World, and a brand new life.

This is the part of this Blog where I am going to talk about another dream of mine that is coming true.   I'll warn you; unless you are in my closest circle of friends, this next part is probably going to come as a shock for some of you.

My incredible girlfriend - whom I absolutely adore, and I have decided that it's time to take control of our own destinies.

The short, yet exciting version of the story is; we bought a store.   More specifically, we bought a commercial building, and we are opening up our very own gaming store / board game cafe in Penetanguishene.   Imagine a place to come with your whole family, and try all sorts of fun new games that everyone can enjoy together.    Or come by yourself and just meet people with similar interests.  

I have talked a lot previously about what the Magic community has given me, in both experiences and in new friends.   I have said many times that when I return home to Midland after a day filled with fun and excitement at a gaming event in Toronto it always felt kind of like I was coming home to Exile.

Which is why I am so pleased and excited to announce our new gaming store, opening this July in beautiful Penetanguishene;  North of Exile Games.  

We are excited to begin building a new and welcoming gaming community here for the Midland and Penetanguishene area.  Our goal is to provide a constantly fun and safe place for everyone to enjoy their favorite games with others.  

Let's make some new dreams come true together.


1 comment:

  1. The sign on the store looks amazing!!! I am SO very happy for all of you!!!!!