We took the opportunity we had this week – me not working, Joe off work, the kid on a break week from her many camps – and took a drive up the 401. We stayed in Belleville for two nights and spend a morning at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

If you haven't been to Sandbanks, you're missing out
If you haven’t been to Sandbanks, you’re missing out

It was a lovely, short trip that I think we all needed, and it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. We stayed at the same hotel I stayed at when I went back for my college graduation. I visited the old college, much changed since my graduation in 2003. Only one familiar prof was listed on the office doors, and he wan’t in that day. So much has changed since I studied journalism at Loyalist College.

So much happened while I was there.

We drove past part of CFB Trenton where I got to visit Operation Maple Leaf – meant to prepare soldiers from the base who were soon leaving for Afghanistan. When they actually left I was, for a short time, in the room with those same soldiers and their families as they all said goodbye. You could actually feel the emotions in that room. Later I would be on that base to watch four caskets arrive back on Canadian soil. I witnessed history.

During my summer in Belleville I would often drive up to Sandbanks with a picnic and some friends and just be. It was so calming. It was again this weekend, going the same with a husband and daughter that the person I was when I lived there would never have imagined.

So much has happened in the last 13 years that I never could have imagined. For example, I thought I was going to be a successful journalist.

And now here I am. I have used all of those skills and all the new things I have learned along the way, and all of the passion I have to build a new me.

I loved growing up in Ottawa, but going to school with the same people for 15 years can box you into a corner. Before I left for Belleville one of my co-workers told me she thought I was going to go wild when I left home. Though I do have wonderful memories of dancing into the early hours in the town I chose to call home for two years, I didn’t go wild, I just became me. And I’ve kept on building this person ever since.

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