Birthdays have been on my mind recently. This weekend, Sunday, July 1st, is Canada’s birthday, otherwise known as Canada Day. As well, a couple weeks ago, on Friday, June 15th, I celebrated my 24th birthday. Personally, I think birthdays are a great time to reflect on where you are at now in life, how you got there, and what you still hope to accomplish.
I know in a previous column, I wrote about a good reflection exercise called the ‘reverse bucket list.’ In this week’s column, I’m going to try a different exercise known as 'a letter to my younger self'. For those unfamiliar with the exercise, basically, it is the letter writer putting down a message, based on hindsight, to a younger version of them self on what they wished they had known at that time. For this column, I have chosen to write to the version of myself who was in grade 10 in high school. So, here goes.
Dear younger me.
First off, you probably noticed this letter comes under a header of ‘Caped Cearnsader’ and includes a professional headshot. That is because I am writing this as part of the columnist portion of my role at The Standard Newspaper. The job also includes being the lead reporter as well as a photographer. Yes, in the future you find a job in the field of work you enjoy and work with some great people. I love the journalism field. The job is never the same week to week. There is always something interesting to report on, photograph, and write about; and interesting and unique people to meet.
On the topic of jobs, I know what you are considering, at the point in time you are in, is finding a summer job. The advice I can give you on that topic is just to be patient. Jobs can be hard to find, and sometimes it can take a little while to be hired. However, as well, I know you can be a careful, reserved person at times, but make sure you take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to meet up and hang out with friends, to try something new, or take a risk over the next couple years.
After high school is over, and you get closer to the real world, people’s schedules change, there’s not always the opportunities there were to spend time with long time friends.
That's not to say you don’t meet new friends and acquaintances. I can tell you I’ve met a bunch of people through college and work I call good friends.
Now that I have brought up college, I can tell you there is no need to be nervous about that point in your life. You will be accepted to Durham College, and will learn a lot from a number of kind and patient industry professionals who care about your success.
One thing I have gleaned from my years of experience is you are constantly learning new things all the time, and the best way to be successful is to learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. On that note, don’t be afraid to ask questions and lean on the experience of those with expertise.
As you are likely wondering, no I am not currently in a romantic relationship with anyone, but as I’ve noted in a paragraph above, I have a great support base of friends, colleagues and family.
Another question you probably have on your mind is, by the time I am writing this, in June of 2018, have the Leafs won their first Stanley Cup since 1967 yet? Unfortunately they haven’t. I know as a lifelong Leafs fan, at the point in time you are at there is not a lot of optimism for the team, but keep the faith and keep cheering them on. In 2018, there is a lot more Leafs optimism.
I can tell you Toronto won the draft lottery and found their franchise number one centre, and have also added a reliable starting goaltender and some exciting young wingers.
To wrap this up, let me just say I know you have gone through some challenges, as most people do, but just keep doing the best you can at everything you do and things will be okay. Also, remember you have the power to shape your own destiny.
Sincerely Your 24 year-old self.
The Ontario election has come and passed and the province has a new Premier, Doug Ford of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. This election was a disaster for the Ontario Liberal Party, who only won seven seats and lost official party status. Party leader Kathleen Wynne resigned from her leadership role on the night of the election, after the results came in, but I think this election could have gone better for the party if Ms. Wynne had made that decision before the start of the election campaign.
For one thing, coming in to the election, and even about a year before the election, the Angus Reid Institute reported Ms. Wynne had the lowest approval rating of all of the current Premiers in Canada. This was well reported coming in to the election, so having Canada’s most unpopular Premier remain as leader of the party heading in to the election likely only hurt the party.
If Wynne had resigned before the election, it would have allowed the party to find a fresh face who could bring new ideas to the table, someone who the voters might have been curious enough about to vote for and keep the party viable. Here are some examples of new party leaders turning around a party’s fate. When Justin Trudeau became leader of the Federal Liberals, he led them from a third place party who had 36 seats before the 2015 election to a party that won a majority, 184 seats, in that election.
Plus, all Ontarians just saw the impact of the Ontario Conservatives choosing a new leader, Doug Ford. The Ontario Liberals could have had the same opportunity with a new leader.
A word used a lot during the provincial campaign was ‘change.’ Under a new leader, during the campaign, the Liberals could have branded themselves as a slightly different party than they have been in the past, giving Ontarians the possible safe option of a change of mindset without the province changing the leading party.
This election definitely did not go the way the Ontario Liberals had hoped, but, I believe, they just might have been able to hold on to power if Wynne had decided to step down from her role as leader before the 2018 campaign began.
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy