This past weekend I took a small group to the Quebec Winter Carnival and they all told me they had a blast. I have been to the Quebec Winter Carnival many times and my last experience had spectacular snow sculptures everywhere. On the Plains of Abraham there was snow rafting, sled dog rides, horse drawn carriage rides, concerts, etc. There were people soaking in giant hot tubs and lots of family activities. I had no reason not to expect to have a similar experience this year. On arrival in Quebec city, there was nothing on the Plains of Abraham other than normal cross country ski trails and ice rink. There was no sled dogs, horse drawn sleighs, or any activities. The Carnival had been condensed into two very small areas with food and entertainment. To me, this was very disappointing. The Carnival was not what I had experienced in the past. My customers had a blast! They were having fun as they had different expectations then I had. I am not saying the Carnival was bad. It just did not meet my expectations based on past experience. There were lots of people on the streets and everyone seemed to be having fun. It was 4 degrees and to me it was cold. I choose to skip the activities and went back to my room.
I tried to catch up with an old friend who I had not seen in a couple of years. When I last saw my friend, she had long blond hair and was tattoo free. We met for a cup of coffee and she now had short black hair and tattoos on her arm. She kept asking how I liked her new look. I tried to be as vague as I could, as no matter how I answered I would be in trouble. My expectations based on prior experience surprised me. I keep saying things like it does not matter what I think, as I am sure you are the same person inside. She kept reminding me that when I was younger I did all kinds of crazy things and the cold and icy streets would not have bothered me. We both have changed, my friend externally and me internally. I realized, that after my recent injury, I had developed fears I did not have in the past. I realized I had become very cautious and had a fear of falling on the slippery sidewalks, I kept thinking if I fell would I be able to get up. I had changed and become careful because of fear and she changed trying to discover a new adventure. Both of us had changed because of different life experiences.
Just as the carnival experience had changed based on my expectations, so had I and my friend changed. As we move through life change is inevitable. How many of us are living life based on past experience and expectations? How many of us have closed our minds to new ideas because of past experiences or expectations? How many of us have lost our sense of adventure out of fear of what might happen? At Winter Carnival I was prepared for the cold but psychologically when the temperature reached single digits, I choose to be indoors. I let life pass me by out of fear of getting sick. I met with an old friend but because of an external change my conversation was shallow. She told me I used to make her laugh but I had become a very serious person and too conservative.
I have made a choice and will seek to rediscover my sense of adventure and take more risks in life. I realized at Winter Carnival I was living my life based on past experience and was less open too new experiences. Change is inevitable. It is not good or bad, but will happen. It is time for me to break down barriers and seek out new adventures. I hope all of my readers realize the self imposed barriers.
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