So, another year – another decade, in fact – has gone by, and we find ourselves in the future, once again.
Where are all the flying cars?
Anyway, I thought I’d take this opportunity, as we put a new calendar up on the wall (do people still do that?), to take a look back at the 2010s and a look forward at the 2020s, from a both a community and personal perspectives.
Let’s start with Campbell River.
In some ways, this community has changed a great deal in the past 10 years.
We got a brand new hospital, we’ve stretched out to the south and filled in some gaps, there are plenty of new businesses in town – in some cases replacing old ones and, in other cases, supplementing them – a couple of schools have closed and their students re-distributed to others, and a lot of new housing has gone in.
Unfortunately, the new hospital was over-capacity from day one, there are still empty storefronts (including a couple of very prominent locations), the schools we have are now filled to the brim – and in some cases overflowing into portables – and the housing growth hasn’t kept up with the population growth, or a one-bedroom apartment wouldn’t cost what it costs in relation to the wages being paid in our community.
In other ways, we haven’t changed that much at all as a town – or city, if you prefer.
We’re still long and narrow, surrounded by lush wilderness and the beauty of nature. We’re still playing soccer and hockey and fishing from the pier and heading off on our boats. We’re still taking care of each other – in most cases – and getting mad about tax increases.
I guess I’ve had a similar trajectory over the past decade. There are some significant differences in my life, but I’m still, in essence, the same person I was 10 years ago.
My 30s began with me back in university after taking some time away from it to figure out what I really wanted to study rather than jumping from program to program, not finishing what I’d started and wasting a ton of money.
Well, it wasn’t really a waste, I suppose. I learned a lot about a lot, and found out that I didn’t want a degree in any of it.
In any case, there I was finally studying something I could see myself doing for a living: journalism.
I was working for the university newspaper and starting a family.
I went on to graduate with two degrees as a job opened up at the newspaper in my old hometown. I was offered that position, happily accepted it, and packed us up to head off to an island.
Subsequent years would find me changing the hobbies that filled my time outside of work hours on an almost-yearly-basis – and changing beats with the newspaper about half as frequently – but a few things have remained constant.
Much like the Campbell River itself, surrounded by the warm embrace of the natural world, through it all, I was – and am – surrounded by a loving family, a great group of friends, and a community of caring people who want what’s best for others and will support them in their efforts.
And as we move forward into this next decade, I have a feeling those things will remain true.
Take care of each other, Campbell River, and Campbell River will take care of you.
And welcome to 2020.