Texas Stars forward Taylor Peters is chronicling his life as a rookie in the American Hockey League. Check back for occasional entries from Peters right here on TexasStarsHockey.com.
A Rookie Perspective: New Days
There I was, marvelling at the lavish life pro hockey had dropped into my lap… or so I thought. Sitting awkwardly on a bare counter top, I drank in the mesmerizing luxury of bare, off-white walls and slightly further off-white carpet as I shovelled handful after handful of Honey Nut Cheerios straight from the box. There were no chairs or tables, no couches or curtains, but I think I had breakfast pretty much locked down.
In a word. Extravagance.
“If this isn’t high quality living, I don’t know what is,” I mused, hopping down from my perch atop the counter and sidestepped my life -- still strictly in duffel bag form at this point -- en route to my room. We (Brett Ritchie and I) had made a trip to Ikea the night before and picked out our furniture which was to be delivered two days later, but we hadn’t gone home empty handed. While we had only planned on picking up pillows and bedding, Ikea graciously sent me home with a free sample of food poisoning. So, weak, dehydrated, and exhausted, I unpacked my pillows, unpacked my duvet cover, discovered it did not come with a comforter inside, gave up, and immediately passed out on the bedroom floor.
Cooking has easily been the most rewarding challenge since coming south, if not the most entertaining. Coming from a background where I said a little thank you prayer every time the toast came out any shade lighter than charcoal, my expectations, regardless of how low they were to begin with, have been happily surpassed. Although, there is definitely a learning curve and sometimes the trial by fire is a bit more literal than I’d like it to be. Our absolute highpoint came one morning during breakfast, when an experimental omelette flip merited better than expected results. I’d like to think after a week’s worth of meals, I’m beginning to get the hang of it. While cooking has been a challenge, it has definitely not been the only one.
With technology as omnipresent as it is, it’s not often that you find yourself without an internet connection for an extended period of time, let alone two weeks. We had the pleasure of spending two weeks in medieval times, reverting to the dark ages of playing Xbox without a connection to the internet. The value of data goes through the roof when you have to monitor how many times you can get your social media hit every day. Books even become a viable option! It’s harrowing, the stark feeling of loneliness and boredom that pervades the instant we lose our connection to the outside world. It was a glorious day when we could sit mindlessly and go back to scrolling through our phones.
It all wraps into beginning pro hockey. It’s been an interesting experience, some times more overwhelming than others (suddenly having bills for phone, car payments, insurance, and rent being due was enlightening). I’m excited at the opportunity to play here in Texas. I’ve been privileged with being able to move from one amazing fanbase in Portland, to another here in Austin. It’s made me feel at home much faster than I thought possible.