Reading week

From my journal, dated March 1st 2013

Reading week came and went, and I just finished my first week back. Reading week was fun, pretty chill, and I didn’t do a whole lot. But, I’ll try to recount the things I did do, so that I don’t look back on the week and see it as a black hole of time suck.

Saturday: I borrowed skates from Sarah and went skating alone. It was nice though my knees are bruised up after my 2 falls.

Sunday: I went to church. There’s a church service that takes place in the auditorium on campus and I decided to check it out. It was nice and everyone was really welcoming; it didn’t give me much of the cult-like feelings I sometimes get when attending services. I especially liked the singing. I’m not sure if I’ll go back… I normally go to the gym Sunday mornings. Plus, the people might think I’m crazy since I darted out of the last service and disappeared, in order to avoid chitchat.

Monday: “Family Day” Holiday. I met a woman involved in Girl Guides (as a leader) for tea which was nice, though a bit awkward. It was nice to talk Guiding with someone (finally) and to hear some local Guiding news.

Tuesday: Parliament internship interview!!! The interview was with one other girl and another who Skyped in. We were all from the same part of the country. Our answers to all the questions are pretty similar, though I think the other girls might have been more eloquent than me. I have a long wait ahead until I hear any news from the recruiters (they have to do security and reference checks).

Wednesday: I went for a long walk around town. The weather wasn’t the best for exploring, but it was still nice. I spent some time in a bookstore, and also stopped by a Zellers closing-out sale, and bought a bra for $8. In the evening I went on a 30 minute bus ride to a mall out West to take part in a Guiding campfire sing-along event (that the Guider I met on Monday invited me to). It was nice – I knew around 60% of the songs. Had a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dinner.

Thursday: Went to the gym and then volunteering as per usual.

Friday: I got my ear (singular) pierced! It’s an upper ear piercing, sometimes called a helix or cartilage piercing. I love it and had been thinking about getting it done for a couple of weeks. It did hurt a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. My parents were surprised.

Saturday: Can’t remember what I did.

Sunday: Gym and late afternoon I had tea with Nate, the future roommate. I love talking to Nate; he’s probably one of the only people, besides my parents and Stephanie, who I feel like I can talk to about anything with, and really be myself. We ended the evening with a grocery shopping trip together.

So that was my week. I did do some schoolwork, but I also spend a significant chunk of time watching Supernatural episodes with Jeff (who didn’t seem to leave the common room the whole week). Anyways, so that was a reading week; pretty anticlimactic, if you don’t count the piercing.

This week goes back to work: I had a midterm Monday + Wednesday and both went well. Tuesday I went to hear it David Suzuki and economist Jeff Rubin speak with Iris and her roommate Christine. That was pretty cool.

It’s Friday afternoon and I finally have a chance to breathe. It’s the first day of March – the last full month of classes. I don’t know how I feel about that.

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Snow

From my journal, dated February 11th 2013

I love snow. It’s so white and pure. It blankets our world to make it quiet and beautiful once more.

I wish it would snow forever. I wish it would snow so much, that we would be stranded, and forced to confront our neighbours. Then I wish it would snow some more, so that we would become completely snowed in, and forced to confront ourselves.

Saturday night

From my journal, dated February 2nd 2013

Hey there…

Wow, okay, I guess I don’t have anything much to say. But hey, it’s Saturday night, and what else am I supposed to do except write in my journal? Actually, I’ve been watching, actually rewatching, episodes of the YouTube series the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s an awesome and addictive modern-day vlog-style adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I was taking a study break. Wow, I must sound incredibly nerdy, but I don’t care and will fully admit to being a nerd.

I could go out to the common room and see what’s going on there, except for 2 things.

1: I’m sick and spent today inside + recovering (+ studying), therefore did not have a shower, so my hair is a greasy mess.

2: To be honest, I don’t like many, if not most of the people on my floor. Or at least, those who hang out in the common room. It’s like if our society, our whole messed-up capitalistic, misogynistic, racist, sex-obsessed, typical society had a baby, it would be them, my floormates. They say offensive stuff all the time, and their convo topics pretty much alternate between guns & girls and back.

Like 86% of the time I would rather study.

I shouldn’t​ be so mean. I’m sure they’re all really nice people, individually, and deep down inside. Anyways, let’s talk about something else, shall we.

So it’s been a week since Nate and I decided to be roommates next year, and I still haven’t told my parents. And it’s actually starting to bother me, the fact that they don’t know. I normally tell them everything (well, because I never have “boy” news to hide) and I will tell them, but I’ve just been waiting for them to bring it up. They haven’t.

What else… I’ve been sick the past week, and on top of that my insomnia’s been acting up… which combine to give a miserable me.

I’m trying to figure out how I’m feeling at the moment… I feel quite neutral actually. Surprisingly not that tired (why am I never tired at nighttime?), a little anxious about school and life. But pretty ok actually. But the anxiety is building…

I hate evenings.

A friendship & a proposal

From my journal, dated January 25th 2013

Ok, so I’m writing this entry right after the previous one. I meant to talk about something else completely, but first I had to catch you up on the rest of my life and I thought that I should separate the posts.

So, I don’t think I mentioned Nate before – have I even mentioned our enviro group before? The group is working on our university’s divestment campaign and I’ll talk about it some other time. But basically, I met Nate through the campaign and, this isn’t going where you think it’s going.

Nate is a really cool guy, though a little eccentric. He’s the kind of guy that until you find out he has a partner (aka girlfriend) you think might be gay. He’s tall and is studying Electrical Engineering. He’s also one of the most conscientious and kindest persons I’ve ever met. It’s like he eats anti-oppression training for breakfast. Aka he’s very NOT racist, ableist, sexist, capitalistic, homophobic, etc. Which makes a very kind and accepting person. One thing about him is that he rambles a lot, or more accurately, just goes into great detail about everything, which I find fine, since, as you know I’m not much of a talker, so I’m fine with him doing all the talking.

Anyways, I’ve been getting to know Nate pretty well in the past months – at least better than anyone else here in O-town. And in the past few weeks he’s been pestering me to get coffee with him. I was quite apprehensive since I was convinced he was going to ask me to “bottom line” another working group for the campaign (I’m now the bottomliner aka leader of the Outreach branch btw). Anyways, I was quite surprised then, when he asked me if I would consider being his roommate next year!!!

Wow, was I surprised and happy and really quick touched that someone likes me enough to want to live with me (and be like the first person on their list to ask). I said that I was definitely interested, though I’m going to need a place until September (aka I’m going home for the summer).

But I’m glad he asked, because my housing situation for next year has been something I’ve started to wonder/worry about. I hadn’t really made any close enough friends who would want to live with me, and so my plan was to just show up in Sept. with my mom and look with her help for a single place.

This whole thing makes me feel a little less unloved and a little less unlovable. And I think I can officially say now, that I made a friend. 🙂

Second semester classes, an update

From my journal, dated January 25th 2013

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been meaning to, truly. Quite a bit has happened, I guess.

Classes are up and running. Back to the grind. German is still good, and I’m working on a presentation about the possible effects of climate change on Europe (in German). My Canadian politics class is interesting so far. I’m really enjoying it. My intro to International Relations class, on the other hand, is boring. It doesn’t help that the prof mumbles and that his train of thought is quite hard to follow. I guess I just don’t understand what there is to study about it besides, like, discussing and defining globalisation for hours on end.

My English class is pretty good, kind of like English 12 and much more interesting than my English class last semester. Speaking of last semester, I got all my marks back and… I got straight A’s. Really. I’m quite surprised and impressed with myself, really. I did my best obviously, but I wasn’t expecting or really aiming to keep up my streak of A’s. I feel a little pressure now to keep it up, but at the same time, I’m telling myself: “Stop overachieving. Stop your stress, you don’t need to get 100% on everything so go out and have some fun. Be a rebel and don’t do all your readings.”

And, this past week at least, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve gotten zero school work done. In my defense, last weekend was Model UN which was a blast and which kept me busy. And then this week I was studying for the Parliament internship written test. That test went OK… I overstudied some areas and didn’t study others enough. In short, I have no idea if I did well enough to make it to the next round – the final interview.

And to be honest, even if I do make it to the final round, I don’t think my level of French is strong enough to land me the job. Not to say it won’t try because boy, would I love the job.

Speaking of my French level, I got another job that will be quite the test of my French. Basically, instead of writing a paper for my politics class, I’m volunteering for an elected politician. Thing is, that she and all her staff are francophone and they were expecting a francophone, since the work involved requires writing letters and what-not to people – in French. I’ll give it a try, but I’m super nervous. I hope that, at least with this challenge, I’ll improve my French. I start next week.

My last class I’m taking this semester is Intro to Women’s Studies (aka Gender Studies). And I love it. I find it so interesting and it really keeps on challenging me to challenge my worldview and I’m learning a ton. Which is a good thing, because, you know, that’s what uni’s about.

New Year’s reflections

From my journal, dated January 1st 2013

It’s been one year since I began this journal. And though I don’t feel different from myself yesterday, I do feel like I have changed a fair amount in the past year. I use the word very hesitantly, but in many ways, I have grown-up.

In many ways though, I wish I was back in Grade 12, living at home. I was more carefree and the world seemed to hold infinite possibilities; the future was waiting to be created. I feel a bit more confined now, as if I have tasted the fruit of adulthood (and independence) and have discovered it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The world is so large and each of us, so small.

Though I was sometimes (if not often?) unhappy, unsatisfied, and lonely, the past year contained some of what I consider to be the best days of my life so far. Prom + Grad are at the top, which would have surprised me a year ago. They were a blast, and staying up all night and eating at Lily’s diner at 4 a.m. with Stephanie are some of the highlights. Even the Saint Johns’ Grad was really fun (though it led to the awkward Caleb situation). Speaking of him, that weekend in W-town was also lots of fun (I don’t know if I mentioned it?). It’s hard to believe that my parents let me go up to W-town with strangers (to them) for a house party / co-ed sleepover.

And even earlier than that in the year was my trip to Ecuador. That was an adventure: staying in a cement room with Callie at our homestay, working hard on our service project, walking through the rural streets, and at the end of the trip, swimming on the coast with the most monstrously beautiful waves I have ever seen up close.

I remember 3 things from the summer: my sailing trip, my knee surgery + recovery, and our cross-country road trip. What I did the rest of the days, I don’t remember (maybe reading, cycling, playing cards?). The road trip in particular, I’ll remember as some of the best days of my life. Camping with my parents, seeing the countryside, exploring, and playing Gameboy, all while feeling that we were going somewhere, that our actions had a tangible purpose, a goal, namely to arrive in O-town for university.

My time at university is still quite fresh in my mind, so I needn’t recall it here. Though I know I had good times there, the general negative feelings persist and overpower the good. It definitely makes me question my decision to go to O-town. Something I haven’t told anyone is that my pro-con list, my U of S vs. U of O list, came out in favor of U of S. That haunts me a bit. But everyone, and by everyone I mean my parents and I, were talking a lot about “If” I moved O-town… and we began picturing it. And everyone made O-town seem like a bit more of a socially-acceptable choice (not quite the right words, but I hope you got my meaning). I often wonder if I made the easy decision, and therefore, not necessarily the right one.

But, maybe, sometimes there aren’t any right choices.

Anyways, I will try to be optimistic about the New Year. I’m currently in Dusseldorf, Germany and we celebrated last night with our relatives Uli + Franz and more old German people. The fireworks from the whole neighborhood were amazing. On an optimistic note, here are some things I’m looking forward to in 2013:

  • learning new things (sounds cheesy, but my courses for the next semester sound really interesting)
  • seeing some recent movie releases including the Life of Pi, The Hobbit, and The Great Gatsby
  • maybe get accepted for a Parliamentary internship
  • hopefully volunteering on a tall ship again
  • maybe going on an epic road trip down to California to pick up Stephanie from school
  • reuniting with Stephanie
  • being home again and all the usual comfortable routines that come along with it (playing cards, eating sushi in front of the TV with my family, biking everywhere, etc.)
  • endless possibilities and daydreams

Though history has a tendency to repeat itself, I am once again hopeful and have hope to make strong new friendships, meet the guy of my dreams, and find my place in the world. One can dream, eh?

Perhaps you’re wondering about whether I have any New Year’s resolutions. Not really: I never make any official ones. But I really want to make an effort to be more selfless and caring. Not only will I be able to help others more, but I will hopefully this way be able to get out of my own head for a while and stop agonizing over my own problems.

Now a seventeen-year-old me would make a resolution to be more social + outgoing, but I have realized that I am by nature introvert and that’s just who I am. I will however, make an effort to stop and say hi to people, ask them how they’re doing (which goes along with my resolution above) and I will continue to participate in lots of events, activities, and clubs.

I feel like I fell into a bit of a divet during the past few months, but now I’m going to do my best to come back strong: to build my self-confidence. The road ahead looks lonely and scary and most of all uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. But the only way, is through, and I will keep on keeping on.

Here’s to a fresh start.

All grown up and nowhere near it.

Christmas in Vienna and thoughts about “home”

From my journal, dated December 26th 2012

Sorry I didn’t write earlier. The past few days have been awesome, and, yet, quite typical, in my family’s way.

So I made it to Vienna and my family and I spent the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas there. I loved walking around the lit-up streets and perusing the Christmas markets. The Kunsthistorischesmuseum and the Nutcracker ballet on Christmas day were highlights as well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “home” these past few days and what it means. Though I love my hometown, I realized that my family was by far what I missed most about my time away at university. I was surprised at how easily I clicked back into the family and how normal it all seemed – as if we never really been split up. And I also realized that the feeling of home can’t completely be filled without a place – an anchor. In the apartment in Vienna, even with my family, I got once or twice that horrible homesick-like feeling of “this-isn’t-where-I-belong”. Though I love my family to pieces, I need to find another anchor, because I know that they won’t always be there.

We’ve just arrived in Barcelona (what a great surprise) and I’m excited to spend time exploring with my family. For a brief second though my thoughts drifted to my leaving at the end of the holiday and I was wracked in despair. More about my thoughts on leaving later, but for now we’ve just arrived, and it’s time for bed.