All posts filed under: Advice

Saying Goodbye To a Friend

I walk my friend to her car, preparing for the ever-familiar sting of watching her leave. I’m saying goodbye to her for another six weeks, concluding only a short blissful weekend spent together after long months apart. But what follows is unusual – and I find that it has been happening more frequently – there’s less pain when we pull away from the hug, and as I walk away I don’t feel the anxious need to turn around and verify that she’s really disappeared into the night. I don’t love her any less than I did on the evening of our first significant farewell (the night before I left for University; embarrassingly full of tears) – if it’s even possible, I love her more. But something in each of us has shifted. After years of what can only be defined as cursory visits, we both share an understanding that nothing will change following this separation, just as everything remained the same in the wake of our last. Long distance, long term, friendships. Perhaps not as …

10 Things To Remember Daily

1. You’re doing great. I think we get caught in the mindset that everything is turning to shit, that nothing is going our ways and that basically, we’re incompetent. I recently listened to a podcast by Stephanie Yu and it said to look at each day as an ‘episode’ of your life – like a TV series. At the end of a very dramatic episode of your favorite show, we’re usually so excited to see what’s coming up next and how the characters will overcome their current problems. Well, it’s same as your life – another day, another episode, but somehow things will work out, no matter how horrible this current episode is. 2. No one really knows what they’re doing. What is life about? Heck, nobody knows and we’re all just trying to figure out this mess along the way. There is no ‘right path’ to follow, and even if we do follow it; it doesn’t guarantee the expected outcome. Social media is such a perpetrator for instilling the idea that everyone is has …

Lessons I Learned by Living Alone

Living by yourself is scary. Moving halfway around the world is downright petrifying. Living by yourself and moving halfway around the world is just crazy. This year, I did all of the above and lived to tell the tale. I have stories upon stories to tell about late nights under the shadow of a castle and early morning coffee runs in Italy. I hiked my way across Scotland and learned how to pack two weeks worth of clothing in a carry-on bag because that’s all the airline allowed. I’ve learned so much this past year but I’ve narrowed it down to a few crucial lessons I’ve picked up along the way: It’s alright to miss home. It’s okay to want to call your parents more than your friends. Savour their voices as you listen to them talk about their day and how uneventful their week was. Agree when your mother talks about how bitter her coffee was that morning or how horrendous weekend traffic can be. Not everything is going to be a grand story. …

Turning 20: An Ode To My Teenage Years

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up – well, specifically to become a teenager. I wanted to dress like them, talk like them, go do rebellious things and sneak out like them. I could not wait for that part of my life to begin. After all, most movies depict your teenage years as ‘the best time of your life’. That’s the problem though; movies and magazines had embedded a preconceived notion of what I thought being a teenager was all about. Safe to say, my teenage years did not pan out how I had planned. For starters, I was in search of a best friend which never arrived (until the very end)– someone to share every moment of my teenage life with, to spill gossip, to talk and fan over boys with. I ached for someone I could be my wacky and odd self around, that I didn’t have to think of about everything I was going to say before it came out of my mouth. I would get anxiety before …

Living Across a Threshold

I’m lying in my bed, with six candles illuminating both the room and my spirits with their soft, summery glow. I know that a chilled Montreal air is only inches away on the other side of my old, fogged window, but I am warm and dry. I swaddle myself in my comforter, and I just feel so at home. Cut to a glistening California morning, birds singing their sweet morning wake up calls and the familiar morning sun greeting me through the window and the slits of my tired eyes. The same sensation creeps into my realm of thought: home. For anybody who has lived between cities, or moved across countries, and made loving homes in all the places they’ve nested in, this is for you. My life changes on a pretty consistent basis, my experiences continually changing who I am. I’m in a constant state of learning, evolving according to those I encounter and situations I find myself in. In addition to all of this – the generically prescribed experience of a 20-year-old young …

Alone But Not Lonely

Listen While Reading: Heartbeats by José González.  It was a Wednesday night, I think when I had a conversation with a friend of mine that really got me thinking. We were discussing the news, workout routines, when our next papers were due, and then we got on the topic of relationships – platonic and non-platonic alike. We talked about what we look for in people, what makes a great friend, the do’s and don’t’s of choosing flatmates. Everything. In terms of romantic relationships, there are a million and one pieces of advice we could have given each other. All would have been correct. My piece of advice was this: if you ever want to give yourself over fully to someone, you have to be comfortable with yourself first. You have to be content with being alone – in finding comfort in the silence of your own mind. “Learn to like being alone without feeling lonely.” I said, as I tapped my fingers on my desk. It’s a lesson that took me years to learn but, …

The Choices We Make

Choices. You know, those things you dread making because you don’t want to let anyone down. Yeah, those. Like choosing which university to go to or which haircut to get during your grunge phase. Choices can be liberating.  They can also be disastrous.  Choices shape who you are; for better and for worse. And sometimes, the choices we make aren’t necessarily for ourselves either. There is an undeniable pressure from those around us to make certain decisions based on their preconceived notion of how we should act. One of the hardest things I’ve learned in my twenty years on this planet is that, although someone may not like it, we need to make choices for ourselves, for own our sake above anyone else’s. It may not be an easy thing to do and, in some cases, it might be the wrong choice altogether, but we need to make mistakes in order to grow. Without failure, we get nowhere. Fast. You never know where a choice will take you unless you take that leap of faith. …