Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Check Your Entitlement: Love & Impatience

Patience is key. Photo credits to my lil sis Eleanor.

Wow, it's been a really long time since I last wrote. I know I say that every single time, and it kills me that it takes me so long to come out with content. I frustrate myself a lot of the time. I digress though..

I saw something on Facebook today. It always starts like that, doesn't it? Anyway, it was shared by a couple people and I couldn't help but clicking on the link to read more and enlighten myself. The interesting thing is that it was an article that was written in April, so a few months ago. The title is very explicit, raw, and it de me question myself, my friends, and my generation:

"We are the generation that doesn't want relationships."

As I read through the article (which you should definitely read, by the way, because it says something very interesting about our generation), I couldn't help but feel a lot of things at once. I felt sad, because ultimately, this article illuminates a truth that our generation embodies. We are a generation of instant gratification, fuelled by our own impatience and narcissism. We pride in posting the best photo with the best filters and best caption in hopes of getting the most likes. If something comes off at first blush as difficult, we try and cut corners. If something takes too long, we move on. We get bored way too easily, and this video by College Humour definitely will test that for you. We've de-evolved, with the attention span of a goldfish, and I think that the same can be said about relationships, particularly that of the romantic kind. That guy that you're interested isn't responding to your moves? Don't waste your time, they tell you. Move on, there are other fish in the pond. That girl doesn't want to move to second base yet? Find someone who can, and will.


On the other hand, I felt slightly angry after reading this. Who are these people, telling us that our generation has no self-control? It's a sweeping statement that definitely isn't true for everyone. It's true that technology and social media has greatly impacted the way that we communicate and ultimately date, but that doesn't deny the fact that humans still crave intimacy, friendship, and relationships.

I guess the one thing that I do agree with is that sometimes we only are in love with the idea, the concept, but not an actual person. We sometimes prematurely fall under the guise of being "in love" when things are going good: the object of your affection is texting you non-stop, you coincidentally match your outfits, your Snapstreak is on fire... all things that, on the surface, are just that. It's all surface-level, superficial love.

What I have noticed is that there is no depth. There is no patience, no effort. And I realize that that too is a blanket statement; not everyone is like that. But the real test of depth and love is through the tough times. Relationships are not perfect, and love is not perfect. But therein lies to truth as to whether or not you are truly in love, as in, whether or not you are ready to make sacrifice for the other person.

That sacrifice, along with hardwork, makes it all worthwhile. The second to last paragraph in this article really drives the point home:

We feel entitled to love, like we feel entitled to full time jobs out of college. Our trophies-for-everyone youth has taught us that if we want something, we deserve it. Our over-watched Disney VHSs taught us true love, soul mates, and happily ever after exist for everyone. And so we put in no effort, and wonder why our prince charming hasn’t appeared. We sit around, upset that our princess is no where to be found. Where is our consolation prize? We showed up, we’re here. Where’s the relationship we deserve? The true love we’ve been promised? (via Huffington Post)
And I think that is where the biggest problem is: our sense of entitlement. The world is a tough place, and the only way that we will be able to get by is if we put our head down and work. We can't expect things to be handed to us on a silver platter while we stand by idly and find the perfect selfie to post. Regardless of what you want, be it a job, a solid grade, or a relationship, you need to work for it. It's actually quite a simple concept, and yet we are all stuck with our heads in the sand, waiting for someone to give us what we want.

I definitely have my own work cut out for me, and I know that in the end it will all be worth it. And it will be, for you too!

the office i love you steve carell michael scott he is mine
Thank you, Michael Scott. (via

To end on a positive note, I've finally figured out how to make Spotify Playlists! For a digital native I'm pretty horrible at this stuff...

I wanted to share with you a playlist that I put together. It is sort of topical, as it is entitled Foreslsket, which is Norwegian for "the word for when you start to fall in love". So, spoiler alert, it's a collection of mellow love songs! Another spoiler alert, you need a Spotify account to access it!

But yeah, here's the link to the playlist as well as the song list:

1. "In Her Arms You Will Never Starve" x Copeland
2. "Crush" x Yuna ft. Usher
3. "What Would I Have To Do (After Party Remix)" x David Myles
4. "Brand New" x Ben Rector
5. "Closer to Love" x Mat Kearney
6. "Lover Come Back" x City and Colour
7. "I Choose You" x Sara Bareilles
8. "Craving (Acoustic Version)" x James Bay
9. "Don't Lose Your Love" x Ivan & Aloysha
10. "Romance" x CRSB

Shout out to the folks at Flux and Folk for the playlist/music sharing inspiration! They have some pretty nifty stuff on their blog - go check it out! You'll be glad that you did :) !

That's all from me - take care of yourselves, love out loud and be patient. Good things are on their way!

x R

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lacking in Love

The emotional rollercoaster never lets anyone rest, it seems.

I'm going to spare details and just get right to the chase: Life is interesting, life is strange, life is frustrating. 8/10 you don't get what you want, and on the odd chance that you do, you better be really careful for what you wish for.

However, the other 1/10 times, life works out. And more often than not, this clarity comes over time. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and I am really seeing now that this is true. It sucks, but it is. If I had known that all of this were to happen and that I would eventually feel the way I do right now, then I would have stopped myself ages ago.

But then again, would I really have listened?

Recently my anxiety hit a peak and I found myself feeling extremely stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed. It disturbed me because I got this tattoo that was supposed to be my symbol of strength. That was literally a week ago, and in a week, things have changed so much. Life was not going my way, and in fact it has probably the furthest from what I had ever wanted for myself.

The other night I had a much needed heart to heart with one of my closest and respected friends who is like an older sister to me. We talked for so long about what I was going through and how I was getting frustrated with myself. I was frustrated that time after time, I was finding myself in situations that were reruns of previous ones, particularly that of relationships with guys.

While we had our conversation I was reminded of something that I was told once when I was going through other hard times. God puts these situations in our lives not to make us miserable, but because He wants us to learn something, see from a new perspective, or gain strength from it. When it comes to learning something, most of the time situations can lead to instances of deja vu if we haven't learned from it. With that, my friend latched on to that and asked me what I thought God was trying to tell me.

I thought about this so, so hard, and I didn't get it. I reflected in a whirlwind all of the relationships that I had been, romantic or otherwise, where I had gotten hurt. And I didn't get it. Yes, some things were my fault and my own undoing, but other times, I was the one that got caught in the fire. So what was this lesson that He wanted me to so desperately learn?

She then asked me this: Did I love myself? Could I honestly say that I loved all of myself?

The answer was a solid and resounding no.

All my life I had gone saying the opposite: that I loved every flaw and part of my personality. I got knocked down so many times but continually told myself that I was okay and that I was doing just fine.

But over time, though I was saying all these positive things about myself to the rest of the world, I really wasn't believing it in myself. With every failed relationship, it was more reinforcement to me that I was incapable of love and that I didn't deserve to be loved.

Getting over people, whether it be a friend that you just don't talk to anymore or a guy that you liked for a really long time, is hard. Getting over missed opportunities or life's detours like not getting the job you wanted is hard. Any kind of loss is hard, but if you've done your due diligence, you worked hard and did everything out of love, then what more can you ask for?


This has been one of my biggest character flaws growing up, and recently it has been more rampid than ever. Admittedly I over think things a lot, I tend to go to the absolute negative and blame myself for everything that had happened. Bad things happened to bad people, I would tell myself. And over and over again I would show myself that I was a bad person. I know now that I shouldn't be doing that, and neither should anyone. We need to engage in positive self-talk, not so that we can one day worship ourselves and think of ourselves as better than others, but to remind ourselves that we are here, and that we are trying. And if we are trying our best, then that's all that we - and the world - can really ask for.

I recognize that this is not going to be an overnight change, and that I can't expect myself to automatically begin loving myself once I hit publish on this piece. I am a work in progress, and my life is a beautiful story, and more often than not I forget the real reason as to why I am here.

Do your best and be yourself. Be someone who doesn't just say love, but is and shows love, and finally, keep on fighting the good fight.

Stay awesome,
x R

Thursday, August 04, 2016

INKED // in it for the long haul

Most people that know me know that I'm a pretty safe person. I'm a pretty wimpy person. I'm not good with roller coasters or horror films, I will probably never go sky diving or bungee jumping, and if you had asked me years and years ago, I would have probably said "no" to the possibility of getting a tattoo.

But I guess people change and Rachels get a lot less wimpy. In fact, I would like to think that this particular Rachel, over time, has become pretty bad ass.

30 minutes after the deed was done
And no, I'm not suggesting that I'm going to get a motorbike license and join a cool all female biker gang anytime soon.

Let's go back to the tattoo for a second.

August 3, 2016 will go down in my personal history as a momentous day and a personal victory for me. That's because on this day, I marched proudly into a tattoo parlour downtown, confidently sat down in the chair and didn't flinch until it was over. It's official, friends: Rachel has a tattoo.

Okay, so maybe most of that was embellished. Emma, my friend who accompanied me and served as cheerleader and chief hand holder, would testify that I walked in a nervous manner all the way down. I wearily signed the forms that I was finally of age to sign on my own, and I almost suggested to the tattoo artist that he tape down my arm so that I wouldn't move. It was kind of embarrassing actually. However, I can say for certain that I didn't cry, and that I hung on until the very end.

I now know how I'm going to be like when I have my first born child: I can't stop looking at this beautiful thing on my body.

So what exactly did I do to myself?

On my right wrist, off to the left side, I got a semi-colon that is probably about the size of a quarter. Not overbearingly big, and not so small that it could pass for a ($100, cosmetically added) birth mark. It's prominent and it's important to me.

At this point you're probably asking all the why's: why a semi-colon? Why that location? Why get it now? Why get it at all?

Cool, okay. I love questions. I also love answering them. So:

Why a semi-colon? The explanation is actually twofold, and it works even more now than it did when I first had the idea of this particular tattoo.

When I was in high school, I was first introduced to the proper use of a semi-colon. One of my English teachers lamented how kids these days would use the semi-colon incorrectly in their written work. I made it my personal mission to prove that I knew how to use it. According to The Oatmeal"the most common way to use of the semi-colon is to connect two independent clauses."

About that same time, I had hit a brick wall with my emotions, relationships, and overall well-being. I was depressed, skipping class, getting into fights and arguments, pushing my friends away and consistently anxious. I wanted to run away and just tell people to leave me alone, but I couldn't deal with the silence and my own thoughts. I spent months - years even - pretending like everything was solid, everything was good, everything was awesome. But the people that got the abuse were people that didn't deserve it at all. I tried so hard to blend in with the rest of the school, but with each day I risked falling deeper into my thoughts and having a sudden and angry outburst. Panic attacks were frequent and at one point I couldn't handle the overwhelming emotions. I couldn't handle my pain and I couldn't handle how I was treating people. I couldn't handle myself, and if this was what life was supposed to be for me, I had no choice in my mind but to commit suicide. I had countless thoughts, numerous plans and wills and suicide notes typed up and written out.

But one night while I was brewing in my own demise, I came across this simple device, the semi-colon, in a mental health context. At that time my thoughts were too jumbled to comprehend, so I left it alone. It stuck with me, however, and I would think about it all the time. As I started to get help, I slowly re-integrated myself back into life as I once knew it, with more ups than downs, and realizing that my emotions were okay to have. That bad days come with the good days, and that I shouldn't be ashamed of what I was feeling.

It wasn't until earlier this year that I came face to face with the semi-colon again. This time I fully understood the meaning of it in the context of suicide:

"A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life."
As a writer (or someone that loves writing and takes it very seriously), the use of the semi-colon as a metaphor for my life journey was enlightening to me.

Why that location? You know those pesky ideas that you become so enamoured with that you just can't let go? That was me and this tattoo. Forget my pain tolerance, forget my parents, forget disapproval for a second. This was about me and this tattoo. Once I found out what the semi-colon truly meant, I woke up the next morning looking at my right wrist, and I could see it right there. I put my left index and fourth finger there, as if I was feeling my pulse. The spacing was perfect and it just clicked. From then on, I knew that that was the place it was destined to go.

But why now? 20 seemed like a reasonable age, in part because I was already age of majority (and therefore didn't need my parents to sign anything), and also because it was three years in the making. I knew that this was a life investment and that I couldn't rush into it. When the idea was first conceived at 17, I gave myself a year to think about it and see if it was something that I really wanted to get. Though I didn't think about it constantly, things would remind me of this semi-colon. Over time it became more and more prominent, and as mentioned above, this year proved to be the year that tipped me over the edge. As for date, there really is no significance. I decided to be spontaneous for once: I booked the appointment on a Friday, and the following Wednesday I was walking into the tattoo parlour. The rest is history.

But why get one at all? This is what my parents asked me all the time in the lead up to it actually happening. Is it really necessary to alter your skin in this way? they asked. It's permanent, they said.

Shout out to Oceanne for this amazing photo!

And yes, I am fully aware that I can't go in a week later and ask them to get rid of it. I got it not to spite my parents and not to pretend to be a rebellious and angsty kid. Ultimately this was for me, to serve as a reminder to myself that this was my past and that my future is full of potential. I hit bumps in the road, and even some major sink holes, but I climbed out of them and continued on. It also reminds me that my life will never be perfect and that there will be bad days, but it's my resilience and my faith and support systems that will keep me going.

As well, I wanted to show off that I am proud of my past and where I came from, and to show others that this is something that we need to discuss in our discourse. We're getting there, in the way of Bell Let's Talk day and other campaigns. But stigma still exists and people are still afraid to seek out help because of it. I hope that this small sign can be a sign of solidarity and openness.

Finally, this design also worked out to fit my pain tolerance, my ability to cover it up if needed, as well as it being simplistic if I want to walk around with bare arms.

To conclude, there are so many people I have to thank. Firstly to Mike, the tattoo artist, for being so zen and calm and just a great energy to be around while I got my first tattoo. All the staff at Adrenaline on Granville were just amazing and helpful, so I highly recommend. Emma, for being my chief handholder and the one that pushed me to follow my heart on this one - my gratitude for you runs so deep and I am so honoured to call you a friend. My family, for supporting me through the tattoo even though we may not have seen eye to eye on it at the beginning - thank you for loving me all the same, through my hardships and struggles, and for helping me find help when I can't find it myself. My friends for being my strength and support - I don't know what my life would be without you. And last but not least to my God, thank you for throwing me countless life preservers when I was drowning and keeping me afloat even on the nights when I was too weary to swim. I shunned you and shut you out and cursed your name, and yet you still love me and call me back home to open arms. Glory to you, Lord.

My story is far from being over, and I know that my struggles will still haunt me as life goes on. But knowing that I chose to continue my story instead of end it gives me so much joy and gratitude. I look forward to what is to come and am thankful for the second chance.

stay awesome,
x R

Monday, July 25, 2016

Let Go and Let God

Where's bae? 
The past week has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster, and on top of that, I had the privilege of getting sick AGAIN. Hooray, immune system!

But seriously though, emotional.

Between the scripture readings at masses from the weekend of July 16-17 and this past weekend of July 23-24,homilies, a talk that initially I didn't even want to go to, and just what has happened over the past 10 days, it seems to me that God was successful in getting me to wake up. He also inspired me to write something after being in a dry spell for a few weeks, so thank goodness for that.

This past week I have been reminded, yet again, that I am only human and that my plans are not my plans alone. People that know me, regardless of how long they have known me, know that I am a very future oriented person. People that have gotten to know me recently will know that as of late I have been carrying around with me a pink planner hat my sister bought from me from Chapters. On the cover it cheekily says "I am very busy" on the front, and in all aspects of the phrase, I find that to be entirely true. When I look at the dizzying array of words, meetings, and tasks, I stress myself out. I think a lot about the future and where I see myself going and what I want.

What I want right now, in fact, is to be in a loving relationship with someone. I am craving companionship, someone special to call my boyfriend, and to grow in a loving relationship with them each and every single day. And I know that most of the time, it's just infatuation as opposed to love - and I've been already warning myself about this nearly a month ago.

Coming back home.
The past 10 days have been nothing short of God holding a megaphone to my head and telling me to snap out of it. Him telling me that He knows what is best for me, and that I should just sit back and enjoy the show. He knows what I need, He knows my inner most thoughts and feelings in my heart. And it's so simple, I just need to literally let go and let God.

But that's just the kind of person I am, a planner carrying, future thinking, constantly searching type of person. I need structure, I need balance, and I want to know what is waiting for me next week, next month, and next year. I spend so much time thinking about the future that sometimes I neglect to appreciate the stage of life I am in right now.

All this forward thinking, chasing after opportunities and guys that aren't right for me has pushed me out of respecting God's plan and being thankful for the person I am today in this particular moment. Over and over again this past week, I have been reminded that God is good and God knows. We are the ones that, lacking in faith, take it upon ourselves to fix things and eventually making it worse. We overcomplicate things, chase after things that don't matter and try to salvage things that aren't worth saving. 

To put it into context, I recently have been spending time with an amazing guy. I've known him for a while now and I've always wondered what it would be like to be his and to be with him beyond friendship. And in my mind, I felt an undeniable electricity and connection. In a word, I was hooked. He was everything that I look for in a guy - he's honest, has integrity, is respectful, has a sense of humour and is driven and hardworking. In another word, he's perfect.

But this is so dangerous, because it gives me a capacity to just fall. Is he the one, or is there someone else? Is there even a someone? I don't know. It kills me a bit knowing that I have put myself under so much anxiety and stress about it, as do most of my experiences from my past. As mentioned in a homily this past weekend, we have so much anxiety over nothing most of the time, but because we worry so much about what is to come, we don't leave it to God. We don't trust Him. I don't trust Him.

So how can I call myself a believer of Christ if I can't let Him do the job that He knows best? I'm treating God like that one member of a group project that comes off as someone who doesn't know what they're doing, despite the fact that they might be entirely capable and intelligent.

I need to chill out.
Coming back to forward thinking and not trusting God, my biggest anxiety and outright fear is to wake up at 65, 70 years old and not having anyone beside me. Not because they're dead, but because I never had the opportunity to get married. Because I never found anyone. Though the thought of childbirth scares me, the thought of not having any children of my own, not having any grandchildren to give my parents, it scares me. It saddens me. And I know that I'm ony 20 years old and that I still have a lot of time to think and discern, but at the same time I feel like time is just flying. If I sit back now, I'm going to blink and suddenly be 25, 30 years old. What then?

Despite all of this anxiety and insecurity, I haven't given God the opportunity to show me what He wants to do with my life. At the end of it all, He may have destined me to the single life. And it's scary to admit out loud, because I have always seen myself getting married. But I will never know until I surrender and let Him show me. I will never know what happiness He has destined for me until I let go of my own selfish motives and let Him lead me.

These past 10 days I have had many panic attacks, constant feelings of incompetency and overall confusion. At this stage of my life, I should know better. All of this pain that I'm bringing upon myself is unnecessary, but at the same time, can you blame a girl for caring? I don't know. Maybe I care too much, but that's just the person I am. I am a big dreamer and a big lover and I want nothing more to be surrounded with good people and love them unconditionally.

Until then, I need to focus my energy back on the one who knows me best and love Him unconditionally, the same way that He has done for me all throughout this gigantic mess that is my life. I need to step back and not get in the way of the life that He has prepared for me. He knows my portion and my lot and what is best for me. He wants me to succeed and prosper. 

It's hard for me, as someone who loves to just take the lead on many things, to be secondary to the director in the movie of my life. That was a cool metaphor to describe my life, but it's true. God is the director and I'm that one intern that goes and gets Him coffee, or whatever God likes to drink.

This doesn't mean that I'll stop loving and stop feeling. If this guy that I'm seeing right now is the one, God will show me in His time. Until then, I will love this guy, as well as everyone in my life, all the same - with respect, with dignity, and all the love and happiness and support that they deserve and need from me.

stay awesome,
x R

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Lesson on Being Nice

I strongly dislike transit. Yes I know, I need to check my privilege on this one big time. Living in Metro Vancouver requires to use transit more often than not, so I am forced to transit to work or school or to places that I need to be most of the time. And most of the time, the people I encounter on transit are rude or creepy, and the busses are late beyond belief.

Added on to a awful day at work, this is a combination for disaster and a very irritable Rachel. 

This was the set up for me the other day. I had an awful day of work, charged with stress and rude people on the phone directing their anger on to me. It's not personal, but it's draining. As I left the office I felt so drained and I just wanted to get home. But of course, the busses were running late and I had no way of knowing how long it would be until the next bus actually showed up.

I approached the stop, bitter about the way that my day had unfolded. Evidently, I didn't hide it very well and I must have been giving off really threatening vibes. But suddenly, a soft voice cut through my anger and tension.

"Do you know how I get to Guildford?"

I looked up from my phone and turned to this woman who was sitting next to me at the bus stop. She had heavily accented English and she looked confused, lost, and even a bit afraid. I put aside my phone and answered her question.

bus gaming cartoons & comics nintendo earthbound
Transit, you still suck most of the time. (source)
(For perspective, I was coming from the RCMP Headquarters, which is walking distance to King George Skytrain. There were a few options to get to Guildford from where we were, but they would entail going via Surrey Central, which you would need to bus to).

I proceeded to tell the woman that she needed to take a bus to Surrey Central first, and then change to a different bus in order to go to Guildford. The stop that she was waiting at was going to help her get to Surrey Central, I told her, and that I could help her find that second bus as I too was headed to Surrey Central.

She thanked me and then we both fell silent for a bit. After a few beats, she turned to me and said, "I'm new here. I just moved to Canada yesterday."

I was shocked that someone who had just gotten her was already so eagerly and diligently trying out our transit system. She then began to tell me about her life and where she came from, and what brought her here to Canada. Originally, the woman was from a village north of Kampala in Uganda, in Eastern Africa. In her village, she laughed, there was no such thing as a sohpisticated transit system, as they would walk everywhere. When I told her how long it would take to walk from Guildford from where we were, she continued to laugh and said that it would be no problem for her. And I believed her; her resilience was prominent, and despite being nervous and afraid, she dove fearlessly into this new place that she would eventually call home.

She came here to meet her husband, who had moved here 7 years prior and had finally saved up enough money to bring her and their children over. She showed me pictures of her children - an 8 year old boy, and two girls aged 5 and 3. The 8 year old had a bright smile with two front teeth mising, one of which was lost on the flight to Canada. The girls had matching hair styles and were wearing matching dresses. They chose Vancouver for the trees and the mountains, and she recounted how she would be walking with her daughters in the flat fields, telling them that one day they would be in a place where there were trees and mountains. That one day, the would experience sunshine in a completely different way, and that there might even be snow. I laughed at that, emphasizing on the word "might".

But beyond the mountains and the trees, they were here for better opportunities. Her girls weren't allowed to go to school, and because of the drought that had ravaged Uganda, there were times when her son would go to school hungry. Her children are bright, she told me. And I believe her. These are children who, like other children their age here, deserve all the opportunity in the world. Here she was, pursuing a country that she didn't know. And she was doing it with a smile and a kind heart.

As it came time for us to part ways, I directed her to where to catch the bus for Guildford. She thanked me for helping her and told me to have a good day. After that, she pulled me a little closer and told me, "I hope your day gets better. I was scared to bother you, but I'm glad that you were nice and were able to help me out." With that, she turned to run and catch the bus that I had shown her.

angry sailor moon hate annoyed serena
Basically me. (source)
Unfortunately for me, I have a very angry looking resting face. When I am angry, that deepens the expression even more. In the past I have been called out for it, and friends that I have now sometimes admit to me that they were afraid to talk to me in the past due to this very fact that I look constantly angry, or at least annoyed. This interaction with this woman has added an extra dimension to this whole problem that I seem to have with my face muscles - seriously. We all are entitled to our emotions without having to justify them. You have a right to feel angry, to feel sad, or to feel happy. If you feel angry, there is no use holding it all in and pretending like everything is fine and that you don't have any cares in the world. However, this has shown to me that I do have an issue with what is scientifically known as "resting bitch face (RBF)", and that nothing - not even a really terrible day - should get in the way of being a nice person and helping someone out.

It's tough sometimes to put aside your pride and emotions and put your best face forward, but sometimes it's worth it. Her well wishes for me to have a better day did indeed help. I hope that I did the same for her, despite my apparently internal hostility that was showing on my face.

Thank you to this lady for sharing with me her incredibly life journey and giving me a lesson on simply being nice.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This infatuation will pass

Wisdom from a wise woman. (via Pintrest)
It's been a while since I last wrote, but I'm here now and I'm sorry for taking so long. I stumbled across this quote while I was on one of my Tumblr sprees the other day; a guilty habit that has since resurfaced by the name of procrastination. However, it's not all bad, I guess, because I found this. Sylvia Plath always had a way with words and a way of articulating feelings and thoughts that are so abstract and yet simple and profound. And this is what I want to write about tonight, at 10:21 PM. I really should sleep; I tell myself everyday to go to bed early. But it never happens.

This quote is so beautiful, first because it is a standard that we all should use when it comes to falling in love with someone, and second because it served as a reminder for me to wait. To wait my turn, to wait in line, and to wait, because my day will come.

Recently a few of my friends have found wonderful people to compliment them. They have found what they deserve, and that is someone to love and someone to love them for who they are. My friends are well-deserving people, all who have gone through their own journies to find someone special. They have hit wrong turns and have brushed up against some interesting characters, but needless to say when the time came, the right person was standing in their midst waiting for them.

I feel a lot of joy for my friends, as they too have been patient and have been given something much greater than they could ever ask for. But at the same time, can you blame a girl for being just a tad jealous, dissatisfied, and impatient?

Almost three years ago, I came out of a broken relationship that, in hindsight, was fuelled by lust and pure smoke and mirrors. In my brokenness coming out of it, I had jumped into another relationship that many would call as a rebound. And at the time I refused to call it that - I thought that 3 months was enough for someone "mature" like me to heal. But 3 months was just scratching the surface, and suddenly I found myself in another relationship that was loveless, problematic, and all around pointless. It was on the last day of high school that I called everything off, and I have been single ever since.

All of those wiser than me tell me that "the right guy hasn't come along yet" and that "God will provide when HE thinks you're ready". And that's slightly disheartening, because it makes me think that God has no faith in me to make my own decisions. But then again, I did rebound three months after what was the worst time of my life, so I suppose He knows and I don't.

But, this quote brings to light an excellent point: most of the time, I'm not in love. I'm just infatuated. I go through the mental checklist of appearance, personality, how he acts around my family and friends... all of those things, to an extent, matter. But most guys that fit the persona that I make my future husband out to be make my heart race. They leave an imprint in my mind and my brain starts to go wild. If I have the opportunity to talk to them, everything is heightened physically. And these feelings don't just happen once, they happen a lot. How can I be in love with every guy I meet?

Spoiler: you might get hurt if you try.
love heart cartoons valentines day hearts
SAME. (via
It's true, in the past two years I have met many incredible guys; many who have made my heart race, have occupied my thoughts and dreams, have made me smile for no reason of all and have been the subject of giggly conversations with girlfriends. But until we have reached a common level of understanding and respect for each other, I cannot claim to be "in love" the way I have been in years past. And further, there needs to be that love before I give my whole being to this person.

Keep youself open and love fully, whether it be just friends or something more. Because the more you love, I swear, the happier you will be. This infatuation will pass, and one day you'll find youself loving more than just eyes and great hair.

Meanwhile, take care of yourself Prince Charming. I'll meet you when I'm supposed to.

x R

Monday, May 23, 2016

To the fresh-faced high school senior

"University is gonna suck you lifeless."

Of all the many interesting, horrifying, and amazing sentiments that I have heard about university and what my life will be like post-high school, this was probably the one that I was scared of the most. Scared of, admittedly, but also curious. I was incredibly curious about this one, wondering if it was indeed true, and it also made me wonder if university was going to turn me into a jaded, education hating zombie that would eventually be toting around  thousands of dollars in debt while working in a field completely unrelated to my studies.

They tell you so many things about university; but, isn't it so remisicent of what they told you in elementary school? "They won't hold your hand anymore," "They won't spoon feed you information," "You are responsible for your own homework," "You can't mess around anymore," ... the fear mongering is endless, and it all pops up again once high school students reach that coveted senior year and contract senioritis. They are itching to get out of the plastic chairs and high pitched warning bells to a place much cooler, much more independent, and much more adult-like.

To the fresh-faced high school senior, get ready for the shock of your life, because university is gonna suck you lifeless.

But, that's only true if you let it.

You see, I was a good kid growing up; or rather, I would like to think of myself as a good kid. I was one of those kids that never cut class (well, except that one time in senior year, to which I say I'M SO SORRY, MOM AND DAD), always got my homework done, got straight A's (at least once PE wasn't mandatory anymore), and had good relationships with teachers. I volunteered and had extra curriculars to pad my resume. I had some work experience and was making decent money (for my age) even before I got out of high school. I tossed that mortar board, shook a few hands, and walked out of that auditorium with a diploma and a few scholarships. I was so, so ready to get out of high school. push past the immature teeny-bopper drama that I had gotten myself into and start my new life as a fierce and independent university woman.

I was so freaking cocky.

Confidence is one thing that I wish for all of you to have: when you walk into a room, own it. But, beware that you don't mix up confidence with cockiness.

I knew, coming into university, that I was set - financially, grades wise, confidence wise, even potentially looks wise to find new friends. They tell you in high school in passing how much work there is in university, but what they failed to mentioned (or maybe, what I failed to listen to), was that high school work is pure peanuts compared to that of university. And probably somewhere down the line, spoiler alert, they're gonna tell you that university is SMALL PEANUTS compared to true adulting and work in the real world.

I was cocky. I thought, who needs to read this text book? Who actually spends weeks in advance doing their assignment that's due in November? Who actually, and I mean actually, plans out their essays? And really, 6 pages? No big deal. This is child's play.

And just like that, everything burst into flames and university did, indeed, suck me lifeless.

homer simpson homer books study stressedIn my first semester, I got hit with my very first F in my entire life. I had barely passed a first year Statistics exam, but due to the ever life screwing-over-bell-curve, I failed. And this is a person that has never received anything lower than a B. I was devastated.

On top of that, my writing skills apparently sucked and they landed me shitty grade after shitty grade. 6 pages in my first year was apparently incredibly difficult (and, spoiler alert again, the papers get longer!), and I didn't really get first year literature. You know how we have a syntehsis portion on the English 12 provincial? I rocked that exam like it was nobody's business. But here I was at the end of first year, struggling to write a 10 page synthesis paper. I stayed up until 1 in the morning, two days before it was due, bawling my eyes out. I had no ideas, no plan, no thesis, and no paper.

community school study studyingTo add further insult to injury, I was behind on readings for all my classes. Weekly readings averaged to around ~40-50 pages x 3 reading intensive courses resulted in me, literally drowning in words that I didn't understand. In grade 4 I was invited to take part in an accelerated writing and vocabulary class, and we worked with Wordly Wise 3000. I was a real smart ass, learning words like "dilapidated" and "pseudonym". Fast forward to me being behind on all my readings, and my vocab list wasn't as great as I once thought it was.

To the fresh-faced high school senior, please don't be like me circa first semester.

Despite my atrocious habits, I got by with some B's and even an A-, but I knew that if I had applied myself more, I would have been even better. And once I did apply myself in the following semester and year, I saw myself getting better and better.

Of course, you might shrug and say that the grades aren't the only thing you are after. And this is where I say that confidence matters. If you are looking to make great and lasting friendships, be confident and say hi to people in your classes. Coming from 20 person classes to 200 person classes can be extremely daunting. Take a bold step and say hi. Start a conversation. Join clubs and get involved in school. Volunteer and get yourself out there; who knows, your bold step might open up pathways to best friends, job opportunities, even a potential soul mate.

To the fresh-faced high school senior, enjoy the time you have in high shcool while it lasts.

Just so you know, your desk space doesn't really get any better from what you're dealing with right now; in fact, some might say that it's even worse. Enjoy the community that you have grown up in and the friends that have stuck with you for the past chapter in your life. No matter how good technology gets, unfortunately it's easier to be friends with people that are within your vicinity. I'm not saying to cut off all ties to high school and start anew with a clean slate in university. But, love the people that you're with. Smile more, say hi more. Mend broken friendships and rebuild bridges, Don't let petty drama like wearing the same dress as another girl at grad, love interests, and other things get in the way of one of the greatest parts of your life. Because let's face it: once you get out into the semi-real world that is university, your life will be turned upside down. Your study habits change, your schedule changes, your friends change; hell, you change.

Get ready for bigger and better things, my friends. As long as you apply yourself, keep your cockiness in check and really enjoy life, it'll all be alright. University will only suck you lifeless if you let it. But if you stay grounded, I've also heard it said that university is one of the best times in your life.

Make it happen.

x R