What made you smile?

Since my last post, I’ve started typing out so many posts I thought would add to this blog, but sadly none reached an end. I suppose, I just didn’t know how to put those ideas or thoughts into words. But with this one, I have no doubts. This one is personal.

Moments ago, I saw to the end of a book I have started and re-started over the past years, without the end in sight. There are countless distractions and I, sad to say, cannot help but stray from the pages. I start strong. I always have. Swallowing up a few chapters, like they were nothing. But one thing leads to another and the book goes on the shelf, to join the rest of them.

I don’t know what was different today. Maybe the phone was on silent. Or maybe the world outside just decided to stay still until I reached the final lines. But I did it. I turned to that last page. I read those final words. And I shut that book. I looked up to a mirror to find myself, throwing on a smile I hadn’t seen for quite some time. But it was one, I was familiar with. It was the same expression of pure joy that I put on every time I finished a book when I was a kid.

Things change. Times change. Hell, even mountains grow shorter. But, my love for a good book will never diminish, even if I’m too busy to pick up one and remind myself of this fact. As a kid, reading a book was the one thing that came naturally to me. It didn’t feel like a chore or even a healthy habit. It felt like the only stable part of an unstable life. Reading made me forget how bad things were, and while the other children napped, I went on magical adventures. And it made my day. Everyday.

Now, for the climax of this babble. WHAT MADE YOU SMILE?

What did you do that took your mind away? Was it a sport? Was it dance? Was it watching birds? You know what, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does is when did you last do it? Have you given this activity a part of your precious time in your busy life? Or do you think of it as a happy past that you’ve outgrown?

I have relived mine this fine Saturday evening and I am still smiling. In fact, I think I’m going to start another book before I hit the sack. But you, my friend, have something to do. I don’t know what, but I know you need it in your life. God knows I need it in mine.

Missing Blogger

In my last post, I wrote a post about being calm even though I had two midterms on the same day. And then I stopped blogging for almost two months. Despite the message this blog sends out over the first two sentences, I’ve just been busy. Life catches up at the worst of times and you fail to stay committed to things you care about. But I’m home now and I feel like writing.

So let’s do a recap.

I was halfway through my semester when I last posted giving midterm after midterm. Nothing relieves stress like knowing that you are only in the first midterm season and the second one is well on its way. My midterms went as they always do. Not as good as I wanted them to but enough to allow me to kick off my shoes and relax afterwards.

Air Quality and Hydrology projects gave me great insight into what these fields might hold for me if I do decide to go one of those ways. The Air Quality project was about preparing an Emissions Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report for an actual facility. With a combination of AutoCAD, air modelling software, meteorological data processing and a whole bunch of complicated words, this project was perhaps the most challenging of them all. But completing this project gave me immense satisfaction. Not from a job well done, but from a job done. While not effective, this ideology helps one keep up with the pace.

I ended up dropping Economics. While I am to be blamed about not giving it the attention it deserves, I found that course a wee bit overkill. I will have to take it later on and this might even result in an extra semester but I knew that this course would only hold me back. All in all, some regrets about not sticking with it, but I’m only human. Kudos to my peers who stuck with it. You’re the real heroes. 

I got offered an 8-month work term at Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd in Brampton as a manufacturing development co-op student. Now, this is neither the finest job out there and nor do I fail to notice the presence of the word “bottling” in the company name. But, neither of those are important to me. It’s my chance to build relationships, develop competencies and give it my everything from day one. So, looking forward to that.

But apart from academia, I learnt things about myself that were very wrong. I learnt that I judge people too fast. And this cost me a friend and a broken moral compass. I suppose we all like to think we’re doing the right thing when we’re doing it. We find what reasons we can to justify our actions. But, that doesn’t make them right. Nonetheless, I messed up and I’ve spent every day since working on myself.

That’s pretty much it. Exams. Grades. My first work term. And a lesson to never forget. If I had powers to go back in time, I’d chuck them down the drain. This semester and the good and bad in it was for the best. I’ve made my peace with that.

Merry Christmas! 

A gift!

It is 7:24am. I have been awake since 4am. I have a midterm at 1pm and I have another one at 4.

It’s gonna be a long day ahead.

I often find myself in situations where I’m maybe 15% through a long day’s work and already wondering how I’m going to get anything done. So what do I do? I roll around in bed wondering why my life is so hard life. I picture all my friends doing their third revisions as I learn concepts for the first time. And finally, I blog about it.

As efficient and well-thought-out as this process sounds, it’s really not. But today, half-way through my early morning introspection session, I wondered why I’m wasn’t scared of the two midterms I have today. Theoretically speaking, I should. They count as a part of my grade and I’m more than a little behind on my work. But I don’t feel anxious or scared to write them.

I find this feeling to be a gift.

I am lying in bed, relaxed, comfortable and typing this blog when I should be studying because I refuse to let this long day get the best of me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not avoiding my studies. Nor am I criticizing those who are already well-prepared. I am simply fine with my current state of being.

Now, this comes at a price, of course. I will need to study very diligently for the next 4.5 hours. Probably, I might not do as well as I could have. But, I am blessed with the ability to stay calm on before a long hard day knowing I will make it. I see my colleagues study all the time. They ask me questions about concepts I haven’t gotten to. And as I fail to answer them, they feel scared for me. And then go back to preparing for battle.

I could do the same. Actually, I can’t. I do not have the physical or mental capacity to push myself over the edge for an exam. Maybe because grades are not my idea of achieving something. Therefore, I am unburdened by the pressure to constantly fuss over every percentage and free to learn at my own pace. By the grace of a higher power, I am blessed with a family that understands this feeling.

Now, this blog isn’t an excuse for poor grades. I usually end up doing okay and quite well, sometimes. But I am gifted. Gifted with the ability to stay calm in the face of a storm. And so far, I’ve always come up on the other side safe, sound and proud of myself.