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When its my turn…

About a week ago, I turned 22. We all say things like “Where did the time go?” and “Time flies”. Because it really does. I, for one, vividly remember a scene nearly 13 years ago when I first entered boarding school. Or a scene four years ago when I started at the University of Guelph. And as I look back and think about those days, one thought jumps out at me.

They were easier times.

As I get older, the pile of things I need to know about or be careful about or be responsible for just keeps on rising. Everyday, I learn that now I am old enough to start bring responsible about something new. And its scary.

See, I was raised by two incredible people who never let me realize just how hard they worked. I never realized all the “adult” things they had to take care of before coming home in the evening and having dinner or watching TV with us. I never realized that as they laughed at one of my jokes or even just helped me with my homework, their heads probably swam with a hundred other things that they had to take care of. Honestly, it scares me that someday I’ll have to do it. That eventually or maybe even suddenly, that mantle will be passed on to the next generation. And then it’ll be our turn. Will I be as good at it as they are? This thought is on my mind night and day. Times like birthdays or New Years remind me about how quickly its all passing by. And how very soon we’ll find ourselves filling shoes that seem too big for us right now.

I usually try and answer things in my posts but today I am typing just to get all of these scary thoughts out of head and onto my screen. Maybe some of you reading this have gone through this or are going through this. I don’t know how it’s going to be, honestly. But I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

What lies ahead

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Today, I kicked off another semester of school. After 8 months of work, going back to school felt a little strange. I don’t think I’m gonna be free after 4pm anymore, to be honest. First days are always light though.

Today, I had five 80 minute lectures starting at 8:30 in the morning and ending at 7 in the evening. And one of the classes is all the way across campus. The lightness is real.

People tell me every semester feels hard when you’re in it but this one feels like it’ll be a real test. A test that’ll involve late nights, missed meals, late submissions and total waste of a gym membership. This semester also comes with a lot of firsts. I have only two final exams so that’s nice. But of course, that means my semester is filled to the top with weekly submissions and overlapping midterms.

I have honestly no idea what is going to happen. This is one part of being an international student that just plain sucks. I’m taking six courses in a race to graduate on time, but that finish line is a ways off. Another 8 month work term and two more semesters (at least) stand in the way of me getting my undergrad. *sigh*

But enough doom and gloom.

The final plan: Keep moving. Take things one step at a time. Survive.

If you’re kicking off a semester too, I’m rooting for you guys. Cheers!

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.