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The Big Feeling

September 14, 2015

I remember the day that A, a 16-year-old camper at the camp I was working at this summer, followed me around for hours telling me how much he missed his girlfriend. She had just left camp at the end of the first session, which was just the day before. He told me all sorts of things about her–how wonderful she was, how she made him feel, and how they had promised to write each other everyday.

I listened with a warm heart. I smiled at his young love.

But that was what I chalked it up as: young love. I looked at his sad puppy dog eyes; I could tell that he missed her a lot, but I thought he’d get over the whole thing quickly. After all, that was what it was: young, puppy love. In that moment, all I could do was sympathize with him. I thought he’d find someone new to pine over in just a day or two.

But now, I understand. I truly understand so much about what A was going through.

I met an incredible man this summer: M. It didn’t start off the way it is now—we were just having fun, that was all. But somewhere along the way, we “caught feelings” for each other. Somewhere along the way, we started to really care about each other.

He asked me if I loved him. I said that I didn’t know. I asked him what is love? He said, he didn’t know.

He asked, is love the same as care?

I don’t know, I said. What’s the difference between caring about someone a lot and loving him?

I told him that I certainly knew I cared about him. I care about you a lot. He said he cared about me a lot, too—that he spent most of his day thinking about me, that I made him happy, that I made him want to be a better person.

But my friends are convinced that I don’t just care for him but that I love him, too.

Am I really in love but just too afraid to admit it because I’m afraid of getting hurt? Of being disappointed? Of feeling vulnerable?

I asked my friends to describe to me how they know they love their significant other–what is love? All of them had different answers. Most of them scrambled to find words; they either choked and couldn’t mutter out more than a few words or they said too much without saying anything. One friend went on for 30 minutes and then tried to condense his answer, which took another 10 minutes. All of them would look far off into the distance to try to pinpoint to me exactly what love was. They said, it’s hard to describe.

Still, I’m having a hard time aligning my feelings against their definitions.

All I know is that right now, I have this big feeling.

He’s flying out to England on Wednesday and isn’t coming back for two years, maybe a brief visit next summer but no plans to come back for good for another two years. We said our see you later’s—for I don’t say goodbye’s—last Tuesday. Yesterday was the first day that I didn’t cry at all. Not once. But I was still sad—still sad even though we had been texting each other since Tuesday.

When will I get over this sadness? When will it hurt less?

Some moments, I feel perfectly fine. I feel as though I cannot cry anymore. Cannot be sad anymore. Cannot care anymore. Some moments, I’m perfectly optimistic about our future. We had, after all, agreed to remain the closest of friends—to Skype, to call, to write. I think, this is not a total breakup! We will still be in each other’s lives.

But then I go back to missing him, missing him a lot. Missing him beside me. Missing him around me. Missing him just being there.

Today, I cleaned and organized my room in preparation for the start of a new school year tomorrow. I wanted to put us away so that I could concentrate on moving forward—on going back to my old life again, on going back to the old me again.

But as I sorted all the things I kept from our time together—receipts, photographs, little notes—I began to panic. I was trying to remember dates so that I could label all of the things, but the dates were fuzzy. How could I not remember? I started to write down memories frantically. I don’t want to forget! I screamed in my mind. I scrambled to remember every last detail. I want to remember them forever. I want to remember every little moment, every little word said, every little intimate moment of lying in bed just staring at each other. I want to still be able to hear the laughs, to still be able to see those changing shimmering eyes; I want to still be able to feel his embrace.

As though he were still here.

And although I am still sad most of the day—most of days—and although the sadness comes in waves, sometimes big and sometimes small, I don’t want this big feeling to ever leave me. I want to have it so that I can remember him always. No matter how much sadness it causes me. Because I believe that one day, I won’t be sad anymore but will just be happy—happy that I am forever changed because he is now forever a part of me.

LOVING

We made love spinning through space, a savoury, saucy ball of flesh, a lone, hot little ball shining and steaming with juicy aromas as it turned and turned through Helena’s dream and through the infinite void and fell as it spun, gently falling to the bottom of a huge bowl of salad. There it lay, the little ball that was the two of us, and from the bottom of the bowl we could glimpse the sky. With great effort, we made our way through the dense lettuce foliage, the branches of celery and the parsley forest, and could make out a few stars sailing in the farthest reaches of the night.

– Eduardo Galeano

New York, Now.

June 3, 2015

I promised I would go back to NYC. I promised myself that I would.

I worked hard. I saved.

I dreamt of it, and now, here it is.

t-minus 42 minutes until take off.

New York, here I (and SY) come!

The Starry Night

April 26, 2015

Saturday. April 25th. 2015.

1 a.m.

The five of us are lying on top of a hill, right behind B’s cottage. The night is clear; the stars glisten. It’s breathtaking. Below us is the lake. The light bounces off it; the waves shimmer. It’s so quiet, but we are not. I’m lying in the middle of the four, surrounded by an envelope of old friendships and new friendships.

A is half asleep. B and J tell us a story that they just made up. I’m laughing myself silly. I tell them to stop because my stomach is hurting too much. I turned to S and tell him through giggles that I have to plug my ears because I just can’t take it anymore; tears are streaming down my face, and my stomach is asking for a break.

B gets up to go retrieve more blankets. I tell a story, and J makes fun of me. I roll around laughing with hysteria. B returns, and I roll back into place. I think to myself that I have not laughed like this in so many years. So many. Maybe, even, in all of my life.

J says he just saw a shooting star. I exclaim with glee, where? S tells me to wait. I’ve never seen a shooting star before, I tell them. B asks, really? Really, I say.

I ask S how come there aren’t any now. He tells me, you have to be patient. I listen to him and wait. I’m still waiting, and then I see one.

I saw one! My first one! I exclaim. But it was so fast, I added disappointedly. J and B snicker in the background as they make an inappropriate joke about how the first is always the fastest. I laugh again. S points to the sky and tells me about the constellations. I see two more shooting stars just a few minutes after the first one.

Make a wish, I tell myself. Make a wish! I tell the others.

B says, I wish for a thousand more shooting stars. I laugh. Make a wish! I tell myself.

But I couldn’t think of anything to wish for. Truly. Honestly.

All my life, I’ve been wishing for things. I’ve even been wishing to see shooting stars, so that my wishes could be more “legitimate.” But now, finally, with three shooting stars, I couldn’t think of anything to wish for.

Because truly and honestly, I was so happy in that moment. It was a perfect kind of happiness—one where you’re so unaware of yesterdays and tomorrows. One where you are so unaware of anything, just aware of this feeling.

I don’t know how to describe it. Time did not seem to exist in that moment. In fact, nothing seemed to exist except for the five of us, stories, laughter, and The Starry Night.

I wish for more moments likes these.

van Gogh

van Gogh

Nurse Steph

April 18, 2015

Dear Fellow Bloggers and Blog Readers,

I would like to direct your attention to an awesome new blog called, “Nurszy: Finding Serenity in a World of Chaos.” This blog belongs to my very best friend, Steph, who is quite honestly, one of the most kindest, most genuine, and most selfless people I know. She has chosen a career that demands the best of her, and everyday, she works hard to ease peoples’s suffering. Need I say more about how awesome she is??

You can check out her blog here. Go read all about her first year as a nurse and send her your love and support by subscribing to her blog!

T

Thought Processes during Crunch Time

March 29, 2015

11 hours and 29 minutes until my chapter 1 and 2 of my thesis is due for review.

Still editing.

Still writing.

Still gotta write a 10-page self-eval.

Many thoughts running through my mind:

Have I cited that yet?

Where did that paper go?

Who wrote that paper again?

Who said this again?????

What page was that again?

Where did the heck did they say it in the paper??

Ugh, I should have been more organized.

Someone said this somewhere… but where????

Oh my god. If something happens to my computer right now, I’m going to cry….  Command + S, Command + S…. I should e-mail this to myself.

I hope dropbox doesn’t fail me.

I said this somewhere before… but where??

Wow, this reference list is huge. Did this person really read all of these books…?

Ha ha, my reference list is huge. Makes me look so official and scholarly…. I, of course, read all of these books and papers….

APA APA APA APA APA

Wow, I can actually cite things APA without even looking on owl purdue.

Omg, refworks is da best.

Coffee, need more coffee.

I need to pee so badly, but I have to hold it in because if I get up now, I’m going to lose my train of thought.

Wow, I keep highlighting and adding so many comments on this word document. Looks like I’m talking to myself.

I shouldn’t have watched that movie on that day that I was supposed to be doing work. I also should haven’t been watching those two other movies on the subsequent days.

I wish there was a machine that could just connect to my brain and write out everything for me.

TOO MANY IDEAS!!!! IT’S A CURSE!!!!!

Wut. My supervisor has already done research on this topic? I HAVE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING NOW??!!! Why does she have to be such a genius??

Stop getting up to look out the window… or to play the piano… or to sing and dance… or to change the radio.

Type faster you nut.

Stop reading random stuff on the internet that has nothing to do with your research.

Stop lying in bed.

Eureka! Idea!!!!! I can merge what this person said with what that other person said to show that what I’m trying to say is true.

But wait, who was that person again who said that thing?

I obviously have a lot of problems keeping track of who says what. When my research prof told me to create an annotated bibliography, I did not listen. Who needs an annotated bibliography? I had thought. It’s all going to be up here (points to head).

There’s no denying that: all of it is up there. I just can’t seem to find anything!

Hat Season

February 22, 2015

One of my professors always likes to remind us of the many “hats” we students wear.

Of course, there is the “student” hat—the graduate student hat. When we wear this hat, we are students at a university.

There is the “teacher” hat—the hat we wear when we go out on placements to our elementary schools and teach for a full month.

There is the “researcher” hat—the hat that is never taken off but is worn underneath the other hats at all times… because, of course, observations made during waking moments goes into the field notes.

Then there are those other hats: the “sister” hat, the “daughter” hat, the “best friend” hat, the “girl that guy is dating” hat, the… blah blah blah blah blah blah blah hats x 100 hats!

I’m tired.

Don’t get me wrong, I like all of my hats. In fact, I love all of my hats. And I love that I have so many hats.

You see, the problem isn’t the number of hats that I have. I mean, we all have so many hats.

It’s just… I wish I didn’t have to change hats so often.

But I guess that’s life for ya: there’s always some element of change.

And the thing that triggered this post…. My research proposal was accepted to the Dean’s Graduate Conference at my school! I’ll be presenting in 13 days. Oh my magic stars…. How will I ever manage with all this hat-changing?

But… challenge accepted!

Screenshot 2015-02-22 20.28.49 Screenshot 2015-02-22 20.29.53

How Do You Know?

February 14, 2015

For the Romantics.

Part I

The thing about me is that I fall in “love” too easily. What is love anyway?

I am currently reading Anaïs Nin’s diary from the year 1931–1932 about her various affairs but most specifically about her affair with Henry Miller. There are so many beautiful passages about love—in those moments of reading those beautiful passages, I think I understand what love is.

You know, it is almost like reading about a sunset. You can imagine how beautiful it is, and you think you know how beautiful it is, but it’s not until you see a sunset yourself—not until you experience its entirety—that you truly know how wonderful—how breathtaking—how consuming it is. I imagine it’s that way with love, too.

diary,  December 27, 2014

Part II

The two of us are sitting in an almost-empty theatre. It’s late in the evening. We’re waiting for the the movie to start. We’re discussing movies. Somehow, we get around to Titanic.

“It’s my favourite movie of all time,” I say.

I pull out of my Heart of the Ocean necklace and show him. “I’ve been wearing this for almost 17 years.”

He tells me that there is one thing about that movie that bothers him.

I gasp and ask, “What?”

He says that he is pretty sure that at one point in the movie, elder Rose tells her audience that she loves Jack more than anything or anyone she has ever loved. He wonders how Rose could ever be so in love with someone she only knew for a few days. It bothers him that Rose loves Jack more than she loves the children and even the man she ends up being married to for decades.

I tell him that I didn’t think she says that she loves Jack more than her children and the man she ends up being married to. Jack is her one true love, but that doesn’t negate and diminish the love that she has for her children and the man that she ends up marrying.

He asks me how anyone could ever love someone he/she has only known for a couple of days. He asks me how anyone could ever know that he/she is in love with someone if he/she has only known for that person for a couple of days.

“Well, don’t you think you would just know?” I say.

He looks at me.

“Don’t you think you would just know? It’s true love! You would just know.”

There is a second of silence.

He is looking at me.

“Well, do you know?”

I’m surprised. I didn’t mean to ask him to answer that question. I meant it as a hypothetical—as a rhetorical question. And I certainly didn’t mean for him to ask me.

“I don’t know,” I say.

I look away.

Our fingers, still interlaced.

Oh good, the previews are about to start.

real life, February 11, 2015