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November 9, 2012

20th” is an exciting story about all of the changes that have occurred in my life this year. In an attempt to make it more “reader-friendly”, I have cut this story into parts and will post a new instalment every night for the next seven days. I hope you all will tune in to read it! Please feel free to leave comments. Have you ever experienced changes of such magnitude? I’d love to hear! As per usual, if you haven’t done so already, remember to subscribe by scrolling to the bottom and clicking that awesome button!




At the end of summer, I wrote a blog post that I never published. For weeks, it held the status of “draft” under the section of “posts” in my WordPress account and there it still remains without a title.

Somewhere towards the end of the post, I wrote about how I had a feeling that my third year in university was going to be one of great changes. So far, 2012 has already made its mark in my life by tossing me this way and that. It simply wouldn’t be “the year that changed me” without going out with a bang; I knew that the best had yet to come. And come it did.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 25th, 2012, I was enrolled in five classes: three Honours Philosophy classes and two “bird” classes. By 11:04pm of that night, I had withdrawn from all of them.

What?! What did you do?! Why?! 

Okay, let me start from the beginning.

…never too old to play Marco-Polo?

This summer was the best summer of my life. Those of you who know me personally or read my blog already know this. I was extremely productive with my time – I took four summer school courses – and yet, I still had time for the people I loved most. This summer was one where I found extreme balance, which I was never good at maintaining. I rekindled friendships and what’s most important, I came to a better understanding of myself. I really felt as though I had evolved into something beautiful this summer.

But as summer ended, I clenched my fists and jaw, and wished with all of my might that time would slow down. I desperately wanted the sands of time to freeze in its place, but instead, I watched in horror as it gushed down the funnel of the hour glass. But I kept telling myself to stop it, to snap out this kind of irrational thinking. I told myself that I had to move on because that was what I thought growing up was all about.

The Buddhists say that one should always hold onto things with an open hand – just let all things connected to life sit on one’s palms. If you wrap your fingers around anything, clutch onto it with your dear life, you will suffer all the more pain when it is gone… because of course, all things will eventually leave your life. So with this in mind, I tried with all of my might to slowly release my grip on all things summer-related. I kept telling myself to let it go because there was no point in dwelling on the passing of summer.

April 29th, 2012. First day in the Apartment.

But when I got back to Montreal, I continued to struggle with the thought that summer was ending. I had only been back in Montreal for 24 hours when I had already felt like crying. My best friend SY had come up to stay with me for a couple of days, and while she was in the shower, I thought about how much I wish I was home; strange, because being in my own apartment in a completely different city was what I was looking forward to oh-so-much just a couple of months ago.

Isn’t it amazing how fast things can change in such a short period of time?

In that moment of washing dishes and wishing I was home, I was so miserable that I felt like I was going to burst into tears right then and there. I wanted to throw myself down, kick my feet, pound the hardwood floor, and exclaim how unfair life was treating me. I probably would have done all of that too had SY not been in the other room. But then I thought, things will get better. In that moment, I was so sure that things would get better; I know now though, that I didn’t actually know that things would get better, I was just wishing and praying that they would.

Sure, I was sad that summer had ended. But I was sadder when I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture: that as we grow older, we wouldn’t be saying “this was the best summer!” all that often anymore. I was sad because I was afraid that my “youthhood” was passing me by. All of a sudden, I felt the pressure of life; it was straddling my shoulders and riding me to The Land of Anxiety. When I told my mentor this, he said, “Strange, because slowing down time is the last thing any twenty-something-year-old wants to do”.

Well, I’m not any twenty-something-year-old; I’ve already spent twenty years rushing through life and wishing I was older. Now, I want to slow down; it really was the sudden realization that I have literally the rest of my life to be a “grown up”, but only a couple of more years left to be young.

The beginning of September came in a flash and before I knew it, classes were starting. Last semester, I looked forward to this semester like a beacon of light. Although I was already choosing my courses according to the Honours requirements last year, this was going to be the semester when I would officially be in Honours Philosophy.  I was excited to finally be in the program; I was excited because I was going to be taking classes that really mattered. But with this, came anxiety, and severe anxiety it was. Suddenly, I was tossed into classes of no more than ten or fifteen people, and what’s more, these people were philosophy junkies – they knew their Kant and Heidegger. When I entered class on the first day, I knew something right away: that I wasn’t one of them. But still, I ignored my feelings. I kept telling myself that I was just anxious because I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I kept telling myself that being nervous was a good thing because it was pushing me to try harder. I told myself that this was good for me.

No matter how inadequate I felt next to everyone else in my program, I put a mask on and laughed along with everyone else when someone told a philosophy joke; I nodded along with everyone else when the person next to me made an “interesting” philosophical statement; and I furrowed my eyebrows along with everyone else when an “obvious” fallacy was made by the guy sitting at the other end of the table. I didn’t feel like I belonged at all. I was faking everything.

Tune in tomorrow evening for Part II!


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