25 March 2015

i don't have it that hard

There are times in my life where it has become abundantly clear that I don't have it that hard. What I mean by this, is that I live a pretty good life. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my fridge. I know what it feels like to love and be loved, and I have the courage and opportunity to live my life as I wish.

Sometimes I'll sit down to budget my pay-cheques and start to stress because there never seems to be enough money. But then I think for a second, and no matter how hard I stress or how little I think I have, there's always more than enough in the end. While yes, I do have more financial responsibility now that I'm growing up, there's still plenty of room for me to put money towards the things I would like to put my money towards, rather than things I have to, and that's something I take for granted way too often. 

There have been so many times I've walked into work feeling down about having to work for the fifth day in a row, but all it takes is a small shift in perspective and the reminder of how badly I wished for a job just a few months ago to realize how lucky I am to even have a job at all. 

So often we overlook the good in our lives, so quickly we take things for granted. 

I'm learning more about life now than I ever have before. I'm learning that I don't have it so hard after all, and I'm grateful for that realization. 

19 March 2015

all i know

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Some people call me brave for following my dreams, some call me foolish. Most days, I don't know which side to agree with.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?", they would say. To this, I never had an answer. "Where would you most like to travel to?", they would ask. To this, my response would turn into a conversation that would last hours.

Doesn't that mean something? Shouldn't that matter? A lot of the time, when people would ask me what I want to do with my life, I would tell them that the only thing I know for certain is that I want to see as much of this world as possible. If that's all I've ever known, shouldn't that be what I'm doing?

I'm young. Someday, when I'm old and wrinkled, no one's going to care if I took one or two or six years off of school to travel the world and do what I want. When I'm old and wrinkled, no one's going to tell me that I should have done things differently. No one's going to tell me that those experiences and these memories weren't worth it. That I should have forced myself to go to college right after high school even though I knew for a fact that I wouldn't make it.

Travelling is what makes me feel alive. When I can't sleep at night, I make lists upon lists of all the places I'd like to go. I search for accommodation in Peru, for flights from New Zealand to Australia. I think of myself in those places, the photos I'll take, the memories I'll make. It calms me, it excites me! There's so much of this world to see. There's so much adventuring to be had. I don't want to wait until I have a steady career before I go out and do what I want to do most. I want to do it now, while I'm young, while I'm free.

Some people call me brave for following my dreams, some call me foolish. All I know is that I want to see as much of this world as possible. All I know is that there's no better time to do it.

06 March 2015

things to write about

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the banjo playing irish man in the airport
It was July, and I was at the airport in Dublin for the second day of what ended up being five days in a row. I was trying to get a flight back home, but since I was flying space available and the flights were full to the brim, it didn't look so good. I stood at the ticket desk for what felt like hours, until finally, one of the agents called me up, told me there was a spare seat, and gave me a boarding pass. I said goodbye to the friends I was visiting, went through security, and found a seat at the gate. A few minutes had passed, when all of a sudden I heard the softest, most beautiful sound coming from my left. I looked over and saw a young man with messy red hair, a cute hat, and a banjo in his arms. I listened to the music for awhile before summoning up the courage to ask him for a photo. He didn't hear me properly at first, so I asked him again, my face beginning to go red with embarrassment at asking a stranger if I could take his photo. He said yes almost instantly and looked down at his banjo, playing a nice little tune while I snapped this shot. Someone ended up showing up last minute for that flight, taking my spot on the plane, and I didn't end up getting another seat until three days later, but I didn't mind, really. I really believe that everything happens for a reason, although most of the time the reason is unclear. This time, though, the reason was unveiled. If I hadn't gotten that seat in the first place, then I wouldn't have this photo and experience, and I wouldn't be writing about it on a quiet March night. 

the sad circle at kelsie's
It was sometime last year, about this time of year, I think, and there were a few of us at Kelsie's house, just sitting in her basement, waiting for the rest of our friends to show up for a little party she was throwing. We all felt a little down that night, and somehow, the idea of going around the circle and sharing what was on our minds came up, so that's exactly what we did. Kelsie went first, then Hannah, then Maggie, then Elysiann. Each one sharing what was on their mind and what they were sad about. I didn't end up getting a turn, as people started to show up once it came time, but I didn't really mind. I completely forgot about the sad circle until recently when a friend texted me about it with a, "remember when?" It was a nice little time, that sad circle at Kelsie's.

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I don't know how it happened, but I somehow went to one of the world's biggest festivals without ever mentioning a word of it on here. It was September, and I was at Oktoberfest. My flight had landed in Munich earlier that morning, and I was halfway across the world with four of my very favourite people. I didn't know what to expect going there. I didn't know what Oktoberfest would be like, or how I would feel, but being there, at the time, it was better than I ever could have imagined. After the greetings and hugs and tears that I had been anticipating and dreaming of since I knew the trip was possible, after all of the "I can't believe I'm/You're/We're here" statements, and a whole lot of staring and disbelief, we sat down and ordered some beer. My first legal beer, with my favourite people. More disbelief, some dancing, and a beer or two later, and we were heading back to the apartment. I'll never forget that night, that first introduction to the Oktoberfest lifestyle. I'll never forget the dancing, or the boy who was so interested in hearing all about Canada. I'll never forget the one that commented on how he thinks it's nice that I sit back and observe what's going on, and how he told me to have the time of my life while I was there before he took me by surprise with a sudden kiss on the lips. I did have the time of my life while I was there, and while dancing and letting loose may not always be my thing, I'm glad it was that night.

the week before prom when we jumped in the ocean
It was the week before prom, a Monday night, if I remember correctly, and we had somehow ended up downtown on the fishing dock. I don't remember how we got there or why we were there, but it doesn't matter now. The calm sea and the warm breeze were tempting us to jump in. We went back and forth between yes and no. "It's probably freezing", one of us would say. "But it would be so fun!", I would coax. "I'll do it if you do", Cassie had said. Always up for a challenge, I stripped down to my tank top and pants, walked to the edge of the dock, and stood there staring at the sea below me. An older man walked by, saying, "I dare you to jump!", to which I responded, "okay!", as I fell through the air to the water below me. It was minutes later that Cassie had jumped, and even longer until we convinced the other three to join us. But they did eventually, and we all swam around carelessly, laughing and saying, "this is what living feels like", over and over again. The sun had began to set by the time we got out, and since we hadn't planned on it, we were all standing there in the cool early summer breeze in dripping wet clothes. Rachel's dad picked us up not much later, equipped with towels and a comment about how crazy we are, and on his way to drop us all of at home, he took us through the Dairy Queen drive-through and treated us all to a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. Rachel wrote, "thank you for being the first to jump", in my grade twelve yearbook. My pleasure, for memories like these.

A few things from my ever growing list of "things to write about" note on my phone.