Do I go for a full sprint or do I take baby steps?
Do I go for a full sprint or do I take baby steps?
You need time to yourself. You need time away from work, and you even need time away from people. Even if you’re somewhere with a lot of people, going for a walk or sitting by yourself for 10 minutes can really help clear your mind.
The moments I feel happiest are when I get to sit and think of my surroundings. Whether that’s a community event with live music and hundreds of people, or sitting by a campfire with a few family members. Sitting in silence and thinking about it all is when I really gain perspective and can feel satisfied with myself.
A few weeks ago I was super stressed out because I had to work every day and I didn’t have much time to myself. I had one twelve-hour work day at a music festival which I knew was going to be tiring. After the 8 hour mark, I took a walk over to the bathrooms and sat on a bench for a few minutes. I thought about how lucky I was to be working that event and how I was a short walk from festival food and a live band. It was extremely eye opening and truly calmed me down from the stress I was feeling earlier on in the week.
Make time for yourself. Even if it’s going for a quick walk on your lunch break, or planning an afternoon to watch a few episodes of your favourite show. You deserve it, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
It’s me, yeah and I can’t get myself to go away. Oh God, I shouldn’t feel this way
The last few Father’s days have been full of people sharing photos of themselves with their dads on social media. This past Sunday was no different. I saw lots of graduation pictures with fathers, old pictures with bad fashion choices and many big smiles. As I saw these photos, I tried to think of what pictures existed of just my father and I. My dad has never been someone who enjoys being in front of the camera, so there aren’t many pictures of us that don’t have the rest of my family in them.
When I did find one, it was from years and years ago up at our cottage. I was sitting next to him as he was driving the boat and it looked like we were packed up to go home. This picture reminded me of many summers up at our cottage. Many memories in the same Snoopy life jacket, and even more summers watching my younger cousins and young guests using the same life jacket as I got too big for it. Every year we have my extended family come up for the Canada Day long weekend which has its own section of fun memories with my cousins.
That’s when I remembered that we lost an uncle a few years ago. It hit everyone really hard, but I had never really thought about what my cousins go through every year on certain days. You see the odd post here and there every year around Mothers and Fathers days that remind you that not everyone had a good parental figure or that some have lost a parent and those days can be hard for them, but it didn’t quite stick until I realized how many people close to me don’t have that. I’ve been blessed with great parents. I’m lucky enough that they are both still with me, and they are very supportive.
My boyfriend of 3 years was raised by his mother and grandparents. His father was never in the picture. My mother lost her father when she was 25, which is 4 years older than I am now. One of my best friends since high school lost his father when he was barely out of kindergarten. Someone I went to college with lost her father when she was still quite young. An old friend lost her father when we were in high school. I have a number of friends who plain old just don’t get along with their dads or they have fathers who never put in the effort. The list can go on and on.
Up until this Father’s day, I didn’t realize how common it was. I didn’t realize how lucky I was. My dad and I don’t always see eye-to-eye and we have had our fights, but he has done so much for me.
For all the fathers who are there, who are supportive and who try, thank you. For all the parents who did it solo, thank you. For all the non-biological parents who stepped up, thank you. And for all those who have lost a parent or did not have a strong parental figure there for them, my heart goes out to you. It was hard on me to lose an uncle, I can’t imagine losing a parent.
Your twenties will hold a lot of different experiences, for both you and all of your friends. And you probably won’t all go through the same issues at the same time. While you might graduate post-secondary school at the ripe age of 21, your friends might not graduate until 26. Some might enter post secondary right after high school, some might start at 23. One or two might start right out of high school but then leave and restart later on. It’ll be a weird time for all of you but that doesn’t mean that those friendships will stray.
At one point or another you’ll find it very difficult to spend time together. Some of you are working full time, some are still in school, some are doing both and some are doing neither. But you still won’t be able to find time. The most important part of this whole ramble is this: it’s OK if you can’t see each other regularly. Or at normal times of the day. Also: you’ll really find out who is willing to put in the effort in this time, and who you are willing to put in the effort for.
If you’re not trying to find time, don’t expect anyone else to. If you miss someone, tell them. Try to find half an hour to meet up for coffee. Or talk on the phone (woah, what?). It’s not always going to line up, but at least try. It’s important to stay in touch with friends, even if it’s just a coffee date once every 6 months. You’re busy. They’re busy. That’s life. But good people are worth keeping up with, regardless of how frequently.
These years are full of new experiences, new jobs, many responsibilities and full schedules. Try to be the friend that understands and tries, and not the friend that just complains about not seeing someone but doesn’t actually do anything about it. You will soon realize that those friends aren’t going to stick around very long.
“I mean, if they want to see you, they will. If you want to see them, make sure they know it.”
A recent conversation brought me back to one of my favourite high school memories. One of the most special nights of my youth and now that I look back on it, a night where I discovered the emotion that I would thrive for in the years that followed.
Mind you I’m only 4 years out of high school, but these 4 years have changed so much.
I can’t even remember how the night started, I just remember laying on my best friend’s trampoline at night and listening to music. The three of us looked up at the night sky and listened to one of our favourite bands of the time. As cliché as it sounds, it was definitely our Perks Of Being a Wallflower “tunnel” moment. Or at least it was for me.
We weren’t talking much. We may have been singing along a little. I just remember at one point we all agreed that we were genuinely happy and content in that moment. I can’t think of anything we would have been genuinely stressed out about around that time aside from your usual school work and exams, but we were so relieved in that moment.
It’s one of those memories that I feel a little bit of every time I think about it. I’m brought back to when we were all there. We saw each other almost every day. Now one of them is on the other side of the country, and the other is still around the corner but we both live busy, hectic lives and really only ever see each other when the other is back in town.
I don’t regret how we’ve become, don’t get me wrong. I know that in a drop of a hat we would all come running if we needed each other. It’s just a memory that feels so far away at this time. It’s a memory that I will never forget and will never take for granted.
Certain memories will always be that way. They take you back and you feel it. Not the full emotion you had during that time, but just enough to reference it. That night brought an overwhelming feeling of content that saddens me at times. It’s a feeling that is so hard to achieve in my adult life. It’s an emotion that feels impossible to reach right now. And we found it by accident on a random night wasting time. I fear I may never feel that way again, but some days I try so hard to make it happen.
Once, a friend and I were walking around our childhood neighbourhood and walked past our elementary school. We started talking about memories from our early grades and people who moved away and such. She said something that has stuck with me ever since.
“It’s weird, But I feel like I’m just waiting for it to start all over again one day. And it won’t.”