We all deal with grief in our own ways. The loss of a loved one is incomparable to anything. Some of us lock ourselves away from the world. Some of us seek out a hedonistic lifestyle to make up for what we perceive to be an unjust hand dealt to us by the universe. Some of us find comfort in the loved ones that remain to us. It’s different for everyone, but one fact remains the same, and that fact is that it hurts.
Last week, I lost someone close to me. It was someone who I’d been meaning to call. I kept putting it off for one reason or another, the latest reason being my MCAT. They passed away before I ever had my chance. And needless to say, I didn’t take it well.
The first four days after their passing, I shut myself off completely. I stopped using my phone. I locked myself away from the world. I didn’t cry. I thought I would cry but I didn’t. I just wanted to be alone. It took a friend to bring me back, but as the days have gone by, I haven’t felt like myself.
I don’t know how to explain it. I just know something’s wrong. A part of me feels like it’s missing. I’ve been trying not to think about them. I’ve been trying to drown myself in my studies, work, and in my friends. I’ve been keeping busy so I don’t have to remember them, because if I remember them, I’ll break. And I don’t want to break.
Too much has happened these past three months. It’s hard staying strong. It’s hard having to pretend that everything is okay. It’s not okay. And I don’t know if it’ll be okay ever again.
Have you ever been in a state of complete and utter confusion? Have you ever been unable to think properly? Have you ever been afraid to speak because you think you’ll say the wrong thing? And have you known it was all because of one person?
It’s hard to explain.
Have you ever felt so vulnerable that it scares you? Have you ever started doing things that you wouldn’t have done in your wildest imagination? Have you ever found yourself putting someone else’s happiness above your own? Someone who wasn’t family?
It’s humbling and painful.
Have you ever wanted to know every detail about someone else’s day? Have you ever wanted to wake up next to someone so bad? Have you ever just wanted to lie with someone and listen?
That’s not normal.
Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror at those moments? Have you ever missed the person you used to be? Have you ever missed not feeling anything for anyone?
You haven’t, have you? You don’t miss that, do you?
Or maybe you do. Who knows?
Everyone has that one person. That one person whom you always wonder about. You wonder if it would’ve worked out with them. You wonder if you should’ve tried harder with them. You wonder if you shouldn’t have let them walk away. Or in my case, you wonder if you shouldn’t have been such an asshole to them.
That person for me was Meera. I met Meera during the first year of University. I met her on the local transit bus on my way home. She was two years older than me, 5’7″ if I remember correctly, studying law, and had a smile that could kill. That whole bus ride I kept wondering how I could approach her. What could I say that would make her interested in me? I ended up taking too long. She got up to get off a couple stops before mine. And I couldn’t lose her so I instantly got up with her and exited the bus as well. And at that point I just introduced myself and somehow managed to get her name and number. All it cost me was an extra 20 minute walk home.
Meera and I were inseparable for the next couple of days. We were always texting and always trying to find ways to hang out on and off campus. But I wasn’t trying to be just friends. It took me a little while but I eventually asked her on a date. We went out and it was great. It went really great. We ate, we danced, we kissed. I loved every single minute of that date. And even today, I can’t name a single thing that went wrong with that date.
But I never texted her again. She texted me. She texted me a lot. I just never replied. I would look at her messages and I would ignore them completely. And I don’t know why I did that. I don’t know what I was thinking. All I knew was that it was a big campus and I doubted I would ever see her again. I switched my bus route and that was that. I was never going to see her again.
But I did. I saw her again a couple weeks later while I was hooking up with one of her friends. And that is just as awful as it sounds. The look she gave me spoke volumes. Her tears spoke even more. I hated myself for weeks after that incident. I still hate myself for that. I was immature, stuck up, rude, heartless, and just a straight up asshole.
I never saw her again after that. I never apologized either, which I should have. I wasn’t mature enough for her. She deserved better. And I hope that wherever her law career took her, that she’s successful and happy.
Expectations ruin us. It’s so hard for anything to live up to our expectations. We always want the best. No one wants to settle for average. No one wants to be second best. And so we imagine up these wonderful fantasies for ourselves where we marry a beautiful person, live in a grand house, travel the whole world, make six figure salaries, and anything less to us just doesn’t seem to cut it.
Now, it’s not a bad thing to want the best for yourself. However, it is a bad thing to never appreciate what you have in the process. You should always love what you have. You should strive for excellence, but in doing so, you must never ignore what got you there.
Appreciate your first girlfriend or boyfriend who taught you how to open up to people. Appreciate your 1 bedroom apartment which made you independent. Appreciate your minimum wage job which taught you the value of money. Appreciate all your failures that helped you understand that nothing ever came easy. Appreciate the people in your life who loved you when you were starting out and weren’t able to love yourself.
Show your appreciation to the things and to the people that made you who you are today. Don’t take them for granted. Love yours.
There was a way I wanted my life to go when I was young. I had goals I wanted to achieve by certain points in my life; I wanted to have my first kiss by 14, I wanted to be graduated from University by 22, have a house and a car by 25, etc etc.
That was way back in the day. I’m 21 now and my life isn’t exactly going according to plan. I’m still achieving my goals but it’s been a considerably slow process.
As time has gone by though, I’ve come to the realization that life isn’t a race. It’s not meant to be treated as such. It’s alright if you don’t have your shit together by 24. It’s alright if you need a little more time. And I genuinely believe that. Although when you see the people around you achieving great things, there’s always a part of you that questions yourself and what you’ve managed to accomplish in comparison.
It’s great if your friends get into medical school or make the Dean’s List, but it stings a little when you’re not there with them. As humans, we have a fundamental nature to compare ourselves to the people around us. That’s not the right way to go about things, but it happens. It’s bound to happen.
In truth, the only person you should strive to be better than is who you were yesterday. Work on yourself and achieve your goals at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. Having life goals is a good thing. It gives you motivation and purpose, but don’t ruin your life trying to outdo others.
Last week was not a good week. It was probably the worst week of my life. Never before have I related so much to a children’s book title, that being A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about what happened today, as a result of last week.
Without going into too much detail, I was in the hospital last week. Through a series of events far too random to explain, my ex-girlfriend was the one in the hospital with me. It wasn’t my family, or any of my best friends, but my estranged ex-girlfriend. She stayed with me throughout the night and took care of me until I was cleared to go back home. This is the same ex-girlfriend who also cheated on me a little over a year ago and we hadn’t spoken to one another in time.
Flash forward to this week and she texts me wanting to see me one last time before she moves to Halifax. Yes, Halifax, it’s that kind of random. Anyway, I agreed to see her. I was under the impression that she wanted to make sure I was okay before she left. I was wrong, as I so often am when it comes to girls.
She wanted to get back together. Apparently, my hospital visit had made her realize that she still had feelings for me. My first instinct was to hurt her. It was to tell her no and simply storm away, but I didn’t, in large part because of how she’d taken care of me at the hospital. So I heard her out and I tried to talk her out of it. I reminded her how we’d already tried once and how it hadn’t worked out. I told her how it would end up being long distance and that’s never easy for anyone. If Tim and Lyla from Friday Night Lights couldn’t do long distance, what chance did we have? I told her all kinds of things but she wouldn’t budge on it. And so I left. I left her crying and that made me feel awful.
But it was the right thing to do. She’d broken me over a year ago and I couldn’t just give her the power to do that again. I appreciate her so much for taking care of me when I needed it the most, but getting back together would’ve been wrong…for both of us. You can’t go back to what broke you. It’s not going to fix anything. You have to move on. You have to leave some people behind.
My plan for this summer was very simple. I was going to work. That was it. I wasn’t going to go out every weekend. I wasn’t going to travel anywhere. I was just going to work. Day in, day out, for 4 months.
I don’t exactly know why I decided to do that. I wasn’t saving up for anything. I wasn’t trying to buy a new car or a new phone or something. I suppose I just wanted to make money.
Now, I’m 3 months into my brilliant plan and I’m slowly but surely going crazy. I love the city of Toronto, but recently, it’s felt like hell to me. I feel like a caged animal. Every thing seems to be bothering me, no matter how little. Every Subway delay gets me frustrated. Every time it rains, I get pissed off. Every time a customer asks me if a regularly priced item is on sale, I want to erupt.
It’s awful. My life has deteriorated into this mundane pattern where I go to work, go back home, and then repeat it all the next day. I want to escape it. I want to fly away somewhere. I want to explore a new city and go on adventures. I don’t want to have to worry about whether a customer is taking in 7 or 8 items into the fitting room. I can’t deal with that anymore.
I started looking at airplane tickets yesterday, but with only a month left until school starts up again, I don’t really have a whole lot of time to properly plan something out. But I’m determined now. I need to get out of Toronto, if only for a brief moment.