I can confidently say this year was nothing like I expected it to be and it was much better. I didn’t think the grade 12’s at my school would want to be friends with me because I was doing a victory lap. I thought this year would be the loneliest of them all, and it turned out to be the opposite. I made many new friends who are just school friends but still good to have, and I formed many bonds I never knew I would. I did not feel any judgment from those who were younger than me for doing another year, and if anything, I felt they understood me. My teachers were also very kind and did not treat me any different for staying. I thought the worst part of the year would be the first days of the semester because I didn’t know anyone and the day of graduation because it was not my grade. In about a week, I will walk across that stage and have realized that I deserve to just as much as anyone else. I will get to see my childhood best friend graduate and will have all those who mean a lot there to cheer me on. Though I wish my principal who moved schools last year was there to graduate me because of how much credit she gets for helping me get here, I am just happy it is finally happening. After a long bumpy, filled five-year ride, I wouldn’t change it and am delighted it’s over.
Since I can remember, my family has owned a cottage. When I was young, we went looking at several different ones in many different places. We all got to have a say in what one we wanted, and we ended up choosing the one that I liked most. Now keeping in mind, I was very young and only loved this cottage because it had a paddleboat. We ended up buying it, and I have some of my best memories there. Though we never got to enjoy any paddle-boating because it floated away in the middle of the night the first time we stayed over, in fact every single one we had after that floated away or sank in the night. From the ant problem to the weird carpet, I would NOT stand on under any circumstances, or the way my bed felt wet every time I got in it from how moist the cottage was. All of the board games and machines we would spend hours playing, or the attic that was only good for hide and seek. We would jump off the roof in the winter because it was so close to the ground anyway, and had a bear living in our back yard. It was undoubtedly the cutest place I have been until we had to tear it down due to structural issues. A summer or so later and the new one was built, and we continued to make more memories. The bear moved back in after the renovations, and we were all complete. I learned how to fish, to drive watercraft’s, and so much more there. Going there in the summer is something I look forward to every year and even more now that I am healthy and can really have fun. Bringing people up to the cottage to experience joy with more than your family is also another advantage that makes everything better. As the school year comes to a close, cottage season opens, and I will keep you posted on just how much fun I have!
Honestly, for a long time in my life, I did not think I would make it to my high school graduation, let alone university. But here I am leaving in 2 months. As I write this, I feel so many different emotions. I am happy, nervous, sick, excited, nervous again, and then more nervous. I have never moved outside of the house I currently live in and have my whole life. I have never had a new room or new anything like this. The university I am attending is 2 hours away from my home on a good day, so even more on a bad day. Living in Canada also means bad winters, so that means the commute will be even harder. I am also going alone with nobody that I know, but I almost find more comfort in starting fresh and being able to meet many new people as I will be forced because I will be alone. Living on my own and taking care of myself while taking care of my studies brings me some stress because my family helps me organize and keep on top of things when I am stressed, but I will need to learn sometime or another. I also find comfort in knowing all of the other students who are going this September most likely feel the same way as I do, and we will be able to help each other through. Moving will be a huge change, and I don’t think I will ever feel ready. You never know until you try, so that’s all I have to do. Try.
As I sit down to write this, I feel heavy with sadness. Now before you think that something has happened to my family, don’t. It is not affecting my family directly, but someone we love dearly and their family. My best friend’s mother has been diagnosed again after her remission with a stronger form of leukemia. Though her mother and I have never gotten along and never see eye to eye, she is an extraordinary woman who has gone through so much in her life and does not deserve this. It has been very hard on everyone in their families circle because supporting someone around an illness that may not get better is very hard. Not being able to make your friend feel better or take some of her sadness is a terrifying, ugly, uncomfortable feeling that I don’t wish upon anyone. Cancer is a disease that doesn’t only affect the body but the soul too. This topic is ever hard to write on because finding the words to describe a situation like this; it feels almost impossible. Though there are many more aspects to this situation that would be too much to get into I will say that not being able to be there for someone due to other obstacles is awful, and makes you feel helpless. I wanted to talk more on this, but as I said before it is challenging. I think I will leave this with be there for those you love, and cherish all the time you can because one day they won’t be here anymore and all you will have is the memories, so make them count.
Growing up, I was very fortunate and got to experience one of the best things that have happened in my life thus far. I went to a sleepover camp six summers in a row starting at the age of six, and no I have amazing parents who didn’t want me to be gone that long, but I was a force to be reckoned. My brother came with me but got kicked out after two years, but that is a story for another time. From the first year to the last I was with the same girls every year. This made us form an unbreakable bond, and I still have connections with some of them to this day. The camp I went to was international, thus giving me the chance to meet people from all over the world. I met one girl named Yuna, and she was my best friend for a long time even after camp. She lives in Japan, and we would send each other packages and letters full of things from our country. We stayed in touch for several years until we fell out of contact and I have never talked to her since. Though I think about her and miss her, I am thankful for having those memories at all. I met other kids from Ukraine, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, England, and more! I think about all of the things I learned there and the things I learned about myself at a young age. I learned I loved rock climbing and hated photography. I learned the cliques of people and popularity hierarchs were everywhere, not just school. And most importantly, I learned that by being myself, I have the most fun.
I have wanted to travel since I can remember, and always thought I should see the country I live in before venturing outside. At the beginning of my recovery, I had a lot of time on my hands, and I searched up beautiful places in, making mental notes of what I wanted to see. Now two years later, when I am much more stable and healthy, I have decided before I go away to university I want to travel the east coast of Canada. This is because it is smaller than the west side, and it will be much easier to drive through because of that. Oh ya, and did I mention this is a road trip I will be going on! Once I have done this planning the west coast next summer won’t be as hard. I had intended on going with one of my girlfriends; however, as life got in the was as it commonly does and those plans fell apart. Now I will be going with my boyfriend of 3 and a bit years. Not only do I think I will feel safer, but I think this will be memorable no matter who comes along. I will be gone for around two weeks in the middle of the summer with my little Toyota Corolla, a bag of clothes, some food, money, and a lot of excitement. I plan to document this trip with my go pro so that I can look at this memory forever. Let me know if you have gone on any road trips, and leave some tips you have in the comment section. Stay tuned for my blog about the Road Trip: East Coast of Canada!
Most of the time, I find it hard to connect with people my age. I have a lot of older friends because I get along easier with them. I have concluded this is because I have grown up to fast. I would not change my past even if I could because I love who I have become, but I do envy others for staying young longer then me. Unfortunately, I have witnessed and been a part of a lot of negative things that shaped me. Most kids did not see what I saw, therefore have a different perspective on many aspects of life. Not only has it affected the way we look at situations but also how we feel about them. I have been in therapy for around two years and have learned so much about myself and the world around me as cliche as that sounds, and because of that, I am emotionally mature and able to manage myself and situations around me much better than the average 18-year-old/young adult. Though this is a skill that benefits me in more ways, then I know, it is also a skill that has left me somewhat isolated. I am not interested in gossip and partying like most people my age, and that doesn’t mean I cannot hang out with them, but we have nothing in common. I usually feel like an aunt or older member of a family that wants to look out for people because I know what can happen. I wonder if that is part of the problem sometimes. That I worry about things that could happen, but the fact is it doesn’t to a lot of people. I also envy that, not worrying. Not worrying sounds like not suffering. But not worrying can also cause suffering. I am too old for my age.