When my sister and I were growing up in Fiji and the islands came under their fourth military coup of the past two decades, it was the Canadian flag that saved us.
When we moved back to Canada, it took me two years until I would sing the national anthem along with my classmates on Fridays. My soul was still back in the palm trees and reeking fish markets of Suva, not beneath the high white walls of North America.
But it was the Canadian flag that let my sister and I walked untouched down the tank-filled streets of Fiji, and the nation’s international reputation that lit a smile on the locals faces when they found out that, no, we weren’t American. And, actually, we were attending TLC, not the wealthy white expat school. And that snow can come up to your knees and that we don’t speak ‘Canadian.’
So I’ve always had a bit of a confused national identity. But being a Canadian citizen is always something I will be thankful for.
The seasons have changed here so quickly! We had a short week of fall, and now the snow has spread!
I don’t know what it is- it just doesn’t seem right that the snow is here so soon.
The first snow has always been a magical delight, with hope & love glimmering in the air. But frankly I’ve just been so sad. Sad about lost times and lost friends, sad that I can’t climb, sad that I’m not as excited as I should be about my adventure into university. Just really missing what once was because I’m struggling to find connections to what is now.
I lived a wonderful, wild childhood travelling around Canada to climb in local, regional, and national climbing competitions. The sense of community and joy I found in my journey was just incredible- 7 years of richness enough to last a lifetime on.
And very very difficult to leave behind. Luckily these bonds are something that can never be broken or forgotten. My hope is to give back to the community to they may run as far forwards as they do deep.
I am thankful for all the glorious heart-building adventures I’ve had in climbing with my friends, with my team, with my role models, with the entire community, and with myself.
University. What an incredible opportunity. About 6.7% of people in the world have a college degree. I am so privileged to have the opportunity to go to university, expand my horizons, and further my education and career prospects.
I’ve been having a hard time adjusting to university lifestyle. I’ve been finding it very lonely, and challenging to make friends. Though I push myself to introduce myself to every new person I sit next to, it’s hard to form connections that last. I know that friendships are not what I should be concerned about in terms of university, but gaining connections to the community is so important to overall success.
Friendships are so important to feeling loved, confident, and secure in the adventure of young adulthood. Without something- a job, a volunteer position, a club, some great friends- to look forward to everyday, it can become easy to let things slide in your life. I’d started arriving slightly late to lectures, forgetting to print out assignments, slacking on studying. It was a real blow when I was refused by all the volunteer clubs/organizations I’d applied to and hoped to get involved in. I didn’t feel like there was really anything keeping me accountable, engaged, or motivated to go to school every day. Until I reminded myself:
I am so incredibly lucky to have the chance to even be at university.
Maybe this isn’t the right time in my life to be at university. Maybe I need to get a full-time job and get a taste of the working life. But I think, overall, I’ve just been lonely for some time, and it’s gonna take a little more to get adapted. I’ve loved the idea of walking around campus in the snow, studying ahead and friends around. I still believe in that ideal but above all that I will get out what I put into the experience.
I’m going to pull up my socks and keep seeking out those good educational and social connections. A healthy balance between mental and educational health!
If it turns out this experience is not for me right now, I will not waste it. When I think of all the people who are so deserving and so hopeful to go to college or university, I feel so fortunate. I will not waste this opportunity- either I will see it through with my best effort, or I will quit and pursue another sector of my life with equal vigor.
I am grateful for the food and health that I’m able to maintain.
My lifestyle is entirely one of privilege. My wonderful parents have me stay in their basement, free of charge, and share their meals and the warmth of their house with me. I am so lucky to have the means to maintain my health- including health care services but also the diet necessary to keep me so healthy. The more I think of it, the more I recognize that health is in fact a privilege.
I am grateful for the connections to friends, family, and the land that I already have.
Never overlook those little pre-existing connections you have in your community. I’m so lucky to have my four favourite people living with me (mum, dad, my sister, and me) and so many friends around the city. I’m glad to know the campus I’m on, and the mountains that are a drive away.
The soup is simmering now, and the crisp air is getting clearer…
I’ve been really lonely lately and the sadness sometimes burbles up. I’m looking for a lifeboat to jump on, and I’m looking to go anywhere. I’d like to give a shout-out to Julianne, who may one day read this, to Lexi, who has the link but may never look, to The Boy With the Matching Cracked Screen, who might be reading this, and to my family, who may very well eventually find this, too.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
What are you thankful for? Any advice, any dares? I’ll take it all.