Sunday, 13 April 2008

What I'm Waiting For ...

It’s that time of year again: 8 hours a day in Jennings watching the ebb and flow of people coming to eat, listening to the inane conversations people have over their food, the endless cups of coffee, that odd association my mind makes between stress and Christmas and the smell of the soap in the washroom, the vague feeling of panic, the desperate wishes for more hours in a day …

Yup. It’s that time of year again. My exam schedule is slightly brutal: Wednesday morning, Wednesday night, Thursday morning … four days off … Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night and then I’m done … in an explosion of pain and horror. : ) I exaggerate although, I would like to address the cruel Powers That Be and just say that I think it’s a little bit (and by that I mean, a lot) unfair that my two hardest exams were put on the same day with just two hours between them. Just saying …

I finally have a place to live for the summer. My passport arrived in the mail on Friday. Yay. I don’t have a job yet. I don’t have a work permit. I haven’t renewed my study permit or my student visa. I still have 5 exams to do. But I do have a house and a passport that’s valid till 2018. Baby steps …

My parents sent me a package of Nostalgia-in-a-Box for my birthday. Pictures from home and the endless wanderings they’ve been on in the last few months. Their kids leave and their feet promptly turn into wheels and they hit the road like a pair of nomads. I want to be 50 and empty-nested and free to do whatever I want. Anyway. Box of Nostalgia. Pictures from home, a sari (yes, 6 feet of cloth can be put in a box that’s 4 x 10 x 15 with a whole mess of other stuff), a stuffed sheep (also from their wanderings), a piece of cloth that’s leftovers from material my mum once made pyjamas for my brother and I with. The cloth smells like my mum. There’s this really distinct smell that all her clothes have and this must have been nestled into her cupboard with all her other stuff and it smells like her. Its got snails, owls, koala type thingies, mice, and numbers on it. It’s baby blue. There was a letter from my mum and a little note from my dad. There’s a note I once sent to the tooth fairy. Apparently I’d just had a tooth extracted. Other stuff.

I cried all through opening it and looking at everything. It’s odd to be so far from everything that was everything not so long ago. I don’t think about missing home all the time, I don’t feel sad all the time, but when something comes along to show me what I miss, I remember why I miss it and all the suppressed feelings come rushing out as though they’ve been waiting for the opportunity. It’s hard to describe what it feels like. It’s very lonely. It’s a little bewildering because it evokes a whole cascade of questions and doubts and “Why am I here?”s. A lot of it is just sad because there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s happy too, I guess, because it shows you what you really love and what it’s like to love something or someone so much that it hurts so much. And then it passes. There’s nothing harder than trying to get work done when all you want to do is cry and kick and scream. So you take deep breaths, swallow hard, and the tears go away.

It’s a little hard to believe that in 10 days this year will be over. Crazy.

Ok. Back to my books.

Here’s my favourite Calvin and Hobbes strip. Jona and I have a Calvin and Hobbes thing. He’s Hobbes: patient, grounded, the go-to guy when things are a mess. I’m Calvin: silly kid, figuring things out, full of hare-brained ideas. Together we’re partners in crime, full of laughs and hugs and endless happy hours. Everything about them in this strip is happy and free. They’re best friends and they couldn’t love each other more. There’s absolute comfort, nothing to hide, no reservations. It makes me happy. It’s what I’m waiting for …

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Warm and Fuzzy

Two blogs in two days! This is a record. I was feeling pensive and slightly guilty for my general silence over the last few months and, since I’m too tired to keep working for today, I thought another blog was in order.

Something that’s been long over due is a big thank you to Nathan, Madeleine, Kelly, Noah, Rhiana, Justin, Faisal, and Stewart. (Not necessarily in that order and God I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone!) Here’s the story:

I’ve had a fairly crappy semester. This is contributed to by a number of different things including winter, passport troubles, and homesickness. I was going to be in San Francisco with Jonathan over March/Feb Break but the stupid Consulate General of India (in Toronto) screwed up and renewed my passport for one year instead of ten years which created a whole slew of problems and prevented me from going to San Francisco to see Jona. (It was all a bit complicated and I’m noting going to explain it – just take my word for it). So, I very glumly sat around Sackville for 9 days studying pretty much non-stop and being fairly productive (but miserable). The weekend after everyone got back from March/Feb break, I was invited to meet at 5:00 on Saturday for an evening of cards and/or board games. This seemed rather peculiar (awesome word!!) because an Evening of Board Games is not the standard university student choice for a Saturday night and Noah was being oddly pushy about it. Anyway, I said that, work permitting, I would be there.

On Friday night Nathan came by my room and we were chatting about whatever. At some point he asks me, “Do you like Indian food?” I was a little bit bewildered and I responded with a more-confused-than-snarky, “In India we just call it food.” I didn’t think anything more of it.

I was working most of Saturday and then at around 5:00 I decided to go and find people so that they wouldn’t have to come down and drag me away from my books and complain about how much I work and how little they see of me. I headed to the third floor lounge because that tends to be where all our gatherings take place to find everyone in the kitchen cooking madly. There was a general hush and awkward silence when I walked in the door and a brave – but pathetic (sorry guys) – attempt to cover it up. I wandered around offering to help and it soon dawned on me that they were cooking Indian food. Two and two clicked and I got all choked up. Yes, I admit it. There was no actual weeping – though it was pretty borderline for a while there. I gave hugs and thank-you’s all around and proceeded to have an awesome evening.

They had decided (although I hear this was Noah’s idea originally) that as I was feeling rather miserable, I needed cheering up and what better than good Indian food? I have to say that in my expert Indian opinion, the food was great. The menu was: basmati rice, butter naan, butter chicken, aloo-gobi, daal, another kind of chicken, channa, and lassi (if I forgot anything, please take it as testament to my poor memory rather than as a reflection on the quality of the food because the food was wonderful).

So, fabulous friends of mine: thank you (again, and this time, in writing) for giving me the warm and fuzzies. You guys are amazing. ♥

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Teenagers and Spring

It’s my 20th birthday on Tuesday. I’m rather pleased with myself for having gotten this far. Being able to drink in Canada was one birthday ago and it’s now old news. Being able to drink in the US is still a year away and while I wait with some amount of anticipation, that’s not too big a deal, either. 20 is special, though. I’m officially leaving my teens behind. Oh the angst-y teens. At 19 I had actually started to feel like an adult and like I was taking control of my life. But 20 is the real stepping stone. Of course, I’m going to wake up on Tuesday morning knowing it’s my 20th birthday and I’m not going to feel different at all. It’ll be just another ordinary day – except people might be a bit nicer to me and maybe someone will give me presents. : ) No. I promise that’s not what my excitement is about although, who are we kidding? Everyone loves presents.

What is it about being a teenager that I’m happy to leave behind? I found a website called Anger Central. The greeting on the page says, “Welcome to the angriest place on earth.” They have groups – listed alphabetically – that people can join and rant about whatever it is they are angry about. Some of the A’s are: Adoptees, Adults, Advisors, Alcohol Anonymous … Among the T’s is Teenagers. I wanted to know what the top 10 reasons to hate a teen were and these seem to sum them up fairly well. One mother was even moved to say, “HE NEEDS TO BE DROPPED FEET FIRST INTO A SWAMP FULL OF ANGRY CROCODILES!!!!!” Intense. I know. Anyway, this group has listed 18 reasons why they hate teens – the 18th one is titled: Teenagers Suck. So the general consensus with the problems with teens is:

- Teens walk around school acting like they're God's gift to the world, passing judgment on everyone before they know them!
- Tens talk back and steal money.
- Teens are sissies acting like they have it rough. They have no idea what it's like to be real adult.
- Teens are stupid. If you can find one that can construct a complete sentence, you have a veritable Einstein on your hands.
- Teens are melodramatic.
- Teens try to sneak into bars under-aged.
- Teens thing that when they are surrounded by their friends, or play on the football team that they are invincible.

I guess I'm glad I'm not going to be a teen much longer. Although, I have to say in my defense:
- I never stole money.
- This blog can attest to the fact that I can, in fact, construct complete sentences. (A veritable Einstein, you say? Why thank you!)
- I have never tried to sneak into a bar under-aged. When I came to Canada, I was already 19.

I still meet 5 of the 8 criteria for being a hateful teen. I guess that’s ok. I was a teen. And if this is what teens do, then I guess it’s ok that I did it too. But, I am about to take a momentous leap out of what seems to be one of the most hated groups of people ever. Yay for me.

And, on another happy note, it seems that Sackville might be working up to spring. Spring is good. I’m definitely starting to pine for all things green. I hadn’t noticed how much the weather was getting to me until the sun came out and suddenly I was feeling so much more chipper. I’m looking forward to it. Grass and warmth and freedom from the walkways that are the only places where it’s possible to walk … it’s going to be great. Yay for spring.

So. With that, I leave you. It’s time for bed.

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear me-ee. Happy birthday to me!