135 – Pressing “Restart”

Been overwhelmed over the course of the past two weeks. Can’t think of a better word to describe how much I couldn’t really handle the things that were happening around me.

Got sick last Monday. Likely a viral infection. It got worse as the week went by and I actually don’t know how I survived. Did two midterms I didn’t really study for. BS’ed a lab report together last minute and then completely butchered the pre-lab that needed to be done before the lab. School was a nightmare and it’s safe to say that I probably didn’t do well on anything that week.

Recovering slowly now. Can feel some of the heaviness lifting off my shoulders – especially as the long weekend approaches (thank goodness for reading break).

Also found out that I got a little mini scholarship from my college (U of T is divided into colleges) for having a decent GPA. $500 isn’t much in the face of a $7.5k tuition, but it’s something. This made me really happy for all of lone second before my brother killed it with some bad news.

My uncle had passed away from cancer.

I’m actually still not sure which uncle.

But I would rather live with the uncertainty right now than have to face a reality that could turn out to be much worse.

All the information I have is from a Skype message with my brother – the vaguest person alive (exaggeration, but not far from the truth).

“Uncle” could be anyone.

In Chinese culture, “uncle” is a very vague designation.

Anyone could be your “uncle” provided they were close or close to your family.

But “uncle” could also mean your real uncle.

As in my father’s brother.

As in his twin brother.

And I can’t imagine how that would feel. Losing someone with the same face as you, someone you grew up sharing everything with.

For the first time in a long time, I feel sad and sorry for my dad. He may not be the greatest person in the world, but no one deserves to lose someone they love.

But all of this is speculation.

It all comes down to the fact that I don’t know shit.

And probably never will know anything concrete about family affairs (other than my aunt and grandmothers whom I have at least met and love).

In Vancouver, there was already a barrier of communication. Now I’m in Toronto, there might as well be a Great Wall between us.

And just thinking about this pushed me into a state of depression.

Spent Halloween night just crying (and subsequently had to lie every time someone asked me what I did for Halloween). I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone in my life. At least back home I always knew what my mom and brother were up to. Now I don’t even have that (except for the ~biweekly calls I make back home).

All this isolation was devastating to me.

Made me want to give up and just go home.

But I can’t.

I’ve come so far and to throw it away would just break me even harder.

And so, just like every time you reach a GAME OVER in a challenging video game, I have to press RESTART.

Because it’s not over till it’s over.

Every time I hit a slump,

I just got to reset my mindset and carry on.

Remember the good moments and let go of the bad.

This might be a bad analogy, but I’m going to put it in here anyway to cheer myself up a bit – I always love applying the things I learn in class to my own life:

Just like a treadmilling actin filament in which the minus end is breaking and the plus end is building it back up, as part of me is breaking, another part has got to be strengthening up. And just like in the cell, this breaking and building will propel me forward.

——

P.S. Rest in piece, dear uncle. No matter if I knew you or not, I’ll pray you have a good afterlife. We will miss you.

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