our roaring hearts

beneath these cool gray skies

we lie bewildered

searching for a catalyst

to transform our lives

bring us closer to our dreams

to weather away our faults

and forge the way into our future.

 

we fall in line

to the rhythm of our resolve

beating gently beneath the earth

ever so constant

and determined

it guides us ever forward.

 

we march towards the horizon of promises

that we swore we would never let go of

even if the world goes dark

we will not forget

the path that got us here

with our ambitions etched into the walls

with our hearts roaring above the noise

we will emerge

triumphant.

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144

It’s been a long while since my last post, so I decided to push myself to write something today. One of my resolutions was to write more per month, but it’s clearly become an ongoing struggle. Will try to do better this summer.

Part of me feels like I’m running away when I don’t write. It’s hard for me to get focused without a clear plan of what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it and writing seems to making things easier. When I’m not writing, I feel like I’m dodging my problems…this rings especially true when considering the copious amounts of Stardew Valley, League of Legends, and Overwatch that I’ve been playing. Gaming is not a solution to all your problems, Nessa. Jeez.

I have a rough two months coming up ahead. While I know it’ll be stressful, I think it’ll be really good to feel productive this summer.

Currently enrolled in two courses (introductory Biochemistry and Physiology) that I’ve been having immense difficulty fitting into my regular schedule and thus have been forced to take them in the summer. May drop Physiology if the first midterm does not go well since learning so much material in the span of six weeks is absolutely ridiculous. It’s not required for my degree/graduation, but I felt like taking it may help me in studying for my MCAT retake. I’ve always found learning from a teacher/professor to be easier than on my own.

I wanted to get a part-time job this summer (at a coffee shop so I can stop spending so much money on coffee…), but due to my other responsibilities, this doesn’t seem to be realistic until at least after my summer courses end. 😦

Currently continuing to help out in the psych lab I was RAing in for the past year – just training some summer students. Also applied and was accepted as a volunteer RA to another lab – really excited about the opportunity as the lab is one of the only at U of T to use psychophysiological instrumentation. I think the experience will be super rewarding even if I don’t get paid for it.

On top of the courses and the RAing, I also have to study for the MCAT and continue volunteering (~3 hours/week). Safe to say I don’t have much free time planned in the coming weeks. But it’ll be good for me. Hard work is supposed to make you a better person.

Other miscellaneous things I have yet to do, but am mentioning as a reminder to myself:

  • CPR & First Aid course next weekend – it’s apparently a medical school requirement for some schools and it’s also something that the lab I’m RAing in wants me to have
  • Renewing my passport (expires in August) – am not looking forward to taking another horrific passport photo…never understood why we can’t smile in those photos
  • visiting a doctor regarding orthotics – flat-footed me has been putting this off for a whole year…that student health coverage isn’t going to spend itself :/
  • decide on a supervisor for CHM499 – have talked to three profs, unsure if I want to talk to more as I’m already struggling in deciding which lab I’d like to work in

Will try to update on how I’m doing every week for the next two months as I navigate through this heavy workload. I think it’ll be a very simple way to keep my spirits high and the stress low (hopefully…)

More than anything, I want to focus on the little things that make life feel good. Like walking through High Park with my friends yesterday. Like winning that game of Coup on Friday (boardgame night) despite being one card down. Like finally getting a Play of the Game on Overwatch despite me being absolutely horrible at FPS games. Like CLG proving NA can be a strong region at MSI.

Things like that.

Things that can put a smile on your face no matter how hard life seems to get.

Let’s focus on these things.

Because happiness is all about perspective.

A new year & new goals (late update)

I’ve been sort of hiding from reflecting on last year’s resolutions because I know I’m not going to like the outcome and the disappointment that will come with it.

However, I was sitting in my social psychology of emotions class yesterday and the prof showed us a video about how to make resolutions that work and I realized then that there was no harm in trying again under a new light.

The basic principle behind the video was to focus on the positive: to make resolutions in the positive, to imagine oneself already accomplished the goal and to work towards that goal in that mindset, and rewarding oneself for all the little milestones that appear along the way. The main thing I hadn’t tried was invisioning the end goal – the end “me” and using that mindset to actually accomplish my goal.

It really struck a chord in me – if you don’t believe a goal is obtainable, then you’re not going to be able to obtain it. Being positive and preparing for success rather than failure is much more effective.

So I’m going to try it.

To wake up everyday (well, most days) with a positive attitude and to approach my goals from the mental state in which I’ve already accomplished them.

Here goes something!

Quick reflection on last year’s resolutions (not going to focus on the negative very much as that obviously isn’t being positive)

  • I haven’t been improving in my 3rd year unfortunately (my marks went down instead…), but it was a rough semester and I believe that I can make the change this semester
  • MCAT score was kinda meh, still unsure if I want to retake it & will decide after this semester
  • still haven’t gone to the gym…but will starting with tomorrow (ulti practice at 7am ugh)
  • been missing intramural practices….again, tomorrow is a new day
  • haven’t made a recipe book, but I cooked today so I’ll applaud myself for the little successes

Some of my goals will be repeats from last year, as I wasn’t able to accomplish them successfully this year.

But I know I can do these (100% confident)

1. Visit the places you’ve always been meaning to go. [to be expanded as more places come up]

  • the ROM [FEB 16, 2016]
  • the Art Gallery
  • CNE
  • Canada’s Wonderland
  • the Science Centre
  • Skating at Nathan Philips Square

2. Do NaNoWriMo

  • IF you are not overloaded in November
  • At least aim for 10k words.

3. Get to Masters on LoL (Okay maybe not this one)

4. Make at least 10 posts a month.

  • you’re never going to mature and grow and actively work on your goals if you don’t reflect on what you’re doing
  • journaling is good for you
  • do it

And here are some new ones…

5. Stop thinking about GPA and just enjoy learning again

  • blog about the material you’re learning instead of the grades that you are getting
  • because you used to love reading

6. Get that summer internship you wanted

  • or another one that you’d enjoy
  • be productive this summer

7. Apply to med/grad schools with your best shot

  • get references ready ahead of time
  • get someone to proofread your application essays
  • DON’T YOU PROCRASTINATE, NESSA

There.

I’m ready, 2016.

111 – A 2 Week Plan

Happy Easterrr! 🙂 *throws chocolate eggs everywhere*

Definitely feeling a lot happier and less irritated today (a huge improvement considering my state of mind from the past few days).

Gotta finish an assignment then exams, exams, exams is all I got left on my mind.

In order to honour the difficulty of my individual exams, I need a plan to get me through exam season. My main goal is to reduce procrastination via internet (direct to healthier outlets such as exercise, eating healthy) and to increase motivation towards studying.

So for the next week (starting April 7 when I wake up to April 13 when I sleep):

  • NO league, Town of Salem (you’d think a browser game is non-addicting, but I’ve played over 150 hours in the past 3.5 months…facts seem to contradict the assumption), Youtube, Twitch, manga, and anime
  • Limited usage of Facebook (not that I’m on Facebook often anyhow, but if one source of procrastination is eliminated, I’m sure I’d get desperate) to communication & study purposes ONLY (Facebook groups are surprisingly useful for studying resources)
  • WordPress is OK (If anything, my lack of posts have proven that WP is non-addicting)
  • 2 episodes of House MAX per day (my binge watching of late is unhealthy, but I sleep better/feel happier watching House)
  • 3 hours MIN of studying per day (Let’s face it, I haven’t done much studying during the school year) – this minimum ensures that I don’t just sleep all day (Like I have been quite a bit in the past few weeks…)
  • Exclusion: Wednesday, April 8 – I get free reign on this afternoon/evening after the CHM238 exam – I’m going to need a ridiculous amount of ice cream and gaming to get over the nightmare of an exam CHM238 will be.
  • Punishment: Any violation of these restrictions within a day changes the 3 hours studying MIN to 5 hours and the 2 episodes of House MAX to 1 episode for the following day.

I’ll adjust the plan according to how it goes next Monday for the week that follows after.

I CAN DO THIS.

Fighting Expectations

Feels like I’m fighting a losing battle
Between who I want to be
And who I am.

I force a smile
But I can feel
The knife held against my throat
An unwanted weight upon my chest
And my blood curdling beneath it all.

I grit my teeth
Prepare myself for the blow
Anticipation in my veins
But the impact does not come.

I exhale in relief
Try to move forward
But still the fear won’t dissipate.

Who am I really?
And why is it
That I can’t be good enough
Just the way I am?

A shadow grabs me by the wrist
Drags me to my knees
Traps me in a prison of doubts
And subjects me to my own hesitations.

Bitter contemplation
Fuels my distate
And I lose motivation
In plotting my escape.

Laughter echoes in these halls of agony
I shut my eyes and give into the pain.

Silence
For a moment.

Then I hear it.

The clockwork rhythm
Of my beating heart.

I bite my lips
Feel the blood rush into my cheeks
And just like that
I’m marching to a different beat.

Just like that
I’m on higher ground
And no one, nothing
Will bring me down.

100 – Life is beautiful.

I’ve finally hit 100.

It’s taken me a long time to get here.

For some people, 100 might not be a huge number of entries. For me, it’s a milestone to reflect on. I am not the same person I was when I wrote entry number 1.

I think the biggest change from then to now is how I handle my depression. I no longer self-pity, no longer wish I were someone else. I still have nightmares. I still cry too much. But it’s progress. It’s something. There is more hope than me than despair and I think that’s change enough. For me, blogging and video games are enough. For others, I know the fight isn’t always as easy. I’m rooting for all of you out there. Whether you’re balancing medication and therapy or if you’re simply trying to stand up in world that can be so very harsh, I’m rooting for you.

I’m going to continue to grow. I want to be independent. It’s been a real struggle considering how spoiled I grew up to be. But I’ll get there. Little steps.

Thank you to those who have been giving me encouragement over the past couple of years. Bobbie, Grandfathersky, Kathryn, Jade, Andy, Vela June, Amber, Fia, Musey, Moony, Nicodemas, Wendell, Annika, Mercedes, Kweschn and anyone else that I may have missed. Every word of support means a lot more to me than you could imagine. So thank you.

Thank you also to those that I started out blogging with and show up from time to time to offer me support: Rachel, Shania, Kevin, and JV. I miss you guys as much I miss home in Vancouver. I can’t wait for the day I get to come back.

——

In life, you are going to experience injustice, frustration, and moments when you feel like the whole world is against you. But don’t give up. I’ve learned the worst thing you can do when you’re feeling down and hopeless is to stop fighting back. For when you stop fighting back, even the weakest demons can engulf you.

So I’ll never give up.

And never lose hope.

‘Cause we all feel lost sometimes. Even the strongest of us. And it’s okay to be lost for how else would you find yourself otherwise? It takes a little bit of pain (or sometimes a lot) to really appreciate the happiness in front of us.

Right now, I’m in a comfortable place. I can love myself and love the people around me. I feel like happiness is within my reach. Even in those moments when depression slips back into my day to day life, I can feel happiness around the corner; and I know, I just know that no matter where life takes me, I’m going to be okay.

Life is beautiful.

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

I often make New Year’s Resolutions, but I find that I very rarely act upon them. In order to make 2015 a year of change and self-improvement, I am going make solid goals, develop plans to actually reach these goals, and continue tracking my progress over the year. Hopefully, that will give me incentive to post more (and develop myself mentally through reflection).

Academic Goals

1. Get A’s in at least 4 of my 6 courses in the Winter Term.

  • 4 of them are Psychology courses so there are no excuses.
  • NOTE: not A-‘s. Those don’t look as nice.

****

2. Improve in my 3rd year.

  • Any improvement from 1st/2nd year is acceptable.

3. Do well on the MCAT.

  • May – get study guides, educate self on the new 2015 format.
  • May/June – make cheatsheets/studysheets
  • July – do practice MCAT questions
  • August – ensure you’ve properly studied by trying “mock exams”

UPDATE: new schedule

4. Meet up with a Professor/faculty member that is doing research that interests me.

  • email after doing proper research        ***

5. Make at least one new friend in each of your classes.

  • in other words, don’t sit alone.

UPDATE – I have friends in 3/5 classes. 🙂

UPDATE 2 – ***

6. Run for Treasurer for the CSU ***

  • go to at least 1 ASSU meeting this year (learn what it’s all about)
  • get involved as much as possible this year

Health and Fitness Goals

1. Start going to the gym.

  • You’re paying those damn athletic fees anyway
  • Once a week/once every other week.

2. Attend as many intramural ultimate games as possible.

  • Studying/sleeping in are not excuses. Only miss if working/volunteering, etc.

UPDATE: Missed one ):

3. Make a recipe book.

  • Learn/make 50 recipes by the end of the year.
  • Organize into Breakfast, Snacks, Meals, and Desserts

Hobby-related Goals

1. Visit the places you’ve always been meaning to go. [to be expanded as more places come up]

  • the ROM
  • the Art Gallery
  • CNE
  • Canada’s Wonderland
  • the Science Centre
  • Skating at Nathan Philips Square

2. Do NaNoWriMo

  • IF you are not overloaded in November
  • At least aim for 10k words.

3. Get to Masters on LoL.

  • Not a solid resolution since there is heavy lag
  • It’s okay if you don’t make this goal.

4. Make at least 10 posts a month.

  • you’re never going to mature and grow and actively work on your goals if you don’t reflect on what you’re doing
  • journaling is good for you
  • do it