Energy

Sometimes I wonder how my energy levels are doing. My gauge is strange, I can only recognize when it is at one extreme or another. I’m aware of my hyper-energetic state and my fatigued state.

Today, I woke up with a lot of energy. I was ready to do some work, run some errands, and enjoy my city. I was so happy to finally be in Montreal, I wanted nothing more than to ride the subway and sit down at a cafe on Le Plateau.

I did all of those things. The metro quickly lost it’s charm after four different people sneezed in my general vicinity on the same train. The cafe at Le Plateau was terrific, but my father was not enjoying it. I started to wonder if I would be better as a solo traveler, but that is another blog for another day.

Anyway, we picked up some Bixi bikes after brunch. Bixi bikes are rentable bikes with docks all around Montreal, they’re quite convenient but can be a pain in the ass to return. The docks aren’t too spread out, but they can fill up quickly. My father is also averse to listening to me or letting me take the lead in finding a place, so we ended up taking way more time than needed due to his lack of ability to follow a map.

My energy waned towards 4 or 5 o’clock. We hopped back on the metro but stopped at Berri-UQAM (the massive station that connects three different lines) to see if we couldn’t get my student metro card set up. We ended up leaving the station and walking an extra four blocks to find the right metro office, only to be told that I have to wait until August 1st because I’m not a summer student. My lack of energy then turned to anger which my poor father had to suffer from.

I should probably apologize to him. Although we both messed up in different ways today, I definitely overreacted a few times. But this type of behavior is standard coming from me when I am low on steam. I tend to get irritable, frustrated, and sometimes irrationally angry. It makes matters even worse when I can’t get any privacy to chill out.

Living in Montreal will be a new experience and will most definitely test my energy levels. Walking everywhere, dealing with people all day long, and navigating public transportation will force me to adjust and possibly increase how much bullshit I can deal with.

It’s worth it though. This city is amazing. If you ever stop by, please go to Le Plateau Mont-Royal.

Eloragh

Pissed Off

I was pissed off today. I’m not really sure why and I couldn’t shake it. I went for a 40-minute walk, which was quite a lot compared to what I usually do. I took 2.5 hours of ballet, thinking that would calm me down. It didn’t.

Some days the reality of your shitty situation hits and you finally understand that every decision you have ever made has led you to this point in your life. You can blame anyone you want, but it’s your fault in the end. That’s what sting so much, I’m pissed off and it’s all because of me.

I’ll fix it, I’ll do what I want to do eventually. Waiting is the hardest part of realizing a dream or removing yourself from a bad situation.

I leave for Montreal on Wednesday. I’m spending all day tomorrow at professional development for the curriculum I’m working with. I am not even close to done packing.

Yea, I’m angry.

Eloragh

Doing Others Work

I spent the majority of my day creating three separate spreadsheets to organize the courses I’m allowed to take at my university. Yes, I took my time to sort them into terms, class days, registration numbers, and class times. I did this because the list of approved freshman courses had no options to filter through the classes, making registration – an already frustrating process – even worse.

I’ve already written about my initial struggles of registering for classes in my blog Registration, but I had no idea the depth of my problems when I wrote it. I have created at least four separate schedules that have all been disrupted due to classes filling up, teachers leaving, or other students taking priority. I decided to make these spreadsheets so I could create 10-12 possible schedules for both my fall and winter term. As a freshman, I have the last registration date, meaning that I will most likely get stuck with classes I am not incredibly happy with. I wanted to minimize my boredom and the amount of time I spend in classes, so I decided to take the majority of the process into my own hands.

However, I don’t think I should have had to make those spreadsheets. Every category I used to sort my courses could easily be converted into a filter system on the approved courses page. I sat there, wading through class after class, putting every single one into the schedule builder to find it’s code and times and days. I felt like an idiot. Ever since I enrolled at this school, I have done more work than ever before and have been paying to do it.

I thought a lot about how I would optimize my university’s website. Because of its range of students and degree options, it has a lot of different pages that students need to access. It’s great that the university has worked so hard to have all of the information available, but it is not easily accessible. I remember finding pages a few months ago that I cannot seem to find again. The maze of hyperlinks and PDF files that every new click takes me to is overwhelming. This lack of structure, organization, and efficiency has left me feeling disillusioned, yet again.

A lot of people have questioned my doubts about college, blaming them on “manipulative” friends, people I admire who I “could never be,” and “propaganda.” When I look at their concerns, I see legitimate care in the form of less caring remarks, but then again, I also see my time already being wasted by an institution of higher education that claims to be “different.” Just the fact that I have to make 10-12 backup schedules to make sure I get a course load I can live with is ridiculous. I have been shoved to the back of the priority line and told to be grateful for it.

So far, I am unimpressed. I can’t get over this idea of losing priority or being considered lower in comparison to more senior students. I worked for four years to achieve some level of respect, only to have it stripped away in the name of security. Security that doesn’t even exist anymore! No wonder college students are so depressed and weary. After dealing with borderline bureaucratic tasks such as registration for four years, all we will have to show for it is an insufficient degree, low wages, and student loans.

It’s becoming a lot harder to see my money and time being drained by a system that has made it clear they don’t care about me and won’t care about me until I’m a senior. I went through this once before, and I am less than eager to do so again. Maybe I’ll finally snap and leave college, or perhaps I’ll stick through it for four years and leave the burden of my student loans to people who are more than willing to pay for them. It will all come down to this fundamental question: how much is my sanity worth?

Eloragh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posture

Posture says a lot about a person, which is why it makes me so furious when my stance is lazy. I hate slouching (even though it may feel amazing after a long day) because it puts my body and my mind in a state I can only describe as sloth. Slow like a sloth, my mind drags along like a snail, leaving behind a trail of wasted time.

I am motivated by productivity. If I can get started, it’s easy for me to continue. In fact, it’s painful for me to stop working once I’ve found my rhythm. I like to prep my space and my body in such a way that I have no excuses for lack of effort or progress. I get enough sleep, I wake up with coffee and get something in my stomach, I exercise every day to keep my blood flowing and my stress low, etc. I also keep my space incredibly clean and organized. There is nothing that I hate more than working in a messy area. Posture can be rumpled. Life can be messy.

Right now, my posture is not good. I am sitting up on two decorative pillows, and I am 100% sure my spine is not in alignment. My body is already in the way of producing work that I am proud of. However, I have had a long day. I sometimes forget that my body has to recover for me to make actual progress towards my goals and passions. So, I am allowing myself to slouch.

As I allow myself to slouch, I don’t let myself to ignore my to-do list. Having something to show for every day is motivating as well. It is productive, admittedly not the most productive I’ve ever been, but still productive. I produced, I grew, I continued to reach for those goals.

We will have good days, we will have great days, we will all have days where we feel like we ascend to the highest tiers of production. Yes, we will have bad days. We will have days where our bodies or our minds or our experiences kick us and throw us to the ground. All that matters is that we remember our good days, our great days, our golden days and reach for that level of creativity. Progress propels us forward and lifts us up when we feel as though we have nothing left.

Eloragh

Track and field

I’ve never run track and field, but I used to go to meets to support my friends all the time. I remember watching my friend give it her all for thirty or sixty seconds just to collapse at the end. It was almost mesmerizing to see every sprinter’s knees buckle as soon as they fell over the finish line, almost as though it was enchanted.

I know what kept them going, I know that bright yellow stripe pulled them in like a magnet. Some days I wonder what keeps me going, what is my bright yellow line? Is it my strange desire to be different and successful? To prove to the world that following in the footsteps of the majority isn’t the only path to happiness? To achieve my greatest dreams without meeting a single expectation of those around me? I don’t know, I just know it’s there. My finish line, my magnet, my driving force. I hope I never meet it. I hope I never cross it and fall in the heat like those runners.

The hurdles always seemed daunting. Running and jumping is something I’m familiar with, but not in this context. When I run or jump, the only thing standing in my way is my own ability to push off the ground and stretch my muscles into the position I need them to be. These runners had a set goal: get over this hurdle so you can get over the next and eventually see that beautiful line of paint. That gorgeous boundary that means rest and accomplishment.

Except I don’t want rest, not now. I want accomplishment, I want value, sustainability, work, revenue, joy, adventure, aesthetic beauty, a sense of pride in my lifestyle. Rest is something I will eventually need to provide myself with. In my youth, rest is all but wasteful. It is a leech on the most productive, efficient time of my life.

People say you can rest in the grave, I will rest in retirement.

Eloragh

Have Your Elephant, and Eat it Too.

I’m moving much sooner than I thought. The elephant of packing up my life and settling in another country has been weighing on me. I’ve known for a long time that I needed to start planning and packing for this new phase of my life, but I have been ignoring it for the sake of my own comfort. So, this elephant has been sitting in my room for a while, and now I need to eat it. Double metaphor, take that College Board.

Today, I packed up my entire closet. I had quite a large closet and kept the majority of my property in it, so this was a big task to tackle. I slowly picked through my clothing, putting a decent amount in donation bags, another decent amount in trash bags, and the majority of it in moving boxes. They’re sitting behind me on my dresser, all eight of them, reminding me that I will leave this room for the last time in just a few days.

I left my elephant alone for too long, perhaps not wanting to acknowledge how exciting but frightening it’s presence was. In all honesty, I am overjoyed that I am moving. I don’t think I ever honestly felt at home in the area I live. With that being said, I sometimes wonder if I will ever find a place that feels as warm and comforting as a home should. Will it be Montreal? I doubt it. I don’t think I am lucky enough to move once and be satisfied. I am far too transient for that.

Have your elephant, and eat it too. Not because you want to, but because the world beckons you onto bigger and better things. I said goodbye to one of my mentors today, I could hear the pain in his voice when I told him I was leaving on the 20th. He has become a figure I can look up to, someone who inspires me and motivates me to work harder in pursuit of my dreams. The phone call was by far our shortest, most likely due to the immense ache of loss we both felt. I will miss him, I know I will see him again, but I will still miss him.

Change is not one elephant, it is many small bitter elephants that pop up when you least expect them. The elephant of walking away, the elephant of saying goodbye, the elephant of last steps, last hugs, last laughs, last moments of memory and nostalgia. The elephant in my room is slowly chipped away at by the knife and fork of transition.

To comfort myself, I like to think that change is the only constant in life. It reminds me to find peace in unpredictability.

Eloragh