As I grow closer to the end of my time here in Waterloo, I find myself incredibly sentimental about the time I have spent here and all the different ways I have grown. I came here four years ago in love, happy and overall naive about where these years would take me. I’ve loved, lost and felt everything else in between during my years here but I am happy to say that I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I do believe that you cannot truly appreciate happiness until you’ve experienced the bittersweet pain of loss. Losing someone means that you have to start again, create a whole new identity and I have been incredibly fortunate to have such amazing friends around me that helped me through this process, during what feels like so many years ago. I was young- I am young still of course but when you’re experiencing a new city, new friends and a loss of identity, everything can be a little scary. Four years ago I decided that I wanted to become someone new, someone would would appreciate the little things, go for walks on my own, enjoy life as it comes and not worry so much about whether or not I was supposed to be with someone or be somewhere else entirely. I found a new found sense of independence- and I haven’t been able to get enough of it! I’ve spent the last four years spoiling myself in Waterloo, living with some of my best friends in the world and experiencing the “university life”. University has taught me a lot of things- how to deconstruct an extensive passage from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, how to properly cite multiple works in MLA, APA or Chicago formatting, how to cram twelve weeks of readings into just five or six handwritten notes and even how to function on little to zero sleep. But what I appreciate most in these four years is the lesson that life taught me- to try to find myself amongst so many other lost souls.. I am independent, which doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate being taken care of but what it does mean is that I don’t need someone to take care of me all the time. I think sometimes we settle for something or someone because we believe it’s necessary to be loved all the time but a large part of me believes that it’s difficult to be loved, if you don’t love yourself and who you are when you’re alone. These last four years have brought a lot of changes into my life, some for the better and some for the worse but everything that has happened has lead to me being where I am and for that I am eternally grateful.
“Im the master of my own fate; I am the captain of my own soul”- William Ernest Henley
I want to be the author of my own story and I want to create a world that I can live in happily. For a long time I thought I was living in that type of place but this summer I did a lot of thinking on what it means to be happy. I found myself with more questions than answers: Are there rules to being happy, necessities maybe? Does being happy mean you’re constantly smiling? Or does it mean I wake up every day thankful to be alive? Is it the presence of people constantly around? To be wealthy? To be in love? There are many questions that deal with the matter of happiness, so much I don’t think I could list them without being an incredible bore but my conclusion is that in my short twenty-one years here I have no been able to pinpoint the recipe for happiness. Someone once told me that to be happy means that you don’t question your life, your friends or your decisions and this seems to be the crux of the matter because I question everything, twice. Does this make me despondent or realistic? I would consider myself more of a glass half full type of person but more often I find myself questioning the glass itself. Who determines that we must be either or? Can I not be both happy and sad at the same time without being scrutinized, can I manage to manoeuvre myself in this busy world while not being completely in one mindset or another? I have a lot of questions. I have a lot of thoughts and I had the notion that this might be the best place to answer them.. Perhaps I’ll be answering myself. Or maybe one day I’ll just know what the answer is. The world isn’t black or white.. I supppse that means I don’t have to be either happy or sad. I can just be myself in a world that’s not quite mine- yet.