Sunday, 25 September 2016

These Days

So I forgot a few things in my last post but I want to mention them.

My mom and my sister have become knitting machines and I got recruited to participate. So, in the few days before I left for school, I made this snazzy washcloth.

My mom had to help me fix my mistakes so many times that there is no way I would be able to accomplish anything without her. Needless to say I have gone into knitting retirement for now. Maybe I will take it up again when I am home next and I have my mom to help me.

One of my best friends in the whole world had a baby! I am so proud of her and I know she is going to be a fabulous mother and that her baby will be so loved. I look up to her a lot because she is so accomplished and works through every challenge that she is given. I hope I will be able to do the same.

My wonderful cousin became a teenager. She is so kind and although her mom says she acts like a teenager sometimes, I've never seen it so I can't believe it. 

School started. The first few days were a huge mix of feelings. I was happy to make some new connections on the first few days and find a familiar face in the crowd. I was not as happy to feel like I wasn't in the right place and that I had made a huge mistake. So many people have emphasized that the first little while will be difficult but it does get better.

After a few weeks I am still trying trying to figure out how to study, live, and just be. I didn't realize that I would struggle in school so much. I have really lacked the motivation to put in the effort required to be excellent. I kind of gave up after only a few days because I saw that I wasn't the best and I was so tired and lonely that I didn't care enough to make an effort. Thankful I got over that last week and figured out that I do my best work at the public library just a block away from where I live. The library is home to some very interesting individuals that I have never encountered at a library in Toronto but I suppose everyone needs somewhere to nap, and not everyone knows that a quiet area means you shouldn't talk on the phone.

Last night I went on a boat cruise with a big group of other students from the law school. I am still attempting to make friends and find where I fit. It was funny being on a boat. It was so different than the ship. All the drinking and club like atmosphere was enough to make me realize that I wasn't on the Africa Mercy. It was also way colder outside than the tropical nights of the sails I have experienced in the past.

Here we are, another week, another chance to do better and be better.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Making a Place

I've thought about writing many times since I have been home. I've also thought about how somethings are just better left unsaid, and how it was nice to be able to "hide" for a while. There is this strange issue that I struggle with when it comes to social media: where is the line between sharing and bragging? I don't know. I suppose it is your personal intention. However, that intention can be perceived differently by each person and sometimes you can trick yourself into thinking that you are doing something for the right reasons, even if you are not. Here I am, wanting to share in order to stay connected, to let it out, and to give thanks.

The first few weeks of being home were a very strange experience where I didn't feel like I fit. I didn't want to be back on the ship but I wasn't particularly comfortable at home. Then things got busy, I found things to do, and it started to feel better. I went water skiing at the lake and I got to spend so really good quality time with most my immediate family members.

Making gnocchi with Nonna
I was able to take some time and prepare items to bring to Ottawa. My mom and I found these end tables and I was really hoping to strip the stain and stain them a bit lighter but I had to change my plan when the stripping agent ruined the already exposed wood. I know many people will hate me for painting the tables but that was all I was capable of doing at that point.

My mom and I were able to make a couple of trips to Ottawa to bring furniture and "stuff" to start setting things up. Thanks to my mom I didn't have to worry about finding an apartment last minute. I am really happy that we were able to move ahead of time because that took away a lot of potential stress when it came to school starting. I have spoken to so many people who moved into their places days before school started and who had only seen them online. I don't I would have handled that very well. They are way braver than I am. I also got to visit with my mom's family that lives just outside of Ottawa and came to know that they are incredibly kind people and I am so happy to have them nearby.

I had a visitor from the ship! My very wonderful and fabulous boyfriend made the long journey to come visit. Let me just say that getting a visitor visa is not easy. It really brought to light how special we are as Canadians (among others) to be able to freely enter so many countries, without having to apply for anything ahead of time. Before we did anything exciting it was time to complete the triathlon I had been training for since... forever. I had a great time and although it was difficult I was happy with how I did.  I did fall off my bike at the turn around. Whoops! I turned too wide and hit some sand and since road bike wheels have so little traction, I lost it. I was fine. What's a triathlon without a little blood?

Since it was Edward's first time to Canada I got to participate in lots of touristy activities. We went to Niagara Falls (I had never been) with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

We went to a Jays game and an Argos game. Who are the Argos? They are Toronto's team in the Canadian Football League. We had incredible seats for both games but they were totally different. (far away for the Jays, super close for the Argos). If you go to a Jays game don't be afraid to sit in the 500s; the view is great!

Canada's Wonderland (theme park) was on the list of destinations. Edward went on his very first roller coaster (Leviathan) and loved it.

We made pizza with Nonna. 

We tried to go to Ottawa but we found this roadblock...

We were first on the scene and thought we might be able to move it enough to get by but that was dreadfully unsuccessful. Thankfully a woman who lived just up the road pulled up behind us. She called her husband and he brought a chainsaw. It was cleared in no time and off we went.
Light show at Parliament

Then it was time to celebrate Edward's birthday. What exciting things did we do? We went bowling with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and then Edward and I went to the movie theatre to watch Summerslam. Huh? Yup. Wrestling. He loved it and when I watched is as entertainment rather than reality I have to admit I had a good time as well. The next day he got two more cakes. So a total a three birthday cakes, not bad (I only got two).

Then it was time to say goodbye so Edward could get back to the ship. 

Then I had to start saying some more goodbyes. First goodbye; the lake.

And then it was time to say goodbye to "home". But not before I got to celebrate my birthday with my family getting tomatoes into jars.

And those are my last few months in a nutshell.