Grief

At the beginning of this year, I lost one of the most important people in my life and, let me tell you this: IT FUCKING HURTS. Since then, survival has become my most important and vital human instinct.

Unlike relationships, grief doesn’t come with guidelines. You’re kind of on your own, trying to find a way to survive and continue living while deep down, you’re very close to dying. Coping with the loss of a loved one is the most difficult and challenging thing I have had to deal with in my young life and today still, I am not sure whether I am on the right path. But then again, will I ever be? I doubt it.

People said time will make it better but I am really starting to think it is quite the opposite. The pain is still here, stronger and unpredictable. The regrets, the anger, the hopelessness  and the sorrow, only stopping with tears falling down my eyes. It’s not pretty, especially when you are trying to keep it on the low. That is exactly what grief is: a profound state of loneliness and denial where the only relief is embracing it all.

So many things I wished I could still say; so many plans we made; so many dreams and projects we still had to accomplish but this is all gone now. All I have left are blurred feelings and memories that I keep replaying in my mind and dreams, wishing you were still here.

So, today I write about pain. The type of pain that will turn you worst enemy into your closest friend. The type of pain that makes you wish you would die yourself. Something that we all will have to face, sooner or later because there is one thing I know now: death does not discriminate.

Mourning is a hard and long process and it might take me a lifetime to overcome it all. 

 

Elections used to be about politics. Not anymore.

Tomorrow marks the end of a very tumultuous and scandalous presidential campaign in America and somehow that makes me feel good. The foolery will finally end. The world will learn how to breathe normally again, without a paper bag. Or not.

For the past year, my world has been turned upside down from every possible angle  because of all the political changes happening – constitutional changes, extension of mandates, referendums and presidential elections. No matter where I turned my head to, looking for an escape, there was no escaping the global trend of political recycle, as if we were simultaneously turning the same page. A new age.

The global turmoil caused by rampant terrorism, aggravated extremism, coupled with that impressive and rapid glooming feeling of social disconnect between the people and their elected representatives. The people are crying for more guarantees on personal freedom – freedom of expression. It’s like showing up in Kinshasa and speaking Cree. It’s pointless.

So this brings me to a very sensitive point. Today, close relationships are negatively affected by world changes as who you want to vote for now determines which friend you will lose. The social pressure has reached the point where the elephant in the room is silently acknowledged and even allowed to play a part in the story; dictating your every move, word or post on social media for fear to become a social pariah.

A lot of you might say: ‘what do I care if I lose a few friends in the process, as long as I stick to my beliefs.’ That’s very admirable but, who really loves being alone? I hate this. I hate how I have myself slowly felled into that social disconnect where making a difference isn’t a good-enough motivation anymore. I want better opportunities. I am no longer willing to sacrifice my soul for it. No more of choosing between the lesser of two evils. I shouldn’t  have to choose between Joffrey and Ramsay.

Give the youth a chance to express their voices. Listen and learn from criticism. Bring modernity into the system. Picture a young  woman living in New York: her life choices are determined by the political choices of at least three different countries, on three different continents, with separate languages, histories and policies; yet, interdependent, in the same rigged economic system.

Tomorrow will change history. Regardless of whom gets the seat in the oval office, American voters will be responsible for the lives of 7,025,972,711 people. No big Deal.

 

Illustration by Sanaa K.

Mid-Season Evaluation

Lately, I haven’t been feeling 100 percent, battling with constant fatigue and laziness while trying to maintain a healthy balance between school work and a social life. I guess my body is slowly entering hibernation as the temperature keeps dropping and I slowly realize that this winter will be nothing like what I have experienced in the past five years. It will be worst.

My last blog post was clearly dictated by frustration and a little bit of self-assessment of my expectations and time-management skills for this fall. Although I have managed quite easily until now to mix between school, my internship and my personal life, it was time for me to take a break and have a little introspection about my goals and objectives for this semester. I decided to end my internship because I simply could not manage to successfully juggle between that and my school work.

I think each one of us comes to a point, every season, where an almost natural selection happens where certain activities are dropped or pushed back, in order to maintain a dose of sanity in our lives. In an effort to rebalance my life, sleep schedule and workload, I had to take some load off my plate and make sure my grades were following as well. One of the important things in life is recognizing the signs when you are overworked and finding the inner strength to get rid of anything that adds on unnecessary stress and anxiety.

As for my personal life, the post-birthday season made me realize that I have myself been entering a new phase. I did not expect turning 25 to impact my morale this bad and have me reconsider my objectives and plans for the next couple of years. I am currently at this crossroad where I have to carefully pick my battles, select the people who will accompany me on this next journey, determine my post-master plan, both personal and professional, and, choose what types of tactics will get me there. I guess that is what adulting looks life. *merh*

I have also been slacking on my fitness routine, constantly and knowingly skipping my workout days and falling into a state of numbness when it comes to taking my ass back to the gym. Yes I have made significant effort since last March but that should not have stopped there. In my head, I am still in vacation mode, even though the world around me hasn’t stopped moving and obviously, did not care to wait for me. So it is time to put aside all the bad habits and find the inner motivation to finally get that fit and firm body I have been talking about for months!

So here is the plan for the rest of Fall-Winter:

  • Maintaining my GPA above 3.5 grade point average;
  • Exercising 3 times a week minimum;
  • Do regular cleanses to keep my body healthy and my skin radiant this winter;
  • Keep a tight schedule with my skin care routine: 2-3 facial and body scrubs per week;
  • Stay hydrated by drinking 1 gal of water a day, or at least 64 oz;
  • Step up my hair care regimen: take my vitamins every day + deep conditioning twice/month + low to zero heat use + protective styles;
  • Allocate more time for girls night and friends overall;
  • Be more serious at blogging and try to post on a more regular basis rather than ad-hoc;
  • Set up a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it, meaning stop using your savings;
  • Read more books, keep your brain active outside of school time;
  • Dedicate more time to training Storm and fix that anxiety problem of his;
  • Cook more, order out less: save money.

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This should keep me busy enough and I am sure more stuff will be added to that list with time. Making lists is a helpful way to keep tracks of achievements and is a great self-assessment tool for anyone. Staying on tracks is challenging but trying our best is what matters most.