Looking Back: 2015

2015 has been an interesting year.

It has been full of ups and downs and horizontal moments. I wasn’t going to do any sort of retrospective but perhaps it’s good to look back and think about everything that has happened…

WINTER

I think that January was filled with hope. I started the Fashion Design and Techniques program at George Brown which I was excited about. I only had one semester left at UofT before I  left that chapter of my life behind me. I had big plans and was looking forward to the future. I also met Katy and Esther who are two very awesome people I am glad to now call friends.

Fashion started getting hectic, busy and stressful, but I think I was learning to deal with it slowly but surely. Being busy was definitely healthier for me than the times when I was not. February was a month where I was really learning time management and yet at the same time starting to fall behind on things, despite my best efforts.

March was a failure. An utter failure. What basically happened was I missed a midterm, had a massive panic attack, and never went back to school. That is honestly it. I have not stepped foot in that George Brown campus since and can’t bring myself to do it. If you have been reading my on-and-off-again blog(s) anytime for the past (almost) 5 years, you know that I deal with anxiety and depression and let’s just say they got the better of me then. I dropped out of the fashion program a few days later .

Perhaps the one bright side of March was that I started volunteering at the Royal Ontario Museum. That position has honestly been a godsend to me. It has helped ground me, given me consistency and purpose and every time I go I learn something new. It has helped me interact with people and be conscious of myself. It’s hard to express how grateful I am that I started here and what it actually means to me.

Fashion Follows Form - Design Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

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SPRING

Trying to think of what I did in Spring seems futile. It seemed relatively uneventful. I know I finished my last courses of university, thank Jesus, Hallelujah. That shit was harder for me than it should have been and took more out of me than I care to admit. I did not adjust well to university from high school at all and I’m very glad I made it through, even if my grades stink.

May is my birthday month and this time,  it was great. So great, that I wrote a whole post about it at the time.

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June: Officially done school. This month held the bootleg convocation with the bae bestie Bonita. You can see my totally authentic grad photos/thoughts here.

SUMMER

PAN AM PAN AM PAN AM! As Janelle Monae once sang, “What an experience!”. One of the highlights of these summer months was getting to see her live in concert for free! Along with my all time favourite Puerto Rican loves Calle 13. Volunteering for the Pan and Para Pan American Games in July and August was a totally unique experience that I am extremely grateful to have had. I am so lucky that all my Team 2 mates are amazing people who made the games fun and lively. Our jobs as medal tray bearers, athlete escorts and flag bearers were so unique and cool and definitely a once in a life time sort of thing.

July was definitely also when things started to turn around mentally for me. I basically didn’t work during the summer but spent my time volunteering full time between the ROM and Pan Am. That was horrendous financially but so so good mentally. I was outside, socializing, not being a recluse hiding out  in my room, convincing myself that binge watching 5 seasons of a show was good for my health. Having purpose was nice.

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FALL

Back to things I knew: The Bookstore and Fan Expo. I went back to work another contract job for September which was nice because it’s definitely one of the best retail jobs out there. I also went back to volunteer for Fan Expo, but this year wasn’t as great as other years. I had an anxiety attack for some unknown reason on my last shift and basically spent an hour hanging out with the paramedics and a sleeping man in a very, very good Spock Costume.

September can also be remembered as the time I briefly turned into a concert junkie, attending festivals and concerts all month, for a low price of $25. Mostly accompanied by bestie B, we went to Riot Fest, TURF, saw Beaches and went to some EDM thing. Oh! and can’t forget seeing my absolutely favourite British artist, Lianne La Havas live. One word: AMAZING!!!

October and November: These months were filled with a lot of ups and downs but the downs weren’t as low as they had once been; i.e. progress. The thing with depression is that it never really goes away, at least not for me. There is always an dog in the animated explanations of depression and I suppose that these months, I felt like I was always taking a dog along for a walk with me. It was a small dog, not very yappy – I could hide it in my purse – but it was there nonetheless. At the end of November I went to see a career counselor who turned out to be more life coach/strange psychologies enthusiast than anything else, and that’s exactly what I needed. It’s the opposite of the saying: you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. You don’t know what you’ve been needing till someone smacks you in the face with it.

WINTER, once more

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Tis the season for revelations and realizations. I have found a lot of clarity recently and a lot of fog has lifted. SLOWLY I have been opening myself up to accepting help and getting outside opinions. I have been actively trying to change things and have been working on what needs to be done. I have not been entirely successful in these but as the new year approaches I feel more confident that I can accomplish my goals.

The aim is always to look back and say that I am a better person now and am in a better place than I was last year. I hope that is true of me now.

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Before I end this and go back to barely staying awake after being on the go in the Barbados heat for the last 12 hours, I just wanted to write some thank yous because I probably don’t say them enough in real life:

My friends: You guys are more of a rock to me than you know. I hope that I have shown you each how much I appreciate you and value your friendship. From each one of you I learn something new and I am blessed to be surrounded with good souls and great vibes. ♥

My family: I truly do not believe that family needs to be blood and I am so thankful that I am blessed with so much.

My brother: I love you Jonny, who makes me laugh and makes me angry, who calls me his little sister (even if I’m not) and who nicknamed me after a deadly disease. I trust you and believe in you.

My mom: You make me laugh when I need it most and are always there with open arms and an open heart. You’re a light in my life.

My dad: I’m not sure how you can still put up with me but I am forever thankful that you do. You bear the brunt of all of my ups and downs, my tears  and anger and failures and yet, you still have faith in me. As frustrated as I get with your persistence and your constant “How can I help you?”, please don’t ever stop asking.

And now back to the ongoing battle that is me versus mosquito. Happy New Year.

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