Five Things (15)

Miles ran: 4 | Miles cycled: 0 | Steps: 65,497

Time seems to move slowly when you pay it no attention but slips through your fingers when you notice. I turned around, and suddenly it was 2016, and that leads me to …

— Thing One —

A new year, a new page, a new chapter, and in a moment of temporary madness, I signed up for a half marathon. The Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon, to be precise. I hate running, but I hit the submit button anyway. I think I did it because of runners, in particular, runners who speak of running, poetically. You know who you are!

Also, for some reason, thirteen miles didn’t seem so far at the time; however, walking from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Botanical Gardens does. I might regret this decision.

— Thing Two —

Because of the above, and because I don’t want to hurt after this run, I’ve decided to train – which means running, which means, running outside, which means … why did I think this was a good idea in the first place? This past Tuesday was run day. And it was 11 degrees outside. And the cold seeped into my bones. I thought I’d never be warm again. Apparently, I tend to be dramatic when it comes to running.

— Thing Three —

And then my car refused to start. Turns out, I needed a new battery. It’s been six years since I bought my car; I guess it’s the battery’s time. It served me well, and will be missed, but I like putting my key into the ignition without having to worry if I would need a jumpstart.

— Thing Four —

My new binge-worthy Netflix show is Murdoch Mysteries. I started watching Season One a while ago and recently picked it up again. I love the idea of a turn-of-the-20th-century detective using scientific methods to solve crimes. There is a lot of humour sprinkled throughout and I think that any 21st-century person will enjoy the tongue-in-cheek references to modern technology that they imply. 

— Thing Five —

If you’re looking for a funny, fantastical, futuristic, post-apocalyptic, fairytale retelling, YA novel, then have I got the series for you! The Lunar Chronicles was one of my favourite recent reads. Absolutely love the female leads, though I wish the male leads were fleshed out as much as the ladies. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Melissa Meyer has to offer.

 

Advertisements

Goodbye; Hello.

A year that started out expectantly ended in despondency. Yet, it wasn’t all gloomy, 2015; there were several rays of light in the cloudiness that seemed to follow me. And those spots of sunlight are cherished.

I will remember with fondness the meals that I shared with friends who reached out and offered a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. The coffees we drank and the desserts we consumed as we talked for hours about the happy and the sad. The words of encouragement and the whispered prayers that passed their lips. I experienced some genuine friendships this year, and I am forever grateful.

The joy of music that reignited in my heart at the end of the year (while suffering a hard blow to my self-esteem) in the form of The Symphony Chorus. I am so happy that I found this group this year. Their affection and passion for creating music together bring me peace – more than I’ve felt in a very long time. There’s something energizing about singing with them on Monday nights and in concerts.

Although it was tough for a few months, the satisfaction of finishing a huge project was a highlight this year. There’s nothing more gratifying than completing a complex project.

And of course, the fact that 2015 is over and my family is intact is a blessing. The angels were working overtime with this lot, but I’m glad that all my aunts are fine and that we are ending the year with everyone alive and well.

So, here we are, we’ve completed another orbit around the sun, and we find ourselves beginning a turn. I hope this rotation brings life, and once more I find myself excited for what it might hold.

 

When I was 16…

Or, Memories of My 17th Year.

I was in Lower Six studying Biology, Physics, and Maths1 at Queen’s College, Guyana, and for reasons unknown, I found the Krebs Cycle fascinating.

My friends and I hung out in the Bio lab because the teacher was fun. There was a non-poisonous snake that someone found and brought to the lab, I don’t remember if we named it, but I do remember the boys trying to stuff the snake down the girls’ shirts2.

Before classes, my friends and I would help each other with homework, and play games – mostly chess. I also was a part of the Library Club, just in case you doubted I was a geek. I was a Prefect3 assigned to a Form One class, where most of the responsibilities included helping the Form Mistress and making sure the class behaved – with the added benefit of being called “Miss” by the lowerclassmen.

Around this time we finally got hooked up to the internet at home – it was a dial up modem. I wasn’t allowed to go on until after homework, but I figured out how to mute the sound of the dial-up and snuck on a few times4.

ICQ was the thing to use. Even if it wasn’t the thing to use I’d probably have still used it because I liked that they had such a smart acronym5. I used it to chat with my friends at school – and random chats.

One of those randoms was a guy from India who couldn’t believe I was a 16-year-old girl because I didn’t talk about things like “hanging out at the mall” or “teen magazines”.  He sent me an eCard from 123greetings with the Backstreet Boys “Quit Playing Games” midi in the background. I don’t remember the content of the card, but I don’t believe I ever chatted with him again after that6.

I loved the song Lately by Divine and secretly loved Hanson’s MMMBop. I still liked JTT and Devon Sawa, and still watched things like Saved by the Bell, Sister Sister, Growing Pains, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters.

My love for books started at a young age, I was still a huge Famous Five fan and loved Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novels – especially the combos. I read my first real romance novel that a friend from school let me borrow. It was more historical than the contemporary type, but I decided that I preferred mysteries. Around this time I read my first YA novel, written in the first person7. Of course, I don’t remember the name of the book; there was no Goodreads back then.

I would often practise playing the keyboard. I believe I also started playing the guitar, mostly because a keyboard wasn’t portable and for some reason I pictured myself needing an instrument that I could take on the road with me.

This was a transition year for me. My family had started the process of migrating to the United States, and I knew that it was my last school year (so I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have) before moving. It was strange, still going to school but knowing that I would never graduate with the friends that I had, some of them since I was 11 years old.

I could go on, surprisingly I remember a lot from this year of my life, but I’ll finish this here. Exit; pursued by a bear.

———-

1 I think I also took English, but I can’t remember my English classes, so I’m going to assume I studied those three subject.

2 Of course, at the time, it wasn’t funny, especially to someone who is afraid of snakes. However, looking back at the memory now, I never felt threatened by the boys, they weren’t malicious, just teasing and being, well, boys.

3 Probationary, as Upper-Sixers were usually the full-fledged prefects.

4 Sorry, dad!

5 “I seek you” – just in case you didn’t get it.

6 What he didn’t realise was, I was into pop culture, but wasn’t interested in chatting with someone across the world about something that “everyone” talks about, I was more interested in what life was like in India.

7 The book was on my shelf for a while, but I couldn’t get into the first-person writing style the first time around, I enjoyed it the second time around.

~*~

Then I lost my keys

It was 80 days after the incident. I found myself in front of my backdoor, the contents of my purse spilled across the cool concrete as I frantically searched the two pockets of my small purse for my house keys. I kept looking into those empty pockets, as if the keys would appear out of thin air and let me inside.

In that moment, many things flashed through my mind, but none of them a solution to my current situation. I was alone, in the dark (thanks to the motion-sensored light that never comes on for me), exhausted both physically and emotionally, and in terrible need of some rest.

The last three months have felt as though my insides were being scooped out and constantly tied into tiny knots. I hated looking at my phone, just incase a text comes in informing me that something else happened, but I cannot escape looking at my phone, as it’s also been the bearer  of good news – of swift and miraculous healing. The smell of the hospital and rehab center are imprinted in my mind; I smell those smells all the time. The question “Why?” is constantly in my head, followed closely by “Where were you?”.

I’m a single woman in her 30s who is constantly asked the question “When are you getting married? Why are you single? Do you like being alone?” (as though singleness is a curse) forcing a kind of aloneness on me, yet, I’ve never felt the impact of loneliness as much as I did at that particular moment. I thought of the random outburst of tears that sneaks up on me, breaking through the dam that I’ve been trying to build around them, seeping out without a care of where I’m standing and with whom I’m speaking.

As the search for my keys continued, I thought about the total number of times I’ve ever lost them – 0 – my mind drawing a blank when I try to recall what I did that day and how I could have dropped them when they are usually tucked away in the inside pockets of my bag. And so I gave up. They were lost. But a larger part of me was more concerned with the fact that it took so long, and something so little, to make me see how overwhelmed I really was. There were so many things broken beyond my repair, so I loosened the tight grip I was holding and allowed all the emotions to flow. Over these things, I have no control.

I want to pause and take a moment to say thank you, to the people who kept asking me how I was, and who kept reminding me of the community that I have. As for the keys, 6 days later I found them in a sad bin of lost keys.

Christmas Past

For the first seventeen years of my life I lived in another country. I celebrated Christmas differently. The weather was rarely frightful, and if there were fires it was outside in the fireside where they cooked large meals in big pots. Snow was seen only when the television stations decided to go off air.

December was always a busy month, from parties to service, Christmas to Old Years Night (as we called it), it was a never ending bustle of activity. A Christmas concert, caroling, a dinner for folks in the neighbourhood, services, practices, performances…

I don’t really have a favourite memory because everything was always delightful. I just remember being very glad that it was December, that Christmas was coming, that school was out for the term, that I would get to stay up until midnight on Old Years Night to greet the new year.

As I look back on those days, the memories that stand out the brightest – playing games in the “bottom house” or watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, or hitting a triangle as we moved from house to house, belting out Christmas songs – always had one thing in common, one set of people, my family.

I’m happy for Decembers – past and present – because it’s always the time we do things together. For me it’s always the most wonderful time of the year. For family and Decembers, I am thankful.

On Time

I grow older.

The year changes old to new.

Months fly by in seconds, minutes, hours and days.

Time marches forward, leaving memories of moments in the past.

Sometimes I wish I had more.

Or sometimes that it would end.

Most times it creeps by unnoticed,

Until one day, without warning, time is spent.