Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Life, Death, Regret, and Moving Forward

"You haven't heard anything about her right?"

"Have you heard anything from her?"

"Did you see his post?"

"I'm scared..."

On June 24th, 2016, these are the texts and messages I woke to - sent to me in response to a Facebook post indicating her passing. Hours of calling her house, her cell. Hours of messaging friends and old acquaintances. One phone call to clear it all up in five words.

On my best friend's birthday, I learned she had past away about five days prior. Four days later, I was at her wake. The day after, her funeral.

There I was on her birthday, the person everyone went to first because I was her best friend. Because I was supposed to have all the answers. What kind of best friend was I if I didn't even know that she had passed away? My last message from her was on May 28th, when she told me that she was being readmitted for treatment, that the cancer had spread, that she no longer had the strength to chat anymore, so I shouldn't bother for the next week or so.

A week was gone, I messaged. No answer.

Days passed. I messaged. No answer.

My birthday went by. No message.

People start texting me, asking me if I've heard from her. I respond that I've gotten nothing for weeks.

I call the hospital. She's in transfer. I call again. She's no longer listed.

Life is so short, so fleeting, that it could be gone in the blink of an eye.

"3 words in that text.
Did you hear. Did you hear. Did you hear.
Cause I don't understand
Read it again
Can't catch my breath
Turn off the news it must be wrong
This can't be true
Can't believe that you're gone
How can they say, you're where you belong
You should be here, and I shouldn't be singing this song"

In the days following I couldn't help but feel as if I let her down. I wasn't there the month before she passed, with the last time I saw her being May 21st for GOT7's concert. Throughout the next few months, regret weighed me down.

I should have gone on that New York trip with her. I should have spent more time with her when she was feeling down. I should have replied to her texts faster. I should have tried harder. I should've spent more time with her. I should've been with her in the hospital. I should have tried harder to reach her, to find her in those weeks of silence. I should have, I should have, I should have...

My heart was heavy, my mind was weighed down, and I kept falling back into that downward spiral.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

This was my mantra through the months. I even got a garbage poster that had this on it simply because it helped. I couldn't change what I did and didn't do. I couldn't go back and take away the cancer that stole her life. I couldn't change the fact that I never brought her to church, despite her interest in attending. I couldn't change the lack of the communication, the transfers, the way we found out.

But I should've had the courage to go see her parents. I should've had the courage to rampage through every hospital in the downtown core in order to find her. I should've had the courage to call earlier.

I would've hung out with her more if I didn't spend so much time with my boyfriend. I would've gone to New York if I didn't let my parents stop me. I would've invited her to my house if I had had the courage to ask. I would've told her more about me, about my life, about the secrets I kept, if I'd had the courage to share.

I guess wisdom is more simply knowing that the could've, should've, and would've's are all stones that weigh you down until you start drowning in your own self-hatred and regret.

"Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief" -Proverbs 14:13

Who am I to be happy? Who am I to deserve life? Who am I to have a future?

I'll tell you now - my counsellor had no clue. First off, she felt wrong - she obviously didn't care how my best friend's name was pronounced, nor did she really do anything except say, "Okay, mhmm, and you knew her for how long again?" I just wasn't feeling the love or care I expected to. So I left.

I ended up at this program called MATES that matches you with people who've had similar experiences and can give you advice with how to cope. It helped a little, and gave me a chance to just pour my heart out to someone who understood the need to just be raw and honest and sad.

I later went to CCF and poured my guts out to my brothers and sisters in Christ and one piece of comfort and wisdom stuck out to me:

"In breaking you down, God will build you back up. He gives strength to the weak. He will never allow you to face something that you cannot handle."

What could I face, then? I was able to face the loss of my grandfather, who passed away only one month before my best friend. I was able to survive her death. I was able to attend her wake, her burial, and still survive the months after. So what was killing me from within?

I didn't really need to ask myself because I already knew: regret.

Sure, I accepted that I couldn't change anything, but what can I do now with the cards I'd been dealt.

One thing I started doing was sharing more. When people asked how I was doing, I'd tell them straight up that I was feeling terrible. That life was sucking. That my heart was hurting. I shared my sins, I shared my regrets, I shared my grief. As time went on, the burden on my heart was becoming lighter.

In my weakness, I also helped to lift the burden that others felt. Somehow, my openness made other people more open. I learned so much about people during those months - it surprised me, but also broke my heart. Those who seemed to not have a care in the world were suffering from depression. Those who seemed faithful were losing heart in the church. Those who seemed strong were just as weak as I was.

There was not point in my facade. Sure, it made people more comfortable, and it made conversations a lot less awkward, but in knowing someone fully, in sharing their burdens, there was something in that that helped release me from my own.

"We're so sorry for you loss." -Everyone ever

My friend and I spoke to our school about getting our friend a posthumous degree. Yeah, it wouldn't do much for her now, but of all the things that were on her bucket list, finishing university had been on top. Passing away a year and eight credits shy of her graduation date, we wondered if it'd be possible.

After a lot of emails back and forth, some in person talks with the associate deans, a couple calls, and awkward introductions, we got it set up.

Which is why, a week ago, I walked across the stage once to accept my own degree, and then again to accept hers.

To be quite honest with you. It sucked. It sucked so much.

As I walked across that stage, it was like my heart and my world was crashing down around me all over again.

She was supposed to be there. She was supposed to be walking across that stage, getting her green hood, wearing a gown she'd complain cost way too much.

She was supposed to live.

Now here's the part that kicks me in the gut every single time I think about it.

After her death, we've seen her parents three or four times. I know they're lonely, and I know they're still hurting, so we try our best to keep them updated on our lives and to get them out of the house whenever we're in town.

During one of the meetings, her father told us about what she was like during the weeks before her passing. He said she wasn't really in pain, because of the morphine, so she slept a lot. She also spoke a lot. Not to her parents, but to her friends. Unintelligible, broken conversations with people who weren't there, who couldn't be there. She mentioned names, and events, both past and in the future - things we could look back on fondly, things that we'll all wish she were there for.

It simultaneously broke my heart and gave me some peace. Even though none of us knew, even though we couldn't be there with her, we were still there to her. We were good enough friends to her in life that she kept us with her, that she remembered us, that she needed us there with her in those final moments.

Even if I were there in her final moments, what could I have done. Would she have even known I was there? Her father's admission gave me peace in knowing that she knew she was loved, that I had been a good friend to her, that she didn't die alone.

As her birthday looms and her death date passes, I can't help but feel helpless again. I don't know what I can do for her anymore. That's not to say I won't still miss her (cause Lord knows she still crosses my mind daily), but I don't know what else I can do except live and be grateful to have been a part of her life.

Is this moving forward? I don't know. Honestly, I don't know where to go from here, but I'm taking every memory I have of her and cherishing them. I'll speak of her lots and remember her fondly, because she was a big part of my life and I miss her so so SO much each and every day...

Signing out for the last time,


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Figure Skating and Essays

Hey y'all, it's been a while, eh?

Lots of things have happened since I last posted. For one, the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, we weren't able to post anything about it this year, due to just work and school getting the way. However, can I just say that Yazuru Hanyu is like the most effortless skater I've seen in a while? AND THAT TESSA AND SCOTT SHOULD'VE GOTTEN GOLD /justsaying. Unlike the US team, Canada had emotions.

So. Perfect. -faints-

What I hope most for Yazuru is to win the World Championship. Patrick isn't there this year to beat him, so hopefully his long program will be kickass tonight.

HE WON ~ Probably the BEST year of his life - Olympic Gold Medalist and now World Champion *A* !

(And he's so cute with his Winnie the Pooh ! -flails-)

-awkward transition-

This term is going really well. I'm on my first work term, and I'm really enjoying it. While I wish the job itself had a little more variance, I can't complain. The tasks have been more steady than some of my co-worker's employment, so I guess it's help me remain sane.

I love the students I work with. Their enthusiasm all around has been great and I enjoy helping them with what they need. I haven't gotten rave reviews all around. I'm not all powerful or all knowing, and I can only teach things a certain way, and that may not be the way people would rather. However, overall I feel like this work term has really taught me a lot about myself and about the working world in general.

This term, I also learned that I really hate dress pants. And winter.

-rolls into another topic-

There are so many things I want to talk about so I'm going to go lightning round on them:

The World's Biggest Book Store is closing down in downtown Toronto. If you have a love for books, check it out before the place closes and is replaced by condos. At the moment, I believe everything's about 50% off, though that was two weeks ago that that discount is subject to change. The closing date is March 30, 2014. That's like TOMORROW, so GO NOW.

An airplane went missing a week or two ago, and still has yet to be found. While I do hope that they find it, and that everyone is safe, it seems like that chance is getting lower and lower. 15 or so countries, a world of technology, and we can't find a PLANE. Like c'mon guys. My sympathy goes out to all the families affected and all those who knew someone on that flight.

LA had an earthquake yesterday, while I don't know the details, I hope everyone's okay out there!

I got contacts, but I'm not loving them. Then again I really don't like the style of glasses frames these days, so I'm trying them out and hoping for the best.

Game of Thrones is coming back in a week. That should be exciting.

I have a work report due on Tuesday, and it is not fun.

Divergent came out, but I heard that it wasn't great, which kind of sucks.

I did hear that Vampire Academy's movie was good. As well as the LEGO movie.

Canada seems to be having an eternal winter. I've learned to hate snow, rain - precipitation in general. I miss the sun.

The YRT/VIVA is expensive. Then again, it's a lot prettier than the TTC.

I really like Super Junior M's new album, SWINGS. If you haven't heard it yet, check it out!

I'm currently reading an ARC of Kelley Armstrong's new book, Sea of Shadows, and I'm really enjoying it.

I will try to post more in the future.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

140 Job Applications Later...


Honestly, job hunting is not fun at all. Especially when all your friends managed to find jobs in 50 applications or less, and you're just sitting there, hoping that someone would at least interview you.

I applied to about 70 jobs before I got even one interview. Talk about being undesirable, eh? Unfortunately, the job interviews that I went for ended up either cancelling that job opening, or just didn't hire me. Aside from my school's co-op job search website, I also tried applying to some on Kijiji. Some showed interest, but were turned off by the fact that I'd only be working for 4 months. There were also some creepy people too.

Thankfully, I finally found a good government job. It sounds fancy, no? The building itself intimidates me at times. It's so beautiful, and nicely polished, and all you hear is the click-clack from business women in their heels.

Because I thought I wouldn't find a job, I actually signed up for an online course this co-op semester. With my luck, the course ends up having a fair amount of readings, and now that I found a job... I don't know if I can handle it. Plus, I can be such a lazy ass that I don't know if I'm up for reading after a long day at work. I say "long day" not because I'm worried about the actual work load I'll get, but because of coming home during rush-hour. I'll be working downtown, and coming back up on the subway around 5:30-6:00PM is not going to be fun.

Yesterday, I was saying that I'll miss being unemployed. As much as it sucked not working, I had the "freedom" to do nothing productive all day. I mean, as much as I love being productive, the feeling of lazing around and watching dramas just seems so much more appealing on cold Winter days.

Today though, my father has really pushed me to my limit. The entire month and a half I was home, he's been grumpier than before, and constantly yelling at me for the stupidest things. I don't want to be that disrespectful child that's constantly testing him, and I don't have the balls to ever talk back, so I've been holding it in. Honestly, it's the last straw, and I'm just to be able to go to work on Monday.


Job search and that aside, I've just been lazing around at home. Not much to really say, so here's some songs I've been really into recently:

I actually think "Missing You" is one of their best songs; easily my second favourite after "Ugly". The MV is so beautiful, and I really like CL and Minzy's singing in this!

Decide to give this song a try! A while back, I saw a ton of Jinyoung .gifs on Tumblr, so I decided to check out his drama "She is Wow". I started a month ago, and have yet to finish it. Not that it's bad, but I'm so easily distracted, that I have distractions for my distractions. He's so pretty, and so is this song!

I won't lie, and say that I came for Ailee. As much as I like her songs, I watched this MV for Lee Joon! Obviously though, I stayed for Ailee. The song's as beautiful as all her other ones!

I think it was B1A4 that performed this on one of the Gayo Daejuns or award ceremonies, but I heard this song being covered and had to find the original! It sounds so nice ;v;

A Vietnamese song! I don't think V-pop is as popular as any other pop music from Asian countries, and I've never really paid much attention to it. However, I really really love St. 319's dance covers, and so I listened to this song and dfhdsjfkds it did not disappoint! This song has been on replay for me for the longest time. If only I could sing along though;;

I have a lot of other songs I wanna talk about to, but I think this post is gonna get a bit too long!


利是逗來 hehe

- Dee

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

End of 2A

I never did come back with a post about my profs, so I'm going to do it now~

ENGL 200A (Survey of British Lit I)
I had Rebecca Tierney-Hynes as my prof for this course. She honestly made this course a lot of fun. She was extremely enthusiastic about British Lit, the authors, the works, and the history. My favourite class this term. While there was a lot of reading, this course was interesting. Every class kept my attention, and I was interested throughout the term. With Rebecca, there are mandatory tutorials as well, and I had Tommy Mayberry as my TA. Loved him too. Both of them provided interesting perspectives on British Lit, as well as literature analysis. Looked forward to the classes and tutorials throughout the year, and the evaluations were really straight-forward and it wasn't too hard to get a good mark. Because this is a required course for all English majors at UWaterloo, I'd definitely recommend that you try to get into Rebecca's class.

ENGL 251 (Critism I)
I had Paul Kreller again as my prof. Alike to his ENGL101A class, it was pretty straight forward, kind of bland, but fairly easy to do well. We had some group work for this course, but work mainly centered around 4 essays (all fairly short in length, save for the last one), plus attendance, and the exam. As always, he was a fun prof to have. I enjoy his classes, usually, though they can sometimes be a tad bit boring. I do hope to have him again, because I quite like him as a prof, but also in general, he's just genuinely kind. It's always a pleasure to have him as a prof.

PSYCH 230 (Psychology & Law)
I had John Rempel for this course. While it wasn't bad, it also wasn't great. There was A LOT of reading (this is coming from an English major, like honestly), and his classes just couldn't keep my attention. Definitely was not my favorite class. His multiple choice is pretty tricky, and he words things with double negatives and makes you just spin in a circle. His lectures were also just bland. He would have a vague powerpoint, which I'm generally cool with, but then he'd say a point, then repeat 4 or 5 times, with words that are vaguely different but not really, just so you could get bored really really fast. His voice also wasn't the most interesting or enthusiastic voice either, but that's besides the point. There are a lot of people who loved him, but I just couldn't.

ENGL 292 (Contemporary Issues in Language, Writing, and Rhetoric)
I had Nadine Gingrich for this class. I can honestly say, I didn't enjoy it that much. Maybe I'm bitter 'cause I didn't do that well throughout the term, but I just couldn't love this class. She was a very opinionated prof, and while that's not a bad thing, per say, she often didn't appreciate opinions that opposed her own, which I thouht was pretty closed minded, but moving on. Her tests and assignments are extremely vague, and she doesn't really give you any expectations. For the first test, we were told to analyze a quote using things we learned in class. She didn't tell us how she wanted us to analyze it, or how much she wanted us to go into it (it was an hour and twenty minute class). When I got the test back, she told me that I didn't meet the expectations she had for the midterm. But she didn't give us any. And then with the next midterm, she had us mark up an article beforehand, and then she was going to give us questions about the article and we had to use our notes and such to answer them. Instead of asking about the larger concepts, though, she touched ones that we barely talked about in class, and that the textbook touches on for maybe a paragraph. Everyone walked out of the room not really knowing what on earth we were asked. All in all, definitely not my favourite prof. While I didn't do bad in her class, I just wasn't happy with her method of teaching, nor her methods of evaluation.

CS 100 (Intro to Computer Applications)
I had Janice Brown (?) for this class, I think. Don't hurt me! I didn't skip! It was an online course and it was extremely simple when it came down to it. I actually did surprisingly well in it, and I enjoyed learning about HTML coding, Wikis, and Excel. A fairly elementary course, and I would recommend it to people who don't know much about the aforementioned programs, or even computers in general. The course also teaches you how to navigate through the computer (not that I needed that part, I mean I live on here, I definitely know how to open My Documents and make a folder). Interesting, not too labour intensive, and definitely applicable in the working world.

Those were all my courses for last term. Well, I had PD1 too, but that was boring, mandatory, and online. If you do co-op at UWaterloo, then you'll be forced to do PD1, and nothing I say or do will save you from that monotony. Anyways, choose your courses (and your profs) wisely, that's all I can say.

I shall post again soon about my first work term ~


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

EXO's Miracles in December

Hi, all! I've been MIA, I know, but it seems like this blog is doing well even without us constantly updating? Anyways, I'll join Alikiya later, and make a end-of-semester post talking about my courses and profs!

For now, I wanna talk about EXO's new mini-album that I've had on repeat for the past week or so.

Friday, 13 December 2013

It Is The End

Stars, this term went by extremely fast. Sorry we haven't been updating much... Well... I haven't been updating much. I meant to post like 45 times this term but I never did. Sorry !

Let's start from the beginning ! I was an o-week leader this year. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. If you don't know already, I'm in the Arts faculty at the University of Waterloo. I was a front-line leader, and by gods, I was raving about o-week last year, yet somehow this year was better.

As leaders, we helped with first-year move in. That was a crazy workout, and this year I'm planning on going to the gym everyday in the summer just so I can be less tired next year (but seriously, maybe like a sit up here and there (I'll never actually go to our gym 'cause it's far and summer term will be hot)). However, it was a lot of fun helping the first years get settled and move it, and it was great getting to see some of the people who were on our team too.

Throughout the week, we took shifts and we accompanied the first years for a bunch of activities (one of which got rained out to our dismay). There were giant jigsaw puzzles (which were a lot harder than they sound), capture the beanbag (which was a kind of unfair game in all honesty, but fun nonetheless), campus confessions, and learning the Arts dance. It was a tonne of fun. We also watch Single and Sexy, a campus created play that talks about issues students can have and the places they can go to help them with said problems, as well as a campus amazing race (which, again, got a little confusing here and there but was a lot of fun). We also took an aerial photo that did not turn out well (sorry guys, but it was really bad...) and I was a blackjack dealer during Monte Carlo (the people who sat at my table can attest to the fact that I suck at addition) and it was ... and interesting experience (read: I will be doing it again, but I might add addition drills to those supposed gym visits).

Aside from hanging with the first years and joining them for all the activities I met a lot of awesome people during o-week who made the experience all the more awesome. It's extremely cool to just be walking around campus and then suddenly see people you know. In the past four month, I've become really close with a group of people and I am so happy I met them ~

Since O-Week, I've mainly been in classes, doing work, derping on tumblr, or hanging out with my awesometastic roommates, Dee and G. Lee ~ I definitely liked living with these two this past term than I did with G. Lee and our other roommate last year. There are some people you can be friends with and live with and there are some people who are best left as friends. It's been a blast living with these two this year and I've love that I got to know these two better this year ~

Anways, I'll be back next week to talk about my awesome (and not so awesome) classes this term ~


Sunday, 29 September 2013

EXO Sasaeng Fans?

All photos are not mine. All we were from Tumblr/Google. Credit to owners.

TL;DR at bottom.

See, I normally never blog about K-Pop related controversies, or issues, but I just have a question that's just been nagging at me for a while, and it's especially relevant today.

How did you guys know Baekhyun's brother was getting married? And how did you find the marriage location/party? 

So normally, I don't really shit on sasaeng fans. Not because I support their actions; I really, truly do not condone it. It's generally because I'm someone who tends not to really care much about things that don't affect me. Call it self-centered, or whatever you may, but if it's not something I can solve because how am I supposed to really stop all the sasaeng fans out there? then I just don't really care/have an opinion about it.

Even now, with the current Baekhyun-wedding situation, I still don't have much strong opinions on it. I do have questions though. 


- I read on Tumblr that fans arrived before Baekhyun arrived. They were bugging a lot of guests at the wedding asking if/when Baekhyun and the rest of EXO were coming. And again I want to ask, how the hell did you find the damn reception center?!

[In reference to this post, I have even more questions.]

- So if you're a sasaeng fan, in definition, you're someone who is an "excessively obsessed Hallyu fan" and "extreme fans who stalk their idols and invade their privacy with questionable methods." So, basically someone who's crazy "in-love"/obsessed, right? So... can I have an explanation as to why punching someone's throat in hopes of damaging their vocal chords and ruining their career is showing love? Again, speechless. 

- Also, showering the front of the SM building with chrysanthemum flowers (flowers that are supposedly used traditionally for dead people) because Baekhyun ignored you? ... Really?

[In reference to this post, I have even more questions.]

- Does making your idols apologize/feel sorry for your wrongful actions make you happy? I, for one, would not want my idol to feel like they're a burden on my life, and vice versa. 

- To make people that generally seem good-natured, (I say "seem" because I don't personally know them, although I'd give up a lot to) spew out posts that seem so angry... do you feel some sort of power over them? Like "WOW, I HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TAO ANGRYZ"? Seriously though, what if he goes wushu on your ass? 
Seriously, I still care for you sasaeng fans.
Fair warning though, no?
Granted, he seems to fail a lot with his wushu moves on TV.

Now, what I'm about to say is just personal views, so don't feel the need to get all offended because you don't agree with what I'm gonna say:

1. To people who say that Tao shouldn't be such a sensitive ass about privacy since he gave up that right after he decided to become a famous, public figure: See, I agree with this to a certain degree. First of all, no one forfeits that right once they become a public figure. Privacy is privacy. You get less of it, yes. You absolutely should not have NONE of it, though. It's one thing to be photographed and followed on the sidewalks, or at the airports even. It's a totally different thing to be crashing a celebrity's relative's wedding. Some territories are too private, and there's a boundary that shouldn't be crossed. Now, if this was Baekhyun's wedding, it still would be inappropriate, but at least it's understandable, to say the least. But it's his brother's. 

Which goes to my second point...

2. I never understood people who can't seem to see things from the idol's point of view. Would you like it if someone crashed your relative's wedding because of you? Would you want to have to then go and apologize a bazillion times to the groom and bride? Would you then proceed to feel guilty, and incredibly ashamed of yourself for becoming an idol? Why, oh why, didn't you listen to your extremely conservative Asian parents and just become a damn accountant? Would you want to get punched in the throat?

And lastly...

3. How do sasaeng have time for this crap? God damn son, I have so much work due to do that I just want to cry in my mother's lap as she smothers me with love and food. How you gonna be out paying crazy amount for taxis to follow your oppa? I don't even have money for McDonalds sometimes.

TL;DR: In all seriousness though, if you have the resources, and time for school, do attend. I mean, following around your oppas and unnis aren't going to get your a job. And you're probably going to need a job for all that K-Pop merch, right? Privacy is privacy, no matter how much of it an idol has to give up. Think before you act.

- Your unni that needs to start working,