New Beginnings, New Opportunities

What a crazy, intense week it’s been for me! An emotional roller coaster ride, if I ever had one! Over the past couple months, I’d started to really want to be a Res Life Advisor for a floor in one of the first year residences. The more I saw how awesome my RA’s had been for encouraging growth, friendship and fun, the more I wanted to be just like them; I could already see myself in their shoes, thinking about what I would do, how I would act. I had my entire second year of university planned out. All I’d heard from all the RA’s I knew, and all my friends was how I was definitely going to get the job, and be a fantastic RA the coming year. I was pretty sure of that too, but I knew the hardest challenge would be getting past the resume– once they saw me in an interview, I was pretty sure I would get the job.

But, I didn’t get that far. To be honest, I really have no idea what went wrong here (warning, vent time): I was a leader of two retreats, I taught English to refugees in an inner-city school, directed a Totem One Act this fall, editor of my high school newspaper, and spent the entire application giving a very heartfelt (and very truthful) account of why I wanted to RA. It’s really hard to comprehend that I didn’t get past that, and it really shocked me– all everyone ever told me was how I was definitely going to get in. Now I was, for lack of a better term, stranded; the lack of an RA position also meant I would have to devise all new ways for living near  campus, since on campus housing is probably too expensive for me the coming year. I gotta say, it hurt, a lot, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to come back to UBC.

After a day of sleeping on it, I was hired by an amazing RA in my building to do a reading of a poem of mine, after she heard me perform at a previous event, for Night of a 1000 Drawings, an aids awareness night who’s theme was Second Chances. Second Chances, I like that. It seemed to fit that it was only a day after I found out about the rejected application, and I really took heart in the theme.

I am one of those annoying optimists that believes “everything happens for a reason”. This is definitely one of those times: something happens that’s so random and unexpected to me, so out of the blue, it couldn’t have just been a random chance. Now I’m obsessed with trying to find a meaning for this setback– a path I can take now that, in retrospect, will make me happy I didn’t get that RA position for second year. There’s already a couple opportunities: people are telling me I should start a poetry club (nice thought, already been done), and working on my writing will be a big thing for me in 2012; I can now apply to be a MUG Leader, since I know I will have time to do it with RA-ing not filling up my time, and I can really get involved in Campus-life that’s not tied down to ResLife. ResLIfe, after all, has a tendency to be somewhat insular: you can join other things, but it’s easiest to stay within Res. Now, I’ll be gladly forced to look at a bigger, University-Wide, picture. The Student Leadership Conference really inspired me, to make a difference. Back then, I thought it was to be an RA. And hey, maybe I’ll re-apply for 3rd year, and maybe I’ll actually get in, but maybe I’ll find a path now that actually will make me thank ResLife for turning down the application. It’s crazy, but hey, I’m an optimist.

Second chances, new beginnings, new opportunities. It’s scary, but, like on the first day of UBC in September, quite exhilarating.

Poem- The Essence of Life

Hey guys, just a poem I wrote over the break. It’s a rare one I actually like! lol. Let me know what you think!

The Essence of Life
What a thing it would be, to capture the Essence of life!
The rush of air on the mountain,
The revitalizing touch in the Ocean,
That feeling of free fall–
The air pushing past you,
The entire world opening up in a glimpse,
Becoming so wonderfully large,
And understandably small
At one

It comes in community;
Circling round a flame
Everyone, for once, sees the flame the same way
Everyone, once for, saves fighting for another day
And on the blackness of the beach,
The only sound–
Besides the sea’s incessant whispering–
Is the laughter
Of friends

It swoops into the heart of lovers
Enflaming their souls with a fiery, terrible passion
Giving one a glimpse of the other’s innermost soul:
Opening up past the hard outer shell,
Like an Oyster,
For seconds to see her inner pearl.
The lover could smile at the soft beauty of the stone,
Or could snatch it away, stealing her essence

It comes in the swaying of a forest,
The long and haunting cry of a wolf,
The glimpse of snow-capped mountains Oceanside,
The graceful swoop of an eagle,
Or the desperate cry of a newborn
The essence chooses opportune moments to light the darkest room
In the confines of a bomb siege,
At the end of the gloom
Or the edge of a bridge

But what an act it would be,
If I could harness the Essence of Life!
No title, award, or gift
Would be too great,
For the man who captured happiness in a bottle!

I could hook it up to a machine the size of Manhattan,
Build ropes and pulleys,
Ramps and rings
To show the other scientists
That I am King–
An empire formed
Out of a single machine

Once happiness is assured,
The people will be lured
Come in droves to the middle of nowhere–
A patch of desert, a plain of ice
It no longer matters;
For if happiness is trapped in a bottle,
Who needs the warm touch of a lover,
The laughter of friends,
Or the beauty of nature?

Then the people will come in pilgrimage,
Britain, Brazil and Nepal,
Lazy consumerists them all!
Buying five bottles now,
Ten next month,
Twenty the following spring,
A thousand the coming year,
Until my dominance over them
Has become painfully clear

No one leaves their homes anymore
They drink the golden bottle all day
Ignoring life outside, come what may
Only leaving to jump off that very bridge
The essence had saved them of a decade before.
The bottle of happiness,
Like a delectable candy,
Has rot their teeth,
And they can no longer taste the sweet joys of life.

In the city of the Golden Drink,
Nothing is golden
Everything is grey
In the land of eternal sunshine

And when they’ve all left by the bridge,
The essence is still in the machine;
Once so happy, childish and free,
Now an eternal slave to me.
Looking around at its metal tomb,
It takes one last haggard breath
Before disappearing forever;
the Earth’s most precious resource
Gone like the rest of its siblings–
All for the good of humanity

And so I am left in the world I forged
A shiny, crystal one where machines gorge
Empty of both humans and trees
Where I find nowhere to plant seeds
Nothing to rid me of this strife,
When I captured the essence of life.

Roommate, or Not?

Hey guys, this has been a ridiculously long time since my last blog post, but things were pretty crazy by the end of last semester for me. First off, of course, is exams, which in the end went actually quite well, but it didn’t stop me from turning into the Hermit that just about everyone does during that time. I noticed around then how crazy people seem to get– it’s one thing to not talk to your friends because you’re so busy, but it’s a totally different matter to steal someone’s laptop the moment they leave the room for the bathroom, or to steal someone’s purse when they left it at the back of the exam room, containing a blackberry and set of house keys. Both these horrible things happened to friends of mine, and I can’t help but wonder, why? Are you that desperate that you’re going to ruin one of your colleague’s lives? I’d like to think that exam time just makes people loopy, and that this isn’t a much, much, larger problem that face value.

Of course, I had my own issues during exam time, myself. I have two roommates in first year res, which can be a problem because, like with me and my two brothers, it seems one roommate is always working with one, and against the other. There have been dramatic moments before between us, involving slammed doors and accusations of theft, but things jumped into the higher gear in the last week of the semester, when both, without going into details, did things that no longer makes me feel safe in my room. So, suffice to say, I told Res Life as fast as I could, and got transferred to a single room. Already, writing this blog post in peace and quiet, I love it. I’m an extroverted person, so I was afraid that coming here would make me feel lonely, but I have lots of friends around Totem and Vanier that I can go to at any time, but I have the much coveted alone time to recharge my batteries and get some sleep– for once!

A roommate should be on the same terms as you, not finding the next way to pull a mean prank. I’m sorry that it had to turn out that way, and I’m going to be a lot more cautious in future years when finding apartments and whatnot, but hey, as my Mom said to me a couple days ago, “one day this is all gonna make a great book”.