End of a Chapter, Start of a New (Reprise)

It is so hard to accept sometimes.

Trapped in the thoughts of what could be’s and what should be’s, we lose sight that there’s a bigger plan set forth.

However, it is only a matter of time before we figure out that everything is a precise piece in a large puzzle.

Every event that happens, every person we meet, every lesson learned are perfectly calculated to total to a sum that we have never imagined.  In reality, there will be an infinite amount of pieces that we will come across within our lifetime, but ultimately we make the most important decision: which pieces are worth keeping?

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Make Every Moment Count

Recent realizations has led me to discover something important: time is too valuable to go to waste.
A bit cliché, yes.  Nevertheless, it’s true.
It is a common habit for people to overthink too much; to dwell on what “could be” (trust me, I’m notorious for this).  Why waste time and energy towards things that are beyond our control?  The time spent contemplating on sufficing our worries by worrying when in reality we do not have much power over such puts an unbearable- not to mention, unnecessary- burden on our shoulders.

What then do we do?

Relax.  You can only do so much.  Let the story unfold the way it was intended to.  Don’t try to connect lines that were parallel in the first place.  If it was meant to be, trust that it will come in time.  If not, then not.  Don’t be mistaken- it’s easier said than done.  But by learning to trust in the author of our stories, we let ourselves see the big picture reveal itself to us- much bigger than we could ever imagine.

Permanent Ink

My love of pens have been around ever since I learned how to write.  Growing up, I seldom used pencils except when it was absolutely necessary to do so (drawing, math).  I would use pens, regardless of how many times I would have to cross out mistakes, or, as I became older, used correction tape.  In terms of my preference, I liked 0.7 mm over 0.5 mm because I wanted my work to leave a mark- literally and metaphorically.

Quite reflective of the weather of the past few days here in Vancouver, this week has been long and dreary.  I felt as if I was slugging myself through, and somewhat felt hopeless.  I just wanted to retreat into a place where I can just rest for a while.  Thankfully, this school week was only four days, as the teachers have their Professional Development today.  That enlightened me to a great extent.  On Wednesday, however, the power outage that affected several areas in the Lower Mainland had also inflicted my school; thus, classes were cancelled that day.  As my brother and I waited for this news, which was not announced until about 9 AM, I came downstairs as my parents ate breakfast.  The TV was mere background noise as I pled for school to be closed- I wanted to avoid a presentation of a theoretical bill for socials class.  Suddenly, my ears propped up to the news of a shooting in Ottawa at Parliament Hill.  At the time, I did not understand what was happening- all I heard was a soldier gunned down at point-blank. I mistakenly thought he survived his attack then just kind of shrugged it off.  Of course, this was not the case, and I learned the details of this saddening event the day after his death- after his family lost a son, a husband, and a father.

It’s both fascinating and disappointing how many times we fail to recognize the value of our lives.  Caught up in our challenges and whatever we may lack, we become ignorant to the fact that we only have a set amount of pages in our books. I am inspired by the two selfless men who have died with honour in what they did and how they cared for those around them; two men who wrote their story in permanent ink with a 0.7 mm pen, who made a mark not only in their own life but in the lives of others.

They provided me with an inspiration to continue writing my own story.

A story worth telling.

Thoughts and prayers to the families of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.  Thank you for your love of serving the country.  May you both rest in peace.

Looking Into the Water

It’s so interesting.
A lot of us wish, dream, and pray for certain things to come true. When it is finally in front of us, however, we do one of two things: either we accept it and feel the reward of being persistent or we fail to recognize it either because we’re just oblivious or we’re too scared. We’re too afraid to trust reality because the commonality between dreams coming true and life is usually mere wishful-thinking; we fear it is too good to be true. And it’s true- sometimes it is too good to be true.
Sometimes, though, it’s not only too good.
It’s also real.

Who Are You

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As you can see, I am successfully progressing through my homework.

It’s only the second week of school and I can slowly feel the tug of the strong pull that is Grade 11 (pun intended).  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I think it’s more of anxiety of the fact that I’m not the thirteen year-old high school freshman I used to be. I think it’s being faced with the responsibility of answering the million-dollar question.

Who am I?

Last week near the end of my second physics class of the year, my teacher gave us the aforementioned sheet of paper; questioning what career we are interested in that requires the knowledge of physics. Before the end of the summer, I suddenly became fascinated by computer science. The idea of studying the infinite possibilities of such technology came to me like an epiphany; I’ve never considered pursuing such area of study, but the idea came out of the blue. And so, given this unexpected burst of interest, I was about to put down computer programmer as the answer.

But I was stopped midway.

I was struck with an inevitable question: is this who I really am?

I don’t know.

I know I’m overanalyzing what is seemingly an easy sheet of homework, but I couldn’t help but think.

In English, my class was given an excerpt from an article to analyze and understand. Derrick Jensen, the author of the piece, posed a somewhat disturbing proposition; that we, as the humans of modern society, are educated and raised to be ambitious “automata”; programmed for the mere consumption of everything; that we’ve lost sight of “who we are”, of our purpose in life. He said that in such an industrialized world, the “most revolutionary thing can do is follow our hearts”.

I guess you can say I’m internally conflicted.

I don’t know what my heart is saying.

Who am I to be?

A good friend told me that you are not limited to one option. You can be a singing doctor, an athlete with a psychology degree, whoever you desire to be. And though I am providing academic examples, I know the definition of self lies not within a university degree.

Though I do not know the exact career path I want to follow, I know that I want to be someone that will impact the world not for selfish gain, but in order to revolutionize the modern philosophy – that we are more than mindless, self-seeking robots – through my works.

Now I just have to look inside and find who is it that I want to be.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Basically sums up everyone’s mood.

As obvious as it is, today is September 2. With many starting their first day back in school (with the exception of those under the public school system and afflicted by the recent turn of events), or first day at a new one, it’s hard to say goodbye to summer. It always is. But I have to admit; this year’s summer has been the best one yet.

I have always been plagued with idle summers. I was always at home, unless the family went out somewhere, but not too far. I’m the type of person who likes variety and adventure, and although I enjoyed going on the piano and trying to write songs, doing that for the two-month break was quite monotonous. This year, however, I was busy- the only period of rest I really had was the Labour Day weekend. I learned a lot this summer through my experiences. I went outside my comfort zone, that’s for sure- from accompanying myself on the piano while singing; teaching kids the enjoyment of singing, to discovering and rediscovering friendships. Heck, I went on five decent rides at the PNE and didn’t make a mess, considering I rode some pretty fast rides. This summer, there were tears (which may or may not be from the rides) and sacrifices, but no regrets. The amount of laughter and love is just too much to long for anything else. Additionally, I was taught a handful of lessons as well, from being humble to appreciating every moment.

Though I wish I could have spent more times with friends, I wouldn’t change a thing. Last summer, I told myself that the following would be ever more productive. And so it happened. I’m truly grateful of the priceless moments of this summer.

It’ll be a change to go back to the ol’ 6 AM wake-up call, but I just had a refreshing break.

Cheers to the new chapter ahead.

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A Teaching/Learning Experience

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This summer, I had the privilege of teaching voice at the piano studio I had been going to for several years.  The idea came to be when I asked my piano teacher if I could help out in the studio, as I did not have a job around that time (I landed on one a few weeks after my inquiry).  My teacher then proposed the idea of teaching voice, which at first I was thrilled about. When it suddenly started to go full force, organizing the lesson dates and establishing the lesson plans, I started getting nervous.

First of all, I did not know how I was going to teach vocal techniques to little children. The techniques I use in singing come out naturally, and I did not really know how to articulate that to my students. I was filled with apprehension right before each lesson. I started to doubt myself if I was making the lessons worth how much they cost; if what I was teaching would make a lasting impression on the kids. As someone who has taken vocal lessons before, I could well say that I trusted my teachers into showing me ways on how to improve my vocal ability.

Nonetheless, the kids returned each week with their enthusiasm and dedication. I was inspired.

They put their trust in me, and I had to do my part.

I had to trust myself.

Trust that I have had the experience to share to the children.  And so I did. 

Earlier this evening, the studio hosted a recital to end off the summer vocal program. Initially, I was supposed to teach until this Wednesday (as I was supposed to teach every Wednesday from July to August), but due to a scheduling conflict I am unable to do so. Tonight was a huge success! Though I wish some things could have been better, seeing the kids go out of their comfort zone was truly rewarding. I actually sang with probably the most timid student I had, when initially she didn’t want to perform this evening. But because I promised to sing with her, she trusted me and went onstage, and killed it, too!!!

I’m glad to have inspired the young ones in their musical journey.

But I’m also glad that they have inspired me, too; and in more ways than one.