When Paths Diverge

BY RACHEL WONG

Routine makes life so easy. We become so set in our ways that sometimes it’s hard to let go, especially when we decide to go one direction and life pulls us the opposite way.

When it comes to friendships and growing up, it took me a long time to really understandparting-ways the obvious – that we all grow, and when we grow, we change. We are exposed to the world everyday and we learn so many new things. We meet new people and engage in new opportunities. All of these experiences shape who we are, and ultimately, we find like-minded people to spend time with along the way. Spending time with those who are similar to you can put you at ease – it feels natural to open up to people that you can relate to. But when friends inevitably change and paths no longer align, it can take a while to realize that it might just be time to part ways.

. . .

Alicia* and I were inseparable. It’s hazy in my mind now how we even got to being friends, but we have known each other since we were 6 and we have stayed friends ever since. Like most friendships do, ours had its ups and our downs, and we were there for each other during times of both triumph and sadness. We were the kind of friends that talked all the time about the future and what our lives would look like together: we’d be each other’s maid of honor at our weddings, we’d get matching SUVs and we’d alternate hosting play dates for our children during the day.

It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but despite reality eventually hitting us, we made it – sort of.

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Lessons From Closure

BY RACHEL WONG

When I broke up with Adam* after a failing relationship that lasted six months, I was finally free from all kinds of unhappiness. Admittedly, I had fallen in love with Adam very quickly – one minute we were talking for the first time, the next minute we were holding hands. Soon after we were meeting the families and stealing kisses from each other.

Our relationship started before we knew it and unraveled just as quickly. Though we would 051af58265dd8457690008cfc3ed3652449423-wm.jpgsee each other on a regular basis, he would always avoid talking to me. He was always too busy to hang out, never comforted me in my time of need and did not want to be seen with me when his friends were around. I couldn’t understand why he was acting this way, especially when a few weeks beforehand he was calling me “the best thing that had ever happened to him” and “his beautiful girlfriend.”

Now, almost two years after we parted ways, we seem to be on amicable terms. But over the two years, I never had closure. I never understood why he broke up with me. What did I do? Did I say something, or do something? Did he fall in love with someone else? Was I not pretty enough, skinny enough, good enough?

Recently I worked up the courage to ask Adam why he acted the way he did towards me during our supposed relationship. His answer was simple – “I just fell out of love with you.”Though he apologized profusely for leading me on and not owning up to his feelings towards me sooner, it led me to two conclusions.

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To Make Up, or Not To Make Up

BY RACHEL WONG

Based on my experience, girls in general tend to be a little more concerned with their appearance and self-presentation. From their hair red-carpet-makeup.jpgto their clothes, make up to accessories, everything is meticulously planned and coordinated with the intention of showing off the best version of themselves.

I am no stranger to spending great lengths of time with my makeup, trying and re-trying outfits and making sure that everything looks just right. But when it comes to my motivation for trying to looking great, it is always for myself. I wear certain clothes and do my makeup a certain way for me, and not for anyone else.

I bring this up because I was confronted with this the other day. As I fixed my eyeliner in the school washroom, a girl that I would call an acquaintance asked me who I was trying to impress. She knew fully well that I am currently single, and in a very serious voice, she asked me if I was going out on a date, or if I was trying to pick someone up.

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My Struggle with the Freshman 15

BY RACHEL WONG

This semester, I exposed myself – quite literally – in one of the most personal pieces that I have ever written for my student paper. The paper is circulated widely throughout each of Simon Fraser University’s three campuses, and has a massive online presence as well. In the article, I came clean about my unhealthy struggles trying to avoid putting on weight in my first year of college. As post-secondary students, we always joke around about the infamous freshman 15 – pigging out to no end and having a terrible time managing our weight due to stress eating and a lack of time to cook or do adequate exercise. Though the term is often used lightly, in my case, the freshman 15 was ultimately what pushed me to developing an eating disorder. 400300p2999ednmain1840avoid-the-freshman-15.jpg

I was never really happy with my body at any point in my life. Looking at old photo albums would make me cringe at terrible fashion choices, chubby cheeks and a core section that I didn’t hide very well. Puberty was good to me I guess, as I had stretched out (and have since stopped at the ginormous height of 5’2″), gained some pretty reasonable sized breasts, and developed somewhat nice hips.

But I lamented day and night that I wasn’t skinny enough. This was my struggle all throughout high school – I wanted to be skinny, but I didn’t want to give up my eating habits or my relationship with the couch and the TV. My only real activity was gym class and running late to class.

Then senior year rolled around, and I reminded myself that at the end of it all, I had to be in front of all my peers in some sexy dress that made me look like a princess. So at the beginning of my senior year, I made it my goal to slim down by any means – even if it meant cutting back on some junk food, eating more healthy meals and actually taking physical activity seriously.

Throughout high school I had fluctuated between 110 and 120 pounds. By the night of my graduation, I was 105 pounds. 18 years old, 5’2″, and 105 pounds.

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When It’s Time to Walk Away

BY RACHEL WONG

Of all the relationships I’ve been in and the breakups that have followed, one in particular stands out as leaving the deepest scar.

Adrian* was everything that I had wanted in a guy: he was driven, motivated, intelligent,heart funny, and accepting of my flaws. But from previous relationships, I had learned a lot about myself and what I wanted, and the biggest lesson that stuck with me was to take things slow.

Both Adrian and I vocalized this concern to each other. We promised that we wouldn’t rush into anything because we wanted to take the time to get to know each other well before things got serious.

Needless to say, that didn’t end up happening. We both got caught up in the relationship quickly, falling head over heels before we could even remind ourselves of the agreement we had made to each other. I trusted him with my deepest and darkest secrets, and I was so certain that he was the one for me. We even made plans about our future together, from where we would study after high school to what countries we would visit once we saved enough money.

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