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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The Real Thing

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

When you’re heartbroken, people say that one day you are going to meet someone who will show you why it didn’t work out with anybody else.

And I’m happy to say that I think I found that, at least in a way.

I’ve mentioned before that I was with someone for three months who was also in a serious relationship at the same time.

I didn’t mention how great OUR relationship was. But yeah, I admit it – it was short, but it was great. And I don’t regret it. Morality aside, it gave me something that I needed, which was a picture of what I want my relationships to look like.

I’m okay with this situation ending the way that it did as long as something good comes of it. For him I hope that this helped him to figure out what he really wants and go after that with 110% of his efforts, and have the courage to move on if it doesn’t work out. And for me I want it to be that I never forget this. So here are my favourite things that happened, so that I have a record of it on this blog that is supposed to be the story of my life. Continue reading

Merry Christmas To Yourself

BY BRANDON MINIA

Sad gingerbread manJoy to the world? Not for everyone.

There’s enough pressure as it is to be 100% on your game no matter what you’re dealing with throughout the year. The fact that there’s one day (and for some people, many days) where you have to be 150% for the sake of family and friends and peace on earth and mercy mild can be incredibly stressful.

There’s enough advice out there on how to achieve that “total peace” for the holidays, but for a large number of people, this isn’t always possible. What if you, unlike the rest of the world, don’t have a reason to celebrate the holidays this year?

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Creatures of Habit

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

I’m a sucker for life’s most clichéd experiences. I love sweet sixteens, frosh weeks, and of course, New Year’s Eve because these cultural events rightly signify that we should recognize and celebrate our milestones.

I think the fact that we celebrate these milestones as vigorously as we do speaks to a larger theme, which is that humans are creatures of habit. There are a lot of things that we do primarily because we always have. This can be a positive thing, like celebrating New Year’s with people we care about, for instance, or saying thank you to the streetcar driver even though he is just doing his job. Good habits stick, but bad habits are oftentimes stickier. Continue reading

When I Was the Christmas Fairy

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

Originally published on Healthy Minds Canada and Tumblr in December 2014

Ah, the holidays.

For some it’s the best time of the year; for others it’s their worst nightmare. It’s more than just the crowded stores, long lines, and expenses of gifts and parties. It’s judgmental family members, people you haven’t seen in a year (or longer), memories of holidays past, and the feeling of being alone if you’re one of the few who don’t have any of those things to worry about. For some of us, the coming of the holiday season just means we start holding our breath, trying to brace ourselves for what we believe is to come.

I’ve become one of those people, but I remember what it felt like to have holiday spirit. I used to call myself the Christmas Fairy. What I remember most is the ability that I had to make other people feel better, if only for a few moments. Genuine enthusiasm and joy is infectious, and at its core the holiday season is really about showing your appreciation for others. Continue reading