New Road, New Journey

“Starting today, I need to forget what’s gone. Appreciate what still remains and look forward to what’s coming next.”

Every one of us is going through a difficult time right now, and our stories of brokenness may vary quite a bit. However, one concept that unites all of our broken hearts is that of optimism. So many people, including myself, focus on the negatives of our situation, re-living past nightmares and fumbling over emotions of anger and frustration. Due to this, we fail to understand that these emotions are actually doing us more bad than good – they do not help us move forward.

Yesterday, I made a probable life-changing decision to look beyond my past and to move forward.
A  f r e s h  b e g i n n i n g.
No more pondering about who’s hurt me, who’s left me, what’s happened, or any other negative thinking.
Instead, I am training myself to ignore my current circumstances. I am becoming more hopeful and faithful that this hardship is just temporary and that I will conquer it.
It has only been 2 days since I’ve started on this new ‘journey,’ yet this attitude of positivity and self-love actually made me break into a song this morning. Without my knowledge, I was singing “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield – a song about breaking free and independence. When I realized that I was singing this song, I almost wanted to shriek in utter shock and joy.
It is then that I realized how much of an impact 2 days of a ‘new day, new me’ attitude has had on me.

It took me many days of tears and loneliness to finally decide that I was no longer going to continue trekking on a beaten-up road, rekindling negative emotions and thoughts.
I am now on the pursuit of happiness. Though it may be a long road, I am confident that I will finally become whom I always dreamt of being – strong, peaceful, and h a p p y.

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

“It’s raining cats and dogs.”

This popular idiom is often used to refer to a rainy weather, where the raindrops pouring from up above provide the city’s pedestrians with a unique shower experience.

However, seeing as how Mother Nature is presently gifting Montreal with approximately 45 centimetres of snow, I believe one would now describe the city’s weather as “It’s snowing cats and dogs.”

Yesterday night, I was mentally and physically prepared to face the snowstorm that would hit our city the next day. Everyone had warned me: “Bundle up,” “Dress well,” “Just stay home,” “Don’t drive around,” and all the other warnings that implied the same message: Stay warm and just sleep in. Nevertheless, as I woke up today morning, I couldn’t help but gasp as I looked out my bedroom window.

Snow.

Snow everywhere.

I couldn’t even see the colourful tops of cars that were parked on the streets, the tree branches weren’t visible and the sidewalks were incognito. I stared some more out my window, and a revelation dawned upon me.

Yes, this snowstorm is harsh. Yet, its harshness is overshadowed by the majesty and innocence it portrays through its pure white composition. The snow blankets the entire city smoothly with its crystal white granules, covering every nook and corner of every alley and road. Though its grace is undeniable, it succeeds by suppressing the population from going about their daily lives. This snow was beautiful, yet sly. A dangerous combination.

Though the snow’s immeasurable beauty caught my attention in the beginning, I hate to admit that its elegance slowly withered away from my mind as I started to wonder how I would leave the house. I picked up my phone, ready to cancel the plans I had made for the day, but then I stalled. I suddenly realized that this is what the magic of winter is all about.

I started to reminisce about my childhood winters. Born in Montreal, most of those unforgettable, joyous memories include school cancellations due to severe snowstorms and creating snow angels in heaps of snow that reached my knees. Moreover, I can still vividly remember the severe ice storm of 1998 that affected multiple provinces of Canada, even bordering along some states of the U.S.A. Of course, how can I forget the bulky, multicoloured snowsuits I had to wear during the winter? Unfortunately, for the past one or two years, Montreal’s winters have not been as glamorous as they used to be: A couple of centimetres of snow here and there, followed by short periods of freezing rain and hail. Consequently, I noticed fewer snowmen being built in my neighbourhood, fewer snow angels being drawn out in the snow, and fewer school cancellations.

But today, our outlook of this year’s winter season has changed. It’s the winter that us Montrealers know of and are accustomed to. The fact that Montreal is deeply blanketed in snow is what clearly defines the city.

As I stepped outside to go about my day, I saw people helping others by pushing their cars that were stuck in the snow, a man helping a woman who had just slipped, and many more generous acts. This really touched my heart: To see that snow can unite Montreal’s population is definitely worthy of mention.

To be honest, I’m glad I get to experience what the real deal is when it comes to living in Montreal during the winter season.

I can only hope that our kids get to experience what we’ve seen, and understand how something simple as snow can trigger kindness amongst our population like a ripple effect.

Let it snow!

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GALLERY

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Another New Day, Another New Year

It’s that time of year again.

Not Christmas.

Well, yes Christmas is right around the corner – in fact, there are only 6 days left! However, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. As we near the end of the year of 2012, we are all bound to ask ourselves the very well-known question “It’s December already?!”, followed by a bunch of sighs and groans and the infamous “time flies by fast” phrase.

However, not only is this the time of the year when we’re busily Christmas shopping for our loved ones as the cold wind blows by, but what’s really special is this – It’s the time when we reflect upon the year that has passed by.

We reflect upon the year that has passed so blissfully before our eyes; hours turned into days, which turned into months. They all passed by so fast like how we would hurriedly flip through the many pages of an encyclopedia.

As I’m typing this, I remember the New Year’s resolutions I made, the new friends I met, and the few friends I lost. I’ve lost some stuff along the way, while gaining invaluable experience and lifelong lessons. I also remember the days spent moping around, feeling moody, and the days when everything was so perfect I didn’t want the feeling to fade away. I remember the amazing opportunities that came by me, as well as the sacrifices I had to make. I remember the deep, amazing conversations I’ve had with my loved ones, and the arguments I got into as well. All in all, yes, life does come with ups and downs. I wish I could be the type of young woman who would not let anything negative get to her – but I’m not (trying though). In fact, I think we’re all programmed to at least care a bit when life gives us a little jab in the back.

Though we are prone to have our hearts ache a bit when pain strikes us, I believe our reaction is what differentiates each and every one of us. In other words, do you want to dwell on the pain, or would you like to brush your knees, get up from the pit, and move on? 

I honestly believe everything happens for a reason. So, you’ve lost something that was meaningful to you? Give thanks and move on.

If you don’t and you’re still sitting in that pit of despair, then you won’t see the great opportunities that come looming over you nor the people who want to be a part of your life. This brings us to another realization: we, ourselves, are one of the main reasons why good things take a long time to come by. Some of us, including myself, are so focused on the negative, that unfortunately, we ignorantly miss all the great chances and people we could be happy with. Hence, it’s only when we do shift our eyes from the pit to the sky, that we begin to see ‘the good.’

So, concerning this year of 2012, I’m reminding myself that it’s not just ‘another year that has passed by.’ It’s a year during which I’ve lost some and gained much, making me that much more wiser and happier.

Bring it, 2013