Thank you, I love you, and god bless

Draft from October 7th, 2021

Recently I have been told by a Paris friend (Row ily) that I was "the only aupair with her shit so tightly together and super sure of herself at our young ages. No doubt at all you'll go where you want." 

And it's got me thinking. 

Go where you want, you'll go where you want. 

Not only is that an insanely nice compliment (one of the best I've ever gotten) but it caused me to reflect on what I want. What do I want? 

I mean career-wise, I want to be a fashion journalist and an actrice and go to gallery openings and fancy cocktail parties that I call "media appearances." Maybe if that doesn't work out I'll go to law school or write a memoir. 

But what I really want, at this exact moment, is to be reading a French book on a bench in Parc Monceau with absolutely no responsibilities besides enjoying the autumn day in Paris. 

I don't want my schoolwork and stupid sore throat. I just want to be an eighteen-year-old on a gap year again. 

So how do I move past this longing? 

I make everything into a game. My life is a chessboard and every move I make is striking down an obstacle that is blocking me from getting what I want. The white pawn takes the black pawn. The bishop advances. Sometimes, life fights back, and the opposing team takes a hit. The black castle takes the white knight. But when you look at your life from above, as an observer of the chessboard, you realize that it is all calculated and controlled. You are exactly where you're meant to be. 

So in short, you just have to fucking do the schoolwork and nurse the sore throat until you can function again. You're not aiming for a time when things are better. These are the better times. It's all a part of the whole. The game goes on and on, rematches and draws, wins and losses. You are existing as you are able to for yourself and for other people's dialogues. You exist in other people's minds and that's so cool and lovely to think about!!!! The right people are cheering you on. 

So cheer for yourself too xx. You'll go where you want. 

Posting update: March 22nd, 2022 

This draft reminded me of a time a couple weeks ago when I was driving to school and I almost had to pull the car over because of how happy I was. I was shedding happy tears and I instantly thought of the book "The Cellist of Sarajevo" I read in grade 11 English honours. The main character, Arrow, has a scene like my own: 

"Ten years ago, when she was eighteen and was not called Arrow, she borrowed her father's car and drove to the countryside to visit friends. It was a bright, clear day, and the car felt alive to her, as though the way she and the car moved together was a sort of destiny, and everything was happening exactly as it ought to. As she rounded a corner one of her favourite songs came on the radio, and sunlight filtered through the trees the way it does with lace curtains, reminding her of her grand-mother, and tears began to slide down her cheeks. Not for her grandmother, who was then still very much among the living, but because she felt an enveloping happiness to be alive, a joy made stronger by the certainty that someday it would all come to an end. It overwhelmed her, made her pull the car to the side of the road. Afterward she felt a little foolish, and never spoke to anyone about it" (Galloway, 2009). 

And I don't know maybe it's stupid. But reading it back where she alludes to her grandmother passing, with my grandfather just passing in January, seems a little too close to home. I'm not one for believing in the universe, truly. I think the bad and the good come and there is nothing we can do to change what's coming. But this- I took this as a sign from my nanu. That although I hate to admit I struggle to remember a time when he didn't have dementia and spoke insightfully about politics and the world, or when he could recall where I went to school and why I was in Paris, I think he was trying to tell me to enjoy the present. Enjoy it so much that sometimes you have to cry of joy in your car on a sunny day speeding through Pacific Spirit Park. Maybe the Hindu God that he believed in was with me that day. 

Today, I teared up driving past the YMCA downtown, knowing that is where he first worked when he immigrated to Canada. My emotions are like this: briefly but instantaneously upsetting, or a numb dull pain that sits like a storm cloud above my head, usually passing after a couple days. They both go equally unexpressed and they are terrible ways of dealing with grief, but it's what I know, and I don't see these mannerisms changing anytime soon. For now, all I can remember is this- "thank-you, I love you, and God bless." 

Words my Nanu lived by, and even if you're agnostic like me, words I think we all can agree to in some capacity. 

Also, stomping your feet up the stairs does help you feel better. 


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