Thursday, December 11, 2008

Courage and wishes

There comes a time in everyone's life when she has to muster up all the courage she has -- no, more than she knows she has -- and do or say something because she cannot possible imagine continuing on otherwise. Well, I've done one such thing a few days ago. And now? I don't exactly wish to undo what I've done, or to take back what I've said, but I came away no wiser, and ended up more than a little embarrassed. Isn't courage supposed to make me fly high, give me clarity, free me from fear and regret?

The year is drawing quickly to a close. I marvel at the changes that have taken place in these past twelve months. The girl sitting at her computer typing up the last blog-post of last year was not the same person as the one typing here now. That girl twelve months ago was so full of hurt, and this girl here now has found a peace, albeit a restless peace. I always like using the end of the year as a time to plant my feet firmly on the ground, to reflect upon my growth, and to look forward to the future -- hence forcing myself to be brave.

Furthermore, I've begun reaching out to people I had previously left contentedly as casual acquaintances to call up or write to every year or two. I was looking at photographs on my old laptop computer, seeing if there were any more remnants I should transfer over to my new computer. There, I found photos of a fishing trip in late spring up in Inuvik, on a brilliant day three and a half years ago. I was with a few dear friends, one of whom is no longer with us. It was sweet to remember his laughter, his boldness, his caring, his love. Those photos made me see the importance of reaching out in spite of our self-absorption, all the more because of it.

I tried hunting for a friend I had made up in Inuvik. She had moved away over two years ago, and for some unbeknownst reason, we had lost touch. I tried e-mailing her, but the e-mail bounced back, indicating that she had moved elsewhere. I Googled her last night, and discovered that she was doing research in the wilds of Eastern Canada, living the dream she had once described to me. The pang inside my heart at not having been in contact with her as she forged her way these past few years was unbearable. I was able to find a new e-mail address for her, and hope that my note found its way to her, two years too late. My heart wishes that it's true what people say, that it's better late than never.

This afternoon, the university issued a warning that exams this weekend might have to be rescheduled due to impending snowfall. The Simon Fraser campus is particularly susceptible to wintry conditions because of the winding, steep roads that lead to the mountain-top site. I don't want the exams to be rescheduled. I want everything done, so I can fly off to my vacation and not have thoughts of exams hanging over me -- because if my last two exams need to be rescheduled, chances are I won't be able to complete them before I leave on Monday. I would have to make them up in the new year.

I'll be in Edmonton en route to the Dominican Republic. I want to go skating on a frozen pond. I've never done that before. I want to feel myself glide under a velvety, starry night sky, to feel the crisp air on my cheeks. That's what I want for Christmas.

I'm going to leave you with a photograph of the downtown library, my "home" this past week and a half, where most of my studying, thinking, and self-reflection has taken place.

1 comment:

  1. I hope the last of your exams are able to proceed on schedule!

    I can't wait to hear more about your upcoming visit to the Dominican Republic! You always pack so much travel and adventure into your vacation times! (Some day you ought to visit Bolivar...we are just a two hour jaunt from an interesting tourist attraction, Branson, Missouri. Branson has been described as Las Vegas without alcohol or gambling or anything rated raunchier than "G"...that pretty much DOES sum it up! It is a strange but oddly compelling aberration in the gently rolling, heavily forested Ozark mountains. Grant and I liked it a lot better 30 years ago before it became such a tourist destination. It is kind of sad, the way they keep dynamiting out more and more of the mountains to make yet another highway or another shopping of these days, there will be no trees left and the very thing that made it such a picturesque destination will be swallowed up in the neon lights and glitter. One thing I can say about Branson is it is unique.)