Hello life ... long time no see

A week ago I thought I’d be writing two more of these signed editorials next year. Now I know this will be my last one, and I’m sad and scared and a little bit angry. But I’m also excited because I’m going to have time to live, something that’s been sorely lacking in my life lately.

Not a day has gone by in the last month that I haven’t uttered the words “I hate my life.” And this isn’t a new thing—I’ve been unhappy most of the past year. The essays have accumulated faster than snow on a Ghetto sidewalk, I’ve crammed too much into each day, and I’ve taken on things I didn’t really want to do.

I’ve tried escapism. I ditched life for a week at the end of October and dashed off to Cuba with my mom for some much-needed R&R. But I was so stressed about all the things I wasn’t doing and all the work piling up that I couldn’t completely relax. Not that I’d take it back—it saved me from a nervous breakdown.

I’ve also tried the “just get through this year and the next will be better” mind game. Hell, lots of students say that at this time of year. But the thing is, next year generally isn’t better because we never learn from the mistakes we’ve made. Instead of demanding happiness and enjoying life, we settle all over again and we become even more miserable.

That I’ve switched my concentration each of my four years at Queen’s—and I’m gearing up to switch it again as I head into my fifth year—is a clear indication I’m dissatisfied with the cookie-cutter degree Queen’s offers. Still, there are things I love about being here, and they offset the bad. Queen’s and I have a great love-hate relationship going and there are few places I’d rather be right now.

As I searched my soul for answers to the restlessness and anxiety I’ve been feeling, I discovered it wasn’t particularly what I was doing that was so frustrating; it was what I wasn’t doing. I discovered I haven’t really been living at all. And I want to live, I want to wake up. I want to go back to living my life according to the things that truly make me happy.

So I’ve started having coffee with friends I’d lost touch with. I’ve been listening to music non-stop and I’ve even started singing aloud as I walk down the street (if you’ve ever heard me, I’m very sorry, but please just indulge me).

I’ve got a running list of books I’ve been dreaming of reading as I lounge back on my bed with the window open, the sounds of life intruding on the fantasy every so often. And movies—I have so many movies to watch.

There are meals to cook as I dance around the kitchen to blaring music. I have long meandering walks to take, window shopping to do and food to share with friends at our favourite restaurants. I have shoes to wear out and places to discover.

I have a life waiting for me and I’m not going to let school or work or anything else get in the way of it anymore. Life, here I come. You’d better be ready.

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