Sometimes I go out, but it never feels the same 
I still look for you

– Some Things Never Change

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Still slipping

I’m still not over you.

It’s funny because the thought of you always comes up in my mind at least twice a day, but I know that we will never happen again, at least not in a few years. Baking pasta, looking up at the stars while lying down on my bed, walking through the perilous Hamilton night knowing that I was safe with you, talking about essentially nothing for hours – I have never hated these simple activities until now.

You broke me when I thought I was unbreakable. You broke me at a time when I thought I had my life figured out, when there was no unhappiness. You broke me at what I thought was my strongest – clearly it was not.

Scrolling down the clumps of social media that I see, my thoughts constantly scramble to you – what have you been up to, who have you met recently, how is your new life going. Your snapchats of you screaming, while clearly drunk at a boat party, has me worrying and sighing at the same time, hoping that you are okay. Your new life with new friends, new potential lovers, new people that I will never meet. Why do I still care about something that is in the past? Why do I still care about you, someone who is clearly part of only a distant memory.

Walking through the streets and inside buildings, your name still comes across my mind when I see your friends. Friends that I used to always greet and laugh with, who no longer strike up conversations with me. I now lower my head to avoid eye contact because they do the same. The old adage – you’re not only in a relationship with someone, but also that person’s friends. Well when you no longer are seeing that person, you also lose those friends that came with it.

It’s been more than a month,

but I still care.

I don’t know how to give you up.

You weren’t even good for me.

This is dumb.

Feelings are dumb.

Pce boy

is what I wish I could say and also mean,

but deep down I’m still slipping for you.

Ideal Relationships

Right person, wrong time.

This phrase I could never really understand, up until these few weeks.

If you like someone enough, shouldn’t that be a reason to be with them? How can timing influence something so much that you’re willing to give up what you like? I just didn’t understand.

This summer I told myself not to get involved with guys. I wanted to focus on myself, the relationships I had with friends and family, and develop a stronger curriculum vitae. My mind kept telling me that it wasn’t a good idea to get involved with a guy. I told myself no guys. Why did a guy happen then, Casey?

Flashback a month and a half ago, I started talking again with a guy who I had met in a club. No, not one of those clubs with alcohol – I mean just like a typical extracurricular club that we both decided to join during our undergrad. Before this, our relationship was purely professional. He was/still is two years older than me, and the conversation topics we had were pretty simple: school, club confirmations, and the occasional “help me with my research please”. I thought he was kind of cute when I first met him, but I never cared to start anything with him and just did not have the time or energy to approach him during the academic year – plus it would lead to awkward conversations about school….and what would I even have to say to him?

We saw each other one day while I was in summer school, and we walked and talked for a bit. Typical ‘I don’t want to end this awkwardly but this is really awkward’ kind of conversations happened, at least that’s what it felt like on my end. I didn’t think much of it. Still thought he was sort of attractive, sort of my ‘type’. He initiated conversation by ‘poking me’ on Facebook a week later. My friend said he was flirting. I didn’t think so. We started talking, coincidentally saw each other during lunch, ate together. He messaged me to meet when I was free, uh oh. I remember not knowing whether this was just a friendly hangout, or a date (re: my confusion from a previous guy). I told myself it was a date that day, dressed presentable, went out with him.

Long story short, I probably had the best first date I had ever been on. We went to a board game café (last minute change of plans), a fun taco restaurant, a walk, and an unexpected movie at his place. Definitely not the most romantic places that I’ve been taken on, but it wasn’t the places we went that made it so amazing, it was my date (him). I didn’t have to constantly search for conversations, I didn’t have to try to think of something to say. We didn’t have to agree on everything. The conversations were fluid, we connected. I remember thinking “Wow. This guy is actually really great.”

Flashforward to a few dates later, we were hitting road bumps. Things were starting to get serious and I was starting to really like him (as I’m hoping he was, me). We started having serious conversations about the future. He is leaving for medical school in a little less than two months. We were and are still worried.

Consequences of this:

  1. Will not be living in the same city (1 hour away)
  2. He will be starting an intense schooling process, and does not want to go into medical school with a relationship because he does not know about how the workload will be, environment etc.
  3. He is worried we will only be able to see each other once a month (which is not enough in both of our eyes)

He brought these points up to me early on in our ‘serious talks’. I countered him with

  1. 1 hour isn’t even considered long distance
  2. I told him I understood this point, and that I would be willing to continue what we had up until his schooling starts, and give him around two months after to figure himself out (sort of like a hold off period), and rekindle things after.
  3. I go home relatively often (almost every weekend), which allows us to spend more time together.

Throughout this process, his friends have been pushing for him to end things with me. They tell him that even committed relationships that have been going on for years in medical school, end in the first few months when someone goes to med. Whenever he decides to end it in his mind, we meet up and he can’t put himself to doing it. I like him too much right now to end things with him, instead. I’ve gone on so many dates with guys this year, yet I always end up not sticking it through after a max of 2 dates because I just don’t end up connecting with them. He is honestly one of the only guys I have truly wanted to care about. He tells me that I make things hard. He likes me too much to end things when we meet up.

“I don’t know wtf I’m doing.” 8 words I’ve come to despise (especially coming out of his mouth, yet he says this so often now).

I’ve questioned myself on why I like him: he is definitely my type, the way he doesn’t know how to smile in photos and gives this really awkward lip up smile thing, the way my head perfectly lies on his chest when we stand together and I can hear his heartbeat, HIS SMELL (>>>???? I DON’T KNOW WHY HE SMELLS THIS GOOD!! HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE), the way he looks at me in silence, his blue (i think they’re kind of green) eyes, HIS WITTY WITTY TEXTS that often make me laugh and make my bad days good, the way he cuddles with me, how safe he makes me feel when we’re together, how big his hands are when they’re interlaced with mine, when he bearhugs me and wraps his legs around mine, the way he bends to kiss me because he’s way too tall, the way he wraps his arms around me, how brilliant he is and how he doesn’t even know of it, when I call him up last minute because I get lonely and he always makes time for me, how you can tell through his actions and words that he actually really cares about me, his patience, his really big arms (although I always make fun of how ‘tiny’ they are) and how my fingers can’t fully surround them, the way my clothes and bed sheets smell after he lies on them for a few hours, our little movie dates (even the movies end up being pretty bad), his way of building things from nothing ft. home movie theatre printer set up (he should be an engineer), how much he cares for his aunt (it’s actually really cute), when he calls me cute, his white detectable shoes that he literally wears everywhere, how his feet are almost double the size of mine, how he’s actually really really really shy on the inside (TIS SO CUTE) but does not give off that vibe in social situations AHHHH

Caption that I was going to post on Instagram with a picture (but decided not to), created one day after a dinner date where we made pasta and he chopped up the brocolli and said that “it looks like gnomes live in here” and made me die laughing, and then proceeded to dance with me in the kitchen, while waiting for the pasta to cook:

You held my hand and spontaneously decided to dance with me. In that moment, I knew I couldn’t let you go.

F this. yeah I think I really like him. What do I do?

Right person, wrong time.

Chemystery (Study Mystery?)

I wrote my second term chemistry exam today, or as I used to call it, che-mystery exam. For the first time, I realized that my hard work was paying off. For the first time, I was able to take a step back and realize that I was experiencing self-growth. For the first time in a very long time, I was somewhat proud of myself.

Chemistry has never been a very enjoyable and easy subject for me, ever since childhood. I had learned to hate the subject throughout my years of schooling. In high school I had been able to slip by with a low ninety average, mysteriously, even though I had never actually completely understood the topic and what was actually going on in class. I consistently questioned the subject, questioned my teachers, questioned why we had to learn such abstract concepts. What is an atom? Why do we have orbitals? Why do things bond? What exactly is a bond? How do we know for sure that we have molecular bonds? Che-mystery…I’ll get through it – was always my mentality. Come university, it wasn’t as easy to purely ‘slip by’ and achieve a good mark. I told myself that if I pretended to like chem, I would be OK because I would have the ‘right mentality’ when studying the subject…

Jokes on me! I did fairly poorly in the course, first term, while my peers seemed to excel. After tests and exams, they all boasted about how they took a “W” on the subject (a ‘win’ for those that are unaware of the slang). My friends complained about answering one or two questions incorrectly, and I forcibly laughed along, hiding the fact that I had received a much lower grade. Everyone seemed to be cruising through the course without much effort. I didn’t want to stand out.

I’ve learned this already! This is just high school review! Who knew university chemistry would be so easy! And the worst ones – Why are you even studying for chemistry, Casey? It’s such an easy 12. Why are you spending so much time on chemistry? What is even so difficult to understand? Why do modules take you so long to complete? I finish them in less than 40 minutes each!

My self-esteem in the subject fell so hard because of this. I hated doing practice problems in the subject. I hated how much effort I had to spend attempting to figure out something that seemed so easy to everyone else. I hated myself for being so dumb. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just learn the concepts quickly. I didn’t understand why it seemed like all my friends and peers were excelling in the subject and what I was doing wrong.

And for all you curious individuals, I ended up getting a 10 in the CHEM 1A03 course. And yes, I guess that defeats the health sic myth – it means that health scis do get 10s in courses (Re: me!)!!

After first term, I told myself I only had one more term of chemistry to endure. But it was this term that I fully learned to appreciate not only the subject, but also the process and how to really study for a subject. I actually performed (again) really poorly on the first midterm (70%) and definitely did not attempt to change anything. In all honestly, I thought that there was nothing to change and that I was just dumb and that there was nothing I could do about it.

Second midterm, I was doing practice exams in the health sci lounge with a good friend, Ann Mary. Shoutout to this girl because she really did help me wonders. She patiently sat with me through my very stupid questions and answered them as best as she could. She offered support, not just criticism. She didn’t only provide encouraging words, but she offered to teach me concepts that I didn’t understand. She never once made me feel like I was dumb for not understanding something, and never seemed to judge that I didn’t understand the units we had done at the beginning of the term. She really did have my best interests in mind and tried to help me succeed. She is probably the reason that I did reasonably well on the second midterm, and I truly do appreciate this girl so so much. It was then that I realized that I could reach out to the right people. So shoutout also to Allen for answering my last minute questions on the day of the test, and not feeling the need to judge me when I was struggling so hard with the subject. The right people might not be your closest friends. Your close friends might be great people to hangout with, but they might not be the best people to study with.

Group studying works wonders. This is constantly enforced in our program, but I had never really understood how to reap the benefits of it, until I started doing it right during this exam season. What I’ve found to allow for group studying to be beneficial:

  • Find people who care about your learning and those who truly want you to succeed and have your best interests in mind (re: reach out to the right people).
  • Study all the content before you do it in groups.
  • Do practice problems/exams before working at the problems as a group.
  • Flowcharts, flowcharts, flowcharts (particularly on blackboards/whiteboards) really help solidify concepts for everyone.
  • Everyone should participate and try out the problem.

A special shoutout to Heather for making me realize that group studying works. What I expected to be a three hour group study session turned into a six hour group study session with this girl. We went through concepts we did not understand, initially, and then proceeded to do practice exams that we both had previously done, to solidify concepts. Group studying truly encourages a symbiotic relationship, when done right. When every individual goes into the session having understood what they thought was ‘enough content’, coming together allows you to strengthen the concepts. We all have gaps in our understanding and also strengths, which is what allowed Heather and I to flourish together. The gaps in her understanding were things that I understood fairly well, and the gaps in mind were things that she patiently taught me. We went through each exam practice question carefully, making sure that we understood each multiple choice statement – why things were false and why all the other options were true. At the end of the session, we both agreed that whatever happened in the six hours was very beneficial. We both went into the exam a lot more confident. And when I say find the right people to study in groups, I meant find those individuals who will not judge you for not understanding something, those who will explain concepts again and again until you understand it (using whatever analogies they have ***@ Heather: DR CO***), those who don’t care how long the process is taking, those who have prepared before coming to the group session.

So I guess the point of this blog post was that after whatever happened between yesterday and today, I really started appreciating chemystery. I came into the course with a hateful mentality for the subject. I am now coming out of the exam, and first year mandatory course, considering registering for organic chemistry, just to challenge myself. Perhaps it is the experience that you have within the course that changes how much you like a subject, not what is actually taught in the course.

So yes, I walked out of today’s exam more confident than I’ve ever been after a chemistry exam. I came out of the exam feeling proud of myself and feeling proud of how much my mentality has changed since the beginning of the term. I may or may not end up 12ing the course, but whatever happens, I will still be proud of how my chemistry process (reaction???) played out.

So perhaps this is why chemistry is a required course in our program?

(Shoutouts to Ann Mary, Heather, Allen, Alex, and Dalton for everything)

What is actually important?

 

“most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them”

I recently got obsessed with the book Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I have never resonated with so many pages of a bound set of sheets. Reflection at it’s greatest.

I’m personally at fault for getting caught up with what will not matter in the end. Does that make me hypocritical? Probably. I obsess about my grades, what shampoo I’m going to buy at the Shoppers across the street, how high my desk lamp is when I’m studying, how dry my hair should be before leaving residence to class so I can look somewhat presentable in the morning, and all the other little things. The things that don’t even matter. I remind myself daily to concentrate on building ‘human connection’; I remind myself to focus on the bigger picture. It’s just so hard to find Waldo sometimes when there are so many other cool characters on a page that keep distracting you from your task.

Even when I give an attempt in being more sociable or finding love, there are just so many obstacles. As a university student, I’m sure many people are able to relate to the harsh reality that the workload builds up really fast if you don’t stay on top of your classes. Do I give up time that could be spent studying and getting a better grade, for more enjoyable events? If I end up not studying for the subject that week, should I not stress about it because it won’t matter hopefully in the long run?

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When you’re looking at a day to day schedule as packed as mine, and you are three weeks behind in two courses, have to schedule in another group meeting for that day, and a friend calls and asks you to be there for him because of a personal situation that just happened, what do you accommodate first? When your schedule is already always packed from 8:30AM-12:00AM daily, can you really fit anything else in? I am definitely very appreciative of a select few of my friends who are extremely understanding of my busy schedule. But really, how do you prioritize your time when almost everything seems like it is demanding attention? On this particular Friday, I remember not having the time to write a club application, pushing back watching the two physics modules from three weeks ago (in addition to one more module that was not scheduled in yet – T4M1), and asking my friends to continuously push back the Jam Session that we had scheduled for later that night. I clearly recall constantly reminding myself that people come first, that day – that school could come second or third or fourth or fifth – and that I needed to be there for my friend when he was in need. But after that day, when I pushed everything back, I got swamped and still am swamped with not only my coursework, which I have not touched since writing midterms other than mandatory project meetings and the associated work, but also was swamped in the research I was performing. The quality of my work definitely has decreased as more things have piled up.

But human connection still comes first right? So when should I start worrying about school? When do I say no to comforting another individual? Is it ever acceptable to say no when someone evidently trusts you and has turned to you for help during a low in their life?

It’s frustrating when you’ve put in so much effort and time into a person, and they don’t invest the same amount of time in you when you’re in need. It’s frustrating when you’ve invested so much time into a potential future with a significant other, and it doesn’t work out in the end. It really does feel like wasted time. Maybe I’m being selfish, but time is not something that is just floats around for me. I schedule things into a calendar weeks in advance so that I know exactly when I have commitments and how many other things I can schedule in for that day.

It’s also extremely frustrating when people can’t figure out concrete plans when I schedule things a few days in advance. For example, a friend and I planned to study in a cute cafe the following week and when scheduling:

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 10.12.32 PM

I totally understand where people are coming from, and by no means does this make him a bad friend (I totally love your company, if you’re reading this!!), but it’s frustrating because my schedule fills up extremely fast and so I have to note concrete times and places ahead of time.

I guess I also wanted to touch on relationships with a significant other. Let’s face it: most relationships don’t last a lifetime. If you spend 3 years with a person, and then break up, was there a point to the relationship? I’ve always never been the one for a short-term relationship. I’ve always had the mentality that If I choose to get in another relationship, it might as well be for the long-term because I just don’t think I have the time to spare for someone who will not end up being in my life forever. It’s just a struggle within itself because I’m never really okay with starting something new with someone for the fear that I’ll be wasting time when it doesn’t work out in the end.

“nothing even matters
except love and human connection”

So I disagree with this quote, because if who you thought was the love of your life ends up exiting out of your life, then you’ve lost whatever you could’ve been spending your time doing instead of nurturing the relationship that never lasted.

Because I am not sure how to measure the opportunity cost of doing certain things rather than others.

Because people flake.

Because people are not always there for you.

Because I don’t want to regret having chosen a human being over something more concrete and reliable – my grades, research, and personal development.

 

P.S. Dilly if you’re reading this, shoutout to you for always being so understanding and supportive, being there whenever I need to talk, tolerating my busy schedule by staying on campus to wait for me to hangout even though I push them hours back sometimes. You are truly a gold star. You are the friend I’ve always wished I had (and finally do have), and I’m sorry if I’ve ever been a disappointment. You have never flaked on me and you’re literally so real. Thank you for being you.

Your eyes.

Your eyes. Don’t even get me started. I could stare forever in those hazel eyes of yours. When we look into each others’ eyes, I feel like everything bad happening in my life has sizzled away. Your eyes wash away my fears, my pessimism, my self-doubt. You make me feel on top of the world. You make me feel like everything is okay.

Your smile. Not just your typical big smile, but your half-smile. The grin you display in the selfies you send to me. The smile that displays the two dimples nestled perfectly on your cheeks. The one where you can see your smile lines aligned right around your mouth, almost touching those dimples. The one that is worth a thousand stars.

Your heartbeat. The heartbeat that pounces so fiercely, yet is so calming. When I huddle into your chest, all I can hear are those soft, yet powerful flutters. How could a heart like yours, so perfect and beautiful sounding, have ever have been dysfunctional. I could listen to it all day.

Your hands. Those big hands that engulf my small little ones when they interlace. The ones that sit perfectly with mine after they somehow dance to each other after those playful tickle fights of ours. The ones that hold mine and make me feel stronger, and more connected. The ones that make me feel safe.

And for a moment every time when we’re alone I think to myself ‘can this be it‘. But then all the excitement and hopefulness washes away and I’m sitting back at square one, somehow knowing that we can never be.

Cloud 10

But when the world comes crumbling down, and I mean every aspect of it, what are you supposed to do? Family problems? Think about the guy you might like or the relationship you might be in. Think about those good times. But what if that part of your world ends up falling apart too? Go to work and forget about your problems at least from 9-5. And what if work is a shitty place to be at that time too? Unfriendly and blameful coworkers? Rude and pushy managers? Personal discontent? Perhaps I can go out with my friends after and spend money of a stress-relieving shopping spree, is a common thought. But what if your friends are having their own issues? Or you don’t have anyone that you trust to confide in?

I never really understood why people tried to drink away their pain until this week. If you’re having a shitty time, what exactly are you expected to do? It was in that moment of weakness, having no one to turn to, that I felt empty. Felt like I had hit rock-bottom. The world is a terrible place to live in. People are terrible things to be around.

There is no one there to be there for you at the lowest point of your life, just remember that. Everyone leaves when times get rough. So when you’re looking for advice, look in the mirror. You are the only person you can trust. You are the only person that will be there for yourself 24/7. You are the only person that can climb yourself out of this terrible hole that the earth has put you in. You are better than them.

But for now, all you can think about is how shitty your life is, so just drink up. Cry if you have to. For now, just appreciate your rundown soul. It will be okay, I hope.

Now that, my friend, is the best reason to be on cloud 10, if it existed.