Archive for August, 2013


Car Tetris

There’s nothing like packing your life into a Toyota Camry to make you realize how much stuff is required when you’re living on your own. Small appliances, picture frames, cleaning supplies, cooking implements, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, lighting, toilet paper, paper towel, aluminum foil, Ziploc bags, and on and on and on it goes.

I didn’t realize how much stuff I was bringing over until I laid it all out on the floor by our front door. And then I looked between the miscellany and the car and realized that there was no way in hell that everything was going to fit. But fortunately, I am a master of all video games, and Car Tetris is no exception. A two hour game made the impossible possible. Except for a few small pieces, everything is packed and ready to go. I’ll be off in less than 8 hours.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be living in Kingston. Again.

It still feels weird to type that. Wish me luck folks, I’m going to need it.

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Looking Back To 2009

It’s crazy how fast a month can go when you’re having fun. One moment you’re greeting a certain lovely lady at the airport, and the next you’re back at the airport saying goodbye. And now I’m staring down the barrel of my second move to Kingston less than 36 hours from now.

I can’t help but reflect on the last time I did this, four years ago.

A lot has changed since then. That gut-wrenching, paralyzing fear that I felt back in 2009 isn’t here right now. I’m still nervous, but back then it was the type of fear that kept me up at night.

Part of that comes from experience. In 2009 I hadn’t spent more than four days away from my family. But between school and my numerous overseas adventures, I’ve now spent the better part of the last four years away from my family. Granted, a good portion of that time was spent in Toronto, where I could go back and see my family at will. Nevertheless, I’ve proven to myself that I can handle being away from my family.

My present long-distance relationship has helped with that in a roundabout way. When I first moved to Kingston, I felt like I was moving to the other end of the earth. But let me tell you, there’s nothing like dating a girl who lives 5500 kilometres away to make you realize what an insignificant distance 250 kilometres is. In the same way, eight hour flights make three hour train journeys feel like nothing.

Another thing that helps is that I didn’t choose to leave this time around. In 2009 I had to make a very difficult choice between Queen’s and Toronto. I had the choice of staying close to home, and I turned it down. As a result, from the moment I decided on Queen’s I was gripped by the terrible feeling that I had made a horrible mistake. This time, Toronto wasn’t even on the table. And although that fact cuts me up more than you can imagine, I can’t change it, so I just have to accept it and move on. At the very least it’s helped to reduce my anxiety about moving away.

Finally, I feel like I have a lot less to lose than I did the first time around. In 2009 I was on top of the world. Despite a slow start to high school I managed to have a very successful final year, and I couldn’t be happier about how things ended up. And just as I was peaking, high school ended and I was forced to move on. And the fear of losing all of the relationships that I had spent the last two years building up weighed heavily on me. I felt that in moving away I was dooming a significant number of friendships, and the thought of that terrified me.

Now, well… It’s sad to say, but I’m not exactly going out on a high note. My second year of university was without a doubt the best of my life. It was Floor 12. A year of card games, pornography, kraft dinner, truth or dare sessions, sad stories, lap dances, fruit fights, illicit trysts, and friendships with the single greatest group of people that I have ever been a part of.

But, it was three years ago. And almost every member of Floor 12 has since moved on, either geographically or otherwise. I’m leaving a few friends behind in Toronto that I will miss dearly and will do my best to keep in touch with, but otherwise I don’t feel like I’m leaving as much behind me as I was back then. And while it’s a bit sad to think of it that way, it helps me to be less nervous about this whole thing.

Four years ago a fresh start was the last thing I wanted. Now, I don’t think that it’s such a bad idea. Hopefully that will make all the difference in the end.

Apprehension

I’m moving back to Kingston in less than two weeks.

I don’t think the reality of it has really set in. I may have moved a bunch of stuff into my new apartment and even spent a couple of nights in it, but it doesn’t really feel like I’m going to be living there in the very near future.

I’m nervous about it, obviously. It’d be a little bit strange if I wasn’t. Even though I feel that things will be different this time around, I don’t really have any evidence to back that up. Although I’ll be in class with law students instead of undergrads, I’m not convinced that there’s any difference. Eight years ago I was told that those jokers from elementary school wouldn’t be around in high school, but they still showed up. And then four years ago I was told that the jokers from high school definitely wouldn’t be there in university, and yet there they were. So now that I’m being told that the jokers from undergrad won’t show up in professional school, you’ll have to forgive me for being skeptical.

Fortunately, I won’t be living in residence next year. That was one of the most difficult things about Queen’s the first time around. It was tough being surrounded by people who I didn’t particularly like and who didn’t really like me either for that year, so I’m grateful not to have to repeat that experience.

But this year I’m living alone, and that prospect worries me. I’ve never lived alone before. Sure, I’ve had a residence room to myself before, but when your friends are all living ten metres down the hallway you never really feel alone. This year I will be, and that’s probably what I’m most afraid of. In previous years, I was never forced to be alone. At Chestnut if I didn’t feel like being alone, all I had to do was knock on a few doors, and as long as it wasn’t 3 AM I’d have some company. But this year I’m going to be alone for long stretches of time, especially in the evenings, and I’m going to have to learn to deal with that. It’s not that I don’t like being alone – sometimes that’s all I want – but having it forced on me kind of sucks.

Last time around a few key activities helped to keep me sane. Ball hockey, fencing, and curling were generally the best part of my week. But the first year of law school is going to be much busier than the first year of undergrad, and it’s going to be tough to fit all of these into my schedule. And all that just means more time on my own.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m going in with a bad attitude. I’m trying really hard not to. I just can’t help thinking how much happier I’d be right now if I was moving back to downtown Toronto in two weeks.