For each year of my life, I will write down things that I am grateful for from that year.
- I was born and my dad would have traveled to the moon if I wanted something from there. My mom recorded my baby mumblings which were fun to listen to later, before taping over it with silly singing.
- No personal memories but I am sure I was a happy two year old.
- My sister was born so I took a pair of scissors and ripped the lining on all leather chairs and sofas. But she turned out to be a good childhood companion.
- My grandma giving me and my sister soft caramel chews and giving us the most relaxing baths.
- Going to summer camps with my kindergarten friends and hoola-dancing by the fire.
- The bakery lady sold me my mom’s birthday cake for about $2.00 when it was probably $20.00. But I was upset about spending the money and took the cake to my mom to tattletale on the lady who stole my $2.00. I managed to say happy birthday to her while crying hysterically.
- Going on a cruise vacation to Japan and buying lovely scented soaps. I also won a bingo contest on the ship and got an awesome building block set! I was the class representative and could delegate tasks instead of doing them.
- Getting school textbooks with coloured texts. Going to the art studio and spending time in their storybook attic instead of making art (they made an attic filled with children’s books).
- Playing in the girl scouts and the sensei at my kendo dojo who adored me and called me his mascot. Also a first time that I had boy who liked me.
- Getting extra lessons for violin and getting my poem published in a school newspaper. I came to Canada and fell in love with Lucky Charms and McCain chocolate cakes – both of which I no longer like.
- Spending the summer at the English camp where I first learned what cucumber was and said “oh my god” reflexively. Playing ping pong and going to the pool with my mom’s employee’s son and going to the zoo with my sister’s best friend.
- Contributing to the school life by becoming a student ambassador. I wore a dirty sweater with school colours and paced around the hallways after lunch to stop people from loitering. Making a close group of friends and going to a fancy Greek dinner with them. My music teacher, Mr. Fouchaux, playing “Over the Rainbow” on an alto saxophone, which started my obsession with alto saxophone. Winning third place in a science fair after my partner dropped out last minute.
- Giving a speech about racism on International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination to the students. Becoming the school president. Having a first boyfriend and making a close friend who was misunderstood and underestimated by others. Starting piano lessons again. My best friend Namita.
- Fun times in classes like when Zak threw a pen at Scott face and it exploded. Playing flute duets with Iulia, jazz band combos with seniors, and piano accompaniments for talent shows. Winning the award for “Music Student of the Year”. My dad driving me and my sister to Japanese language classes every Saturday mornings.
- Finding my Asian group (although it was dark at times, it was good when it was good). Going to parties and bubble tea shops. Getting good grades for Royal Conservatory of Music piano exams and gigs at the senior home’s Christmas dinner and an elementary school musical. A summer in Herstmonceux castle and Oxford.
- Joining the International Baccalaureate stream and forming a tight group of friends to freak out with about exams. Playing the alto saxophone with a concert band. My second boyfriend. A summer in Quebec city.
- Taking it very easy after the IB exams, including going for sushi and coming back with green tea ice cream during entire afternoon, and working on the yearbook. Yearbook committee and prom committee. Prom at the fancy Liberty Grand. Starting university and moving into 89 Chestnut.
- Moving to an on-campus residence, Whitney Hall, and making great friends, having a great time. First exposure to ballroom dancing with Levana – by some miracle, there are two single males (Stefan and some other dude) in the class. Going to watch Derek in UC Follies – A Chorus Line.
- New jobs and school schedule that kept me busy. First Brain Day of my life. Easy statistics course.
- Getting back on track with more breathing room. Taking classes that got me closer to my neuroscience buddies. Embryology and Higher Cognition courses. Rekindling my love for Skylar.
- Meeting my research supervisor who gave me lots of guidance and support. Giving myself the permission to change the course of my career. Taking a trip out East including Cape Breton Islands, PEI, and Quebec city. Starting dance lessons at Viva Dance with Valentin. Jewellery-making.
- Coordinating Brain Day with good people and reaching record numbers. Encouraging friends in the Princeton Review course and my parents being patient with me while I take my time. Anatomy course. Meeting Shawn and going on many adventures (Blue Mountain, St. Jacob’s country, Sauble beach, Whittamore’s, Unionville, etc.). Learning west coast swing at the Dovercourt.
- Taking a big step to venture out west and settling in Saskatoon, and getting a warm hospitality. Finding few good opportunities and braving a harsh winter. A Valentine trip to Edmonton. A cooking and baking frenzy begins.
- A comfortable pre-departure while looking forward to a new chapter in my life.