So, last night I get a call from my sister. Let’s set the tone here. It’s twenty minutes to twelve. I’m in bed, trying to fall asleep. You know, I have work the next day. Julie’s name lights up the screen on my I-phone. And for whatever reason, I can never ignore her calls. It’s like this sister thing. If she calls, no matter what I’m doing, I answer. It’s an obligation. A default setting.
“Hey, I’m in bed, everything okay?” I say to her as soon as I pick up the phone, in an attempt to cut her off before she even takes the conversation a step further.
“Hey sis, yeh everything’s okay. I’m just calling cos’ the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is on, and I was thinking about me and you, and how we’d pick up a feed of Macdonald’s and watch this together all through university…”
And a smile lit up my dark bedroom. That was an event. Every single year.
So, of course, I’m now laughing and say to her, “man, I’d like to go back to those days right now…” and before I even finish that thought I say, “actually, no I wouldn’t. They were good times, but man, we probably had a test to write, or a paper we needed to get back to. I don’t miss that at all.”
And we agreed. Those were good days, sitting in our living room, chowing down on MacDonald’s or eating pizza and drinking a beer, watching the worlds most beautiful women strut up and down the runway, and wishing we looked like them…and then turning back to our junior chicken burgers and french fries and sighing to ourselves, both because we were eating those burgers and in relief that we could…
You know, I miss university life, but I don’t miss the stress of writing exams, and preparing papers, and spending hours upon hours in the library or reading through dozens of literary journals online. I don’t miss that stress. I enjoy waking up and having a job to go to that pays well. I enjoy that freedom. I enjoy being an independent woman.
And maybe I’m not strutting the catwalk in a size 2 lingerie outfit, but I’m also no longer eating burgers and wishing I was that girl. I worked so hard to get to where I am. Along with the basic fundamental stress that goes along with university, I struggled with panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, and bouts of depression too.
School wasn’t easy for me despite what I know my classmates might say or think. The grades I received were a direct correlation of my paranoid, overarching fear of failure. I overdid everything because I was scared of failing. And sometimes I drank wine while writing those papers to reduce the anxiety that continued to play on my mind. And that sure as hell isn’t healthy.
Anyway, the point of this blog is that sometimes we look back and think that somehow the old days were better days. Do I miss my sister? Do I miss eating burgers and watching supermodels? Do I miss being able to see her everyday? Well, yeh, duh I do. But there’s another part of that equation that I don’t really miss. And you can’t take just the good, you’ve got to take the good with the not so good, the hours of wondering whether I’d ever graduate and then if I’d ever graduate and find meaningful employment.
Your 20’s are just full of so much uncertainty, so many crossroads, so many places when you’re not sure whether to take the path less travelled by, or play a game of follow the leader.
I like to think that I lived then though, as I live now, always trying to get the most out of each day. I remember my sister, every single time we went to a bar and drank a beer, mostly at Shamrock, looking at me and our other best friends, namely Simran and Gina, and saying “we’re all going to look back on these days and miss this, how awesome is this right now?”
And I’d tell her to “go on b’y,” and laugh thinking how corny she was. Her next to tears dreading the day when we wouldn’t be able to do that anymore. And I just soaked it in. Every second of it.
And those are the days that I do miss. Those are the nights I try to remember. Those are the times that are not so easy to forget. We lived those days.
And I don’t need a do over. Because the truth is, if next year I want to fly to Toronto and watch the Victoria Secret Model’s and eat some Macdonald’s with my sister, I can do it. If I want to fly to Hong Kong, I can do that too.
Life isn’t over because we’ve got jobs and careers. So long as you’re breathing my darling, you are living. And you are allowed too. Actually, you are encouraged too.
Cheers to you, and also…
You’re beautiful! xo