When life gives you lemons, burn them.

And by that, I mean get rid of what is making what you want troublesome for you as soon as possible. It helps. Really. GO!

Of course that only helps when you know what you want. I don’t particularly like talking about myself, but it’s been a while and there is a distinction between bragging and just laying out facts right? Right??…Sure. Some of the enjoyable things I’ve ever done has been on a whim. Bump into some friends on campus as they’re about to head over somewhere to eat, chill, base jump off Buchanan Tower and we end up exploring, drinking (for the first time), having philosophical discussions, and generally feeling content about life (just to name a few things). That being said, here’s a topic that is completely on a whim and something I hope I will not regret sharing.

I try my best to keep myself positive and, for the most part, look at life from an objective point of view (getting information from as many different sides as possible). I do my best to not take things personally and look at the best in people. The best part of this style of thinking? There is no one I dislike and very rarely have I come close to being angry at anything or anyone. The not so good part is that I often have a “meh” attitude towards many things and it sometimes takes some pressure before I really get into doing anything. That’s me though, and I’m not really complaining. I’m happy for the most part. I wasn’t always like this though. Back when I was younger (hey I sound like I’m 50! Can’t wait till I turn 50), I was generally a depressed kid that either didn’t fit in well with others or didn’t really feel like fitting with others. Yeah, I really don’t even know which even though it was myself. I guess that’s pretty serious, but ANYWAY. Elementary school blew and I never felt like I was part of a group. High school sucked up until grade 11 (more on that later) and I was still shy, reclusive, untrusting, and suspicious of everyone and still didn’t feel like part of a group (this includes my own family, any moments there were felt quite temporary)! 7 year story short (I count grade 4 to grade 11), I never really liked life. Something in hindsight, quite ridiculous in its own way. Life has a funny way of working that way.

Come grade 11 and I had discovered photography, probably one of the most defining moments in my short life thus far. Now comes Jeff. He’s a guy I’ve known since grade 8 and honestly speaking, also a person who has had a big impact on my life. Looking back, he was the one that encouraged me to join yearbook class the following year. I can think of two things that make it so important. First, he was the first person to encourage me to put my photography to use and for a meaningful cause (and feeling useful/meaningful is one of better feelings one can have). Two, as far as I’m concerned, he believed and trusted me with something. I didn’t recognize it in the moment, but really thinking about it now that made for a huge change. I never felt connected to academics (though one can argue that no one really is) and I was on a downward spiral that did not make me want to put any effort into my life. Having something to be decent at and having someone who believes in you and is encouraging you to pursue it further made such a difference that I ended up becoming a different person. I shudder to imagine where I would be if these two wonderful coincidence didn’t come into my life the moment they did. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be in UBC, I wouldn’t know all the people I know now because of being at UBC, and I sure wouldn’t be the me I am today. Of course, one can ponder the possibility of my existence had I gone to SFU (yes I probably would have gone there, that is a very likely possibility). It could have been better, I could still be the way I am right now, and who knows perhaps I would have met even more amazing people at SFU. That’s all a “what if” though.

Whatever happened to me and Jeff though you might ask. Well, we both went our separate ways. We co-blogged in our first year and then things just drifted, as one would say. If you asked me what I thought about him in grade 12, I would have said that he was one of my best friends. Ask me now, and all I can reply with is a shrug. The last time I really talked to him face to face in a meaningful way was back in the beginning half of first year. I still see him around here and there, but it’s never more than a “hey, how’s it going? Great, yeah me too” kind of thing. This kind of result of something so meaningful can be described in a multitude of ways: disappointing, sad, undeserving, insane, ridiculous, or stupid. It can be blamed on lots of factors. I could be blamed for it too. Is there any point in blaming? Not really. Things are the way they are and in the given context, disappointing but not worth really crying over. I see it as one of the wonderful realities of life. A concept that produces both sadness and joy, a kind of grace in sorrow. I don’t know if Jeff will ever read this. It probably doesn’t really matter, if does it would be quite interesting. If he doesn’t, it’s still quite interesting. Nothing lost, nothing gained, nothing wasted.

And with that, I shall end. A story that I would say is common, but uncommonly told.

If only papers were this easy to write…I would be halfway through one of them right now with this many words in this one blog entry. Sheesh. And in case anybody was wondering, I really do not regret writing this, and in fact it has brought me out of what was a depressive state.

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3 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons, burn them.”

  1. Okay this may sound a little creepy, but bear with me.

    I also knew Jeff well; he was certainly one of my best friends when we went to the same elementary school. We hung out together with a group of friends, we’d sometimes go over to his place, and I remember participating in a yugioh tournament that he organized on his own. He was a pretty active kid back then, and I’ll bet he’s still pretty involved now.

    But then high school happened and we went our own separate ways (he went to PW, and I went to Kits). We didn’t really connect that often, and we slowly moved on and forgot about each other. And even if we did have each other on Facebook back then, I doubt it would have improved our friendship because social media can be superficial at times.

    The next (and last time) I saw him was at our blog squad social. Lo and behold, we remembered each other, but the conversations we had was full of small talk, as if we were new acquaintances. We had a lot of ice between us. The two kids that had a meaningful friendship was nothing but a distant memory. I guess that’s what happens after years of not connecting with each other.

    But, like you, I’m not particularly worked up about this sort of thing; people move on with their lives all the time, and if their friends come with them, great. If not, then whatever. It’s unrealistic to keep in touch with every single friend you’ve made. I’d rather make most of my effort to keep in touch with friends who want to keep connecting, rather than spread my time to everyone, some of whom may not even remember you anymore.

    That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate Jeff’s friendship. We had great times and learned a lot from each other. We kept each other company and made each other step out of our comfort zones. The times I had in elementary school was one of my best childhood memories because of the profounding friendship we had. Sure I miss them, but I have to deal with the present and future now. I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.

    Wouldn’t it be so weird if Jeff read all of this? Haha

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