Fear: Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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The object of our fears appear frequently in our minds –day in, day out. We all have fears and it in no way makes us weaker than the next person. So tell me, why do you fear? It seems we have come to a common understanding that our fears are bound by irrationality but the reason for our fears tell more of the story than we are willing consider. While I value high determination in an individual to overcome fears, I believe we’re jumping to conclusions too soon. Let us understand why we fear. Better yet, why don’t we accept that we are allowed to have fears just like we tolerate the fact that none of us are not without flaws.

No one can say whether your fears are justified, or even real. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you don’t believe in the light at the end of your tunnel of fears, what other choices are available? We hear about the people that never quite make it far enough to see the light. We listen to others tell us clichés like: happiness is not something you magically find at the end of your walk down the tunnel, but something you create on your journey down the tunnel. The hipsters within us refuse to abide by such clichés, so we seek the lovely TEMPORARY ‘band-aid’ fix.

Even the band-aid fix cannot be achieved overnight. 

The opportunity to thrive and overcome fear cannot be handed to you. The unknown? Loneliness? Loss of freedom? Disappointment? Failure?  The “why bother?” attitude exists but to some it is a guide towards the light at the end of the tunnel. All you need to have is the desire to see the light and a pinch of patience.

Tomorrow morning you will be wake up and go about your usual daily activities: head to school/work, pay bills, commute, interact with other people. Some more time will pass and you will be able to go to your job knowing there is something left for you to enjoy, even if it’s still considered a hobby. Along this walk down the tunnel you will have family figures to see at the end of your days. The light at the end of the tunnel is already here, but you must choose to turn it on.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

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Your Back-To-School To Do List

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The cash registers at school supplies stores around the country are singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” as school is due to start in just about 2 weeks. Whether you are heading back to school or helping someone prepare, here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Get excited for the season of rain and pumpkin spice!
  2. Realize that ‘Freshman 15’ is a myth. If you make an effort to not consume cafeteria food everyday and keep your consumption patterns relatively the same you’re probably going to only gain 5 pounds! Doesn’t sound very reassuring? Take advantage of the gym facilities around campus –after all, you’ve already paid for those services in your student fees.
  3. Wear your lightweight summer clothes as often as possible. This is all part of enjoying what is left of summer to the fullest. Perhaps where you are living the sun doesn’t seem like it will be going away anytime soon but you’ll miss it once its gone.
  4. Hustle for your textbooks. Talk to people that have taken the same classes before and make sure you need the books first and be cautious of the market prices. The last thing you want to do is buy all your textbooks from the campus bookstore when you’re living off student loans. Which brings me to my next point…
  5. Make sure you have all your funds lined up in time to pay tuition. Visit the financial aid office in case you missed a potential scholarship/bursary you can apply for as well. The worst feeling is the idea of a missed opportunity.
  6. Spend one afternoon going through your boxes to dig out the old school supplies that can still be used and go frolicking in the school supply aisles of colourful binders, boring lined paper and crayons you no longer use but still want to buy.
  7. Draft your budget for the year. Seriously. You overspent last year.
  8. Every summer you make plans to go places, meet people and discover different hobbies. Well, what have you accomplished this summer? Make an effort to get out of your room as much as you can in attempt to rid the evidence that you spent most of the summer aimlessly browsing Facebook, scrolling through Tumblr and sending out snapchats.
  9. Don’t sign-up for any new credit cards on campus. It might be tempting to do so with all the free swag they give out along with signing up but you’ll be thankful at the end of each month when you have one less bill to pay.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

What I Learned From My First Starbucks Visit

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I’ve never been a fan of coffee or the purchasing of overpriced drinks I cannot afford but…. this was a day I had a gift card. Since the ‘Happy Hour’ at Starbucks attracts more attention and lengthy line-ups than I can personally comprehend, I decided to wait until it was over.

You’d be surprised that in ONE single visit, I experienced what I feel every loyal Starbucks customer has learned:

  • The spelling of your name is not as common as you think. While this was for my first personal purchase, I have been to Starbucks quite a few times so I can personally say I was not aware there were so many variations to my name.
  • Ordering is confusing because you don’t know the sizes. Well, I’m sure every loyal customer would know what a ‘venti’ is but I personally did not. I’m curious to find out if my barista judged me for asking for ‘large’.
  • You will never get work done. First of all, being as popular as it is, Starbucks is ALWAYS packed. Even when you’re lucky enough to get a seat you might not be anywhere close to an electrical outlet and your laptop could die on you just has you reach your epiphany. (Also, I didn’t feel that great after not being able to distinguish between the drink sizes to be honest.)
  • It is highly possible you will get internet famous from a Starbucks visit. Take a second to look back upon your last Starbucks visit. How many people around you were taking Instagram photos of their drinks? I think it is more than likely you’ve been featured as the background in multiple Instagram photos. Instagram makes the world look beautiful.
  • Not being a loyal customer makes it a more interesting experience. At this point, no one that works there knows my name and I can still come up a different identity. This way, I will continue to discover more variations in spellings for names other than my own! Kidding. I just enjoy the unfamiliarity sometimes.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

In Light of Mother’s Day: The Greatest Love

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Note: This is a re-post as it was unintentionally deleted previously.

When I was a young child my only wish was to grow up. I would never have to be told what to do again. I’d be able to buy that stuffed toy bear I desperately wanted, play on the swings for an extra hour or even have 10 more cookies than my mother would allow…

In the journey of growing up, I tried my best in everything I thought to be meaningful in hopes of one day being successful and fulfilling my childhood dreams. School, volunteering, music, sports, studying… At this time, I believed by doing so I could prevent myself from growing old with regrets. During this time I neglected spending time interacting with my mother.

It was not until I grew old enough to be considered an adult in this society and met mothers my own age, did I finally understand the many sacrifices she’s made for me. In reality, when she stayed up all night to make sure I finished that Science project in ninth grade, she didn’t have the intentions of forcing anything upon me. And while I fell sick often as a child, she was more sick with worry than I ever was physically ill. All this time she supported me by providing me with more opportunities to pursue more interests, passions and dreams.

But what about her own interests, passions, and dreams?

When my mother was young, she was an avid baker, had a love for history and story-telling and was an exceptional student. I hear from my Uncle that if it weren’t for giving birth to me, my mother would never had left the well-deserved position in a firm she loved so much. At this time my mother would hush him and insist all this did not matter. After all, this was decades ago.

At this point in my life, the one thing I didn’t want to happen to my mother was for her to miss out on more of her own opportunities.

I decided to take the initiative to sign her up so she could instruct a baking class on the weekends. I told her I was certainly more than old enough to take care of myself and it was time for her to pursue her own interests, passions and dreams. To which she replied laughing, “I know I look young but how could you mistaken me to your age?”

From when I was first born, growing up, and even now… all my mother has done is spend all her time on supporting me in everything I did. This day, I hoped to help her revive the opportunities she lost by choosing to take care of me these last few decades.

Seeing her come home from the baking classes some weeks later, I noticed how exhausted she was. All this time I believed that she agreed to go to these classes because she wanted to relive her dreams from the past. Little did I know these efforts were actually for me.

“You shouldn’t be doing this if you’re going to be so exhausted!”

“But you were thoughtful enough to plan this all for me.”

“Because I thought this was your dream.”

“My dream is for you to live happy.”

Although my mother has said so before, it never hit home until recently. I never realized that her single greatest dream was for me to live well, for me to be happy for the rest of my life.

So, today I want to do a little more for myself. A little more to better myself.

Because now I know that living my life to its fullest is not only the best route I can take for myself, but also the path to fulfilling her dream.

I love you, Mom. Everyday should be Mother’s Day.

– itsfruitcakeweather.