In trying to make sense of this milestone in my life, I turn to a recent post by my dear friend and inspiration, Lindsey.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
– Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
Standing proud with two of my greatest role models.
The girls who brought meaning to my university experience. So much admiration for these ladies.
We did it!
My guests aka the people who make my life.
Yes…I DO want my $40 000 piece of paper…
Beyond blessed to have these people in my life.
True love is sitting through a 2 hour convocation.
For those of you who were wondering, I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in English, minor in French and a Global Experience Certificate.
Good bye Waterloo! How ’bout them apples?
Make sure you enter my giveaway! It closes this coming Friday!
Jesse and I were featured in a recent local online newspaper called Wellesley Is. How cute is this picture of Jesse?
This weekend was INSANE! Friday night, I was scampering around my house preparing for each step of the way because everything was break neck speed from Friday night forward!
Saturday morning dawned early and I was off to the market to buy apples and bagels for 250 people at the University of Waterloo Homecoming XC Varsity race. I spent the morning getting race bibs prepped and readying the race course until it was time to race!
I was unsure of how the race would go as I have been doing more trail running this summer than racing and I have not done the proper levels of interval training for an event with this level of competition. I actually enjoyed the race and sustained a decent pace throughout considering the type of terrain we were racing on. Some race photos:
Sprinting to the finish
I had a time of 21:45 which is not at the top of the roster to say the least, but I felt great and and finished strong!
A little weary post race.
After cool down and awards, I headed to David’s Tea to meet up with Angela to catch up on life and do a book swap for the As Good As Gold book! You know what that means! Keep checking back for a giveaway!
Saturday night, I spent time with Jesse for the first time in forever. We tried to watch a movie with his room mate and I fell asleep in the first half hour of the movie. They were making fun of the many movies I have only seen half of. My argument is that I go full speed all the time, so the moment that I slow down…I crash.
Sunday morning, Jesse and I headed to a local event called Sustainability in the Park, a great teamup of local sustainable businesses, Women in Action and World Accord. We signed up to do the 33 km route and were excited to take our road bikes out for another spin.
Ready to GO!
Jesse. Listening intently to ride instructions.
He was such a trooper this weekend. Firstly biking 33 km in the morning and heading to University of Toronto to participate in my fitness certification exam.
In all honesty, the bike was perfect. Fresh apples at the half way point and gorgeous banks of trees beside rivers to help us climb the hills to the finish line. Beautiful fall ride!
We stopped by Starbucks to get lattes and fuel ourselves for the next part of our day…my fitness exam.
We went back to his apartment and were greeted by his room mate, cooking up a storm!
We picked up my sister and another friend and headed to Toronto to do my exam. Honestly, I have such amazing people in my life to be willing to ride in a car for an hour and a half, one way, listening to me stress talk. And then doing a hard cardio workout and saying they were happy to be there.
I passed my exam and we went to The Works to celebrate. (Where else, really?) Sadly, the waiter recognized us and we realized that we had just been there last week…we really need to look into getting another go-to place.
Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen I kicked off my weekend with this arriving on my doorstep from Vega:
Being a smoothie die-hard, I have tried all the other flavours and I am so excited to try the French Vanilla. I will let you know what I think.
How did everyone else’s weekend go?
And I have to know…am I the only one that falls asleep during every movie they watch?
Sometimes it is easy to become comfortable with doing safe and every day things that are full of first world problems – Starbucks runs out of lactose free milk, you are afraid you failed your last exam of university or your favourite book is back ordered on Amazon for a week. A week!
I get caught up the network of only slightly meaningful problems and capitalize on them and forget. Forget about the fact that while I am screeching that the water is too hot in the shower that there are people that need to walk 5 miles just to drink water. Or when I am suffering from “gluten belly”, the inevitable ache that comes with eating wheat, that there are children all over the world aching with hunger. And when I remember, I feel helpless.
It is unfair that I get to be born here and they were born there. I want to help, but I am often at a loss to know what is the best thing.
Sometimes I really believe there is nothing I can do. What would they be able to do with a overzealous, americanized white female that is foolish enough to think she can help change the world? I have come to the conclusion that they don’t necessarily need my presence, they just need resources to do what they are capable of doing. Women In Action is a beautiful example of this. According to the website:
Women in Action are an association of 1,200 indigenous Maya women in Guatemala. It was founded in the mid 1980’s by Filipia Xico and twelve community leaders who had a vision of improving the lives of their families and neighbours.
Women in Action help rural women and men earn higher incomes, protect the environment, promote local democracy through micro-loans, training, and reforestation and community organizing programs. This year Women in Action began an Agricultural Renewal Program.
Jesse and I are joining World Accord, one of the partners of Women in Action who has provided 161 loans to families so they can farm or run a small business, trained 300 women leaders in community development, reforested 60 farm parcels, and provided emergency assistance families affected by storms. We are participating in the Cycle for Sustainability, a 33 km bike race, on September 30 and would love for you to join us. If you are not able, we would love to take donations for this organization to help support and improve the lives of others.
Because we can all be foolish enough to think we help save the world.