Inspiration. Motivation. Love?

These are the things I struggled most to find during the year that I’ve been here. It’s been one hell of a ride and the journey and memories that we all faced will be ones that we can never forget.

Yet if there’s one thing I’ve learned this amazing, terrifying, and awe-some experience is that self-reflection and patience are some of the most important things to master. Meditation, forgiveness, and self-forgiveness are some of the key elements in surviving this critical time in our lives where we finally discover who we are, and why do what we do.

All of us will struggle in our own way, some will fail, and others will achieve the highest of honours, but as I’ve come to understand it’s not about the downfalls or the expectations that we fail to meet. It’s about the ability to learn, to grow, the never-ending journey that defines who we are.

I still learn every day, or try anyway. One of the most useful lessons is simply this; take one day at a time. Life will hit you like a bitch but finding happiness in the simplest things will change your entire perspective on the phenomenon we live each day. A smile from a passing stranger, the friends we can rely on, and the fleeting moment…. Of knowing there’s help when we need it.

I wish I could say that things would get easier once we graduate this semester but it’s the absolute opposite. Life is about to get much more complicated in every single factor but that’s why we came here isn’t it? To equip ourselves with the necessary tools to deal with those difficulties that will eventually find our ways.

In part self-discovery is one of the most difficult challenges that may come our way. It’s still the most important… and once we find it? The rest comes naturally.

Peace, love, and respect to you all.

Ty.

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The Races

March 13-17th marks a special couple of days for our town of Cheltenham, because its race week! Before entering the madness yesterday, I really had no idea what to expect, but after placing bets, meeting new people, and cheering on horses with names like “What’s Happening”, which is exactly what I was thinking for the majority of the day, I am so glad I got to experience race week firsthand. I was told this week gets crazy, and I have to admit, walking through town this week I’ve seen a lot more people carrying their shoes than usual, but I had no idea how big of an event this really is!

Before you get through the doors, or even close to the venue, you can tell how race week is able to transform the town. Places that don’t serve breakfast- are serving breakfast, you get asked for directions at least once a day, men are in 4 piece suits, women are wearing bright coloured hats, and everyone is smiling (the percentage of smiles after losing bets is significantly lower though). I decided I was going to place a couple of bets too, just to make the races even more exciting to watch. For a newbie race-goer like myself, I decided to put my money down on the horses that were favourited that day, so even though I wouldn’t really be making a profit, I could at least come away with a win! Though I thought my plan was foolproof, I didn’t take into account horse racing is really all about luck, and I ended up losing each race that I bet on.

Although I didn’t bring home any winnings, I’m taking it home as a victory in my books because of the outfits, the people, and the overall atmosphere. If you get the chance to be in Cheltenham for this week of utter madness, I have nothing but good things to say. The Cheltenham races were an event I’m so glad I didn’t miss, and something I know I’ll never forget!

Emi

 

Aime Toi Toi-Même

I figured I’d save this piece for the day after the international celebrated day of love, Valentine’s Day. Everyday should be a day to show love.

Sometime last year, a music artiste dropped an album that was a hit. One of the most played songs from that album was titled ‘love yourself’.

It basically bordered around a guy reminiscing, soliloquizing or leaving a message for a certain girl after the end of a relationship…

It ends up with the singer telling the girl that he has moved on and he has no regrets because she was a really hard person to love (or she just made it horribly difficult).

I read somewhere (and I’m not just saying that! I really did) that you cannot accept the love that you think you don’t deserve…and that is the truth (speaking from experience here people!)

Simply put: Love starts from within.  To accept love, you have to believe you deserve it (or make an attempt at least) and to believe you deserve it, you have to practice on yourself. SO!

Aime Toi Toi-Même. That means, “Love yourself” in Spanish. HOWEVER, there is a dental floss-thin line between self-love and self-obsession. Self-love comes from loving yourself (if the name didn’t give that away). It is about loving who you are, seeing and accepting your flaws and working towards growth. Self-love doesn’t mean flawless. It doesn’t mean ‘perfect’ or ‘all figured out’. Self-love means: “I’ll commit to being the best version of myself, and even when I don’t feel like there is progress, I will still be consistent in trying”.

Self-obsession, on the other hand, is a bit more but ironically involves fewer people.

It is more ”until I am perfect in my own eyes and I make everyone believe I am perfect, no one matters” (see how many ‘I’s’ one sentence carries?) “or maybe they do, but I just need to be perfect so, at the moment I cannot help you, or show up to your event to support you, or even check in on you at the end of your day, or ask you about work or how you fared on your test, but if you give me some time to continually brood over my imperfect life, then I could one day focus on you (hopefully, before you’re dead!)”.

The only one who is all round perfect created you perfectly. So yeah, maybe there is a possibility of attaining perfection (you are allowed to contend with that) but, alas: It does not happen overnight. Perfection is a process, almost infinite. It needs commitment and consistency, and the perfect creator is ever willing to help you on that journey, but you need to be willing to accept it. Even He cannot force that on you. To accept it, you have to understand that He thinks you ARE worth dying for (literally, He actually died for you).

Summarily, above this sentence are a couple hundred words, and if words are easier said than done, you need more than a couple hundred attempts at an action. It really is not a piece of cake or a smooth journey. It’ll have some bumps in it and may even spill over. However, keep the two C’s in mind: Consistency and Commitment and it’ll all be worth it in the end. Love yourself, because you really are beautiful (scars and all) and pleasssssse accept love because you really are worth it.

Happy Love Day,

M.

My Future Plan

After Christmas break ended and we all came back to uni, it really made me realize that for some of us, myself included, that this was going to be the last semester of university…ever. Our second semester starts at the beginning of February, and we are given a week for our “Future Plan” that offers courses, workshops, and tutorials, to help prepare us for our future, as if we even have a clue! Looking at this a month ago, I would’ve just considered it another week off, but realizing I’m on the home stretch of my university career, it’s something I really wanted to take advantage of.

One of the most memorable events for me this week was with one of the keynote speakers, Bianca Miller-Cole. Not only was she a finalist on BBC’s the Apprentice, but she was also hilarious and extremely relatable. Although I’m not going into a career in business, I knew her message was important for anyone with a passion for success. At the end of her presentation she brought up a quote that really resonated with me. She asked us to always keep in mind that if your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough. As she quoted Richard Branson you could look around the room and see the wheels turning in people’s heads, you could see the scribbling of pens on notebooks, and the furious typing on laptops. I was in a room with about 100 other students, and we were now all questioning if our dreams could be turned into reality. We heard Bianca’s success story, and the steps that took her there, but I think the most important takeaway from her presentation wasn’t the fact she was a really successful entrepreneur, it was that she has stood in our shoes just years ago, yet she was able to turn her vision into something real. Hearing about peoples success is one thing, but seeing it right in front of you is a completely different story.

Walking away from that speech on Tuesday gave me a little bit more confidence that everything I’ve been doing up to this point in my university career has been a significant step towards my end goal. I think it’s important to realize that every small move towards your dream is an important one. Whether it be writing that goal down on a piece of paper, or even just buying a notepad (like Bianca made us all promise to do) it’s comforting to know that even the most successful people around us, were once sitting in a lecture hall wondering the exact same thing.