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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How come we never met before, family?

Life never gets boring. As the buzz about cutting meat dies down, the next "thing" was the family reunion. I was about to meet a side of my family that I've never met before.

My grandpa lives in BC. I saw him once when I was 12. Busy businessman he is. One of his sisters lives in the UK, and we met several times back home. I knew he had at least one other brother in Mauritius. I had no idea how big the rest of family was! People came from Montreal, Vancouver, London and Toronto. They hadn't had such a reunion for almost two decades. Three generations sharing a meal, a moment, a dance floor and making their own memory of this rare event.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect of it all. Will they be welcoming? Will I feel out of place? Do they really want to meet? Many questions, and only one way to find out. So off we went and damn I'm glad we did! No matter how indifferent I could've been in the past towards those practical strangers, the moment we were introduced as relatives, we were family. Everyone was so welcoming and caring, and it felt so natural to care about them back. Numbers and emails were exchanged, and so were promises to keep in touch. God knows whether we will, but I'm sure that, at that moment, we all meant to.

I do hope that the next reunion will not take another two decades. It was really nice meeting everyone and, although we might have very different mindsets, I'm sure that we really do care, each in our own way and capacity. After all, family is family. Or so I think.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lessons from a Computer

Become a programmer. I just realized that a programmer's job is based on failure. If things didn't fail we wouldnt need to work much. 70-80% of our time is spent fixing bugs, correcting logical and semantic mistakes. We are reminded daily how much we suck. But it doesn't make us feel bad most of the time. We often even have fun figuring out where we screwed up.

In an introductory course in software engineering, the prof taught us that most projects fail.they fail not because of the lack of technical skills, but rather, because of management and other issues. So as developers we eventually get used to the idea of things not turning out the way we'd want them to. Yet we keep learning and developing eagerly, building on past failures and successes alike.

In a way, I feel that the path is similar for any succesful artist. There is no need for failure. Only for learning and development. Things barely ever go as planned but true passion finds a way of finding opportunity in every obstacle. And so the most persistent learners triumph on the scene while the easily discouraged decide that this is not a suitable career for them despite the passion.

Sometimes, all it takes is some humility to see our need for improvement and hard work. 10 000 hours is only a couple years away. Let's not be quitters.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seventeenth Hour

I remember crossing that intersection to meet you halfway on Front Street. Your card didn't really have much to say. I already knew what you were thinking. We strolled along the lakeshore, remembering the last time we'd been there. We ended up on the patio at Porticello. Meatloaf got you excited. I smiled.

It's funny how little things make people's day. And how making people's day makes your day. But we can't afford to do that now. We can barely make it through our own day and endless list of things to be, and things to accomplish. Ultimately, we just want the best of everything. Of our life, of our youth, of each other, and of ourselves. And it always takes time to get the best of anything. And with time it would've gotten the best of us. It's not easy to gamble on the future but we're risk takers. I wonder where this will take us.

Will it be an old spaghetti factory? Will there be another wish upon a passing Train as we walk on that bridge? Maybe the pennies will pile themselves up and the scripts will be written. Maybe there'll be glitter in the air. Maybe we're made of the most solid Rock in Ages that can defy the 5th Elementt. Even Shrek would be impressed. Maybe some day we'll sell out Massey Hall. Coz.. Everybody Needs a Hero.

Maybe it won't take us anywhere at all. Maybe we were there for a reason and maybe the reasons are gone. But anything is what we make of it. So we'll make this one be for the best. We both know where we want to go. I hope we get there some time soon and I wish us luck. You can be a Survivor but don't be a celebrity apprentice. Trump is losing credibility :P

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recovery of the Entourage - Surgery Adventure Part 7

From the very start, the news about my health condition got my family a level of stress that I could only imagine from my hospital bed. While I entrusted my health and faith in the hands of the experts, my entourage was anxiously waiting for events to unfold. They were perplexed by my lack of concern. Now that I think of it, I realized something that's quite bizarre. Not a single time have I wondered "what if things go wrong?" or considered any other negative outcomes. The only thing I remember being slightly upset about is the idea of having a scar for the rest of my life. But that quickly went away.

I wish I could have taken care of everything by myself but it was physically and practically impossible. Such a big operation is something your surroundings cannot run away from and while I score the biggest physical scar, I don't believe I'm even in the top 10 emotionally impacted. It has been a very trying time mentally for everyone around me and to this day, I can still feel it, 2 months after the surgery.

Fear is an enemy that I've learned to ignore or keep under control. Being an optimist, I'm just happy that everything went well and I'm still alive. From now on I will be healthier than ever. Instead of being a girl with a "broken" heart, I'll be a girl with a scar. For some time. The scar goes away. I'm not physically 100% recovered, I still can do strenuous exercises. But mentally, I'm 100%. I can't wait to resume normal life and achieve everything that I could have missed the chance of doing.

Yet it seems difficult for everyone else to let go of the fear that has overwhelmed them upon hearing that I had to undergo surgery. Instead of being enthusiastic about me getting better, some people get worried sick about the possibility of some sort of relapse. Instead of encouraging me to increase my capacity every day, some would feel safer having me stay home until I'm physically 100%. Luckily, not everyone is like that. As much as I love everyone, I got to the point where I was really irritated every time someone tried to restrain me from doing anything. Their fears have lasted enough. They need to move on and let me move on.

My entourage has been very supportive throughout and continue to be. Sometimes a tiny bit over the top, but that's just how much they care and I appreciate that. It's sometimes hard for us to see eye to eye but we each make efforts to understand each other. Everyone has considerably improved their attitude towards me having a normal life again, although slightly against their will. For that, and everything else, I'm forever grateful.

Hey world, don't be afraid. I'm one tough cookie.