Monday, 30 January 2012

A new journey

This week has definitely been an interesting one to say the least. I finally mustered the courage to cut my losses and stop the pursuit of artificial glory. The road to becoming a master of mathematics ends in glorious defeat.

For the last year I've been attempting to write a thesis in mathematics and it has been a particularly trying experience. I was a very gifted undergraduate student, and so I was encouraged strongly to pursue graduate studies so that I could be a professor. I was on top of the world when I graduated, and my success seemed inevitable, or so I thought.

Three years later, with no masters to show for it, I have decided to cut my losses and start a new journey.  A piece of paper is not worth my peace of mind.

I have no idea where I will go from here, but having fixed ideas about what I should be doing is not overly productive anyway. A simpler life has been in order for some time now, and I am enjoying it so far. Might as well tee it high and let it fly as the golfers say.

If my tea drinking journey has taught me anything, it is that a sense of adventure and a willingness to slip way outside of your comfort zone can go a long way. So on I will go with tea in hand and see where the wind takes me. Bon voyage!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Embracing the random

Heads, yes. Tails, no. This is how I have been making unimportant decisions for some time now. It started out as a way to eliminate an incredible level of indecisiveness, but recently I have been thinking about randomness in a whole new light.

I saw a middle aged woman on the bus today who quite literally danced her way into the seat next to me. I have not seen someone as chipper in quite some time. She was rather surprised that I was not "plugged in" like most youth these days. That is, why I was not in my own little bubble listening to music and ignoring everyone else around me. Admittedly, I am almost completely oblivious to the outside world when I am focused on something, especially if I am reading a good book on psychology (My brother has to pretty much wave his hands in front of my face in order to get my attention sometimes.), but I was open to the possibility of human interaction today.

Later, I decided to go to my favorite tea shop and just space out for a bit, or so I thought. I ended up having a very interesting conversation with a virtual stranger, whom I am now connected with via twitter, about the collective unconscious, living fearlessly, and the possibility of being the official tea alchemist for a concert featuring the likes of the Marley brothers and Wyclef Jean. The theme of the concert would essentially embracing the "one love" frame of mind; treating everyone with respect, and doing what we can to help each other grow and thrive as humans. As a part of this, tea could be blended showcasing different themes, which makes me very excited indeed. I can only hope that this comes to pass. The possibilities that arise when you are open to others are truly astounding.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had a conversation with a panhandler who was quite clearly upset with the scandalous dress of young girls. He made it very clear that he has been hurt deeply by girls in the past and wants nothing to do with them, and also has severed ties with his parents and family, so perhaps this attitude is merely just a projection of this past hurt onto people who remind him of those that have hurt him. He did, however, make a very good point in between his lamentations about short skirts and low tops. He noted that in all of us we have the potential to be nasty, hateful people, but also loving, kind, and helpful people.

Obviously it is a little harder to allow space for people when they are speaking negatively, but I know that people sometimes need someone to vent to and that repressing feelings does far more harm than good.

So I shall continue to remain "unplugged" and allow for the possibility of human interaction as often as possible. Cheers to the random!

Live long and prosper,


Thursday, 12 January 2012

On starting anew

As the end of my academic career draws closer and closer, I am admittedly a little bit nervous to step out into the real world. The time spent in hollowed halls and ivory towers was a mixed bag for me.

My undergraduate degree was a life changing experience to say the least. I was painfully shy when I first arrived, and, to make matters worse, I only knew a handful of people. Thankfully, though, I was placed in a residence filled with truly remarkable people that slowly but surely nudged me out of my shell. I became very close with those people in my four years there, and still am today. We're scattered across the province now, but meet several times a year for the super bowl, the holidays, or whenever one of us decides to tie the knot.

The professors truly cared about the success of their students. I spent many an hour talking about life, morality, and math with one particularly influential professor. He inspired me to go on to graduate school, but also encouraged me to grow as a person. Another taught me the subtleties of the human psyche, started me on my yoga journey, and taught me the value of thinking way outside the lines.  The school itself has a very welcoming atmosphere, with plenty of gorgeous plants and trees to help keep you connected and grounded. I found it very easy to think creatively and enjoyed my time there immensely.

Ivory towers are very lonely places, though. Having climbed the tower further,  I now realize that the view isn't quite as spectacular as I thought it would be, and the people at the bottom are much friendlier. The climb will end once I finish my masters in April.

It isn't easy changing directions, but at some point you have to eliminate the things in your life that aren't benefiting you. Enjoyment of life and connectedness are far more important than any amount of prestige or accolades.

I'm not sure where I will go once I reach the ground, but that's fine by me. In the words of tool, I will feed my will to feel this moment and embrace whatever may come. Cheers.

Live long and prosper,


Thursday, 5 January 2012

313 days of yoga

On Nov. 15 of 2010, I showed up for my first ever yoga class at a studio in Halifax known as the shala.
I didn't really know what to expect, but I was certainly surprised by how difficult I found it. I was sweating like Shaq at the foul line and was finding it very hard to keep a steady breath like the rest of the yogis and yoginis in the room. The teacher was extremely nice and very welcoming, so I decided to buy their 3 month unlimited pass. I was only able to make it once a week at first for the intro classes, which were far from easy at the time,  but were very helpful.

I started going more and more frequently as the year went on and saw monumental improvements in every aspect of my life as soon as I started to realize that yoga is far more than posture, breath, and gaze. I would have never imagined that doing the same sequence of poses over and over again would help me look at the world and myself in a totally different way, but somehow it has.
So, my intention is to step on the mat 6 days a week and see where that leads me. At the very least I'll be surrounded by wonderful people who have and continue to inspire me. That's more than enough reason for me to stay the course.  Happy sailing to everyone else!

Live long and prosper,