loss

I just found out that my high school friend has passed away. Damen was not my best friend, but we certainly shared some funny memories and moments.

I remember actually how I first tried pot with him in his room and he got really paranoid and we tried to smoke whatever weed he had from an apple. He was just so chill and nice.

He would always laugh at Zhanel and my stupid jokes in class. And sometimes we could talk about music, or gossip and bitch about other people.

But he was always nice. I could never say anything bad about him. His soul was pure, I know that. And I hope that whatever trouble he was going through, he overcame it. And I hope he found his peace.

He was very talented and unique. His music, his style.

Last time I saw him was actually in Toronto. He came to my apartment at 1001 and we smoked up one more time. And then we went out exploring Toronto whilst high, getting our munchies at some burger joint on Yonge street, listening to music at my place afterwards. It was my “hippie” Bohemian careless period and seeing Damen only made things more chill and simple.

I wish we could have hanged out more.

This whole thing just makes me sad. Really. I can’t even fully realize that I will never be able to see this person. And I would have to talk about him in past tense. I think of my classmates now and then, how are they doing, what are they up to kind of thing. Sometimes I stalk them lol

And losing one of your classmates is heartbreaking, because no one deserve to die so young. But life is life, no matter how unfair it can get.

I just feel like death is invisible sometimes. It is everywhere. It is inevitable but at the same time I feel like it is an illusion sometimes. I really want to keep it that way, because I have no idea how to cope with that. I have no idea what his mother and close friends and relatives are going through. But I wish them to stay strong.

I feel like none of us actually know what it is until you come face-to-face with it. And I wish none of us to have that as long as we can.

I have this really bad feeling in my heart. I remember posting about my feelings. And right now I feel something. That deep ache inside my heart. My throat is dry and my face is kind of wobbly and zombie-like. This is how I am when I am sad. I also think a lot. And write.

I wish you Damen to rest in peace. You will be missed.

 

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Few Last Days in Montreal -Life Diary/Update

Were dazed and confused. Life always gets messy like that. Apartment hurdles took the best of me. And it all came down on my like a heavy rain on July afternoon, unexpected and all at the same time. My sublet wanting to cancel our agreement, roommate with her undecided plans for July and the person I was subletting from ruining all my plans and just plain mistreating me.

But you know apart from that and the stress of the group project for my archaeology class, it is not all that bad.

I also have a cat in my apartment and although I was really excited at first, falling asleep to her scary darting movements and smells was by far not the greatest nights I had. I like cats and animals, but they need constant care which Megha seems to forget.

And now finally… I just feel like I am excited and dreading my departure from Montreal. So many things I havent done. So many I have done. I feel like I would love this city even more if I had my close friends or family around. But my life journey so far seems independent if not lonely. And I guess it is time to confess to myself, to accept that I am lonely and that I am tired of that. I have been rejecting this truth all the time. I was independent. I had friends but I led my life on my own, making my own decisions etc. But you know, at the end of the day you want to come back home and embrace someone you love, and tell them how great or awful the day was. It doesnt have to be a boyfriend! I just wish my sister, my mother, or one of my friends were here. Someone who could share these moments with me.

I feel like my relationships with people are getting more complicated and although I long for people, I also do enjoy time by myself. If I was here with friends, sure we could go out and do many things, but it would have been a different experience. Here I am sitting in the coolest, most charming Anticafe in Montreal, sipping on my latte and nibbling cookies, reading, practicing French, watching Friends and now writing this, and hearing Jazz festival at the same time! This is all my own doing. I created this day for myself and that is nice.

Also I really relate to this quote:

“Traveling-to-a-place energy and living-in-a-place energy are two fundamentally different energies”

When people ask me for directions in Montreal or speak French, or I can converse with someone about my favourite restaurants and cafes, you become a Montrealer. Of course not born and raised. But I certainly am not a tourist. “However temporary it may be, I am a civilian”. But that also makes me understand how this is not my home either. And then I get totally confused because I feel like Toronto has become my home. A second home I convince myself, but I havent lived in Almaty for longer than 3 months more than 3 years now. So I dont feel like I belong there. There is no sense of purpose there. It is like coming on vacation to meet your friends and family.

But when I am in Toronto I feel purpose, I feel like I belong and like this is my own life. The one I made for myself. Although of course I realize a lot of it was with help and luck. But the essential difference is like between the family you make and the one that is given to you. You love both equally, but you feel more responsibility to the one you created. It is the product of your decisions. And that makes Toronto in some weird sense my home and the people from there my family.

Every year is so different for me and I just cant imagine what life has in store for me but I know that Autumn brings yellow leaves and wind of change. And I only hope for the better because I have so many plans, goals, dreams!

I just need support.

 

23 truths

23 truths

Or to be honest, there is no “truth”. That’s what every person should discover before 23.

There is no truth because obviously it is subjective. Fused with our own beliefs and our own biases, what might be true to one, may seem false to another. And it also comes down to our basic definition of truth. But before I descend into deep philosophical questions on epistemology, I actually wanted to share some important realizations of mine.

  1. Plan. Learn how to plan first. If you don’t know how to plan your basic day, then how are you planning to have a successful life? No, not all things need to be planned, and it is a not a necessary element of formula for happiness, but it is an essential element of making things done and moving the world forward. So start planning now, regardless of age, career etc.
  2. Just do things now. Dishes? Just do them now. The general rule from all these productivity and success books is the 5-minute rule. If it is less than 5 minutes, just do it. Take out the trash, put your clothes back on the rack, email your colleague.
  3. Invest in quality pair of shoes and white basic shirt. There are just some things that make it or break it, and since first impressions tend to last, don’t let an old stained shirt or pair of worn-out converse ruin a fruitful acquaintance or potential love-interest.
  4. Read for pleasure. I am guilty of laying off my favourite classics and what-not and doing my political science readings instead (still procrastinating). Better to read a novel than spend hours on social media right? And hey you actually are improving yourself: widening our your worldview, enhancing vocabulary, improving reading skills!
  5. Learn a language. If you speak just one, you must learn another. Think of just how much more possibilities the world will have for you, how many doors will open! From my experience in Montreal I have really regretted not investing my time into learning a language. Just sign up for language courses at your school, or language academy. They always have discounts for students! And if you actually diligently do it, you will be able to speak and write in 1 year already!  How many jobs will a language give you? How many friends, experiences? On y va!
  6. Stop thinking what others think of you. Honestly. I know so many people and I am myself very concerned with my reputation. But you know what? There are like 8 billions of people on this planet… alright, there are 100thousand people in your city, and just not letting yourself do something because others will think badly of you is really not an excuse. You want to go to a gay club? Just go. Honestly, making everyone like you and appearing nice to everyone is a waste of time, because there is always someone who hates you, loves you or jealous of you. And for very different reasons. Just be you,  a better version of you. 🙂
  7. Know how to do basic make-up! To be honest, up until last year my skills in make up were worse than mediocre, but somehow I always thought I was good enough. I would clumsily put on a thin layer warm brown eyeshadows and one layer of mascara and to me it was “WOW!” but others didnt even see anything. But yeah, just having a polished look is always nice. I actually wear make-up when I go out and 80% of my time I am without it. But to each its own, whether it is 5 layers of foundation, or just a BB cream 🙂 I have an obsession with lipsticks though 😀
  8. Styling you hair. That I yet to have learn. But honestly when I look around women of age 25 and older, I see that they have their unique style, from hair to clothes. I am actually not the fan of routines, because I am just that kind of moody, spontaneous person, but having that one to-go hairstyle is always a nice addition.
  9. But apart from looks, how about investing into your self-development? Books, classes, learning a new skill is always a great idea. Don’t just think you are successful because you work as an accountant for EY (although  I think its quite an accomplishment). Pick-up a hobby,  learn how to do graphic design, or cook. Or fix tires. Honestly, there are some skills that nobody teaches you, but yourself. Or hard lessons of life LOL
  10. You are enough. You are worth. I just cannot even put this in words. But there were so many times that I just couldnt be on my own. And now that I am spending 2 months in Montreal practically living on my own, I have learned one important thing: I am enough [самодостаточность]. Honestly, I’d rather spend time by myself than with people whom I dont like. You don’t need other people’s opinion or validation to like yourself or just have fun. I can dance, go crazy, sing songs, watch anime, cook, do yoga at home without anyone and I am having so much fun! Hell, I went to movies by myself, to eat by myself, to another country (!) and to those scary networking events etc. Point is, dont feel like you have to be with someone all the time.
  11. Guys come and go. haha what a wisdom. But honestly, I always felt very close to my friedships but this year I learned that is much harder to balance your friendships and your relationships. No matter what, don’t lose your head and try to balance your life. Also another point is that you will have many guys approach you or not approach you, and the point is not to be overwhelmed by that. Stay cool, nice and polite like the awesome chick you are. Yeah, I used to overthink a simple text like “You should visit my city”. Girls give too much meaning to things.
  12. Declutter. Throw away things you dont use more than a year (because winter I guess…) or things you overused and they don’t work. You got it. Everytime i threw out or donated something , something cool would come to my life. (Haha of course, cuz I went to the store and bought it). No, but actually this law of balance works. Emptiness has to be filled with something 🙂 So if you want a good thing in your life, be ready to say bye to another! Same Law applies to people (in my life lol)
  13. Yeah speaking of the devil. Ohh… If I had a penny for every person I lost in my life, I would make like… 1 buck? I lost a lot. But that’s the thing with life. You lose, you gain. It is really sad and heart aching. I cried sometimes and now I smirk to myself. I guess that’s why I grew kind of cynical (but also naive apparently) and closing my emotions. The good thing is that each person teaches you something. About yourself. By losing a dear friend of mine recently I learned that I should be more responsible and reliable (and that goes oh so against my Gemini nature, you know us right?) But yeah, unfortunately that is how life is and I am not the type to force people. Some relationships require fighting though. You have to ask yourself if its worth it or no?

TO BE CONTINUED.

love

Это так странно, но сегодня я поняла, что иногда когда я испытываю сильное чувство любви, то что-то в  грудной клетке сжимается, наворачиваются слезы, и я чувствую привкус боли. Это так сложно описать словами. Но мне кажется, что я никогда не хочу отпускать этого человека, хочу отдать ему все, весь мир, хочу чтобы у него всегда все было хорошо. И все тело при этом содрогается и меня охватывает эта волна.

А потом все затихает.

Сегодня писала сестренке, маме и папе, и поняла как редко я себе позволяю to really get emotional. мне кажется я настолько vulnerable at that moment, что могу с легкостью потерять контроль над собой.

А еще бывает другое чувство любви. Без боли. Наоборот. Какое-то окрыленное, радостное. Когда слышишь хорошие новости от людей, которых любишь. И хочется прыгать от счастья. Искренне. Смеяться . Но и плакать в тоже время. И благодарить Всевышнего (кем или чем оно бы не было) за все хорошее, что происходит с тобой и с ними.

Это тоже самое чувство когда я прилетаю в Казахстан. Опять же грудная клетка сжимается. Словно выброс адреналина. Я понимаю как сильно люблю родную землю, несмотря на все плохое. Я слышу кюй домбры, я чувствую этот чудесный запах в горах, чувствую вкус маминой еды. That sense of love, gratitude, sense of security. It is undescribable yet so powerful it overwhelmes me and consumes me.

Я так безумно рада когда это со мной происходит. Особенно когда я плачу, что очень и очень редко происходит со мной. Я чувствую себя человек. Чувствую себя живой. Мне иногда страшно становится, что я перестала чувствовать любовь, стала циничной. Но эти моменты напоминают мне какого быть именно человеком. После постоянных “рациональностей” кажется, что твой мозг “прокачался”, а вот мышца сердца наоборот очерствела, атрофировалась. Но нет, она пошевелилась! Ох. Это чудесно. Даже если больно.

Не знаю. Не подумайте, что я мазохист, но именно это чувство боли , знаете not pain, but ache, в сердце оно наверное самое мощное и лучше всего напоминает мне, что я еще могу чувствовать.

А еще говорят, что злость очень сильная эмоция. Я ее тоже редко испытываю. Могу беситься, но это не злость. И мне кажется, что это даже полезно порой злиться. Когда можно покричать. А я даже в горах иногда не могу покричать.

Мне кажется в современном обществе чувства стали undervalued, а рациональность overrated. Мы позабыли про то что чувства и эмоции гораздо более искренние. И если уж они вырвались наружу , то их уже не спрячешь, как допустим можно спрятать какой-нибудь мотив за фальшивой улыбкой.

Так что эту неподкупную искренность, чувства, нужно ценить.

Я хочу выразить свою любовь к моей маленькой сестренке, хочу чтобы у нее всегда все было хорошо. Выражаю свою любовь к маме и папе. Пусть у них всегда все хорошо, душевное спокойствие, гармония, счастье.

И всем другим людям я этого желаю.

 

loving-kindness

loving-kindness

 

like a mother feeds her child

i want to care and nurture

and alleviate all of the humanity

of suffering and panacea

of burden of cyclic existence

of karma and all that comes with it

but would it be wise? i stop and ask myself.

 

mother’s love is endless to her child

but she cant shield the child from all the pain

since pain makes us grow and realize

that clinging, craving binds us to this world

cultivate your loving kindness to souls

to creatures , plants, skies, wind, rain.

 

in this quest for love,

how have we confused the feelings with objects?

we chase love by the wrong tail,

self-validating through objects and other beings,

forgetting to contemplate on ours souls,

to cultivate love, to meditate.

To love and nurture all that is in this world.

 

Poem inspired by my Buddhism class and my own reflections. What are your ways of overcoming cravings and desires? Do you ground yourself in reality, mundane problems, career, money, house? Do yourself a favour and meditate. It really helps to calm the tumultuous mind. Be mindful.

May 23rd

Удивительно, что обычно я пишу блог когда мне очень хорошо, одиноко или грустно.

Эти выходные прошли замечательно! Я встретилась с знакомыми из Ванкувера, познакомилась с новыми казахами, двумя семейными парами из Ванкувера и Оттавы, с которыми отправилась в Квэбэк сити! Это была очень классная и спонтанная поездка, в моем стиле. Но были и свои казусы, например когда я, Ерлан и Айсана потерялись и отделились от остальных, но это не помешало нам насладиться городом и изведать старые улицы Квэбэка и в особенности увидеть Шато Фронтенак, самый красивый отель-замок в Северной Америке!

Однако эти два дня бесконечных прогулок, поисков паркинга и хорошего, недорого места покушать меня изнурили. Неужели я старею? Наконец приехав домой в понедельник я встретилась с знакомым и мы решили приготовить ужин и покурить кальян.

Сегодня я еле как проснулась и опоздав на лекцию не могла сконцентрироваться на том что говорил Профессор. Не знаю то ли это от бокалов вина, выпитых мною в понедельник, то ли я еще прихожу в себя. Но мне такое состояние совсем не по душе. Эдакая тоска, одиночество, сонливость. Нужно себя встряхнуть, зарядиться энергией, ведь неделя уже подходит к концу, а продуктивность совсем на нуле!!!

Мне помогает кофе и походы в кофейни, однако и там меня иногда ждут отвлечения от работы. К примеру вроде начинаешь с ответов на имэйл и важными переписками, а заканчиваешь просто время-провождением в соц сетях 😦 Не знаю, где эта невидимая черта? Может следует себе давать время, к примеру 30 минут на ответы в имэйле, итд и потом сразу делать дела, читать книги итд?

Вообще, на душе словно чего-то не хватает. То ли родного человека рядом (который до сих пор меня ищет , что-же ты так долго, я же тут в Монреале! ХД), то ли просто у меня homesickness, причем Торонто и Алматы! Да уж вот что значит иметь два дома, но дело конечно не в городе, а в людях.

В общем мысли сегодня хаотичные, мозг не желает работать… Надеюсь вторая кружка кофе будет в помощь 🙂

 

Нужно бы и фотки загрузить в Квэбэка и Монреаля! Столько всего ведь можно рассказать!

Soul Searching, Self-Development, Liberty

Those are the three words that come to my mind when I think of my journey and my current stop. Montreal. Beautiful city in Quebec.

The first time I came here I thought how charming the city was, the Viex Port (Old Port), the Mont Royal and duplexes near McGill. I told myself it would be wonderful to live in one. And here I am, sitting in a spacious hall of my new home for the next two months, exactly like the ones I was secretly admiring. Life is magical. And I am extremely grateful that my wishes come true, one way or another.

So, this is a new chapter in my life and coming here was an adventure in its own. I was in my own element as usual, Aizhan style: last-minute decisions, spontaneous and unsure of what will happen next. After finishing my last final on Wednesday and celebrating with a friend on Thursday I was still unsure until Saturday. I posted an ad for a sublet and met a girl from UofT that day and hopeful that she will take an apartment I took a leap of faith. I made a decision that evening: I am going to Montreal. Not knowing where exactly, how exactly and if things will come in favour, I just made that step. Amidst feelings of uncertainty and fear, I found something deep inside which I lost. That curiousity, desire to explore and do something new, to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted it, I needed it in my life more than ever. I am 22. There is still years ahead of me, but I knew that if I doubted myself in that crucial moment, I will regret it.

So I seized an opportunity to come to Montreal, take summer courses in McGill and explore the city, meet new people and what-not. I was open. Everything was quick: finding a ride, negotiating with Gavin, negotiating with my roommates and a potential sublet, packing my entire room in boxes and suitcase I randomly found. It is all behind now, but it was part of the journey. These things that keep you on your feet, make you constantly analyze, plan, decide, execute. I missed that because despite heavy academic courses at UofT, they lacked this kind of urgent element. Real life decision-making.

I went to bed at 3AM and somehow fell asleep despite being very worried about the next day. Who is this Gavin, what if he a maniac, will I get safely there? Etc. But he arrived and I came down with my suitcase at 7AM on Sunday and met him and his cute dog named Mandie. The whole ride was fast and smooth, despite some inconvenience. I became friends with Mandie and thought that this was definitely something new!

It was raining hard when I arrived and I couldnt get to the girl named Megha who subletted her room to me. However, despite my worries, I got wi-fi from someone and was able to connect with her and came to my new apartment! Ah! It was just like in pictures, a fireplace, tall ceilings, natural light, big windows, brick walls! This was so me. I loved it at the first sight. Megha had some sense of urgency and business to her, she started quickly explaining some things, but I decided to leave my stuff and rushed straight to my class after a 6 hour ride!

Right away I decided to talk to someone and my first acquaintance was Sanjit. He was nice enough to share his notes and take me to the next building. All in all, it wasn’t a bad day at all, but my back was hurting so much from all the stress, sleepless nights and heavy luggage. In some moments of weakness and fear I thought to myself, where is my ex-boyfriend when I needed him. But then I reminded myself WHY I am here. Not for anyone, but myself. I can be strong, I can do things on my own and I can ask for help.

I couldnt fall asleep for a long time that crazy Monday I arrived to Montreal. I cant’t tell if it was the noise of my roomates, the light that was falling right onto me, or just me being so tired that I was too awake. It doesn’t matter anyway. Megha was nice to invite me to party on Tuesday and that’s when I met someone I know from Toronto all of a sudden. The least expected person in a least expected place. TWICE. Coincidence? Now that I am taking this Hinduism and Buddhism class, I doubt it. Like my Professor Arvind Sharma said, the people, objects, events that surround us are not coincidental. We all owe karmic debts to each other. Was this some kind of sign the universe wanted to send me? I will not know for we are ignorant human beings who can’t know the truth of universe, but I will just accept it as it is and move on.

Among other people, I also met a very cute and nice girl named Fairha who is also in my class. Again after a feat of dount, I told myself “Don’t limit yourself, take the chance” and signed up for French courses and immediately went there after my RELG class. There I met some new people and they were all so different. Different from Toronto. Names like Gigi, Estelina, Thaliya, Tue made me feel that this was a new experience. The Professor Genevieve quickly picked up my name Aika and helped me with pronunciation of French words.

All in all, it was a great day. Now I am listening to Tibetan healing sounds and reading my class book. I feel like I am part of something larger. I feel like I wanted to write this and share what was going on. To make sense of this experience and capture it. I feel as though this was not accidental. Even if I don’t make lasting friendships or do something huge, these little experiences will always stay with me. Just like Tarragona, like UofT, like my relationships. There is a lesson to everything. I hope that I can accomplish and take everything I can from Montreal and learn more.