It was a long day of constant rejections and shots on my ego. I approached several people – who I thought looked approachable – at various Tim Horton’s throughout the day, only to be presented with the cold shoulder and “go fuck yourself” glares. Desperate times called for desperate measures; so I turned to Mama Bear to lend a helping hand. She introduced me to Karen, a mother of one the boys on the basketball team my mom coaches.
Karen has an inviting nature, but I could sense that she was a tad uncomfortable – which is understandable. I learned that I need to approach the situation differently next time, as I had been soliciting a project to people who don’t know me, instead of letting the magic come naturally. Knowing that Karen was a mother provided me with the comfort that she understood the importance of my education and would give her best to help me. I sat next to her on the bleachers of my old high school and proceeded to ask her: “What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?”
She laughed, and as it now seems to be a pattern, she said: “I don’t know where to start.” She thought about the question long and hard. It seemed as if she assessed all of her trials and tribulations, to come to one conclusion: When you’re young, you think you know everything, life seems to have so much time, and your body and health seem invincible. But realistically, your parents know everything, life is short, and your health in the future relies on how you took care of yourself in the past. She continued to share her experiences with her education, and showed some sympathy for my interviewing process, as she once had to interview six-year-old children for a thesis project. It’s tougher than it sounds, people!
It all managed to come full circle for me; my mom was the one to help me when I needed it, showing that maybe she knows and does a little more than I give her credit for. I’m at the age when my views are similar to what hers once were. I thought about my lifestyle choices and the unpredictability of life, and in the moment, started to appreciate the seconds, as they all seemed to start passing quicker than they did before.
Photo Credit: Olivia Vanderwal
Olivia Vanderwal is a wanderlust enthusiast, a writer of delicate words, a player of all things acoustic, and a singer in and out of the shower, determined to follow a career in the writing industry. She hopes to dive into scriptwriting for television, while dipping her toes in the songwriting business and also juggling a novel of her own one day. Keep her in your prayers.