Chapter XIX

Hello everyone! So much has happened over the past couple days and I have finally found the time to sum up everything. Since I turned 19 two days ago (and now am finally legal), here are some things (of the many, many, MANY things that I am thankful for) that I wish to give even more thanks for over the past 19 years:

1. My family! My life would not be what it is without my family. They are my inspiration, the ones that shape me to be who I am and the ones that always push me to be the best person that I can be. They are my support during the good and the bad times, and are there for me no matter what. They have taken care of me and taught me lessons that no other teachers could. Without my parents, my sisters and I would not have the opportunities that we do, and without my sisters, my life would not be nearly as fun. Together we are a great family, team, and unit. Thank you!

2. My friends! No matter when I have met them, the friends that are in my life have never disappointed me and have always supported me and stood by me. I am so thankful for the friends I have known since day one up until the ones that I have met this past year. All the people that I am so privileged to call a friend have shaped me into the person I am, holding me accountable to myself and helping to make life so much more enjoyable. Thank you!

3.Good health – Aside from the unusual sickness or annoying cough, everything is safe and healthy!

4. Depression – Though I can never deny that this has been a part of my life, I am so happy to say that it has stopped plaguing my life for nearly a year now. I have had the best support system to help me cope and battle through my issues, and all I can say is thank you to the ones that have been there for me from the start and never abandoned me. I suppose that having had this as part of my life has given me more sympathy towards this issue and in turn has made me passionate about working towards removing the stigma that is around mental illness. I hope to continue pushing this important issue!

5. School – Starting at SFU this past 8 months has been such a blessing. As much as I loved high school, I am starting to see that university is just a little bit more fun. Regardless, everything has been going really good so far. I love what I am doing and the people that I meeting.

6. Teaching – I have gained a lot of experience and am so thankful for the students that I have, as well as the parents for their dedication. It is such a joy to be teaching in my old studio and sharing with my students the love that I have for my craft! As for my own playing – I am almost done all my theory requirements (one more exam!) and then I can focus on my Piano Pedagogy exam. The mentors that have helped me over the years have given me an incredible gift – music – and putting it into practice is really a life changing gift. I really do not know what I would be doing if I did not have piano in my life!

7. Faith – It has been a turbulent road, from being on the highest highs and sinking down to the lowest lows, but I believe that it is very safe to say that right now I am in a good spot. After joining Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) during first semester, I have met some wonderful people that have helped me through my faith journey and strengthened my love for Christ even more. The friendships and bonding that come with it are an added bonus!

8. Job – Thanks to some wonderful connections, I got a new job! So blessed to be working with my best friend and taking on the “real” world and getting experience!

9. Love – It took me a long time to see what it means to love someone. Dating in the past has brought to light misconceptions and false expectations that I have put on myself and the guys that I had once “loved”, and this only led to “heartbreak” and pure infatuation. I recognize now that mature relationships have more than butterflies and romantic gestures (which, I still am a sucker for). Nonetheless, I have finally learned that true love means true sacrifice, and that the one for me is out there. I just have to learn to be patient.

10. … – I have absolutely no idea how 19 years passed by so fast..

It really has passed by in the blink of an eye. And maybe that is just the elderly person in me talking or the 19th birthday alcohol still messing with my brain, but I really cannot comprehend how I got this far. There have been times where I have felt like giving up on life, and I can say now, in retrospect, that I am so happy that people had told me to continue to have courage and soldier on.

The past 19 years have truly been a blessing, and I am looking forward to all the years to come!

Here are some pictures from my 19th celebration with my family and friends:

Finally, thank you all for reading my blog! I know I just started this a year and a bit ago, but thank you all for reading and supporting me on it!
Until next time,
x R

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