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Posts Tagged ‘time’

It’s June 1st tomorrow, guys, tomorrow! JUNE! How crazy is that. Almost a year since I graduated, a year since prom, a year since that amazing summer of campfires and long nights with the closest of friends. I realize it’s become a habit for me to say this per every text post, but time flew by so fast! I want it to slow down!

I am officially not the graduated class now, my younger friends are; it’s officially been about 9 months since we all went our separate ways and dove into new adventures. Yesterday, while I was tutoring Amelia in English, she asked about my friends and I told her how one of my closest friends is in Australia, how another friend was just in Brazil, that I was in Poland, etc. And she said it’s kind of sad how everyone goes off in different directions. And it kind of is.

Exams are coming up in a couple of weeks, and to be honest, I’ve really not been feeling it lately. I’ve lost motivation to do the work and try and understand the grammar, because it just got so much harder for me, and when I do my work it takes up so, so, so much time and I rather just go out with my friends. I’m a bad student. But this weekend is longer, so I think I’m going to try and catch up on my writing assignments and actually do my speaking-assignment for this week. Yeah. I’m really looking forward to the whole school-thing being done, but really not looking forward to everyone leaving.

My summer plans are a bit uncertain. Somewhere around the end of June, I’ll be going to Wrocław (mom’s side of the family), then hopefully more north (where I went for part of my winter holidays) to visit all my parents old best friends, hopefully see more of Szczecin and maybe a little bit of Gdańsk, then to Rzeszów (dad’s side of the family), then back to Wrocław, where I will be flying out! Wrocław to Frankfurt to Vancouver to Terrace! Three planes, from 8:00 Poland time, to 19:00 BC time, a grand total of 20 hours of flying and layovers, hopefully with no delayed flights! I’m really glad I’m flying into Terrace from Vancouver, instead of having to drive 16 hours, partially because it’s the fasted route home but mostly because I love the flight into Terrace – seeing that stretch of mountains – it’s beautiful, and it will be that much more special after not being home for almost a year.

Not much more to say! I’ve been laying low these days because it’s been raining the past couple weeks, and the forecast continues to say RAIN & THUNDERSTORMS. The thunderstorms are exciting though—we’ve been seeing them on an almost daily basis, where as in Terrace, you would maybe see one in a year, and that ‘one’ doesn’t even measure up to a Kraków thunderstorm! There is more humidity here I guess. The storms do move fast though. In the morning, I wake up to sunny and clear blue skies, during my classes we hear sudden thunder and see flashes of lighting and it’s pouring rain, and sometimes by the time I leave my classes it might be sunny again! Lately it stays gloomy and rainy though.

Right, so that is my weather update for you guys, and general summer plans. Nothing bigger planned for now, though I still have a few things I want to do in Kraków. Might go to a couchsurfing party tonight, as it’s been a while since I’ve been to one, and I might not get a chance to go again before leaving Kraków.

Oh! Making some headway on my future life plans. Sort of. I may have mentioned before how after I travel Europe with Paige next year, I’ve been thinking about staying behind and not coming back (at least not right away). Well I’ve sort of been looking at Scotland, and more lately/ more specifically, Edinburgh. And going to school there. And living in Scotland. That kind of thing. But only if they agree to charge me for school under my Polish citizenship, being part of the European Union, I would be charged the same price as UK citizens – otherwise, it’s more than triple the price and not worthwhile.

Yeah! Au revoir!

Joanna

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I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. Summer is finally here (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I feel like I don’t have enough weekends left to do everything I want to do before I have to go back. It’s already sad to think about, leaving Poland. I know it’s still 3 months away, but looking at the past 3 months as an example, that time will disappear so quickly.

I’m trying to think of everything that’s happened the past while and it all feels like too much to remember. I haven’t Skyped with anyone in months because I’ve been incredibly busy[1]—but with what I can’t quite recall. A while back I was gone for a few weekends in a row visiting family and then was studying[2] for the mid-terms, which are finally all over, and I know my marks for almost all of them—passed, with varying colours ;) But I’ll start with what I do remember!

Last weekend, Dorothy and I signed ourselves up for a weekend-long hiking trip, into the mountains! It was a much needed get-away. It felt so great to be in the mountains again, to breath fresh hair, to be surrounded by trees and silence, to gaze at the snow-capped mountains, to sleep in old cabins, to be challenged by a trail, to sing songs around a campfire—haven’t done most of those things since last September! It was also fun spending time with new people, getting to know them, and just the process of hiking. We hiked for 2 hours the first day, 8.5 hours on the second day (granted with breaks), and 4ish hours on the last day. And the process was an ordeal!: cautiously stepping through thin and thick snow, leaning away from the all too-near cliff sides praying your foothold doesn’t slip out from beneath you, walking through the snow run-off (that is, a stream) that found a suitable path to the bottom of the mountain (that is, our path), and manoeuvring yourself up steep slopes, grabbing onto tree branches and the snow itself to prevent yourself from falling, meanwhile not trying to think about how you’ll ever get down[3]. The only constant thought was to just keep going forwards and up and up and up.
And it was so worth it. Getting to the top is always worth it in the end. The view was stunning. The mountain, by the way, is called Babia Góra and we made it to the top on the third day. On the first two days, the mountain, of 1,725 m[4], seemed like this giant obstacle. We could see in the distance, sometimes when we made it to a clearing, this looming white-covered thing surrounded by a haze of clouds. To be honest, I didn’t believe them at first when they told me that was the mountain we would eventually get to. In between our starting point and it, there were quite a few hilly mountains—it just seemed ages away. But the experience was really worthwhile, climbing over and around hill after hill and seeing it a step closer.

Here are some photos from the last day—I was too busy trying not to fall or slip to take many photos in the first two days.

P1140056a look out

P1140079there it is!

P1140107

P1140098

P1140078one last scenic photo on the way down

Other than that, I have been spending my time casually in bars and pubs, drinking beer after beer, some occasional shots, some occasional cake, grabbing one too many meals (pizza or a kebab) at the “local”,  meeting friends of friends and new people, spending time lounging in the sun by the river, biking (I bought a bike!), walking, sightseeing, and planning my evenings with friends.

I’ve grown more and more to love the life I have here, and now with the warmth and sunshine (at last!) it doesn’t feel like it could get any better.

This feels kind of weird, because I know she reads this blog, but one of the people I have come to spend most of my time with[5] is the amazing and wonderful Jessica :) I can’t believe how fast the time has flown together and how quickly and easily she’s grown to be one of my closest friends. Here’s a picture of us today on this very warm (27 degrees!) day this morning:

me and jess3

On Sunday, I have potential plans to go to Auschwitz (finally!) if I feel like I’ll have enough time afterwards to pack, because on Monday I am flying out to Switzerland!!! Again, I can’t believe that the Swiss-trip is already here! The tickets were bought last February. Anyways, I’m not too sure of what exactly we’ll be doing, but I’ll be sure to write something up about that afterwards! I’m really excited to be seeing some more of Europe, especially a country like Switzerland! Dorothy and I are going to visit our friend Betina there, who was in Dorothy’s school three years ago in Canada on an exchange. Things will be fantastic. My only worry is wondering how I’ll work my way around the disgusting thing that is cheese….

Hope things are well with my friends back home! I know most of you guys are back in Terrace (/Prince George!) as universities in Canada are out for the summer now. It makes me a little sad that I can’t be there with you guys—if it was only possible to be in two places at once! But, I’ll catch the end of the summer with you, and though I can’t quite picture August yet, I know I’ll be happy to be home.

Joanna


[1] Also, with the 9 hour time difference, it was impossible to find a time that worked.

[2] By this I mean sitting by the river or in a cafe and trying to study

[3] “Getting down” the steep last slope, was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while. The steps that had been dug into the snow were so worn down by the end, it was nearly impossible to make our way down them. Among others, I took out my rain jacket, tied it around my waist, and slid down the slopes as if I was sledding. It took us almost 3 hours to get to the top of Babia Gora, and only 30 minutes to get down. You can imagine the speed :D And you all know I like high speeds.

[4] I just realized that’s not as high up as I imagined…I mean I’ve skydived from higher than that. But from the ground, it doesn’t seem that small!

[5] And you can blame her (partially) for not finding the time to blog!

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Okay. Where to start. I realize it’s been a while since I last wrote, a long while, and it definitely feels longer than it actually was, likely because this was the first (and longest) break I’ve taken from blogging. I had a total of one post for November. One! For October, I had ten. I think December will be better. Though I’m also quite busy these upcoming weekends, December is a more promising month because there are more things that excite me and inspire me. Winter[1],all the awesome things you can do with snow (sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, ski….), Christmas, winter break, and New Years Eve! Woop woop! And referring back to an earlier post, the ‘coziness of winter’ pretty much urges you to curl up in your blankets, hot mug of tea on hand, and write. So we’ll see how December will go for me.

It’s been two and a half months since I left! Maybe a bit more. And in that time, I’ve thought of my friends more times than I can count. Memory after memory came sprawling into my mind at uncalled for moments, catching me off guard, making me analyze things and see more than I did before. Analyze situations, friendships, personalities, emotions, all that good stuff! But also appreciate my friends back home a lot more, and really miss their presence, comments, humour, smiles, etc. Maybe that’s why when people leave, they often move back. It’s really hard to abandon your former life, with your mind almost carelessly dropping a boatful of memories at every opportunity. You see things in your memories and feel things you didn’t before. All these strings tying and pulling us back to home. Letting go of those attachments is hard.

I’m not saying I want to let go, in fact; I’ve always been more of the person that holds on tighter to those connections. I keep in touch with people like no one else I’ve ever met. When I was still living in Terrace, and over the years as friends moved away, I emailed, I phoned people on their birthdays, I wrote letters. I did this since the time I was eight, when one of my best friends moved away, another best friend a year later[2], and when I met another best friend at summer camp. And when people came back to visit, whether it was a year later, or five, they often told me I was one of the few that put in an effort.

Yes, keeping in touch is really difficult, especially if you’re the one that left. Balancing your old connections and new ones was never easy. But when people put in that effort, it is really appreciated. And I know that more so now.

I won’t lie. I am a little disappointed with some of my friends, some of my closest friends, that have barely put in an effort. I don’t mean to demote them from their good-friend-status, but there’s a little bit more distance now, when we talk, when we write, and rarely that is. It’s an awkward thing between the two of us, that elephant in the room. We throw excuses of our new busy lives, of parties, work, exams, all that, lest we acknowledge it. With our excuses, we try to justify the fact that someone just wasn’t putting in the effort.

And I imagine myself going back, and hanging out with those people. With some people, that friendship will just fall back into place like I never left. Some people are people better experienced in person—long-distance communication really isn’t there thing. And I can differentiate those people from those that are communicators, so to speak. But with some people, there will be a new distance[3]. The lack of effort during my time away will show. And I just worry, will that distance slip between us and never leave.

Another thing I experienced to do with friends, memories, and missing people, is I caught myself missing moments shared with one of my (at-the-time) best friends, Jenny. I have some of the fondest of memories with this girl, to be topped by none. When we were friends, we connected on a completely different level, this understanding I’ve never had with another friend before. We were very different but balanced each other out perfectly, in a way. We just fit together, that’s honestly what it felt like.

At first, I thought I missed her. But what I came to realize is, I didn’t really miss her. I missed the person she used to be. Not her, but her old self. The one I was best friends with. Maybe it was over the summer, or maybe the roots can be traced back to the end of highschool, but things just weren’t fitting the same anymore. Where we used to comfort each other, we aggravated each other. Where honesty used to be the highway of our friendship, lies ran it over. We got into little fights that wouldn’t resolve themselves, like they used to. I felt the change in her, but couldn’t pinpoint what it was. And perhaps there was a little change in me too.

It’s weird when a friend changes, how we sometimes can move past it. How the change strengthens the friendship. It’s funny how with some people, one small change, whatever it is, can mean the difference of a friendship. And that’s what it was with her. It was sudden, and unexpected, and I still mourn the connection we had. But I am also aware that I have realized it, accepted it, and moved on. We are still friends, just not best friends. We know there’s a difference, and I think because we both acknowledged it, we both moved harmlessly on. There is no one clinging to what once was. [4] I will always look back with fondness on the friendship. When I’m fifty and see a photo of us together, it will be a smile-and-look-back moment.

Sure, part of me still wishes things can go back to the way they were, and maybe hope a little that they will. But I think the bigger part knows what’s passed is in the past. I’ve never really had troubles with moving on from a friendship before. I guess before it always felt natural. It was a gradual process, where as this one happened quickly.

As much as I hate to think it, part of me says this is only the beginning. Sure, over the next few years, all my friends will be hovering around Terrace. We’ll see each other in the summers, keep in touch, etcetera. But as time carries us further, we’re going to end up in different places, make new connections, that might gradually replace the old ones. Not all of them, but add another layer into the complicated mix of the old and new. We won’t be seeing each other semi-reguarly, kept up to date. And I’m afraid time will fly and that we won’t even notice how fast friendships are passing us by.

Where is the line? How much are we allowed to hold on, and how much should we let go? Some people can drop their former life and treat it as it never existed. Other clings hard to the old. But where is the balance?


[1] I really can’t wait for some permanent snow to be around here.

[2] The perks of living in a community with a  bad economy.

[3] When we used to talk every day, and not need to be caught up, there will now be gaps. Oh, when did that happen? / How did I not hear about that? What do you mean you aren’t speaking to your dad anymore? –those kind of things.

[4] No one likes a clinger!

 

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I decided I like parks. I don’t mean playgrounds, I mean the greenery in the middle of a city. Walking through a park, especially on a day as still as today, is enchanting, a remnant of what time was like before, where we lived, before the time of the city. It’s like being in another place entirely. If only the tranquillity was not disturbed by the sounds of speeding cars and the groan from the tracks as trams trembled into mobility. Either way, a park is a little bit of frozen time surrounded by a place where everything is moving to the speed of time. Giant trees, stretch their bare limbs across the sky, natural architecture. Leaves are sprawled across the grass in piles caught in cobble stone indents or pushed up against park benches and tree trunks as sun rays stream between the uplifting fog.  But not a single leaf falls because the air is so still. Captivating.

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