In 2012 I got into the Master’s programme at Simon Fraser University, resigned from my job of 4.5 years at Canada Revenue Agency, travelled to Malaysia/Singapore with my dad, went through a bout of anxiety having to adjust to not working anymore, and realized I was stuck in Canada for the next two years away from Ryan while completing my Master’s, I started my Master’s , discovered mindfulness meditation to deal with life, and met my cohort, 4 of whom are some of my closest pals (Svetlana, Amanda, Danielle and Sylvia) and one of who helped me navigate my way through Cambridge when I arrived this year (Svetlana!). As an enthusiastic entertainer and loving Thanksgiving, I naturally had to throw a big Thanksgiving dinner party at my place to meet and greet everyone that fall. And ended up discovering Danielle lived just down the street from me, we didn’t click at first but I remember a few months later, I was going for an evening walk with my dog and asked her if she wanted to join me. We would go on for long evening walks to Stanley Park, a 1,000 acre park a few blocks away from where we lived in Downtown Vancouver. It ended up becoming the best habit we ever formed going on regular evening walks solidifying our awesome friendship for years to come.
I changed how I approached life by the end of this particular year, probably as a result of mindfulness. But I started looking at everything in life with more curiosity and an open mind. I started saying “yes” to everything, invitations, opportunities to meet new people and strangers, to attend concerts even if I was going by myself and knew no one. It really allowed me to re-discover Vancouver and I became a tourist in my own city. And I could tell it really changed how I could affect people just by being me.