Throughout the past week (Jan. 20-26), I’ve (and many of my close friends) experienced a lot of emotion and struggle. This also probably explains why I haven’t written a post is such a long time (and I sincerely apologize for that…I really miss writing). Last week was difficult, but there’s one quote that sums it all up:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Plato
The first half of the week was quite emotional, to say the least. My class and I went on a retreat called Kairos. I can’t really tell you much about Kairos because it’s supposed to be a secret and a surprise for the next classes who go on that retreat. I can talk about my personal experience though: I guess to start with, I learned that I’m not alone. Just like Plato’s quote, everyone is fighting a hard, if not similar, battle and you can’t always assume that someone is struggling just from their daily appearance or personality. There were so many people who I talked to on that trip who were having similar problems to myself: academic struggles, family issues, social dilemmas, etc. It was an enlightening experience. While I can’t discuss much more, here are some of my favourite quotes from the speeches I heard on this retreat:
- “Knowing yourself is a never-ending process.”
- “Our ability to practice empathy is helped and hindered by our own experiences and our own personal growth.”
- “The human heart has a capacity to love that surpasses all reason and fear.”
- “Asking for help can be a terrifying thing because you must be vulnerable… in my experience, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself.”
- “We are perfect in our imperfection.”
- “The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.”
- “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift after all.”
The retreat ended late Wednesday evening and right after it ended, I stood and watched as my best friend came out to her parents. She had been fretting and worrying about it for a long time and had squeezed my hand for quite some time before telling her family. As I hugged my parents, I saw her tear up as she told them and when it looked like things were alright, I walked up to her and hugged her for a long time, where we both cried. I’m never going to forget that one moment.
The next day seemed pretty normal: I went to school, attended my zero period class, and sat next to my best friend in biology. About halfway through the class, my friend got an email from her girlfriend, another one of my best friends, saying that she had come out to her mom and that it hadn’t gone well. After biology had ended, we went to find her and gave her hugs and realized that we she really needed our support and love. We were excused from all our classes that day as we switched between sitting in the dean of students’ office and our learning specialist’s office for support. While it was one of the scariest days of my life, it was also one of the most life changing days. I realized how absolutely amazing my school was, doing everything they could to support my friend. Please send your love to my friend!
Moral of last week: Be Accepting, Loving, and Kind