Sometimes a lot of things are going on in life and it becomes easy to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Being a student away from home, at times I felt like dropping everything and running back to the comfort of my home. Fact is, problems usually never disappear – you have two options to chose from: either quit, or solve the problem. Although mom’s cooking would be a lot better than KD and instant noodles, running away from a problem is never a good solution.
There’s always a solution to any problem, but nothing will get done (or done right) if you aren’t in the right state of mind. I find that one of the most important things that you can do is to find good outlets. What makes you happy? What calms you down? Everybody needs a good break every now and then. I know I do or else I start to feel like I’m losing my mind. Go do any of those things, have a great time. When you come back to real life, you’ll have a bit more room in your brain to deal with whatever headaches there may be.
Here’s a couple of my hobbies – things that help me feel a bit less crazy and keep me on the right track.
Bro SK8LYFE, dude!
Sorry, I just imagine that’s what comes to mind when I tell people that I skate. That or the image of like a 13-year-old wearing DC’s, skinny jeans with the old Bieber haircut and flat-brimmed hat sitting way too far back on his head. (No offence to 13 year olds wearing DC’s, skinny jeans with Bieber cuts) Yeah! I like skateboarding! No teams, no coach, no rules. Just me, my board and music, that’s all I need. Actually, you might have seen me rollin’ around campus near the end of the year (‘cause Winter never wants to take a seat in Sudbury).
Skateboarding isn’t like most other sports. You can’t lose. I mean, you can bail pretty hard – I broke my arm twice – but the risk for injury exists in any sport. You can’t win either. There’s always another trick to learn. Mix two tricks together and right there is another trick. The possibilities are endless. I spend hours, days sometimes even months working on a trick. It’s so easy to get consumed in it. A couple minutes into a skate sesh and I forget whatever was on my mind. And when you finally land that trick perfectly, the sense of accomplishment that you get feels amazing, its like a natural high.
I also enjoy photography! I don’t claim to be a great photographer or anything, I probably suck but I don’t care haha. My roommate during first year and one of my closest friends Abdullelah Fallatah (Instagram: @abdiiphoto) took a photography class during his second year and had asked me to be in a some of his pics. (I’m not a model.) That’s when I really started liking photography. Abdi teaches me things about cameras and different styles of pictures. He’s like my photo-guru lol. Often we’d even go around campus, sometimes with a shot in mind or even just looking around for things that look cool. Recently we were downtown Toronto, just walking around aimlessly and taking pictures of whatever.
I find that certain sights, views, or images can express a certain feeling, emotion or meaning…if that makes any sense. Or sometimes it’s nothing at all. Just the image alone seems interesting for no apparent reason. And with photography, you get to take a snap of that image, at that moment, the way you perceive it to be. Well sometimes I can’t, I get Abdi to help me out. I’m also thinking of buying my own DSLR so that I can leave him alone. Usually I post some pics on Instagram, I’m curious to see if people see what I see in certain pics, but ultimately it’s open to interpretation. Photography to me is just something else that I can think about, that wont stress me out. It’s not serious, I can just do whatever I want, just like skateboarding.
If you can’t think of anything else to do, just go for a walk. I know it might sound lame to some of you, but just do it. (Nike, do I pay you or do you pay me, how does this work?) I go on walks whenever it feels like everything is just too much. Back home I have a couple spots that I like to go to. One of ’em is the skatepark near my house, at night ’cause no one is there and its quiet. I live near the city so you can hear traffic and what not in the distance. The front of my place faces Eglington Avenue. I like sitting there and watching cars pass by. It reminds me that I’m not alone and that there are a lot of people out there in the world dealing with their own problems, some probably worst than mine. That’s when I realize that I should probably take it easy.
I believe that there’s no better remedy than nature. I mean, we’re all human beings, we’re a part of nature. Man-made things are great and all, we’ve accomplished a lot. But no audio synthesizer can create a better sound of water flowing through in a river. No painting/drawing or picture of the sky will be more beautiful than the view of the sky itself. Our campus is surrounded by many trails, lakes and forests. There is definitely a lot happening in a natural environment on different levels that I don’t even know about, yet it all usually seems so calm. Go have a bonfire with some friends, or just wander until you find your way back. Go see what’s out there. Find your own spot. I know I find it relaxing.