- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: I know, Nietzsche said it first, but I feel I can get credit just for spelling his name right. This year wasn’t easy: we had ups and downs, experienced unexpected problems and small annoyances. I sometimes wondered how we were going to make it. But eventually we survived. Everyday life’s little struggles sometimes adds up to a lot of pressure, and balancing work, study etc, isn’t always easy. Yet, life is interesting and I learned a lot through these experiences.
- Taking chances worth it: I first came in Canada in 2002, and I’ve been living there full-time since 2004. And I don’t regret it. There were some tough time, but things turned out fine. And you know what, I’m glad I learned the hard way: getting a job, learning English, getting used to the culture was a chance. I now look back and I’m proud of me. I’m going to be 25 years old in 2008, and I see so many opportunities, so many choices, so many chances ahead of me.
- The immigration process doesn’t end once the paperwork is done: I’m a “legal alien” yet no one said I was welcome, or even needed. No one will give me the “Canadian label”, it’s something I have to earn by myself. There’s no test to be Canadian, no points given for all the winters I survived, for all the snow I shoveled, for the English I learned and for the love I have for this country. It’s all in my head. And it’s my daily life.
- The more you write, the easier it gets:When I started this blog, every post was a struggle. I cared more about my grammar than about my subject and I cared a lot of what people would think of a French woman blogging in English. But eventually, sometime this year, it got much easier. I think my English got better, and I’m much more comfortable talking about anything now.
- Art is life and life is art: For a couple of year after high school, I stopped drawing, taking pictures of writing. I was too busy, too lazy, too tired… you know the excuses. I rediscovered pleasure in drawing thanks to blogging. Tweaking my template and making all the little graphics for this blog was relaxing. I’m happy when I look at something I created, something that just looks good. It’s so satisfying. Music, visual arts, photography… we all need beautiful things to inspire us in this world.
- People are surprising… in a good way: I found help and rewards when I least expected it. Jack Book helped me a lot with my template coding, while Kiviniar made donations using the little button in the sidebar. RennyBA sent me a troll all the way from Norway, I won some $$$ with Lori and I’ve just won a book at Curious Villager! I have readers and I enjoy reading them. And I have friends in Ottawa who are always here for a good chat, and who made me laugh/ helped me/ fed me. Lucky me!
- Politicians or executives are lousy French students: I worked with a few this year and trust me, lots of blah blah. Plus, they didn’t even try to corrupt me: all I had was a couple of coffee and an occasional Starbucks brownie. I was expecting a suitcase full of banknotes… especially considering that one of my former spring student is being charged with traffic of influence as I speak!
- French grammar is fucked up: I stopped blaming my students after re-discovering a couple of grammar rules myself. Now, I know that as soon as I’ll be finished explaining a new rule, an exception would be found. Bummer. Trust me, you don’t realize how weird your language is till you start explaining it to a bunch of beginners!
- The more you get up early, the easier it gets: saying I’m not a morning person isn’t even close to describing the situation. As a explained in this post, my last year of high school was a struggle partially because we started classes at 8am. But hey, even though I still don’t like it, there is hope for people like us: I now get up at 7:30 most day, but I treat myself to a good book in the bus, a nice cup of hot chocolate when I arrive downtown and I’m fine!
- It’s better to freeze your ass shoveling snow in a blizzard than to wait for a couple of days: Trust me on that one. See, we all think that shoveling snow while it’s snowing is stupid. Can’t blame you, been there. But, the secret is… if you wait to long, the snow plow is going to clear to roads and dump all the snow at the end of your driveway. And then, good luck to shovel and lift the big chunk of ice and snow! So the key is to shovel little by little. Or wait for Spring. That could work too.
So… RennyBA, Beaverboosh, Lori, Chen, Aiglee, Ghosty, Ammar, Diesel, Art, Tracy, Dan, Kirant, Princesse, Max, Graham, Pelf, Angela May, Kyh, Wapentake, Jorge, Froogiewoogie, JoAnn, Deadpool, Jessica, Spyder, Johnada… (I must forget some, but my hands are tired!)
What did you guys learn in 2007?