Reflecting on a New Chapter

More often than I like to admit, I indule myself in a very simple game: “What Was I Doing a Year Ago? The Deluxe Edition”. I am a sappily, nostalgic individual so fittingly I find myself constantly measuring then and now.

The game begins as follows:

1) Where was I a year ago?

This question always floors me because I can immediately recollect what was generally happening 365 days before! There is truth in the saying life goes by in a blink of an eye; it is like falling asleep at the beginning of a movie, only to wake up just as the climax reaches its peak. You may vaguely remember coming in and out of consciousness to watch the villain explain his nefarious plan or the protagonist jump out of a moving train, but the conclusion always remains in tact.

2) How did I feel about my situation then verses now?

Even as my memory gets hazy, the way I felt during certain moments lingers on. My intention with this question is to highlight improvement: both internally and externally. There are a few subcategories here: was what I doing positive or negative? Was I aware that it was either? What brought about this change from the year before? Do I currently think the past situation could have been resolved differently? How does that affect the way I resolve problems currently?

3) Could you have projected what you would experience this year, based off of the year before?

The answer is always no.

4) What do you define as happiness?

The answer to this question is in constant flux. Last year I asked a few dozen people “what is your definition of happiness?”. The length and differences in each answer were astounding. Anything and everything from children, to helping others, to the final note of a tuned instrument that leaves a haunting residue.

Mankind is consistently searching for a means to happiness and by taking a moment to contemplate what makes me happy, I have a better gage of myself.

One year ago today I was living in downtown Toronto, working for Starbucks, breaking out like mad, eating way too many breakfast sandwiches and making a life decision that would unfurl me to the very core. In contrast to that, I was also surrounded by some fantastic people, living in a city of endless possibilities and finally figuring myself out financially.

Now? I am finishing up my last week at Cluny before I depart for Kuala Lumpur (KL). I couldn’t have predicted that – I mean technically I didn’t even know what Cluny was a year ago! I am living in Mississauga and  surrounded by family – both the one I was born into and the one that I have made. Also, my closet of way too many clothes has shrunk drastically! The Sam of three years ago would be shocked!

I am so thankful for the people I have encountered so far this year and for the friends that have reentered my life. I have grown as a person and it has been for the better. As of now, I am enthused to see the world from a new perspective, and to see the difference I can bring: but also the changes in myself.

To live is to change, and that is the true gift of reflection.

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