Circus Arts, Violins, Apartments and Awesome Jobs: A Year-End Review Times Two

For me, April is a month full of transition, change, and excitement–it’s the stretch of the rubber band to breaking point before it snaps forward into high-octane summer mode. The weather is finally turning, the sun sets past 7:30 PM (!!!), and between the birds in the trees and the graffiti splashes of wildflowers on the grass, you can tell everything is excited to be alive.

April marks the end of the scholastic year for me; my exams (takehome exams notwithstanding) always end somewhere around the 8th-10th of April. And a week later marks the end of the personal solar year, for me. April 18th is my birthday. As of a couple weeks ago, I’ve officially passed cosmic Go for the 22nd time! With both my school year and my birth year coming to a close, it seems like a year-end review is in order.

What’s changed? What is the same? What have I accomplished? What work is left to be done? How have I shaped the world in my 22nd year on Earth (and my 4th year at Glendon,) and how has the world shaped me?

It’s a very long, self-reflective answer, so I’m going to give you the short version in some fun bullet point lists, because everyone likes bullet point lists.

Year Twenty Two Round Good Ol’ Sol: Highlights!

  • I worked three amazing jobs over last summer and the school year: teaching yoga and English as a bilingual monitor for the Explore program; doing the layout design for Pro Tem, Glendon’s bilingual newspaper; and serving as a Glendon eAmbassador for Student Recruitment with the rest of #TeamAwesome.
  • I completed the first draft of my book and have been steadily revising all year, and can safely say that the book in its current state (slightly chewed-up though it may be due to being mid-revision) is miles better than it was last April.
  • I also managed to write about 5 poems (which sounds like nothing but man, when all your time for writing goes towards writing the novel, the poems are just icing on the cake)–but more important than that, I helped my partner Anna to create and release her first chapbook of poetry! I love to help people with their art as much as I love working on my own, and the 2-3 days we spent producing the prototypes of the book are some of the fondest memories I have of this past year.
    IMG_0930_5B1_5D_original
  • I survived a really emotionally difficult winter with the help of a gigantic and humbling network of friends, family members, and supporters from afar. Thanks to you all, I was able to take a much-needed step back from my super-busy life and not feel guilty about it. ❤
  • I spent the longest time ever so far with Anna–a whole month in the wintertime–and we learned a lot about what it feels like to cohabit together, with unanimously positive results!
  • I got to attend Glendon’s Student Leadership Summit, which radically changed my view of myself and my purpose in life, and which gave me insight on how to clean up and cut out in order to realign myself more closely with what I’m here to do. Un gros merci à Lion’s Den for hosting this truly life-changing day.
  • After years of wanting to do it, I finally tried my hand (both hands, really, and the arms they’re attached to) at aerial silks with my darling friend Rachel. We’ve been going once a week every Saturday since January, and after eleven weeks I was able to do this:
    20160319_125431
  • After even MORE years of wanting to do it, I finally, finally dug my heels in and decided that Now Is The Time to start learning violin. I did my research, found a Classical Strings for Non-Majors course at the Keele campus, and on my 22nd birthday we went out and bought me a violin:
    13043707_10207769909943523_6534503922976387157_n
  • I finished my fourth year of university with flying colours–only one left to go until I can graduate with my degree in Linguistics!
  • After months of preparation and searching and quizzing everyone I know for advice and information, I have secured my first-ever apartment with the aforementioned Rachel and a shiny new Capricorn friend Carisa! We move in on June 20, and, seeing as we’re all monitors for Explore this year, we get to test-drive living in close proximity before we move in proper!

A Forecast of Year Twenty Three: What Comes Next?

  • Intermediate aerial silks with Rachel: we’re already three or four lessons in, and we have until mid-June to improve and refine our strength and endurance up in the air before we get another round of picture-taking!
  • Learning violin: half self-teaching through Youtube and my own highly sensitive ear, half proper lessons at York (for credit!) starting in September
  • Enjoying my summer teaching yoga, English, and French this year for Explore! (Also getting excited about moving in with Rachel and Cas’.)
  • MOVING IN WITH RACHEL AND CAS’
  • Organizing an artist’s/writer’s retreat in August with Anna, open to anyone who can make it to the Cape Cod area (which is where we think we’re hosting it)!
  • Going on a roadtrip with Rachel and Anna in September to NYC to go see Hamilton live. AAAAAAAAAH.
  • A fifth-year course schedule that is the embodiment of Killing Two Birds With One Stone: a couple linguistics courses, two creative writing courses, the violin class, and an Honours Thesis with the incredible Maya Chacaby
  • Returning for another year to my super-cool campus jobs with Pro Tem and the eAmbassador team (and maybe, maybe, maybe, a TA position…that one’s in the works, very hush-hush, I’ll let you know when there’s something to talk about…)
  • And more!

It’s been an amazing fourth year of university, and an equally amazing twenty second year of life on Earth. I learned lessons about pride and humility, about when to sink your teeth in and when to let go, about how my past informs my present and guides my future, about the balance between time spent introverting in my hermit cave and time spent exploring and experiencing and generally eating the world.

I found the parts of myself that make me happy and set them loose on the world, unleashing them with all due fiery enthusiasm for probably the first time since childhood. I have never before been told quite so often that I inspire people by taking up space. It’s a good feeling.

I found the parts of myself that make me unhappy and started nurturing my relationship with them so that, as of right now, I can say they are on the way to becoming assets, not drawbacks. Not monsters, but grinning demon protectors.

But as always, I’m not done. There is much to do–places to go, people to see, friends to make, silks to climb, violins to play, books to write, lessons to teach and to learn. There’s a whole Universe out there, and I’m sending out my wishes to it for as much wonder, support, opportunity, kindness, excitement, and love as it can provide in this next year. I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

With love and twentytwoness,

~Sienna

Tuesdays with Sisi is going on hiatus while this rollercoaster summer kicks off. It will resume in late August/early September. Enjoy the next few months: kick back, relax, and for goodness’ sakes, go outside a little more. A bientôt!

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