In my first year at SFU, I attended Welcome Day with all the other new students. I remember saying a warm goodbye to my parents as they saw me off, the same way they did when I went to my first day of kindergarten. I came to SFU because I knew there was far more for me than here than what Vancouver Island had to offer me. I wanted to attend a school where nobody knew my name because I didn’t want anything from my past to define the person I was about to become. It was one of the scariest things I’d ever done, but looking at it now it was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.
Specifically, I remember sitting in West gym, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of other kids who were just like me. They were all starting fresh, and some of them were coming from places much farther than myself. We all had something in common, we were all about to start the next step of our lives, leaving bits and pieces of our old lives behind us. High school was officially over, and it was time to start the next chapter. I sat there in group 63 for FASS, listening to Blake Fly give us an incredible speech. He said that University was hard, but our lives after would be much harder. He claimed that right now was the time to make mistakes and learn from them. We ranged from as young as 17 to 26, and we were all just starting our lives. Everything prior to that moment didn’t matter, but whatever happened next, was for us to decide as both students and young adults. As he strummed his guitar to Wonderwall by Oasis, he explained that we needed to balance our time- specifically with academics, our personal lives, and exercise and sleep. When any of those four things are out of balance, we suffer the consequences.
For the last two years, I had no handle on balancing my life whatsoever. I was doing university completely wrong. It wasn’t until this year that I’ve made time for myself and my creative life. As much as I love being a Communications major, it’s never been my ultimate goal to work a 9-5 job. That’s why I’ve been hustling so hard to create successful side projects to keep me afloat after I graduate. I had always told myself that I would get out of university by the time I was 21, which happens to be within the span of another year. I’ve taken up to 6 courses in past semesters in order to race to the finish line, but the closer I get, the less I want to leave. Lately I’ve had to take a step back and ask myself what the rush was. If this is really the time I’m supposed to be living my best life and making mistakes, then what is the point of always rushing everything? I know for a fact that I definitely don’t want to walk past the AQ pond dressed head to toe in my robes and wish I had balanced my time better here.
This week I worked with Gary Mo (@yuen.wm) for both a school project of his, as well as his own creative idea. He’s taking a course at Emily Carr and the assignment was to shoot monochromatic portraits using leaves. Unfortunately, he’s not a fan of leaves so we ditched the assignment quite quickly after we showed up on location. He brought large pieces of lace to create patterns on my face when the sun rays hit it. I always love working with Gary because we don’t have any time constraints or specific conceptual shots we need to get by then end of the work period. Gary holds a very special place in my heart as he was the one to give me advice when I was questioning my own creative decisions. He had advice much like Blake Fly, specifically voicing that I was young and asked me, “what’s the worst that could happen.” Since then, I’ve been fully committed to my creative life.
In my last post, I voiced that I’ve been struggling with a creative block and I think I was so focused on making it in the creative industry that I lost sight of my youth. I have a tendency to prioritize one or two things in my life, so I don’t have to deal with other things which is most generally my personal life. Never have I ever felt like my life was passing me by so fast until recently when people remind me that I only have one more year of school left. I’ve been working so hard on my creative projects that I’ve over-spun my gears. It’s not that I don’t to create right now, I think I just need to go out and take some time to reflect on myself and where I’m at in my own life. I spend too much time thinking about the future, and not enough time thinking about right now. In order to keep creating, I need to find that balance.