Ahh, September: the start of a new school year – where we trade our bathing suits and sunscreens in exchange for turtlenecks and pumpkin spice lattes.

It kicks off the ‘ber’ months AKA the last quarter of the year. It’s certainly a month of new beginnings. That couldn’t be truer 10 years ago, when I moved to Toronto, Canada with my family in 2008.

10 years.

A WHOLE decade.

A lot can happen in that time span.

Let’s travel back in time in 2008, shall we:

I was 10 1/2 years old. Going into 6th grade, sidenote: I was in 4th grade when I left the Philippines but was put in 6th grade when I enrolled in school here in Canada because of my age. Needless to say, 5th grade is something that I’ve never experienced! Should I put that on my bucket list? 🤔

I was super shy because everything was new but did my best to fit in and participate in class. I already spoke English, albeit with a noticeable accent, but it was totally fine. I could communicate, people understood me, and that’s all that matters, really.

Within a week of being a loner during recess, I met my first friend, Katrina, whom I’m still friends with to this day. She asked me if I wanted to play volleyball with her and her friends. I’ve never been sporty, but I said yes because I wasn’t in the position to refuse any offers of friendship. Every recess that came after that we would play tag, (sometimes freeze tag to spice things up), play volleyball, and talk about boys, as we were 11 and on the cusp of puberty.

Then, December came, and my first time seeing snow EVER was on my birthday! I loved snow so much but grew to get sick of it because let’s face it, I’m built for tropical weather.

Sometimes, I would lament the fact that I was bored because I didn’t have any hobbies outside of school. I joined the volleyball team in 7th grade which was errr, a memorable experience to put it nicely. One of my teammates meanly told me that I “sucked at volleyball” and I took that to heart and never tried out for any sports team ever again.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself not to let others discourage me from doing things that I enjoyed. Besides, it wasn’t that serious. This ain’t the Summer Olympics, babe.

The years after that were spent fluctuating between hating how I look and being okay with it so long as I wore eyeliner on my lower lid when I left the house (now I get why I got accused of being emo in 7th grade, yikes).

High school came, and I got to meet new friends, became part of the newsletter team, started my first job working as a cashier, and slowly became comfortable with my appearance with the help of this wonderful invention called “eyebrow and upper lip threading”. This was all while pondering my purpose here on earth, and stressing about what the heck I was gonna do with my life after high school. *Spoiler alertI end up at Glendon, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics while taking FSL classes as part of my degree*

Through the years, I’ve grown a lot and I’m constantly learning something new about myself. I now realize that my journey has always been about not being afraid of being vulnerable, whether people like what they hear or not.

Having been an eAmbassador for Glendon for 2 years (and counting!), I wanna do things a bit differently this time around, by sharing more personal stories about who I am with you all, hoping that you’ll see parts of yourself and relate in some way. Even if you don’t relate to me AT ALL, that’s cool too. Like I said before, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (preferably matcha).

Welcome back to my blog, dear friends. I hope you come back for more!

Twitter: AnaFelisaGL

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