Stress and Destress

Wait… mid-October?! Half the semester is over! Midterms are just around the corner (luckily I only have three this term), and then next thing you know I’ll be writing final exams! This is nuts…

Life has been stressful. You always tell yourself, “just get past this and it’ll be all good”. The truth is, nothing ever gets easier. You just have to get tougher.

I was so stressed last week that I decided to take an entire morning off, despite my ridiculous amounts of work to be done. I got up early on Thursday morning and went out for a nice morning stroll. Have I ever mentioned that I really like inhaling chilly cold air – it just feels so fresh! But then when it gets to the heart of winter, it’s a bit too cold. This season is the best for my favourite weather: cold enough to feel fresh, yet still not too cold.

Anyway, I went out to a nice restaurant called Eggspectation for a single breakfast, and enjoyed my meal over a newspaper. Then to Eaton Centre, just for a browse to see what’s in store, and also because I haven’t actually shopped since arriving in September. It used to be on my agenda to purposely head to the mall every 10 days or so, but now I think I’d rather invest my time in exploring a new neighbourhood.

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Oh, and what do you know? The Christmas trees are already out at Hallmark! It’s a bit early, even for this Christmas-lover… I think after Halloween is the general time when it’s “OK”.

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I had class from 1 – 3 PM, but after that I went for another stroll around my own neighbourhood. There is this small street full of hidden gems – restaurants, cafes, and just interesting stores – and it’s literally a 5 minute walk from where I live. One of the stores is called Kekou Gelato, and I finally went in to try it. It’s good! Definitely stop by if you get a chance. I tried Jasmine Tea and Pandan, but there are soooo many more interesting flavours I want to get a taste of… like Avacado Banana 😀

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On Saturday, I had a nice walk along Queen Street West. I’ve shopped on Queen Street quite a few times before, but I’ve never gone past Spadina. This time, I walked all the way to Trinity-Bellwoods Park, and the area is so nice! There are a bunch of local boutiques, cafes, and stores, all very unique. I didn’t have that much time before I had to leave, but I’ll definitely make another trip over to explore the area a bit more.

One thing I did get to try was this chocolate cake from an Italian cafe. The interesting thing about it is a secret ingredient – olives! You might think its weird to add such an extremely salty ingredient to a sweet chocolate cake, but it’s the same idea as salted caramel. When you first bite into it, you kinda go “what is that?!”. And then your next reaction is “mmm, its good”.

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Then Sunday night, I tried another cafe that’s been on my bucket list since I arrived in first year. It’s this board game cafe called Snakes and Lattes – the basic charge is $5 per head, and you can sit for as long as you want. They have shelves and shelves of board games to entertain you and your friends. I appreciate the fact that there are still people that find entertainment in such ‘physically social’ environments, as opposed to our ‘social networks’ (which some people argue, are anything but social). I cherish even more the fact that I have friends who feel the same way as I do 🙂

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This month hasn’t really been treating me well. Like I said… nothing ever gets easier. You just gotta get tougher.

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