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Several Christmas parties down, a few more to go until the end of next week. Every year, I try and maintain my diet yet it always seems to fade as sweets and good food rolls my way. I feel I’ve been worse this year with everything going on this season. As my birthday approaches, it will be the first year where there won’t be family or friends around to celebrate it with. Not that I have a huge occasion for it, but usually a dinner is done just to hang out. You know that scene from the first Harry Potter, where Harry makes a birthday cake on the ground, that’ll totally be me next week. My mind will be filled with thoughts that day, but not all good ones. It will be mostly concern, as my dad is scheduled to have surgery that day.

It’s not a super serious surgery, but it’s also not a minor procedure either. I’ve known for about a month, and as the days draw nearer to my birthday I can’t help but think about him and hoping it goes well. On that actual day, over here, I still will most likely be busy working in the morning until the afternoon; when my coworkers and I go out for yet another Christmas party. We will exchange gifts, which will end up going towards children in need so that definitely uplifts my spirits. To be honest, I’m just hoping my day goes by fast and I get that text saying all is well. Even though I will be physically alone for my birthday, and concern will be present that day, I am starting to see other areas of hope appearing.

As time goes by, I am starting to gel better with my coworkers. Ever since talks of my progress not being where it should, it’s been a chicken or the egg type of scenario. I want to invest and be involved not just at work but in this city as well. However, because of the thought that this chapter might not last long, it also holds me back from being as engaging out of fear my commitment won’t be long. When I was volunteering at the horse therapy place, I was about a month in before I got the call that I got the job. They were happy for me, but also a bit disheartened to see me go after just starting. That is what I’m afraid of doing here, whether it’s volunteering in the city or joining committees at work. As I said, though, I am getting a bit closer with my coworkers.

I said it when I first started, but it’s been a culture shock working among people my age. It’s been a shock with everything that has happened in this chapter of my life. But while I work here, I’ve been trying to be involved as much as I can. Talking with people in other departments, I have been slowly breaking the ice and branching out. It’s helpful whenever we have conferences and meetings, and I’m hoping it can lead to lunches. However, today was one of those times where it went beyond what I hoped. I actually made friends with another person from another department. I’ve met him a few times before, and casually made conversation, but at the party today we really got to talking. We had quite a bit in common, and I told him how I’ve only been here since September and don’t know anyone really. He asked for my number, saying I can hang out with him and his friends, which I was excited about. It will probably happen next year, since this weekend I will see family and then again the following two weeks for Christmas break.

I’ve always told you that you have to find the good people out there; the ones who are driven like you, and I think this may be the start. I’m eager to see where that goes, and get the ball rolling with finding a group of friends. The other glimmer of hope also occurred today. Every week, we have a team meeting consisting of myself, my supervisor, and 2 other coworkers. Today we had a meeting discussing things for next year, and winter projects. At one point, we were talking about drop-in times for next semester we would see students. Given my talks with my supervisor, naturally, I was not invested because I figured I would not be asked to do it. However, after asking another coworker if Wednesdays worked for him, I heard “Steven, will Fridays work for you?”. At that moment, I was scribbling on my notepad when my eyes widened a little from surprise. In slight shock, I simply said yeah that works for me. On the inside, I was trying to contain excitement that there was trust in me handling that.

I know I am in no way out of the woods yet, but with these recent events it really helps add optimism that this chapter won’t end. It also brightens up what will be tense times as we approach my birthday. It sucks that ever since I got the call for the interview, so many personal things have happened along the way. But I’ve been through tough times before, and this has been a growing moment. It seems work and socializing progress are being made, and as the year comes to a close it will be nice to end it on a good note. As for my dad, I will remain optimistic and will let you all know how it goes. I just have to continue doing my best to make it to next Friday, and go on holiday break. Hope kindles, and it’s coming at the right time. . .

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