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On books and magic moments

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on August 31, 2010

In a few days I start my last year of high school. I will officially be in grade twelve as soon as I pick up my books, get my timetable and have my ID card photo taken. Truly though, this final year started the moment that grade eleven finished. The second I took my report card and stepped out through the handful of doors at the entrance with friends by my side and laughter in the background, I knew a new year had started. A change entered the air. We were here. We have the power to change, to decide, to make this year unforgettable. Regardless of what happens, I know I won’t forget it. I already haven’t. Maybe I’ll figure out where I’m going. Maybe I’ll be elated, maybe there will be drama (gosh I hope not). I do know that it will be a year filled with memories, bittersweet moments and final celebrations. But for now, we’re starting. I’m starting. Summer always floats by; all too fast, yet we’re always ready when it ends. This one went more smoothly though. It pushed straight into the most eye-opening, memory-filled and magical vacation I’ve ever experienced. Then it slowed down. It became calm and beautiful and simple. I started things, some just for myself and some to share with you.

Being at that crossroads between my (likely) last completely carefree summer and the final, most important year of school (well, this type of school), adrenaline is flowing. I don’t want to analyze it too much. I don’t want to miss out on being there. I want to notice the way the light shines in our classrooms. I want to notice the way our classes interact. I want to notice and honour the work of my teachers. I want to learn. I want to eat well. Most of all though, I want to enjoy this year with my friends. Both those near and far. Both those online and in person. That’s what it’s all about right? The people. Those around us. Those that make the moments worthwhile. I won’t lie – I write (and bake/cook/photograph) for myself; for the love and passion for it. But you guys? You make it about a thousand times more worth it. Thank you for being a part of this year. It will be amazing. It already is.

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time. I wrote about it. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I’m still writing. The magic, the moments, everything from this trip gives me chills. It inspired. It brought out ideas and understanding. It kept me in a constant state of awe. I haven’t gotten over that. I hope I never will. Writing about it made me fall more in love with it but also more in love with home. Here, where I sit, is a gorgeous country. Wide, open spaces. Kindness. Breathtaking mountains and fields waving with the golden sun. Skyscrapers and houses that have lived for mere decades. A sense of adventure yet peace with nature. Oceans erupting and cushioning us on 3 sides, and an incredibly similar yet vastly different country to the south. It’s breathtaking. It’s enormous. It’s home.

When defining Canada and Canadians, we often revert to “not America and Americans”. The truth is, we’re endlessly unique. We just tend to be polite and not correct others. (Though, don’t you dare get me wrong. I love Americans and the country too.) We parted, we didn’t rebel. We’re multicultural. I adore celebrating the cultures around me. My culture is a combination of all that surrounds me. That includes you. I endlessly love learning about my roots. The roots of my family, the families around ours, and the roots of my country. The natives, inuit and M├ętis, in addition to the British and French. I love the possibility we have here. Space (literally) to grow. The ability to put your fingerprint on this honestly young place. The chance to be progressive and explore ancient and modern ideas alike. This year is the start of all that. It’s a continuation, a discovery, a definition. Who knows what it will be when all is said and done (though surely, at reunions, moments I never saw or never noted will emerge engraved in the minds of others).

For now though, I’m about to enter grade twelve. I get my first spare. I hope to get all the classes I asked for (and hopefully in a somewhat balanced form). I’m about to venture into the world of university searching, not just glancing at a few websites now and then. I’ll be looking back, forward and sideways. Discovering, admiring and likely stressing a bit too.

What is this year bringing for you? Is this the middle, the start, or just some random date in a whirlwind of a year? I want to hear, because together we’re going to make this year memorable. We can make it great.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara August 31, 2010 at 8:51 am

Congrats on entering your last year. My senior year of high school was a blast. I’ve had fun reading about your travels this summer (and living vicariously through you). Have a wonderful year!

Hannah August 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

Lauren, this was beautiful! I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I wish you all the luck in the world for this upcoming school year (even though you don’t need it!).. I know you are going to rock it.

Vincci August 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

I was hoping that now that I’m done with school, my years would end in December and start in January, like the calendar says. It definitely feels more that way now that I don’t have a set stretch of school/work and a defined vacation during the summer, but I’ve found that I feel a sense of renewal with each season – bundling up and staying inside for most of winter, the new life and growth during the spring, the (relative) warmth of summer, and the changing colours of fall.

Anyway, good luck with grade 12 – I’m sure it’ll be great!

Theresa August 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Aw, what a lovely post, I can totally feel the excitement in your words! It’s almost the end of the year for me, because of how the semesters work down here. Spring has officially arrived today and everyone is feeling hopeful of a warm, healthy few months ahead. For me, I’ll be finishing my study and then cooking like crazy before I have to start working full time next year.
Hope you have an awesome year! ps: LOVE your red shoes!

Karen August 31, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Every time I read one of your posts I am in awe. Of your age, your balance, your outlook, your eyes wide open.

This year will be a dream come true. I am going back to school (at the ripe young age of 37) to study nutrition. And I agree, we can make it great!

Sheena August 31, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Hope you have a wonderful year! I’m in the second semester of my first year of uni, and year 12 for me, was one of the most fun filled years of school ever. Good luck, and photos are gorgeous! :)

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 31, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Lauren you are truly a gifted writer and photographer. The future holds wonderful promise for you. I hope my year includes meeting you at some point :-)

Michelle (What's Cooking Blog) August 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Thanks for sharing your journey, Lauren! I am happy to be along for the ride. I can’t wait to meet you in SF! xox

Christine August 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm

That is really exciting that you’re starting grade 12! Grade 12 was my best year of grade school by far – in terms of personal growth and scholastic achievement. I hope that you have a wonderful year!

What kinds of things are you interested in doing at university?

Indigo September 1, 2010 at 3:34 am

I love your writing and I envy your photography skills. I have enjoyed every one of your photos of Europe through twitter, especially the shots in Scotland/Edinburgh since that’s where I live. I also enjoy seeing how you produce wonderful gluten free food since my mother is allergic to gluten and dairy so everything I bake has to be free of both.

Good luck and I hope you really enjoy your last year of school, I know I did. I’m just about to finish a gap year and start my first year of university so I’m thinking about starting a new course in a new city with new peope while trying to keep up a blog.

Lauren | Celiac Teen September 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Christine, I’m honestly not sure yet. I’m interested in a whole raft of things from English to Business to a handful of the Sciences. Only time will tell, I suppose!

gfe--gluten free easily September 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Playing catch up … beautifully written, Lauren. I find that travel gets me so excited about people, history, architecture, nature, and so much more. And, it makes me appreciate home and my own heritage, too. I hope you have a fabulous senior year!


Jennifer September 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I too love looking at the photos you have taken of you wonderful creations, I am going to try some soon.
And to Karen who is going back to school for nutrition….I also did that in my 30’s, best decision I ever made, good luck!

Lauren my son is also a senior this year, I do not know how you do that and this blog at the same time, good job!

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