“Minor” Setbacks…

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Recently, it just hit me how my parents think of me as just “okay” and “mediocre”.

Throughout high school and into university, one of the best things that’s happened to me is hearing from my dad, on my high school graduation day, that he was proud of me and that I’m better than how he thought I was. As a child growing up, my dad didn’t really care too much about how I was doing. As long as I wasn’t failing and my grades were decent, then everything was okay. I always thought that he didn’t care too much about what I was doing because what I was doing was never enough. My mom was usually the one who cared a lot about my grades, extra curriculars, etc. I knew that I was always “mediocre” in my dad’s mind until my graduation day. I was so happy to hear those words from him. At that moment, it seemed like everything I’ve gone through, relying on myself for everything, was worth it. Now, just today, I realized that my mom has only viewed me as “mediocre”. And at this point, I feel like pleasing her is the hardest thing in the world…

My mom has been with me through almost everything. Usually if something happens, she’s the one who I can talk to and will help me through everything. So when hearing her say “My judgement is pretty accurate. You’re average, maybe a little above average at times. That’s how you were in high school and that’s how you are now.” really struck home. I was already feeling a bit upset because I wasn’t able to get a job that one of my other friends got, so hearing that from my mom didn’t really boost my self-confidence. That was the moment that I realized how high my mom’s standards are and how I might never be able to meet them.

Everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing is so that I’m able to make my parents proud and show them that their efforts didn’t go to waste… That I am the daughter that they raised me to be. I’ve hit rock bottom and I can tell you that it wasn’t easy for me to climb back up. But I did it. When I was younger, I knew that my parents might not have been fully satisfied with my accomplishments and they’ve never thought I was really that great, but I used that as my motivation to prove them wrong. Now, the first time ever, I’m wondering if I’m able to achieve that… I know that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge and I should still try even if I don’t end up doing it, but it’s hard… It’s really damn hard to do that when you know that your parents have always and might always think that I’m nothing but “average”…

Is High School better than College…?

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High school was so much easier… But just because it was easier, does it make it better?

Recently, I’ve encountered a whole list of set backs. From academics, to extracurriculars, to friends. Now, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I would consider them to be rather minor setbacks, but we, as humans, have a habit of holding onto those setbacks and letting it linger in our hearts. Or well, I do anyways. With these setbacks, I’ve been wondering if I felt better in high school. If things were easier. I think the main reason why I started thinking about this is because the last time I had a major hit in academics was in grade 12, before I graduated. I was stressed during that time because I had to maintain a certain average to retain one of my university acceptances, and my calculus mark was just fluctuating. I remember breaking down a few times either during or after school because I was so stressed out about my mark. Now, I just received one of my midterm marks back and I’m feeling the same sense of anxiety and stress. I feel like breaking down, but my mind isn’t letting me because I have 2 more exams coming up this week. I absolutely hate this feeling. I just want to cry and let it all out, but I have no time…

It wasn’t until writing this post that I realized something. When I was telling you my experience in high school, I remembered the thought I had about a year ago. I was thinking back to how stressed I was in high school and how it really doesn’t matter now what that mark is. I did manage to maintain the average that I needed, but I didn’t even end up choosing that university. I realized how irrelevant it is in the grand scope of things. In 5 years, I’m not going to care about the 50% I got on a midterm in 2nd year. The only reason and motivation for me to continue and to do better in the course is first, passing the course, and the idea of getting a great job. I believe that I am able to do better because I know where my flaws are. I will improve, and that is my determination.

Going back to the whole high school idea, even though I did experience a similar situation, there was a lot less stress in terms of everything else I had going on in my life. But then I remembered all of the good things that has happened since I’ve been in university. The friends that I’ve made, the freedom, just the environment alone is one that I feel more comfortable in. So maybe high school was easier because the classes were easier, you had the same schedule every day with the same people, and you really didn’t have much to worry about (except when you’re anxiously waiting for that college acceptance). But university gives you an experience that you’ll never forget. With the added stress and pressure, it comes with a plethora of new friends, new experiences, and to be honest, a breath of fresh air. It’s here where I realized for the first time, that I’m going to be okay. And that regardless of what happens, I’m able to find my path and create the life that I want for my future.

Thinking too Much

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Many will think that when true love comes, you should always accept it with open arms. That’s how I want to think too… If only it was that simple.

I’m the type of person to over think situations and think way too far into the future. I’ve recently met a guy at the office who I think is the perfect person for me. He has all of the characteristics I would want in a partner. He’s smart, he’s kind, he’s funny, he’s a gentleman, he’s soo attractive (to me anyways), and he just gives me the impression that he’s a true man. We were at a company event and one of the team building exercises was to finish building a wheelchair. When I turned around and saw him, he was soo focused on putting it together and he wasn’t afraid of the muscle work or anything. It was sooo attractive! It’s been a long time since I’ve thought that about someone. But there’s just one problem… Age. He’s around 10 years older than me. If it wasn’t for this factor, I would have long approached him and got to know him better. I keep telling myself that because of his age, I shouldn’t (and can’t) be with him… The age gap is just too significant. However, every time he walks past my desk, I can’t help but stare. His presence and charisma is just too strong for me to ignore. I used to be so against relationships with huge age gaps, but now that it’s happening to me, I’m not so sure what I should think and do anymore.

Maybe I’m just attracted to older men now… Ones who I believe are able to take care of me and treat me right… How much does age matter anyways…?

My Social Awkward Self

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Every time I walk into a crowded room, I always feel like the odd one out. Everyone seems to have their own group of friends and I just seem like an outsider, which ends with me standing in a corner… Alone… On my phone.

Why am I like this? I’m sure the people there are really friendly and wouldn’t mind me joining in on their conversations… So why don’t I? Is it because I’m afraid that they won’t like or accept me? Am I afraid of being judged? Am I just simply uncomfortable being in large groups…? No… That’s definitely not it. I love being in groups and being able to talk about whatever I want without the feeling of being judged. I don’t get it… I’m incredibly open and outgoing when I’m around my friends but as soon as I’m surrounded by strangers or people I don’t really talk to, I turn into this silent turtle that’s just standing there, waiting for someone to engage in a conversation with me… Why can’t I be the one to walk up to a group, introduce myself, and join their conversations? Why aren’t I the outgoing, extroverted girl that everyone likes being around? I try so hard to climb out of my shell but every time I’m in that situation,  I always hide behind my shell and just wait… I know that I’m missing out on so many opportunities to interact with other incredible individuals, but what can I do about it?

The truth is, I’m scared of all of the things I’ve mentioned previously. I’m scared that they won’t like me. I’m scared that they’re going to judge me. I’m self-conscious… I try reminding myself that I can’t control how others see or think of me. All I can do is be myself and let everything else play out whichever way they do. But it’s hard… When I try to engage in conversations with others, I end up saying something stupid or the conversation just quickly dies off. I hate this part of me so much… I think about what I want to do and what I want to say, but it’s so hard to bring myself to actually doing it… Then I think about what I should have done and how I regret not doing what I initially intended to do… I’m restricting myself from the things that I want to do. Is this just how I am?

Am I just an awkward turtle?

5 Pieces of Advice for Success in Any Workplace

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I recently began my first work term this month and decided to write this little piece to share what I’ve learned thus far. Even though I haven’t worked for very long, I’ve learned a lot this past month.

  1. Ask Questions. Before I started my work term, I was afraid to ask my manager anything in fear that I would be annoying them. After I started working, I realized that it’s better to ask questions and clarify any tasks you’re given rather than  assume something that is wrong. By assuming, there’s a possibility that your assumption is incorrect which may cause greater damages for you and your team.
  2. Socialize with your Co-Workers. It gets really boring in the office if you don’t know anyone and have no one to talk to. Socializing with your co-workers will allow you to become more familiar with the business and other departments. You will also have someone to socialize with during the working hours and may also make a new best friend! I’m still working on this myself, but I’ve noticed that as I get more and more comfortable in my surroundings, I’m more willing to talk with the other co-workers and get to know them better. After all, you’re going to be working with them for a while so might as well get to know them sooner rather than later.
  3. Don’t be Afraid to Take Initiative. Once I started working on some simpler tasks, I realized that some of their processes are quite repetitive. After noticing this, I started thinking of ways to possibly simplify the routine. I brought this to my managers attention and she loved it! Every business wants an employee who has ideas on how they can possibly improve a certain procedure. Even if your ideas don’t work out in the end, it’s a possibility of creating a better business. What employer wouldn’t want that?
  4. Be Genuine. Be yourself! I know that it’s nerve-racking going into a new company, but you got the job because the employer not only liked the skills that you can bring, but also who you are as a person. By being yourself, you’re being the best you which means that you’re able to present your best work. And plus, it’s tiring pretending to be someone you’re not, so why would you?And last but not least…

  5. Make the Most Out of Every Situation. When I applied to this job, I was expecting to do something different than what I’m doing now. At first, I was a bit disappointed, but I later realized that there’s nothing more I can do now, so why not do the most I can and learn as much as I can? With this mentality I started to ask more questions about the company, other departments, my tasks, etc. I also stated thinking of ways to make my work a bit more interesting by thinking of other creative ways to effectively complete my tasks. If I do think of a more effective and efficient process, then it’s a win win for me and the company.

Everyone adapts differently to different situations, but what I’m trying to say here is that even if you’re in a position that you don’t necessarily like, there are always ways of turning it around so that your work is more enjoyable.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

A Letter to You

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Dear You,

It’s been a little over a year since we went our separate ways. There is so much I wanted to tell you but I had to force myself to keep it all in. There are reasons why I couldn’t tell you and it’ll all be explained here (or most). I know that you’re living your new life, possibly with a new girl, and I’m not going to ruin that for you. Regardless whether it’s true or not, I can’t help but think that sometimes you miss me too… And what we were.

To start from the beginning, after we split, you still wanted and tried to keep in contact. Eventually, I gave in and we met. One thing I never told you is that you were the one who helped get me through one of the hardest days of my life. I agreed to meet with you that afternoon. During the morning, I was having a mental breakdown. It was something I’ve never experienced before in my life and it was terrifying. Even though it was a Monday, I was extremely homesick. Such thoughts preoccupied my mind and I couldn’t control my emotions. I was at the library studying between my two classes when I realized how bad things were. I couldn’t help but think that I missed home and whenever I did, I would start crying. I went to the washroom countless times that morning to try and control myself. You were the same old you, having a relatively normal conversation with me through text. When I agreed to meet up with you, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how things were going to go since it was the first time we were meeting up in over 2 months. I even told you afterwards that I didn’t know if you were the same person as before, or if the University life changed you too. When we met, it seemed as if things went back to how they were before… You made me laugh, you made me smile, you made me forget… Forget about all of my troubles.

After this meeting, we met more frequently throughout the year. Late night meetups for bubble tea, fries, or whatever else we were feeling. I will always remember and appreciate all that you did. How you walked me back to my residence, that was an hour walk away, how you were always there to hear me vent about my roommates, how you were there for me after the good and bad exams, and so much more. I don’t know how I would ever be able to repay you for that… I don’t know if you felt it, but there were multiple times where I felt like if we made one extra move, we would have been a couple again. The things we did, the way we acted when we were together, the way it felt being in your presence… It didn’t feel like we were “just friends”… Or maybe it was just me, wishing that things were different. There were countless times when I wanted to give you a sign.. Do you remember the time your phone ran out of battery while walking me home and we were on the couch, waiting for your phone to charge? There was a moment where I was looking at something off of your phone and I could feel my heart pounding because I knew that if I just lifted my head and looked up at you, we might have kissed… Do you remember how you would always ask for a water bottle when we arrived? I couldn’t help but wonder if these small things were just as simple as they sounded, or if it was an excuse to spend some time with me. Sometimes I think too much and you know that…

Recently, these moments have been replaying in my mind more frequently. I kept thinking about how different things would be now if I did one thing differently. Then I remember the things you’ve told me. The things you’ve experienced. You liked someone. Or I thought you did anyways. Someone else. When you told me about some of the things that happened, I couldn’t help but be a bit jealous. I acted like it wasn’t affecting me or anything (or I tried), but it kind of did… I didn’t know why. Things were over between us and I knew that we couldn’t get back, so why was I feeling like this? I don’t know.. Maybe I’ll never know. When you told me about your new relationship, I had a similar reaction. Of course I was happy for you, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she was prettier than me, smarter than me, just better than me.. I was comparing myself to this complete stranger and I had no idea why… Over the following months, I started to forget. What you did didn’t really affect me that much any more. I was moving on.. That is until we met up again near the end of summer.

Meeting up with our high school friends reminded me of what used to be. How life was before things got complicated. Or rather, before I made things complicated. When school started again, things were okay. I accepted the fact that some times I might be reminiscing about the past, but that’s only because it was a beautiful time. One thing I will never forget is how you were willing to let me stay in your room while you stayed somewhere else because my living accommodations weren’t ready. How persistent you were… How thoughtful and selfless you were.. But that’s who you are. Who you always were. That’s who I fell in love with… Throughout the term, there were love songs that came up on the radio and for some reason, it kept making me think of you. Us. For some reason, I kept dreaming about us getting back together under various situations. In the dream, it felt so right. Being in your warm embrace once again… But every time I woke up, I reminded myself that it was all just a dream, and that we can’t get back together..

I was the one who broke things off and now I’m the one writing this letter.. Pathetic right? I guess I was just afraid… I knew how badly it hurt when I left and I was afraid that the same thing will happen again.. I didn’t want to take the chance and go through that all over again. “If only I never let go of your hand… If only I woke up earlier that day…” That sentence is forever engraved in my mind and my heart. Now I have to tell you, If only I said something to you sooner, or sent this letter to you personally, “we” might not have only been referred to as the past. I still have the corsage you gave me for prom and I still read that last card you gave me… I know that you will probably never read this, but I need to say it. Or, well, write it. I needed to let it out because it was killing me inside. There’s so much more I wanted to tell you, but there’s no point now. You have your life and I have mine. I don’t want to interfere with what you have now and your happiness. My thoughts and feelings are things that I will get over with time. I want nothing more than for you to be happy and for you to realize and believe in your own potential.

I have always loved who you were.

 

~ Sincerely yours.

 

Give it Some Time

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Now that I’m in University, the single most common question I get asked is “So… Have you met anyone you’re interested in yet?”.

In high school, it was looked down on to be in a relationship because I was “too young” and I needed to “focus on school”. But, as soon as university started, people decided to do a complete 180. What makes me so different now? When I started university, I was only 2 months older than when I was in high school. Are you telling me now that it’s okay to be in a relationship because the status of being in a post-secondary institution makes me older? More mature?

I really hate it when I get asked that question by family and family friends every time they visit. They remind me that a lot of people find their soul mate during this time and I should really seize the opportunity. After having the same conversation over and over again, I start feeling rushed. Like I have to find someone within the few years I’m studying or else it will be significantly harder to do so and I might not be able to find my true love. To be honest, this mindset is horrible to have when looking for a potential partner because I’m feeling compelled to be in a relationship instead of being in one because I truly like the person. Also, with this mindset, I find it harder to find someone I’ll truly be happy with.

I’m in my second year of university, I’m not in a relationship, and currently, there’s no one I’m interested in being with. All I can say is give it time… Love isn’t something that should be rushed. When the time comes, I will find my soul mate and I will live my happily ever after. But until then, just be patient. I’m not in a rush to find someone, so why should you?

I’m so tired…

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Life.. It has it’s ups and downs, that’s for sure.

I grew up in a rather more traditional family setting where the father is the main figure. Regardless of how hard I try to explain my perspective, it’s always been turned upside down into something that’s no where near what my true intentions were. Every time I try to explain something, it would always be assumed that I’m directly attacking them as a person and thinking that in my mind, I’m better than them and that I’m doubting all that they are and did. It makes me so upset and disappointed in the fact that they still don’t understand what kind of person I am after watching me grow up… 19 years… It’s been 19 years and the outcome has been the same for 19 years. It frustrates me that he would even think that. I’m his daughter… I’m not some stranger he just met. I just don’t understand why he would assume that everything I say when trying to explain my perspective is a direct attack on him. It just makes no sense.

I’m so tired. I’m so tired of trying to explain myself in every conversation and trying to explain that I’m not attacking anyone, but merely trying to explain my perspective. I’m so tired of crying after every single conversation because of the misunderstandings. I’m so tired of trying to fix a situation that should never have occurred in the first place. I’m just so tired…

What is Love..?

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What is Love? Is it how the person looks when he/she is standing beside you? Is it the words they use when talking to you? Or is it the things that they do for you? Maybe it’s all of that combined… Or maybe it’s non of it.

Sometimes when you meet someone, you just know. You feel your heart racing faster and faster and as time progresses with that person, it all starts to make sense. It’s the way they look at you, how they make you smile, and how they make you feel. In those moments while you’re with them, even if it’s just for a second, you forget all about your flaws. They made you forget… Because they love you for who you truly are, without the makeup, the hairspray, the gel, the perfume, cologne, etc. They understand who you are behind the artificial cover.

Is that all love is though? Love is also the willingness to accept one another’s flaws and minor mistakes, while embracing each others’ differences. Love is so hard to explain, because it’s everything that person makes you feel, act, think, and how empty you feel when it’s no longer there.

The Boy Next Door

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“Move in day? Did you say move in day?!” I yelled as my mom tries to wake me up.

“I can’t believe it’s already time to move back to college!” I thought, looking at the calendar hanging by my bed. I’m happy and excited, yet sad and terrified. I have no idea what will happen this year.

“Will things be the same? What if the work is too hard? What if I don’t like my new apartment? But then again, what if things do change for the better? What if I love my new place? What if I do fine in school? What if, what if, what if…” A billion questions and possibilities flooded through my mind as I rushed downstairs to meet my parents. One by one I put on my new flats and head out for the long drive.

2 hours later, we finally arrive at my new apartment. There is a crowd of people waiting to use the elevators. I tell my parents that we can grab a bite to eat and then come back later. Hopefully the elevators will free up a bit by the time we get back. After an early lunch, my parents and I quickly moved everything from the car to my new room for the term. Gorgeous. That’s all I can say to describe my new place. The builders and designers definitely did a great job with the interior! I loved the clean yet modern design. As I walk back to my apartment after saying bye to my parents, I meet our neighbors, Jason and Nathan. We don’t talk for much but they seem really nice!

The next day, I head out to meet up with a few of my friends. We watch a movie, grab some lunch, and head to our favourite bubble tea store. While ordering, I see a guy siting with his friends, enjoying the same drink that I was. He kind of looks familiar, but I’m not sure  who and if I actually know him or not. I brush it off and get back to my friends. Later that night, as I was walking towards the elevators, I see the same guy that I did earlier getting into the same one as me.

“Which floor?” He asks.

“7” I respond.

He suddenly turns to me and says, “You live on the 7th floor too? I guess we’re neighbors!”

Surprised, I turn to him and say “Oh, really?? Which room are you? I’m in 703.”

“Wow! What a surprise! I’m 702!”

At that moment, it all made sense. The reason he looked so familiar was because we briefly met yesterday as I was heading back to my room.

During our time in the elevator and walking to our rooms, I got to know him a little better. His name is Jason, he’s a 3rd year engineer student, he loves basketball, and he can’t cook. Him and his roommate, Nathan, met in first year and have been best friends since. Based on our little conversation, Jason seems like quite an interesting guy. As we arrive at our doors, I tell him that if he needs anything like salt or sugar, he can always just knock. He says the same to me and we part ways.

The next morning, I wake up remembering a dream I had about my ex.

“Why am I dreaming about him?! We’ve been over for over a year now! We’re just friends and nothing more!” I say to myself softly.

This isn’t the first time this has happened and I highly doubt that it’s the last… My last relationship was one where strong feelings were involved. I guess it could’ve also happened because I still talk with him sometimes and we still occasionally hang out. Whatever the reason, I’m not going to think too much into it because I know that nothing more is ever going to happen again between him and I.

After grabbing some breakfast, I grab my bag and head out to my first class of the day. As I was approaching the elevators, I hear my name in the background. I turn around to see Jason waving to me. He quickly rushed to where I was and waited for the elevator beside me.

“Are you heading to your first class?” He asks.

“Yeah I am! I’m quite excited actually, to see my friends again and see how the course goes. Are you going to your class now too?” I reply.

“That’s really good! I hope you have a great first day! I’m also going to my first class. Not excited as you are though, aha. I guess I’ve reached the point where I’m just tired of going to lectures. The friends part is still nice though!”

“You’re getting old, aha” I joke.

He laughs and says, “I guess I can’t compare to a second year like yourself. Hey, if we’re going to be leaving around the same time for class, do you want to walk to campus together?”

Did he really just ask me to walk to campus together? Oh my gosh.. What do I say? Why am I freaking out so much? It’s just a friendly thing to do… Okay okay, just say sure and see how things go from there.

“Sure!” I finally responded.

From that day on, we would always meet each other outside our doors in the morning, go downstairs to get a coffee, and then walk to campus together where we then part ways. He is off to the engineer building and me, off to the business building. Through our morning interactions, I start having a bit of feelings towards him. To be honest, he’s actually quite handsome… I guess I’m… starting to… like him…? Oh gosh… Don’t fall too hard too quick… Plus, you don’t even know if he feels the same way about you… Throughout the day, I’ve been thinking of all of the conversations that we’ve had and all of the coffees that we’ve shared. We have a really fun time when we’re together! He’s really funny! I guess I’ll have to wait and see if he asks me to hangout outside of our usually morning rendezvous.

A few days go by and still nothing. I’m starting to think that we are just friends and he’s not interested in me… That Thursday, as we’re waiting for our coffees, he asks if I want to watch a movie and then grab some dinner tomorrow.

Stumbling on my words, I finally say, “Sure, that sounds like fun.”

That night, as we arrived at the theaters, he asks me if I wanted to watch a horror film. I quickly agree, telling him that I actually really like horror films even if I do get frightened by them. The movie wasn’t too scary as it was mainly about ghosts, spirits, and such. Even though I might not have been extremely scared, I would sometimes exaggerate my actions to see if there was anything he would do to comfort me. Since we have been talking for a while now, I’m hoping that there’s some level of comfort between us. To my contentment, he grabs my hand just as I was getting a bit startled by the pop-ups. I look at him and he smiles at me. I turn my focus back to the movie while still thinking about him. As the movie reaches its climax and most terrifying scene, Jason puts his arm around me and lightly brings me in closer to him. My heart begins to pound out of my chest.

“I sure hope he doesn’t notice it!” I thought.

As the movie ended, we both got up out of our seats and began walking out of the theaters.

“Is there anywhere you wanted to go for dinner?” He asks. At this moment, I was trying to choose between 2 options. I could tell him this really nice diner by our apartment, or I could ask him to come over and we can just casually cook something.

After thinking for a while, I finally asked, “How do you feel about coming over and cooking with me?”

Surprised, he said, “That actually sounds like a great idea! We can save the restaurant for another time!”

Happily, I looked at him and smiled as we began our journey back home.

During the walk back, we talked a bit about the plot and the acting in the movie. To be honest, there was a big chunk of the movie I couldn’t remember because all I was thinking about was how he was holding my hand and how his arm was around me… I really like the way he makes me feel… I feel… safe… As we arrive to my apartment, I open the fridge and ask him if he’s okay with some fried rice and chicken. He nodded his head and we get started with the cooking. As we were cooking, I discovered that he was telling the truth when he told me that he can’t cook. He asked me how to do every little thing! It was actually quite heartwarming to see him try something new and to cook with me even though he didn’t know how to. He did look very cute cutting the chicken breasts though!

After we ate, we went to the couch and just talked. That night, I learned so much more about him and he learned so much more about me. We talked about everything from the time his friend pulled his pants down in class to his relationship with his first love. There were times where things got serious, and there were times where all we could do was laugh. That night is definitely one for the story books, one that I will never forget.

When I woke up that morning, I realized that I had actually fallen asleep on his shoulder. He had his arm around me and his head resting on the arm rest. I guess we both must have just dozed off. I look at him and see that he’s still sleeping. He looks so cute. I lay back on to his shoulder and start thinking back to all the different conversations we had that night. Just as I was beginning to remember the story about him being the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland for Halloween, he starts to wake up. I silently rest on his shoulder and wait for his reaction when we realizes that we fell asleep and that I’m resting on him. I feel his head tilt down towards me and then back up. Then, he uses the arm that I’m resting on to bring me slightly closer to him. At that moment, all I could do was smile as I slowly lift my head and look at him. He smiles back at me and kisses my forehead as we both rest for a while longer.