Post by HLTD50 student Daddy’s Little Girl

Photo by Daddy’s Little Girl (2018)

Since this is my last week here, and I have finally finished Scarborough and The Wounded Storyteller, I guess I can say I connected the best with Scarborough. The book made me want to jump in – there was just so much about it that made me never want to put that piece down. The realness, and rawness that Catherine’s writing portrayed had me inspired – and that is why this blog post will be in its rarest form. This may not be about the novel’s content, but it’s about something even bigger than that.

The opportunity I received to write freely (and to be honest, write, in general) is something that I never really made time for myself in the past. I’m proud to say these blog posts have made a turn in my life; it went from homework to my type of relief therapy. I took this final blog post to reflect on my learning these past couple of months, and moreover some lessons I have learned about life.

These past couple of months have been terribly difficult for me; sometimes it felt like everything I was doing was never exactly enough. Ever since my father passed away, I have been grieving in many different ways – emotionally and mentally. Even until today, I couldn’t say I have accepted it to its full extent, because I haven’t, not even close. On top of all this, when this happened – I was busy. My mother and I had to make up for everything my father did for us, which we realize now, was a lot. Having someone who is the breadwinner of the house and the both of our first loves’ just disappear suddenly is a lot more heart wrenching than one can imagine. I know that, because when others used to say this happened to them – this is not how I thought they felt.

Long story short – there is a lot of other things which I have had to deal with – like my salary-paying very-demanding job (which I love!), five full time courses (to fulfill my parents’ wishes) and a boyfriend to keep up with, plus all the craziness at home, split between my mom and I. Needless to say, I needed a break. But you know what helped me through this? writing a blog post. YES – at this point, I hope my professor has a grin on her face. (Ed’s note: she does.) I haven’t been the best student, my attendance was never great – and I hand things in late all the time. But one thing that these past months have reminded me about was the importance to self-care, mental health and well-being. Although a heck of a lot was happening around me, these blog posts have taught me to take time out of my day every week to write for an hour to two. I really get my feelings out, and I usually relate my stuff back to something I read the past week; whether it be a news article while I’m on the subway, my research material at work or a magazine I read while getting a manicure. (As you can see, I’m not much of a novel reader, unless it’s real good!)

This makes it more meaningful to me. I get out of that “I’m writing a diary mode” and get myself into this isn’t me “being sappy and sad” – this is me “getting over stuff”. I write away every Thursday night at 9pm, I make sure I’m home, in my PJs and have a cup of tea. I just go at it, I let my mind run freely because It’s the only time I reflect on my week and see where life has impacted my mental health. (Trust me, it has.)


Self-care is so important, especially at times where other people need you most (in my situation, my mom). I need to do this, for myself – because my dad would never want to see me crash. Life can be on pause for a second, especially when everything is going too fast. Taking control of my own life is by far the most important lesson I have learned these past couple of months. Now that I have explained my sappy story, I wanted to share a couple of tips I picked up along the way:

  • Writing Helps. I know people always say, “Just talk it out, talk to someone” but in your mind, you think there is nobody out there that will understand you. We are grown adults, in some situations we all know it may be just easier to talk to paper.
  • Sleep and Eat WellThis is incredibly important, I noticed the minute I started to squeeze a bit of exercise into my schedule, with a combination of healthy eating – I never felt better. It’s an automatic mood enhancer.
  • Take a Breather. Sometimes, we forget to do this. We let our emotions get the best of us, and we take it out on people and things that don’t deserve it. (and feel horrible about it after the fact) Walking away from the place of anxiety, anger or fear and closing your eyes for a minute really gives you clarity on the bigger perspective of life.
  • Count On Yourself. If there is one thing we all learn in life, is that at the end of the day – all we got is ourselves, and there is a reason for that. We have to learn to trust ourselves, and know we make the best decisions for ourselves.

I’m working hard at getting into a place where I used to be. Correction – I’m trying to be better than I ever was before. It’s definitely a work in progress, but I know life is short and I want to make the best of every minute of it. The number one thing I realized needed a change was my mental health, and I’m relieved to say that I found the therapy that works for me in a place I wasn’t even looking.