The Diving Board

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

The strange thing about the antonym of success is that it is something other than failure. It’s opposite is not trying. Failure, on the other hand means having the courage to step into the ring and fight what is rightfully yours – or not.

First Step - take off those shoes? "Courtesy of"

First Step – take off those shoes?
“Courtesy of”

It means having the gumption to take a step towards your dreams and either see them crash on the solid grown or lift you higher than you thought you could reach. Isn’t it easier though, to sit in the shade, with a cool glass of lemonade and watch from afar as someone takes the plunge from the high diving board? Isn’t it tempting to criticize every pirouette completed prior that moment when your body glides through the liquid interface, into another realm, where movement is slowed, serene.

Sure, the high board may seem tall from afar, but it’s nothing compared to the vertiginous sensation of standing up top, seeing the blue reflection far below, and knowing that one wrong spin will send you down, flat onto the surface that suddenly feels hard as concrete, knocking the wind right out of your lungs. You know it may happen, you see the avid onlookers, half hoping for a humiliating spectacle, which would only comfort them in their own inertia – too afraid to try themselves, yet quick and ready to judge your outcome.

According to wikihow, here are the steps necessary to a successful dive:

1. working up to diving – or anything else that slightly scares you yet you have insanely but stubbornly set out to do.

2. get used to diving in headfirst – with of course having taken precautions to ensure that the pool/lake is of the appropriate depth to dive in head-first. Some projects are brazen – others just foolish and life threatening. Be brave, not stupid.

3. Do a dry run on land prior to diving into water– umm not sure how wikihow pictured this, frankly I think water is a less painful medium to fall on than solid ground, but hey, they are the experts. They do have a point though. Practice makes perfect, whether it’s exams or that tango lesson you’ve set out to take.

4. Crouch close to the pool and glide into the water – some things you can prepare for slowly, inching closer to the pool’s edge, other projects require that final leap of faith. Practice tests are great, but soon enough you’ll find yourself taking the real one. Are you ready?

5. Dive from a standing position – stand tall, be brave. This is your moment.

And I guess wikihow didn’t mention one last ingredient, great friends to cheer you on.

My dive was about 6 weeks ago when I took my board exams to see if I could practice medicine in the country of my choice. I felt nervous, and foolish for trying something so soon when we aren’t quite ready yet. Really it seemed insane. Unlike landing on your belly in a pool, you have to wait till you know if it was a perfect flop or a smooth dive. Today, my hands shaking, I was able to see that not only did I pass, but this may have been one of my best dives yet.

Cheers, M.

Lifesavers "Courtesy of"

“Courtesy of”

Four Seasons in one Day

As I was looking up places in the US and Canada for my postgrad training, I decided to also add these places on my weather app. So now, everyday I compare these east and west coast cities and try to picture how these places look year round. Weather shouldn’t really be a determining factor in this decision-making process… and yet, it would seem that the gentle waves and sea breeze of california are slightly more tempting than the frigid northern cities. Really, after this winter, why even bother applying to Montreal, Ottawa or Boston. And yet, I love my four seasons. Christmas ought to be snowed in in my books. Spring should be longer than 3 days. Autumn is incredible up north, where great forests become a kaleidoscope of hues.

Summer Fun courtesy of

Summer Fun
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In the end, I guess each place has its perks. And not quite knowing where I’ll end up is thrilling too, albeit nerve-racking.

From your hands to mine

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By Hand.”

Perhaps the best and most unexpected gift I ever received was from my friend Marie. We are a group of friends who often came for potlucks to my place. There were never enough chairs or plates but we made do with what we had and it was perfect every time. So when she surprised me with a handcrafted set of matching plates for 6 people. The time and creativity that went into this gift makes it the best present I’ve ever received.

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courtesy of

Smoke Screen

This morning I awoke smelling smoke. wood fire smoke.

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courtesy of

Fear, the visceral response, came first, as I was trying to locate the source of the smell. Stronger with windows open, no smoke in the hallway, ok, so it’s not here. This was at 5am, a lot earlier than my alarm clock. Smoke is still one of those danger signals we recognize, even when the rest of our senses are on standby. We tune so many of those warning signs off in our daily life, meeting people, making risky business decisions, and yet perhaps, if we listened a bit more closely, perhaps our gut could tell us more about those situations that put us at risk, even remote risk. Perhaps it is only in the dead of night, when all distractions are tuned out, that we can see clearly.

In the end, the fire happened a few miles away from my home, and yet, even through closed windows and sound sleep, my body protected me.