How Does Camping Make You Feel?

Hello again.

Hello, Mr. Naylor. Writing on time I see. Congratulations.

Now, let’s talk about camping!

Or rather write and read about it?

Yes yes…

Camping is one of my favorite summer activities. I try to get away from the city life at least 1-2 weekends each summer, and take in the fresh air, cellphone-less days, and the beauty of nature.

Camping-CampingNaturePleinAir.jpg

I just came back from a two day fishing trip where I got to do just that—minus the camping with a tent. We spent the whole time on the boat fishing—and caught zero fish, great—, playing horseshoes, throwing frisbees, playing board games in the chalet, and relaxing in the sun. I always find days such as those very enjoyable, and I feel like I return home with a new outlook.

I have the luxury of going—camping this time—again this upcoming weekend, for three nights, and over 72 hours of non stop music—I will obviously sleep at some times, or else a collapse will occur inevitably. It is less relaxing on the body having to dance for all that time, but my mind will still manage to relax; nature has its ways of soothing me.

The festival this weekend is Eclipse, where there are four stages with music for 4-5 days. It is my first time going to this festival, and I look forward to hearing a lot of psychedelic-trance—fast paced electronic trippy music!

I know I will also take some time to just sit back, read, and stare in awe at the wonders of the trees, those emerald pillars staring down at us.

How does camping make you feel? It is a routine to go every summer, or even winter?

Side-note: it would rock if an Eclipse was set to occur during the Eclipse festival; sometimes, I tend to ask for too much.

My Five Year Testimonial

Straight to the point today.

Go for it.

Here I go.

Go!

I have been a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters association for just over 5 years now. I was asked to write a testimonial of this experience. After shedding many tears yesterday while writing, I felt like sharing this with you all.

Here is the result of what will be read tomorrow night at the annual meeting:

Good evening to you all (from a distance, since someone will be reading this in my place),

I started my adventure as a Big Brother just over 5 years ago. Let me take you back to that time, since it is the starting point of a wonderful journey that has allowed me to evolve tremendously.

My mother told me about the Big Brother Big Sister association one day while driving in the car. Just to situate you all, I was 19 at the time, and I have one brother who is four years younger than me. Only a few weeks after hearing about the association from my mom, I was already sitting in front my computer screen, all excited, writing an email to the association to express my interest in becoming a Big Brother.

After a short amount time, my first meeting was setup with Christian, my soon-to-be little brother. I was explained that Christian was a 9 year old boy who liked sports and video games. This was perfect seeing as I am a video game, board game and sport aficionado.

I met Christian and his family with the caseworker on a nice sunny afternoon, and I will admit I was a little shy, and so was he! It was a good thing someone from the association was there to help break the ice (even the sun that day wasn’t enough to melt the ice away!). The meeting went well; we played some frisbee, chatted a little bit, and once finished, we setup our next meeting. We decided we’d play some board games next time. Christian didn’t know much about board games, but he seemed very interested in delving into something new.

During our next meetup, we played board games for a few hours. With this, and the next few meetups, we quickly discovered our activity which we still do every time we see each other until this day: play board games! Within a month or two, Christian became much more comfortable and we started discussing about our lives, video games, his family, my family, and every thing that came to mind!

Fast-forward one year.

I was contacted by the association saying that I had fulfilled my minimum 1 year mandate. My reaction was “Really? It definitely doesn’t feel like a year has already passed!”. They asked if I planned to stop or continue with Christian and the association. I sat there, perplexed. To me, there was only one legitimate answer. Just the thought of not getting to see Christian anymore squeezed my heart. I felt like I now had a second brother, and I could not fathom cutting this deep bond that had been created between him and I. I answered saying I planned on continuing for the years to come. But throughout the following years I was even more surprised with what happened and how I felt: the bond deepened, and we started talking even more, had a few sleepovers where we played a lot of games, and our relationship evolved into something I never even imagined.

The tipping point was the day of our 3rd yearly meetup with the caseworker. Every year, Christian, his family, the caseworker, and myself meetup to keep tabs on how every thing is going. There was one of Christian’s answers during the meetup which touched me profoundly (even now, as I write about this moment, shivers are creeping down my arms and a tear is dripping from my eye).

Each year, Christian was asked “What is it that you enjoy the most of spending time with Jonathan?”. The first two years, his answer was the same. He answered: “I get to play a lot of board games!”. An answer which I was happy to hear, because it reinforced the fact that the activities we were doing were chosen in duality, and that I wasn’t forcing my hobby upon him. But during the 3rd year’s meeting, he gave a different answer. His answer was:

“I just like spending time with Jonathan. I feel like I now have an older brother.”

Such a simple answer, yet it revealed so much to me. A wave of emotions swept over me, and in that instant I realized how grateful I was of having decided to become a Big Brother. It has been one of the decisions that has impacted my life the most in an indescribable way.

To this day, I still see Christian every two to three weeks, and yes, we still always only ever play board games. And we love it!

The 5 years have passed so fast. And just thinking about spending another 5 years with Christian brings a smile to my face.

Foot-note: want to play a board game? I sure do.

I Am Proud

This will be a quick post, and mostly a boastful one. But hey, I think I deserve it—actually, I know I do! I’ve been working on my mémoire for the past year and a half, and I submitted my final version yesterday.

After having graduated from the 1st cycle of osteopathic studies in December 2015, I had to decide between two options for the 2nd cycle. My choices dwindled down to:4790331313_8f291f6480.jpg

  • Mémoire: consists of doing either a quantitative or qualitative study. The mémoire requires a large amount of research, dedication, no procrastination, and a lot of writing, which are all mainly stuff I dislike—beside procrastination, that, I bathe in!
  • Clinicat: consists of working for several days in a clinic supervised by an experienced osteopath, writing a case report, taking several post-1st cycle classes, and some more—et cetera.

Throughout the four and a half year 1st cycle program, I was convinced I was going to do the clinicat seeing as I profoundly dislike research. However, one month before having to submit the form stating which 2nd cycle program I’d like to do, I had a paradigm shift; all of a sudden I wanted to do the mémoire. Why? Simply because I thought I’d get more out of it in the long run. I also didn’t think the clinicat would bring me much of anything. The thought of doing the clinicat instead of the mémoire up until then had always been the choice of the easy path, a path I am all too used to trotting down.

But wait. Didn’t you just say you hated doing research?

Indeed I did.

I still do.

And maybe I always will.

It was the first time in my life—I think—that I came to the realization of choosing a path because of what it would bring me throughout the journey. I’ve always been someone who likes taking the easy path—although I still put in the necessary work, with a good chunk of awesome procrastination—and for one of the first times I decided to take the path less enticing in exchange for greater personal growth.

That is why I am feeling proud, right now. A grin carved its way across my face yesterday only several minutes after having handed in my final version of my mémoire. I was, and am, proud of myself.

[Celestial high-five!]

I also have trouble giving myself credit in everyday life, so I am doubly proud of having written this blog post.

[Interdimensional high-five!]

When was the last time you were profoundly moved by your own action / accomplishment / anything special to you? I’d love to hear some of your heart-warming tales.

References: Jonathan Naylor’s proud brain.

Can You Control Your Dreams?

Something unbelievable is happening to you.

You cannot fathom this as being reality: you get an insane promotion; you win the lottery and are able to travel the world to your heart’s content; you’re soaring above the clouds, living in harmony with birds and dragons; you’re transforming into a Super Saiyan for the first time—that might just be awesome for me and my geeky-ness.become-a-professional-pilot.jpg

Reality?

Fantasy?

Truth?

Myth?

You realize all is too good to be true—except I still believe to this day that the yellow-golden hair transformation is achievable and not too good to be true, all in due time—and that is because it isn’t.

You come to a sudden realization: this is not reality; I am dreaming!

Time to take the reins and fulfill my wildest desires [insert grin].

This phenomenon happens at least several times a year to me; I realize I’m dreaming, I manage to remain inside it, and I take control. It is a delight! I become an omnipresent entity capable of controlling things ranging from the animate to the inanimate, from the corporeal to the surreal. I am able to lead my dream in the direction I want, and I can explore circumstances that would never be possible for me—or anyone, really—within the boundaries of our world.

Here are some of my highlight “self-induced” dreams from the past few years:

  • I inherited the ability to read people’s minds.
  • I was able to hover a few feet from the ground. I have yet to be able to fully fly without any restrictions, although I have tried countless times. This seems to be one of the limits of my dream controlling capacities.
  • I managed to cast several kamehamehas—although all were below 9000.

I brought this topic up while chatting with some people this week, and they told me that they couldn’t control their dreams. One of them said she is able to re-enter a dream if she falls back to sleep fast enough, although he affirmed that he can’t control it upon entering his dreamscape. It seems I was the only one present capable of controlling dreams.

That piqued my curiosity: are you able to control your dreams? Either way, what would you do if you could?

Side-note: this post’s theme definitely seems to be Dragon Ball Z. I have already opened up a tab with the first episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai. Now, decisions decisions…

What’s Your Go-To Meal?

It’s Thursday night. You’ve had a long day. You forgot your umbrella on your way to work this morning—hair and clothes soaked. There was a truck stalled on your way home. The traffic added 43 minutes to your usual 27 minute return itinerary. You finally park your car in the driveway. Saving grace; you walk to your doorstep. But you still don’t have that umbrella.

thai-style-vegetables-in-coconut-milk.jpgOh, and now I need to make supper?

Hmm…

What will I make?

Nothing?

No. I need to eat something at least.

So what will it be?

(At least 15 seconds pass—your brain isn’t quite in an optimal functioning state, credit to the aforementioned described day).

Ah, I know! I will make my favorite go-to meal—in my case a vegetable stir-fry in coconut milk!

20 minutes later you are sitting on the couch watching some TV—or browsing a social media platform—and life feels better.

I’m sure you can relate to a day such as the one described above; one of those days where everything seems pitted against you, urging you to get angry, tugging and grudging to deplete your patience reserve, gnawing ever so slightly but persistently.

Ok, maybe I put a little much there, but you get the point.

When I have a difficult day—or even good days, because it is my go-to meal, and I think I deserve the satisfaction regardless of the day—I’ll have a tendency to cook up a hearty meal that satisfies me. Recently for me that has been a vegetable stir-fry cooked in coconut oil, coconut milk and toasted sesame oil.

Speaking of which, I just finished my last bite of supper, which was…

You guessed it!

I cook this meal frequently regardless of the circumstance; however, I tend to cook it even more on lengthy, challenging, and time-deprived days. It always raises my spirits and makes my stomach smile—yes, a stomach can smile, trust me!

Over time, my go-to meal does change—as I’m sure it does for everyone—, but for the past few months this has been my uncontested #1 favorite meal. I am already eager for tomorrow since I’m sure I will be making it for at least one of my meals, as I have been for the past month almost everyday without fail (**Insert stomach smile**).

What is your go-to meal? When do you make it most often? And how does it make you feel?