The state of my life: kind of a bummer

Or… My here and now: internally screaming

Okay, so my life isn’t that bad and I’m being dramatic. But I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in time, that’s for sure. And it’s a real downer. Getting into vet school was everything to me, and now that it’s disappointing me, I’m feeling beat down. I had certain expectations of what my vet school experience would be, and my first year has sadly not come anywhere close to them.

It’s upsetting to say that I’m not enjoying it much, and in fact I could say that I hate first year. What makes me feel a bit better is that it’s a common feeling not only among some of my classmates, but also among upper year students that have come to chat with us first years. The light at the end of the tunnel is that so many people say that second year is their favourite and that it gets so much better after you get through first year. I have my fingers crossed that this is true and that I can keep my spirits up for a few more weeks and just power through. I desperately need a mental reset and the opportunity to come back to school next year with my drive, focus, and passion all renewed and fired up. Continue reading


Terminal Happiness

The feeling of being so happy but knowing it won’t last forever is bittersweet. Sometimes this leads to tears from an overwhelming surge of emotions that need to find their way out. This is healthy and real and beautiful. Our humanity really shines from our souls in moments like this, when we let ourselves open up and pour out everything that too often builds up inside. Some of the best moments of my life have been when I was so happy that I could (and did) cry.

I think our emotions deserve to be shown, expressed, and fully felt. Or else we wouldn’t have all of the feelings that we do. I often don’t understand what I’m feeling, but that’s okay too. It’s not weakness or a flaw – it’s human. And I think that is really beautiful.

Being caught up in a string of happiness-boosting events is a wonderful experience. I can feel happiness building deep within me, illuminating the darkest parts of my mind and bottling itself up for the dark times that will surely come. It’s like Vitamin D, storing itself just like sunshine, waiting for a rainy day.  Continue reading

The Beginning of the Rest of My Life

Tomorrow is the beginning of the next lag of my journey to becoming a veterinarian. For the next four years, I will study my butt off at vet school to accomplish my lifelong dream. I am excited and nervous and proud and so many things all at once. Dreaming about everything that my future may hold is so motivating as I face this big change.

The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. ~ Mike Dooley

I like to imagine all the different jobs I could have in a few years – some local, some elsewhere in Canada, and some around the world. I don’t know what will draw my interest the most when working with animals, so I am really excited to find out. And I am one step closer to finding my place in the world and being who I am meant to be. That is both terrifying and amazing to think about.

There will be so many great people to meet along the way: classmates, friends, professors, mentors, and clients – and animals of course! I can already see a web of interconnectedness forming in my mind. For me, meeting all these people will be as much of a challenge as learning all I need to know about veterinary medicine. But I am up for the challenge.

I am so ready to delve deep into the world of animals and learn everything about them. I really can’t think of a better way to spend my days than to spend them looking after the creatures that make life so much better. Bon voyage to me!

My mind went back to my school-days and an old gentleman talking to the class about careers. He had said: “If you decide to become a veterinary surgeon you will never grow rich but you will have a life of endless interest and variety.” ~ James Herriot

Oh, what a life to have… ❤️

What If Life Was Always Like Summer?

Life would mean so much more if it was always like summer. Being carefree is a gift given to us by sunshine and long days – vacations and day trips are our way of acknowledging the gift of this balmy season. We do things in summer that would never happen in the other three seasons because the rest of life gets in the way and demands our full attention. We have to live according to schedules and deadlines and in doing so, we often forget to be happy. Summer is a break from the forgetting – it demands that you open your eyes to the bright blue sky and embrace the world.

Summer is making plans and also having no plans. It is making time for the people and things we love most. It is also having the freedom to fill a day with doing nothing and not regret that. Summer plans make me buoyant and leave me feeling full. Full of life, full of triumph, full of living. I see life and living differently: life is the whole stretch of time we have that we can choose to ignore while it keeps going and going, while living is acknowledging time’s passing and doing something about it. Living is making life memorable. And that is the biggest opportunity that summer provides me. It’s where some of my biggest and brightest memories have been made. Both through making plans and having no plans, the adventures and the easy resting that comes when a schedule can’t dictate my life’s direction.

Summer means visiting family and having long talks with people I haven’t seen in a while and sometimes people I have never met. Time slows down and it seems the possibilities for filling a day are infinite, limitless. Summer is for dreaming and believing that life can be all it promised to be when we were younger. That there are days that fill our hearts with some much joy that they could burst. Perfect days that shape us, that give us a sense of happiness that lingers with our souls for the dreariest of days that inevitably always come.

Stretching my arms out wide as I gaze towards the horizon, wandering a winding path through unending trees, laying in bed with a good book while daylight brightens and fades – these are the moments that summer offers me, making it mean so much. Summer is wide-open roads, the wind, and rolling clouds, having no place to be while going somewhere.

If life was always like summer, we would be living in a dream, in limbo. The realities of life would disappear and we would be so much happier. But I guess that would dull the brightness that summer offers us, making it less special. Summer is happiness and sunshine, and loving the gift of being alive, appreciating all we have and all we can be. And that just has to be enough to make the rest of life worth it, every single moment.

Rayna Anderson
August 2017

A Game Within the Game of Life

We had to write an anecdote in Grade 11 English, so while this is a real event in my life, some on the details are a bit embellished for *dramatic effect*. My cousins and I were definitely not kids at this point in our lives, but we always seem to have a great time when we play games from our childhood. In an empty campground on a crisp fall night, we decided to play Witches.


Rayna Anderson
December 17, 2012

The glowing warmth of the campfire quickly faded as we wandered into the black of night. The next round of the game had begun. Wyatt was out there hiding somewhere in the scratchy, damp bushes, and it was our job to find him. To go on the left path or the right path was the decision, as these were the only ways out of the clearing through the dense undergrowth. We split up and parted ways. Nicolas, Cassidy, and I climbed the narrow trail to the right at the pace of snail and emerged in an empty campsite. We didn’t want to get caught, so our guard was up against every minuscule sound. Our ears were strained, listening for rustling leaves or a branch to snap. When we heard nothing of the sort, it could be assumed that Wyatt wasn’t nearby. The chill of the night air made us shiver as the warmth from the fire left our bodies. We gathered under the glow of the dim streetlight and stared wide-eyed into the dark forest. We stood back-to-back so as not to be caught from behind. The night air was crisp and our noses tingled with cold as the fresh air was inhaled deeply into our now cold lungs. I wondered where Justin was and what he was doing as our small pack inched carefully along the skinny dirt road. Then I saw a lumbering, dark figure ahead. The Anderson height was evident. Which of the boys was it? He appeared to be sticking to the middle of the road as he made his way toward us, peering into the bushes just as we were. This made me more certain that it was Justin, but I wasn’t taking my chances. Continue reading