When your hard work pays off

If you know me, you know I want to be a doctor.

If you know me a little better, you know that I want it so badly that I have dreams about it, and get so anxious about my applications that I can’t eat.

You probably also know that I have spent the past 2 summers – 6 months total – studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Last summer, I fell just short of the scores that would have been “good enough”. This year, I studied harder and longer. I hated every minute of it, but I kept my eye on the prize (most of the time) and remembered why I was doing it.

Today, all the stress, long hours, headaches, backaches, heartaches, the bank-ache (from not working for 2 summers) and missed social opportunities from these past 2 summers has paid off. I got the scores I needed, and better.

I immediately told my mom – then surprised myself by starting to cry. I don’t even know that I realized how much those 5 stupid numbers meant to me until that moment. They might seem like just a score – but really they are a representation of both the effort I put into them, and the possibility of pursuing my dream career. Amazing.

A big thanks to everyone who has liked or commented on my status today, and every other time I have posted about medical school. Every time I post something about it, I get an overwhelming amount of support – and it is so great to know that that many people believe in you, and want you to succeed. So thank you all – your support means the world and keeps me going when I fail to have faith in myself!

FUCKING FUCK YEAH FUCKING AWESOME SWEET YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

(that is how I feel)

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Old Friends

I’ve been truly blessed, particularly throughout these past 4 years, to have the opportunity to make friends with people in many different circles. And when I say friends, I don’t just mean people who I would say hi to if I ran into them. I mean people who I really care about, and who I know care about me, and who I share a piece of my life with. That doesn’t mean that every one of those people knows everything about me, but my relationships with them are special, and each fulfills an important role in my life.

Recently, I read an article detailing the difficulties of making friends once you’re in your 30s. Long story short: life gets in the way. We don’t have the same shared opportunities and experiences, like living together or mutually suffering through puberty, that make us open up to one another, and help us re-define who we are. This is why, while making new friends is AWESOME and I love it, having old friends is even better. While they obviously aren’t yet, I hope that the friends I’ve met through various avenues these past few years some day become my “old friends”.

Right now, my “old friends” consist mostly of my friends from high school. These past 4 years we’ve been split up – going to different schools in different cities, but we always manage to get together to see one another whenever there’s a holiday. That in and of itself is pretty special – I know most groups of friends don’t do that. In the summer, most of us are all in our hometown, but it proves to be difficult to see each other anyways. Between jobs, travel and study, it seems there are never enough hours in a day. Some people tend to see each other a lot, and others not so often. Often we get stuck in these patterns where we hang out with the same people over and over again. Or things are just so busy that before you know it, 2 months have passed and you haven’t seen any of your friends in the meantime.

This used to bother me. A LOT. I used to feel like if they weren’t calling me up every second week to hang out, that it meant our friendship was falling apart and they didn’t care about me. This, of course, is not only unreasonable, but also hypocritical. While I definitely make an effort to stay in touch with friends, life gets in my way too.

I’m definitely sad that our relationships have changed, that we aren’t always each other’s “first priority” anymore. This has been particularly difficult because my old friends also happen to be the people I still consider my best friends. However, this summer, I feel like I’ve come to a settled place, and accepted what an “old friendship” entails. It doesn’t require that you see each other every week, or that you talk every day. It doesn’t mean that your friendship has fallen apart if two of your bffs hung out together and didn’t ask you to join (dear friends – don’t take that as an invitation to hang out without me – I still want in!). Your lives are moving in separate directions – different interests, priorities, ways of life, groups of friends…it’s natural that you’re not going to fit into every part of that friends life, and they won’t fit into every part of yours. And with limited time, it’s natural that you won’t see them for quite a while. Your relationship with that person just changes, and is redefined by your new circumstances. You may have to accept that the way you envision and define your “best friends” isn’t necessarily the same anymore, but that doesn’t mean they’re not your best friends at all.

Here comes the corny part. What I think defines any old friendship, best friends or otherwise, is that no matter where life takes you, that person is ALWAYS somehow part of your life. That no matter what happens in between, you care about one another, and would always be there for each other. It may be weeks, months or occasionally years between seeing each other, but that person is always there somewhere in the back of your mind.

More importantly, no matter what you do that person will ALWAYS love you. At least, I know (think?) that this is the way it is with my friends.  I was recently a full-out bitch to one of them, and when I apologized to her she jokingly said that she already knew I was a bitch so she wasn’t offended. While (I hope) it was intended as a joke, I think there’s also a lot of truth in that statement – she already knows all my worst habits&traits and has decided to stick with me this far – she’s not going anywhere at this point. For me, this is maybe the most reassuring part of old friendships – you can’t ever REALLY get rid of them, even if you suck!

So here’s to all my “old friends” who have, and continue to, bring me so much joy, reassurance and stability. And to my “new friends” who I hope will some day join the old. You’re all awesome, and I am SO lucky to have you.

Glee

Confession: I’m a HUGE Gleek. It’s out there. Now, I’m going to tell you why.

The first time I tried to watch Glee, I got about 20 minutes into it before turning it off. Despite what a musical fan I am, it was just way too “weird” for me. But, being that I love watching TV, and I had nothing else to catch up on, I decided to try it again. And DAMN am I happy that I did! This has easily become one of my favourite shows, and has legitimately, added to the level of my happiness over the past 3 years.

The awesomeness of this show lies in multiple levels:

1. Strange, unique, loveable characters – That first time that I watched Glee, I think the character that turned me off the most was Rachel. She was too intense, she talked too fast, took herself too seriously, and was generally way too over-the-top. My impressions of her haven’t changed a bit. The difference is, that instead of scaring me away, these are the things about her that make me love her. Just like all of my friends, she has a quirky personality, there are things about her that drive me nuts, but they’re things totally essential to her personality. Instead of keeping these aspects of their personality subtle, they exaggerate them, bring them right up in your face, and make you accept them for exactly the way they are. Take ‘em or leave’em. Their exaggerated quirks make them unique, not just within the show, but in the realm of TV shows in general. Of course, at the same time, the characters are relatable, at least enough that we can connect with them, and keep in the “zone” of the show.

2. Singing and dancing, every week – fuckin’ awesome. I can’t even tell you how absurdly happy singing and dancing makes me – either watching it, or performing it. I was playing piano and dancing at the age of 5 – I grew up on stage, I grew up with music. There is nothing more amazing than the adrenaline rush of performing. It is really a high, and I feel like I’m in that moment with them, every time they sing and dance. Not to mention the incredibly powerful effect that music and dance has on my emotions – I get completely absorbed by them, and since the music always fits the mood of the show, it helps enhance my emotional connection with what’s happening. Them being sad can make me cry, and them being happy can send me over the moon. I have often found myself dancing in my seat, a huge grin on my face, and all my troubles forgotten. Smart people those writers, they know what they’re doing.

Something for everyone – First off, their music selections are all over the place. I must admit that in the past couple of seasons they’ve moved a lot more towards top 40s pop music, and I wish that they had more variety; I had always liked the aspect of being introduced to new music through the show. Anyways, despite that fact, I feel that they cover a decent musical range. My entire family watches the show together, and despite the generational difference, my parents and I can all enjoy. Their “themed” shows follow this trend too. There was a Madonna one – which my parents could particularly appreciate since they are old enough to get all the costume ridiculousness etc., the Rocky Horror one – which I admit I couldn’t relate to, since I have never seen it, the old-time Christmas special – again, which my parents could particularly appreciate (although I could too, as I love all the old-shtuff), the Britney Spears episode – a good one for me, plus my personal favourite – THE GRINCH. I grew up watching How the Grinch stole Christmas every year. I can practically recite the damn thing. So when Glee did a Grinch themed Christmas episode in season 2, I nearly died of excitement. I was literally dancing and twirling around my apartment with the largest smile on my face afterwards. My roommates thought I was nuts. I was on cloud 9. Next suggestion – spice girl theme! seriously. I’d die.

Awareness of important social issues –  Unfortunately, here I don’t like that they’ve made this too forced. The integration of prominent social issues used to fit much more flowingly into the script. Now, you can see their conscious effort to bring these issues to light in almost every episode. But here’s the bottom line – at least they’re doing it. They knew that they were causing talk through the character of Kurt. If they could have that much influence, especially on that younger generation, through one character, why not use their influence to bring more issues up, to generate more discussion? So far they’ve covered: homosexuality, transgendered people, domestic abuse, mental and physical disabilities, teenage pregnancy, racism…not to mention just the fact that each character is a “weirdo” in his/her own way, exactly the type of person that would be bullied/excluded at school. The world, high school especially, is full of people who will victimize anyone who has something obviously “different” about them. By bringing problems to light, it starts discussion, raises awareness and provides insight – since ignorance breeds hatred, this is a key to solving the issue. TV can “brainwash” us to believe all kinds of things, about our weight or our worth…why not use that power for good? I really respect the writers for recognizing their influence, and using it in a positive, proactive manner, despite what criticisms they could get. Takes a lot of balls.

Promotion of the arts – I was such a band nerd in high school. And I was in choir. And the musical. Like I said before – singing and dancing = my life. Luckily, being a girl, it’s always been acceptable for me to do these things. Also, in my school, at least while I was there, there was no shame in being part of these activities. In a lot of places, especially for guys, it’s considered “gay” to like music/dance/theatre. Unfortunately, the people with those mentality are also the people that think it’s “gay” to watch Glee. But the show has gained so much support, that maybe those voices can be drowned out, and their minds changed. Since Glee started, there’s been a national show-choir competition started up here in Canada.

So the moral of the story? Glee is amazing, inspiring, uplifting.

Love,

A die-hard Gleek

Going through old stuff

At the moment, I am going through all of the stuff in my room and re-organizing. This means that while I am technically “cleaning”, my room currently looks like a tornado recently came through. The absolute best part of turning my room inside out is all the hilarious stuff I find when I go through it. Some of it is totally random (last year I found notes from grade 7 math and geography, like I’ll ever use that again!) and some take me on a serious trip down memory lane. Most of it is stuff from grade 7 through high school, which means that I’m still close friends with most of the people that have given me this stuff. The fact that I get to look back on the people we used to be, and the relationships we used to have, in comparison to who we are and our relationships now, is super interesting, and really, really, funny. I had my share of difficulties throughout junior high and high school, so getting to look back on it fondly and with humour is a nice way to remind myself that it wasn’t all bad, that I had some pretty sweet times, and that I’m thankful my friends and I have done a lot of growing up since!

Here are some gems I’ve found this time around:

The Happy Book – this is a book that a few of my friends and I used to pass around and write/draw in to update each other on what was happening in our lives since we didn’t have lunch together (note: our lockers were side-by-side). The contents of this book are hilarious, and will not be posted on the internet because we would all die of shame.

An Orlando Bloom Calendar and Legolas Poster – Back when Lord of the Rings first came out, I was OBSESSED with Orlando Bloom in a way only a 13 year old girl can be. So, naturally, I wanted an Orlando Bloom poster. Sonia, knowing this, told me she was going to get me one. But then, a few days before my birthday party, she told me she was sorry, that she couldn’t find a Legolas poster, so she got me a Viggo Mortensen one instead. Disappointed, but satisfied with the close second in my heart, I was SHOCKED and intensely happy when on my birthday I unrolled the poster to find none other than LEGOLAS. She had tricked me. It was beautiful.

A bristol-board-sized card Sonia made me for my 11th birthday, complete with a backwards “Z” in my name.

A scrapbook project from grade 8 where we had to give each person in the class an “award”. I was super-bold (especially considering this was actually submitted to a teacher), calling my friend Meagan (who is now one of my best friends) “the meanest”, another girl the “biggest flirt” stating: “she flirts with everyone all the time, she doesn’t even know it!”, and myself the “most musical”,beginning the post with “not to be conceited or anything, but I’d say I’m the most musical in the class”. Not to mention some ridiculous “awards” including “most disorganized”, “the unknown” (for someone who I had no idea what award to give), “way 2 hyper” (Ashley, that was you) and “softest hair”. Seriously, this is an embarrassing piece of work, and I will continue to go back and laugh at it for years on end.

Letters from friends from during the summer. My friend Rachel and I used to exchange letters every summer while she was away at her cottage. Every letter is precious, but the best one is one that was written by herself, Ashley and Meagan together. The contents will remain secret, but suffice it to say that the contents of a love-struck teen’s heart and mind are highly amusing, particularly to an adult version of myself who also knows the adult version of that love-struck teen.

A number of drawings and beautifully crafted letters from my friend Shannon, including a few “portraits” of me that I hope were not representative of what I actually looked like at the time.

A collection of framed Disney pictures – Back in the day, my grandmother would buy me every new Disney VHS from the Disney Store, so they came with a beautiful poster from the movie. My parents had these all framed, and they used to be on my wall in my old house. I have all the classics – Snow White, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas….and more.

My old dance shoes – man, that one hurt. I miss dancing so much!

And so much more. The memories go on and on. It is so lovely to reminisce.

Reunions

One of the best things about living away from home for 8 months out of the year, is that every holiday and summer I get to reunite with my best friends from home. I know that sounds kind of weird – wouldn’t it be better if we just got to see each other all the time? Sure, it’d be nice to get to see each other more often, but then, we wouldn’t get REUNIONS. (note: same thing goes for friends from Guelph, it’s amazing reuniting after we’ve been away for 4 months of the summer). Part of this has to do with the anticipation, and part of this has to do with what happens when you finally get together.

First, there’s the BIG HUG. I love hugs, and getting a big bear hug from a friend you have sorely missed is undoubtedly one of my favourite things ever. It’s a beautiful reminder that I’m “home”. Not in the physical sense, but in the sense of being right where you belong, with someone that knows you upside down, inside out and backwards and for some silly reason loves you anyways.

Then, I don’t know about you, but when I get together with my friends from home, especially that first time in a long time, a little piece of me reverts back to my high-school self. Fortunately the insecurity and angst stays away, but for a little while I just let go, and allow myself to be a little childish. And I know I’m not the only one. When we sit down together for a coffee, it’s not long before we’re all giggling uncontrollably, making far too much noise for any respectable people our age to be making. We all know each other so well at this point, that all inhibitions are let loose, and we all melt into a pool of ridiculousness, trying to talk through our laughter, it all coming out in squeeky voices no one could possibly understand but ourselves. No matter how successful or “professional” we become, I sincerely hope that this will continue to happen every time we reunite for the rest of our lives. 

I’ll admit, that ridiculousness has a tendency to persist whenever I get together with my friends from home. But that first time, that reunion, it’s such an adrenaline rush for me. That wonderful reminder that I am so blessed to have these people in my life, blessed to be able to see them in person and hug them and see them up close. Especially now with us all being in different places, the ability to reunite is a true blessing. It’s a reminder that despite the distance and differences in our lives, that we are able to always find that piece of ourselves that is bound to one another in such an inextricable way. 

Travel Friends

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to live in France for an academic year. While I was there, I traveled…a LOT. And while I loved being able to see all these places, my favourite part of the travel process was meeting travel friends. These people ranged from people met in a hostel, to those met on a pub crawl or in a bar. From natives to other Canadians, Europeans, Australians…and everyone in between.

The beauty of travel friends is that you automatically have something in common. Traveling people are a special breed, all of their own. They (usually) are open minded, excited to learn and to share. This is what makes it possible to meet someone while you’re cooking together in the hostel kitchen, and end up sitting down for a couple of hours to share a meal and some amazing conversation. I can’t tell you how many times I sat down and had hour-long conversations with people, and moved on and realized we hadn’t even introduced ourselves.

Sometimes, that’s as far as it gets. You finish your meal and you go your separate ways, both parties having learned something awesome. Sometimes, you get extra lucky and you have a really strong connection with someone. You talk for a couple of hours and somehow feel like you’ve known each other forever. I have a bunch of my travel friends on Facebook, and I love knowing what they’re up to. I feel like I’ll see them all again some day, probably when we happen to be in the same city by chance when one or both of us is travelling. I love knowing that the possibility is there for me to see them again, but that there’s no pressure.

One of the other great things about travel friends is that they don’t know you. There are no pre-conceptions, only open minds, genuine curiosity and a willingness to listen and to share. You can reinvent yourself every time you make a new friend. I don’t mean lying or being someone you’re not, but communication is a learning process. Especially when you’re communicating across cultures. It is inevitable that you WILL make some mistakes along the way. Maybe you need to learn to express yourself clearly, or to say things in just such a way, or maybe you’ve accidentally offended someone. The great thing about constantly meeting new people is that you have the chance to correct whatever mistakes you made before, to move forward in your learning process and come out a better communicator on the other end.

Now let me take you through a few of my personal favourite travel-friend times. These just show how easy it is to connect with people from all over the place, and to create the most wonderful memories from these opportunities.

Naples and Rome:

This was one of the first trips that Steph and I ever took. We really lucked out. Both in Rome and in Naples we had the most amazing hostel managers. In Rome, we stayed win what was essentially a bed and breakfast run by two brothers, Fabio and Domenico. They had their family there those couple of days, including their aunt who spoke not a word of English. Also in the hostel was a girl from Korea named Christina, who only shared the common language of English with us. Despite this, their aunt wanted to talk to Christina, so Steph and I took it upon ourselves to make this happen. We discovered that Fabio and Domenico were more comfortable speaking French than English so the communication path went as follows: aunt spoke Italian, got translated to French, got translated to English – and then back again. Conversation took a long time and I’m sure that there was a little misunderstanding in there somewhere, but it was amazing that we could communicate despite our differences in language, and that everyone really wanted to put in that effort.

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Then, in Naples, we met a guy who’s home-town was Guelph, we had a tour guide who decided that Steph and I were the the best, and we had an absolutely wonderful hostel manager. We’re still in touch with Davide, the hostel manager. We were told, later, that Naples is really dangerous, and had many Italians tell us we were nuts for going there, but the absolutely lovely people we met there never made me feel unsafe!

Barcelona:

Barcelona was the ultimate party. We stayed in a 24 person room that had people from all over Europe, South America, Canada and the States in it. We made particularly good friends with a girl from Texas, Avery, who we spent a couple of days with touring around since she was waiting for a friend to join up with her. We also made friends with Philip and Bridget over a pub crawl, I decided I wanted to be friends with Apostolis and Ilianna so I could practice my Greek, Brian and Pappy were good drinking buddies, our fellow Canadians Joel and Sara who we met during a drunken cab ride, Liu, the funniest guy, and to top it off, one of the hostel workers Henri, who was the most wonderful Finnish man who affectionately called us “smoochie”. Amazing time.

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We also met a lovely English couple at a place called the “champagneria” in Barcelona….we walked into this place completely filled with locals and not a clue how to order our food. This couple directed us and then we bonded, talking about literally everything, over 3 bottles of champagne. Not to mention Paula, the colombian lady who decided that Steph was her best friend.

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Portugal:

We really lucked out in Portugal too that we met so many awesome people. Firstly, at our hostel, we met Ricardo and Samuel. Ricardo is a local who had lived in the States for a year and had a nearly perfect American accent. We bonded over Fado, a Portuguese musical genre that we knew nothing about, and he happened to be studying! We never partied in Lisbon, sitting there that night just chatting with Ricardo was so much more rewarding than any amount of alcohol and dancing could have been. We also got to meet Samuel, a guy from Brazil, who we went and had dinner with, then went and did some sight-seeing with. Steph and I always traveled together, so it was really nice when we had other people added to the mix to change things up a bit. Add some new spice to the company! Finally, in Portugal we went to see some amateur Fado at a bar. We happened to sit beside some middle-aged locals, who we quickly learned didn’t speak any English. Jokingly, one of them said “tu parles français?” (do you speak French?) and, luckily, we did, so we had an amazing couple of hours chatting with them. They told us what the songs were about, we discussed modern music and there was discussion of Britney Spears…don’t particularly remember the context. We also talked about how much we all loved Paris.

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Amsterdam:

We decided to take a night-train from Berlin to Amsterdam, but didn’t get beds in the train. We ended up in a compartment with a couple from Aruba who got to watch us drool all over ourselves all night while we slept. But that didn’t keep them from being just lovely to us when we finally woke up. We had some amazing conversation then! They told us about their kids, about how they met, about their families. The man was excited to get a picture with us to prove to his son that he had “slept with 4 girls in one night!” Too cute. One of the things I loved most about both this encounter and the one with the English couple in Barcelona was the chance to honestly interact with middle-aged people. In every-day “real life”, there’s always a barrier to totally open and honest communication, which stems from a need to maintain respect on both sides. But since we were all travelers who would never see each other again, we could speak totally honestly about the shit we got up to, and so could they. It eliminated that barrier between them and us, showed us that even 50 year olds have some spice and sass left yet!

Alright, I leave you with that. Some of my most amazing traveling memories, although there are SO many more! Thanks so much to all of you who were a part of them ❤ you are life-changers.

Orthodox Easter

Time for a history/religion lesson kids!

I’m gonna put a lot of info into this one, because this is something I think most people don’t know a whole lot about. Maybe it’s just me, but I like to know things. And this is by far my favourite religious holiday. So here ya go!

This weekend, for me, is Easter. “Whaaaat?” you ask, I thought Easter was last weekend! Well it was, for you, but not for me! Easter for the Orthodox is calculated based on the Julian calendar, and must ALWAYS fall after the Jewish Passover. Every 4 years, the dates sync up, and there is one glorious Easter celebration for all. 

Easter is THE biggest, most important holiday for the Orthodox. Which makes sense. It’s kinda the basis of Christianity.

So, that being said, there are a TON of traditions that go along with the holiday, and I won’t describe them all. I’m gonna concentrate on Thursday-Sunday of the weekend of Easter.

Thursday – The Crucifiction. In church, they have a big cross, and a cardboard cut-out of Jesus. They use these to essentially act out the story of Jesus’ crucifiction. So, on this day, the take cardboard Jesus and put him up on the cross. And there he stays until…

Good Friday – On this day, according to the Bible, Jesus died and was laid in a tomb. So, they take cardboard Jesus off the cross, and lay him in his “tomb”. Now, the tomb is no cave. It is a very elaborate, beautiful structure, called an Epitaphio, that is decorated each year by the people who work at the church. It looks something like this:

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During the service, everyone has the opportunity to go up, do their cross and crawl under the Epitaphio. I’ll be totally honest, I don’t know what this symbolizes, and I can’t find it online. I asked my mom and she’s not sure either, but she thinks it represents the protection given to humanity through Jesus’ death. Also during this service, the epitaphio is taken outside, and the whole congregation follows with lit candles as is walked through the streets. It’s quite a sight to see this, and I know that in Hamilton there are people who are out on their balconies to watch it every year. 

Saturday/Sunday – The Resurrection. On Saturday night, everyone makes their way to church, with their special Easter candle (called a Lambatha), for a special Easter service. At 11pm begins what we call “Defte Lavete Fos”, the build up to the resurrection. All of the lights in the church go out, and we are left in complete darkness. The priest then brings out a lit candle, and passes on the fire to the people around him…and then they pass it on and they pass it on…until the entire church is lit totally by each person’s candle. Writing about it cannot do it justice, it is a beautiful, beautiful sight to behold and it has always taken my breath away. When I was younger, the entire congregation used to go outside to do this.  I guess they decided it was too time consuming so now we do it inside. Now, in writing this I decided to do a little research, and discovered that the light that is brought out by the priest is not some random candle he lit with a match. The fire is actually the “Eternal Flame” brought by plane to each of country from Jerusalem on Saturday. Intense right?

This whole time, the priest is singing the song “defte lavete fos”, which I will spare you. Next, the priest begins the singing of Christos Anesti, which we sing about 1000000 times throughout the rest of the night. We also move our candles in the shape of a cross. It goes like this:

And the rough translation is this:

Christ is risen from the dead
trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Then, the priest shouts out “Christos Anesti!” and raises his candle towards us, and we all reply “Alithos Anesti!” and raise our candles back, which translated means “Christ is risen!” and “Truly he is risen!”. Because our church is bilingual, we say it both in Greek and in English. And our priest is a jokester, so every year he also says it in a bunch of other languages that no one knows, so no one knows what to respond. Anyways, we do this for about 5 minutes straight, and it happens again during the rest of the service. Since the flame of the candle is holy fire, many people bring that flame back to their homes to bless the house.

At this point, we’re at about midnight, the Anastasi (resurrection) has occurred, and everyone’s ready to peace out. So the majority of the congregation clears out, and leaves just us few that are super-dedicated. And thus, commences a liturgy. This takes about 2 hours. Generally, if you stay til the end, you’re staying til about 2-3am. Not to mention that AFTER that, there’s egg giving-outtage. 

So Orthodox people dye RED eggs for Easter. This symbolizes the blood of Christ. The symbolism of the egg itself, is that of the tomb, from which comes not death, but new life. After church, the priest has a big basket of eggs, and we all go up and get them from him. It is tradition to hit the eggs against each other, like this:

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and say “CHRISTOS ANESTI!” Again, symbolism of resurrection, of life from the tomb. In my family, we like to have competitions to see who can crack the most eggs of other people. My Uncle Jimmy has a tendency to win every year. It’s an art form really. 

Traditionally, after church (keep in mind this is 2-3am), my aunt likes to host people over at her house, and stuff their faces full of food. You’re supposed to fast (essentially go vegan) for the 40 days preceding Easter, so now that the day has arrived, it’s time to eat MEAT. A traditional Easter food for Greeks is Mayiritsa, and it is made with lamb intestines. I think that’s nasty, and I never eat it. Luckily, my aunt always has about 1000 other options to choose from! This year she didn’t do it, but that’s okay. She’s getting on in years, and it’s so much work!

Finally, Sunday – family time. My day usually looks like this: Wake up around noon, eat some tsoureki (a traditional sweet Easter bread) and red eggs. Hang around then go to my grandparents’ house for “lunch” which usually consists of lamb, pork, chicken, salad, potatoes etc etc…, fall into a food coma, pick yourself up again around 6 to go to a family gathering, where there is again more food, and stay there eating and chatting with the fam jam until about 1 in the morning again.

THAT, my friends, is how I do Easter. I know that this was a long-ass post. But I thought it’d be nice to teach y’all somethin! 

Christos Anesti! and Happy Easter!