Monthly Archives: April 2020

Master of Arts

Hello again! 😉

I know I have been away for a good two years from this website. The work I have contributed has been minimal mainly because my brain energy has been sucked dry in other areas of my life. I’m sorry for my absence.

I wanted to slowly circle back into my Thirty Four Flavours community. I have been away because I was completing my Master of Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto. I am almost done. I am set to defend my research in June. It’s been a ride, let me tell you. But it’s done.

Hmmm…where do I start?

Well I have worked full time, studied part time and completed some personal projects on the side. For a girl, who doesn’t like mornings – I learned to love them. I would spend my mornings, writing, researching and if I could, I would sneak a nap in here and there.

My full time job is hardly easy. In fact, it’s stressful. But I used my full time work as a respite to make sense of the theory and research I was conducting. It was a gift, albeit emotionally, mentally and physically draining.

In the midst of my studies, I took up hiking. I have shared my adventures through my social media accounts. I have always hiked in the past. It all began for me in California, and then onto Oregon and Seattle. Now, I hike in Ontario. There’s nothing like hiking in your own backyard.

Along with the hiking came deep thoughts and reflection into my own life and healing. Healing for mistakes made, healing towards moving forward and healing in accepting and giving of love. Nature and walking through it’s amazing glory taught me those tiny themes. As a result, they have embedded themselves into my work and research. I discovered, I have so much more learning to take in. It doesn’t end with a Master of Arts.

I have also learned that I am no longer tolerating oppression or discrimination in any way. In the past, I let things slide and thought, ‘…is it even worth fighting about this?’. I guess with time, my own work on myself, making peace with myself and loving myself –  I am officially pushing back. I’m letting go of those dangling threads and toxic relationships.

What else?

This pandemic has come at the most opportune time. I pray for all of us as a community. I have been forced to slow down, enjoy the quiet that I have always relished and have become reacquainted with making art, handiwork and dreaming of my next adventures. This Master of Arts has been the best investment I have made for myself and I’m going to put it to good use. Not only from a lens of social justice for youth in my care, but to stitch in love, kindness and spirituality into my practice and into my own life.

Take sometime to watch the video I have inserted above. It resonated for me and my academic journey. Plus, it gives you a glimpse into my hiking love affair. My dream is to do this hike one day. I feel it in my heart, if I can do an MA in my late 40’s, I can do that hike. I’m visualizing it happening.

I’m leaving you with this quote for now. More to come in the weeks, months and years ahead. Thank you for following me, my thoughts and adventures. Wishing you love, happiness and good health in the days ahead.

Melanie xo

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau