Hello! My name is Maria McGlashan, and I love to make myself uncomfortable. This is fairly obvious at this point; not only did I decide to push through AP in my grade 12 year, but I am also here, baring my soul to the world wide web. In all seriousness, I have always felt that comfort is the enemy of progress. A little discomfort means I am always finding ways to improve. If I settle, life becomes a certainty rather than a gift, and I forget to appreciate what I have.
Appreciating the world, yes, can mean being grateful for the roof over your head and the feet in your shoes, but that is not my brand of appreciation. The bits of the world I appreciate are the grubby, the gross, and the unconventional – bits like bugs. I firmly believe that beauty and joy can and should be found everywhere, and I’m honestly not sure how people survive the day without romanticizing everything.
Science is one of my biggest sources of unconventional joy. Just like everyone else in this class, I read Frankenstein over the summer, but I just couldn’t bring myself to dislike Victor as much as I knew I should. When he talked about the joy of knowing, the thrill of discovery, and the desire to understand all that you can about the world, it touched my little science kid heart. Sometimes, I felt like I was reading my own internal monologue.
Yet another connection I share with Victor is my rampant perfectionism. I used to pray to the stationary gods that my notes would look like this (I even had to block the tag for a while to keep from obsessing over it). Being a perfectionist can be a tad cumbersome, since nothing can ever truly be done as long as there is still room for error. However, at the end of the day, I know that my faulty perfectionist brain ensures that all my work is the absolute best it can be. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I said I felt for Victor, but I promise there are no abandoned sentient science experiments in my future. As much as I am a logical person, I am the world’s biggest mom. Somehow, at 17, I am the proud parent of roughly 15 children, all also 17. I always carry band-aids and extra snacks, and I am ready with a you-should-take-better-care-of-yourself lecture at the drop of a hat. Caring for the people in my life is the best way I know of to show them just how much they mean to me.
All of my mom-ing is probably a side effect of how close I am with my own mom. Growing up, we were basically inseparable, with me being an only child, and her a single mom. She taught me to be respectful, compassionate, to be unapologetically myself, and that giving up was never an option. Plus, she allowed me room to grow alone and become who I wanted to be. I have her to thank for the most vital parts of me.
Hard work’s value was taught to me by my mother, but it’s become a part of my philosophy. This is a real picture of my bed while working on this project, and it is far from abnormal in my house. I respect the kids who bust it for 50s more than the kids who can get easy 90s, because there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you earned something. Obviously, what is pictured above is what most of us picture as hard work, but for me, putting in 100% applies to more than just schoolwork.
I am an introvert naturally, so going out and being around people takes a tremendous amount of effort for me. When I’m with friends, I am loud. I am dramatic. I am outgoing. If I don’t wake up the next day with a bit of a sore throat, I’m not satisfied. I want to milk my time for all that it is worth, because I am acutely aware of my own limits.
Once my social battery runs dry, I need time to recuperate alone. My little introverted heart needs to sit in her room and play the Sims 4 until her eyes get sore, and not have to deal with expectations for a little while. Despite all the joy that can come from other people, being out means pressure, and pressure is draining. Sometimes it is little pressures like carrying a conversation, but sometimes it is the painful awareness that someone is looking at you.
Looking the way I look and acting the way I act means that I tend to be a bit of a spectacle. When I was younger, I used to resent my differences, and I would try to force myself to fit better into a box. Still, even with a normal haircut, I couldn’t help my own oddness. It is as much a part of me as all my other passions and personality, and today I own my otherness. Like me or not, I am proud that I make an impression on every single person I meet. I hope that this time, that impression was a good one.
- Featured image – yumeji. “An atlas moth crawling on hand.” tumblr, https://yumeji.tumblr.com/search/atlas+moth
- Image one – “Grass,Silhouette,Symmetry.” kissCC0, https://www.kisscc0.com/clipart/speech-balloon-cartoon-comic-book-spiky-shape-silh-335jo8/.
- Image two – Themothdream. “A Moth Sitting on Top of a Female Hand, Black Background.” The Headless Star, Themothdream, 26 Oct. 2017, https://themothdream.tumblr.com/search/moth+aesthetic+mine.
- Image three – Brie. “Black and White Ink Drawing of Victor Frankenstein Holding a Brain.” Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.ca/briesev/.
- Image four – Pous, Terri, and Kafkanotes. “A Page of Well Organized Notes Featuring Notes on the Microscope and Cell Behaviour.” Buzzfeed, https://www.buzzfeed.com/terripous/this-studying-trend-will-either-inspire-you-or-stress-you-th.
- Image five – “Drawing of a Pair of Hands Covered in Band-Aids and Plants.” Vippng, https://www.vippng.com/preview/hTThmih_aesthetic-band-aid-drawing/.
- Image six – personal photo
- Image seven – personal photo
- Image eight – original artwork
- Image nine – original artwork
- Image ten – original artwork