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Remember

I was in my first 2 weeks of Grade 10, naive, scared, hopeful for the future. At that time I still enjoyed getting up, getting ready and watching the news before I had to leave for the day. I was interested in journalism and I liked knowing what was going on in the world around me so that day I did just that.

I got up, got ready, sat down in our living room and turned on the television. I remember being confused, watching only for a few minutes and then I left for school.

I got to the bus stop and that is when I realized what I thought was going on was a lot more serious. Everyone was talking about it, all day, that’s all we heard about, “plane crash, New York, dead, war.”

I couldn’t fathom what was actually happening but when I got home from school and planted myself in front of the TV for the next 2 weeks to watch repeat footage of thousands of people die I began to understand. But only a little.

I can only understand as an outsider looking in, someone with fear, with questions, with anger. I am saddened for the people who lost loved ones, who only have memories left, who never got to say goodbye. 

And I am thankful. I am thankful I don’t have any connections to that day. I didn’t lose a mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother or friend. I am still living and breathing and so are those I love. And for that reason, I will remember. I will remember where I was. I will remember what I thought and felt.

I will remember them.

 

Looking at the positives

The man has been out of the country for a few days and with probably a month in front of me of being “alone” I have realized the obvious: it’s not that bad. Yes, I would rather not be 8 time zones away, but with that much space comes vast personal freedom.

In honor of this freedom I have compiled a top 10 list of the best things about not having a man around.

10. I can lay on the comfy part of the couch without feeling like I have to share it. Sprawl out, cuddle up and don’t move all evening, it’s all mine.

9. I can watch The Real Housewives, Bachelorette and Big Brother without smart ass comments interrupting every perfect moment.

8. I get to use as much or as little of the blankets I want.

7. There isn’t a trail of clothes to pick up. The trail actually makes me laugh but a little break from constantly tidying is always nice.

6. I get to drive a big diesel SUV, listen to satellite radio and pretend I am the Queen of the road. Along with this, I don’t have to worry about circling 11th Ave 5 times looking for a parking spot every night only to discover I have to parallel with a line up of cars behind me.

5. I can go to the gym and sweat and not worry about showering. If I choose to sit in my filth until the next morning, that’s my choice.

4. Less toilet paper is used. Honestly, I don’t understand how it disappears so quickly when a man is around. I appreciate the attempt at doing a thorough job but do you really need to use a roll a day?

3. I get to change into sweats the second I get home. I do this regardless, but at least when I am alone I don’t have to think about how I should still be “trying to impress”.

2.  I can eat onion dip and it’s okay that it seeps from my pores for 3 days. I try to stay away from it because it literally does seep from my pores but travel time is the best time for me to indulge.

1. The toilet seat is always down. You will never hear me complain about it being up as I think it’s just one of those things women should relax about, but it’s quite nice not having to be fearful of falling in when you go pee in the dark.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 switch

I haven’t been sleeping for the past few days and with my sleepless nights comes too much thinking and the realization that I may be a little bonkers. I want to share a very small portion of the weird things that go through my mind to see if I really am the only one or if I have any certifiable allies out there.

So last night after watching the fabulous return of The Real Housewives of NY, I decided to climb into bed at 10:15. Let’s start there. I am scared of the dark. I cannot turn off the light in my living room without turning on the light in my bedroom first. The idea of walking those 3 steps between the two in darkness strikes me with all-encompassing fear and my breathing speeds up, not good. If I end up in darkness, if only for a moment, I must turn on all the lights again before starting the whole process over properly. Someone could be hiding under my couch or behind my tv, I don’t take risks here.

I run from my light switch to my bed and I lay there. And I lay there. And I lay there some more. I try closing my eyes, I try opening my eyes. I try playing Line Birds and Race Penguin (download those games if you don’t have them already!) Nothing is working! I cannot sleep. Should I read? Should I get up? Should I stay laying still? Should I stop thinking? How does a person stop thinking? Is that what men do? Is it a conscious decision like I am trying to make it or does it just come naturally?

It is impossible to turn off my brain. That whole  “a woman needs to speak 20,000 words a day” is proving itself to be true.  I lay there and I think about how many words I have spoken that day. The people I talked to at work, my clients, the lady at the gym. And then I realize I haven’t spoken out loud since 5:20pm. That’s 5 hours without noise coming out of my mouth while awake. I realize I haven’t de-compressed from my day. I haven’t spoken to any one about how my day was, what frustrated me (the annoying client that doesn’t trust what I say to be true, I’m not an idiot lady!!), what made me laugh (not much, I work in insurance, give me a break). And then I think, should I talk to myself?

And I lay there thinking. Seriously, should I decompress with myself? I start to have a conversation about my day, but for some reason don’t speak out loud. I find this odd because the whole idea was to use up my words for the day so I could turn off my brain and go to sleep, but no words will come out of my mouth. The conversation doesn’t help, I feel no more tired or ready for sleep, so I start spelling. And this is where I’m pretty sure I’m an anomaly.

When I get scared or antsy or nervous or anything really that needs relaxing or just mind numbing I spell the sentences I am thinking in my head. I literally do this.

Capital I space l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y space d-o space t-h-i-s period

I don’t know why I do this. It’s unusual, I know and I am resisting doing it right now while I type, but alas it worked! I fell asleep the quickest I have all week. And then, as luck would have it, I was jolted awake by the strum of my ring tone  only to start the whole process all over again.

And that my friends, is one wonderful night inside my brain.

Give to give

Why do we give? Do we give to see happiness or appreciation in another or do we give in hopes of receiving?

Easy question I suppose. The majority of people would not say they give to receive but I think we do it without even realizing it, or at least I know I am guilty of that.

I give a lot, probably too much. I haven’t quite mastered boundaries when it comes to choosing me over someone else so when I see an opportunity to do something for someone or be there for them, I jump on it. I love to be a shoulder to cry on, be an ear to vent to, be the first text or phone call when someone needs to talk. I enjoy helping the people I love with things they need done; clean up, make you soup when you are sick, pick up a bottle of wine, drop you off at the body shop. The problem is, I also seem to hate these things.

I complain that I am relied on too heavily, that people always come to me first when they need something. I hate that I can’t say no and do whatever it is they need over and over again allowing them to then ask over and over again, or worse yet, not even ask just expect it from me. But the issue is not in the act of doing it, like I said, I truly do love helping the people I care about, it is in my attitude towards wanting it done back.

I get bitter and resentful and don’t communicate. I want everyone to be able to read my mind. I want to be appreciated. I want people to do the same things for me as I do for them.

And that is where it all comes back on my plate. How can someone help me if I don’t ask? How can someone know I would really appreciate things being done for me if I never tell them? They can’t. That’s the secret I know and yet for some reason can’t seem to live out in my life.

Roller coaster

It’s a ride you only have control of before it starts. You walk up, stand in line, wait your turn and when the cart comes around it’s up to you if you want to get on and take the risk for the rush or leave the line and try something else. That’s the last time you have control. After that, it’s moving where it wants and when it wants. You can’t tell it to stop, you can’t jump off, it has to run its course whether or not you want to ride with it.

I don’t like rollercoasters. A lot of people can enjoy the ride, relax, see the hill coming up and get excited for the rush that is about to come from the drop down. Or even crazier to me, close their eyes the whole time and just feel it.

I stand in line, the ride comes around, I get scared and I don’t get on. I do that 3 or 4 times until I have to make a decision. Stand there and look like a fool while everyone else is jumping on or take a risk and try it myself.

I would rather stay on the stable concrete. I would rather watch everyone else go through the ups and downs knowing when they are going to happen for them and seeing the reaction in their face when they didn’t see it coming. I would rather sit waiting, smiling when they catch my eye, be excited or scared for them, then be out of control like that.

And then the ride ends. The rush they felt as they share the excitement for that crazy flip they didn’t know was coming was unbelievable. It was worth it. It was worth the intensely beating heart as they were climbing up knowing something great was around the corner. They want to go again. They want to lift their arms and let go and enjoy the ride as I choose to walk away and stand on the side lines, too scared to try myself.

A New Day

A new chapter in my life has officially begun.

Yesterday marked the end of a journey. A journey of tears, joy, excitement, frustration and unknown. I will never regret any part of the previous chapter. It made me into who I am; it taught things that I couldn’t have learned any other way. It molded me, strengthened me, and taught me confidence, patience and love. I am thankful for the steps I have taken to get to where I am now and for the memories that have come along with each step.  

Understandably, along the way, I have not always had unconditional support from those around me. I made a choice that not everyone would make, I chose me, and the peace I currently feel as a new, gleaming, empty page turns, gives me confidence that I made the right choice, if for no one else, for me.

Today is a new day with the next chapter just waiting to be written. I know it’s cheesy, but for the first time I feel like the world is at my fingertips. I can do what I want for my joy. I can make my own choices and my own decisions. It is a scary and yet exhilarating feeling knowing that I can only hold myself accountable for whatever comes next in my life.

The last page has been turned and now it’s on to Chapter 2, and I must say Chapter 2 looks like it has the potential to be pretty darn great.

She asked for it…

I asked for ideas of what I should blog about and my sister told me I should write all about her. I have decided instead of writing, I will share with the world my favorite picture of all time. This is my sister at her first day at Denny’s last summer.

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Now doesn’t this bring a smile to your face? 

                

You’re welcome Marie!!

 

 

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