requisite new year post

I forget I have a blog, sometimes. I mean, until opportunities to post something actually present themselves. Like right now. Having some software issues at the ol' job that I can't get around. What better to do than write up a New Year's/recap of previous year blog post, then?

We all know that 2011 fucking sucked in general. Everything that could've gone wrong went wrong. The dog was sick with 5 different ailments back to back, and that left me in the lurch financially. I applied and interviewed for a job that I really wanted and was kind of banking on...only to get passed over after all was said and done. My reclassification at my current job didn't go through AGAIN, so I am trapped in my salary bracket for another year. And all the personal bullshit that happened. I don't want to air it all on here, because most of you already know since we're friends in real life. A lot of stuff went down that really got fucked up and did a number on me. I had my heart broken, and even broke a heart or two. It wasn't pretty.

And then? And then, December happened. It was the month when I finally threw down and said "You know what? Fuck it. Life is too short to have this entire year be shitty." I did away with all of the negative people who were dragging me down. I made friends with a ton of new and fantastic people. Had first kisses with new people. I went on 3-day benders. On dates. On moonlit walks through the snow. To a cute boy's work Christmas party. I saw some good shows. I smiled so much I thought my face might break. December was fucking magical. Yeah, I said that. But it was. And the icing on the cake was that my midnight kiss on New Year's Eve was pretty much the perfect kiss, with the exact boy that I wanted it to be with. It doesn't really get better than that.

So, 2012. What do I have planned? Well...lots. I'll put it in list form, because that's what I like to do.

1) I've decided to not cover up the bro tat on my ankle, but work around it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I'd like to have it there as a reminder. We all need reminders sometimes. Also, I've decided the ankle tattoo isn't the first one I'm going to get done. I'm going to get the horseshoe on my forearm to remind myself that I'm pretty goddamned lucky in a lot of ways. I'm planning to get at least half of my planned tattoos this year. Finally.

2) With the help of the most adorable boy on the planet, I'm buying a van. I know. I probably don't really need a second vehicle. But this is something I've been sitting on for quite sometime, and there's no better time than right now to do it. The boy is good with mechanical stuff, hence why I'm enlisting his help (so I spend my money well, and to help with anything that needs replacing/rebuilding). My plan for the van is for it to be my summer vehicle. Lots of camping in BC. I can't wait.

3) I'm picking up a part-time job. I held off on it for awhile, but I need the extra cash now with all the upcoming tattoos and the van. Plus, it will help me maintain my social life without going broke all the time. I'm a month behind on some of my bills right now, so I've gotta fix that.

4) I am not going to pretend to not be a dirtbag hippie anymore. I've spent too much time trying to be something I'm not, and I've grown weary of it. I'm not going to sweat the small stuff, like certain people not being down with me. I know that not everyone on Earth is going to like me, but whatever. I'm rad. And if they can't see that/accept that? Their loss. One thing that happened at the tail end of last year is that I met my nemesis. It means I'll have to watch my back this year. The thing is? I can handle it. The key to beating girls like that is not joining them, but constantly being more awesome than they are.

5) I will phase out all the bad/negative people in my life. This should be easy, since I kind of did the bulk of that last year. But there are a few stragglers that I haven't really had the chance to deal with yet. I don't want to be surrounded by people who bring negative energy into my life anymore. It's polluted my mindset, and caused infinite amounts of bullshit. It's not worth it, and I'm fucking tired of being bogged down by people who refuse to see the silver lining. Sometimes it may seem like everything sucks, but a lot of the time things suck because you're not doing enough to fix what's wrong or broken. That's really all there is to it. There's no secret. Happiness is something you have to work at and build...if you're too lazy or complacent for that, then I really don't have the time to deal with you anymore.

And...uh...that's kind of it. Hope your 2012 is off to a fantastic start.



pretty smart

What can I say... a lot of heavy stuff has gone down since I last posted. Won't go into detail, 'cause that's not my style. It's always pretty humbling when shit gets real, let me tell ya... so I'm just thankful to have some really fantastic people around me to stop me from hitting the ground too hard.

Anyway. This isn't going to be a long, meandering post like some of the previous ones. Just a little 'to the point story'.

I used to be friends with this girl when I was a kid. She was my childhood best friend, and we were best friends   until we were around 24. She always used to say we were pretty much the same person, except that she was 'the smart one' and I was 'the pretty one'. That didn't really bother me for a long time, because I figured there were much worse things than being pretty. She would always interject with it, too, whenever we were out somewhere and introducing ourselves to new people. I let it go on for years, and never questioned it. Until the day when we weren't friends anymore. Over the years, she trivialized and abused our friendship, and I was stupidly and loyally happy to oblige. I am not a patient person by any means, but back then I thought that friendship was the be all end all. And you know what, it still is to me... but only with the right people. With the wrong people, it's poison. With the wrong people, it steals your soul and breaks you. This girl did that to me- slept with my boyfriends, said terrible things about me behind my back, more than once threw me to the fucking lions so she could save herself. It could have tainted my view on friendship, but instead it left me with a realization. The reason she treated me so badly and always dismissed me as 'the pretty one'? She was always jealous that I was both things. The smart AND pretty one. She couldn't be both, so she turned it against me.

Lesson...don't surround yourself with bullshit people like that. It isn't worth your time. Just be you. When you're surrounded by quality people, they will accept you as you are, and they will never use any of it to try to drag you down.


get up in the morning, give it your all

Basically, in 2009 and 2010 I was the worst friend ever. No, really, I was. But you know that. You were probably ditched or bailed on by me on various occasions, and to be honest, I didn't have a good excuse or reason. I was just being shitty.

This year, though, I've really been trying to get over myself finally. I kind of thought I had gotten over myself a couple years ago... but that was sort of bullshit. It's tough, for sure. Still, I'm getting a little better about not bailing on people. I have a hard time making and sticking to plans because I've never not been spontaneous... but I'm definitely getting better at it.

I spent the bulk of 2009-2010 hating being in this city. At that point, I really wanted out. For like the 254796th time. What I came to realize at the start of this year is that it wasn't the city I hated- it was the direction my life had taken. You know that saying 'Not all who wander are lost'? It's true sometimes, but not for me. I was lost. Somewhere along the way, I turned into someone unfamiliar. My family, of course, was ecstatic because they don't understand who I am... they just figured I was becoming responsible, and getting my shit together. But I looked at myself in the mirror on the daily and was like, 'How the fuck did I even get here?'. And suddenly, I realized that I couldn't do it anymore. I can't do it anymore. I've dedicated a large chunk of my life to trying to keep everyone around me happy. I can't escape that; it's in my framework, much the way other things like loving difficult people, and having commitment issues are. But now, more than ever, I realize that you can't please everyone all the time. It just isn't possible. And when you focus too much on that, you lose the real focus which is yourself. I mean, do I love my family? Hells yeah. But I'm so done with trying to be the kind of person that they want me to be. As much as I want to be sorry about how much of a disappointment it must be to them, I'm not. Do I regret pretending for so long? Yeah, for sure. But even though there's now a lot of uncertainty about the direction my life will take in the next couple of years, I'm starting to feel like myself again for the first time in a long time. I can totally look in the mirror now and not see a complete stranger staring back.

The most obvious sign of it is that recently I've been a hell of a lot more appreciative of my friends. Spending time with them instead of pretending I have something better to do with my time, but in reality just sitting alone in my apartment watching shit TV, and feeling sorry for myself. In particular, the friends who have seen me through the last half decade... because it's been a motherfucking journey and a half. You guys have always been the least judgemental of me, and I have been pretty terrible to you at times. But you've always known that I'm better than that, and I guess what I'm saying is that your belief in me has really helped me to transcend all of the bullshit and actually believe in myself again.

So yeah... 2011 has proven to be a rough year on many counts, and if I'm being honest, because of it a lot of shit is sort of hanging in the balance. But that's actually more of a blessing than a curse. It's up to me to take it to the next level, deal with my shit, and just be me from here on out. A better me. The best me, even. Thanks for hanging in there with me, guys. I'm more fucking grateful for that than you'll ever know.



black sheep

No big secret, I've always been the black sheep of the family. I grew up in this bizarre, upper middle class, well-rounded sort of way that always fit me awkwardly. I've generally gone through life trying to make everybody around me happy, trying to somehow make my family proud of me. But they've never been proud of me, as I usually fuck up everything I do. Even now that I have a well-paying 'career' (albeit, one that I've grown to dislike), they STILL aren't proud of me. They never asked me anything about my job back in the years when I actually enjoyed doing it, and now that I'm actively looking for something else, they tell me that I'm not seeing the big picture, and that I shouldn't be so ungrateful because not everybody gets 'handed' a career.

Sigh... okay, so here's the big thing I've been sitting on for years, and pretty much the only thing I have lied about to all of you... I didn't really fucking finish university.


Um... yeah. I've been fucking lying about it this whole time, and I feel like such a goddamned fraud.

Got a lot of the way through... but ended up dropping out because I was a really screwed up person at the time, and also a raging alcoholic. I really apologize that you guys need to read about this on the internet, because I should have just levelled with you to begin with. If I lose your respect and friendship, I deserve and accept it. I won't ask for your forgiveness... I'll just move on with the life I may have now just destroyed via my stupid blog.

I did finish a broadcasting diploma, but I let too much time slide between the point I graduated to the point where I should have been trying to look for work... and now, 10 years later, I am no longer employable in the industry.

I'm just one of those people for whom the world is a really big place, and the thought of getting tied down to any one thing for the rest of my life scares the hell out of me. For all I've tried to meet the expectations that everyone has of me, I can't. I know I'm supposed to want the sort of life where I live in this big house, and marry an engineer (or something equally as mundane), and have kids, and I don't have to worry about how the bills are going to get paid, and everything is awesome... but I don't want that. The closer it's seemed to get, the more I want absolutely nothing to do with it. And I mean no disrespect to those of you I know who do want that; I think it's a good way of life... for someone else.

I'm not happy unless I can do as I please. I'd like to start drawing again. Play more music. Listen to more music. Start my own shitty business. Drink with my friends (the ones I have left after this fucking rant). Dress up only when I feel like it. Get all those tattoos that I've been saving up for. Go back to Hawaii. Go to other places I haven't been yet. Go to those places with someone who hasn't been to them either. Go back to school. Learn how to do more things. Keep learning how to do things. Just keep being me. The real me.

One of the most fantastic people I have ever known- fantastic for the reason of having stuck it out as my friend for the past 5 years, and never having judged me even through the times when I was a horrible person to him- recently said something to me that I've really taken to heart:

"People say to never regret anything, but I say to use regrets as a focus to change the things you want to change... if you do that, it can spur you to do things you never would have done instead of always beating yourself up about the stuff you never did."

Best advice ever. From one black sheep to another. I could waste the rest of my life worrying about what you all think about me now... but I'm not going to. I have a lot of shit to figure out, a lot of my life left to live.

I'll see you out there... because there's no way in hell I'm staying in here forever.



the best things are like the best things ever

What up, blog readers (so, all five of you)? So, basically, I kinda hate using the word 'epic' (and even so, I find I use it way too much for stuff that actually is not), but today is the Monday after what I'd call an 'epic' weekend. In the past decade or so, I've struggled a lot with trying to be what I consider an 'adult-type person', but also with not losing my true self in the process. Every year, I make this huge declaration about wanting to move somewhere else (and a couple of times I actually have left), because 'Calgary sucks', and I 'just can't make this place my home, no matter how hard I try'.

Well, Calgary FINALLY fucking showed my ass what's what.

Friday, I had one of the best nights out in recent history. Drunken good times at the Ship with good pals, random pizza, lots of gin and tonics, shooters, a punk rock show, late night eats at the crack Sev, crashing on a friend's couch, and then a delicious almond croissant on the walk to my car. Whoa. Can't believe this 34-year-old body held on until 2:30 in the AM.

Saturday was a day of good eats and amazing surprises. Lunch with some old friends. Then dinner, which turned out to be WEDDING BOMB! That's right, dinner was in fact the surprise wedding of my good friends. And I second-guessed myself, so instead of dressing to the nines, I looked like I was going to a metal show (whoops). I introduced those kids a few years ago, and I am so stoked that they are now fucking married. You see, I really AM here to help. I love you guys- so glad I was there... even though I looked like a total banger. Two out of three, though, right? ;) I wish you guys nothing but the best; you deserve no less than that.

Early Sunday morning phone call from The Dirtbag. That kid NEVER phones me... turns out he and my bff had a drunken heart to heart (cool, by the way... I love my friends so much), and I think he's starting to realize the error of his ways. Normally, I'd be super pissed about a 1:30 in the morning phone call... particularly if I'm not still out and about. But then he gave this awkward little drunken speech, "Was talking to your friend about you... so I was thinking about you... and so I thought I would call you and tell you that...", and if that didn't sort of melt my goddamned heart. Ha. I guess there's just something about getting validation, no matter how it comes about. Oh man, life...

Sometimes the best things are right in front of you, and have been there all along. YYC, sorry it took me so long to see it. I think I kind of love it here after all, and I'm not ready to call it quits on you just yet.