So this is my life now
Last week I found out a guy I dated in high school was convicted of manslaughter for murdering a prostitute. He was by no means a serious boyfriend – we met at a party at my friend’s place where I knew hardly anyone and there was porn playing on mute on all of the TVs – and I felt, for a fleeting four weeks or so, like he really “got” me. I vaguely remember him having family problems [I was drawn to the ones who needed to be fixed] and, coupled with the fact that he was a year or two younger than me, we didn’t end up being a couple for very long. I guess it worked out pretty well because as far as the news articles have reported, they haven’t been able to find her body which was shoved into a loveseat, duct taped, and dropped off at a landfill site.
But you know, that’s my life; dating convicted murderers and whatnot.
Today is my official 3 months at my new job. My benefits kick in today [oh heyyyyy free birth control] and now they can’t fire me for no reason, which I didn’t think would happen anyway since I’m apparently appreciated here, but still, the confirmation of security is nice.
It feels like no time at all since my dad passed away and at the same time, it feels like forever ago. I still can’t bring myself to delete his number out of my phone even though I’m convinced that someone else has the number now. I’ve gone to call him a few times – a couple by accident when I briefly forgot that he died and a couple on purpose just to see if his answering machine still said that he’d call me back – but I’ve never actually gone through with it. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not, but I left so many things with him unresolved, I think it’s probably normal that my guilt is seeping into my life in strange ways.
You’d think that in light of losing one parent, my relationship with the other might become stronger. And you’d be wrong. If anything, it’s become more strained and forced, which I’ve heard is pretty common when money is involved – however [in]significant an amount. Death is stressful and coupled with money; people turn into shades of themselves that you can’t really predict. Myself included, which is harder to admit than I’d like. At some point I’ve just really stopped caring about things, at the expense of everything else.
I’m envious of some people’s relationships with their parents. Most of my friends are incredibly close with at least one of the people who brought them into the world, the boyfriend and I now live behind the house he grew up in and where his mother and his brother still live, and the unrealistic side of me has always wished I had a Rory / Lorelei in Gilmore Girls-kind of relationship with my mom [who hasn’t wished that, honestly]. But I think it’s becoming more apparent now that I can see the places where I wish I fit in but don’t. I’ve always kind of felt like the odd one out – like I marched to the beat of my own drum and I liked it that way. I feel like people kind of expected me to be the random, pink, crazy cat lady who wore tutus and cowboy boots and who could cry on command and who never stayed too sad for too long.
It’s only now that I’m realizing that I have no idea where that person fits outside the bubble I used to be so obliviously in. Or if I even am that person anymore.
I guess this is my life. At least for now.
I was just browsing my Facebook photos to choose a new profile photo and, of all things, it was kind of a reality check.
A lot [and I do mean a lot; at the very least more than I realized] of the people in my photos from years, even months ago are not the same people in more recent photos. I mean, yes, I’ve made some physical moves – to Brock, to downtown Toronto, to The Beaches – which can be at least a little to blame, but the remaining percentage [whatever percentage that may be] makes me feel like I’m just not that great at finding truly great friends. Or hanging on to even the mediocre ones.
You’d think that would make me more sad, but oddly, it doesn’t. Because there are so few people that are no longer in my life that I truly miss; it makes me wonder why I even bothered spending any time with them in the first place. It’s something I already knew about myself – that I put in way to much effort with people who don’t deserve it or give me the same in return, but I’ve never seen that quantified the way I just did.
#tbt to all, and to all, a good night!
I have a love / hate relationship with birthdays. On one hand, I love feeling like an entire day revolves around me [even if it is so close to Christmas, which, in my mind, also revolves around me]. On the other, girls can be so annoying about their birthdays, and despite my best efforts, I’m not exempt from this.
It’s not a presents thing at all, it’s a feeling special thing. It’s that, for one day a year, I want people to just say nice things to me, hug me, and make me feel like I’m the most important thing since breathing. The “annoying” part, unfortunately, is that birthdays almost always end up being a colossal disappointment, regardless of how low expectations are set.
And there lies the problem. Because people generally suck more than they’re the best and sucking + expectations = disappointment. It’s basically a scientific fact.
Lucky for me, there’s no chance 2014 is going to be as bad as 2013 ended, and my 28th (fuck) birthday party ended up being pretty damn perfect.
And I’m grateful to everyone who came, couldn’t come but wished me well, and who didn’t judge me for throwing up all over my shirt halfway into the night.
I feel like I say this a lot but an absolute fuck-ton of stuff has happened to me in the last little while and I’m not even really sure where to begin explaining it all.
The other night, I had a very candid conversation with my mom (something that almost never happens these days). We talked [and disagreed at times] about our beliefs, about death, and about guilt. It was nice and for the first time in a long time, I felt like we were real life grown-ups just engaging in an educated conversation about things that were important to us. I don’t remember a time like this between us ever. For the longest time, I was the child and she was the adult, and then in recent years, I feel we Freaky Friday’d it up a little bit – I was the one initiating the hard conversations, I was the more sober one, and I felt like I was the one carrying the relationship.
On November 9th at a little before noon, my dad passed away in the hospital in Stratford. I was there. I was, at that specific time, the only one who was there. I didn’t see it [thankfully and maybe not so thankfully, who knows] and despite the condition he was in at the end, I didn’t expect it to be then. Despite the fact that I knew it was coming, I almost had this feeling, in the back of my mind, that maybe he would wake up, be pissed off that he had just spent 5 days in the hospital, and go home. In my head, I kind of thought I might start my new job that following Monday instead of planning the funeral and being a confused mess at the visitation. I kind of thought that my grandparents MIGHT have something [anything] to say to their grandchild who just lost her father but I over-estimated their ability to be decent human beings yet again.
I thought, maybe, I might get to write him an insanely long letter that he’d probably only partially read and understand, and that we’d go on pretending that the 3 years we didn’t speak just didn’t happen. I thought I’d get another chance to say the hard things I didn’t want to say but knew I had to.
I haven’t dealt with his death yet. I don’t know when or how that will happen. What I am dealing with, however, is the guilt. The guilt that, in those 3 years we weren’t speaking, he only had wonderful, proud father-like things to say about me, and all I had were things like this.
When I was younger, he had a drinking problem. When I got older, I assumed that it was the drinking that was responsible for the way our relationship had turned out. Now, I don’t know how long his sickness was being masqueraded as alcoholism and that makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach every time I think about it. I’m not pretending our relationship wasn’t complicated – people have a habit of reminding me of that all the fucking time – but that almost makes the fact that he died worse. I didn’t have the opportunity to fix things and now I’m stuck dealing with death and guilt; likely the two worst things to deal with at the same time.
4 days after the funeral, visitation, and burial were over, I started a new job. I can say, being at the job now for about 2 weeks, that I didn’t give myself enough time to just… be. I didn’t give myself enough time to start giving a shit about things again and I already feel like kind of a shitty employee. Having said that, I haven’t heard that many* shitty things being said about me yet, so that’s a bit of a relief.
I feel like I’m barely responding to texts or Facebook messages lately [sorry if you’re on the receiving end of this] and the level of effort I used to put into things like being concerned about ______ or cleaning the house or just being a good person, has greatly decreased. I guess you see who your true allies are when your life falls apart – they’re the ones who are there bringing you wine and guacamole and driving 2 hours into a snowstorm to hold your hand and tell you they love you.
Despite the fact that I was starting to become annoyed by all the people constantly checking on me [which, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate at the same time], I’m glad that I’m now being afforded the time to deal with my grief without being bombarded by people who are worried about my mental and emotional states. It’s like having a week full of birthday parties – eventually; you just want the spotlight off of you.
In other terrible news [side note: every time I write the word news, I want to write the word “mews” instead because, cats], my mom’s puppy has to have emergency stomach surgery today and has an unsettlingly low chance of making it through to recovery. She - Jersey - isn’t my “family dog” - she was a rescue my mom got a couple of years ago after my childhood puppy passed away, but she is the sweetest, most snuggly dog I’ve ever met and what with all the crap that’s been happening lately, she really, really needs to be okay.
If I die of vagina cancer [which, hey, I might - the gyno gave me some questionable MEWS this morning], my mom’s going to need her puppy. And I need Christmas in Stratford to not be any more depressing.
* but I have heard some. Which is unfortunate. But apparently people’s loyalty is a pretty fluid thing these days, which isn’t unfortunate at all.
Things I probably shouldn’t say.
This is not how I expected my week to go.
Two weeks ago this past Wednesday, I resigned from the job I’d had for the past 2.5 years. I truly didn’t see that coming. Not only was it the longest job I’d ever had, but it was the type of place that you could really easily just stay at forever. I felt sparkly there. I felt like I was good at my job and that people appreciated me. I could easily have spent another few years there before I got restless.
The new place is just that; new. It’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar and I’m scared to effing death about starting from the bottom [cue Drake] all over again. And despite my extreme opposition to change, I think it’s the best thing for me. It’s way worse when I start feeling stuck.
Wednesday was supposed to be my last day. I was supposed to transition all of my projects to their new Producer, pack up the 10 pairs of shoes I kept under my desk [seriously] and go out for goodbye drinks with my favourite, now ex-employees. Thursday was supposed to be spent in bed, hung over, totally wasting the only day I got off before starting my new job today.
I didn’t expect that, instead of doing all of those things, I would be taking shifts, sitting around a hospital bed, waiting for my dad to pass away.
It feels so morbid to even type because it hasn’t happened yet. It feels like I’m wishing it to come sooner out of selfishness and boredom but I’m honestly not. Staring at the paint chipped walls and listening to the sounds of the nurses discussing treatments and drugs isn’t boredom; it’s patience. It’s difficult but not hard.
I’ve started talking to my dad because they say that hearing is the last thing to go. Just like I am with children, I am terrible at talking to people in hospital beds because I mostly don’t know what to say. So I’ve been talking about the fact that right now, I’m not technically even employed anywhere and how scary that is, and about how the Leafs are probably going to kill Boston in hockey this season.
I keep trying to think of some happy memories we had together and honestly, it’s a struggle. I’d be such a hypocrite if I said all these flowery things like “you were a great father” because the truth is, he wasn’t all the time. We had just started speaking again around my 26th birthday, and things weren’t quite comfortable or good again. He’s been sick and I’ve been spending more time with him, but it was kind of like we were getting to know each other all over again. I’m not going to pretend that I was daddy’s little girl because I wasn’t, but at the end of the day, he is my dad and seeing him like this isn’t remotely easy. It’s terrifying and heartbreaking and confusing and draining and all of those typical but still horrible things that dealing with death means.
In my late 20’s, I’ve become the type of person who dislikes public cries for sympathy. I hate RIP Facebook posts and tweets and the like because I feel uncomfortable liking or commenting or responding to them. Am I supposed to like the status you posted about your _________ passing away? That seems so wrong.
So instead, I changed my Facebook profile photo to a photo of my dad and I where he actually looks happy [he didn’t, a lot, in photos]. People who are close enough to me will know what that means to me and those who don’t will just think I’m being a sweet daughter.
[Sweet ‘stache, bro]
I spent a few minutes trying to remember when the last time my dad and I had a photo taken together. I’ve decided that it was probably at my university graduation, which is both sad [that was 5 years ago] and also a little hilarious because he and my boyfriend at the time both showed up wearing exactly the same outfit and I was totally creeped out.
The most recent photo before that one? Who knows. I mostly only have baby photos with him, which is fine because I was cute-ish and he had a hilarious mustache.
I’ve been sleeping incredibly sporadic hours and in some uncomfortable chairs and have been eating either complete shit or nothing at all because I know that someone would be doing the same for me.
So yeah, this week hasn’t exactly gone how I’d expected. But I guess that’s just life reminding me that I’m human.