For the longest time, life was happening overnight and I was only noticing after.
People were announcing engagements and pregnancies and buying houses and it made me realize that I wasn’t really paying all that much attention to the fact that they had gotten to these points in their lives without me really noticing. I’d gotten to these points in my own life without really realizing how I got there.
It’s weird because, for whatever reason – maybe it’s the fact that I’m approaching 30 [jesus] or the fact that I’ve been regularly seeing a therapist and it’s opening my eyes to things I had previously ignored – I’m finally starting to notice the change in people. For the first time, I’m seeing the thing while it’s happening.
Last year, one of my best friends got married. She and I had lived together for 3 years and had been so inseparable for so many years prior that people legitimately thought we were a lesbian couple. She got married. I was in the wedding. I attended the showers and the Bachelorette party and did the appropriate bridesmaid-y things but I realized when I saw her up there saying “I do” that I was so ignorant to most of their relationship that I honestly didn’t see the happily ever after coming so quickly.
For a long while – the longest while of my life, I suspect – I had proclaimed to be an awesome friend. I’d have the customary bitch fights that early 20s girls have [don’t lie, you know what I’m talking about] and regardless of the scenario, regardless of how wrong I was, I always had to be the one who looked like the better person / the better friend / the morally superior person in the fight because that’s who I always told everyone I was. If I’m being brutally honest, I left a lot of friendships behind because I felt like I was a better person than the person I left behind. Looking back, I really don’t think that was true; I think I wanted to be the moral one and the smarter one and the one who was so wise beyond my years, and when I started to see that slipping, I got out before I could be the one to blame.
Now I’m starting to see, in the moment, the times I’m not at my best. I see myself saying things I wish instantly I wasn’t saying and I see when I’m being rude or impolite or childish. It’s sobering to have to admit to people that you did something stupid or said something dumb and the only reason you did it was because you could. It makes you realize that you’re human and you’re not perfect and that, over time, people’s priorities and values change.
But as much as I could take all the blame [which trust me, I could]; I’m beginning to notice it in others too.
I’m noticing the things about other people (the bad decisions, the good decisions, the personality traits and beliefs I do and do not appreciate) as they’re manifesting too. I feel like I’m seeing people grow up and fall apart as it’s happening instead of just seeing how they end up at the end. I’m seeing relationships grow and others’ crumble. I’m seeing the highs at their highest and the lows at their lowest and all the mishmash in between.
The unfortunate side effect of being aware of the changes in people is that you don’t always like them. I used to see friendships coming to an end or going in directions you don’t expect to be a bad thing, but I don’t know if I feel that way anymore. There are ebbs and flows and just because you don’t agree with someone’s choices or can’t be there for them through every single milestone doesn’t mean it has to be the absolute end of everything.
A couple of premature Facebook deletes and some bottled up feelings of resentment and BAM, I started to notice just how imperfect I really am [not that I ever claimed to be perfect, but you know, I likely thought I was close]. People fuck up and grow up and relapse and it is all part of being a human being.
I had an argument with my mom a couple of months back and while it was happening, I could hear the change in my fight. I don’t cry as much as I used to and I often don’t even yell anymore. I talk calmly. I try and map out my arguments and try not to mention things that don’t have to do with the issues at hand. I don’t scream. I don’t get nasty. I just try and explain my side. And trust me when I say that it wasn’t always like that.
When the boyfriend and I first started dating, I remember getting so drunk and so mad, I threw a wine glass against the wall and it shattered into a million pieces that I angrily spent the next 3 months picking out of the cracks in my floor. No one could ever claim I’m not my father’s daughter. But I see even now how that has changed. We used to fight about stupid things like why he was adding hot girls to Facebook and now we ‘fight’ about the fact that he is literally incapable of cleaning without being nagged at.
And I like it so much better that way; when the fights are about things that I couldn’t imagine us breaking up over - like where the glass measuring cups go in the cupboards [not with the cups, boyfriend. They go with the OTHER strainers].
It makes me feel like I’m really growing up.
It’s crazy how fast things can change….
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.