100. Maybe it’s because I’m emotional?

A boy was mean to me today.

It’s been a long time since that has happened, and it surprised me.

And it… it really just hurt my feelings. Ugh.

I had been having an already awful day: I had my weekly 8 am class, my car stereo was acting wonky, the line-up for Tim Hortons was outrageously long… it felt like the universe was just trying to ruin my life, you know what I mean?

All I wanted to do was grab some coffee with my friend and work on an assignment for school that’s been kind of stressing me out. I was dangerously close to a mental breakdown before the fateful interaction with my newest arch-nemesis, so it really caught me off-guard how blatantly rude he was.

I was under the impression that, I don’t know, social norms prohibited this sort of behaviour. Evidently I was wrong.

For the sake of preserving the big bully’s anonymity, I won’t go too far into detail about what took place. Let’s just say he was overly sensitive about an issue I presented… & instead of behaving like an adult, he introduced a passive-aggressive argumentative technique that just made everyone involved real uncomfortable.

Naturally, because I’m a self-involved emotional basketcase on a good day, I took everything he said straight to heart & proceeded to burst into tears in the middle of the busy cafeteria.

It would have been embarrassing, had I not been so used to crying in public due to my overly sentimental wiring. What bothered me the most about this situation wasn’t his attitude (surprisingly) or my tears, it was the way that this minor altercation rocked me so radically right to my very core.

I was wrecked. & being the absolutely uncontrollably self-aware person that I am, it made me seriously uncomfortable.

This one guy, who I have talked to like barely once in my life, was able to cut me down with a few sharp words. I know it wasn’t him, it was all me & my reactions. But, in that moment, he became every single guy who had ever been mean, or rude, or judgemental of me. & I became the girl who let dudes be mean, rude, & judgemental.

It sucked — hence the tears.

It reminded me that although I have grown a lot, I still have a long way to go. I still have a lot of unfinished business, & a lot of unconfronted issues. Which made me think: am I single because in my effort to propel myself forward, I’ve ignored fully dealing with problems from my past?

Yeah. That might have something to do with it. I have spent a lot of time rebranding myself: creating the best version of me I can be. In my efforts to do that, though, I have failed to actively acknowledge the person I was, & what (ahem, who) screwed me up so much in the first place. Letting go of baggage is a good thing; paving over baggage & trying to forget about it is not.

I need to reconcile my present self with that of my past: the girl who was scared & insecure, with the girl who is confident & funny & a little bit lost a lot of the time.

So, I’ll do that. & I’ll be that girl. & hopefully one day I can find myself, so that some lucky guy can find me, too.

99. Maybe it’s my social skills.

I don’t know how to… be around people that I am attracted to sometimes (or all the time, whatever).

&, as is to be expected, this can cause problems when it comes to dating, & flirting, & just conversing in general.

I bring this up because I am crushing hard on a guy I go to school with, & I am just way too socially awkward to initiate a conversation, or small talk, or do anything that normal people do when he’s around.

It’s sad, for a couple reasons. First, I’m an adult (ish) & it’s really embarrassing that the social anxiety of my teenage years continues to linger, & also because I think we would have a lot to talk about. We’re both writers, & we both go to university, & we both, um, exist?

Every time I have the opportunity to talk to him, I seize it ineffectively. The very first time I interacted with him involved me talking without thinking & him shooting me down, harshly. It is unclear if he meant it to be as harsh as it was, but for the sake of discouraging false hope I obviously have to operate on the assumption that he hates me. After that whole botched attempt at conversation happened, I just decided to lay low & admire him from afar. It was going pretty well — I felt like it was really working, until he asked out one of my good friends. I mean, she said no (of course, that’s what good friends do), but the damage was done.

This happened last semester, & since a guy asking out a girl who isn’t me is a sure sign that he just isn’t that interested in me, I had no choice but to give up all hope & wallow for an indeterminate amount of time until I eventually got over it. Well, at least I thought I was over it.

Fast forward to the current school year, & in an interesting (cruel) twist of fate the object of my past affections shares a class with me.

Lucky guy.

So far things aren’t going much better — we had a slightly less terrible interaction, but not by much. We made eye contact a couple days ago which was exhilarating. I mean, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know my name, but we’re working on it. We’ll get there one day, maybe, probably not.

The good news is, he’s in the one class I am in this semester where I don’t sound like a raging idiot & actually have a clue what’s going on, so the chances of us having a somewhat positive interaction are better than, you know, 0%.

Things are looking up, folks.

Going into this year, I told myself that it’s going to be different.This year I will not get in my own way, something I’ve tended to do in the past.

I just need to allow myself to be myself, & know that if this guy is the right guy, that’s going to be good enough.

98. Maybe it’s my bedroom furniture.

This reason comes to me courtesy of a boy who I am not allowed to write about.

The boy-who-must-not-be-named blames my single bed for my single woes. &, while my tiny, tiny bed doesn’t open a lot of doors for me romantically… I doubt it’s actively preventing relationships from forming.

However, owning a twin bed has given me the perfect excuse to avoid intimacy when it suits me to do so.

Like, when I am straight exhausted & all I want to do is lay in bed watching House solo. Or, when I have neglected to shower post-workout & just don’t have the energy to properly bathe & look presentable. Or, when I just want to be by myself.

I’m a slightly introverted, creative individual… I need my alone time. It comes with the territory.

It might sound contradictory that someone who complains about being single on a weekly basis would claim the need for time alone. But, I think it’s relatively normal. & even when you are in a serious, long term relationship it is important to be comfortable being alone, & to have your own hobbies, & your own interests.

Also, being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being physically alone — there is such a thing as having alone time, together. & this might sound lame but for a long, long time (since my first viewing of Pulp Fiction) I’ve considered comfortable silence as a major indicator of true Love.

I want to be with a dude who is just as comfortable chatting with me as he is sitting in silence with me, & all the activities that fall inbetween.

97. Maybe it’s because I’m in Toronto (Still)

I’ve really been enjoying my time here in TO. From the CN tower, to a Jays game (my first ball game ever), to an early-morning carbon monoxide scare (although the sexy firefighters made that worthwhile), to watching one of my newest friends hail a full-blown city bus as if it were a taxi cab (I attempted this myself the very next day — it seems to be a thing here), & an impromptu shadow puppet show… it’s really been quite the trip.

I’ve missed my BFF: I don’t know how many times I’ve laughed so hard I’ve almost peed myself, & I desperately don’t want this trip to end, but alas it is almost time for me to return to real life.

Much like last year, I’m not really feeling a pull home — rather I feel the pull to stay here. But, as much as my romantic side is screaming at me to drop everything & start my life in Toronto right now, my more practical side is winning out with its realistic assertions that I must finish my degree, save some more money (I’m going to have to lay off the shoe purchases for a while), & perhaps actually find a place to live first.

Sigh.

A quick visit is just going to have to suffice for now — quick visits are all I have to fix my Toronto addiction until I can actually get it together enough to move here, anyway.

So, I’m back to Edmonton on Tuesday, anxious to start school & continue biding my time until I can call this beautiful city home.

& now, some shameless photos from my trip (so far):

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96. Maybe it’s because I’m in Toronto (Again)

Well, I’m back in Canada’s largest city for what is slowly become an annual trip to see my BFF in real life & I couldn’t be happier.

I love this city, I love my BFF, & I love having a mini-vacation before the craziness of full-time school takes over my life.

So far we’ve ripped it up in some grunge bar whilst taking in a live show, wandered around Chinatown for a bit, & assisted in throwing a kickass 50th birthday party (barely… we basically sliced vegetables for 2 hours & drank semi-heavily for the rest of the day).

It’s been a good trip. I have only been here a couple days, & I already don’t want to leave.

So, we’re going to make the most of the rest of our 12-day sleepover, & spend some quality time eating, maybe drinking, maybe taking in some of Toronto’s tourist-y destinations, & definitely binge-watching seasons of The Hills together.

Watch out, Toronto.

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95. Maybe it’s because I never finish anything… Ever.

I can’t believe that at the end of this month I’m going to be starting my third year of university. It blows my mind. I never thought I would have made it this far — not because I’m not smart enough, or good enough, or (let’s face it) wealthy enough to complete a degree (thanks Government of Canada/Alberta for them student loans), but because I have trouble finishing pretty much anything I start.

I’m actually having difficulty finishing this post, to be honest.

I can’t think of anything that I’ve started & actually fully completed, barring a handful of novels or the original Super Mario Bros. I always find a way to excuse myself before I reach the finish line, & that’s why I can’t run 5K, or play the banjo, or speak fluent German; why I don’t practice yoga daily & can’t stick to a lactose-free diet for more than 5 minutes; & why I haven’t been able to see a real-life romantic relationship through from beginning to end.

I get restless & bored & maybe even a bit scared, & then instead of behaving like an adult… I just quit. Sometimes it happens well into a relationship; sometimes it happens mid-conversation. Either way it always happens.

So maybe I’ve failed to maintain a loving & fairly normal relationship because of my commitment-phobic tendencies & inability to see something, anything, through to the end?

Well, it’s definitely a contributing factor. Combined with my blatant insecurity & insatiable narcissism — relationships are going to suffer. There’s only so many quirks a guy can handle & if one of them happens to be ditching him mid-romance, I think chances of the relationship working out are slim.

If I’m going to full-on commit to something, well, someone, I think the biggest thing I’m going to have to do is actually admit that something (someone) is actually important to me. & I will have to make myself vulnerable (gross, I know) & let myself gain something I am going to be actually upset to lose.

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94. Maybe it’s because I’m the middle child?

I worked with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long, long while & we were playing catch up when she hit me with the news that she has met the love of her life & is happily at home in relationship-land.

Must be nice, Meg.

Obviously I am happy for her, that’s not what this is about. What peaked my interest was the reasoning behind her assertion that this particular relationship was destined to be successful.

She has this theory about relationships — basically, if you are the baby of your family then romantic relationships will only be successful with those who are the inherently responsible, self-entitled, slightly damaged oldest children in families, & vice versa.

Her theory checks out (kind of) & it makes sense. The eldest offspring in any family has a strong, type A personality that, although effective, creates conflict when put in a relationship with someone too similar. First born children are used to being the boss, & giving orders, & getting things done. One bossy, control freak plus another bossy, control freak does not usually equal romantic bliss.

The same thing with youngest siblings: they are a wee bit spoiled, used to being fawned over for the smallest success, & if you have two people in a relationship trying to be the centre of attention… something’s going to have to give eventually. & it probably won’t be pretty when it does.

This made me wonder: where do I fall? As a middle child & Daddy’s Little Girl, I think I possess equal parts older, responsible, slightly damaged, control freak & spoiled-rotten baby. So, what combination is going to lead me to happily-ever-after?

I’m not sure — there’s just way too many factors for me to make a fully-educated hypothesis. I might end up with another middle child, or the baby of the family, or the oldest offspring, or even the elusive only child, & if it is meant to work… we will make it work.

It’s not that I don’t believe Meg’s theory — I actually think it’s a good starting point. It’s important to look at relationships objectively sometimes, & I honestly believe her theory will save me a lot of heartache when I apply it to the online dating circuit (also known as Tinder). But I also won’t let it cloud my judgement for when relationships organically manifest in my life.

In the past, I’ve found it easy to stop being romantically interested in someone for mundane & irrelevant reasons: too skinny, cross-eyed, bad sense of style, terrible hair. & I don’t want to add this theory to the list of “just-because” reasons why I shouldn’t date someone.

I think I’m going to reserve this particular theory for when some loser breaks up with me & I run out of wine & need to be reassured that it was never meant to work out in the first place.

 

 

93. Maybe it’s because I’m old: 2.0

I ventured over to Kdays a couple weeks ago with one of my oldest & closest friends. We decided to go out & enjoy Edmonton’s annual exhibition because Mariana’s Trench was playing, it was supposed to be a beautiful day, & (at least for me) I wanted to feel 16 again… even if it was just for a few hours.

So feel 16 I did.

We splurged on a ride-all-day pass, which anyone who has gone to Kdays with the intent to ride any rides will assert is an absolute necessity, & we ate any & all deep-fried food we could get our hands on, & we spent $7 on a drink, & then pushed our way to the front of a crowd full of teenaged girls to enjoy the musical stylings of Josh Ramsay & his motley crew of emo musicians.

It was amazing. I haven’t felt that sort of joy in years. & although it made me feel young at heart, I think it also made me feel old, too. Because as much as I felt like a teenager… the fact that I wear a shirt that covers my torso, neglect to let my bum hang out the bottom of my shorts (that can’t be comfortable, by the way), & can no longer bend down & get back up without a groan & the now familiar pop of my knee joints indicates otherwise.

I’m not getting any younger. In fact, the exact opposite is happening. & it seems to be happening rather quickly. Definitely faster than I would like, anyway.

Getting older is making me feel like I am running out of time. Time to date, & then fall in love, & find someone who wants to commit to a life of monogamy with me. When you’re young, it’s easy to find someone to hold your hand & kiss you for no reason. You go to institutions full of other people the same age as you & spend entire days with these people & the odds are good at least one of them will want to mash faces & attempt to inch his sweaty palms up your shirt.

As an adult, which I am (kind of), it’s not that simple. The older you get the harder it is to find someone. Although, when you do find someone the quality of the relationship is significantly better, & it’s also more likely that it will also actually last, but finding that someone to hold your hand in public & kiss you spontaneously becomes a heck of a lot more difficult.

This makes me wonder if I’ve missed the boat. Am I doomed to be forever alone because I just keep getting older, & older, & even older than that?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Apparently you’re only as old as you feel… & age is just a number, yadda yadda yadda. & I think this same concept could be applied to being alone: I’m only as single as I feel, & being alone is just my marital status. I am definitely getting older, & I’m definitely still single, but I think I’m only getting better. It may have been easier to meet people when I was a high school dwelling teenager… But I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week.

92. Maybe I just need to take a step back.

“25 years & my life is still
trying to get up that great big hill of hope
for a destination…”

What’s Up, 4 Non Blondes

Well, I’ve had my semi-annual meltdown, & now that it’s out of the way & I’ve emerged relatively unscathed (thanks to two lovely ladies in my life for putting me back together — you know who you are)… I’ve got time to reflect on what made me go down the Rabbit Hole in the first place.

I know what brought it on this time — my well-meaning mum reminded me that I’m one-third of my way to being 25. The good ol’ quarter of a century… & I’ve nothing to show for it but a pair of Louboutins* & half a degree.

Depressing, am I right?

I mean, one look at my Facebook feed & my lack of success is immediately apparent. People are graduating, getting engaged (or even married), buying homes… & here I am, broke & alone & living with my parents.

Sigh.

Thanks to the crushing realization that I am making my unsuccessfulness a habit, & my neurotic personality traits that enable me to go from 0 to mental breakdown almost instantly for little to no reason, I have been out of commission the last week or so.

I’m too close to my problems, & that makes it all too easy to catastrophise. Luckily, I managed to wrench myself away, take a step back, & re-evaluate what the heck is going on with my life.

Turns out, I really don’t have it that bad. Yeah, I am not making six figures writing professionally… but that’s okay. I’m working on it. I’m a student, & I’m still writing even if nobody wants to pay me for it (yet), & even though I’m not doing EVERYTHING that I could be doing to snag my dream job… that’s still okay. Because, guess what, I’m not ready for my dream job yet.

I could drop everything & move to the big(ger) city, & take my chances on landing some sort of writing gig, & just hope like hell that it all works out. But that’s impractical, & it’s scary, & I would more likely than not have a serious mental breakdown & have to hitchhike home with my tail between my legs.

I mentioned to my BFF the other day how sometimes I wish I could fast forward to being a successful, full-grown, responsible human being just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of being an unsuccessful 20-something. Which seems like a wonderful idea sometimes… But it’s really not.

Hitting fast forward takes all the fun out of it. I have become so focused on some imaginary destination in my life that I’ve stopped enjoying & just experiencing the actual journey.

It’s better to take it slow. To make a plan. To figure out my personal steps to success, & follow them.

All I needed was to take a step back, take a deep breath, & just relax. I will get there when I get there — wherever there is.

*I now also own a pair of Manolos: that’s what I call a step in the right direction.

91. Maybe it’s because I’m desperate?

There is a fine line between honesty & desperation.

& I toe that line.

Often.

Now that I’ve poured my heart out, I’m having second thoughts about it… Because maybe it makes me come off as kind of desperate &, you know, crazy.

It’s just hard to gauge how much is too much when it comes to divulging feelings to the other humans. I’m the type of person who is rather guarded with her heart (to put it mildly) so when I want to tell someone how I feel… it can be a bit of an emotional monsoon. I need to carefully consider the balance between saying nothing & saying everything. & sometimes I miscalculate, over-share, & look like a stalker. We all make mistakes though, & apparently expressing emotions in a normal, non-creepy  fashion is something I need to work on.

I mean, other people do it… right? So it can’t be that hard. For now, I’m going to leave the heartfelt, creepy, & mildly stalker-esque post up as a reminder of how not to communicate with boys, & hopefully moving forward I can develop a less… intense means of expressing my devotion.

Less is more, people.

So, my chances are probably shot with my dream boy thanks to my over-zealousness, but let’s just chalk it up as another one of life’s many lessons… & I’ll pledge to just do better next time.

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