The surreal life.

In May 2014 I took a massive leap of faith and applied for school at Concordia University. My end goal being a diploma in professional photography and a second one in Digital Photographic Imaging. I was tired of the culinary industry and had developed such a hatred for it, I wanted to move on. I was slated to begin towards the end of June.

On June 11th 2014 (about 2 weeks after making such a huge decision) I got word that my father was dying. On June 12th 2014 I had an amazing birthday and on June 13th 2014 I lost my job.

Funny how things can change so damn fast.  

You hear about stories like this all the time, they might fascinate you, appall you, inspire you or perhaps scare you. Which is all fine and well…

Until it actually happens to you.  

My first thought was to immediately drop out of school (before I had even started) and run home. Home being Ontario. I didn’t, I internally rationalized it by telling myself that my dad’s death sentence was quite new and he might have years to live. So why waste it, just in case. Either way, I was loosing my dad, it was really just a question of when. I figured that I would get myself a new job right away and just keep going to school part time and that would be that.

Except life never works out quite like you planned.

I never did get another job. No one wants to hire someone who’s been in my position and I can’t say I blame them. We (future husband and I) were broke, but we figured it out. I ended up going to school full time and completed my final course for digital photographic imaging (Photoshop) in October 2015. While I had technically graduated university, it hadn’t sunk in yet because I didn’t have my grades yet. So it was a fair assumption that I would pass, at the very least. I checked my final grades today and I almost fell out of my chair when I seen my final grade. It was/is the highest grade I have ever gotten in my entire life. Which was a surprise to me because that last class was a struggle. Once I got over the shock, I sat there and cried, so hard.

It was finally over and I had made it. Not unscathed by any means…

I’m pretty humble overall as a person. It’s one of my better qualities and no one likes that jerk who brags (sorry). This diploma represents so much more than my education overall. It’s a accumulation of:

  • Debt. So much debt. Which we have most paid off (YAY).
  • Grief. I lost my dad on February 28th 2015 and it hit me hard.
  • Battling through class when you’re waiting for ‘that call’.
  • It’s getting that call and hiding in an empty classroom bawling because you know that you’re going to loose your dad sooner rather than later and you’re helpless against it.
  • It’s having your mom text you and knowing that the following phone call most likely won’t be happy news.
  • It’s focusing every ounce of who you are and pouring your heart into final projects that can take up to 60+ hours.
  • It’s referencing your notes and realizing you missed something important.
  • Watching countless videos on YouTube because you can’t figure out how to do that thing.
  • It’s missing meals and quiet time with the man you love because you’re staring at a computer screen.
  • It’s trying to quiet the voice in your head because depression is an asshole that lies.
  • It’s trying to quell your anxiety because your deadlines are looming and why can’t you find inspiration already.
  • It’s late nights and early mornings.
  • It’s missing weddings and other occasions because you have to hand in your final(s).
  • Tension headaches and sore backs. Awful eating habits and so much more.

That’s not all though.

  • It’s the professors who rally around you and let you leave class so that you can text/call your family.
  • Those same professors also give you deadline extensions and/or present for you so that you can go home and bury your father.
  • It’s your boyfriend turned fiancee who never stops encouraging you, even when he resents that you spend more time with your computer than with him.
  • It’s the friends and the family who rally around you during your darkest time and encourage you to not give up and remind you why you started on this journey in the first place.
  • It’s all the really cool things you learned to do with images that you never even dreamed of.
  • It’s all the amazing and talented people you meet who become your friends.
  • It’s discovering a talent that you didn’t know you even had.
  • It’s being inspired by the guy who delivers your parcels in the afternoon.

It’s all that and more. I can’t wait to get my diploma so I can hang it in my home with so much pride. It’s been one hell of a journey and it still doesn’t feel real, but at the same time, it feels pretty amazing just the same.

So if you ever think that you can’t…

Trust me. You can.


An open letter to my big sister Sandra

Today I can honestly and truly say that I have never been more proud of you than I am right at this moment.  Today you graduated from your rec & leisure program at Conestoga college.

I remember when mom told me that you were planning on taking the plunge and going to college.  No easy feat for most people, let alone a single mom with two kids.

Through the years I’ve seen you face numerous obstacles, more than I think the average person would, let alone should endure in a single lifetime.  I’ve seen you beyond frustrated because of the challenges that life has thrown at you.

I’ve seen your victorious glory on the rare occasions that you caught a break.  I have seen the pride in your eyes when you held both of your children in your arms.  I’ve chased down douche bag boyfriends down the street with sharp objects because they had the audacity to talk shit about you and the fact that you have epilepsy.  I’ve seen you fight to have acceptance and work your ass off to get an education so that you can get ahead in life.

I’ve always admired you and respected you.  More than I think you are aware…

I hope that today, you can look back on this and think back to all the hard work you’ve endured and know that it’s worth it.  Life is hard, I’ve worked in one of the most sexist industries for the past 21 years and through it all, so many people told me to give it up because I would never make it.

Yet, I did.

So can you.

Don’t ever let the bastards get you down big sister and don’t ever let someone tell you that can’t.  If they do, there’s only one thing that you should do:

Prove the fuckers wrong in every damn way that you can.  YOU did this, own this shit in every way that you can.  No one can ever take this away from you.

I regret not being home to share in your glory with you.  Just know that everyone knew just how proud I was of you today, even though today is *my* birthday.  I’ll let it go this time 😉

Love Me.


DYAC/Drunk texts-Stephafied

I have an android smart phone.  I have to say, it’s pretty awesome and has come in handy on more then one occasion.  Although I refuse to be one of those people who is constantly on their phone updating their shit.  I have better things to do with my time.  I’m also pretty careless with where I leave it sometimes.

Maybe I just don’t want to be found? 

Anyway the website DYAC (damn you auto correct)  is usually full of win.  While I don’t have an iphone (so I can’t screen shot them) I still have that somewhat irritating although occasionally entertaining predictive text/auto correct feature on my phone.  Sometime’s it’s just because I’m drunk…  In any case, I can always e-mail the convo’s and sometimes they have merit.  This is one of those times.

My favorite: Between Adam & I: 

Where do you live now?
Near Montreal pussy station.
Is that a new strip club?  
Ha ha what? No. Oh fucking phone.  No Montreal Ouest, as in the train station.  There is however a strip club up the street.

Between Wayne (my gay boyfriend) & I.  I was trying to convince him to come out to the bar :
Shit sidelines looks busy now lol or is that the whole bar outside lol/
Nope it’s Busty. I mean busy lol.
(Every time I went to type in BUSY, it would auto correct it to Busty)
You are busty lol.
Lol yeah I know
ha ha.
Babe you still awake? come see mrerree!
I am not going out I am hun hunny sorry lol.
I’m sure you are babe but what does the size of your cock have to do with anything? 😉
Not my cock omg hungover helllooooooooo omg lololol. And I am not hung lmfao bahhaha.
That’s not what I heard.

Same night, between Amy & I (I was well on my way at this point, thank God Amy’s a teacher and clearly speaks drunkennease too):
Is it busy and where abouts r u sitting?
It’s busty enough and were buy the frontal.
Near where we were yesterday?
Yeah but closer to the stage, my mom’s preggers spot (was supposed to say preferred).
Ok. Ryan says he knows where u are.
Lol K. Dandra’s here (my sister Sandra)



Saturday Shenanigans

I have the most ridiculously random, yet totally awesome life EVER!

No really.

I do.

I hosted a day long fundraiser at my place yesterday to help out a friend.  Started at 9am and ran until some obscure hour in the wee hours of the morning.  It was by and large one of the Best. Saturday’s. Ever.  It started out innocently enough, get up, get stuff done.  Or so that was the plan at the very least.

So for those of you who missed it, here’s the highlights in no particular order with no back story included:

  • My superintendent told me that I could get around the no lease clause of no dogs allowed YAY!  Except right now I can’t but someday.  Having your super think that you’re hot has it’s privileges.
  • I got blatantly hit on by some 400lb dude who said it was totally OK if I was his stalker.
  • Which led to me throwing up in my mouth a little and saying (after many drinks later) ‘Can you imagine me trying to have sex with that guy?  I don’t think I could bear the weight of him being on top, I’m not flexible enough nor are my legs long enough to be on top and my knees are bad’ which if you were there, you’d get it & laugh because everyone else did.  Fuck you if you think I’m being mean (because I admit that I totally was insensitive) because it was pretty damn funny if you were there.
  • Got to meet some of my awesome neighbors which makes me feel damn good about this apartment. With the exception of having to meet one due to Jackson finding her poor cat on the road, who we invited over for drinks.
  • Poor person’s cat who died?  HOT!  OMFG This is one of the hottest woman I have ever seen!  Which also prompted me to say, after total inebriation: ‘ I’m mostly straight but I would totally tap that!’ I also totally would because she’s freaking hot!
  • Headlocks were had.
  • Boobs were groped.
  • Pants were lost.
  • Such comments like the back of your head NEEDS to be smooched in my boobs (yes that was me) were said.
  • Filters and indoor voices became a thing of the past.
  • Wine, rum & beer was bought, consumed and spilled.
  • Smoking…  Lot’s & lot’s of smoking.
  • Lot’s of lesbians.
  • Lewd and totally inappropriate comments were said. (Which if you know me is the norm, but when I’m that shitfaced it’s even worse)
  • Tattoos were flashed.
  • Cast members from Webdreams were met.
  • The word naughty became one of the most used words of the evening.
  • Smoking hot photo-shoots were planned.
  • My friends wife ended up in my bed.
And much, MUCH more.  Which I can not disclose.  Because what happens on Shitfaced Saturday’s at Steph’s Stays at SSS.
Partying with me & select friends really IS that awesome.
After all  membership friendship has it’s privileges. 😉