2015 wrap up

1003242_734298300034136_8194264915489910123_nIt’s been one hell of a year. I’m not sad to see it be over.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Went to a bunch of cities that I had never been to. Graduated from university. Went camping with Nick (not the first time camping of course, just the first time together). Took my first flight.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I haven’t bothered with them in years.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin’s girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. My father passed away on Feb 28th.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly I haven’t left Canada in a long, long time.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Being able to communicate in French on a more functional level. Be more focused.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

February 28th. The day my father passed away.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Graduating university with honors.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not taking better care of myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes. My depression and anxiety have returned with a vengeance, but i’m doing what I can to be kind to myself.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A signed print from my favorite artist.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Nick’s, that boy is nothing short of amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My sister.

14. Where did most of your money go?

School & my wedding.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Planning my wedding 🙂

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Hozier, take me to church.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I am mostly sadder, fatter and richer in a non monetary way.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being distracted, housework.  Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I was in Ontario with my family & friends and it was awesome! I had an exceptional Christmas this year!

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Grey’s & The big bang theory

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?

I haven’t read much this year that merits any mention.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can’t say I have one of those.

26. What did you want and get?

Time with the people I love the most.

27. What did you want and not get?

A miracle.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Inside out and home.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 37 and had a small, yet fun gathering with family.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not being in debt and having better mental health.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Yoga pants, hoodies and t-shirts.  I live for comfort.  Especially when I spend so much time taking pictures, editing and sitting in a classroom.

32. What kept you sane?

-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

-Photography.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

That’s not my style, I could care less about that sort of thing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election.

35. Who did you miss?

Jason as always.  Nick when I’m on the road without him. My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

That some people will stop at nothing to try and make you look bad.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

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.

 

You’re not invited.

It’s been brought to my attention that you would be hurt if I didn’t invite you to my wedding.

Hurt?!? Really?!?

Fuck you!
You should have thought about that before you shit on me for the last time. You are delusional if you think that I can just walk away from this and ‘forgive and forget’.

That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works as a matter of fact. I will NOT, under any circumstances, reward bad behaviour.

Perhaps you ‘forgot’ about the following incidents that have plagued me since last July.
I haven’t forgotten, and here’s a reminder for you.

-July 2014 you took the liberty of talking shit about me to several of my friends; behind my back when I came home to Ontario last summer.
Oh, you thought that I didn’t know?
I have VERY loyal friends who felt that I had the right to know what people were saying about me behind my back. You have a mouth the size of the Grand Canyon and you stop at nothing to try and make me look bad.

You are petty and jealous. You won’t succeed in making me look bad; you however are doing a fine job of making yourself look bad, along with jealous, petty, bitter and conniving. You just can’t help yourself.

You damaged several relationships with your petty bullshit. Thankfully I was able to restore most of them because people can see through you. That was uncalled for regardless.

In spite of it all, with the holidays coming up and knowing that it was most likely going to be my father’s last Christmas, I decided to be the bigger person and let it go. Even just for the holidays. So I did. It was one of the best Christmases I have had in a while and thankfully you managed to keep that toxic mouth of yours shut so that you didn’t ruin the holiday for the rest of us.

Let’s fast forward to February of this year. My father passes away and some piece of shit robs my childhood home and steals pretty much every damn thing.

ONCE AGAIN you take it to Facebook to spew forth your stupid petty bullshit.
I took you off my friends list; I couldn’t deal with you and your shit any longer.
You however took it a step further and blocked me. This is fine by me because now I don’t need to see –or- hear anymore of your toxic lies.

ojcj8

May rolls around, it’s the weekend of my father’s memorial service. I arrived in Ontario on the Friday and there you were, furiously texting away on your phone. I seen you take a picture of me, one that I did not authorize, followed up by more furious texting. So it’s pretty obvious that you were once again, talking shit about me. Don’t try and deny that, I’m not deaf; in fact my hearing is just fine. If you’re going to try and sneak a picture of me, perhaps you should turn the sound off your damn phone.

My aunt drives you home, where you couldn’t resist yet another opportunity to talk shit about me. Which of course is brought to MY attention because fuck you.
My aunt took it upon herself to fill me in on how you lied to her about how I had been talking shit about you on Facebook, which is your MO, NOT mine. I am not that tacky thank you.
No need to get into specifics but the reality of the situation is this, after I was given the opportunity to explain MY side of the story to my aunt, even she said and I quote:” What is wrong with her?” Not ME. She was talking about YOU.

The next day, the day that I was honoring my father at his memorial service, you once again tried to steal the show and be the center of attention by being a bitter and vicious bitch.

You foolishly shoot your mouth off about me AT MY FATHERS FUNERAL to my family and friends and once again try and play the victim as you always do and expect me to NOT find out about it?!?

Are you brain dead?

And yet after alllllll that (and there is SO much more) you have the audacity to tell my mom that you would be hurt if you weren’t invited to my wedding?

You don’t get to pretend that everything is OK because YOU decided that it was because it’s not. Not even remotely close.
Learn how to deal with your fucking anger; no one is willing to indulge your sorry ass anymore. You aren’t adult enough, nor capable enough to deal with anger.

Lovely example you’re setting for your children by ignoring the problem for months and months and then all of a sudden out of no where you loose your shit several months later, scream and yell at people and then when YOU have your say, you think it’s over.

NO MORE.

Everyone keeps telling me to be the bigger person (once again) and let it go. This isn’t fucking frozen! 

I can’t trust you, and yet you want me to invite you to one of the most important days of my life?

I don’t fucking think so.

I even found a perfect song for you. (NSFW) or this one seems to be pretty accurate as well.

Priorities vs options and good intentions.

cell phone pics 051

There’s that saying: “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” -Maya Angelou

Now don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes I am a sucky friend.  I’m the worst at keeping in touch with people at the best of times and it’s not because I don’t love my friends, I have legit memory issues and well adulting is hard yo!

I have learned one thing through the years though, even more so after moving to Montreal: who my circle is.  I have a lot of friends and I am fortunate to be surrounded by them and I am secure in the knowledge that they love me, even when I am not always around, or when I am not very lovable.

I have one very important thing in common with these people though: Loyalty.

I know who will be there for me in a heartbeat and I know who won’t.  Some people I can count on when it really matters and some not so much…  So it irritates me when some people complain that I come home and I don’t go out of my way/make the time to see them.  It’s not usually a secret when I come home (except for that one time) and I’m really not that hard to find when I am in Ontario.  Up until recently, I would always be staying at the same house.

Mind you, it depends on why I returned in the first place.  I had truly wanted to meet up and see a ton of people but I was just done.  So done with this whole adulting thing and having just finished up final exams for this term, my mom sold the house, my dad died and the list goes on and on.

I was SO very, tired this time around.

So sadly I missed out on a lot of stuff, but it was in part by sheer exhaustion, not so much by choice.  I made my mom and option this time around.  I didn’t come home to Ontario for a vacation per se. I came home to give back because I haven’t been able to help out as much in a physical sense, I was however pulling my weight behind the scenes which is just as exhausting. Except some people don’t ‘see that’ and it doesn’t count in their mind.

But fuck them.  Seriously. 

Anyway, it was nice to be able to come home and not only help out my mom but indulge her a little.  It doesn’t take much to make her happy and if taking her out for a few meals and doing some laundry makes her day a little brighter, than so be it. She’s the best mom ever and she totally deserves it.  She bends over backwards to make people happy, even when they don’t deserve it.

I did make it a point to stay later this time with the hopes of seeing/doing more but i’m old yo and when I don’t get enough sleep and my allergies are being douchy I get uber lethargic and it just takes too much effort overall, even more for those who would never respond in kind (aside from my mom putting my ass to work on the daily).  You get what you put in after all. However, to the people who claim to miss me and complain and carry on that *I* don’t make time for them…

Would you make time for me?  Montreal isn’t that far, I’ve lived there for 11 years now and only five of my friends have made the trip to see me.  I don’t care about your excuses.  I know some circumstances can’t be helped, I totally get that…  However I am unemployed, a student and yet I made the trek for the second time this year.  There are SO many ways to come see me on the cheap, you just need to be willing to do them.

So your excuse(s) is invalid.