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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

New Things

I like this house.  I like that when I come inside I get to go upstairs instead of down.  I like the enormous windows in my room.  I like the way the late afternoon sun shines through them and gives me a couple hours of cheery warmth and light during peak homework time.  I like the cast iron radiators that remind me of the house we lived in for a couple months when I was four.  I like the piano in the dining room.  I like the backyard and the little deck and the clothesline and my birdfeeder.  I'm even learning to like the peculiar music of the squeaky creaky staircase.

I like this neighbourhood.  I like the cats who sunbathe on our deck.  I like how many people in the area have dogs.  I like the sound of my neighbour's kids playing outside most afternoons.  I like the delicious aroma that drifts over from the Ben's bakery down the street.  I like hearing all the different church bells ring on Sunday mornings, creating the comforting small town feel of home.

I like this song.
I like the way it twines itself around my brain.  I like the way I find myself drumming my fingers to the melody.  I like the way those haunting lyrics show up in my thoughts when I'm not expecting them.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Change of season

Three nights ago I awoke, sweating, the oppressive humidity clinging to me even after I had thrown off the blankets.  I staggered, half-asleep, to crack open the window, the cool air recalling distant days of dragging blankets off my bed to make a soft nest where I could lie in front of the fan, gaining enough reprieve from the heat to drift back to sleep.  It was the heat of summer, of childhood.

The following night I fell asleep to the sound of rain, falling gently but steadily, washing everything away - the humidity, the stress, the loneliness - cleaning the palette for a fresh start.  I awoke next morning to the bluster of the winds of change as they blew a new world in through my windows.

This morning I awoke shivering, clutching the blankets closer and seeking warmth in the forgetfulness of sleep.  I was forced to give in, closing the windows again, and pulling on a fall sweater to run some morning errands.  Living my grown-up life in my grown-up clothes, I thought with a sigh of the childhood heat, regretting, as always, the reality of autumn.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Phantom Summer

OH.  Oh hey.  Hi!  Erm.  How do I write one of these, again?  Hmm.  Words.  Okay.  Here goes.

I'm not sure exactly what happened to this summer.  I'm still not entirely convinced, despite the insistence of every calendar I've looked at, that this summer actually happened.  I really haven't done enough this summer for it to be almost over already (Note to self: never move back into my parents' basement again.  Bad plans).

Fortunately, I lucked into a summer job that only lasted fourteen weeks, meaning that I'm completely free to do as I please for the rest of the summer.  I am pretty determined not to let it go to waste.  To fill the spaces between  a camping trip, jumping out of an airplane, and a hopefully a few beaches days if the rain ever lets up, I'm going to attempt to spit out enough words for Camp NaNoWriMo, finally finish that sweater I've been knitting for the past three years, and do an awful lot of running.

And yet I still want more things to fill my time with.  This just isn't cutting it.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Changing Landscapes

One of the strange things about being at home after not living here for so long is seeing all of the places that I used to haunt but don't usually see when I'm only home for shorter visits over Christmas or on weekends.

The first few years that I was at university I used to play "find what's changed in the house" every time I came home.  Since we only moved the summer before I moved out, it took my parents a while to get things unpacked and arranged, and buy new things to fill the new space, so there was actually something new and different on almost every visit.  This has slowed down now, though, so usually the changes, if there are any, are fairly minor.

The other fun game I'm used to playing is "see which stores have closed out of the mall."  This time it was CD Plus.  Since the Wal-Mart was built when I was in high school, and a lot more big box stores have moved in near it, a lot of the stores have either followed them up there or gone out of business.  I feel like someday I'll come back and the mall itself will have vanished, leaving nothing but an empty parking lot for a town that's becoming more and more dependent on car culture.

Those are the usual games, but this time I'm getting to explore things in a more in-depth way.  Today I drove the road that was my route to and from school for six years, which I hadn't seen in at least two or three years. A patch of forest has turned into two houses.  A barn near my old home had been repainted from a light grey to a dark burgundy red, and it caught my attention so much that I nearly drove off the road.  Another house had been repainted, and I realized that I can't even say what colour it was before.  It was that familiar.  Just part of the landscape; not noteworthy until something was changed.  It's been interesting to rediscover my familiar landscapes, and being startled into truly noticing for the first time in ages.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Happiness is...

Cruising down the highway listening to the sweet sounds of Meaghan Smith from the stereo.

Leaving the pool, refreshed and relaxed, stepping out into the cool misty evenings we've had for much of the past month.

The chorus of spring peepers that strikes up almost every evening here, particularly when heard from my living room through the open deck door.

The series of flowers that have graced our dining room table, including these:


and these:

among others.

Looking up at the sky and being able to see a whole sky full of stars.

Sitting around a campfire with good friends not seen often enough.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Summer

For the past month I've been taking a rather extended break from just about all of the things I usually do.  It was nice, but I've finally gotten bored, and so I've slowly been returning to my usual activities, and today was the day it was time to return to the blog.

I've moved back home with my parents for the summer, and it's wonderful and terrible at the same time.  It's so much more peaceful at home.  I'm appreciating having a bit of a break from the city.  It's nice to be somewhere that has trees and stars and birds and many other things that I love.  At the same time, I miss my roommates, and I miss having more than two friends in the area, and I miss being in walking distance of everything.  It's also frustrating to return to life at home after being independent for the past four years.

On the bright side, I am experiencing unprecedented levels of job satisfaction.  I never dreamed that I could enjoy a summer job as much as I do this one.  It's difficult in a lot of ways because there's a lot of interaction with strangers and using the phone and pretending to be an expert on things I've heard of, all of which are things I find stressful, but it's only been three and a half weeks and I can already notice myself getting better at them.  I'm really enjoying how much freedom we have to push the job in different directions, and there have been a few times this week that I've been gratified to feel as though I've actually, really, helped people, and I love that.  A lot of contentment about this job.  Some days it just seems ridiculous that they actually pay us to do this.

I graduated last week, which is just a strange thing to have done.  It's funny; I keep expecting to feel like things have changed and that all of a sudden I'm going to turn into a real grown-up just because I have a university degree and that section of my life is over, but of course nothing's changed.  Or rather, things have changed, but not all at once.  Things have changed and things are continuing to change but I probably won't realize how much until September when I move on to the next part of my life.  In some ways it feels as though I've put everything on pause for this summer, and that when I go back to Halifax in the fall I'll find that everyone else has just been frozen in time for four months and I'll just slip easily back into my old routine and my old place in the world and everything will go on as it always has.

I think I need to find ways to "un-pause" and make it feel as though time is actually passing.  That will be something to work on.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sad day is sad.

It's been a long and difficult day.  The rain fell pretty steadily all morning.  It died down later on, but it was the kind of rainy day that made me want to curl up with a book and a blanket and do nothing but read (and maybe take a nap) all day long.  This wasn't an option, of course, because I had to write a paper.

This shouldn't have been such a big deal.  It's the very last paper I have to write in this degree.  I should have been able to buckle down, work hard for a while, and get it done as soon as possible so that I could curl up with a book at least for a little while.  The problem is that I didn't really like the class and I didn't really like any of the suggested topics or even any of the books we read in that class, but mostly the problem is that I just am so burnt out on right now that it's almost unbelievable.  So this paper has been incredibly difficult to write and it's not done yet and it's due tomorrow and I just want to go to bed.

That's not the worst, though.  In the grand scheme of things, writing one miserable little paper is a fairly minor problem.  One of my roommates moved out today and it is really not okay.  It's just... he was here and everything was normal and then a few hours later he was gone.  His room is empty.  And it made me realize that we've already had the last kitchen dance party and the last silly conversation and never again will he declare one of us to be "the weird one" for that day.  Yeah, we'll see him again before he moves to Ontario next month, and again at the end of August, and I know he'll be around for a while at Christmas, but it's just not the same.  The big gatherings will still happen now and then, but all of the little everyday sort of things, those precious important moments are never going to happen again.

And him moving out made me realize just how much I am going to miss absolutely everything.  I will miss this apartment, and I will miss this neighbourhood, and I will miss my university and I will miss just being an undergrad student.  I'm really not ready for this part of my life to be over yet.

I think the absolute worst part of it is that it's not happening all at once.  One of my friends already moved away a few days ago.  My roommate left today.  Another friend has a goodbye dinner planned for tomorrow.  I'll be leaving later in the week.  My roommate who moved out today flies out to Ontario in two weeks' time.  Graduation is in a month so there will be another round of goodbyes then.  My other roommate is moving across the world in a few months' time.  At the end of summer there will be even more people leaving.  It's just going to be a big long stretch of goodbyes forever and it's going to keep breaking my heart over and over again and I dread having to go through it.

It didn't help that some of my other friends rubbed salt in the wounds by wanting to hang out tonight.  Tonight of all nights, I especially wanted to cling to these last precious moments... but I've got this paper I have to write.

There are happy things happening right now, too, though, so more on that soon... tonight is just a night for being sad.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

An Update on that Decision Thing

I realized as I was posting the other day that I never really gave an update on the outcome of the events of one of my most recent posts.  So, here it is.

The (almost-but-maybe-not-quite) final decision on next year is this: I'm staying in Halifax.  I'm going to Dal.

The reason I applied to other schools was because the way I would like things to go, ideally, is to get away from this place now and have wonderful adventures elsewhere, and then come back in three years and spend the rest of my life in the Maritimes.  Except that at the same time three years seems like a really long time to commit to living somewhere else.  (I'm kind of a pansy about big scary life changes.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone.)

The problem with this, though, is that with law school it's generally recommended to go to school where you want to work because there are a lot of opportunities for networking and a lot of job interviews are done on campus and blah blah blah.  Apparently this is especially true for the Maritimes because a lot of Ontario kids come out here, article for a year, and then go back where they came from, which makes employers distrustful of those who didn't commit to living here for three years.

So, in order to achieve my long term goals, and to get the best of both worlds on moving away and not moving away, my plan is to stay here for school, but to plan things around doing at least one semester on exchange.  That way I get the adventure, but without all the commitment and major life upheaval.

Friday, 1 April 2011

My Favourite Box

This box arrived today:



This is my favourite box.  It's from my grandfather's church, and it arrives around this time each year.  Members of their congregation can submit the addresses of their children or grandchildren who are away at university, and then they send off this nice little exam-time package.

It has about the same things every year: a variety of granola bars, some hot chocolate, a few packages of microwave popcorn, one package of Mr. Noodles, some Easter candy, maybe a few other snacks, a $5 Tim Horton's gift card, some school supplies, and my favourite part: homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It's really not much; certainly nothing I couldn't easily get for myself with 15 minutes and 15 dollars.  But the thing is, I wouldn't.  I would never go to the store and buy these things; instead I would wander around the kitchen for ten minutes looking for food and end up eating a few crackers or something.  Now I have enough snack food to get me through the end-of-semester push no problem.

It's just such a nice gesture.  I don't even know anyone at my grandfather's church, and even though they do these packages for lots of people, it always makes me feel loved.  (It also doesn't hurt that packages are pretty much always exciting, especially since I always forget about it every time April rolls around, and so I'm just as surprised by it each year.)

This year there were two more surprises: as you can see, one of the hot chocolate packets is a gourmet chocolate chai, which I'm really excited about.  Also, the school supplies this year included a stapler in addition to the usual pens and pencils.  Sending out staplers seems like an odd thing to do, but I actually just happened to need one, and this particular one is a beautiful shiny green that will make me smile every time I use it.

It's a little thing, this box, but it brings a lot of joy into my life at this otherwise generally unpleasant time of year.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Oh hai.

I guess I've been gone for a while, but hey look, here I am!

I'm feeling somewhat short on words, actually, but hey look, here's a picture:


I made apple pie for pi(e) day.  As you can see, the crust burnt a bit, which set off our ridiculously sensitive smoke detector, which caused me to burn my thumb as I was taking it out of the oven.  Then as I was about to cut into it I realized that I had forgotten to put the butter in it... I'll admit that I was really very grumpy about the whole ordeal.  All things considered, it's not awful.  In an unrelated incident, I made banana coconut ice cream, which was a far greater success.  Kind of an odd combination of flavours with the pie, though, so I'm not sure I'll be eating them together again.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Should I stay or should I go

I've known since November that I had until March 1st to make a decision on which law school to attend.  I was starting to get concerned that I only had a few weeks left and I still didn't know which option to choose.  I want to take charge of my life and make a decision all on my own that I feel good about, and I was hoping I'd be able to figure it out by then.

On Wednesday I received an email from the school that set the March 1st deadline, bumping it up to February 21st at 9 a.m.  Less than five days notice.  Less than two days left now, and I still haven't got a clue.

Basically, the decision I have to make right now is Dal or not-Dal.  I can decide between McGill and UVic later, if I even get into McGill, but it's now or never on the Dalhousie front.

This is the single hardest decision I've ever had to make in my entire life and I just. don't. know.  I have no idea what I want to do.  No idea.  There are good things and bad things about either option, and I don't know which one is better.

I am really unhappy about this.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

So long, old friend.

This is Sofia.  She is my bag.


I've had Sofia for a long time.  It's been close to six years now that she's been hanging out with me.  I finally gave in to my mom's insistences last year and retired her to the closet, replacing her with a newer and shinier model.



She was a staple of my adolescence.  She accompanied me on all my adventures - at beaches, parks, playgrounds, the mall.  She served as purse, picnic basket, and bookbag.  That girl can carry a lot of books. 

In the inventory and purge that I've been conducting recently, I finally hit the section of my closet that is home to miscellaneous bags.  There was Sofia, waiting for me like an old friend.  Sadly, I just can't justify letting her hang in the closet any more.  She's more than a little worn out, and no, those stains don't come out any more. 

I'm sad to see her go, but it's time.  And I am saving a little bit of her, hard though it was to cut into my precious girl.  The section of material under her pocket managed to remain unstained and intact.  It's going to be tucked away into my craft basket, where it will eventually become part of... something. 

This was my bag.  She was Sofia. 

Friday, 11 February 2011

Reverb11: February

There are only a few questiona from #reverb10 that really stuck with me. The most important one is from day 11, about things I don't need in my life.  As I’ve mentioned already, several of those have influenced my New Year’s resolutions and the things that I’m trying to change in my life this year.
The other is the second prompt, on writing. I write at 750 words every day now; I have written every day this year.  Even when I feel like I have nothing to say and even if I did I wouldn't know how to say it, I still write.
Most of the questions I've been living are new ones, and most of them have to do with how I devote my time and which decisions I choose to make and which life I choose to live. I ask myself many many times a day "is this really what I want to be doing with my time?" If the answer is no, I follow up with "Is this something I need to be doing with my time?" If the answer is still no, I stop doing it. Well... usually, anyway. I'm not perfect.
I also ask myself questions like "If I had to explain to someone what I did today in any amount of detail, how would I feel about the answer I would have to give?" If the answer is something like "embarrassed by how little I did" or "disgusted by how much junk food I ate," I do my best to salvage whatever remains of the day.
I've found myself asking, frequently, "What am I passionate about? What do I want to do with my life?" I don't have answers to these ones yet. I never seem to get any closer to answers, either, but I keep asking. I wouldn't want to get complacent and settle for something less if I didn't have to.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Halfway

I feel, lately, as though I've been doing things by half.  I have all these projects laying around, started but never finished.  They've not been given up on, but they sure look abandoned.  I just don't have the itch to work on anything consistently lately.

In my room right now, I have:

- A mess of half-finished homework on my bed


- A half-written letter to my penpal

- A pile of books and papers on the floor, only half put away

- A half-read book and a half-filled journal

- A half-knit sweater


You'll have to take my word on these last ones, but:
- There's a paper sitting on my hard drive which is finished aside from the introduction and conclusion
- As I write this, I am halfway through formatting a set of minutes
- I am paused halfway through an episode of Doctor Who because I just hit the Megavideo limit

Until a moment ago, I also had a half-written blog post.  When I started writing this, I was frustrated by all the half-finished things around me, but I’ve mellowed out toward them since then.  Sure, I should probably actually finish some of my homework at some point, and that letter really needs to get sent off because I’m horrendously late with it, and the sweater is frustrating because it’s been half-finished for so. freaking. long. 

But that’s okay.  Because I think this is life.  Always being halfway through something is how this thing works.  If I were finished everything, that would be sad.  And impossible.  And dead.

So I’m going to go finish some half-finished projects.  But I’ll start new ones before I get them all done.  I’ve just got to try to avoid letting them pile up too much. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

101 in 1001: The Last Update

I have removed the tab for my 101 in 1001 list from where it used to live in the bar beneath the banner.

As I mentioned a while ago, I was beginning to lose interest in quite a few of the items on my list.  Part of this is because I foolishly put a number of things on the list that were just things I had to do anyway.  Part of it is because I ran out of ideas and begin perusing other peoples lists, which led to adding 10 or 15 things which seemed really interesting at the time, but quickly lost my interest.  Part of it is because I am wishy-washy and ever-changing, and many of the things I thought I wanted to do a year ago no longer spark any interest in my life.

The list served its purpose while it lasted, but it's time for it to go.  It hasn't been updated in months.  I can't even remember the last time I opened the excel version of it to update it for my personal records.  It's done.

There are a few things on the list that I still want to accomplish, but they'll get done.  Several of the smaller ones have made their way into my New Year's Resolutions, and several of the larger ones have made it onto my Life List.  Eventually, I will accomplish all of the things that it is important for me to accomplish.

For now, I'm going to forge ahead with my New Year's Resolutions, which, so far, I am only failing a little bit (there's this one about junk food...), and slowly make my way toward my life goals.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

I grew up on Tolkien.  When I was young, my mom used to read to my brother and me in the evenings, and The Hobbit was one of the ones I recall quite clearly.  Unfortunately, my poor auditory learning skills lead me to imagine hobbits as something much closer to large gophers than smell men, but that mistake was soon remedied when I re-read the book for myself a few years later.

My grade six teacher gave us reading projects from a list.  The list one hundred different projects listed on it, each one with a different point value.  They ranged from re-writing the ending to keeping a journal for one of the characters to building a diorama of a scene.  We could pick any book (with teacher approval), and do any project we liked for it, as long as the points added up to 100 for each book, and we didn't repeat one project for multiple books.  We would do several books over the course of the year.

When my brother was in grade six, he used The Lord of the Rings for at least one of his books.  Everyone was so impressed that he was reading such difficult books at such a young age.  Academics is about the only area where there has ever been competition between my brother and I; outside of that, we share very few interests and skills.  When I was in grade six, I also read The Lord of the Rings.

Fortunately for me, I accomplished this just in time.  It was during the next three years, the duration of my junior high years, that the movies came out.  Of course, this only served to feed my enthusiasm for all things Middle Earth.  Those were the golden years of fandom.  Everyone loved Lord of the Rings and it was a beautiful and wonderful thing for us all to share.

I re-read the books in junior high and again in high school.  I haven't had a chance in the last few years, but I did re-read The Hobbit for the book club my friends and I briefly had, read a copy of The Tolkien Reader that I found at the thrift store, and make yet another half-hearted attempt at The Silmarillion

In the past few weeks, casting confirmations for The Hobbit have been trickling out, and what a slippery slope they are leading me down.  There are so many tumblrs out there dedicated to The Lord of the Rings.  I keep looking at pictures from the movies and making my heart hurt for nostalgia for the days when it was all Middle Earth all the time.  And oh, the cast interviews!  I love this one with the four hobbit actors - so adorable, and so hilarious.  I really really wish I had twelve hours to spare, because I haven't seen the movies in ages, and I've never seen the extended editions, and and and...

Basically, in the amount of time I've spent drooling over fan sites in the past few days, I could have watched at least one of the movies instead.  This realization has lead to a new addition to my wall:


Gandalf the Wise, indeed.  Back to work now.  No more tumblrs.  Maybe I can spare the time over reading week.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Stuck

One of my many New Year's Resolutions was to publish to this blog twice a week.  My plan was to try and do it every Monday and Friday (my "bonus" days off due to my fantastic class schedule).  I've been trying to write an entry since Monday morning, and I still don't have anything.

The reverb10 experience made this blog into something it isn't usually, and as I wrote in my wrap-up post to that, I liked telling stories and being a little more personal and sincere, rather than my usual banality.  That is something I would like to keep up here, but I am having a really hard time producing that kind of content of my own volition.  I'm going to work on it, and hopefully by Friday I'll have come up with something.  For today, my very sincere story is about how I've been trying and failing to write serious blog posts with real content to them.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Resolutions

I am one of those people who always makes resolutions, but never keeps them particularly well. I'm quite determined for this year to be different. Which means I have to change how I go about it.

One of the "future tools" attached to the later reverb10 prompts was Chris Guillebeau's How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review, which I found incredibly helpful. I think in spreadsheets. My goals for the year are all put into nice little categories. I have a tab for each month to keep track of weekly and monthly goals, I have deadlines set for non-ongoing goals, and I have a master tab to keep track of my success rates on all fronts.

I'm also coming at it with a different attitude. Several of my goals are to do things x times per week or month, and those are the sorts of things that usually defeat me. This year, I'm not going to ask myself for 100% perfection. I will aim for 100, but if I come out of the year with a 75%+ success rate on these ones, I will be content.

My resolutions were pretty heavily influenced by my response to the reverb10 prompt on 11 things my life doesn't need this year. I'm dropping #6 Perfectionism from the way I measure success. I've got resolutions to counteract #4 Laziness, #5 Loneliness, and #11 Clutter.

I won't list all my resolutions here, because there are a lot of them, but I they fall into the categories of Health, Friends and Family, Clutter, Writing, Crafting, Music, Happiness, Money Management, and Miscellaneous. Some of the most interesting ones are:

The aforementioned inventory and purge
Read 25 books from my to-read list
Bake twice a month
Listen to The Vinyl Café once a month
Cook from 20 different world cuisines

I've already been making good progress on quite a few of my resolutions, though I expect this will slow down within a few weeks, once reality kicks in and I have to start doing actual school work. Ah well.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Reverb10 Wrap-up

Yeah, so this is a little late, seeing as we're into the second week of January already, but here it is.

The final prompt for the month was entitle Core Story, and read as follows:


The central story bit is a bit new-agey for me. If I had to give an answer it would be that I don't know what my central story is yet because it's still being told and I'm not sure what direction it's going to take.

The bonus question, however, is a-okay. I'd say probably the main thread in my responses, especially the later ones, and including this one, is my refusal to respond to prompts properly. I'm not sure why I struggled so much to do some of them, but that is the way it went.

I actually don't even really want to respond to the bonus question. Forget that. I just want to do an overall review of how I felt about the month. I enjoyed it as a whole because it brought out a more personal, coherent side to my writing that I confess doesn't show itself frequently on this blog. I tend to write posts that go something like "here is a list of things I've done recently" or "here are a few jumbled-up paragraphs about things I've been thinking about lately." Reverb10 gave my posts some order and consistency. It brought out stories and coherent reflections.

In other ways, the project had a pretty big influence. My response to the 11 Things prompt has affected my plans and resolutions for 2011. Reverb10 also got me started on using 750 Words, which resulted in me writing 35 of the last 42 days, and making progress on a story I've been trying to get out for a year and a half.

I also enjoyed building community, however small (shout-out to Kim and Bob). The daily prompts got to be a little bit overwhelming as the month went on, however, especially when trying to read and discover and comment on other people's posts as well. That is my only complaint about the month, well, aside from the fact that I apparently didn't like as many prompts as I thought I would.

Overall, it was a good experience. I'm glad I did it. This is the final post I will write for it. The end.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Inventory

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to take an inventory of my belongings, and purge at least 10% of them, preferably by the time I move out of this apartment. I'm hoping this will serve multiple purposes:

1) getting rid of 10% of my stuff, thus reducing the amount of clutter in my small room/stuff I have to drag with me when I move possibly far far away
2) forcing myself to go through everything means that when I'm done everything should be more neatly organized
3) reminding myself what I have so that I don't go out and by more things that I don't need/continue to add to my toothpaste collection

I've already started in on it because I'm super keen on this particular resolution, and so far I've inventoried 247 items, 81 of which I've gotten rid of. That's more than triple my target percentage! But I know it will only get lower from here, because I've mostly gone through things like clothes and jewellery, which I'm far more willing to part with than the things I have yet to inventory, such as books and dishes.

The unexpected thing that this project has forced upon me is that I'm also taking another type of inventory. I find myself taking stock of which memories, attachments, and emotions I'm still holding onto, and which ones I'm ready to start letting go of. Disposing of the physical reminders of these things means that I'm relying solely on my memory to keep them with me, which means eventually I will forget them. There were a lot of things I was ready to let go. There were some things I was not.


For example, when I found this necklace in the bottom of my jewellery box, I thought "I never wear this. I can't even remember the last time I wore it. It's been years. I could get rid of this." The flash of memories from the day it was first pressed into my hand, and the accompanying lump in my throat as I stretched my hand toward the 'discard' pile, disagreed with this diagnosis. The necklace is back in my jewellery box, where it belongs.


The once-treasured Reel Big Fish scarf hiding at the back of my closet led me to discover that they put out a new album two years ago, and I had no idea! I'm listening to it now to make up for lost time. After that, I'm going to listen to their live album to see if I can still sing every word and speak every piece of dialogue along with them. I really thought I could have let this one go, but it somehow ended up around my neck instead of in the pile. I guess I'm holding on for a while longer.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Going Back (Again)

I have a lot of things I want to write about: a reverb10 wrap-up, the holidays, my New Year's resolutions, etc. Today, however, is the very last day of Christmas break. I don't understand how that happened. The whole three weeks feel like they just flew by me. I didn't get any of the work done that I meant to, and I'm sort of panicked about how that's going to go in the next few days. I don't want to go back to the city, I don't want to go to class, I don't want to do homework.

Every single semester, from second year onward, I've been hit with a huge case of the "don't wannas" about having to go back. After three years of this, I've figured out that when I let myself convince myself that it's going to be awful, it turns out to be awful. So, to prevent awfulness, I started listing the good things that I'm excited to go back to. This semester, the list looks something like this:

1) My mug. I have this enormous mug that I painted at Clay Café a few years back. It's black with fall-coloured leaves on it, and it's big and round and completely fills up my hands. It is my absolute favourite mug. When I get back to my apartment tomorrow, I'm going to put on the kettle, open the cupboard door, and my mug is going to be sitting there, loyal treasure that it is, saying "welcome home."

2) Roommate parties. I love seeing friends who are away and come home over Christmas, but it is so weird not to see the people I live with. I'm excited to see them.

3) Seeing other Hali-friends that I haven't seen for the past month, too!

4) Leaving the house on a daily basis. I don't even want to talk about the proportion of days I spent sitting inside over the break. I'm sure once I get back I'll start complaining about having to walk to and from class in the freezing cold, but the fresh air will do me good.

5) Swing dance. It is one of the things in my life that just fills me with joy whenever I do it. I missed a few weeks at the end of last semester because I was just too busy, and then it was the holidays, so it's been a while. I'm excited to get back at it.

6) Skating on the Canada Games oval. Every year my friends and I take our skates back with us after Christmas break, intending to go skating at the arena, and every year they get sent home, unused, in the spring. This year, I'm hoping that the super-cool outdoor oval will be motivation enough to actually go, at least a couple times.

7) No more TV. My parents watch TV most evenings, and I actually like a lot of the shows they watch, but oh my good gracious. It is so hard to do ANYTHING else when that thing is going. It is so distracting. I am so pumped to get back to watching my two shows a week on the internet and not having the damn thing melting my brain all the time.