My Retail Nightmare for today is that I am working a 6pm-10pm shift…ON A SATURDAY NIGHT!! What.the.actual.fuck. Like the title for this post asks, why even BOTHER with a social life? Why even bother making weekend plans when I am given such incredible working hours like that? Oh, the retail life really does pay the ultimate price of suckage. Whoever thought it was a good idea to give me, a young woman trying to make her way in the world while paying (a lot) of bills, such a shitty shift, I would just like to say please go ahead and shove it up your ass. That goes to you, Mr. Douchebag from HR. Not that my other crappy retail job is any better. Anyway, that’s my rant for now. But don’t you worry. I’m sure that I will come up with even more inane things to rant about during my four hour foray into hell tonight.
I sit upright,
Gasping for air
As I scramble out of bed
For the life of me.
That pen is the life of me.
That paper is the life of me.
They are the tools that breathe life into me.
As these four giant walls close in on me.
As this bed slowly suffocates the life out of me.
Breathing becomes a chore.
Something pushes me from within.
“Get up!” It screams.
“Get up!” It commands and I involuntarily obey.
It controls me, it drives me like a vehicle in which I am merely the passenger.
No one but other passengers understand
This ride I am conceding to.
I am the hostage and It is my captor.
If I don’t obey, I will surely die.
It will kill me slowly and painfully from within.
Organ after organ, vessel after vessel will erupt,
Languishing in my failed mission to save them all.
My penmanship is rusty. This is a very bad sign.
I’m forgetting how to write.
Technology has won many of the battles,
But the victor of the war is yet to be determined.
Love me, or leave me. This is who I am.
My hand is cramping up much faster than it used to.
Another bad sign, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
The sun shines through the windows, beckoning me.
But it’s too cold to go outside, too bright.
And I’d feel dumb being fooled by the sun’s taunting rays.
Instead, I remain in bed and finish my sentence,
Accepting this confinement as a part of my life.
My birth bed and death bed have become one and the same.
And I’ve accepted that.
I was just on the phone with a good friend of mine (she knows who she is) and we were discussing the difference between people’s desires and their needs–aka wants vs. needs. The essential question we came across was this: is what I want really what I need? Or am I just feeding a part of myself that is eternally selfish? It wasn’t in so many words, but that’s pretty much the gist of it.
Then my friend mentioned An Old Cherokee Tale of Two Wolves. It’s a famous story that I am all too familiar with, but it’s worth revisiting for the sake of this discussion. The story is about the age old battle that goes on within all of us: the battle between good and evil. As simple as the meaning behind this story is, I feel that it’s applicable to practically every aspect of life. Every decision that we make comes down to one thing: the distinction between what we want out of life and what we need out of life. In this case, we were talking about our health. She was telling me about this cleanse she’s been doing for the past few weeks, how difficult it can be when you lose sight of the fact that sometimes the things your body craves are the very things that are destroying it. It’s a self destructive cycle to get yourself into and one that is extremely difficult to break. It’s especially difficult when you lack the aid and support of the people who love you.
They think that just because they are giving you what you want, that they have your best interests at heart, but sometimes we just need a good old healthy dose of tough love. This is something I’ve been trying to prescribe to myself for the longest time, but sometimes I feel like I am failing myself when I give in to my cravings. Every time I pick up a Sun Chip and bring it to my lips–I like to eat the slowly to savour them–I wish someone would just slap it out of my hand. It may be aggressive and I may be momentarily pissed, but in the long run, you’d be doing me a huge favour.
In order for that to happen, though, I’d need someone to constantly monitor my eating habits, which is too unrealistic. I am, after all, a grown woman and I should be able to control myself, right?
Well, I recently watched the premiere episode of My 600 Pound Life on TLC and was profoundly disturbed by what I saw. A woman who was confined to her bed due to her sheer size, not to mention severe health problems. The episode was about her quest to undergo weightloss surgery because she was so certain it would somehow magically increase the quality of her life. The surgery itself, however, can only remedy the symptoms of the problem; it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem itself. Clearly, there was something in her life that made her the way she is. Something must have happened to bring her to the point of weighing six hundred pounds. People aren’t just born obese. The sad reality is that far too often people in these kinds of situations don’t always get the proper emotional or psychological help they may need in order to cope with the true nature of their problem. They think that a mere physical solution is all they need to absolve their problems and relieve their suffering. But what good is weightloss surgery if the person is simply going to gorge themselves again if they feel sad or depressed?
I’m not trying to be mean. I’m actually speaking from experience. Okay, I may not weigh six hundred pounds, but I do know a thing or two about dealing with certain financial struggles, self esteem issues as well as self deprecating behaviour. In other words, I know what it’s like to be unhappy. And I also know that different people deal with their misery in different ways. We all have our demons that we have to face and many times, we are left to battle them alone. I’ve had those days where the only thing that can satisfy my emotions or make me feel better is stuffing myself silly with food. The one drawback is that I always end up hating myself even more after binge eating. It never really dissipates the problem or makes me feel any better…it’s just a temporary non-solution to a very complicated issue.
In many ways, writing has been the junk food of my soul for as long as I can remember. Every time I’ve had a problem, felt depressed or was angry about something, I wrote about it. Every time, I had something on my mind, I wrote about it. Every time I couldn’t orally verbalize my thoughts or ideas, I simply wrote about it. I’m starting to think that my relationship with writing is just as addictive and self destructive as that obese lady’s obsession with food. It’s not that I only have negative feelings associated with writing; it’s just that usually when I write, it means that there is something on my mind. Usually whatever is on my mind has been eating away at me for a long time and this is the only real way to let it out. If I don’t set it free, it will continue to eat away at me until I am nothing but a hollow shell of a person. The only thing left is a vast nothingness deep within me. I write to stay sane. I write because I have a voice. I write because even though it doesn’t completely abolish the pain and struggle of everyday living, it nourishes my soul. It satisfies that strong hunger deep within me. That hunger is the fire lit beneath me that makes me want to trudge on in this world.
While I was talking with my friend, she brought up another important food-related question: “When I eat, what voice am I feeding? The one of want or the one of need?” I could ask myself the same thing about my writing. When I write, what voice am I feeding? Do I want to write or do I need to write? It’s honestly hard to say.
Sometimes, when I lay awake in my bed at night, tossing and turning endlessly the only thing that soothes my troubled mind is finding a pen and piece of paper and scribbling down some words. It could be mindless dribble or some of the most profound late night ramblings I’ve ever recorded. All I know is that if I don’t let it out, if I don’t wreck that paper with my relentless ink stains, I can’t sleep. I’ve struggled through nights where I was just too tired to get out of bed to write…and I hated myself in the morning for giving in to my own human setbacks. How dare I be too tired to write. I’m not allowed. I’m not allowed to refuse to indulge in one of my favourite forms of self indulgences. Because if I do, I feel inadequate the next day. I feel melancholy. I feel listless. And then I hate myself because I end up trying to compensate for my inadequacy by forcing myself to write something, but it never comes out right. It never compares to the masterpiece I would have composed if I had just been able to drudge myself out of bed the night before to write whatever was on my mind. That moment of desperate inspiration is gone never to return. Whatever sentences I would have composed are lost forever.
I know I sound overly dramatic. But I truly think that’s what addiction is like. It give you a small taste of self empowerment and then just as swiftly pulls it from under your feet unexpectedly. Don’t be fooled though. This is a false sense of empowerment. It’s an illusion. Feeding the bad wolf may make you feel well rested for the time being, but it will never be enough to satisfy your soul. You may feel a temporary sense of joy, but that doesn’t mean you should buy into it. Just like all those nights I chose to sleep instead of write. I have plenty of regret about that because, now instead of having an extensive body of work under my belt, I am sitting here writing about what could have been, pitying myself and feeling nostalgic. I’m sure every writer goes through this. It’s the reason so many artists are insomniacs. Our minds dictate when we are allowed to rest and when we must trudge through the exhaustion and work. Too many times I feed the evil bad wolf and let myself sleep in the same way that six hundred pound woman literally and figuratively fed her addiction to food.
I need to make a change. I need to feed the good wolf. I need to write more, but I need do it in a controlled manner. I need to become the master of my own domain and choose when I am going to write and what I am going to write about. No more waiting for inspiration to come around. I am going to make it happen. I am going to find ways to inspire myself. That is my new year’s resolution. I am tired of being unhappy and the only thing that makes me happy is writing. The only sound that brings me any sense of resolution and absolute joy is the sound of the keys clicking against my keyboard. There. Now I feel empowered.
As we all know, last Sunday (January 12th), the Golden Globes awards show took place. Now, I’m not going to lie, I am an absolute SUCKER for Hollywood awards shows, the Oscars included. Not only do I enjoy watching all of my favourite performers and film and television show makers receive the acknowledgement and credit they deserve, but I also like seeing their reactions to receiving such accolades. Really, I couldn’t care less what any of them are wearing.
I just like to see that they are humble, regular everyday individuals who just happen to be making their dreams come true. In some odd way, it gives me a sense of hope that someday, I too, can achieve my goals to become a well known writer. It lets me know that hard work and dedication does pay off, even if it takes decades in order to give credit where credit is due. Another reason I enjoy watching award shows is, believe it or not, when someone I admire wins, I am actually genuinely happy for them. As some of my followers on Twitter might already know, I am a huge fan of Breaking Bad and so when Bryan Cranston won the award for Best Actor and then the show won for Best TV Series, I was ecstatic. For some reason, for diehard fans such as myself, it seems like a personal victory. You just want so badly for a show like that to be recognized for how great it truly is, especially after being snubbed numerous times in the past.
And of course, I can’t forget about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Those two together are just a dynamite comedy duo. What I love about their performance is that even though it was all thoroughly planned out, they somehow still made it all seem very genuine. I think this is because as a viewer you can tell that they truly have fun doing what they do and that they very close friends. Let me tell you, as someone who has performed on stage a few times, it is NOT easy to be that funny in front of all of those people. Sometimes jokes that seem funny in the writer’s room or during rehearsals just flop in front of a live or tv audience, especially some of the more risque jokes they were telling. Like this hilarious remark made by Tina Fey as she was introducing Leonardo DiCaprio:
“Like a super model’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio”.
Gotta love Tina Fey! The quote comes in at approximately 1:09, but I suggest watching the whole thing just to see Jennifer Lawrence awkwardly and hilariously photobomb Taylor Swift. I could not contain my laughter when I saw the look on Jennifer Lawrence’s face as she tried to discretely creep up the stairs behind Taylor Swift while she was being interviewed. Jennifer Lawrence is one of those Hollywood stars who I actually greatly respect and admire simply because she is not afraid to be herself and just says whatever is on her mind…and she’s always hilarious! Not to mention the fact that she promotes a very positive self image for young women everywhere, having been quoted as saying that she didn’t want Katniss Everdeen to be portrayed as some extremely thin, blond Hollywood caricature; but as a real person going through real struggles in life who is also determined and strong enough to overcome them. She insisted on a very heavy work out regime before commencing filming on The Hunger Games because she wanted Katniss to look fit and strong, not thin and frail.
Anyway, I could go on drooling over her for ages, but that’s content for a different post altogether. Here’s the link to the video (don’t mind the two annoying commentators, this was the only video I could find with the right footage):
Another great choice was Amy Poehler winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy. And I’m not just saying that because I am a very biased fan of Parks and Recreation…okay, so maybe I am. But anyone who has seen the show will understand why she deserved to win! It is such a cleverly written comedy. I don’t know what the formula is for writing funny and well timed comedy, but the writers of the show have certainly figured it out and have it down packed. Amy simply brings their hilarity to a whole new level, as does the rest of the cast. (By they way, I’d also like to see Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones and Nick Offerman win a few awards for their work on the show as well!)
There were, of course, quite a few other worthy (in my opinion) winners that I should at least give honourable mention to, but since I am too lazy to type out all their names (ain’t nobody got time for that!) and CNN already did it for me, here’s a link instead:
And now, I leave you with the reason that I watch Parks and Rec. Two words: Ron Swanson.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Toronto discretely eavesdropping on a group of “older” friends as they were chatting about their lives. When I say older, I mean they were probably in their forties to sixties; at least, that was the discernible age range. There were about four or five men and a woman. From what I could tell, the woman was the youngest because she was the only one who only had a hint of grey in her hair. The men on the other hand all looked like they could double for mall Santas.
Anyway, as I was sitting there giving up all attempts to read John Irving’s In One Person (fantastic novel, by the way!!), I couldn’t help listening to the contents of their conversation. Well, they were sitting right next to me…and talking extremely loudly, I might add.
So the man sitting closest to me–he looked to be about in his mid-fifties, about my dad’s age–was bragging to his friends about how he was dating some young twenty-something year old blond with, as he put it, “a rack so phenomenal it puts all three of my ex-wives to shame”. I must admit, I chuckled a little to myself when I heard this. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I even noticed out of the corner of my eye, as I was still pretending to be reading, that he even glanced in my direction to see my reaction to his rather crude remark. Well, in all honesty, I thought it was pretty damn funny that a man that age was sitting there bragging to his friends about what seemed like the absolute perfect conquest. As the conversation carried on, the man continued talking about his “live-in twenty-something year old girlfriend” (he knew her precise age, of course, but it eludes me now). He said something along the lines of: “But you know, as much as the sex is AWESOME, she’s just not as emotionally mateur as I want my woman to be. But then again, I guess at that age, they’re only really good for one thing”–and here, he proceeded to wink in my general direction. Again, I pretended not to notice and that I was completely enthralled by my book. But, I was curious to see how his friends and/or colleagues would respond to this disgusting display of sexism.
You see, I could tell that this was no ordinary group of creepy horny old men and their Elaine (Seinfeld reference); these people, from what I gathered, were academics! They had stacks and stacks of books with them and they mentioned that a few of them were doing research at the University of Toronto, the downtown campus which was mere minutes away from this famous coffee shop franchise. Needless to say, I was a little taken aback by the reactions of this man’s friends/colleagues, but nonetheless intrigued as well. I always think it’s interesting when older people are progressive and openly disclose the details of their sex lives because, well, in my culture people just don’t discuss those things with their friends or anyone for that matter. In my culture, discussions of a sexual nature, to my knowledge, simply don’t exist or are reduced to meaningless or harmless jokes.
This man, however, was more candid about his sex life with his twenty-something year old girlfriend than necessary. I mean there were some details that he simply did not have to share. There was another young man sitting on the couch across from me and I could feel him cringe when he heard some of the things this man was saying. Poor guy. I would have suggested he move, but then my cover would be blown and besides, it was already noon at this point and you know how busy these famous coffee shops can get at that time of day when most people take their lunch or coffee breaks.
Anyway, as I was saying. This man just went into full blown detail about his sex life, his girlfriend’s appearance and, on numerous occasions, made a point to mention that he wasn’t exactly dating her for her intellectual capacities. A small part of me was amused by this, but an even larger and insurmountable part of me felt the strong urge to douse this man and his horny colleagues with my scalding hot caramel macchiato. Okay, so I was at Starbucks. I was just so awestruck at how these seemingly intelligent and progressive people could be so boldly and disgustingly inappropriate when talking about this woman, who from what I gathered was studying to be a marine biologist. From what I know, that is not an easy field to get into so I can’t imagine how these people were commenting that this girl is unintelligent. Either she was failing out of school or they were those elitist types of academics who think they’re better than everyone else. You know the type. At U of T, they’re a dime a dozen and they’re the reason why I despised socializing in university. Everybody thinks they’re so much damn better than you.
What shocked me most I guess was the fact that they all seemed to have met her at one point or another because they were agreeing with the man’s descriptions of her looks and equally bashing her intelligence. Basically, they were playing up the whole dumb blond, big breasted, great in the sack stereotype and telling their friend that he deserved much better than her because eventually her looks would fade. Ironically, none of them commented on the fact that their friend was a cradle robbing pervert, but they seemed to be perfectly accepting of that dynamic.
I guess the reason that I decided to regale this story was because I was just in such shock. I still can’t believe that people–especially of a certain generation that use young people are supposed to respect and admire–can be so utterly crude and sexist. What disgusted me most was that the woman, who was an academic as well, seemed to be going along with everything the men were saying. I mean, perhaps they were right about the so called blond bimbo. Maybe she wasn’t that smart and this man was just using her for her looks and her youth, but if you ask me that is not something that other highly intelligent women should condone. It’s hard enough knowing that men engage in that kind of locker room banter in public, but to hear a seemingly intelligent woman engaging in it with them, that was just horrifying. These people didn’t realize how entirely uneducated and ignorant they sounded to the people around them. Moral of the story: be careful about what you say or do in public places and how loudly you speak because even if you think other people aren’t eavesdropping are just minding their own business, they’re really listening to every word and judging the hell out of you.
DISCLOSURE: I actually wrote this post in around October 2013, but saved it in my drafts and forgot to publish it. I recently came across it again and decided to publish it.
Hello friends and fellow bloggers!
Oh my, it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything on here! I am still trying to work on that, I promise.
There’s been a lot going on, so just bear with me. First off, I found a job…a very crappy one in retail but still a job. I was working a lot during the holiday season, but now that that’s over they’ve cut my hours immensely. I am not exaggerating. I was literally scheduled for three hours this week. I know, it’s ridiculous. But apparently, the job market here in Ontario is really THAT far down the toilet so that even a university graduate cannot seem to find a decent paying job.
Did I mention that I graduated from U of T back in November? Well, I did. And I thought that it would mean great things for me, but so far my degree has proved to be just as utterly useless as everyone warned me it would be. And yet, despite everyone’s best warnings, I still decided to major in English, minor in Philosophy and Linguistics. Why, you might ask? Because I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge over money and power…plus, I must be a sadist because I seem to love torturing myself senselessly.
I think I just need to write more. The problem is that my life is so utterly boring and entertaining. Nothing big really happens to me on a regular basis. A lot of small things happen to me over an extended period of time, but I’m not sure how interesting that is to write about on a blog. I got some new piercings last week. They were fine for the first few days, but then started swelling up like balloons, turned red with rage and were throbbing mercilessly. I swear, for a few days there I looked a lot like Elmer Fudd after being taunted by Bugs’ Bunny. At first I thought maybe my ears were infected, but then I remembered the same thing happened the last time I got my ears pierced (that’s six in total now, three on each side). I couldn’t remember how long the pain and redness lasted though because the last time I got my ears pierced was seven years ago, so I decided to drop by a walk in clinic and get them checked out. That was a total waste of time and almost ended up costing me $60 because the doctor assured me that the cleanser I was using wasn’t potent enough even though my ears were in fact NOT infected. I decided that I didn’t want to spend the extra cash and that I would just suffer through the pain and inflammation for a few more days to see if they both subsided. So far, the swelling has gone down a lot and the pain is very minimal. I only feel it when I need to touch my ears to sanitize the piercings or rotate them.
My mom wasn’t thrilled about the new piercings because she thinks it’s too much and she keeps asking me whether I plan on getting more. The answer is yes but not any time in the near future. I want to wait for these recent ones to heal first and then do more research. You see, I figured something out. Most common places to get piercings like Claire’s or hairdressers use a piercing gun over a needle. I didn’t know this before, but apparently it’s the blunt trauma to my ears that caused them to swell up like fiery red balloons. I could have avoided all that pain and physical and mental irritation had I just did a little more research and gone somewhere where they use a needle. Anyway, bottom line: gun bad, needle good. Wow, in a totally different context, that would have sounded really weird.
On a totally unrelated note, yesterday was mine and my boyfriend’s one year anniversary. I know, shocking right?! I can’t believe it’s been a WHOLE year!! And we’re still so in love! Is it weird that I still get butterflies every time I think of him, every time he calls, every time he texts, every time we see each other?! IT’S BEEN A YEAR!!!
We didn’t really have any big plans since we are both super poor right now because of the holidays so we just decided to take it easy and keep it low key. Unfortunately, his cat Sasha has been ill all week and we just figured out she has a urinary tract infection. He took her to the vet yesterday so they could do an analysis and prescribe the appropriate medication, but like her owner, she is a very stubborn creature and refuses to take her meds. So, he just told me that they took her to the vet again today to have her injected instead. I am trying to be supportive but he is an absolute mess right now. Not that I blame him. He’s had that cat for almost ten years now and as much as he doesn’t like admitting it, he is a huge softie especially when it comes to her. It’s like watching a family member go through a serious medical problem. The worst part is wishing you could help, but being unable to. I know she will make a speedy recovery because she is a strong cat, but she needs to just take the damn pills!
Anyway, that’s my quick update/rant for now. Hope you all had an awesome holiday season and I promise there will be more forthcoming random and quirky posts from me!!
Well folks, I am writing to update you all on my NanoWrimo progress…only to tell you that it’s week two and I haven’t made much progress other than writing and rewriting constantly. I am very meticulous about my writing and am always trying to perfect it. However, as always, whenever I commit myself to a writing project or any kind of project, extenuating circumstances always manage to get in the way. In this case, it’s nothing in particular, just family and friends taking up most of my time. I’m not trying to make any excuses, but I just find that when I actually set aside time to sit down and write, my inspiration just goes out the window. It’s as if I have to condition my brain to be inspired at very specific times because when I wait for inspiration to strike naturally, it always comes at the most inopportune times.
Anyway, I am going to continue trekking through because this is something I really want to do, interruptions be damned. I told pretty much everyone I know to back off for the entire month of November and so far, nobody seems to understand. I hope I am not the only one who goes through this when they are trying to write. It kind of makes me understand why people take this Thoreau-like attitude about writing. This idea of getting away for a while, escaping to a remote location and just writing my heart out has always fascinated me. But the reason I haven’t done it and probably never could, is that I have too many human attachments to just disappear for a while. Too many people would be offended if I decided to just up and leave without letting anyone know. I have fantasized about faking my own death and finding a cottage out in the woods and writing under a pseudonym. The only problem is that I would get too lonely after a while. The thrill would wear off after about a week. The good thing about faking my death, though, is that I would have the opportunity to create a new identity or even multiple new identities for myself. I could be pretty much whoever I want whenever I want.
And the beauty about writing is that I can do it from pretty much anywhere in the world. Of course, money would be an issue, but being the creative thinker that I am, I’m sure I could think of a way to get by and make enough to travel wherever I want. I just find that being in the empirical world in general is a huge distraction from my passion.
All of the above is just a fantasy. In reality, I would feel far too guilty if I ever did go through with it. It would be almost like committing suicide. Leaving all my loved ones would be really difficult, but I think after a while I would get used to it. I just wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. It’s just a thought, something I have always thought about. I would love to know if other modern writers think the same way.
On that note, here is a cute Relient K song called Faking My Own Suicide.
I’ve started writing again and a huge reason for that is NaNoWrimo! That’s right! For better or worse, I am going to write a novel in one month! I am so excited and already three pages in. The goal is to write a minimum total of 50, 000 words by 11:59 pm on November 30th. I think I can do it. What I love most about this program is that not only does it motivate young, amateur and professional writers alike to write a story in a short period of time (thus encouraging them to set a certain word limit per day) but it also connects writers from around the world with each other to provide feedback! I just wish I had heard about this opportunity a lot sooner! I promise to be a good little blogger and keep you all updated on my progress. I am still figuring out how the site works and navigating through all the different features they offer, but once I have it all figured out I would love to connect with any of you who are planning on joining this year! Please, feel free to connect with me!