Monday, July 30, 2012

subject to change

so here's what actually happened on friday:

i was late getting downtown. i just missed the shuttle bus to the docks. i realized i forgot a few things. i just missed the ferry to the island airport. and then, as i stood there, something just kind of snapped. (but whether it was into or out of place, i don't know if i could say.)

and i got into a cab and went back home.

i think the best way i can explain it is that i've been doing a lot of running lately. between kingston and montreal and trying to be home as little as possible, i haven't really had any chance to breathe. and all of a sudden, it sort of crashed down on me, and i realized that i really, really couldn't spend another weekend somewhere else. my mind wasn't in it, and my heart wasn't either.

so, because i have no one to answer to and nobody's validation to seek, i cancelled my flight, cancelled my hostel booking, and went home to think. it was for the best, and i really don't regret it. (plus i still have today and tomorrow off, which makes for a nice staycation)

in the end, i'm happy, and i'm okay, and i actually feel seriously goddamn lucky at the moment for a myriad of reasons. there are good days ahead.


[ music | cut copy, "hanging onto every heartbeat" ]

Friday, July 27, 2012

walking on air

so tonight i leave for four days in chicago, making this my third visit to that city in almost six months. wooooo!

it's weird, though, because i'm at this point where i've been going away every other weekend for the last month or so, and i just want to have a weekend where i can slack off and sleep in and putter around the homestead. (you would think that's what i've been doing on my away weekends, but nope. i stay occupied when i'm not home.) instead, i've just been furiously trying to keep myself busy, keeping my head above water.

so yeah, it sucks a bit when you get to your vacation and you kind of feel like you don't even want to go anymore. i'm such a flake.

also, my life has gotten substantially weird. maybe it's the lack of sleep over the last month, maybe it's the fact that i'm propping myself up with caffeine, maybe it's because i'm back hitting the vodka and cigarettes, maybe it's because i don't have much of an appetite so i'm lightheaded a lot, but...geez. i literally had a moment last week where i was floating in a haze of half-sleep and i convinced myself that i'd dreamed the last month or so. because oh man. oh man. everything's starting to take on a seriously surreal quality.

and also, reasons. again, but.

in the meantime, i have a pretty full schedule for my extended weekend in the wild world of the united states -- kill hannah show tomorrow night (yes yes fuck yes), subterranean on sunday, double door on monday, then flying back to toronto on tuesday afternoon. in the spaces between, i'm jumping all over traader joe's and binnys as per usual, and there will be a lot of walking around town in the sunshine and spending quality time with brother adam. and thinking.

this city has a large piece of my heart. i've wandered through chicago at 20, 23, 27, and now 28 years of age, through so many phases of my life and personal growth. sometimes things are completely different with me when i'm there. sometimes they aren't. and sometimes i feel like i'm a different person entirely than i was last time i was there. sometimes i can see the ghosts.

this will, most likely, be one of those times.

i'll be back next week.

[ music | garbage, "bleed like me" ]

Friday, July 20, 2012

when the half-gods go

this will be a quick one, but:

the other day, it came time for me to finally remove the photo of us that i've had in my wallet for the last five years. it was half of one of those photobooth strips, taken at the dufferin mall while we were there getting groceries or something (and i'm sure i insisted we get photos). he took two of the snaps, and i took the other two -- one that showed me gawping at something as he smiled over my shoulder, and one that had him kissing my cheek as i winked and grinned.

but you know. old relics.

anyway, as i slid the photos out of my wallet, i found a folded-up piece of newspaper clipping underneath it.  and i knew immediately what it was, even though i'd forgotten that i'd been holding on to it for so long.  it was a horoscope that i'd torn out of a weekly newspaper in las vegas back in 2007, right at the very end of the tour.  it was the last show i was doing with the band, and i was set to fly back to toronto the next day, which was leaving me understandably melancholy.  as the guys were setting up onstage - and i had already finished putting the merch table together - i was leafing through the alt-weekly and came across the horoscopes.

this is what mine said:

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
"Ordinary life does not interest me," wrote Ana├»s Nin in one of her diaries. "I seek only the high moments. I am searching for the marvelous." Normally I might discourage you from pursuing that approach, Libra. You've got money to make and appointments to keep and groceries to buy, after all. And doing those tasks can make it hard to specialize in the marvelous. But for a limited time only, the planetary powers-that-be are granting you an exception from the ordinary. More than that, actually: They're insisting on it. You need intimate contact with unreasonable beauty, sweet anomalies, beguiling ephemera, inexplicable joys, and small changes that inspire reverence.

i stared at it. i read it a couple more times. and then i neatly ripped it out of the page, folded it up and stuck it in my wallet for safekeeping. the next day i said goodbye especially to one boy who left my confused 23-year-old heart a little worse for wear, and another boy who has since become one of my closest and dearest friends. life is a funny thing.

and five years later, i realize that at the heart of everything, it was because i'd gotten bored.  i want the ephemeral.  i want the giddiness and the possibilities and the anticipation.  i want my life to once again be so surreal to me that i just shake my head and laugh.  because the shit that used to only happen to people in tv and movies used to happen to me all the time, and it was my favourite way to live. if your life's not a story worth telling, then it ain't a life worth living.

here's to the next chapter of my weird little life.

[ music | none ]

show me a sign

and just like that, my life has quickly become a whirlwind of music and travel and drinking and partying. it's like i'm in my early twenties again, except i have something resembling shame. at least, a bit of it anyway.

first off: montreal. i went up for what felt like a quick three days last weekend, and though it was busy and fun, there were also much-needed periods of relaxation, just lying on the bed in my uncle's guest room in the dark with the fan on. it felt like a safe place, which is what my head and heart really needed. of course, though, there were the mentioned good times; went out for dinner with my uncle and his partner (i should probably just call them my uncles, plural) on saturday, then to julie and emma's party, where i think i killed an entire bottle of wine by myself. like many people, i am infinitely more sociable at a party full of strangers when i am smashed off my ass.

me and toronto twitter pal jason, partying down.

this all made sunday a little rough. ugh, my poor liver. yet i somehow managed to walk off the hangover during a four-hour(!) jaunt around downtown montreal -- and coming across a la senza sale just made it all the better. then back to my uncle's to rest and have another lovely dinner with them, and sleep.

(i'm still not sleeping particularly well, but, you know, reasons.)

ended up booking an earlier train home on monday; the week was starting to look chaotic work-wise, and i wanted to get a good head start. this was probably my highlight of the morning:

i really wanted that sixer of aphrodisiaque, thank you.

so then back home, into the madness. went to waterloo and back for training on tuesday, then attempted to get to sleep early because - surprise! - i had a last-minute work trip to washington d.c. on wednesday. since my tuesday was already booked and my thursday was looking insane, i'd agreed to fly in to washington super-early on wednesday, then fly right back out again that evening. 12-hour day trip? i can dig it.

well, not the flying part. but you all already know that.

the whole bad-flier thing was especially compounded before my trip home, when it was announced that all flights in the three d.c. airports were grounded due to possible severe storms. i had a little bit of a mental moment - a little one - but, you know, sucked it up because i had to get home. and as it turned out, my departure wasn't late leaving at all. though i could have done without the flight attendant cheerfully informing me that "we're lucky we actually managed to take off - we're flying right between two storms right now!" give me all the wine.

next up in caitlin's whirlwind july: housesitting for friend katy for the next week out in the east end, then rushing home, packing up, and flying out to chicago next friday night for five days (which will include both a long-overdue kill hannah show, and a lustkillers gig on monday the 30th that i'll undoubtedly be merching at). flying back on tuesday the 31st, then a mad flurry of packing all my belongings, and moving outta the house on tuesday august 7th. whew.

seriously, i kind of can't wait for it to be this time next month, when everything's done with and i'm (mostly) settled and moving on with things.

but i am, and remain to be, okay. i'm a very lucky girl in many ways - not to mention mercifully distracted by numerous things at the moment - and though i'm not sure how things will shake out by the time summer's through, i'm marching forth anyway. because i'll be a better person on the other side.

and now, for more coffee, and today's work.

[ music | none ]

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

you're just damage control

i continue to be, surprisingly, shockingly okay.

(well enough to take narcissistic photos of my work outfits, even!)

it's weird because i thought i knew myself better than this. in our darker periods, when it looked like we were finished all those times before, i would swear up and down that if we broke up, i would be a mess, i'd spin out of control, i wouldn't be able to live in this city anymore, etc. etc. i could never be friends with him, ever. i'd have a breakdown. i didn't want to be alone.

instead, i'm spending time browsing sofas and beds online, planning out the moving process, and generally trying to get everything in order for the end of the month. and i'm not crumbling. surprise?

(though i will miss this view, so much.)

however, there was the moment last night when i finally signed the lease on my new place and scheduled the move-in (tuesday august 7th!), and i started to feel kind of weird. there was no going back now -- i was actually doing this thing. i was walking out of my 5-year relationship, the one thing i thought would make me happy. (obviously, it did the opposite, which is why i'm leaving.) and then i started to feel the tiny shards of glass pricking my heart.

(it was like when i watched one of his live videos the other day - i was looking for a specific song - and i had to inhale/exhale really slowly as i watched, remembering that i was off to the left of the camera somewhere, cheering him on. and all i could sadly think was, shit, this is all you wanted. all you wanted. and now you're giving it up.)

i've been reading this essay ("it's harder to be the one who leaves") a lot lately, because it sums up much of how i feel right now -- well, the feelings that i can put into words, anyway.

"No one talks about how they lie awake in the middle of the night, questioning whether they made the right decision, finally falling asleep from mental exhaustion but with no answers, because no one thinks they have any right to complain."

while my reality isn't quite as harsh as that - i have many, many great friends willing to listen and offer support - i do know how that insomnia feels. i also keep vacillating between wanting to be grateful for the support of my friends and just wanting everyone to leave me the fuck alone, but, you know. grieving process and all that. hedgehog's dilemma.

hilariously enough, all i could think yesterday was, "it'd be so much easier if he were an asshole." but really, he's not. he's a great person, in fact, the total opposite of asshole. he's just...not a great boyfriend. (and he will readily admit to this.) at least, i dunno -- maybe just not at this point in his life. and what it came down to was that i wasn't willing to stick around and wait any longer for things to change. there's too many possibilities i'm missing out on -- for something better, more fulfilling, more deserving.

and if i can't find that, i can at least go out and have some single-girl fun in the meantime. insert evil laugh here.

so i endure, and i ponder other things, and i make plans to keep myself busy.

anyway, a happier update: crossfit!

i've been at it for over a month now, generally twice a week (though apartment dealings have made me miss a couple sessions here and there, which sucks because i'm paying for two sessions per week), and it's going well. at least, i think so, anyway. it's not like some rapid fix to your body weight or anything - people likely gain weight because you're meant to put on muscle - but i have definitely noticed that i'm slowly getting better at the core movements.

also, i'm getting to really enjoy the challenge of it. as i said before, i'm completely lazy when it comes to a regular gym routine, and crossfit is all about breaking out of routines. i've even been a nerd and started keeping a logbook of how many reps i've been able to do and how much i've been able to lift, because as jenna correctly noted, you're only competing with yourself.

not to mention it's been a pretty great release/escape for me during this last turbulent month. the 45-minute walk to the gym and back is a nice little time for me to zone out while listening to music, and when you're right in the middle of a crossfit workout, you really can't think about anything else other than trying to keep your lungs from exploding. given that my crossfit gym is literally down the street from my new apartment, i'm pretty sure i'm going to be spending a lot of time there in august/september. which is good, because on the divide between post-breakup girls who drown themselves in tubs of ice cream and girls who lose all appetite and spend their time blanking out in the gym, i definitely fall into the latter camp. neither's that healthy, i suppose, but there's not much healthy about my nightly vodka-and-cigarettes habit right now either. post-breakup, cut me some slack.

that's all i have for now. i'm still here, still making it happen. much love to you, if you're reading this.

[ music | rilo kiley, "portions for foxes" ]

Thursday, July 5, 2012

summer skin

so! moving, my old nemesis.

by all accounts, i'm going to have it pretty easy this time around -- wonderful pal brad offered to help me move, which is always a boon/necessity given that i don't know how to drive. also, i actually...don't have a lot of stuff, really. i never quite recouped everything after i moved back from vancouver, and i got rid of a bunch of stuff all over again when the boy and i first started living together. so i'm not lying when i say that my sum total of belongings are a bookshelf (full of books), a coffee table, an end table, an entire kitchen full of kitchenware (no, seriously, everything in that kitchen is mine), and a liquor cabinet full of booze. no furniture. no bed, no chairs, no television, nothing. welp.

my mother pointed out that it's huge for me to already have all the kitchenware i need (pots, pans, cutlery, dishes, utensils, small appliances, textiles, so on and so forth), and i know that's a plus. since i've got all that stuff collected, it'll free up budget for things like, uh, a bed. which is important. (though i'm thinking i'll acquire a sofa to sleep on first, so i can take my time shopping for a real bed, not some ikea cheapie)

also, this is the first time that i've actually had the luxury to move at my leisure -- no rushing out by the end of the month since the boy's staying put in the apartment (and is away in new york city that weekend anyway). so instead of jostling with all the other new tenants on august 1st, i'm going to take possession of the place, clean it up, measure it, buy the damn sofa bed, and then move my stuff in, probably on the 7th or 8th. from there on, it'll just be a process of collecting bits and pieces of things i need.

what this does necessitate, though, is for me to finally become more d.i.y. in my skills. i've been lucky enough to be living with a boy who's handy with renovations and home repairs, especially since i'm pretty hopeless when it comes to such things. i just don't have a head for it. (i once put together a shelf upside-down, and backwards.) but now that i won't have anyone around if i want to, say, install a shelf or fix the plumbing, i'm going to have to learn how to do it myself. i know these won't be useless skills to learn, so it's about time i bought a drill or whatever. i guess i can always call friends or people for help, but i'd really rather learn how to do it myself.

place your bets now on whether i will 1) burn myself; 2) electrocute myself; 3) end up putting a nail through my hand.

but it is going to be good to have a fresh start in a new place (even if said new place doesn't come with air conditioning). not counting the basement i lived in when i first moved back to toronto - i spent most of my time at the boy's anyway - this will be my first apartment to myself since vancouver, and i want to make the most of it. after all, this time around i'm older, i have a good job, and i have higher standards. though that last point might come back to bite me in the ass, i'm just really looking forward to having a place of my own again. i won't say cohabitation was always easy for me, so i don't know yet if i'll be lonely, but i'm suspecting i might be.  i guess we'll see.

in the meantime, i've been spoiling myself because whatevs, retail therapy works:

the long-awaited, much-sought great lakes brewery 25th anniversary robust porter, limited edition (it sold out everywhere in toronto and i had to beg my mother to grab two of the remaining bottles left in kingston)

new necklace i couldn't resist buying, if only for the charms and the guitar pick

yet another necklace that i was lusting over on etsy for months

breaking in the new balance minimus so i don't break my feet doing crossfit


this shirt (in solid black though, no stripes) and this skirt, scored through friend connections and the lovely dollhaus

i also bought two more pairs of shoes and a block full of knives, all in one lunch hour. this is getting sort of ridiculous, now.  i need to save for sensible apartment things, god damn it.  (though the knives were an apartment purchase, disregarding the fact that i already own a shit ton of knives.  but you can never have too many knives.)

but then, you know, i'm off to montreal next weekend and then it's only two weeks til five days in chicago, and life rolls on regardless of whatever i throw at it. or whatever it throws at me.

[ music | rilo kiley, "portions for foxes" ]

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

where we go from here

...or y'know, self, maybe don't date any more musicians. novel idea. (but this is somewhat akin to telling a crack user to put down the pipe. i swear to god, lusting after boys in bands is such an addiction, and i haven't been able to kick it for the last ten years. but at least i know what turns me on, even if they are forever the most impossible creatures to understand.)

so here's the thing: i'm okay. i'm actually, genuinely okay.

comparatively, last november was worse -- far, far worse. some of you might remember how much of a wreck i was (and even if you don't, there are long, rambling blog posts to prove), and then how easily i took it all back, because i just wasn't ready. even back in march/april, i had to work at mustering up the courage to walk away, but in the end, it was totally a loss since i didn't want to. (my mother referred to these mini-breakups as "dress rehearsals" for the real thing, which i found quite apt.) for all these months, the challenge for me was simply being able to say that i give up and i'm ready to move on. he knew that that's all it would take, and i certainly knew it.

but the good thing here is that it didn't come from a fight. there wasn't any animosity -- just a sad, tired realization that this couldn't keep going. so i think that's the big differentiating factor that's been keeping us on good terms (no icy silent treatments like the last two times), and will hopefully continue to do so. after five years together, it's hard not to consider each other best friends. so, it's not going to be tough cohabitating for another month -- at least, i hope not.

because the crazy good news is that i actually got an apartment for august 1st.

it definitely didn't take long -- in fact, it was the first one i looked at. but it had so much going for it - all-inclusive, perfect location, 18th floor with a balcony and 1 bedroom, price under my budget - that i jumped on that shit immediately, and was amazed that i got it so effortlessly. (i hope that's not forewarning of some form.) i just dropped off the rent cheque yesterday, so it's a done deal. august 1st and i'm moving back to the west end of bloor street.

also, i just extended my chicago trip by a few days (mostly because the lustkillers are playing and i don't want to miss their show) -- it's now chicago from friday the 27th through to tuesday the 31st, which shouldn't cause too much of a trainwreck since i'm planning on moving on august 7th. but i think an extra-long trip to chicago to see my rockstar brother might definitely be needed.

in the meantime, i've been getting so much support from so many lovely people. kat sent me an awesome inspiring email; adam sent me the entire text to dr. seuss' "oh! the places you'll go" and told me that he believes in me; i've had so many messages and emails and people voicing their approval. and while i'm not despondent or drowning in a sea of depression or anything, those bits of contact definitely help get me through the tough parts and low points. because really, i know full well that this month - and probably next month - will be one of the hardest things i've ever had to do in my life.

i'll talk about better things in my next blog post.

[ music | none ]