Tuesday, May 26, 2015

do it again

lots of good feedback on the last blog post - seems like a lot of you can relate to the people who insist on sharing and/or bragging about every awesome part of their awesome lives (on facebook especially; many people told me that they no longer even check fb). i mostly wrote all that out because i was sort of afraid that my social media grouchiness would spill over to my own social networks, and i really don't want anyone to get defensive and think that i'm obliquely referring to them. (because honestly, everybody's been guilty of it at one time. there's just been a few prime offenders lately for me on - yes - facebook)

anyway, i'm not sure what everyone's coping mechanism is with the over-excited oversharer/covert braggart, but sometimes i find that just focusing on the little adult things i do in my day-to-day life helps me feel accomplished. "oh, you're vacationing on the beach in bali? well, i did laundry today!" "i went to the gym today instead of drinking away 20,000 calories on patio beers!" that sort of thing. maybe it only works for me. maybe i am actually the worst.

but it's the hard truth that sometimes i have a hard time being happy for my friends. i feel like - well, i hope - that that's just human nature, or maybe i'm just a egotist, i don't know. but at least i do wish i could always, 100% be happy for the successes of my friends; or, at the very least, that i could use those triumphs as motivation to go out and find successes of my own. sometimes, though, nope. sometimes i just want to mute their feed and be like "okay, that's enough, your life is awesome, we get it".

like i said in my last blog post, it's not that i myself have a crummy life in any way - it's just that, juxtaposed against all the #blessed updates from my network, it makes me feel like i should have more. or should be doing more. either way, it leaves me feeling stymied, and like i'm not good enough for the good things.

anyway. hello.

i am at least good enough for birthday cake gelato:

so says i, anyway. (even though my birthday's not until october. but i am a sucker for birthday-cake flavoured anything.)

the other thing i've been doing lately which probably isn't great for me is reading over my old blog entries. it's the blessing and the curse of having blogged since, er, 2004 - you've got a record of what your life used to be like back in the halcyon days of youth or whatever. and while i've since locked my old blog down (seriously, the writing was embarrassing to even me), i can still access it, and it's been a trip to read the stuff from 2006 especially. that was the year i finished university and graduated, then moved back out to the east end and started plowing through three jobs at the same time (supermarket clerk, barista, and music journalist).

yet to read all those adventures now makes me raise an eyebrow - how the fuck did i have all that drive and energy? there was an entry in summer 2006 where i'd written "i have so much fucking fun in my life, it should be illegal". and this was while i was killing myself working seven days a week just so i could pay my basement apartment rent!

but, here's the thing - i was 22 years old. that's generally one of those years of your life where you feel invincible and immortal. you think you're the shit. and i absolutely did have a lot of great, fun things going for me in 2006 (things got significantly darker in 2007, but those things were the catalyst for a lot of life changes that i don't regret making). while i know that a personal, formerly-public blog is probably a faulty barometer - i didn't catalogue as much of the negative stuff behind the scenes, and i know for a fact that i had some miserable times - it's hard not to read all those blog posts and wonder how, if ever, i could get back to that state of happiness and contentment with my life. sometimes i think it was just the hope of the future that had me so excited and fulfilled. i was fine doing what i was doing because i knew it wouldn't be forever, and i sensed i had much better things to come, because of course i did. i was young and fun and relatively pretty; i was living in toronto and partying all the time and travelling to america to see bands and i was friends with rock stars. why wouldn't i have a great future ahead of me?

living for the future is never the best idea. just saying.

at the very least, i found a 2006 list i'd blogged of things i wanted to accomplish by the time i turned thirty, and it's like, yes! awesome. and though it wasn't like i'd kept this list pasted up on my wall or anything, i actually did accomplish quite a few of those. still wish i'd found a way to live in new york city/los angeles/chicago, though.

[ music | matt and kim, "get it" ]

Sunday, May 24, 2015

media burnout

there are fewer de-motivating things than trying to go to the gym on a weekend, when everyone in your social feed is posting photos of brunch and park hangs and beers and patios. i just want a mimosa :(

or sangria. sangria would do.

that said, i've been really cranky about social media lately. i try not to grouch about it on social media, because i have a tendency to be deeply sarcastic and that can hurt people, but these days it just really feels like everywhere i look - on twitter, on facebook, on instagram - it's an endless sea of "look at how great my life is!" it's just hangin' with mah #bae, i love him/her sooooo much xoxox or omg best vacation ever!!! #blessed or best times with best coworkers, so good! #lovemyjob #lovemylife and so on, and so forth. (summer weekends are especially plagued with this.)

and look, i get it -- sometimes you really do just want to share your positivity and happiness and good fortune with the world. i get it! i do. i've been there and done that as well. but also, sometimes it really starts to lean over into "well, are you spreading your happiness, or are you just trying to rub it in how good things are going for you?" because social media is, at the end of the day, narcissistic, and although it can be used for so many good things, it can also just make you feel shitty. you can scroll through pages and pages of sunshine and rainbows and best day ever! and just sit there thinking, "why isn't my life that good?"

i know, i know. perspective. nobody wants to post the crap behind the scenes, or the bad days, or the sad moments. but at times it can just feel like social media is a massive game of trying to out-do everyone else's happiness. and if you don't feel like you have much to add to that particular competition, then it just weighs you down even further.

speaking personally, it's not like everything's shit for me right now. i've got plenty of great stuff in my life -- i'm in good health, i have my freedom, i've got a wonderful boyfriend and loving family & friends, and i have an awesome apartment in the city i love. it's all i've ever wanted, really. but like i said above, when it feels like facebook/twitter/instagram is a competition to prove who has THE SUPER BEST LIFE, i...sort of feel like i can't compete. not with my basic little happinesses. i don't have the internet-bragworthy things like a cottage or a beach or a cross-country vacation or a hot summer wardrobe or a clique of coworker-friends to do everything with. and then, in times like these (aka when i'm riding the monthly hormone rollercoaster), i end up second-guessing myself. and then i end up feeling shitty that i don't have someone else's life. because sometimes it feels like i want anyone else's life but my own.

maybe i just need to deplug for a bit.

[ music | foo fighters, "everlong" ]

Sunday, May 17, 2015

she sells sanctuary

got on the train and headed back to the homeland for mother's day weekend.

i mentioned in this blog post here that i'd be spending mother's day weekend in kingston, and so i did. and sure, i'm a little late in the update, but i've got some time on this long weekend, so here we are. (yes, i went out of town the weekend before the holiday weekend. i prefer to spend long weekends in city, since it more or less empties out, though i also have to ignore the steady stream of cottage/camping/vacation pics that pop up in my social media feeds) i was in k-town from thursday to monday night, my first visit since christmas - and probably my last until thanksgiving - and it was a relaxing time full of long naps, family dinners and walks downtown in the sun. always nice to be in a place where you're constantly being asked "would you like some cheese?" and "would you like a glass of wine?" i could live off of wine and cheese & crackers, honestly.

as a mother's day favour (i got her a gift and a card too, obviously), i helped my mom clear out a portion of the back gardens:

trust me, there are many more gardens where that came from. in another life, my mother would be a landscaper. (i grew up on eight acres of farmland, and i'm fairly sure my mom converted four of those acres into sprawling gardens. sadly, my father visited our old home somewhat recently and noted that those incredible gardens had pretty much fallen to ruin -- not unexpected given that they took a shit ton of work to maintain, but still, major bummer)

the pool wasn't quite ready for swimming. at least they fished out the dead animals.

downtown k-town. i was treated to lunch for my help tearing up the back gardens, and then went for a walk by the docks. kingston's very pretty in the spring/summer, so it gets busloads of tourists all day long; it's also relatively cheaper than toronto or ottawa to visit, not to mention live in. (i idly glanced at the apartment rentals in the throwaway city newspaper, and almost choked on my coffee to see 2-bedroom apartments renting at $700-800)

another good thing about being home for the weekend, aside from being able to pick up some things i needed (a couple of old books, my childhood stuffed animal, a bottle of vanilla extract from costco, money from my parents): i got to raid the family photo albums for #tbt material. and man, was there ever a lot to go through. (aside from gardening, my mother's other passion was taking photos of her children.) time for the narcissism!

my class photo when i was five years old. yes, my mother coordinated my hair ribbons and barrettes with my dress. yes, i have half a front tooth (it was just coming in). the gigantic gap that's forming between them will later be closed with two and half years of dental braces. the crazy long hair, however, stayed for far too many years.

weird mostly because of the lack of tattoos on my arms. i'm not at all used to seeing that now. also ugh, mental reminder to never have bangs again.

bar none my favourite halloween costume ever: psylocke from the x-men. marvel vs. capcom was my #1 video game at the time (this was october 1997; i had just turned 14, and this would be my last time trick-or-treating), so i wanted to dress up like my #1 character. my mother insisted on giving sleeves to the bodysuit so i wouldn't get cold; i ended up getting frostbite on my legs. (ontario halloweens are generally freezing, and snow is a common occurrence) i guess you could call this my first cosplay, maybe? also this was the first time i ever wore makeup. wow.

fuck knows. i think i was maybe 15 here? notable mostly to remind myself to 1) again, never do bangs and 2) keep up with the teeth whiteners. also it's kind of good that i more or less grew into my nose.

you know what sucks? puberty weight gain! i was a li'l chubbo around the belly. decent job on the hair, though. (i have the blonde streaks i got done for my rinoa cosplay in summer 2000, so i must be 16 here) my stepsister's on the left and my older sister's on the right.

there were more, but i'll spare you. i think i lost a number of twitter/tumblr/instagram followers this past weekend for the sheer amount of content i was pumping out. whatever, fuck it.

a couple observations:

1) i am not as social or conversational as i should be. i suppose i can blame this on spending a lot of time by myself lately; i feel like i've become more introverted, so i need some time to charge my social batteries. and when i'm in kingston, i'm around people literally all the time, and so there's no time to step back and isolate myself for a while. also, it's more or less expected of me to be social and conversational -- not that that's a bad thing, but it can be tough for me, especially if i feel like i'm being forced to be. hence, crankiness. at least i could count on my boyfriend to cheer me up with constant text messages of love and mushiness. (he also bought me a new hat!)

2) i go through this weird thing every goddamn time i'm in kingston, and i swear i've blogged about it before, but -- whenever i'm in k-town, a very tiny part of my brain wonders what it would be like to pack it in and move back home. not with my parents, obviously, but get some cheap apartment somewhere and find a job and just live quietly. life is slower and smaller there, and that dumb part of me wonders if that's what i need. maybe i need a fresh start somewhere, and why not go back to my roots? my family are all there, and it's not unfamiliar ground for me, so maybe i could be happy with it.

...but yeah, then i really think about it, and i know exactly what would happen: i would settle in and be content for like, a week, and then i would start clawing up the walls from boredom. sure, i don't do a whole lot in toronto, but at least the potential for doing things is out there. and i'm sure there's a scene in kingston that i don't see, but i'm past the point in my life where i have the energy and drive to establish myself in a new city. i went through that with vancouver and we all know how that ended (ie. very quickly).

i suppose it's good i headed back to toronto when i did. i was missing the city.

a week later, i'm back settled into my daily routines, cursing at the late spring heatwave and getting stoked to see the boy a bunch this week. off i go!

[ music | broken bells, "control" ]