Saturday, 29 November 2014

I moved

I've been thinking well over a month now that I should be posting something on my blog. Not that I feel obligated too because I'm pretty sure I don't have that many readers - but because I enjoy writing. So I did what any non-creative person does. I turned to Google.

"Give me journal topics". And it did. And I picked one. And it made me think. Alot.
                                                                          

A few years ago now, I had written a blog on here about coming back to God. I wrote about how powerful His love is and how I started to trust Him again. I described how I was feeling much more encouraged by my new chapter and how He was going to be included all throughout the pages of my life. I presented myself as a seeker; a seeker of truth. Well, I think you know where this is going.

That chapter was very short lived. I had moved away.

Since then, I have really gotten to know myself more, accept how I am, and be somewhat prideful of who I am. And yet I have still felt like I had something missing. It simply wasn't enough. 

It should have been obvious that I was missing Jesus in my life. I was trying though and a part of me just didn't understand why I couldn't let Jesus in. I'd try praying, try seeking out His Word, doing studies, etc.. 

And gradually, I came to the realization that I couldn't just seek Him. By definition, the word "seek" is an attempt to achieve, desire, or find (something). The word "follow" means to go or come after. What's the difference?

To seek leaves room for doubt in an action and the possibility of never succeeding. To follow is much more deliberate in terms of action. It's not pausing at doubt - it continues to go on and on and on, no matter the consequences, no matter the cost, because without any stopping, there's a reason to follow. A reward in following is simply not a strong enough expression.

Accept the cost. Accept the consequences. To accept Jesus. Wow. That's some big stuff at a big price.

I would imagine alot of people claim they are followers of Jesus. But the reality is, that there is actually only very select few who follow Him truthfully. But I am no one to judge. Not only because I am not God, but also because if I look in the mirror, I know in my heart I am not one of those select few. Or even on the "waitlist"

And the longing for Him aches because I know I will always be missing that piece. 

The cost, as I viewed it, was not something I could afford. To follow Him meant to no longer do or be me. Not that God is asking us to change who we are, but He wants followers who are willing to accept His ways. And I was kicking and screaming for the longest time.

Sometimes I still am kicking and screaming on the floor, holding out my hand like a child in the supermarket who can't have the candy they want, tears in my eyes pleaing out "why can't you stay with me?" As if I was indirectly asking Jesus, to follow ME instead. Jesus does not follow. He leads, He knows the way and He can only wait so long.

When I follow His love, act on His Word, and praise God with my heart, I feel much more energy then ever before. And it makes me happy, less fearful, and more compliant each day to get up from the supermarket floor and walk beside Him.

I am now a Christian as of last year. An "Official" Christian, if that's a thing. Who does not seek, but follows. And sometimes the cost is very, very high. But this time, I am not moving anywhere. 

Journal topic: "Describe a time in your life you realized you were no longer close with God. Who moved?"

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ten Reasons Why I am A Shameful Person

I made two mistakes tonight. The first mistake was deciding to lay down at 5pm for a little cat nap. The next and most vital mistake was ignoring my 6:15pm alarm. My little catnap turned into hours of supremely amazingly awesome deep precious in-love-with-my-bed kind of sleep which involved some drooling… (not to mention a break inbetween to watch Amazing Race Canada!)

So here I am! 1:00 a.m. and ready to take on the day! Good thing my classes don’t start for twelve hours *sigh*. Time for some frothy milk. I’ll get back on ‘normal’ sleep schedule tomorrow; don’t worry mom.

Don’t really know what to talk about. Hmm… I refuse to complain about how things don’t go my way anymore (surprise – did you see that coming?),I  don’t want to talk about the weather because that depresses everyone, and I don’t feel like typing out what I did all summer because I’m not sure if that would take too long or take too little. Confusing, I know. And if people actually care – that’s the underlying question with everything.

What about another top ten list? That seemed to be fun last time. How’s this:

Ten reasons why I’m a shameful human being:

1.       I have eaten cereal three times a day just so I didn’t have to do dishes. On more than one occasion.

2.       I am Queen when behind the wheel. Red light – your fault. Didn’t turn on your signal light on? Your fault. I cut you off completely? Your fault.  I won’t let you in when you’re coming off an exit? You’re problem. Going too slow? Your fault. I’m going too fast for you? Your problem. See where I’m going? I’m a bit of a jerk sometimes.

3.       I only drink milk out of a glass maybe 10% of the time. If you come to my place – don’t have milk if you don’t want to get cooties.

4.       No matter how hard I try, I cannot force myself to come to like raw vegetables.

5.       When studying, I come up with the most inappropriate acronyms to remember things that I wouldn’t even be able to admit it to my best friend let alone a pastor.

6.       I’ve definitely ordered pizza delivery… just for myself.

7.       I’m such an awful person that I’ve yelled at elders before to hurry up and cross the street (don’t worry, at least my windows were rolled up). Thanks a lot grandpa for teaching me to say, “hurry up you old bitty!” when I was only three years old (at that time, no, the windows were not rolled up) oops.

8.       I have no problem telling people to be quiet if a good song comes on the radio. (I’m starting to think I just have no sense of respect while in a vehicle… hmmm)

9.       I’ve definitely gorged down an entire ice cream cone in the driveway before. No explanation necessary. Oh, while on the topic of food, I’ve also shoveled in an entire bag of popcorn before even the trailers hit the movie screen.

10.   I’ve definitely had to wash the same set of clothes in the washing machine five days in a row just because I kept …. “forgetting”…

What’s your top ten? List a few below in the comment section so I don’t feel so weird about myself :)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Glorifying Grace

Last night I was asked by someone if I wanted to check out some bands that were playing at Vic Park. Being reluctant, I felt it just wasn't “my kind of crowd”. So I hummed and hawed about it all day and questioned how uncomfortable I would feel if I had gone. I finally got tired of arguing with myself and texted up a friend last minute and said, “Hey, up to go to Vic Park?”

















I didn’t know at all who Tim Neufeld & The Glory Boys were. All I knew is that today was just going to be a bunch of Christian bands playing pretty well all day today here in Regina – Praising at the Park.



Well. I had a really good time. Here I was worried about it being weird and uncomfortable – but I couldn’t have felt more comfortable with this crowd; this unity. This, everybody's crowd.....



I guess there’s more to this cheesy post than about a simple band singing. I was feeling discouraged this week from a lot of things. I’ll spare the details but let’s just say instead of easing back into routine – I’ve been shaken up like a pepper shaker and dumped all around on a bundle of worry sandwiches (haha).

Had I known the problems were not plural, perhaps this week would have gone smoother for me, my eyes opening that there is a solution available to me. The problem?

Me.

I was missing a very pretentious point… Give it all to God. For Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]

You see; we are all slaves to Jesus. Jesus wants us to give us our troubles – so we can have rest. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Why am I constantly fighting against it? I cannot do it on my own. How can I forget this? He is here if I allow Him to be.

My goal for the next let awhile? Stop trying to take control of my life.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life [25]…. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious add a single hour to his span of life? [26-27] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you [33]. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. [34]” Matthew, chpt. 6
Amen!

Leave a comment if you feel like it (or else).

Monday, 11 August 2014

Two Roads Diverged in the Woods . . .

Summer is awesome. It’s truly great. The late breezy nights and small town flickering lights. The bonfires with friends with the smell of lingering, freshly mowed grass. Cheap snacks, movie marathons, and cussing at retro video games. Late night creep cruising and giggles on hot pavement at midnight. Chats about nothing and not giving much thought about what’s going on around us. Staying out way past curfew and 3 am phone calls from parents on our where-abouts.

That’s what it was like in highschool anyway.

It’s different now and I’m not sure if it’s as awesome. Or great.

The friends I did have, I either have no longer or we rarely on occasion get together. But it’s definitely not the same and it kinda, sorta sucks. Where has it gone? Perhaps it’s because we have all turned our separate ways, found new people, and gone to different big box cities – places we thought were cement playgrounds waiting to be climbed on. But it’s big and it’s box-y and most of us got lost in it, so caught up in the places and paces, we all just forgot about each other. Or perhaps it’s because we each found “our group of people” and would rather forget about the old memories – both bad and good. Or maybe we just lost track of time and space and people and got jobs and … and…

Or.

Became adults. Grew up, grew out, grown old of the childhood-teenage escapades.

Now I have became one of everybody else. Who gets up, goes to work, comes home, turns on the TV, and maybe, doubtfully exercise, shower, and goes to bed just so I have enough energy to repeat everything the next day.

I want to take the path less taken – not cool Robert Frost; you never said how hard it’d be.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Dashes on God's Watch

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. A lot is an understatement actually. I’ve been over thinking…

about the testaments of Jesus Christ – old and new. I’ve been getting caught up in scripture, and constantly wondering and questioning and texting my friends who know their stuff. The thought of God is imprinted on my brain, branded with His being. I’ve been thinking about my own life and how I sometimes find myself self-loathing in questions in who I am and what I need to do and how I don’t believe I have a purpose and thoughts, and thoughts, and more. But tonight I think something finally clicked.



There is a time for everything. There was a time when Adam & Eve got to walk in the Garden with the Lord. There was a time when they broke that relationship with God. There was a time of Jesus’ birth. There was a time for His sacrifice to re-build that relationship. There is a time for you. And there is a time for me.
God’s timing is perfect.

I believe that after Jesus died on the cross – this is the “test era”. God is constantly testing our faith with Him, preparing us for our place in Heaven. Asking for forgiveness, as every Christian knows, is crucial. But oh hard it is to get through life challenges – God’s true tests.

Psalms 139:13 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb”. This is a huge statement. God knew us before we came into this world. He planned for us to happen and timed us perfectly.

If what I think is correct – this is the “test era” – the awaiting trials of the return of Jesus, then God knowing this, knew we could handle this time.

This. Is. Huge.

God knew our time because our time was His timing.

No more self-loathing, no more judging or hate, none of this “I can’t”. Get up. You can get through this. You are created to get through this so stop acting like you weren’t J Let’s ace this test.

Will you fight for God as hard as He is fighting for you?

THOUGHTETHS? Shoot me a comment.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I'm a Ghetto Girl at Grab Bag

There’s little convenience store on the corner of Vic & Park. It’s a pretty sketchy lookin’ place that I never planned on ever buying anything from ever since I seen it. It’s got bars on the windows, and from the outside looking in, it looks like a prison cell that shouldn’t be opened. I see a lot of old men with rotting teeth and bushy beards that ride bicycles with baskets on the front walk in and out throughout the day (or at least whenever I drive by en route home). I always drove by with huge eyes, trying to pretend I never noticed the people smoking cigarettes outside the store staring at me. I was sure they were sass talking me – or plotting my death – because it seemed like a logical explanation.

I wished I wasn’t so stereotypical.

One night, some months back now, I was baking and I had noticed my milk was expired – at a crucial stage at whatever I was baking (because all real bakers know that there is such a stage). I was trying to think of a place closer than Wal Mart or Superstore, which was going to take too much time not only driving there, but also waiting in line and driving back. Such a crisis, right?

Anyway. That’s when I thought of that red little convenience store. Despite every instinct I had to avoid the ghetto looking place at all costs, I went there anyway. It’s a quick drive – not even five minutes and I thought I’d treat it like a mission: go in, avoid eye contact, get milk, pay $400 (because everybody knows that convenience stores charge ridiculously) and leave. Easy.



What I didn’t expect to was to be welcomed there. The workers had talked to me as if I was their long lost relative visiting for the first time – only it was in ghetto style. It was both surprising and awesome. And they’ll compliment you in every way possible (and sincerely too). I’ve been reminded time and time again it’s a safe place to be and if I ever had an issue, just let em know and it will be dealt with immediately.
I now make an effort to do the majority of my shopping there – groceries and all. I usually have a pretty good conversation with Krazy too (it’s her name – it’s short for Krazy Kim… just so you know. She’ll give you good deals too. She’s awesome.)

The best part of it all?
Milk isn’t $400.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Of All Political Things

There’s a huge part of me that wants to write about all the political things. I may have strong opinions and biased views but at least when it comes down to the vote, I won’t have much to complain about. I think there’s a whole section in my brain dedicated to the passion I have for standing up for what I believe is right (whether it is or not, is not up to me). I want to blab all about my position on the political scale & why I firmly plant my feet there and welcome others to join with me. But that’s not the right way of doing things unfortunately [it’d make things so much easier if everyone would just think like I do ;)]. So, rather than wrangling up people to join me and shoving beliefs down people’s throats (ahem, Justin Trudeau), I can either convince them through words, or I can try to convince them by living out my life with what I believe. I’m going to try to do both.



DISCLAIMER: If you’re offended by my views; there’s this button at the top of your browser that looks like an X. Yeah if you click that then you won’t have to hate me. Because frankly, I won’t be apologizing. :) YAY

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I have seen numerous posts on facebook, twitter, etc and posters around the city that bash privatization, praise unions, and condemn a free-market society. I’ll touch base on each one of those but right now I want to clear something up real quick.

For those rolling their eyes at this post and stating, “well of course she’s pro-privatization, she’s in business” you are only stating half the truth. Each and every single one of us; whether you’re a full time mom, CEO of a corporate company, or even a student – we are all “business people”. ANY ONE PERSON (excluding monsters and aliens) who uses transactions for buying or selling goods is participating in business. The only difference between your socialist ways and ‘my’ way is that I like to have full choice on my benefits and you like to have other people to decide what is and isn’t good for you.

--

Let’s talk about healthcare. It is evident that there is some serious issues with the Canadian healthcare system. It is everywhere, and I never fail to hear, “I wish the government would do something about this”. My response is this: (1) The government cannot help this situation. They actually have LESS control than what you and me have. After all, we, the people, CHOOSE to vote what goes in and what comes out.  (2) The Harper government HAS been trying to do something about this since the day they’ve been elected. However, unfortunately, due to the socialist brainwashing damage that’s already been done, the passing of “privatization of healthcare” has yet to go through.

So now you’re probably saying, “there’s nothing good about the privatization of healthcare”. Well, hold that thought, and read what I have to say about this, using myself as an example.

I am just an average, low income student. I use the current Canadian healthcare system to my advantage. Instead of my prescription being $97.50, it is only about $11.70. This is great to me! It is not ‘free healthcare’ technically speaking, because I pay for this through my income tax. But, it’s worth it because what I pay in income tax usually balances out how often I need a prescription or need to see the doctor. However, say I needed a tumour removed – it is likely that I wouldn’t be able to have the surgery for up to 2 years or more! Why? Due to the overcrowding of hospitals, limitless waitlists, and understaffing. This is truly a consequence of a public healthcare system.



The solution? There needs to be a balance of both public and private healthcare. It’s a complicated setup but a simple resolution.

Getting back to my example about if I had a tumour. With the current system, I could essentially die waiting for the removal of it. Which unfortunately, happens to many. However, for a giant fistful of cash, I can take a flight to the United States, get my surgery done right then and there, and be on the road to recovery immediately.

So. Being as poor as I am, I do not have that fistful of cash I need. This brings privatization into the equation. Now you may be asking, “privatization has a lot more cost to it than public healthcare!” and you would be right. However, if I was rich, I would not care of the cost if it meant the survival of my life! That, you cannot argue. The conclusion? Having both healthcare systems in place will save lives. Having the people who are able to afford their health can do so immediately, which no longer upholds the waitlists of poor people like myself. Therefore, it is more efficient, it’s fair, and it’s socially just.

So why is this not happening? Because the people of this society have been taught the socialist idea that privatization is an evil word.


 Being another name on a waitlist is what is truly evil.

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A fairly recent topic that’s been labelled a “crisis” across the news is the fact that Canada Post will no longer be doing Door-to-Door delivery. First of all, please allow me to get out of my system right now how ridiculous I find the people who outcry about this. Dear ridiculous people, you do not have a real issue. Your argument of your “rights” are being “taken away” is just a sad case.

Delivery to your house is a privilege. It is not a right, folks. Do these people know that rural routes such as small communities, towns, and shockingly even some cities do not have house delivery? Do the same people know that it’s costing the government thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars to have this service?
I believe that main argument the people make is, “what about grandma? She will no longer have independence since it is a difficult task for her to pick up her mail elsewhere”. Why is this argument invalid?
Because, frankly and unfortunately, if grandma is unable to go to the end of the block on her own to pick up her mail (yes, block! Canada Post has mail boxes on EVERY block), then perhaps grandma lost her independence a long time ago.

I do not mean to say that lightly, but it’s the truth. And unfortunately, it’s the cold hard truth that many people need to face as it is a reality – a fact of life. And it’s going to happen all of us.



Door to door delivery does not make economic sense anymore. Perhaps at one time when it didn’t put the government in the hole and when the population was much smaller in number than it is today, then perhaps yes, it was an a great service – a grateful privilege for those who received it in cities – but times have changed, and so has business.

--

I have much more to say on unions, minimum wage, and other wonderful things that I want to make a point on, but for another day :)

In the meantime, talk to me. Leave me comments, text me up, message me on facebook. Feed me your input and ideas.
Let’s talk politics.

Friday, 9 May 2014

20 second red lights & changing my life

20 seconds. That’s how long it will take you to wait at a red light at the intersection of Park & Dewdney at 9:25 pm on a Friday night. I’m sitting on the deck off of my backdoor right now facing a dark alley listening to Z99’s top hit list and the sound of rubber on pavement travelling at 100 km/hr on ring road. Since I live upstairs of a duplex, I feel safe sitting out here at night. The night crawlers of the evening cannot eat me when I’m a story high in the air. Haha J




It’s a rather quiet night in my neighbourhood. Besides the minuscule traffic noise, it reminds me of taking walks in my small town either by myself or a pack of friends late on summer nights. It makes me miss it. But reminiscing does that to person. I am thankful I am in Regina now. I’ve met some great people while living here and I think despite the freedoms of small town living; I can get over myself, and accept the timed green, yellow, red. I’m already in love the clink clank of the train passing through every five or so minutes at night; the horn blaring, playing as my lullaby. I find it now that without the noise pollution that the trains creates, it’s incredibly hard for me to fall asleep. Call me crazy, but I’m just an honest person.

I’m not sure how much longer I can last out here. It’s getting a little chilly – even with two shirts and a sweater on. But I refused to stay in my dark, stuffy room when I know I have a porch light outside and that air is fresher. City fresh that is. But that’s as good as it gets and I’m okay with it.

If you were to ask me at the beginning of the week if I was looking forward to staying in Regina over the summer, I’d shrug my shoulders at you and give you a “I don’t know, don’t ask me questions that I don’t know the answers to” look. But if you were to ask me the same question tonight, I’d smile at you. I have a good feeling about it. God has put some great people in my life and I know that I can benefit from it.

Mmm… someone’s doing laundry. Saying “mmm” is a weird thing to write but something about taking in the sweet smell of Tide and Bounce is refreshing to me. Someone has some serious motivation to get their laundry done on a Friday night. But what do I know about motivation; I’m sitting on my deck freezing my toes off while I write on a virtual piece of paper because I’m too lazy to do much else. Ooohh, an alley vehicle creeper. Some movement down yonder!
Nevermind. It’s just my neighbor that I’ve never met that pulled into their gravel driveway.

I can’t remember nor do I feel like checking (another reflection of my self motivation) if I mentioned that I joined a Young Adults group. I joined back in February or so and I only have one regret about this – that I didn’t join sooner. I would go as far as saying that it’s changing my life. There’s some great people in that group and I’ve never felt so much encouragement in my life. I find though, that sometimes when I think about it too much (which is often – too often), or look into the bible study deeper than need be, I begin to doubt more and start to convince myself indirectly that it’s just another distraction in my life. It’s a struggle. But I’ve just learned recently that I have support I need. I guess that’s what makes it good for me.

There must be a flashing bright billboard or a streetlight that’s shorting out 45 degrees from where I am. Every once in awhile I think I’m showing signs of a seizure or seeing the blinding gates of heaven out of the corner of my eye. It’s an annoyance! A quirk of the neighbourhood I’m in. I should be thankful. At least I’m not a short kilometers north in the redlight district of Regina. Sketchy stuff.

On second thought, I don’t think that’s Tide detergent. Maybe Gain, or another brand I don’t use.

Time to go in to see if the suffocating air has exited my room. Maybe I’ll even turn my light on.

Goodnight Regina! I hear my train coming.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Backspacing before Typing

Typing and backspacing, backspacing and typing some more. I will be amazed if I’m able to write this post. It’s like digging up a vault that’s been locked up for so long that I’d really hate to see it be opened again – too afraid to see all the dark stuff again and again, and sifted over and shuffled back and forth until essentially it becomes little black dust particles that will be trapped inside of me forever. Gasping for air now…

 Because as much as I want to say it’s best to keep it locked in the safe because there’s no value to it now, I can’t. I’d just be lying to myself. There’s got to be a little bit of value in the skeleton I have sitting in my closet. Perhaps it’ll bring others forward and get the help they need or to persuade others to do what is right. Or maybe to even donate to Clara’s Big Ride – my cause - for the Swift Current Branch [CMHA]. I don’t know, but whatever this post makes you feel (maybe it doesn’t even effect you, I don’t know?) I’m hoping it’ll help break the stigma that’s set around mental illness. It’s something that needs to be brought up in conversations more. Something that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Right now.

So here’s “my” story that only very few know about. (The hardest part for me to write). Warning: might come across as a pathetic pity party. Look past that. Also, I’m sorry if this bores you so much that you’d rather glue your eyes shut. Try it and let me know how it goes… haha just kidding. Don’t put glue on your eyelids. Anyway (cough procrastinating cough cough).



In 2009, in grade 9, something triggered for me. I have a bunch of plausible explanations but the truth is, I can’t just pick one and say “AH HA! That’s what caused it”, when really - I simply don’t know. I was so messed up, so lost and out of control, I have seriously no idea what made me go into “Dark Haley Mode”. I was incredibly depressed. I was trapped in this dark place where no matter how hard I try to explain it in this post – it’s not going to make sense. Not to me and especially not to you. I had all these wrongful thoughts of bad behavior, stupid ideas, and even suicidal thoughts.  I made A LOT of stupid, poor, and irrational choices. You could ask me to this day – where my brain is actually present in reality – and I still don’t know why I made the choices I made. It was, as if, for an entire year I was drugged up on some sort of weird, irritable, fantasy-like dream where I was totally disconnected from the real world and the people around me. I think a lot of people like to blame puberty for acting like someone completely foreign, alienated, and rebellious. But if there is one thing I know – this was not puberty. This was real. Real depression. Real anxiety. Real bi-polar issues. Real thought. Real dark things. Deep breath.

I had cut myself. My hands and arms mostly. Where did I get this idea from? I don’t know.

I cut because it’s been known to be a coping strategy.
I cut because I was lacking attention
I cut because everything about it felt right

But those three things that I just listed are lies – to both you and me. I didn’t cut my skin because it’s a “coping strategy”. I will be the first to come forward that if anything, it does NOT make you feel better, or as some counsellors say, “you cut because it helps you release things”. Big lie. It releases nothing but more hate, more embarrassment, and more dark choices. I didn’t cut because, as most would assume, “she’s lacking attention”. Huge lie. You can ask anybody that actually asked me about the marks on my hands/arms and they will tell you that I didn’t say “give me attention” in any form whatsoever. I’d ignore them, change the subject, make up some story quickly and move on. What the heck would I do with attention anyway? And most of all, I did NOT cut because it felt “right in the moment”. Biggest. Fattest. Doos-iest. Lie. Ever. It never felt “right”. Not even once.

So why would I do this to myself? You want to know the honest answer?

I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I don’t know why I cut myself and I don’t know as if I ever will. It is truly the dumbest mistake I have ever made in my life. If someone could’ve just slapped me seven years ago to shake me out of it, I wished they would have. With that being said, many people tried to help me. They tried to shake things up inside me but to both our knowledge, it was as good as rolling a dice and claiming whatever it rolled was the answer to all my problems.

“You’re depressed because you had a rough childhood”. Not really.
“You’re depressed because you’re dad missed a lot of your life”. No, that’s not it.
“You’re depressed because you never fit in with anybody at school”. Um, nope. Not exactly.
“You’re depressed because of X, Y, and Z. And probably A, B, and C too.” Uhhh?
“You’re depressed because you don’t know why?” Yeah. That sounds about right.
“But you have anxiety because you get stressed about being perfect”. Oh, what?
“But you have anxiety because you’re full of hate about Event A”. Is that it?
“You have suicidal thoughts because of why Haley?” I don’t know.
“I don’t know if I can help you”. Oh… okay then.
“You are the only one that can help yourself” Oh, I wasn’t sure if that was still the cliché these days.

I talked with a teacher. I talked with many counsellors. I hated it all. Because all those quotations is about what I got every week, every session, every single friggin time. I hated talking about my life. I hated being "That Freak". I still do to this day. So, again, I have no idea why I craved going to these sessions. In the end it wasn’t enough, and I just wanted more and more. Was it attention? No. I honestly don’t believe so. These “cravings” acted like a drug. I’ve threated juvenile things like “running away”. Stupid, petty things, that I can admit, look so immature that no matter what, there won’t ever be a logical explanation for.

 It took a year, probably even more for me to get better. Perhaps if I wasn’t so stubborn, I would have went to a Canadian Mental Health Association Clinic sooner rather than later so things didn’t snowball into one big ball of mess and old memories.

But instead. When I got more of a direction in highschool…When I started figuring things out and becoming slowly happier… I thought it would be best if I locked things up in a vault. Sealed it all up and buried it deep, deep down in my soul. And there it has sat since. Rusting. Eroding. And wearing away to the point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore.  And I will admit, I preferred it that way. Still do in fact!

So now. I’m speaking up. I just have to get that out of my system. Is it for attention? No. I’m sure it’s not. I’m doing this because I’m wanting to give back. Clara Hughes has been a huge inspiration to me – since day 1. What she is doing with “Clara’s Big Ride” is truly making this a cause that is close to my heart.
Because mental illness effects EVERY body just as cancer does. Some even might say that mental illness is a type of cancer. Spreading, infecting, and breaking down the lives of others, even when there’s no explanations of the “whys”. It’s personally effected myself, my family, my friends, neighbours, and even strangers.

I’m doing better now. New places and new beginnings = a new light has been lit on my path of life

Now what?

It’s time to speak up. It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to break the stigma. I’m trying my damndest to not making it over-due this time.

And I’m trying to convince you to do the same.
Are you going to do this with me?

Feel free to comment and/or private message me any questions you might have.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ringing in to BELL

I received two emails from the fundraising organizer website I’ve been using for Clara’s Big Ride on Friday. Both of them held exciting and moving information that had me bursting at the seams. I was driving home at the time when I first read them. I’ve read them at least fifty times since…

 The first was to inform me that a company called Elevator Foundations has made a commitment to match any donation made to Clara’s Big Ride by April 11th, up to $10,000 & they are interested in my “giving group” (my organization: i.e. funds for the Swift Current Canadian Mental Health Association Branch). This is seriously awesome. For those who are unfamiliar what this means, it simply means that whatever dollar you donate, it is essentially being doubled. So if you donate $20, Elevator Foundations is also donating $20 making it $40. How cool, right? $50 = $100, $75=$150 and so on. The hardest part for me though is convincing people that this is something they need to be interested in – concerned with, and persuading them and how much it’s worthwhile to donate to this great cause. This leads me to the second email I received.

It was from Bell. They are interested in my fundraising group. Not just because they are the main leaders of Clara's Big Ride but for a completely totally different reason altogether. They were wondering if they could have my permission to screenshot my page, add a few lines about my group, and were also wanting to learn about my story so they could add all of it to their newsletter and send it out across the country. They want to interview and write things about me and publish all about me. This is both satisfying and discomforting all at the same time as if the symptoms for both those reactions were put in blender and set on crushing mode for an entire half hour.

My first reaction was: COOL! They are interested in ME, they want MY story, they want to promote MY group, for MY community, for MY people. This is totally rad! Unbelievably sweeeeeet!
But as I continued to pass car after car on highway #1, I got thinking; they want to know *my* story… they want to know about *me* and why *I’m* doing this fundraising group. Isn’t that a bit personal? Isn’t this going to be weird and awkward and uncomfortable and shameful and embarrassing and dumb? I barely know my own story, my own self, my own motivations, let alone screaming it in a megaphone to the nation. I don’t want to do that! It’s private! I don’t like it! Booooo, Bell, why you do this!?
But… these were just excuses.

It’s not about ME. It’s NOT just MY story. It’s NOT just for MY group, NOR my community. It’s for my family. For my friends. And no matter how cheesy it sounds, sharing my story, my struggle, is simply for you. Everyone. For us. Because maybe me sharing mine will help others share theirs.
My story isn’t much of a “story”, but I do have one. I do have things I want to say, voice my own struggles, and break my own stigma I have with mental illness. Because it’s real, it exists, and nobody wants to talk about it. Until now.

I’m going to do it. I emailed Bell this morning. It’s happening. Today. Right. Freaking. Now. No more excuses, no more stigma.

Will you help break it with me?

Stay tuned. Because I’m currently filling a blank piece of paper in front of my computer starting with “This is my story”… because it’s about time these words can be buried and be rested in peace for good.

Check out my fundraising group if you haven’t already:
CLICK ME. I'm underlined & lookin' fine :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Floating on the Surface

I would drown myself in the city colors if I could

Soaking in all the fluorescent signs and sky lights

Absorbing all the pixels of graffiti on the sidelines

Blending in with all the different types of dress styles

Becoming starry eyed looking into the bright street lamps

Dazing out on every star as a stamp on my brain

Allowing the moon to shine through the rest of me

Humming along to the bass & beat not that far away

Consuming all of downtown as if it’s my very own bar bay

Losing myself in the middle of a nocturnal crowd

Being me, letting myself relax and feel proud

I’m no longer outcast, I’m not even a stand out

Yet it’s all about me, allowing myself to go down

Deeper and deeper letting it be

Being the absolute happiest

When the city drowns me




Monday, 17 March 2014

Labels & other nonsense

This is the first time in awhile that I cannot asleep. I laid down about three hours ago at 11:00 p.m.. I did feel a bit sleepy doing routine night time check – oven off, furnace working, lights off, porch light on, door locked, teeth brushed, toilet used, glasses off, pillow turned. But three hours until now, I laid there tossing and turning, changing the positions of my body parts to what seems comfortable, but my mind is screaming at me that it’s not time yet. I guess if there’s a night that not being able to sleep is a good one, then this one is it. I don’t have a class until 4 pm and then I have Young Adults at 7 pm so I can sleep in all I want, feeling good about the fact I have no homework or assignments to do. So, up goes the lid on my laptop and up opens Microsoft Word on my screen with the blinking curser awaiting me.

--

I’ve been thinking about labels lately. Labels of people. Kind of like the status of their lives and what their known for. Kinda like Bonnie & Clyde, or the guy who spends his life at the gym, or even the lady next door who keeps quiet with her tens of thousands cats. Some are unjust, others stereotypical, or to me – inspirationally different. I think most kids start to develop labels in their younger years. For me, it was “I want the label rebellion”. And perhaps with the psychology behind things, I started acting like a rebel, being a rebel, and eventually the label was glued to my forehead. Describing myself in my elementary days as a tom-boy-up-to-no-good-monster is a complete understatement. I was not a nice kid and I liked to tattle tale. Yep. I was that girl who would do bad things but would tell on others when they did bad things. If there’s such thing as a mole in a group of children, I was it. Totally it. But I chose to do so, because that’s what I wanted to be known for. I’m surprised I even had friends – the very few I had. With many scraped knees, broken bones, and one badass attitude, it’s amazing how I’m quite different today.

But now. I don’t know what label I am. And that kind of scares me. Because as much as I hate looking back at my elementary/middle school years, at least I could say I knew who I was. I can easily say the labels of people I know – or make up ones if I don’t know or if I’m not sure. But for me? I really can’t identify myself.


I know who I would like to be. I have blog articles I read often posted by other authors, and I give them a label, and I say to myself, “It’d be cool to be them”. I have inspirational people in my head, words on my twitter feed, posters tacked on my walls, and I say to myself, “If only I could be just like them”. Because I’m in love with their label. Not them. Just their label. There’s so many people, so many different labels, that I force myself to read on a daily basis to remind myself that I am not THAT label that I want to be and that I should change – do something different. So people will know that I am that label - that I am of that character, and what they can expect from me.

But who am I to say such nonsense? Nobody even knows who I am. Not even myself! And what kind of label is that.

And I blab. And I write confusing things that nobody understands. And I sit here awake at 2:40 a.m. on a Monday morning wondering why I can’t sleep. And I listen to 8tracks alternative music, reminiscing the label I used to be. And I think about who I could be. And I don’t know what people think of me now. And. And? And.
 I think I’m okay with that.

--

My hands are falling asleep now. And my mind is telling me it's time.
Goodnight.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Jumping Roof top to Roof top for Clara Hughes

So you're going to hear about this alot in the next couple months & I'm sorry for that (not really).
There's been alot of questions on what is it that I'm blabbing/excited/jumping off of roof tops about, so here's a list of common questions I've been getting:

What the heck is this all about?
Watch here:


The cool things about this Ride is that whatever amount of money that is raised in each community STAYS in that community. It's all about breaking the stigma associated with mental illness.

What on earth are you doing?

To get involved, I created a Giving Group online. So what does this mean? It means that I created a group online conjoined to this very cause and whatever money that I am able to raise, I get to chose a charity to donate the total funds to (the whole idea of the fundraising STAYING in the community). I chose the Swift Current Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Why did you choose the Swift Current Branch [CMHA]?

The reasons why I chose this branch is two fold. The whole purpose of Clara's Big Ride is to reach as many people. I chose the Swift Current Branch because it's not only closest to my hometown but it's also the least likely to obtain funds from due to the location. Clara will be running through Saskatchewan but no where near where Swift Current is. She wants to reach huge amounts of populations - not 'mini' cities - and I can understand why! So that's why I care and how you and I can make a difference. We gotta care about the little guys too! Also, I know many people like family, friends, myself, who could very well use the organization in Swift Current. Without it, could you imagine how many people will suffer as a result? People that we KNOW that will suffer?

Where can I get more information on Clara's Big Ride?

Right here! Click Me. I'm Fancy.
You can see the map that she has routed, list of events, etc.

What's the link to your Giving Group? I want to find out more.

Click this link (I made it just for you): Clicking this gives me satisfaction

I want to donate, give me the link so I can complete satisfaction and continue being awesome.

Okay, cool. Here it is: Enough with the creepy link titles. Just click me :)

You're extra awesome now.

Okay, I get the point. I want to donate but I'm in a hurry and your website confuses me.

You're still my favorite.
Click this button and fill out the form as follows:







Friday, 7 March 2014

Russian Roulette & World War III



I find the world disgusting sometimes. I’ve reached the point where I am unable to watch the news anymore. Because local or not, it seems as if the news itself is a depressant. Kind of like the alcohol of alcoholism, the needle to drugs. When is the last time you have heard something positive on the news that wasn’t aired at the last 5 minutes of the casting? It is truly terrible. Someone was murdered, hit and run here, abused there, house fire next door… and the weather forecast? Accurately depressing. Sports? There’s always a loser. And the worst yet? We talk more about the Oscars than about the concerns in Ukraine.

We are at the brink of World War III and we would rather talk about what actress’s outfit looked the best. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s easier to judge than it is to fear.

If you don’t know what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, I don’t blame you. Allow me to revamp your mind:

------------------

Protesting began in Ukraine in November of last year when the Ukrainian government abandoned a previously promised trade and political deal with the European Union in favor of a closer relationship (aka partnership; ties) with the Soviet. Critics agree that the Ukrainian President feels considerable amounts of pressure from Russia. Meanwhile, officials also have criticized Moscow of threatening trade restrictions and holding a $15 billion bailout to the Ukrainian president in order for him to leave the deal alone which was seen as definitely a precursor to a EU membership. So why does Russia care about what the Ukraine does and does not do? Well, it is incredibly rooted in the economics, history and culture. Here’s some basic reasons:

  • Moscow is a natural gas goldmine to the European Union – about a third of the imports of which half flows through Ukrainian pipes
  • Ukraine is a major market for Russian gas
  • Russia sees the Ukraine as a “travel size” of themselves
  • Without Ukraine joining, there cannot be a Eurasian Union
  • Russia sees Ukraine as culturally linked together – both historically and modern
  • Russia sees threat from Ukraine’s revolutions – ex: Georgia’s Rose Revolution, Orange Revolution, Tulip Revolution

------------------

Why does this all matter to us as Canadians? Well, when you have our Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, seeing the situation through a magnifying glass, calling Russia’s invasion of troops into Crimea (region in Ukraine) a lot like the Nazi’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, then we have a serious issue. Here is an excerpt from a CBC news article on Baird’s comparison [http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/john-baird-compares-russia-s-actions-in-ukraine-to-nazi-invasion-of-czechoslovakia-1.2558118]:

Asked by Solomon [CBC newscaster] if he was making a comparison to the Nazis, Baird replied, “When you have one country invading one of its neighbours, and using this type of outrageous and ludicrous rhetoric, it's hard not to." Baird noted that no Russian in Crimea has been killed during the protests in Ukraine.
In 1938, Hitler sent in troops to occupy Sudetenland, a region on Germany's border populated largely by Sudeten Germans. The takeover was one of the precursors of the Second World War.

"

And I don’t think I have to remind anybody of how World War II went down and how that impacted each and every one of us. As Albert Einstein once quoted, “I do not know of which weapons that will used in World War III, but I do know that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”.

We are on the brink of World of War III. Are we leaving it up to our politician’s to decide to act? Do we not have a voice over these concerns? Or is it easier to sit back and talk about how Ellen DeGeneres blew up Twitter on Oscar night? Or should we remind ourselves once more of just how depressing the neighbourhood is that we live in?

Take a moment to look at the bigger picture here.

We live in a disgusting world. Is the media solely to blame? Let me tell you how it is. It’s a lot like a well known game called Russian Roulette. So what role does the media play? They put one bullet in, spins the barrel, and hands the gun over to us. Are you going to watch the news today? If yes, pull the trigger just once. That’s what it’s doing to your mind.

Instead, try speaking up. You don’t need the media to reach into your brain and move around your thoughts like a mixing bowl. You have your own mind, your own concerns, thoughts, and feelings. But you also have morals. You can choose what you want to be depressed about. But you can also choose on how and what you’re going to act on – don’t pull the trigger.


Thoughts? I want to hear them. Comment. Comment. Comment.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Where Your Last Name Matters

Growing up in a small town has been probably the highlight of my life. It’s unexplainable what it means to be part of a family with a plethora of last names. There was so many valuable lessons and lifelong morals that grew with me and it will be deep rooted in the system of my mind, my body, for a very long time. It’s amazing just how much traumatic loss has been blown in our faces and how, even though most of the time we were defeated, we were able to overcome them and be stronger than ever. The benefits are almost limitless to what a person takes with them as they grow up in a community in one such as I did. I am very proud of where I grew up and who I’ve become because of it.



But I won’t be going back – not to stay anyways.

To make it clear, I have nothing against my town or the businesses or the people or the stray cats. Well, maybe the cats but the point is, none of that is going to be the focal point of this post. Let’s draw that line in our minds right now so I’m able to continue writing what I have to say without creating a horrible status for myself for when I see the faces of my small town the next time I come visit. Deal?

Now picture this. The small town where you last name really DOES matter. It matters because that’s the status you’re given since the first day you’re brought into the community. Whether you’re 2 weeks old and part of a family ancestry in the town, or you’re part of a family that just moved there. You are being judged by your past, your family’s past, and every single decision you decide to make. And if nobody knows your past, they will make one up for you. Guaranteed.

You’re friends are already set up for you. Families can’t be friends with this family because X occurred 30 years ago or be seen hanging out with that family because they practice Y belief and that’s a bit weird. It’s not something we can blame on our parents for doing because it’s what their parents did, and so on, and even what the neighbours still do. It almost can be seen as a tradition – a “Family Act” handed to you at birth.

Highschool is an experience that you will hate more than what you will love. Sports teams are almost like a cult - one that’s hard to fit in with and yet hard to leave. Perhaps not for everybody. Perhaps for some is helps save them for going crazy on the pin-dropping ka-boom nights. But if you aren’t part of one you are almost seen as part of nothing. And everybody knows your grades despite the fake confidentiality rule that nobody will know or ever find out. And even though they will tell you it’s a non-judging, non-competitive thing, it’s a lie. Comparing grades with your status is pretty well like a black market. It exists and everybody knows it and everybody takes part in it more times than not at all. And if you’re the type that makes it clear that you do not care what kind of grade you get and what that means to your status of an individual, you know that other people will care for you – despite if they are you arch enemy or best friend.

Gossip is bigger than celebrity smut that gets blown up on CTV for fifteen minutes after the local news has been casted. He slept with who? She left him because? Who’s a money grabbin’ man eater? Which family just applied for welfare? She was married before? They just divorced!? Who just bought a new house with their parents’ money?

And we make assumptions. And hatred for one another. “He’s broke because he smokes too much.” “She doesn’t volunteer for anything because she doesn’t like living here.” “She got pregnant because of how her parents raised her.” And these things circle and they murmur and they leak through the walls of all of our houses, whispering one hundred million things because there hasn’t been anything new in town in what seems like when the train rails was first laid. And it lives with us until we leave, or die, and even longer after.
Small towns are also full of heartache. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much money you fundraise, it’s impossible to run away from losses. Recreation facility losses, business loss, and relationships too. It’s so easy to lose hope when despite every atom of energy you put in the belief that you’re school will NOT be closed because we are going to fight for it in every way possible to keep it open – you’ll be defeated. Despite conferences, interviews, and media, the district will be forced to reduce it’s health center’s hours to less and less to the point where it becomes risky for our seniors to live here. Each closure is seen as a loss. Next, it will be the bank. And then even the post office. And yet, our voices are muted. Our concerns, thoughts, and feelings do not matter because, in their minds, words on paper has explained our losses enough in the sympathetic letters that begin with “your concerns are being addressed but at this time we are forced to make some hard choices”… -- and if you’re still friends with the people you spent your whole life imagining you would spend your life with, then you should buy a lottery ticket. Because if you haven’t changed – they did. And you haven’t heard from them since you don’t even know when.
Everybody knows your income, you’re familiy’s medical history, and what kind of brand of milk you buy. Perhaps some even know how many hours you dedicated to volunteering at community events or how many pies you donated and judge you simply by crunching the numbers. Because it truly does matter to keep the community going. But shouldn’t privacy and consensus exist as well?

Perhaps people judge, gossip, and keep track because they get tired of dealing with all the dirty work. It’s being constantly thrown in our faces by both internal and external factors on questions like “is the pool even going to be open this year?” “young people these days never want to do anything”. So there’s always a sense of obligation and pressure and stress dangling in the back of our minds that it’s just easier to talk about then keep hidden behind a curtain.

Am I innocent in all this? Absolutely not.

But I think I’ve known quite some time now that I don't want my last name to matter anymore.




Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I've Always Had a Fear of Trains

I hear them clink, clink, clink on the age old tracks
Almost every minute of every hour of every night
It’s a sound that used to be foreign to me
And don’t even get me started on the screeching
And the hooking of the cars, bang, bang
It took a week to realize it’s impossible to drown out
But eventually, just like the rest of the block -
And every ghetto neighbourhood in every city -
In every movie that anyone has seen where pain -
Is like the train, blowing the horn in our faces -
especially at night, when everything else seems
To be silent – hears it as a lullaby

Somewhere inbetween, a day that is dateless,
It has become the sound that is necessary,
To be able to sleep and to be able to dream
And yet, it doesn’t call or know my name
It just is always there, the never ending
Vision of blinking red, dull lights
Only to wake up every morning wondering
Where is the train? Knowing well enough,
Until the next night.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rock Bottom & Back Again

"This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is" - Dennis Rodman


 J.K. Rowling


How much truth is Rodman’s quote cannot be measured, but dependence on one’s risks. Or perhaps no risks at all, but a forced-on experience brought on by others – or no one at all. What am I getting at? Life is deep, dark, unknown, and hard. Everyone’s experience is unique and no one knows why we  are “swimming” in this “pool of life”. ‘The Neighbourhood’ sings, “They teach me how to swim, then they throw me in the deep-end.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I was about five or six, I almost drowned to my death. [If I only known that 9 years down the road I would become a lifeguard!] I remember it clearly. I think most people who have near-death situations don’t ever forget the feeling. I could write detail after detail what I did and what I saw and what I heard, but I don’t think there’s ever words that could ever make you feel what I felt. Just like other people could never replicate their experience to me. It’s un-understandable. But I’ll try.

No one pushed me. No one told me to do what I did. I jumped myself.

In the deep waters, as if I understood how to swim despite my age, past experience(s), or knowledge. And I plummeted to the bottom. I remember the moment I felt the bottom on my little feet. It truly scared me just how deep down I was. The pressures from the water overwhelmed my senses and all the emotions that had build up while I was on my way down had completely disappeared. Gone. I felt nothing but yet, chaos was happening around me. I wouldn’t know until later, but the whole time this was happening my mother, especially, was screaming my name claiming I was dead – or about to be. I would try to jump up from the bottom to only reach the surface for points of a second, not enough time to expand a new set of lungs. I was not ready for the consequences. After repeating this for God only knows, I gave up. I became weak, my sense had gone to illusions and I seen nothing but deep, dark, blue water. And I was okay with it. I could no longer breath as I could feel water enter my body, taking over my actions. It felt completely natural so I just let it happen; too weak to fight back. I remember it clearly.

It was at that exact moment, I had felt something. It seemed like decades before I had any kind of senses so this actually felt painful. Someone was helping me, grabbing my shoulder pulling me up to the surface. I was so tired, so exhausted, I didn’t want to deal with any more pain so I resisted the tug of assistance. I also remember thinking that I didn’t want to face anyone – even at seven, I knew humiliation was awaiting me. I almost drowned. And I have the lifeguard to thank for saving me, even if I didn’t want it at the time. But I survived.
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I guess, in a round about way, I have seen life like pool you’ve never been in before. An ocean. Where the depths are unknown. When ‘The Neighbourhood’ sings “they teach you how to swim, then they throw you in the deepend,” I interpret this as in our youth and ever as we grow older, we always are learning. We are constantly adapting to change, learning more about ourselves and our choices. In turn, these things also influence our actions and, essentially, our skill level. “Then they throw you in the deep-end,” is about the risks we always have to take in life. There’s always new opportunities, new exploration - whether people choose them or not, in life. This is scary. Jumping in water, plummeting to the bottom not knowing where the end is, is a huuuuge risk we are forced to take. Some of us don’t make it to the surface. We get lost and forget all aspects of survival. We think we have things in control – but the truth is, water is uncontrollable. Life is uncontrollable. Things happen. Emotions take over. Any factor can alter our actions, our course, our ideology. We often lose hope along the way, and like me, believe in the lie that being at the bottom is natural and that is my place to stay – the belief that I belonged there. I deserved it. I earned it. I was the one who jumped, remembered? No one pushed me. I did this all myself.

I am thankful that someone saved me though. Being at the bottom sucks, and even though it feels comfortable after awhile, you are screaming for help somewhere on the inside. You don’t want help from others (I resisted assistance) but at the same time, this is not your time to go to the bottom yet. People are yelling at you from the surface – because they care, they need you, and because you matter. Whether you believe it or not, you mean something in this thing called “life” and there’s a reason you’re here on earth. Because it’s a learning curve, it’s an enormous struggle to have, but in the end it makes us stronger. Swimming. Makes. Us. Stronger. Don’t be a sinker anymore. Sinking involves lying to yourself, to others, and it hurts. It hurts immensely. 
‘Lifeguards’ can not always be there for you, they may not see the signs of your struggles, or they could be simply too exhausted to try to help another soul find strength in life.

Perhaps it was a coincidence that I felt a notion that I should get my lifeguard courses when I turned fourteen/fifteen. I was ready to learn how to swim in the water of life – ready to take on challenges and the risks that come from jumping in unknown depths of waters. I was getting tired of being at the bottom. Even at a young age. People may laugh, or judge, but I can truly say I can tell you all about being at the bottom. I felt everything about it. And I don’t want to go back. I'm no longer going to let the water get the best of me; I'm going to get the best of the water.

So. All you struggling out there….

Just keep on swimming. Float as long as you can. You’re worth it. Take risks, accept change, and don't be afraid of help along the way. You're worth it.

If you like this post, please feel free to share this blog and/or leave a comment! Thanks for continuing to read. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Catch a Glimpse of the Embarrassments


The title of this blog probably will end up being the title of my first novel. Involuntarily, that is. But I decided perhaps it was time to share some of the funny (not-so-funny) moments that have happened in my life. Of course, this can’t even be considered a summary. My whole life has revolved around humiliation, embarrassment, and degradation. But I’ve accepted that a long time ago, thus here I’m sharing some of these memories with you.

Phase I:


Here you see a picture of me doing a handstand. Well, an attempt at one anyway. I think my max time this has ever lasted was about 0.316329 seconds This happened to me every year when “gymnastics unit” was due for phys ed. My phys ed teacher had no mercy whatsoever for people who were not willing to participate in this VERY humiliating two weeks out of the school year, self-tortuous activity. Unfortunately, for lack of my benefit, the majority of my phys ed class celebrated at the fact that it was GYMNASTIC WEEK. I never understood this and always asked myself what the hell was wrong with them!? But then I remembered these people were not overweight, nor disproportionate, and had the natural gift of balance and elegance. I, on the other hand, did not. So, I suffered humiliation just so I didn’t get screamed at on how useless I was when it came to physical activity.

So this is what always concluded for me. Every gymnastics week. Every year.



Until I had enough of it and dropped the subject in grade twelve. POINT ONE FOR HALEY!!

Phase II:
My sister and I always spent our summer days down at the pool when we were younger. Rain or shine, I don’t think there were too many days when we decided not to go for our daily swim. When I was about seven years old or so though, my sister and her friend invited me to tag along (most likely I invited myself, but nevertheless). After our fantastic swim, my sister and I got into a bit of a brawl. I don’t even remember what exactly it was about (probably something stupid as per usual) and she refused to wait for me. Her and her friend quickly got onto their bikes and sped off as quickly as they could, giggling away, knowing fair well I wouldn’t be able to catch up since I hadn’t even completely put my sandals on. However, I thought I could catch up. So as I was screaming at them “wait up!!! WAIT UP!!! HARMONYYY!!!! WAIT” I quickly threw my towel and bag over my shoulder and hopped on my bike and started pedaling down main street. “Haley, you’re fine!” my sister said bitterly at me, not showing any signs of slowing down. So, at an attempt to make her feel as awful as I was feeling, I started bawling my eyes out. “Please!! Wait” and so the biggest mistake I would ever make riding my bike was about to happen. I decided to stand up to pedal (because as a kid you have this idea in your head that if you stand up, you’re able to pedal faster…. Oh and it definitely looks cool ;) ). I got up to great speeds actually!

Now think about this for a minute. I just had got out of the pool. So my feet are wet, my body is wet, everything wet. This makes it slippery to pedal. So sure enough, my feet slipped. As I tried to place them back on the pedals, it served as absolutely failure and I’m pretty sure at this point, my life flashed before my eyes. My butt… also… slipped. Behind. On the wheels. Cheeks between the wheel. Yes. At top speeds.


I couldn’t walk for a week. & my sister got a slap on the wrist. Thanks mom.

Phase III:
I’ve always found it difficult to make new friends. So, this past semester whenever someone ever introduced themselves, I got a little excited. You know, as a girl with very little friends, this was a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. I WAS ACTUAL GOING TO MAKE A FRIEND. PINCH. ME.

I’m also very socially awkward, so I’m not exactly sure what to do when someone says, “Hi, my name is________”. Here’s what some of the conversations sounded like:

*In Math 103 class*
Friend: “Hey, my name is Alyssa.”
Me: “oh Hi. I’m Haley.”
*silence*
Me: “are you in math 103?”
Friend:
Me: *picks up stuff, finds GPS, nearest cliff please*
*At Orientation*
Friend: “Hey, what faculty are you in?”
Me: “Southwest Sask. Do you know where Swift Current is?”

Alright. So those may have been a tad exaggerated. Or made up. One of the two. I’ll let you choose. 
But I’m still socially awkward and I’m pretty sure stuff like this happens to me all the time.

Here’s me going in for the “meet me handshake”.



Phase IV:
When I first got my drivers’ licence, I think I was like most 16 year olds. We have this belief that we are each our own world class driver. Of course, I’m stupid, and when stupid is confident… well, everyone knows that bad things are going happen.

Not to mention, at the time I drove a ’93 Chevrolet Lumina. If you are looking to buy an indestructible, monster truck sounding, low riding vehicle, then do my parents have a car for you! Picture, a cement boat on wheels. That doesn’t ever dent, scratch, or damage in anyway. I mean, the antifreeze hose only blew up once and my sister thought she killed one of our piano teacher’s cats (true story) because “OH MY GOD, BLOOD IS EVERYWHERE”. Hence, the antifreeze was red. But that is a different story.
Anyway, I have many embarrassing stories to tell of Louie the Lumina but only two really stick out in my mind.

One time I was heading back late at night from our neighboring town where I went to highschool from a basketball practice. It was pitch dark outside and I had horrible judgement. There was also construction going on at the time, but of course, the construction workers were not working thus I remain driving 20 km over the speed limit. [idiot]. On the right side of the road, there were pilones - and not just any pylons… these were the big bad boys that are about two and a half feet tall and a foot and a half wide. Anyway, an oncoming vehicle was approaching and believing that I had enough room between the pylons and the oncoming vehicle, I crept closer to the pylons to allow for the safe passing of the oncoming vehicle. I misjudged.

I smoked about five or six pylons before my mind kicked in to slow down [idiot move again]. I must have hit them pretty hard because I remember seeing sparks. I pulled over the side of the road thinking I must have busted the headlight or at least dented the bumper pretty good.
Nope. Not a single scratch.

The second story I have of Louie is the time that I decided to park in a “handi-capped” zone with the belief that I knew of no one in town to own a handi-capped sticker for their vehicle anyway. [selfish idiot]. I was also in a hurry and wanted to appear “cool” in front of my friends. So instead, of slowing parking, taking keys out and getting out of the vehicle like a normal person, I decided that I was going to park in record time. I floored the gas, turn the wheels 90 degrees and BAM!! Hit that damn sign. And not a single scratch or dent to prove it. Gotta love the Lumina.



Phase V:


When I was about ten years old, I broke my wrist. I believe it was at the end of June so half of my summer was ruined with a giant ass cast on my arm (I swear the cast was meant to be put on someone that was six hundred pounds). As desperate as I was, I wasn’t about to let it get me down. If my friends were going to enjoy that pool, frick sakes, I was going to too. I would spend about twenty minutes wrapping my arm in garbage bags and would get my mom to duct tape all around it. I wish she would have put a stop to it.
Now I have pictures. Pictures of me, holding up my hideous, bagged and taped arm, holding it high in the air not wanting it to get wet while I was chest deep in water. I did that for the whole summer.


Oh God, why.

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