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.

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.”
Me: “are you in math 103?”
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.

What's some of your most embarrassing moments? Don't forget to comment, share, and submit your vote on the poll (above Blog Archives on the left). You only have a few days left to vote!

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

All about boo, I wanna hear from YOU.

It’s almost midnight and I’m sitting at my corner desk listening to music while shoving spoonful of beans into my mouth inbetween typing sentences. Yes, brown beans. They taste extra-ly delicious tonight for some reason. The words “made with pure Quebec maple syrup” caught my eye earlier while I was shopping at wal mart and I’ve been craving fresh out of the can, cold, brown beans drowned in maple syrup ever since. These beans are wonderfully awesome, and this new craving should be added to my previous list [Please read post: “25 things that make me weird” under Blog Archives].
Enough about the beans. We’ve bean there before.

Haha eh? *nudge nudge*

Alright, enough with the tooty jokes.
I guess my point is that, I’ve been sitting here, staring at this screen quite sometime now wondering what in the world I could write. It’s not a matter of running out of ideas, but more less trying to figure out what it is that I want to write. My mind is full of ideas and thoughts that you could probably compare it to a rocket about to go into liftoff within three seconds but there happens to be a four second delay in the countdown. See where I’m coming from?

Then it hit me.

Let’s talk about you. Maybe not you… YES OF COURSE I MEAN YOU. I challenge YOU. Yes, you, reading this. I don’t care who you are or if you think that putting your name as the author in the comment box will make me think you’re weird/creeper for reading my blog (I definitely do not) to take the ultimate questionnaire below. Heck, ever since I spilled the beans earlier, I’m surprised you’re still reading this ;)
In other words, if you have read this blog post, or have clicked on the link leading to this blog, you must fill out the questionnaire below in the comment box. I DON’T CARE IF I ONLY MET YOU ONCE OR NEVER TALK TO YOU. JUST DO IT!! BE COOL LIKE ME ;)

Here’s the not-so-challenging Challenge:
Rules: You must answer every question. You may post as anonymous but you must tell me that you did so in private (email, facebook message, text, whatever) otherwise it will be deleted. You also must answer the questions as honestly as you are able to. YOU MUST PARTICIPATE IN THE QUESTIONAIRE IF YOU’VE READ THIS POST. It’ll be fun for all of us :) 

1.       What do you think you were doing ten years ago? (unless you have a super awesome memory).
2.       What was your first job? What persuaded you to apply for this job?
3.       What has been the toughest life choice for you?
4.       Fondest childhood memory in four to five sentences?
5.       How did you and I first meet?
6.       What was your first impression of me?
7.       What do you think/hope your first impression on other people is?
8.       What is your view on religion/what is it?
   9.       What was your first pet like? (name, breed, personality)
10. Who was your childhood hero/someone you looked up to?
*Write a question you have for me*

YAY FOR QUESTIONNAIRES. Please leave your comment and your answers to your questionnaire below. And don’t forget to click on the ad(s) below!
Here's the catch: if I get ten people to comment with answers to the questionaire, I will post every question you have for me including those, and those after, each comment. Deal? Deal!

Share this blog if you enjoy it or leave me a comment with suggestive improvements and constructive criticism. Thanks for not giving up on me. Sometimes I can be such a bean!
P.S. Don't forget to fill out the poll above on the left about what my next post should be about. Also, I have no idea why #9 seems so tiny.... poor number nine...
Oh! And don't forget to click on those ads on my page!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Twenty five things that make me Weird

25 things that make me weird. Yes, these are embarrassing but maybe some of you will admit to doing the same. If not, I’ll settle with spending the next few years in psych ward :)

1. I have dance parties by myself in the car. Hard. Core. And I sing too. Yet, I decline pretty well every dance request at formal celebrations (weddings, etc). I’m a great singer by the way.

2. I don’t claim myself as superstitious however it seems like whenever I look at the clock it always reads 9:11 …. Then I feel like I have to stare at it until it turns to 9:12.

3. I’m unable to use change when going through a drive thru. I will have the exact amount of coins needed for my purchase sitting in my cup holder, screaming at me to use them. But for some reason I end up panicking and end up breaking a hundred dollar bill for a 99 cent purchase.

4. When eating chips in front of others I always go for the smallest one in the bowl and slowly chomp on it. Sometimes it could take twenty minutes before I go for a second one. When I’m by myself, I try to fit 15 in my mouth at once and eat with my mouth open letting the crumbs go flying. I’m a disgusting human.

5. I’m one of those awful people who, when in wal mart, makes a spontaneous decision that I should buy bananas. Then later while in the toilet paper aisle I decide that I don’t want them and instead of putting them back, I shove them alongside the toilet paper and cleaning supplies as if no one will notice.

6. If I’m unable to understand someone with a strong accent, for some reason I always nod my head and agree. One time I ended up buying a supersized smartie sundae and a large rootbeer when all I wanted was a small cone. And I can’t even have rootbeer.

7. I starch and iron my pajama pants when they come out of the dryer. That’s all I have to say about that.

8. I move my lips instead of the stick when putting on chapstick. I should not be allowed to do that in public.

9. I always manage to make eye contact with someone while eating a banana. It’s weird for both of us.

10. My friend and I snorted pepper once. It was awful. I remember sneezing for about an hour straight.

11. I have a geographical tongue. So when I’m sick, eat strawberries, pineapple, or kiss someone my tongue always swells up like a balloon. So embarrassing hahaha.

12. If I’m driving downtown and there’s a perfect spot available to park where I want to go but no where else and it requires parallel parking, I am willing park 12 blocks away before I would attempt to do the parallel parking. I once parked at the SGI compound lot downtown and walked the rest of the way to Scarth Street.

13. I hate running on a treadmill beside some else running on a treadmill. I feel like I’m racing them so I end up turning up the speed, making frequent awkward eye contact, and end up nearly passing out within the first five minutes.

14. If the dishwasher is full and I’m unable to fit the one dish left in the sink, I will run the dishwasher, empty it and run it again just so I don’t have to wash that one dish. Maybe that’s not weird… maybe that’s just being lazy.

15. I have about 30 gift cards in my wallet. Haven’t used any for about two years. But I have good intentions.

16. In my hometown, if I’m home alone and have to go down to the basement. I always sprint up the stairs within 0.123221934 seconds of shutting off the lights. Even at 19 years old….

17. Instead of shoveling the driveway in the winter, I start the car and pin the gas going forward and reverse for about fifty times, or until the snow has become sufficiently flat to drive on in case another snow storm comes along. Again, maybe I’m just outrageously lazy.

18. If I’m driving with someone else and great song comes on that we both know, I always feel like I have to impress them by singing out loud to prove I know ALL the words. Even if I don’t know them. Then I just make up my own words and sing loud enough so they don’t realize that the words I’m singing aren’t actually the real lyrics.

19. When I first get into the shower, the first thing I do is soap myself up. But by the end of the shower, I feel like I got dirty trying to wash my hair so I have soap myself up again. Totally weird I know.

20. When buying feminine products, I check the aisle to see if anybody is there or even close before I make the move. Once in hand, I buy worthless stuff to cover it up in the shopping cart. Then while in the check out, I quickly throw it on the conveyer belt and shove stuff all around it and look the other way as if I’m not the one who wants to buy them. My $6.99 purchase ends up being a $119 one.

21. If I feel like I’m in a shopping mood, I get myself all ready and head to mall. Then while there, I don’t want to go into any of the stores and I end up just circling the mall thirteen times before I decide it’s time to hit the food court.

22. I get all awkward when a clothing retail worker asks me if I need any help while I’m in the change room. Ellen DeGeneres said it best, “what could possibly going so wrong while I’m in there? AHHHHH, HELP!!! JENNY, MY BRA IS UP MY A**!!!”

23. I don’t read novels. Not necessarily because I don’t like reading, but because when I do pick up a novel, I have to finish it. There’s no such thing as putting it down for an hour or two. Even if I’m exhausted, desperately needing to go to the bathroom, and have not had anything to eat for twelve hours. That novel. Must. Get. Finished.

24. I am unable to stay in my pajamas all day. As soon as I get up, I HAVE to get dressed. I feel disgusting and gross if I don’t.

25. I am able to make it through until the end on the scariest ride at an exhibition but when it comes to swinging… I want to throw up by the time I kick on the third pump.

What are some things that make you weird? Do you share any of this weirdness with me?
Leave a comment and share this blog!

Please Note: the image above is off of the cover of the novel "Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh. All rights reserved to their respective owners. OH & YOU SHOULD CLICK ON THE AD BELOW. Just for the fun of it ;) Yay for clicking on ads!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Brief answer to "What Up"

Here's a quick and very brief update on what I've been up to lately: 

  • My blog is currently under review by a company called Ad Sense. If I am accepted, cheques with my name on it will be sitting in the mail box for having "appealing articles on the internet that attracts customers for our company". YAY, hopefully those cheques will be sent soon. Who knows though, if I'm just another boring user of the net. 
  • I've been in contact with the editor of the Carillon (which is the U of R newspaper). He is currently taking a look at some things I whipped up for submission. 
  • Living off of cereal and coca cola is going to catch up with me one of these days 
  • I am registered and ready to take on semester number two. It was a rough first one but I am excited, and looking forward to the future. 
  • I am not a city girl, but I love the city I live in. I would have never had guessed just how much I love being surrounded by people who don't care what my last name is.  
  • I've met some great friends and I now officially believe that there is people out there that actually are a whole lot like me. I'm not so different after all. YAY :) 
  • Highschool seemed like four hundred years ago. And I'm okay with that. 
  • I will be working in Regina again this summer. Not exactly sure where, but I decided this because I'm looking into the possibility of getting my degree in 2 and a half to three years instead of the standard five. 
Something else to add - I wasn't going to say anything but it's a pretty big project I've been working on. I've started a new blog but it's quite different from this one - perhaps even better. I will be staying anonymous on what the URL or name of it as of now. Reason being that some people are taking my posts too seriously and I do not wish for anyone to take offense, or be "concerned" for things they are assuming and creating only in their mind. But maybe I'll share one day. For now though, I can promise you it won't be in the near future or possibly never. 

I have some new posts currently in progress. Stay tuned. 

What have you been up to lately? Any great changes that will happening in 2014 for you? Leave a comment. 
Please Note: if you choose to stay anonymous in your comment, please let me know who you are via facebook, text, email, whatever. Otherwise your comment will be deleted. Thanks :)