When Is A Home A Home?

When I was a teen, I used to have these traditional ideas about what it meant to be an adult. A full time job, a mortgage, maybe vacations to Mexico, certain degrees of freedom that came with being 18+ and having a driver’s license. But always the biggest point was having a space of my own.

I still feel the same way about having a space of my own, but now, I’m not so sure about the rest. I wish I had some kind of well written, poetic explanation.

To me, in this moment, I feel like a proper sized bed is what it means to be an adult. Perhaps it’s because I sleep in a twin sized bed at the moment. My biggest issue with the twin sized bed is what it represents. And to a lesser extent, fear of judgement should I ever decide to bring a date home (and how will two people fit?!), but that’s another post all together.

To me, the twin sized bed is a bed for a child or a teenager. Someone who is dependent on someone else. Someone who doesn’t date. Someone who is alone. I’m an adult. I’m dependent on me. And my bed doesn’t reflect that.

I often feel conflicted with the idea of people seeing my home. My current home.

To me, my current home, is not my forever home. It’s not a good representation of who I am, who I want to be or even who I was. And I feel a home should be that. A home should reflect who you are. And right now, my home feels more like a false reflection of how I’ve devolved (when really it’s more like, how I’m in the process of starting over). And I feel like it will be a while before I have a place of my own for the long term. In my future, I see school preventing me from working, which prevents being able to pay rent. I see living with room mates, I see living at home with my parents. I see myself being “homeless” in the abstract sense.

At one point, I would have romanticized the idea of being “nomadic”, living the gypsy life, jumping from place to place. But I really just want my own, cozy, smallish home.

I’m very likely moving back in with my parents at the end of the year. Which is even more of a regression for me in my eyes. But at least I’ll have my dog.

But really, I can’t keep working and going to school at the same time. It’s exhausting, and I feel like I never have time to do homework because I’m either at work, or at school and when I come home I just don’t have the mental power to sit down and work on things.

I want so much right now, that I’m finding it hard to focus on the order of things. I need to finish school so I can work, so I can have my own home.

Focus…. focus…. focus….

Childhood

My childhood smells like….

A swimming pool, because my mother couldn’t stand to have my brother and I in the house during the summer while she worked from home. So we’d spend about 6 hours a day at the pool, every day of the summer my mom had to work.

Tree sap, for the summers I spent climbing trees while camping, even though I was probably too old for it.

Balls of wool yarn laced with cigarette smoke, because my grandmother sent me more home made scarves than I could wear.

Fabric softener in lint traps, because that my favourite part about doing chores around the house.

Wet, mossy soil, for the rainy September days where I spent my days laying on cold, wet grass staring at the rain clouds.

Fermented apples, for the Octobers where all the apples on our 8 apple trees would all fall at once and I’d spend the evenings sitting outside eating them with my dogs. (Or using them as “snowballs” and having a battle with my brother)

Wet metal and fish, for the summer days I went fishing in my little metal canoe and caught lil trout.

Pumpkin pie, because it was my mum’s and my nan’s (and my) favourite kind of pie. And my nan made the best homemade pies.

Old books in the library, the smell reminded me of old spaghetti… dunno why. But it’s for the days I would hang out at the library for hours on end. I’d find my big window sill overlooking the post office and city hall, and I’d crack open a medical book, or an art book, or whatever I was fascinated with at the time (tea leaf readings?)

Pink erasers, for my first days at school and I felt like a real scholar even though I was only in grade 1.

Static in the air right and hot asphalt before a thunder storm in the summer…. does this even need explaining for people who love thunderstorms?

Popcorn and peach juice, when my brother and I got $20 to go to the movie and that got us two admissions, a popcorn and peach juice each and a dollar left over to get two little baggies of 5 cent candies.

Old art supplies, because I could never bare to throw anything way until I had used it all up. So I’d end up with bags of things like pencil crayons that were two inches long.

Wet dog, because every time I’d jump in the lake, my German Shepherd, Shania, would jump in after me and follow me around, asking me to throw a stick.

 

What does your childhood smell like?

When Do You Get To Be Human?

I’m relatively new to the dating world, having been in a monogamous relationship that lasted over 6 years. I’m testing the waters, seeing where things lead, and learning to get over being socially awkward.

When starting a new relationship, I find that there is a strange unspoken vague timeline for how much and what kind of emotion you are allowed to show. How much you’re allowed to rely on another person in times of hardship. How independent are you supposed to be and when can you let your guard down? When does it become acceptable to be human, to show your flaws and less than perfect in front of a potential mate?

Example, I had a fairly short but intense “thing” (I don’t even know if I’m allowed to call it a relationship in the traditional boyfriend/girlfriend sense, because we weren’t) with The American. And there were a few times where I was upset, and really wanted to call him to talk, but didn’t feel comfortable turning to him for support, or exposing my vulnerable self just yet. Either for fear of being judged, or fear or scaring him off, or the desire to present as a self-sufficient woman who can handle her own shit.

When do I get to (have to?) tell people that I pretty much got divorced this spring? Is that a first, second, third… tenth date conversation? Or a play it by ear? Need to know?

Being socially awkward, this is all I think about when I’m out with new people and I think it’s holding me back in terms of wanting to meet people, or opening up to people. I’m a little worried that I’m going to be guarded for too long. Because I am afraid to let people get close.

It’s that weird circular problem for me of “I don’t want to let you get close if this isn’t going to be viable long term” and “In order for something to be viable long term, I have to let you get close.” I find it difficult to romanticize the idea of pain and I scowl when people tell me sometimes you have to risk it.

Sometimes I’m too pragmatic, and I know that doesn’t gel with feelings.

Portlandia

Last weekend I made the trek via a $16 round trip ticket from Vancouver to Portland to visit a good friend.

I left Friday afternoon, and arrived around 10pm.  We hung out in her livingroom for a bit, while I frantically entered in my calculus homework (there was no wifi on the bus).

Saturday we went for brunch downtown, and then walked around to the Pearl District and Oldstown. We went to a ton of boutuiqes, I bought a planner and a little stack of letters and envelopes to write in.  We then walked back to downtown, and shopped a bit more. I had planned on trying to find some new shoes, but no luck for me. Large calves, #athleteproblems (If I were an athlete, I’ve been lazy lately).

I saw a bunch of awesome condos that I wished were in Vancouver. Or maybe I’ll just get a job in Portland and y’know… do fun stuff!

After a good couple hours of walking around, we went back to my friend’s place, we studied for a while and then we picked up ice cream, chocolate and wine at the grocery store, brought it back, and put on some chick flicks. Because we are stereotypical as fuuuuuck.

The next day, more exploring. I bought a baking book that I CANNOT wait to put to use. More studying, and then about 8 other girls showed up with bags of clothing and they did a closet swap.

Monday, we went to PSU, studied a bit more. My friend had class at noon, so I had two hours to blow while I waited for the boltbus to take me back to Vancouver. I cruised around a bit, but eventually didn’t want to carry my backpack anymore, so I hunkered down in a Starbucks with a coffee and my chemistry textbook until it was time to depart.

I made it home in record time.

It was an amazing trip. I had so much fun. I don’t hang around girls all too often, so it was really nice to get that estrogen fix haha. The stress of my school year was put on pause, and even studying felt more relaxed. But as soon as I came back to Vancouver, I could feel myself slip back into the burnout.

I’m doing my best to stay afloat, to stay sane. The trip helped a lot. This upcoming long weekend will help a lot (I’ll at least have time to get caught up on things now that midterms are over.)

Ways To Better Myself

One of my favourite youtubers Meghan Tonjes (1st and 2nd channels) did a #30DayToDoList video for the month of September and I figured I’d do it for the month of October. Since… may as well, right? I made a list of 25 things for the month of October that I want to work on, achieve, or be mindful of.

I’m always trying to better myself, and I guess that comes with small steps.

  1. Bike to work/school more often. Even in the rain.
  2. Keep bedroom clean.
  3. Do homework at the library/cafe and NOT at home. I find I’m more productive in public than at home.
  4. Write lists. Positivity lists, to do lists, formula lists… Liiiists
  5. Stretch daily.
  6. Make healthy lunches for the week on Sunday.
  7. Eat breakfast at home and not on the go.
  8. Incorporate more art into your life. Painting, photography, caligraphy, etc… Viewing art, and going to art related events. Create and be inspired.
  9. Drink more green tea, and less coffee.
  10. Prepare veggie snacks for school. Healthy snacks are important when I’m cruising around school. Plus, they save me money.
  11. Read for pleasure. I have a few books I need to finish up, one of them being “Doomed”.
  12. Swim at uni. Take advantage of the fact that you get to use the pool for FREE!
  13. Keep with #Project20 (getting there!)
  14. Take vitamins.
  15. Floss daily.
  16. Practice calculus more often. Like… daily.
  17. Don’t spend money carelessly. I’m pretty good with my money anyway, but everyone could always be better.
  18. No computer, phone, social media 30 mins before bed. I plan to use this time for a proper bedtime routine.
  19. HAVE a proper bedtime routine. Rinse off in the shower, wash face, brush/floss teeth. The whole she-bang. In addition, perhaps just a good skin care routine. I’m not going to be 25 forever.
  20. Bake! Not every day, but y’know… Hone the skill. It’s something I enjoy, and I want to be better at it.
  21. Recognize who or what is worth my time and who or what isn’t.
  22. Don’t lose sight of long term goals just because the short term is difficult. Do not despair.
  23. Don’t get trapped in the pit of apathy. Especially with school.
  24. Take advantage of opportunities, no matter how small they are.
  25. Say “yes” to more things, especially things (harmless things) that you’d normally say “no” to.

So what are somethings YOU want to improve on for the month of October? It can be 1 thing, 5 things, 10 things…. 30 things?  Let me know.

A Few Weeks Down

Cool!

So I’m somehow still alive.

Remember how a little while ago I posted about Flirting with Burnout? HAH! Well! Burnout and I have a very serious intimate relationship now, in which I am cheating on Sleep.

Typical college student.

Work has been straight forward and not stressful at all. I’ve been meeting all my deadlines ahead of time and my boss seems very happy with my work. But it is eating up 24 hours a week (plus commute time) of valuable homework time and I find that when I come home after a day at work or school or both (Wed and Fri are my “Double Duty” days) I just don’t have the mental capacity to do calculus or chemistry practice, or the motivation to read about motor development in children. All I want to do is come home, shower, and surf reddit. I don’t even want to read the rest of my Chuck Palahniuk book “Doomed”, which is hilarious as fuck by the way.

So I’ve elected to spend my Saturdays and Sundays at the Learning Centre on campus in an attempt to catch up with things and being my prep for midterms, which start for me on Sept 30th. The good thing about this is that the school rec centre is right across the street, so when I’m done studying I can go swimming or go lift weights. At least make an effort to lean out and keep on keepin’ on with #Project20.

The good news, is that I have 2 weeks off from work after next Friday. Most of which will be spent studying for midterms, but I do have another Portland trip planned for Oct 3rd to Oct 6th. I’ll be going it alone and spending the weekend with my lovely friend Lorelei (has seen in previous instagram photos). I’m desperately looking forward to this. I will have to study for a chemistry exam while I’m there, but it won’t be too bad.

It’s not even the end of the first month and I’m exhausted. What the hell.

The Last Hurrah

I was really determined to have a “Last Hurrah” before school started this fall. I’ve never really done this before, it’s usually just been working right up until the day before school, or taking a week off and chilling out at home until school starts.

But this year is different in so many ways. I asked The American if he wanted to go on an adventure with me, he agreed and we trekked down to Portland to visit my friends and his friends.

Friday – I bused to The American’s city early morning and spent the day with him. We baked Nutella/peanut butter treats for the football game (I know nothing about football at all) on Saturday. We had dinner at a local restaurant, discussed Game of Thrones, and what music we were going to listen to on our way to Portland.

Saturday – I woke up to The American making mini French toasts. We showered, he packed and then we began our mini road trip to Portland. When we got to Portland, we made a quick stop for beer and whiskey.  We got there early but at 7:30pm more people showed up and we watched the Oregon Ducks play football, I had so many questions. I know basically nothing about football, just that one team runs to the end and the other team tries to stop them. Well, I know more about the rules now! After the 2nd period, it was pretty obvious that the Ducks were going to win, so we went to a kareoke bar and had a grand ol’ time.

Sunday – We went for (a massive) brunch with our hosts, checked out an antique shop, went downtown to Powells and bought books! Met up with a bunch of people, including the American’s childhood friend and his wife, at a beer place, drank beer, went to have sushi after a few hours, and then went back to our hosts place and watched The Antichrist and then Dogma.

Monday – Our plan was to meet with The American’s friend for brunch before heading back, but something came up for them, so we picked up a quick meal at a grocery store, bought some coffee at Heart and then headed north. We tried to go shopping really quick, but the labour day crowds were insane. We took the scenic route back to his town, and then made a stop for roof top patio pizza and wine. When we were stuffed, we headed back to his place, watched the first half of The Hobbit and then went to catch my bus. Problem was that I never booked a ticket because I didn’t know what Monday’s plan was going to be, and the bus was sold out. So my plan was to buy a ticket if there was a seat available (sometimes there is). The bus was more than 45 mins late, so The American decided to just drive me home. I felt bad because it was another hour in the car for him, but it was a really sweet gesture, and he said he didn’t mind.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I really enjoyed myself. I’m really glad I finally got to have a weekend of fun with great people.