Things That Made 2014 Amazing

I realize it’s like.. the end of January already. But I had been working on this post since like… May. And then I went ahead and forgot to post it. But dammit all I’m gonna post it anyway.

Here is a list of things that made 2014 (even though it was a super shitty year) great.

 

Got to be single – This is maybe the most significant transformation for me. Being single allowed me to grow and evolve as a person and experience life in a totally new light. I embraced my independence and freedom. Here’s a picture of me with the only boy I’ll ever need :P

Ear kisses

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Finished 1st year Kin on Dean’s List. Which was amazing. I enjoyed almost all my classes and I feel like I learned a lot. I really laid out a good foundation for the rest of my bachelors degree.

This is just before taking a Bio Final.

http://instagram.com/p/m0JF53y84O/

And this is me studying for an Anatomy Final.

My classroom looks like Jeffrey Dahmer's kitchen. #anatomy #physiology #kinesiology

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I went to the Dominican Republic for a family trip and studied for Physiology there.

 

I rode a pirate ship! This was a lot of fun.

 

I shot a gun! (It was terrifying and kind of neat) It was a friend’s birthday, and she really wanted to shoot paper.

@jdwliving being a bad ass

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Got into UBC Vancouver! A feat in and of itself I believe. There were 120 spots and I got in. And now! I can finish my bachelors and not be stuck after two years at a college.

I got accepted to UBC today for 2nd year #kinesiology So happy! šŸ˜‚ @ubcaplaceofmind @youbcpic @kus_ubc

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My lovely friends at Jiu Jitsu gave me a mini celebration for my birthday when I was feeling down about being 25.

I have great friends @acb_lion @nike_3 #25 #birthdaycake

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And then my other friend took me out for beer!

Birthday porter with @spaceflunky4 :)

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I rediscovered how frickin’ awesome Vancouver is.

The view of #Vancouver from North Vancouver #yvr #burrardinlet #ocean

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I went to Busker Fest and saw a ton of amazing people do amazing things.

More amazingness at #buskerfest

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Started fall term at UBC with most of the classes I wanted

 

Went to France – Two awful things happened and it was still the best two weeks of my life.

Best passport stamp ever. #scxparis

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Obligatory #EiffelTower selfie

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Napoleon's Apartment Grand Salon at the #Louvre I just about died when I saw this. #scxparis

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Worked during the summer. Ā Which is good because after becoming single I had a shit load of legal bills and what not to deal with before finally being free.

A little reminder of #Paris on my desk at work. I can't wait until I get to go back again.

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I also landed a gig back at one of my favourite studios to work part time while studying

 

 

I got to watch the Canada Day Fireworks!

Fireworks in the 21st century. #yvr #canadaday #canada #fireworks

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MetĀ The American, and made frequent trips over the border. :)

 

He even came up to watch the Celebration of Light! (And that was an amazing weekend)

#celebrationoflight #fireworks

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Nearly OD’d on homemade cold brew coffee every morning of the summer. Worth it.

 

I bought myself a brand new bike! I named it Grover.

Yay new bike!!! #bike #Vancouver

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Before I quit BJJ, I got a stripe on my blue belt!

Got a stripe today. #bluebelt #bjj #brazilianjiujitsu #graciebarra #gb #grappling #jitsbitch

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Went to Portland…twice! – Another perk of being single is I get to go where I want, when I want essentially. So I finally made the trek down to Portland to see my buddy Lo!

I stole a selfie picture from @loreleicorinne soooo #pdx

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And watched my first football game

I stole a selfie picture from @loreleicorinne soooo #pdx

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I painted something pretty! And attempted to paint more after this.

I painted something with my wrong hand.

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Officially changed my name.

 

Hurt my knee but got it fixed! Well, sorta. I rehabbed it myself (and it’s doing well so far), and I have an MRI apt in Feb.

Getting zapped at #physiotherapy #acl #lcl #knee #meniscus #rehab #sprain

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Moving

I mentioned last post and the one before that I’m moving. And I kind of wanted to write about that and get my thoughts out on pixels.

I am so… damn… excited for this move. I went last week to give my roommates my damage deposit, pet deposit, pick up my sets of keys and figure out what day I’m moving in. I was really happy to get the chance to chat with them a bit more, and actually meet one of them. The more I talk to them, the better I feel about this change. I text back and forth with one, and she’s such a sweet heart.

I’m looking forward to not feeling so anxious all the time (although the antidepressants are supposed to help with that as well). To being around people, being able to speak to people… But I think the thing I’m looking forward to most is Monty being able to live with me. I have to wait a little bit for my roommate to get back so that we can introduce Monty to her cat in the least stressful way for the cat. And I’m really hoping that goes well. My only concern is that he’ll bark and spook the cat, but other than that, Monty likes cats. All fingers and limbs crossed. I just want to be able to snuggle my pup at night, and listen to him sing me little welcome home songs. It sounds silly, but Monty is my little canine soul mate.

Plus, it’ll be nice to have a larger home with a living room, be close to school, across the street from a grocery store, be near coffee shops and restaurants, and libraries. I won’t be so socially and geographically isolated. And I’ll be able to ride my bike everywhere too! The only downside is it’s an hour and a half by bus from my parents place.

And so… I’m moving on Dec 16th. I was going to wait until Jan 1st when my current lease is up, but… fuck it. Nothing is open Jan 1st anyway, no one wants to move on Jan 1st… And I don’t want to have to set my life up in the course of a weekend before school starts. So I’m eating the few hundred bucks to save myself more insanity.

I’m excited. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

It should be a quick move. Most of my stuff is still in boxes and the only furniture I have is bedroom stuff, and that is all still in boxes (hasn’t even been put together yet!). My whole life fits into a moving van. It’s not a bad way to go about things.

Wrapping It Up

Well, tomorrow is my last day of school.

It’s been… hard. I’m not going to lie. I still have finals to prepare for. Math is down the shitter so I’m focusing on Chem and Kin right now. With what little mental capacity I have after all this burn out.

I’m looking forward to having most of December off so I can just… reset. And settle into my new home (I’m moving soonish!)

Happy thanksgiving to all my American friends! (tomorrow)

More Change

2014, the year of Change! You son of a bitch.

I saw my doctor this week. She put me on sleeping pills. I have another appointment this week to see if I need antidepressants (I’m trying to avoid this). I also had an appointment with my psychologist, and unpacked a bunch of issues for an hour. It felt good afterwards. And I’m living at my parents place, and I have a week or two off from school.

AndĀ I quit my job and I’m moving…. again.

I feel like this year has had a lot of repeats. This will be the…. 3rd or 4th place I’ve lived in the past 7 months.
BUT!!!!

I have a really good feeing about it. I’m not just settling for this place like I did my current home.

I saw the ad on craigslist, and fell in love with the photos because they reminded me of the place I stayed in France. And the description was lengthy! There was information about each room mate, the home, the location, and the home philosophy. It just felt good. So I emailed them an equally lengthy email, went over yesterday to check it out and spent at least a solid hour conversing with my soon to be flatmate. And it was like talking to a mirror. We’ve both gone through some really similar things in the past little while and we both want the same things in a home, but she was much better at articulating it. As I was leaving, she straight up offered me the space. So I’m going to take it. And my mother, who went with me, thinks I should take it too. And now I have to find furniture because I don’t have a bed of my own.

It feels like a “forever home”. Maybe it won’t be, but it won’t feel like I’m temporary, which is how I feel in my home now.Ā I’m going to see if I can move on the 1st of Dec, but if I can’t, Jan 1st works just as well. It really comes down to my landlord. I could move my entire home in about 2 hours, because I literally have… nothing. I have kitchen shit and clothes. Speedy.

And my job… I went in on Friday and spoke to my producer and told him basically everything that’s gone on, where I was at mentally and that I couldn’t keep working. He was more sympathetic that I was expecting and told me that if I ever needed a gig again when I was out of school or could handle it, I had one. So that made me feel really good.

I’m still slightly stressed out about not working. I thrive (or die?) from the feeling of being productive, the feeling of working. So I’m channelling that into my school work. I’m hoping I can salvage my grades after last week. I’ve given up hope of Calculus, but I’m still going full steam ahead on Chemistry.

So yes.

All the change.

Good change.

Defining Moments \\ Young Love

The summer I was 14 I met a boy named Ryan through TKD and camping. I kind of already knew who he was, but I didn’t know him. And when I got to know him, I developed a big… big crush on him. I had crushes before, but none where the boy actually spoke to me, and treated meĀ nicely. The crushes I had were always from afar. Or the boys were embarrassed that I blushed in their presence.

But Ryan was lovely. He never acted like he was too good for me, he always asked my opinion of things, invited me along on camping adventures or beach trips with our siblings.Ā Our families did a lot of stuff together whenever we went camping. They were either at our site, or we were at theirs. We’d go swimming together, canoeing together, and at night my brother and I would play any variation of kick the can, camp fire games or what have you with Ryan and his two siblings. I had an insane crush on him, but I was happy to call him my friend. It didn’t matter to me if we ever or never got married and died together. I was just happy being around him.

AndĀ I still remember the feelings of happiness when I was around him. I liked that he wouldn’t flinch away when I pretended to be afraid duringĀ camping games (the kind where you had to run from a person who was “it” and they were hiding, which were at times terrifying). I liked that he would sit at the fire pit and play his guitar. I liked that he was left handed like me. I liked that he would invite me over for 8 hour Monopoly marathons in our bathing suits. I liked that he paid more attention to me than to the “popular girls” I went to school with and who happened to show up at the camping grounds that summer (even though during the school year they said camping was lame). I liked that he would go swimming with me, or cruise around in the canoe with me. I liked that we were nice to each other.

I got to hold onto that happiness for a long time after too. Lucky for me there was no real heartbreak or “end”. It was just the end of summer and getting back on with our lives. There was always the possibility that our mothers would want to get together and we’d be taken along.

There was no final good bye for us, even though I haven’t spoken to him in years. We never tearfully parted ways, hugged good bye for the last time, or angrily declared never wanting to see each other again.

We jut faded out from each other’s lives.

But I still look back fondly on that specific summer. Ryan was lovely.

Defining Moments \\ Becoming a Ninja

I was thinking about the moments in my life that have affected me most today and I figured I’d share them. Some are negative, some are positive, some are funny. I’ve decided to do a little mini series.

At 9 years old, I attended my first Taekwondo class. I don’t remember why really. I know my parents were asking me to pick an activity which felt like all the pressure of a high school student choosing a university. Piano? Dance? What? Piano was out because we had no room for the instrument. Dance was out because I was too damn clumsy, having earned myself the nickname “Wrecking Ball”.

I knew the instructed worked indirectly with my dad, and a childhood friend of mine had done a few classes and his dad suggested I give it a go. I was hesitant, worried people would be staring at me and laughing at how uncoordinated I was.

My younger brother did a few classes, and so I asked him about it. He was really excited about it, and start spouting off Korean numbers, and showing me Chon Ji (the white belt pattern). I decided I’d try it, only because it was as close to becoming a ninja as I was ever going to get. But after the first class, I was hooked.

It didn’t take long to get over the embarrassment of being new, and the fact that I had a female black belt helping me was a major factor in coming back. My love of Taekwondo grew, and I got better at it. I remember the immense pride I felt when I overheard my instructor telling my parents that I was a “natural” and that I was “made for martial arts”. It drove me to practice more. I had an internal competition with the girls I was training with. I wanted to be better than them, I wanted to be the best. And I worked hard. I’d go to every class I could, I’d show up early. When I trained, I trained like I was training for the biggest tournament of my life. I looked at PE class in school as an opportunity to improve my cardio for Taekwondo. I joined track and field (and did well!) to improve my conditioning for Taekwondo. Everything I did, I did because I wanted to be the best.

I eventually got my black belt just shy of my 15th birthday. Two months later I went on to compete in Toronto for the Canadian Nationals. IĀ placed third nationally (youngest, smallest, and newest no less). I wasn’t happy with 3rd, but I was happy with the bigger picture.

After injuring my knee, I gave up on Taekwondo. A mistake I deeply regret. I’ve tried to go back several times, but it never quite felt the same. It never felt quite right.

Taekwondo gave me so much. It gave me an escape, it gave me a love for movement, it gave me an appreciation for non-mainstream sports. It gave me perspective, and a knack for perseverance.

I Broke

I’m going to come out and say it, I’m depressed. I don’t like to just throw that term around, but I think I quite depressed. And I think I have been for a very long time. Not just a few months, I mean since I was 13 there’s always been something that’s made me blue. I can’t quite figure out if it’s my brain chemistry or my environment(s), or both.

But I find myself waking up disappointed I haven’t died in my sleep. I’m exhausted all the time. I can’t fall asleep because my mind is racing, but I wake up at 6 every day for school or work, leaving me with about 4 hours of sleep each night.

I’m exhausted working a job I don’t like. And every day I walk in, I’m more apathetic than the last.

I’m frustrated that I am an A student and yet I somehow can’t pull it together and do well this term. I can’t focus on my school work, no matter how much I want to. I feel like I forget everything I read the moment I look away from the page. I feel like I failure. I have anxiety about the inspirational students I see on the faculty webpage (“This is Jane, she’s a 4th year student who does x, y, and z impressive things! She volunteers, gets straight A’s, and is still sane. Why can’t you be more like her? What’s wrong with you?”), and I have anxiety about what I’ll do with my life after I’m done my degree. What if I don’t get into Med School? What if I don’t get into grad school? What if I can’t find a job? Am I even equipped to go to Med School if I’m freaking out now? Am I good enough? Do doctors have mental breakdowns?!

I am socially isolated. I recognize this. There are few opportunities at work to socialize with people I can relate to, even fewer opportunities at school. I find myself declining invites to hang out with friends or exercising in favour of attempting to study (a futile ambition given I can’t focus) and then feeling like an asshole because I got nothing done.

I feel like I don’t have time to exercise because I’m at school or work or trying to do homework, and I’ve gained weight, which has led to body image issues and a lack of self confidence. I’m not even hungry, but all I crave is bread.

My mother is taking me to my doctor this week. And I’m speaking to a psychologist at some point this week as well. I don’t mind sharing. I’m not crazy. I’m burnt out.

I’m only slightly proud in my current state that I’ve managed to recognize the issues, and ask for help. I’m mostly frustrated I let it get like this.