Balancing act

Peek-a-boo

Balancing is tough. It’s tough to find a balance between work and life. It’s tough to find a balance between time you spend with friends versus family versus your significant other. It’s tough to find a balance between downtime and time spent being social. I haven’t spent a lot of time by myself since I moved out of my parents place last summer1. And in fact, I’m pretty sure I had not spent a lot of time by myself since I came back from living in Dublin.

I haven’t had much time to sit down and figure out why that is2, which means I haven’t really had time to figure out exactly how I feel about it. I finally went camping this year and the photo above was taken on our last morning at Silent Lake;  I was disappointed with camping for so many reasons3, but the most important was that I did not get to spend time with nature4 as I so long to do right now.

I write. I like to write anyway, but a lot of my writing requires the quiet of birds chirping or only the wind whisper-howling through the rustle of leaves. But it’s difficult to get in that mindset when I barely have time to put away laundry. But I have no plans on stopping the way life has been pushing me to live; no, I’m determined to live life this way and still find my writing mind with less down time.

After all, what good would I be if I needed to hole myself out in the woods every time I wanted to write something heartfelt? I haven’t shared my poetry on the blog since I removed it from my portfolio5 but I’m thinking maybe enough time has passed that I can do that again6. I shall keep trying to find a way to have balance in my life, and if I should discover some secret to it – I promise to tell you.

How you find balance in your life?

Footnotes:
  1. and I really kind of miss it[]
  2. it’s a cycle[]
  3. we didn’t rough it as much as I was hoping to[]
  4. and myself; my thoughts[]
  5. which used to be listed on this main domain[]
  6. not right now of course, soon…[]

A decade in review… part deux.

Yesterday, I started looking at the last 10 years of my life. I cut it off before the middle because there was quite a bit of ground to cover. And so, here goes nothing:

Part 2: Fickle, fragile, and full of fight.

2005: D.B.’s visa expired at the end of March. He moved back to Dublin and I moved out of our love nest1 and back in with my parents. I tried to get over D.B. by finding comfort in the company of friends and some lovers and mostly by working my ass off at the catering company. I was in the best shape of my life but only because I was living off of coffee, adrenaline2 and about 3 hours sleep every night.

The highlight of the summer, for me, was that he came to visit and even though he never said he was there to visit me a part of me let myself believe that it was. Finishing my first semester of my final year of University was a task in and of itself – let alone everything else.  I went to visit him in Dublin for New Year’s and proceeded to get my heart broken again but still managed to have the resolve to write a letter to a huge3 hotel to ask them if they might possibly have a job opening for me the following summer.

2006: My last and final semester in University. I was taking 7 courses4; I was co-chair of the grad formal committee; I was co-editor of the yearly publication used to sell5 our recent grads to potential employers in the industry; I had a part time job and I managed to graduate with the best grades I have ever gotten in my entire life. I also got a job offer from the hotel in Dublin that I had applied to, accepted it and moved to Dublin to start with them in July. I also got my heart shattered for a 4th time by the very reason I was moving to Dublin in the first place.  My dream ‘came true’ as soon as I arrived, and we got back together; despite some rough second beginnings we6 managed to find a way to make it work but not really until the new year…

2007: This was a good year. For a bunch of reasons but mostly it was a good year in our relationship. Perhaps the only year where the good outweighed the bad. I had also just started a new job at a car park management company and was no longer working Tues-Sat from 5-close every week. An even worse career move on my part but I thought it was worth the sacrifice. We went to London in January and Paris in October. I even got to see my cousin get married in December and meet the most adorable niece7 in the world, in the Philippines.

2008: A mixture of sadness and hapiness as the year started out with my heaving to leave Dublin8 but got to stay in Dubai on holidays for three weeks before returning to Canada. I also had a mix of the same careerwise as I started the year out by getting a job where my title was ‘keyholder’9 and opened a hotel restaurant every morning; and soon I was to learn that I have de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. But on the bright side, I got to temp at a PR firm where I met some pretty awesome people. I stuck with some administration work and didn’t return to school10 because I wanted to give someone I had always doubted, the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure they were right, but I also wish I hadn’t waited so long: to go back to school. I was able to go back to Dublin for a visit twice that year but I think this is where things really started to shift for me; even if I didn’t want to admit it at the time11.

2009: I can’t say I can recall how this year began. Nothing significant happened until the middle of the year. D.B. came for a visit in May after I had just moved in to a place I shared with one of my good friends for about 5 months. I switched from a job where I felt the environment was toxic to my current job. My relationship with D.B. went into an unannounced super serious mode only to break into a million pieces in and around the 10th month. Soon after I met someone unlike anyone else I’ve ever met before – and no I’m not in love all over again but it certainly is a special connection. I also turned 28 this year, and I’ve been told that this is meant to be a life changing year for me. But maybe they’re just trying to scare me 🙂

Where will the next decade take me? Who knows? But I definitely enjoyed taking a quick peek at the last 10 years. And how fast things can change. How fast my mind can change, yet how long it seems to be stuck. It’s definitely been an interesting ride…

Have you taken a look at at the last 10 years of your life?

Footnotes:
  1. albeit there was a lot of hurt that lived there too, it was mostly a love nest[]
  2. and amybe some cigarettes[]
  3. huge player in the industry[]
  4. most people took 4, some 5[]
  5. for lack of a better word[]
  6. and by we, I mean he – because I was always in this mindset[]
  7. my only, or is she a 2nd cousin? I don’t care – I love her![]
  8. as I overstayed my visa – oops, sorry lads!![]
  9. where I was basically an assistant manager but couldn’t have the title because union rules would have prevented me from taking tables and therefore getting tips[]
  10. against my own better judgment[]
  11. hm.. am I missing the point of this decade in review thing by only talking about this vaguely here?[]

A decade in review… part 1

One of my favourite bloggers, and dear friend, Micaela posted a review of the last decade according to her last week and after reading her story I felt inspired to do the same1 and since I’m not quite capable of being so concise with my life as she was, I’m going to have to do this in parts. There are some things I’ve omitted, for those involved in the story you may be happy that I’ve done this2.

Part 1:  A Shift in focus

2000: I was in my last year of high school; I was VP of social events, a member of the music council, and working part-time at the GAP. I had a sweet boyfriend who had secretly loved me for a little while before he made any moves, and who was a dear friend first. He was also the reason I was voted Prom Queen. Life was pretty good but the summer came and D.G.3 and I realised that fighting isn’t all that healthy for a relationship even if we did love each other so much.

I had also decided to take a year off from school4 and picked up more hours at the GAP. I think I also had a 4 month stint at some office up in Markham where I felt like a drone and wanted to kill myself… making me promise never to work in an office ever again5.

2001: I started the year by getting a 2nd job as a hostess at the restaurant across the street from the apartment building my parents and I were staying in. It was my first experience working in a bar6; working with food and making people smile was unlike anything I had ever imagined. I also got a phone call from B.O. on Valentine’s day asking me if I wanted to go out with him sometime7, and I always thought he was pretty cute all the days that we worked at the GAP together so I said yes. I also met R.H. at the restaurant; R.H. was hilarious, tall, smart, charming and had a strong personality… all things that I cannot resist in a man.

I started dating both of them and was having a great time for a little while but eventually the time came and I had to choose. I chose B.O. because he was reliable, sweet and certainly seemed more devoted8. I also spent three weeks in L.A. that summer, to visit my best friend J.Z. while she studied at USC. It was the best vacation I’ve had till this point in my life 😉 I’m pretty sure the vacation was when I decided that I would choose to ‘go steady’ with B.O.

2002: I don’t remember 2002 that much. I think there was a trip to Cuba with B.O. and the gang, and I know I finally left the GAP after 3 and a half years working for them. I was happily dating B.O. and getting to know his friends. I was still working at the restaurant, and picked up a job at Ikea. And oh yes, I started my bachelor’s degree. What a ride I was in for, and I didn’t even know it yet. Oh I also left the restaurant to start school but continued working at Ikea9.

2003: The only thing I can remember about this year was that I left Ikea to start working at the catering company10 I would work for, for the next few years and have the time of my life. I only worked part time though because I don’t think I left Ikea until after the summer was over. This was the summer I learned that bartending is the best job in the world.

2004: Oh boy. I was finishing my 2nd semester of my 2nd year at school. It was crunch time. This, and the following semester broke a lot of people in our program. Plus, that summer I had asked my boss at the catering company to give me a chance to manage one of the boats11. Pressure.

I also broke up with B.O. because I cheated on him with D.F.12. And too soon after that I started dating D.B.13. Even sooner still, D.B. and I moved in together and fell madly in love. Sadly, even in these beginning months the tale didn’t have very many happy ‘important’ moments. I recall some serious sobbing on Dec. 23rd while I was away from my family for the first time ever, in a strange country where I constantly felt cold as my body had not adjusted to the dampness. I’m sure there were things I did to hurt him too that may have provoked him to do what he did that night, but even in hindsight I don’t think I deserved what I got that Christmas and it really should have been a wake up call. But the heart wants what it wants and it wanted him.

And this is where part 1 ends. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2!

But first tell me, have I inspired you to review your own personal decade?

Footnotes:
  1. yes, that’s a real complimentary way of saying I stole the idea from her… so? :P[]
  2. I’m looking at you D.G.[]
  3. the then boyfriend[]
  4. mostly because I didn’t get into the program I wanted, but also because I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do[]
  5. I guess 8 yrs is my definition of ‘ever again’[]
  6. and my 2nd job[]
  7. since he had just broken up with his gf of 3 yrs[]
  8. even if he wasn’t ‘my type’ in bed[]
  9. because it paid so much more[]
  10. we’re going to leave it at that and not name names here[]
  11. there were 7 boats and generally 9 managers though I think that summer, we ended up with only 7 managers – I can’t say I really remember[]
  12. someone who doesn’t get mentioned a lot because we’re good friends, and never had romantic feelings for each other – just physical attraction[]
  13. the guy I’ve been calling ‘him’ throughout the years on this blog. Lookit, he has initials now![]

Discipline

There is the running theme in my life these days. One that has me making an effort when I simply don’t want to. It takes discipline, and it takes humility and I am trying my best. I’ve never been good at either1 but they’re lessons I desperately need to learn if I’m ever going to succeed in getting the career I want. In this way, I’m a late bloomer because I should’ve learnt these lessons long before I finished University but it’s just not the way it has gone. I’m ok with it.

I think that making an effort in a professional capacity is easier. It’s easier than doing so in your personal life2, because when you’re making this effort – that you don’t want to make – for someone else, you feel forced; trapped; and in great danger of becoming resentful. It’s become important to remember the sacrifices that the other person has made for you and realize that they didn’t ‘put’ you in this position out of spite and so you shouldn’t feel any3.

I’m writing about this vaguely because I simply can’t write about it openly. A wise woman said to me this weekend that you have to write with the one person you don’t want reading what you’ve written in mind, so that is what I’m doing. I need to write about it, but I also know how they feel about when I write about things in the open – so as part of my effort making, I’m writing in the vague and hoping that it is enough of a compromise.

How often do you have to make an effort to do something even though you simply don’t want to?

Footnotes:
  1. can you say spoiled? I can![]
  2. and therefore for someone else[]
  3. spite[]