Monthly Archives: February 2011

Things I Learned The Month I Broke

How to ask for help. I’m incredibly stubborn and independent at times. Asking for help doesn’t make me weak, but rather makes my life more liveable.

Family is number one. Always.

I’m stronger than I thought. You can never predict how you’ll react in a situation until you actually have to go through it. Truth is, in the moment you don’t get the chance to reflect on how you want to react. You just do things the only way you know how. It’s survival.

Humans are incredibly adaptable. My sister keeps saying she can’t believe the things I am doing with one hand. But the learning process has been quick. I wouldn’t say I’m used to it, but I’m learning to live with it.

Ponytails are very important to me. On the flipside, there are a few things I just can’t do with one hand no matter how hard I try. Of those things, the inability to put my ever-growing hair into a ponytail frustrates me the most.

Teen dramas from the 1990s are way underrated. Am I right??

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I can go 40 hours without food. Thanks to a saline drip and regular injections of narcotic painkillers.

I’m getting older. There’s something about that 25 year mark that made me start to realize the physical changes of aging. Most recently, the beating my body took after going to a punk show.

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I’m not as waffle adept as I boast to be. Evidenced by a few waffle scrambles over the past month…

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You can take the Maritimers out of the Maritimes, but you can’t take the Maritimes out of the Maritimers.

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Remember the big picture. Not just in terms of time. I know even though my recovery seems like a long time now, it will just be a blip on the radar many years from now. But my situation really isn’t that bad. I will get better. The big picture is that I have loved ones who won’t.

Surgery is scary. And something I never, ever want to go through again.

Peanut butter and honey isn’t just for sandwiches!

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Anyone can do yoga. And that includes me, with my full arm cast. When my accident first happened, I was most upset about not being able to participate in the Power of Movement fundraiser. Then about not being able to do yoga at all. But that last part is not true. Because a yoga practice is what you make of it, and that’s why anyone can really do it.

The Rideau Canal should be renamed to the Carnage Canal. I’m only joking.

Sort of.

Don’t leave your elbow pads at home!!!! Seriously, why did I just wear knee pads on that fateful day?

Staying upbeat is sometimes really, really hard. As a person with a history of anxiety and depression, I easily fall prey to feeling sorry for myself. I am always battling with feelings of wanting to give up. I need to dig deep and remember this attitude doesn’t help anything.

Even when it feels like the world stops, life does in fact go on. With every passing minute.

Bionic jokes get old.

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Just sayin’.

 

What did you learn this month?

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Just over one year ago, I made the decision to move from my small home province to the country’s largest city.

I’d been living in my university city for six years. It was a great place for school, but it was not a good fit for me as I transitioned into being a working adult. Actually, it suffocated me.

When I left both my “real job” as a radio reporter and a long-term relationship last winter, my back-up plan was to move back home. You see, I left my hometown two weeks after my high school graduation and haven’t lived there since. Even though my university city was only 90 minutes away, I never made it back there for much longer than the requisite four short visits a year.

But when my friends in Toronto contacted me about my moving in with them in Toronto, it seemed like just the adventure I needed. Anyone who knows me in real life was surprised by the decision. I’ve always been the girl who wanted to stick close to home. I’m not a big city person. I take risks, but never those that have big consequences.

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I arrived in Toronto in July after a month of travelling to Banff and Ottawa. My sense of adventure was at an all time high. I remained open minded about the experience. Maybe I’d love it and want to stay forever. Maybe I’d get the itch to move on after a year and continue my way across the country – or even overseas!

My first four months in the city were amazing. I adjusted quickly, finding work easily. Work that I really enjoyed. I already had a great group of friends I knew from university, and met new ones through blogging. I became a part of the city’s pulse. I realized why Torontonians think they’re the centre of the universe. The city has so much to offer and so much excitement, there’s no need to look elsewhere for anything else.

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But after four months, the honeymoon period started to wear off. Even though I adapted to the city quickly, I still felt like an outsider just pretending like I belonged there.

I started daydreaming about moving out West among the mountains. Maybe Vancouver. Or back to Banff. My mind even wandered all the way to Scotland. Which apparently has a decent number of personal training jobs to offer.

But when I turned my mind off and listened to my gut, my heart, and my instincts, I knew I still belonged back home. In the city I left seven years ago. With my mom, my dad, my Nana, my step-siblings and poodle.

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The three weeks I spent back in Moncton over Christmas only solidified that for me. I could daydream about living elsewhere, but in the end I truly believe that I am happiest and most in my element when I am home. I need a break from forcing myself to do things because I think they will be good life lessons or learning experiences for me. I want to make decisions based on what I am most comfortable with. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at it as the “easy way out” but come to terms with it being what will make me the most happy. For now anyways.

I remember having a conversation with my cousins when I first moved to Toronto about being displaced Maritmers in the “big city.” They were talking about how they didn’t want to move home because then it would feel like they failed at whatever they were trying to accomplish in Toronto.

I definitely do not feel like a failure. Following your heart is definitely a brave thing to do. I feel a little boring for not moving on to another adventure somewhere else in the world. But in my mind moving back home is an adventure. And will certainly be challenging.

For one thing, I’m moving to the small town where I grew up just across the river from Moncton. 5.5 million people to 16,000. I’ll be living with my dad on the street I grew up on. I haven’t lived with my father since my parents separated when I was 11 years old. I love my mom to pieces, but I’m stoked to spend time with my old man again.

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I’ll also be living with my little sister, her partner, and my brand new nephew Cole. I only hope my arm heals soon so I can hold him!

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All of this will be happening in about three weeks. I was hoping to work at my Toronto jobs up until the end of March. But then the accident happened, leaving me unable to work as a trainer or in my physical retail job for several weeks. I should be getting the cast off in Ottawa in a couple weeks, then starting the long process of learning how to move my arm again with physiotherapy back home.

My original plan was to continue working at the running store and start my own training business once I got home. But the accident has changed that. Or at least indefinitely postponed that. Right now I’m reverting to the only thing left I am trained professionally to do – write. Living at home will at least give me extra room financially to figure it out.

So there is my very long explanation of why I quit both my jobs last week. Why I’ve been Tweeting  about getting a moving truck. Why I have a Toronto bucket list and such a driving motivation to eat brunch at every restaurant in my Toronto neighbourhood so soon.

I am SO excited about being home again. Hanging out with my family and old friends. Living among the mountains for the summer would have been nice, but being at my cottage on the Atlantic waters all summer is something I always dream of.

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Oh, and my dad has an amazing kitchen. I can’t wait to get in there and start cooking for my loved ones. I can’t wait to go hiking in Fundy. To eat cinnamon buns in Alma and lobster in Shediac.To go swimming in the Northumberland. I can’t wait to be amongst Maritimers again. My people. Laid back, easy going people.

I do not regret moving to Toronto one bit. I still maintain it’s the best decision I ever made. I experienced so much while there. And it taught my just how great my home actually is.

When I was leaving my mother’s house in January to return to Toronto after the Christmas break, she said to me “This isn’t right. You shouldn’t be the one leaving. You belong here!”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Weekend Wisdom XII

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”

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Being patient doesn’t mean doing nothing while waiting for something to happen. But to maintain the best quality of life we can until that something happens.

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