Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Best Friends My Mom Hasn't Paid Off

It needs to be at least three times this big!
My room-mate comes back from New Zealand today. Not only did she go traveling by herself (unsafe) she left me with the place to myself for a month (unsafe). Or so I thought... (not that it was unsafe, I knew that, but that I was alone). I discovered there are teeny little ants in my kitchen, usually only about three at a time, and well... I love them. At first I thought they were a nuisance - I was accustomed to squishing giant ants at my old place which made a nice crunching sound - so I flicked one of these little ants off the counter and then instantly felt remorse as I watched it's minuscule little body soar across the kitchen. I actually got depressed. You see, they look like baby ants, and I love babies. Plus there are so few ants at one time that it's hard to see them as pests and not, well, visitors. Would I flick my visitors away? (Depends on the visitor). Would I flick my baby visitors away? (No! Shaken baby syndrome, hello!) Anyway I noticed when Krista left I started talking to my ant visitors. It just happened all of a sudden, like it was completely natural to start talking to ants. I heard myself say "Hi," and felt ridiculous for a second then got over it a little too quickly for a sane person and shouted, "Oh no!" when I  noticed one got stuck in a drop of water, or to them, a giant lake that came out of nowhere. I like to imagine they are the same ants each time and that they now recognize my voice and will come when I beckon them. I think I'm going insane. I feel quite fond of my ants. To the point where I feel bad when I clean the counter because then there won't be any food for them. To the point where I saw one of the ants carrying a quite large crumb and felt ridiculously proud of him. To the point where I thought I crippled one with a tub of flour and felt sick seeing him hobble away. I wonder if I'm trying to fill the void that losing my dog has left. If I am, it's going to take quite a few ants. Kezzie was a small dog, but she was at least fifty times bigger. And fluffy. And adorable. And oh gosh I miss her...

Abruptly and insensitively moving on once again, the strange thing is, I also have other visitors and I despise them. Silverfish. I see one and I instantly murder it. But can they help how creepily they run along? Can they help that they are called Silverfish which somehow seems extra creepy? (I hear Silverfish and I think, "You're a fish! You should be in water! You have no business having those extremely fast moving legs.") No. They can't. What is this hypocrisy inside of me? How deep does it go? I don't know. But I also plan on continuing to kill my Silverfish without remorse and I plan on saying "hi" to my ant friends when I get home and maybe making a mess on purpose to help them feed their massive family.

Now, I haven't really wanted to blog, because I often feel that it is quite self-centered, and I question whether I only enjoy it for the attention (I am a notorious attention-seeker). I mean, why else would someone write a blog about their own life? Who cares about the crazy things I think and say and do? And yet there are people who actually do, and that amazes me. So I'll keep writing them, but they will be peppered with confessions of my failings and examples of how when Faith tries to bring attention to herself, she fails. Just think of it this way, Faith = failure. Oh no, that won't work. Dang you real-word names, always confusing my identity! As a child I didn't even know what gender I was, I thought I was just a spiritual concept. No wait, that's not it, I thought I was going to turn into a boy. Close though. Anyway, the point is when I try to bring attention to myself I fall on my face, which works really well for the attention-seeking aspect, but when I try to bring attention to God, I always succeed, even if it isn't always obvious to my short-sighted eyes (I'm not actually short-sighted, my vision is fine, it just happens to be stuck in a seriously limited human body). So here goes, I've noticed I've been careless with my words lately and hurting people's feelings that I had no intention of hurting. I felt like I was getting better at taming my tongue and it is always discouraging when I back track and need to apologize, which I always try to do.  It's usually in an attempt to be funny; words that seem harmless at the time but only end up tearing people down instead of building them up. I want to be a builder. God isn't calling Bob-the-Crushers, He's calling Bob-the-Builders (wait, what? He is? Bob-the-Builder is actually a missionary called to do relief work in underprivileged neighborhoods for God? Who knew). I just finally apologized to a coworker about something I said a long time ago that has been weighing on my conscience (something to do with sewing to which I said, "Where did you learn to do that, your mom?" which I don't even know how it was funny at the time, but it was, trust me.) You should have seen how happy he was when I apologized. Not only could he not believe I was still thinking about that but that I would bother to apologize for something so trivial. I went from making a bad impression, one of the only ones I've made with him, to making a very good impression and a new friend, not that you can really trust what I say about friends. Example: the ants.

The cruelty of the world is making me think it's time for another all-inclusive vacation, I mean, it's been 26 years since my last one (the womb). Also, FUN FACT ABOUT FAITH: I have never been outside of the country. The furthest point I have been from my birth place of Victoria is Fort St. John. Yeah. Real exciting. My family didn't have money to go on vacations growing up and I went right from high school to university, amassing a fortune in debt, and haven't had money to travel since. I still don't. The difference is I'm going anyway. Hurrah! Where am I going? Pssh, where does anyone go with no money who wants to mindlessly indulge themselves and/or escape government persecution? MEHICO! This is an exciting thing for me, this travelling thing. Now when I say "travel" I mean laying on the beach in the sun and eating lots of food. I don't actually mean furthering my education of a different culture and place. The good news is this Paleo diet has made me lose weight unintentionally, so I've got some real growing room. I plan on doing legitimate travelling some day too, don't worry, just not when I'm travelling with another inexperienced young, female traveller to a country known for it's successful drug cartels and kidnapping abilities. However, apparently Mexico has launched an anti-kidnapping agency! Unfortunately the next headline on Google says, "Mexico: War on Drug Cartels Leads to Rise in Kidnappings." You win some, you lose some. All I know is, I'm taking some time off to do nothing, and I promised myself that the next time I go to Mexico, it won't be for an all-inclusive vacation and it won't be to travel. It will be to help people who could never in their lifetime afford an all-inclusive vacation. Of course, I won't mention that technically I can't afford it right now either, the point is that I will be able to afford it, with just a little (or, you know, a lot) of saving up, and there's people who don't even have enough to feed their families (I instantly thought of the ants. I think I really am going insane). I think I might still have some money in my piggy-bank, unfortunately I might have to use the special limited-time Olympic quarters I collected back when I thought it would be cool to collect limited-time Olympic quarters.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life Update Blog Post of Life

It’s been awhile. I'm not apologizing, just stating a fact, and acknowledging the absence of that extra bit of joy in your life that you've been missing (my blog posts).

People ask me what I've been up to (do they? I had to think about that for a second. Yes, yes they do) and I try to think of what I can say besides “work.” And really when I think about it, what I've been doing is surviving. That is my life: survival of the not-so-fittest.

I made some resolutions for the new year, something I rarely ever do. Most people are all about making resolutions. I just find if I don't make them, then life is a lot less disappointing. Win, win. One of my resolutions was to write more blog posts (I actually just made that up right now, that wasn’t one of them). Another resolution was to go on the Paleo diet. You see, I’ve become obese in the past year and… Just kidding! Psych! It’s not a weight-loss diet, it’s a health diet. I want to figure out once and for all why I am chronically “bunged up” as they say (do they still say that? They shouldn’t). Yes I admit it, unashamedly (I also wrote an entire blog post about it so it probably isn’t news to you, you can read it here: Potty Talk), well, a little ashamedly… Anyway, I started the diet the second week of January and have only cheated twice: once when my dog died...

This is the part where I talk about how my dog died. That was sad. Really, really sad. I'm still mourning her and every day I miss her. She was the best dog I ever had (she was the only dog I ever had) and she was my baby (technically she was given to my brother and I, however she clearly preferred my mom over anyone in the world which made me jealous on many occasions and slightly bitter until I looked into her eyes and CURSE YOU CUTENESS! she relentlessly hypnotized me into forgiving her). Seventeen years of my life were spent loving that dog and I don't regret a minute of it, even if a lot of it was simply procrastinating from doing chores, or anything for that matter, and instead was spent fawning over her and talking to her in that ridiculous voice that you can't help using which is usually accompanied by that intense feeling all over that makes you clench your teeth together to refrain from squishing them to death. You know what I'm talking about. If you don't, I'm sincerely sorry, it's increased my quality of life exponentially. I feel sure I'll see her in heaven, you can't tell me I won't, you would simply be guessing (as am I), whereas all the rational is in my favor (why wouldn't God want all His creatures in heaven? They're all made unique and we know from the Bible that He cares for all of them on earth and that there are animals in heaven. What, so God is going to make new animals just for the sake of having animals in heaven and say no to the amazing animals He already made? What because heaven isn't big enough? Give me a break. Just because your mind can't handle the idea of eternity and a God who makes space out of air doesn't mean you should make the rest of us feel bad. There. I said it.) Anyway, I will always miss her. We called her "boozum spow" as kids (don't ask). I called her muffin and my dad called her Pigmaleon. But mostly I will miss just saying her name: Kezzie. The cutest, nicest, most beloved dog in the world. Me and my old BFF Chelsea used to play a game called "One puppy on the go," which consisted of us running a relay with Kezzie as the baton and said, "One puppy on the go.. two puppy on the go!" etcetera. It's like Count Dracula but with puppies. Yay! Anyway as Kezzie lay dying I whispered in her ear, "One puppy on the go!" and I knew she was going home, to her Creator, where she truly belonged.

And the next time I cheated was at my friend Erin's bachelorette party. Because, how could I not? The cookies were sailor-themed. Sorry, was that a difficult transition? Sometimes I can be insensitive. It was just too sad so out of self-defense my subconscious changed the topic abruptly before I burst into tears. But moving on a little less insensitively, after the loss of my beloved dog cheating on my diet made a lot of sense. So does cheating for sailor cookies. So far the Paleo diet is definitely working. I also wanted to rule out once and for all that my chronic fatigue/sleep problem/LTS (Leg Twitching Syndrome, which is actually called Periodic Limb Movement Disorder) is food-related. Something is making me twitch in my sleep, and the only way to rule out if it is something I’m eating and shouldn’t be is to go to extremes. Hence, the Paleo. It's no crazier than those people who suffered severe back pain for years until they finally decided to go on an elimination diet and found out it was allergy to wheat. What is the Paleo Diet? Well the most succinct explanation is no grains, no dairy (which I'm already allergic to), no sugar and no processed food; basically going back to the hunter and gatherer diet. This is helpful: The Beginner's Guide to Paleo. You may think, “But wait, she’s a vegetarian!” and I would say, “Actually I’m a pescatarian. Like a sectarian but with a "p." " I say I'm a vegetarian because no one knows what a freaking pescatarian is and I always sound like an idiot or a pretentious hippy. Basically, I eat fish. Let me tell you, I tried being a vegan, but heck, that was hard... And that's the end of that story.

But who cares what diet I’m on and whether I am going to the washroom more frequently than I ever have since birth. I mean I do, I care. A lot. But anyway let’s move on and talk about my sad little sleep-deprived life.

Did you know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture used alongside water-boarding? Yeah, that’s right. Every day I am exhausted. I am exhausted right now, and it is incredibly difficult to concentrate, hence, why I haven’t been blogging, or writing my book. Hence why I say my life consists of “surviving.” It is much easier to not-write, to passively take in, which comes to my other resolution. I have dared myself this year to give up TV for X amount of months. Basically I couldn’t say how long, I was afraid to say anything at all, so I dared myself that once I started I was going to do it as long as I possibly could. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as I realized it was quite unnecessary and instead I just needed to give up TV on week nights. Now listen, I am not a TVaholic, but I have a very small amount of time to live in, the rest of that time I am either working, eating or sleeping, so every second counts. Especially now that I switched shifts at work and now work from 11 am - 7 pm. This means I get an extra hour to sleep and will hopefully stop missing work so I don’t, you know, get fired, and so far it has been successful: I am still employed. It has meant I can’t really do much week nights, but hey! I often made plans during week nights in the na├»ve hope I wouldn’t be too tired to do them and then had to cancel anyway because… I was too tired to do them. And when I say “too tired” I mean I would be a danger on the road. There’s been many times where I have driven when I shouldn’t have because I was so tired. Why? Because it is so hard to miss out all the time, and it is so hard to say no, and I hate disappointing people, so I just say a prayer that I won’t die, or kill anyone, and hope for the best. So far so good!

Anyway, calm down, it’s okay, there are many, many occasions where I do say no (or say yes then decide that's it's not safe and say no), where I do miss out and I do disappoint people. Yaaayyy… On the bright side I have an awesome job, an awesome place to live, awesome friends and family and I recently acquired a good working car for $200. Yeah, that's right. God is blessing me just like I was told He would on the Auxano graduation night by an amazing prayer warrior named Tim Parker.

And I FINALLY got another appointment at the Nanaimo Sleep Clinic. Last year after finding out I had LTS, I mean Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, they gave me a kind of Parkinson’s medication to try and said if it didn’t work there were more options. It didn’t work. (You can read all about my ten years + journery here: Leg Tourrettes or Why I'm So Freaking Tired). Then they changed my next appointment date and, unfortunately, only had my home phone number, whilst I was up at Auxano, not at home, and therefore did not get the message. It meant I drove up to Nanaimo in someone else’s car just to find out that because I had missed my appointment I now had to get a new referral from my doctor, which would mean I would have to wait another x amount of months for an appointment. On top of that my doctor never did send the referral I asked for and I had to force them to get me in sooner. I could get really upset about this, but you can’t live that way. It’s exhausting. And I’m already exhausted.

One night when I was contemplating how sad it is that my life consists mainly of survival instead of growth and prosperity, I remembered, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  And I repeated it over and over in my head until it became a mantra and I wanted it tattooed in giant letters on my body. I'll let you know how that goes.

The End

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Accomplishments: My Puny Life

It's my birthday! Or at least it was (the days blur into one another when you are old), and I'm turning quite old. What have I accomplished for myself? Well, not much. I did graduate from university which might actually turn out to be the only acheivement of my life, but I sure as heck hope not, because the main reason I went to university was to write books. And I haven't written any. Or published a single thing for that matter. You might say, why haven't you? And I might say, you know what? Screw you! It's harder than you think. But I wouldn't because I'm nice, and because I don't actually know for myself that it's harder than you think. I just know this information from what other writers have told me again and again and again and again and again. Yes I've submitted a couple things to contests and haven't won any, and one or two stories to magazines but wasn't accepted, but I haven't really put my heart and soul into it. Why you ask? Because it's terrifying to put your heart and soul into something you know has a ten times higher chance of being rejected than accepted. When guys ask out girls they usually calculate their chances and make damn sure the chances are good. If the chances were ten time higher that she will say no than yes, no one would ever ask anyone out. And then no one would get married and the human race would quickly die out (naiive idea of procreation). But, as a seasoned writer (not really, that's some pretty light seasoning, like maybe a dash of curry, the mild kind), aware of the trials of publishing and the hundreds of rejections that you might receive before finally making it big, do I take these rejections to heart? Are you kidding? Of course I do. It's like someone telling you your baby is ugly. Not that I know, I don't have a baby.

That's the other thing, I have no babies. And for years I was positive I would have like seven babies by now. Granted, those years were the same years when 18 seemed mature (ha, as if!), and 25 seemed like middle age (ha, ha... sad...). But I recently discovered I wouldn't want my life to be any other way than it is right now. I realized with great relief that I would be perfectly happy if I didn't have kids for another decade. Let's take one decade at a time, people. Of course, by then my womb will be starting to shrivel up, but my dad's solution to that is: have a baby now, give it to Mom to take care of, and then you have years and years to have more babies (it's the first birth that can cause all the medical problems if you're passed 35. SCIENTIFIC FACT). Now, I don't know why my dad would be stupid enough to suggest this, unless he is secretly planning a divorce, because if I'm giving my mom a baby to raise, well, um, that would mean he would also have a baby to raise. I miss my parents, now that I'm moved out, I do. And I miss my dog Kezzie (she's super old, 17, older than most people think I am when they guess my age). But I am positively loving the independent life. My roommate is fantastic and I couldn't ask for a better place to live. My job is great too. I work for Telus Sourcing Solutions, but I'm under the Alberta Health Services contract, so it's like this: big Telus outsources to India but has its very own customer service company it can't afford to actually hire, so we get hired by other companies to do their customer service. What does this mean? Big Telus may have shoddy customer service but at least they own one of the best customer service companies in Canada, so that's got to count for something. The contract I work for is, like I said, Alberta Health Services. Apparently when Alberta outsources their customer service they go to BC... so we're like Alberta's India... But what's great is the kind of work I get to do: not selling phones or pushing services, but helping medical professionals with their benefits and pay cheques. As one coworker put it, "We help the people who save the world." Or, er, Alberta. But I've never worked for a company that makes their employees feel so respected and valued. Where I work, I matter. It's probably the best thing you can ask for from an employer. See how God has blessed me with the very things I was so concerned about after Auxano? A job and a place to live? Beyond what I asked for or imagined. He does that, God. I mean, not always - sometimes He has things for you to learn and sometimes you're just plain reaping your own consequences, but when He decides to bless you, He always does it extravagantly. Now you're asking, then why aren't I a millionaire? Don't be stupid. We all know by now that money means absolutely nothing. For goodness sake, two seconds ago the penny was a real thing and now it's just pretend.

But it doesn't matter how many books I've written (none) or how many babies I have (also none), I have accomplished a lot. Everything I've learned, everywhere that I've grown (I don't mean like how my chin hair is steadily getting thicker and turning into a beard that is the envy of all the boys, I mean like character growth), all the people I've positively affected, my family and friends, these are my accomplishments. And what greater accomplishment than my relationship with God, which has grown exponentially and will continue to grow exponentially because at some point you learn as a Christian that there is no end to God, and therefore no end to how much you can grow in your relationship with Him. And that is both frightening and wonderful. And so, I don't have to feel a single year was wasted in my - really, let's be serious - puny 26 years of life. Besides, God can return your wasted years. Thankfully, I don't feel He has to. What more could I ask for?

Now what about my writing you ask? Well, I am going to continue to struggle to write the book I know I need to write no matter how ridiculous it is, and I won't let anybody tell me that writing about unicorns is childish. Of course it's childish, you dumb goose, it's a book for children.