Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Starting over

My aunt asked me the other day how I'm feeling about the school transfer. I gave the standard societal answer of, "I'm excited, I'm happy, blah blah blah." But its not even close to entirely true. After the initial joy of getting accepted wore off, the sneaky emotions found their way in.

Thrilled. Terrified. Apprehensive. Excited. Amazed. Dumbfounded. Dumb. Smart. Alone. Its all there, and more feelings that I don't even have words for.

I'm still thrilled that I got in. Its a much needed change. A smaller city, a smaller campus, and closer to home. I have friends that go there. With the marks I had, they owed me nothing and I'm grateful for the chance. Its a leading Canadian university, and I can now say that I go there. Its spectacular.

But like always, the doubt creeps back in. I now have to figure out an entirely new campus, a new city, new professors and new classes. While I've got friends there, its old hat to them. I'm scared that I won't live up to what the school's looking for on the probation* term. I'm terrified that it will feel the same as the last one did, and that all of this change will be for nothing.

My logical side says I'll be okay, if I work at it and make it home. But I failed at that so badly at the last school that I can't help but doubt myself. It makes for some pretty conflicting feelings. I'm moving my furniture Friday. A friend and I leased a place for August. We're both farm kids that have no time for moving in the middle of harvest so we're doing it now. Packing is making my hyperventilate.

I feel like a little kid that needs someone to hold her hand and tell her it will be okay. It will be, but I still need someone to tell me that. It's a scary business, starting over.

*Because of the way my marks were, and how I applied for the transfer, I'm on mandatory academic probation. If I don't live up to it, I will basically be kicked out.

Monday, July 27, 2009

That Type

You know the type of person that can never just let things run smoothly the way they're planned? Or go somewhere on the day you ask them to? Or be somewhere at the time you ask them to? It always has to be a different plan. Or a different day. Or a different time.

And its never for a good reason. Its just because you want to go Monday, so they insist on Tuesday, although they have nothing planned for Monday. You want to be there at noon, but they can't be there until 2 even though they've been sitting around in pajamas all morning. You want to go to Store A, but they insist on Store B, although they won't be buying anything from either store.

You know the type? I live with one of these control freaks. I call her "Mom" and she's driving me to drink. That is all.

Friday, July 17, 2009


So I woke up this morning, pushing noon, after a virtual all nighter with one of my best friends who just got back from visiting the UK. 4 AM never came so fast.

Blurry eyed, I checked my business e-mail, to see if there was anything important for the farm, and then noticed that I had personal messages in my other inbox. One of them carried the subject line "Information from *Insert University Name Here*" Suddenly, my eyes were less blurry. It was info about my school e-mail address, and how to access it.

Wide awake now, I'm realizing they probably don't give addresses to just anyone. But I haven't gotten any official confirmation. Its supposed to come in the mail. I may or may not have pounced on our mailbox the minute the mailman left. Nothing. Huh. Now I'm confused.

I'm also a child, and refuse to wait. So I looked up the number of the admissions office, found the extension of the person who handles my major. Heart pounding, I dialed the digits and explained the e-mail and lack of mail.

The wonderful lady, with the voice of an angel (okay, so I'm exaggerating, but if she wasn't on the other end of a phone, I would have kissed her), told me that, yes, I have officially been accepted and will receive a package of info, including the offer of admission, next week in the mail.


The proverbial car that is my life is back on the highway. For the past few years, there were plenty of times where I didn't feel like I was the driver in control. Heck, I felt like a hostage, blindfolded, gagged and tied up in the trunk in a car hurtling towards a cliff.

I made quite the detour, and hated every second of it. I struggled with homesickness, loneliness, and a million other things. Some of my marks tanked because of it. I nearly kissed a university degree goodbye. I was dangerously close to it.

But things are back on track now. I'll be an hour from home, with a vehicle and I can go home any time I want. I'll be living with a friend from high school (we've signed a lease, for the record), instead of people I don't know well. I'll still be doing a degree I love.

It's still not going to be a walk in the park, but I can see the road again. It feels good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Change? Who are you kidding?

I don't like change. No, that's an understatement. I effin hate change. Yes, that's more accurate. I like to say its because I'm a traditionalist, dammit, but the truth is its because I enjoy my comfort zone more than most people.

Its not that I am not adventurous. I've travelled more than most people twice my age. As a cracka-white girl (I'm allowed to say that when I'm referring to myself, thank you), I eat a heck of a lot of ethnic foods that I actually have to drive to get because they don't have it "round these here parts."

But I do all of my travelling, trying new things, adventuring and generally acting like the 21 year old that I am knowing that if they don't work for me, or I'm not happy, I still have my comfort zone to fall back on. If I don't like moving somewhere, I can always move home. If I don't like eating something, I can go back to foods I know.

When people threaten that comfort zone though, that's when I get testy. You can push my boundaries all you like, but touch my foundation and you're in big trouble. My dad's been casually talking about letting some of the farmland we own hit the real estate market after this season is over. He knows, as well as I do, that a neighbour is extremely interested. And I don't like it one bit.

Both of my parents have jobs and own businesses outside of the farm. Most of the administrative work for the farm is left to me (business accounting, buying seed, selling crop, etc) and so is a lot of the physical labour. Seeding, fertilizing, spraying, spreading, harvesting...I'm always out there on a machine. Its my domain and suddenly, there's talk of it being pulled out from under me. Me. No. Likey.

Wish me luck with reasoning with my father, because if I see a "For Sale" sign in front of my field, I'm gonna be one mean girl. I'm off to run down to my fields on the quad and check out my damn crops. What ever happened to "Daddy Won't Sell The Farm"?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

5 years

5 years ago today, I lost one of my closest friends to his own stupidity. It was the summer after grade 11. He had turned 17 a few months earlier. It was a Friday night, in the summer, and we were having a party, at a friend's place in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't legal, but there was alcohol.

He tried to walk to his car. He'd been drinking. He'd done that before, and people knew it. We tried to take his keys away, telling him he wasn't safe to drive. He promised he was only going to the car to get something. He laughed at our concern, hugged a couple people. Me included. We trusted him. We heard the engine start and tires squeal and it was too late to stop him.

That was the last time I saw him alive. Suffice it to say there was a bad one car accident, that put him into a coma that he never came out of. His mother had to make the call to take him off life support. I can't describe the hell of those next few days. It takes more space, more words, and more tolerance than I've got.

I still have the dress I wore to his funeral. I've never worn it again, but I can't let it go. I'll never forget the picture that sat on top of his closed casket. I still remember how his mom looked, and what she said to me in the receiving line.

I remember sitting downstairs in the church with his big brother, who was one of his best buddies and ours too, and sobbing. We spent a lot of time doing that, in and out of the church, in the days that followed. We talked, we cried, we screamed and we sobbed. Anger mixed with grief and it tore our hearts to shreds.

I'm still angry as hell. We've all tried our best to forgive him but it still hurts. On the other hand, I still miss him just as much as that first day without him, and that hurts too. Someone who's been there for 17 years, gone in an instant, and for no good never goes away.

It was 5 years ago, and it was yesterday. You'd be 22, but you'll always be 17. I still love you. I still miss you. I always will.


If you've been drinking, and you even consider operating a vehicle bigger than a golf cart, remember this. If me telling this story saves one accident, as much as it hurts to talk about the reason he's gone, its worth it.

Five Star Friday

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


So I just got off the phone with the admissions officer at the school I'm working on transferring to/hoping to get into. They received my application on May 13, according to the centre that controls all that fun stuff and as of July, I had heard nothing. So I figured I'd call to see if they needed anything from me, or how long it could possibly take.

The girl I talked to managed to kick me in a couple sentences. Because of how my marks at my old school were (ie some were terrible, because miserable people don't like to study), my application has to be put before a committee. One member of said committee is out of the country right now, so there isn't a meeting any time soon.

She estimated that it would be another 2 to 3 weeks, which means another month before I hear anything, since it has to be mailed. That puts me in early August. I'm already looking at housing right now, because its a competitive market, if you want to be anywhere near school, and apartments get snatched up quick.

If I don't get into school, I'll be doing correspondence but living in the city and paying rent for correspondence when I could do it from home isn't even close to ideal, but I can't ask my friend (who is already in) to wait to sign a September lease til mid August. That's not fair to her.

So we're signing a lease and planning to move, and I'm crossing my fingers and toes. Will you cross yours for me too?

Monday, July 6, 2009

A conversation between me and my mother

Scene: The Grown Up Teenager and She Who Spawned The Grown Up Teenager are gardening. *shudder* The mother decides that a sapling which DARES to grow near her carefully manicured path needs to die--I mean, be cut down, and enlists The Grown Up Teenager to do so. The Grown Up Teenager begins sawing at the (annoying alive, bendy and difficult tree with an apparent will to live) sapling. The Mom folk decides to try to hold it still for the manual labourer also known as her daughter, thus placing her ankle in range of the saw.

Me: Mom, no offense, but I don't want your ankle anywhere near me right now.
Mom: Excuse me?
Me: Saw blade, your ankle, blood, stitches, bad.
Mom: Fair point.
Me: And I don't feel like going to the *insert nearest city here* ER, they're slow.
Mom: Somehow, I have a feeling that if I went with you, I'd get service pretty quickly.
Me: Oh yeah, why's that? Because I have frequent flyer miles and know all the doctors and nurses? Or because I've got a temper that intimidates anyone under 7 feet tall?
Mom: Well....a little of column A...a little of column B...
Me: *smirks, says nothing, continues sawing*

For the record, no one's ankle ended up meeting a saw blade, but the conversation was nevertheless amusing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canadian Pride

Today is Canada Day, and while Canadians aren't known for their ardent patriotism, I certainly am proud and thankful to be Canadian. I love being Canadian, I'm proud to say I'm Canadian, and I wouldn't change it for the world. So today, I will be donning a Molson Canadian shirt, like thousands of others, and I'll leave you with two Molson commercials that sum up what it is to be Canadian, and address some of the funnier stereotypes. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy these. So enjoy along with me. Happy Canada Day!

I’m not a lumberjack or a fur trader, and I don’t live in an igloo or eat blubber or own a dog sled.
And I don’t know Jimmy,Sally or Suzy from Canada, although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.

I have a Prime Minister, not a President.
I speak English and French, not American
And I pronounce it “about,” not “aboot.”

I can proudly sew my country’s flag on my backpack.
I believe in peacekeeping, not policing
Diversity, not assimilation
And that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.

A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch, and it is pronounced zed, not zee, ZED!

Canada is the second largest landmass, the first nation of hockey, and the best part of North America.

My name is Joe, and I AM CANADIAN!