Category Archives: Personal

Comparison

It was in grade nine that I met the girl that I will likely always be jealous of.

We met playing volleyball and she became a close friend of mine over that year. If one were asked to describe either one of us, the description would be near-identical. At the time we looked very similar with tanned skin, an abundance of curls, and long, lanky limbs. We called ourselves “Mocha” and “Caramel” because my skin was slightly lighter than hers and we felt we needed nicknames (our other friend was “White Chocolate”).

I did not play volleyball after that one year but I heard from White Chocolate (what a ridiculous name) that Mocha had been asked to join the elite team and was their starting middle, the position we both competed for during that year we played together. I had her on Facebook and saw her become more and more beautiful…than me. I felt trapped behind her: not beginning to straighten my hair until a year after she began regularly straightening hers, suddenly becoming curvier than her, and she grew a few inches taller than I.

There were times that I’d look at her profile and just lament over my own looks and disappointment in myself. Why can’t I take photos like that? Why can’t I be as thin as her? as tall? How can I make my hair to be as long as hers? Should I have had a boyfriend because she has?

It got to the point where I had to hide her from my newsfeed or risk being miserable once a day.

I guess my question/point of this post is why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others?

When I’m not thinking about Mocha, I really like myself. I’m proud of my curves, I don’t mind my face (though sometimes I worry that it’s a bit lopsided), and I really do like myself as a person. But as soon as she comes into the picture that all falls down. Isn’t it sad that I have to put measures in place to ensure I don’t get upset about not being her?

I suppose it’s a matter of confidence. I can be happy with myself, I just need to learn to not look at myself in relation to others, I think.
I’m not quite sure I like how personal this was, but it was on my mind as I just came across her profile once again.

My heart hurts.

– K

Happy

I’ve realized that I haven’t updated my blog as often as I’d like to, so I’m kind of forcing myself to write this though my brain is clouded in a sleepy haze at the moment.

I’ve been away at university for not three weeks and so far I absolutely love it here. Though I have had bouts of missing people and wanting to be alone (honestly, that first week where I was forced to socialize in order to make and keep friends was exhausting), there really isn’t anywhere I’d rather be.

I’m sure my delight is also partially due to the fact that I will be going home for Thanksgiving weekend. I’ll be there for such a short time it seems almost redundant, but when my dad told me he’d booked the ticket I became a lot happier. I cannot wait to see my friends, but I’m sure that just a few days at home will be make overly eager to get back.

Life here has been amazing. I’ve found so many like-minded people, a task that was very hard at home. However, again, I still miss my friends.

Everything’s good.

Okay, I’ll stop wasting your time and write something worthwhile next time…my past few posts haven’t been very thrilling.

– K

Not Homesick, “Peoplesick”

I’ve not been at school for a week and already I’m feeling lonely.

It’s really silly, because I feel like I have an over-abundance of friends. There’s always someone who wants to do something with me. But today I just had the most anti-social day and ended up thinking about home.

Don’t get me wrong: there is no way I would want to go back home, even to see my family and friends. There’s nothing for me there. But I miss everyone terribly. I think that’s going to be the hardest part in these months away. I’m sure I’ll be better in a bit. It’s just hard. And I feel like what inspired this sadness is the fact that I had time to log on to Facebook and see what everyone’s up to. I’d delete it if I could but that would just sever ties and not really solve the problem. I’ve realized that I have an issue with avoidance.

Tonight I think I’ll stay in and let myself be upset. Tomorrow is another day, and I’m hoping I’ll be happier.

Now to read this letter my mom wrote and included baby pictures in. I swear she’s trying to ruin me…

– K

A Beginning and an End

At the moment I’m sitting here in my living room with my whole life halfway packed in 4-soon-to-be-5 suitcases. In less than two days I will be taking a plane out to British Columbia to start a next phase in my life: university.

Everyone said I’d be sad at this point, reluctant to stray from my home. Though I don’t consider myself a particularly sentimental person, I was prepared for at least a little bit of a longing to stay. However now that the time to go approaches fast as ever that feeling has yet to come.

The fact is I’ve been waiting for years to leave. I feel like the time frame for me to be upset about leaving has come and gone due to the amount of time I’ve been waiting. I’m so old, should have been gone years ago…

But it occurred to me that as much as this is a new beginning for me, it’s an ending for my family. The end of seeing me every day, the end of our bonding time, the end of my regular stories, the end of my parents’ marriage…
And I feel bad for them. How silly of me to think that their happiness in life hinges on my presence, but it really does change things.

Of course there are things I’ll miss. I mean, I’m so so close to my parents. Though he annoys me a lot, my dad is one of my best friends. And my mom is the one person in the world I trust with absolutely anything. As for my brother, we’ve never really been terribly close but it’s always nice to know he’s around–makes me feel a bit less alone. There are my friends too–I just had my final goodbye with my two childhood best friends. And a little part of me might miss that one boy.

But I’m moving on. And there’s nothing I’m more excited for than this.

I just hope my family will be okay without me.

– K

Flirting and Why It Is (Potentially) Ruining My Love Life

I must admit, when it comes to the “dating scene” I’m not the most experienced fisherman at sea (is that an expression? …now it is). By that I mean that I have not gone on one date in my life. While I’d like to say I’m just too good-looking and amazing personalitied (not a word, but we’ll go with it) that the boys are being shied away, I know that the truth of my inexperience lies in my flirting techniques. Or lack thereof.

I just can’t flirt. It’s like my body rejects winking and seduction. Truthfully I’ve never really put in a real effort–but it’s so hard! In addition I feel like a creep when I do try. One of my (few) attempts was at a high school dance. I went up to this one guy while “Sexy Bitch” started playing and told him, “I once met David Guetta on a plane and he wrote this song for me.” Nope, I did not get his number. Or really an acknowledgement from him. Now that I’m looking back he may not have even heard me because the music was so loud…but the fact remains that it was not my smoothest move.

Being open to someone you’re interested in is so scary! In high school I forced myself to Facebook chat this one guy I liked. This sounds promising, right? Wrong. I was literally SHAKING as I typed. It was so bad that I had to take the time after writing a message to get rid of all the extra letters I had accidentally added (“Hooww aree yuouuu?>”). And while I would talk to him on Facebook at least two nights a week, I was so nervous I pretty much ignored him at school. I was glad when that crush was over…

Another problem lies in the fact that I just don’t trust a flirt. I just find the whole “art” deceiving. On top of that I’m very clueless. Usually I won’t notice I’m being flirted with, but when I do I decide that I hate it. For example, this is what happened at a club two weeks ago:

Flirter: Wow, you’re beautiful! What’s your name?
Me: Kiah.
Flirter: That is such a pretty name!
Me:
Flirter:
…do you get that a lot?
Me: Yes.

My immediate reaction was to shut him down. Honestly I do get that a lot, but most of the time I’ll say thank you. Knowing that he likely wanted to hook up with me (I’ve realized that most guys in the clubs I go to are only interested in that) was just a turn off and I wasn’t having any of it. I also shut down the guy that filled his place. (“I am Alessandro. You’re pretty, where are you from?”/”Canada.”/”No…background.”/”Jamaican, Italian…”/”I am from Ee-tal-ee!”/”Cool.”)

The key to flirting, or at least as I understand it, is complimenting. And I simply hate compliments! When someone compliments me I feel like they’re being insincere, which is why I’m very slow to compliment others. I feel like this started because of Mean Girls–to refresh your memory, Regina George compliments one girl on her skirt and immediately turns to Cady when she’s gone and says, “That is the ugliest effing thing I have ever seen.” So when someone calls me beautiful, I feel like they’ll turn to their friend the moment I’m gone and say, “Hey, I think we’ve found the Yeti.”

I want to write about another point, but I can’t think of anything. Isn’t flirting just compliments? That’s all it ever is for me. Or being creepy, as I proved with the whole “Sexy Bitch” fiasco.

I’m not too worried about learning to flirt and whatnot. It’s not like I’m gunning to have a boyfriend or anything (in fact the idea is just the biggest turn off for me). But it would be nice to not be a boy-repellent when I do give flirting a go.

How much simpler would the world be if you could just look at someone and know they were interested in you? I hate these games…I’ll probably never flat out admit to someone that I have a crush on them. Or at least not for a long time from now.

This has ended very abruptly. But I have nothing else to say on the topic. It’s too stressful.

-K

Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year

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Due to the ridiculous cost of post-secondary education and my own indecision about that quintessential high school question “What do you want to do with your life?”, after graduation I found myself still at home while a majority of my peers went off to start anew at college or university. Over the summer I was a nervous wreck, not knowing how the following year would progress. Taking a year off was leaving too much unknown for someone who had spent the past 14 years in school. This was a feeling I should have had after university, not before. But I had no other options.

The truth is I needed to take the year off. Without it I would likely have enrolled myself in some program I was only mildly partial to at some university I hated. Likewise, without it I wouldn’t have realized how desperately I needed to be in school. There are two sides to my gap year and so I share with you the pros and cons of taking a year off…

The Pros

  • Like I said, I had no idea what I really wanted to do. This year allowed me to take the time to really think about how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Without the year off, I probably would have taken Sociology at the university closest to my house–the program is general, I can do quite a few things with it, and I had a lot of friends who were applying/planning to go to the same school. Now I realize I would have hated it. Come the fall I will be going to my dream school which just happens to be across the country and will be focusing on the thing that I am most passionate about: theatre & film. I’ve set up my timetable already and am more than excited for the school year to start.
  • I was able to save up some money to help contribute to my education. I never scored a full-time job, but I did work fairly steadily for six months. (More on this in the cons…)
  • I got to visit quite a few universities to see my friends. Everyone wanted me to see how they were living in their new setting, so I got to really understand university life and see places that I would potentially want to go to. I even sat in on some lectures to see how a university classroom worked! At the end of the year, I got a slice of university life at 5 different schools. On top of that I gained a lot of insight from my friends who told me things they wish they’d known before applying for their program or to their specific school.
  • Room preferences! Because of my year off, I have the extra student attribute when applying to residence of being a gap year student. To be honest I’m not quite sure what this means–I’m crossing my fingers that because of it I’ll end up getting a single room like I’ve asked for.
  • Though this isn’t something I did, I know a lot of people who returned to high school for at least one semester to raise some marks. I considered doing this, but then realized I would probably have hated everything and gotten rebellious. (“I’ve already done this, I’m above your petty little high school!” &c.)
  • I made quite a lot of new friends–not just at the schools I visited, but also from my own high school. There was a handful of people who stayed back/took a year off as well, so I ended up getting to know a few more people in my own area who I never really hung out with in high school. It’s a nice phenomenon how much everyone changes between high school and university; everyone is so much nicer and open to making new friends.

The Cons

  • I hate my house. I hate living at home. The amount of breakdowns I had because I’ve been ready to “fly the coop” since grade eleven and yet have been forced to remain for a year longer than expected really took a toll on me. That’s perhaps why I’m going to school so far away.
  • I cannot begin to describe how lonely I felt as everyone left in late-August/early-September. One week I could call on my friends as I wished, the next everyone was moving in, having orientations, posting photos on Facebook about Frosh Week, making new friends, and forgetting about little old me sitting at home doing nothing.
  • It took me forever to find a job. I spent the whole summer looking and was finally employed in mid-September. Maybe not too bad, but two weeks without friends was terribly lonely when I didn’t have any distractions.
  • Not being busy with some kind of work that challenged me intellectually drove me crazy.
  • Building on that last point, because I have had so much time in the past year I have taken procrastination to a whole new level. I thought I was bad in high school but nowadays I’ll take months to do simple things (i.e. getting my G2, getting new headshots, filling out my “Statement of Activities” for my school application).

This year off has been anything but enjoyable. In November, when I realized I had ten months of suffering left I wasn’t sure I could make it. I fell into a major depression. Come February I struggled to make it through a shift at work without crying. Finally in March I had to quit. I started focusing on getting healthy, both physically and mentally. It was a relief when I received my acceptance letter in early April after my birthday, but that didn’t cure me. I’d been applying for different jobs since February and hadn’t had a single interview–this brought on a whole new stress about contributing to school, though my parents told me we’d be all right and I’d still be able to go.

Thankfully I’m doing better now, 31 days away from my big move. I know more than ever where I want to be and that is at school. I’m not worried that I won’t be able to fall back into being a student, it’s one of the things I enjoy most in the world.

Everyone has their own reasons for taking a gap year, and not everyone has a choice. The truth is I might be stronger now because of what I’ve gone through in this year. Twelve months means so much more to me now and I refuse to let another dozen get out of my control. I know what I want to do in life and that is not to sit around waiting for things to happen. September 1 is when my new life begins and I promise there will be no gaps from here.

There are pros and there are cons, but a gap year is only positive or negative based on what you make of it.

– K

I Apologize Before You Read This: “YOLO”

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Since I was young, everyone has always told me that I act older than my age. I’m just very mature, I suppose. I was the girl reading books for grades higher in grade two, being the friend to the girl everyone shunned in grade five, learning HTML out of curiosity in grade seven, and giving advice to my friends about drama all throughout high school. My reputation is (or maybe I should say was, considering some recent events) flawless. So, naturally, people trust me very easily and expect me to get things done.

It was in March of last year when I went on my graduation trip to Punta Cana with a small group of my friends (the rest of the grade went during the summer) that I realized that I was different than most of my peers. I had not been in a fight with a friend since grade four, never been involved in any drama or had rumours spread about me, liked to party but didn’t mind sitting at home reading, wasn’t interested in having a boyfriend because the boys I knew were simply not good enough (to put it bluntly)… Meanwhile my friends were around me having fights with their boyfriends and girlfriends, guzzling alcohol from sun rise and back, having sex with strangers, and experiencing their own little “flings”. Now I definitely enjoyed that trip and didn’t hold myself back. I certainly drank every night, more than I would if I was at home. I had my first kiss. And my second. And third. But I found myself more interested in actually experiencing the trip by going on a trip on a catamaran, taking a jeep tour, and learning how to surf. Why would I want to sleep with a stranger just to “get the whole virginity thing over with before college”? Why would I want to wake up every morning hungover? What’s so great about tanning and why am I expected to want to sit in the sun for X amount of hours (risking heat stroke!)? However, this post isn’t about my trip so I’ll move right along…

I’ve always been the responsible one. Though I would say that I am by nature impulsive, I usually avoided doing anything “out-of-the-box” in fear of ruining my reputation, running into any drama, or having any regrets. But after coming back from that trip I had an epiphany: I was not having any fun the way I was living. I was surprised at the regret I felt from not doing anything crazy and not making mistakes!

Most weekends I was at home. I was not happy with a majority of my friends who I felt I had next to nothing in common with. Guys were non-existent in my life (if you didn’t guess that, seeing as my first kiss was at 18). Now these aren’t necessarily things that had to be fixed, and I certainly found happiness at one point with these things as they were, but they were the root of my discontentment.

At the time I wasn’t in a position to change it up. I was taking a class that organizes a huge conference every year and I was in charge of getting the guest speakers. It was a stressful job and a social life wouldn’t have been possible if I wanted to do the very best job I could. So I held off…

I really hate to say it because it’s become so lame/obvious, but you really do only live once. I despise people who use this acronym in a serious fashion day-to-day, but it is a valid reason to say, “Fuck it!” and live.

So this past year I’ve started hanging out with new friends. At one point I did go through a little bit of a depression (and am still working against it), but I found that improving my life not necessarily through productivity but through keeping busy and trying to make my life interesting has helped. But I’m staying grounded, avoiding that drama that I’ve never truly experienced. At the same time I’m allowing myself to be a little irresponsible sometimes, to do things just because I want to. Or to avoid things just because I want to. (Like quitting my job–I wrote a letter and had my mom drop it in the mailbox because I didn’t want to deal with confrontation–not my most responsible choice, but the best for me at the time as the stress I felt even thinking about it was insane.)

Maybe this isn’t the way to spend the rest of my life, but I’m definitely in a better place than I was last year at this time, in terms of having fun being myself. And I know life isn’t all parties and lack of consequences, but those are things I never experienced going through high school.

It’s time I acknowledged that I’m still young. I’m allowed to be a little irresponsible sometimes. I should do things just because I have a sudden impulse. In the end, I’ll be happier.

So fuck it. YOLO. Or carpe diem. Or “live every day like it’s your last”. Or some other cliché.

– K