Living the small town life is a lot like playing the sims… with less random sex. or more. by other people. not me. i’m still married mom, don’t worry.

You know how when you lie in the city, when you see someone you know, you end up uber excited and greet them like you both just came back from different wars at the same time and WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THAT??? LIKE NONE???? Even if you’ve met twice, there is a ton of hugging and “OH MY GOD I CANT BELIEVE I RAN IN TO YOU HERE!” and false promises of meeting for coffee and naming your firstborn after one another. It’s all terribly dramatic but it’s just expected.

In a small town, this is so not the case. And it still feels really weird. I go to the exact same coffee shop every day to write. I see the exact same people, people I’ve had numerous conversations with and know their parents or kids or both. I see the same people every day at yoga, or at the grocery store or buying tampons.

I think in the past two days I have seen like 4 faces that I don’t recognize at least marginally.

So I’ve had to get used to not being surprised at seeing people. Because it isn’t a surprise. They live four blocks from me and are the cousin of my brothers ex girlfriend. Seeing them was bound to happen at some point that day.

So it is a constant battle to figure out the appropriate level of enthusiasm at running in to them. Some days its just a casual wave to acknowledge you’ve seen each other (like when you’re in the same aisle at the drug store and they are clearly trying to figure out what condoms to buy and you’re loading up on super absorbent tampons) or do you start a conversation. And how do you END those conversations without basically asking them to move in with you the way you do in the city? Do you just…. walk away? Or do you throw in the “well, I’ll see you at our super secret satanic ritual thing on thursday” and make the sign of the devil?

Do you ALWAYS greet people with the same level of enthusiasm or is it situational? I feel like I need some sort of guide that gives me a basic overview on social situations and how to properly interact with people so I avoid accidental ass grabs in front of churches.

And how do you advance a “casual acquaintance” in to a friendship when you realize someone is totally awesome? Because it feels sort of invasive to shout to the girl you always end up beside in pilates that you’ve noticed that she too wears a disproportionate amount of skull clothing and that you should go hang out sometime. Would it make things weird? HOW DO PEOPLE MAKE FRIENDS?

I’m at the point where I’m tempted to create a chart of friendships I’ve gained, with pictures, and action items for each so that we either decrease our association, maintain our current level or improve our friendship.

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So this whole “Old” feeling… That just staying until I die now huh?

I’m not sure if it’s the arthritis or the overwhelming excitement over building our deck and laying grass seed but lately, I’ve been feeling old. Like, creaky, fist shaking “Get off my lawn” shouting old. Mind you the shouting is more so at my dogs and usually it involves a lot of swearing but still. I’m decidedly not 16 anymore (thank god).

But that whole “not being 16″ thing was most grotesquely highlighted recently when I got an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion. Ten. Years. Like, since I graduated, I could have had a ten year old kid. Or…. I don’t know… done something with my life. I’m not sure what. Own and operate my own llama farm? I seriously have no idea what sort of ambitions I’m supposed to have anymore once I discovered that “Becomming a business woman” involved more than wearing power suits with shoulder pads and storming around yelling in to a cell phone about buying and selling stocks.

Now, for most, the only real issue is figuring out if they actually WANT to go to their reunion and that involves varying factors including whether they got better or worse looking, gained or lost a drug habit and whether the actual date of the event falls on some sort of special date that you’re supposed to be somewhere else. Like giving birth or something equally insane. BECAUSE ITS BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE HIGH SCHOOL AND HAVING BABIES ISNT THAT CRAZY ANYMORE!

But I have an additional problem. I went to high school in Australia and I now live in Canada. They aren’t exactly close. At all. And given I lack money, a magic broom or Tardis, the chances that I can get there are like .001%. It just ain’t happening unless there is some sort of miracle and given the amount of blaspheming I’ve done just this morning… well let’s just say that I said some things about baby jesus that probably have put me pretty down his priority list.

So, guys, I need some sort of money making scheme to raise like $3000 in the next five days. I need suggestions, ideas, ANYTHING to see if I can make my own miracle here. Also- You should totally come with me because Melbourne is amazeballs.

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I too live the thug life

When Manfriend and I moved into the new house, we rapidly realized that we were the youngest people on the block by a solid 40 years. Now, this isn’t a post ragging on older folk. In fact, its sort of the opposite. My neighbours are awesome and I want them to like me. Hell, I love my neighbors. Marion across the street came by to introduce herself and gave me a hug and whispered, very kindly, in my ear that the neighbourhood wouldn’t be angry if we chose to paint the house a new colour. Soon. Please. And I totally get where shes coming from because my house is the colour of the sort of boogers toddlers get smeared all over their faces… Okay you know what… I think that was easily the most graphicly disgusting thing I’ve ever written here. GOOD JOB TEAM, WE HIT A NEW LOW!!

For the most part, however, we don’t often see our neighbours. Mostly because this winter we spent 90% of our time huddled up inside, recreating that scene in The Day After Tomorrow where they all try to not freeze to death, minus the book burning (fun fact, while googling that image about fifty pictures of Jane Fonda showed up. Not sure why.)

They all look super fucking guilty. And they should. Who burns books?  And why didn't they start with the YA section, rather than the friggen rare books collection?? Theres are enough copies of twilight to get a bonfire big enough to melt the polar ice caps.

They all look super fucking guilty. And they should. Who burns books? And why didn’t they start with the YA section, rather than the friggen rare books collection?? Theres are enough copies of twilight to get a bonfire big enough to melt the polar ice caps.

But for a few days last week there was nice weather. Like, so nice I shaved my legs. Seriously. It took two razors and a bottle of wine and the white glow of them blinded Manfriend but we do what we gotta do.

Manfriend and I somehow, without any prompting from what I like to refer to as ACTUAL adults, ended up gardening. Like in dirt. Because we wanted to. Without tripping on acid or being forced to at gun point. If you travelled back in time to tell 21 year old us that we would be gardening of our own free will, I would have slapped you right in your whore face.

We bought gloves and trowels and a few other things that I’ve only ever seen while watching the movie Saw against my will. We took our tools and headed out into the garden to try and win the battle against what I have learned is Clamatis(I think. The name reminded me of chlamydia so its probably clamatis. It scares me that I can spell chlamydia properly without even thinking about it but spellcheck is telling me that I’ve got clamatis all wrong).

But gardening in the silence felt terrifying and overwhelming, as though Mother Earth would hear us haphazardly ripping the things I thought were weeds (they weren’t) out of the soil. So to try and make things a bit more noisy, I brought out some portable speakers and plugged my iphone in to listen to some tunes on shuffle.

It started off innocently enough with some Queens of the Stone Age (fun fact, they were the first concert I went to. Unless you count Sharon Lois and Bram. And you should. Because holy shit are they cool). I mean sure, its a little badass but not outside acceptable bounds. But as we gardened and sort of tuned out the music, it seems that my playlist went to some of my less “Old Neighbour” friendly music.

I only found this out when a lady walking past with her dog gave me the sort of glare you reserve for serial killers or people who voted for Rob Ford. Why did she give us such a dirty look? Because blaring out of my speakers was “99 Problems” by Jay-z (a song that I cannot help but love). Realizing that the surrounding houses may not appreciate my rap love, I quickly hopped up and ran to my phone and skipped to the next song and went back to my gardening. And what should come on but Ludacris “Whats your Fantasy”.

It’s one of those songs that ever white girl you’ve ever met secretly knows every word to. In university my 8 roommates and I would regularly end up randomly bursting into this song with the kind of enthusiasm you would expect was reserved for the Backstreet Boys.

I scrolled through the next twenty songs or so and realized that it was a mix of DMX, Luda, Blackstreet, Eminem and LL Cool J (the classics!!).

As I kept scrolling, I realized that I have the quintessential Hipster music collection. Classic rock, Rap and a shit ton of indie music that either makes you feel incredibly happy or like you want to die because you’re in an existential haze.

And that, of that music, pretty much only the classic rock was considered acceptable to play outside unless I wanted everyone to think that the lovely young couple in the shitty looking house were part of a gang and about to take over the neighbourhood with shenanigans.

Which, for some reason, is incredibly appealing.

I would call my gang The Mandolins and we would be best known for roaming the streets and putting novelty hats on peoples dogs, using the worst swearwords possible and wearing excellent shoes.

Fuck it, my gang sounds awesome. I’m going to blare my Jay-Z and indulge my faux thug self. Between the reasonable hours of 10 am and 8 pm. Because I know Marion goes to bed early and I don’t want to interrupt her sleep. I hoping to get her to join my gang.

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Sometimes I feel like I’m trading in one kind of crazy for another…

Before, when all the shenanigans were happening in my head and I was still working 18 hours a day and not sleeping, some things were easier for me.

Okay easier is a huge misconception….. They felt easier but it was because I was completely bonkers and disassociative.

People would ask me before an interview or a presentation why I didn’t seem nervous. And I would smile and them and calmly explain that I was nervous. But that no one else needed to know that because it wasn’t ME getting up in front of people, answering questions and socializing.

Nope, not me. It was the imaginary character of myself that I created. One that had more confidence than I did, that knew things I didn’t and was suave and cool and that could start a conversation with anyone at any time.

A long long time ago I realized that my natural introvert tendencies (reading, writing, sitting by myself and daydreaming) painted a big target on my back at school for bullying and that as an adult, the outspoken, we’ll dressed and personable people ended up successful.

So at a super young age I learned to watch the behaviours of people cooler than me and emulate them. I recreate my own personality over and over again so that I fit in, made friends and got ahead.

I did whatever it would take to be accepted and liked.

I continued this into my career. Pushing as hard as I could to match the best, trying to get ahead.

And, of course as we all now know, I crashed. And I crashed hard.

I had spent a lifetime creating an image of myself that just wasn’t me. The only problem being that I now have not a fucking clue who I am. As you can imagine, it’s a bit frustrating.

This has caused a NEW set of crazy – I’ve developed social anxiety disorder! Being in public or at functions makes me want to run away and hide. Things as basic as dinners at other peoples houses feel like torture because I no longer know what to say or how to behave. And so I end up being super awkward, realizing how awkward I am and then panic. It’s been super effing fun. Really. People must think I’m a drunk and I want to be all “nono nono it’s not the booze, it’s the identity crises mixed with my antidepressants! I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just insane.”

See why I’m bad company? And why I’m terrified to go back to work?

And just as importantly, I need to figure out wheat the fuck I want to DO once I have a better idea of who I am, because I’m not sure that being good at corporate sales is enough of a reason to BE in corporate sales.

I would much rather write, for myself, for others, and if I’m honest, for profit.

So I am turning to you folk who know me better than most – have you got any ideas on where to turn and focus my life?

Any pearls of wisdom?

And if you tell me to just do what makes me happy I will stab you because I have only just figured out what happiness actually feels like for the first time and I’m still trying to figure that whole thing out.

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A totally random thank you post… but also proof that therapy works cause I started out feeling guilty and now I’m all happy and grateful. SCIENCE MOTHERFUCKERS!

Do you ever get that feeling like you want to do something? But the second you start doing it, you feel like you should be doing something way more important? Like working, or saving the world or actually changing the toilet paper roll rather than just stacking the new roll on top of the toilet?

Cause that is me. All the time.

I just put fresh sheets on my bed, curled up on the couch with Manfriend while he watches hockey and decided I wanted to write a post. And the second I opened my computer all I could think is “WHY AM I NOT SPENDING THIS TIME SOLVING WORLD HUNGER?!” Or something to that effect.

But instead of using the internets and its magical powers to learn all the things in the world, I use it to look up pictures of puppies, literary blogs and generally torture myself by reading about strange and rare illnesses that could potentially kill me in a million different terrible ways.

I can’t be the only person that feels guilty about this right?

The internet is the single greatest tool ever created, an ever changing source of incredible information. And I’m just using it to make myself either laugh or cringe in horror at the weird shit that nature does. I feel much the way I imagine super would feel if he only ever used his super powers for mundane shit. Like his xray vision to check out boobs and his super strength to help friends move apartments so he can get free beer. Forget the world saving stuff, HE JUST WANTS TO HAVE SOME DAMN FUN!

I think this is why I have such a hard time writing sometimes. Somehow, I’ve convinced myself that writing isn’t a nearly noble enough pursuit. Especially when I tend to write about why I sympathize with the badguys in video games and other generally random useless stuff.

There are days when I want to reach through my computer to you and shake you, just shouting “WHY ARE YOU HERE?!?!??!?!??!” and then desperately thank you for coming here. With some sort of sexy dance or a candle light dinner or a gratuitous photo of my feet. Whatever floats your boat really.

So this is a big thank you for being here. And letting me do this weird random and infrequent writing thing because I have no idea what else I would do with my time since I’ve CLEARLY not yet solved world hunger. Or the mystery of where Lindsay Lohans dignity went.

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