09 January 2007


Another year has come and gone. This year I will be turning the so-called “big three-o”. Good grief. Sometimes I wonder how last year slipped past me so quickly, let alone thirty of ‘em. Age is only a number, right? I’ll be saying that to the hunky and young pool boy when I’m 80, heh. That and then, “get off my lawn”. And by lawn, I mean….

Anyway, I am not here to complain about my age or appear reflective (also known as panicky) on the last year or last thirty. I’m just here to catch up with you all. Make yourself a hi-ball of gin and tonic or a frothy mug of hot chocolate and get comfortable.

I know I have been a stranger lately. Lately is certainly an understatement, I suppose. There are unanswered emails and tardy responses. Sincerely, I hope no one is offended at me. At least it is cutting down my list of friends on myspace! Truth be told, I simply do not feel like being online. I don’t feel like wasting time – there are much better things to waste time with and I should know - I’m a constant waster of time! I don’t feel like being frustrated with the errors of myspace. I don’t feel like tearing out my hair every time myspace eats a blog. I don’t feel like wasting away reading the same bulletins written by different people, the tired out surveys and the demands on me to look at their new pics. Don’t get me wrong. I will read them if they are written by people I actually consider friends or interesting strangers, I will look over your new photographs and smile. The point is if I’m going to waste time, let it be with something that I actually enjoy. It may be a long handwritten letter or a well planned out hearty meal, a long distance phone call or curled up with a good book. It’s just a better way to waste time and there are less unexpected errors. And let’s face it. The last thing I really wish to do after a long day of work is to sit in front of another computer.

Work has been fine and I am on our Christmas break as we speak (or as you read). It was very hectic and draining the month or so. I’m at my old market research job but in a new position. I knew about this position for a long time. It was hard to keep quiet about it. Now, I’m what you call a listener. Quality control, if you will. Still, I do interviews when needed and necessary. It’s been a very good experience so far and I am sure it will continue to do so. When I first found out about this position, I was afraid that I was not strong enough to stand up to people who are doing things wrong and help them correct themselves. I still feel that pinch of nervousness and doubt. I try my best through and I believe that they are relatively pleased with my work thus far. I feel much more open and outspoken at work. I have my weak moments but I’m becoming much more comfortable to stand up for myself and more aggressive. It’s what I needed. Besides learning how to be more aggressive, I have discovered that I have absolutely no tolerance for most people under 25 nowadays. Anyway, it’s been interesting. What has been super cool is that my boss, amongst others in the office, has been very encouraging to me with my attempt (or lack thereof) to learn French. They will speak to me in French and then translate. I am comfortable asking them what something means in French or how to say it.

In November, we moved into a new apartment. Whew, at last! This has been such a relief, to say the least. The place is much larger, much cleaner, and very quiet compared to the last place. There are no mice! There is no waterfall coming out of our ceiling – knock on wood. Our neighbors are relatively quiet. I feel a bizarre sense of satisfaction when I clean because it actually looks clean. It has been a very good change for the both of us. There seems to be a sense of calm now between us. Perhaps it is the space we now have. Not only do we have space, we have light! We have a better view out of living room window as opposed to a brick wall and rotting garbage. The other day I sat on the couch and just wrote. I felt so peaceful and at home. It is a good feeling to have. It feels like a home. The other place didn’t have that true feeling.

A few days before I flew home for my annual Christmas visit, I fell ill. I don’t know if ill is the right word because I still don’t know what is wrong. One evening after work, I was walking home with my co-worker. I was feeling fine all day, maybe drank a little too much coffee than normal on an empty stomach. In the middle of a stride, I felt strangely lightheaded. Not my normal, I-need-to-eat-on-time dizziness. It was something else. I steadied myself against my co-worker and walked slowly to the metro. This feeling lingered for a few days and I couldn’t put my finger on it – could it be an inner ear thing or an eye thing? Vertigo? Low iron or blood sugar or blood pressure? Funny enough, I only feel this way when I am in public and there is a lot of motion around me in my peripheral vision. Usually, that is. The more aware I am of it, the worse it gets. Seeing the metro zoom past me makes me lightheaded. Walking in the grocery store where there are tall shelves of packages as people walk by and where there are colorful tiles beneath my feet makes me feel off. It is a very unsettling and uncomfortable feeling. I went to see the walk-in clinic doctor when I was back home and he checked the basic things – ears, eyes, mouth, blood pressure. Everything looked fine, he said. He had a very sincere look in his eye when he told me to promise I see a doctor when I got back to Montreal. Also, he said that it sounds like anxiety to him. I always knew I leaned towards the anxious and nervous side. I just never wanted to hear it said by a doctor. He gave me a very small prescription of Ataman to take when needed. I took one to see if I would experience any side effects. I didn’t want to take my first one in public and find myself passed out on a mall bench, as bums pick through my pockets. Or worse, have the side effect of explosive diarrhea. Thankfully, I just took a lovely journey to a town called Sleepyville. I began to feel better in the middle of my trip and it was only a couple of days ago where I felt like this again. It feels like being on a plane when you are ascending and descending. It’s a weird, another world type of feeling. I found myself a doctor taking new patients very close to our place and hopefully I will know more this week. Wish me luck. I am trying not to worry about this because I realize it will only make me feel worse. Sigh!

As for my trip home, it was great but flew by too quickly. Christmas is always a funny time of year to visit. I never get to see the amount of old friends I wish to see. Everybody, including myself, is busy with family. People are saving up their money for New Year’s Eve celebrations. They are wrapping up work and getting together with their other sets of old friends in from out of town. I can only understand and make the most of it. Once again, I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t want to exert myself with many social activities, like going out to a bar or what have you. I did get to see a handful of friends and catch up though. There was a great little Christmas party, lunch with old friends, late evening coffee sessions. A day of shopping in the not-so-crowded mall. Hanging out at friends’ houses. Sitting around in my mom’s kitchen, chatting with those who stopped by for a minute. I walked through the village one afternoon with a friend, stopping by the shops that I used to browse in. On my last night, we had drinks in a local drinking hole. Nothing fancy about the bar but it was being with my old friends that made the evening special. It is often a bittersweet feeling.

The best part about going home is seeing my family. I miss them more and more, each time I walk away to board that plane back to Montreal. Even if I see them on every single day of my visit, it doesn’t feel like enough time! I had a little more time with my sister this time around and we even had a little sleepover at her place. We spent the entire day in pajamas, playing video games. When was the last time we did that!? Probably when Colecovision was the hottest must-have toy for Christmas. I got to spend a lot of time with parents and my grandmother as well. I regret not seeing my brother-in-law as much as I could have – we totally have a bowl of boozed up punch with our names written all over it, as we gang up on my sister with sarcastic comments and jokes. And last but not least, Tiki. I spent so much time playing with my cat. That sounds dirty, heh. I missed my beautiful little kitty cat sooo much. What an angel. I taught her a few more tricks (for example, attacking my leg) and she thoroughly enjoyed her new cat toy I gave her. Those with animals – always give daily thanks for that furry little face that brightens up your every day. As least I have my new neighbor’s cats (as well as the strays they feed) to make me smile. I’ll have to take a photograph of their cat. I call it the “big white cat with the small white head”.

Sometimes it is hard being away from home. So much can change in a few months, let alone a year or two. Each time I come home, I notice changes in people and changes in myself. As I mentioned, it is a bittersweet feeling. It makes me feel like I am in limbo, in a sense. I don’t have a wide circle of friends here and people are a’changin’ back home. Often, I feel a little left out of the loop with people back home. It’s nobody’s fault, of course. I guess that is what happens when you move away. The best feeling is when you meet up with someone you haven’t seen in a very long time and there have been so many changes. You meet up, you go to some dingy coffee shop, and it’s like you have never left – it’s like you just hung out with that friend only a few days ago and are laughing at the same old things again. I like that familiar feeling, like no time has passed whatsoever.

So now I am back in Montreal and the days have been lazy. I have been writing everyday in my journal. I have been tending to my new Chia pet. I have been reading. I have been learning new knitting techniques (don’t expect a sweater soon). Out of sheer curiosity, I have been watching Ultimate Fighting events. I have even made cinnamon buns from scratch! I’m sort of anxious to get back to work but not really, to be honest. I like work, I like making money – but I want to take care of this dizziness thing before it gets the best of me. I want to be able to venture out on my own without the fear that I will black out one the metro or in a crowded shopping center.

I am turning 30 years old come February. Yarg! It seems wrong not to celebrate this age (as I write this, I am mildly cringing) without the people that I grew up with, from childhood through to high school. If I was loaded with cash, I’d fly out a few old friends for a weekend of boozy celebrations. Sigh…I can dream, can’t I?!

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