Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the universe just gets in your way. It doesn’t always play fair, and there’s no way of knowing when it’s going to whip a hardball at you. There’s nothing you can do to stop it, all you can do is roll with it. This is an account of how I had to roll with the giant shitball life chucked at me last week.

Some of you know that I write another blog, The Kingdom, and that I had some wicked plans for Halloween night. This old theatre in my city was going to be screening The Shining on Halloween night and I was not going to miss it for anything. I’ve never seen that movie all the way through before, and what better way to experience it for the first time than on the big screen, right?

Well, I’m still feeling intense disappointment because that didn’t happen. Thanks a lot universe.

Thanks for compelling Harvey to jump up onto the kitchen table, where he knows he isn’t allowed to be putting his furry cat ass. Thanks for making it cold enough in my apartment to necessitate the use of a space heater. Thanks for making me buy a space heater that’s only effective when it’s placed right in the middle of the fucking room. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to trip over it right after I’d picked Harvey’s chunky monkey butt up off the table where he’s not supposed to be. But I’d most especially like to thank you for causing me to fall directly onto my elbow so I could have the exquisite pleasure of fracturing it.

Thank you for gifting me this giant shitball of an injury on the Sunday before Halloween. An injury that prevented me from living my Halloween dream this year.

I get why you did it, universe. That fall must have been something truly spectacular to behold. When I stumbled, with a bundle of squirming cat in my arms mind you, and flailed around in a futile attempt at balancing while simultaneously scalding my bare feet on that goddamned heater, you probably had yourself a grand old chuckle at my expense. People falling can be hilarious, I get it. And I’ve given you many a laugh over the years with my clumsy antics, I know. I’m happy to do that for you from time to time, provided I don’t get too dinged up. But this time was too much, you were too rough with me. When I hit the ground and a thousand burning hot spears of pain shot through my arm I hope you felt like a total dick for doing that to me. Partly because you hurt me, but mostly because you took away my dream.

I can’t always get what I want, I know. But why, universe, why? Why did you have to take this from me?

When D asked if we were still going to go to the movie I heaved a heavy sigh of infinite sadness. I had to concede that sitting in an old ass movie theatre at the opposite end of the city for close to three hours was going to be too uncomfortable for me to bear. Defeated, I was ready to give up on the dream completely.

But D smartly reminded me about the video store down the street where I’d just recently become a member. Surely they’d have a few copies. And it’s an old movie, probably not as in demand. Plus, who the fuck still rents movies anyway, aside from us? He was right. I started to get excited again. We could rent it to watch at home, make an obscene amount of popcorn in the air popper we have, shut off all the lights and snuggle together on the couch. This Plan B of ours really started to grow on me. Sure, it wasn’t what I had planned, but we could make it great just the same.

We made our way over to the video store and eagerly scanned the racks for a DVD of The Shining. I was starting to think that maybe they didn’t have it, and as you’d expect that was the exact moment my eyes located it amidst the Kubrick Classics. I grasped the DVD with my good hand and slid it off the shelf. I turned the front of the case toward me, searching for the little velcro flap that indicates availability.


It was rented. Halloween dream dashed for the second time that week. Fuck this, you guys, really. Fuck it.

At that point, there was no recovering from the disastrous tailspin I was in. I stomped home from the video store and fumed all night long about what a prick the universe can be sometimes.

And then because I was really feeling sorry for myself, I laid on the couch in my $10 Wal-Mart sweatpants and watched fucking Richie Rich on Teletoon Retro from beginning to end. Yeah, that super corny family friendly movie about a billionaire kid played by Macaulay Culkin at the absolute pinnacle of his fifteen minutes of fame. It was a new low for me.

richie rich

I was upset about missing my chance to see The Shining for the first time on the big screen, but after I calmed down I was able to make peace with it. I’m going to wait. I’m going to bury the tiniest little hope in my heart that another old theatre in the city will screen that movie at some point next October. It’s a classic, and October is a month for endless viewings of the scary classics that we all love. I’m going to cultivate my hope over the course of this year. I’m going to make it flourish, because despite what an asshole the universe has been to me lately, I still believe that it can be every bit as great as it can be cruel. My arm will heal, I’ll maintain a sensible wariness of the space heater, and the universe will take care of me in the end like it always has before.

No matter how many bones of mine the universe intends to shatter, I’ll just roll with it. Because I know that it’ll never be able to shatter my hopeful spirit.

To-Do Lists

My my my, how things have so drastically changed in the course of a year! This past Friday, that’s right 4/20 y’all, I celebrated my 25th birthday. Bit of a landmark as far as birthdays go, so I thought I’d take a tour back through the year and set some goals for myself for this next year as an illustrious 25 year old.

I am hugely devoted to my daily To-Do List, and one of the greatest feelings of the day is when all of the items have officially been “crossed off” the list. My lists are always titled “Monday’s Shit to Do”, etc. The exception is Tuesday’s list which is normally titled “Tuesday’s Gone” because I get a kick out of the Skynyrd reference. When all of the items are crossed off I give myself a little at-the-desk-dance party. Just a quiet little shuffle to myself to note how fucking awesome I am at conquering the day.

At this time last year my work life was a fucking black hole of awfulness. The bitch in charge of the training department choose someone else over me as her second in command because I didn’t really care for puckering up to provide the daily rim-job that was apparently required to get anywhere in the company. I was surrounded by slackers and assholes who all wanted to call the shots but not provide any actual results. My really amazing boss was on maternity leave and it took two people to fill her job while she was gone. Those two people were such horrendous posers that they didn’t even last through the 6 months of mat leave before they were shit-canned. So the rest of us just tried to do our best to stay afloat everyday.

Also, mid-April last year I had been working on a very intensive project. I busted my ass on this thing for 6 months straight, and the project completion came with a plum trip to St. Lucia to visit the client. And was I rewarded for all my hard work with this trip? You’d think so, but no. The dickbag boss man decided to take that trip for himself. Seriously? He could afford a trip like that without even batting an eye and he had to rob me of my very hard earned and well deserved reward. That was a major sign for me that I wasn’t in the right place.

Everyone was out for themselves and that was the bottom line. Needless to say, last year I was not feeling good about work. We were constantly swamped and the daily To-Do List was always over 20-30 things that needed to be done and I’d average about 12-14 things crossed off the list. I’m so organized and I’ve got my shit in a pile, so coming to work everyday and not being able to climb over the other side of shit mountain was really starting to get to me. At 5’oclock, quitting time would roll around and my list would look something like this:

You can see that there is a whole bunch of stuff on this list and only two things have been crossed off, and it also starts on the page before it! This actually isn’t a work to-do list but a personal one, but it’s a good example nonetheless.

I really cared about my job though. I loved what I was doing, I just hated being shit on all the time. I decided to tough it out a bit longer. It got better for a while when my boss came back from mat leave, then took another ridiculous nose-dive into absolute crap back in January. I finally reached my breaking point and made the realization that things were never going to change. No matter how many cool things were coming down the pipeline, the company philosophy remained the same. It had never really meshed with my personal working philosophy to begin with, but I just hadn’t realized it until this past winter.

At that point I made a vow to myself: I was going to dust off the old resume and start putting it out there in the hopes of finding a place that jived with me more. I wanted to work for a company that wasn’t about being “liked” over doing hard work. It seemed that the slackers always rose to the top and the people that actually provided results and could deliver quality work just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the pile.

Fuck that! Fuck working 13-14 hour days and never getting appreciated for it. Fuck struggling everyday to do my absolute best only to be met with more bullshit. Fuck having to kiss someone’s ass just to be noticed. I firmly believe that people should get where they’re meant to be by the merit of their hard work and determination.

And you know what? I’m there now. I found a wicked new job, interviewed, and nailed it! I gave my notice back at the end of March and counted down the days. I got myself a fresh start. I admit that I will truly miss a handful of wonderful people who worked just as hard as I did. But I also could not wait to get away from all of the people who routinely made my skin crawl… *shudder*

In these past couple of weeks I’ve gotten myself a new job, in a new city, a new apartment, and a new lease on life. I’m shedding this cocoon of bullshit and transforming myself into a shiny new go-getter all over again. I felt like I was suffocating at my old job.
And now with this new opportunity I can breathe again. I’m taking every breath in deep and letting it roll out smooth; enjoying the feeling of freedom.

With so many changes going down in my life, I felt like it would be appropriate to make myself a personal To-Do List of some things I hope to accomplish during my 25th year. The joy that I feel when I complete my daily To-Do Lists is immense, so I can only imagine how I’ll feel a year from now when I review this To-Do List and can claim accomplishment of my goals. I’m going to focus on me and being the best me that I can be day in and day out.

“The 25th Year’s Shit to Do”:

  1. I’m going to write this blog regularly!
    I know I’ve been a major slacker with it lately, and having all that I’ve had to do is no excuse. I resolve that I will write a new post about the most awesome thing that happened in my week every Sunday afternoon. On a Sunday afternoon I shall reflect on the week to provide you, beloved readers, with your weekly dose of awesome optimism prime!
  2.  I’m going to champion high heels!
    I am not what you would call “graceful”. I never have been, and I’m cool with that. However, I’d like to try for a little bit of grace and an increase in style for my daily life. I clomp around in flats and sneakers all the time and I think I need a little pep. There’s a girl that I work with who says that she “can climb mountains in her heels”. I’m not trying to scale Everest here, but I would like to be able to walk down the street in heels without looking totally out of my element. This is my Everest:
  3. I’m going to get myself more education!
    One of my biggest dreams is to go back to school and get my Masters degree. That’s super expensive and I have tons of debt from my undergrad that I’m working to pay off. But I love learning. In an effort to continue pursuing knowledge, I’m going to actively look for some courses and workshops that I can do in my spare time to become more well-rounded. One of the things that I looked at today was doing a 4 week course in Flash Animation. What the hell? Why not? I’m going to find myself a wicked “summer camp” for some cool new skill and learn me something new! I haven’t decided what yet, but I’m going to find something fun and engaging.
  4.  I’m going to be more proactive about my finances!
    I work hard, and I do put away some decent savings. But I feel that I could be doing more for my financial future. I should get started on my RSPs, and sort out my banking situation. I still have a student Visa, and I am no longer a student. I read an article about the big mistakes that 20-somethings make with their money, and it was inspiring. I want to be smart about mine and become more capable of managing my own finances. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’ve been pissing all my money away, or that I’m stuck living paycheck to paycheck. I may not be rolling in the benjis, but I want to feel comfortable and secure.
  5. I’m going to explore the city!
    I’m moving to Toronto in a week and a half. I’ve grown up in a small town my whole life, so this is a big change for me. I hate feeling lost and unsure of where to go or where I am. I’m going to take time to explore the city and become comfortable navigating it on my own. I also want to benefit from all that Toronto has to offer. I’m going to live like a tourist and try to see the city with new eyes everyday. I don’t want one bit of it to pass me by, and I don’t want to become jaded and tromp through the city unappreciative of its beauty. I want to be able to get myself anywhere in the city at a moment’s notice. I want to give directions to others with confidence because I know where the hell I’m going.
These are the personal goals that I have set for myself this year. I feel so incredibly awesome when I get to cross stuff off the daily shit list, so I can only imagine how amazing I’ll feel when I look back in a year’s time and can say that I’ve met each of these goals. 25 is going to be the year of my reawakening to life! It’s going to be a truly epic journey, and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. Expect to get your weekly doses of optimism on time as well 😉