The little engine that could

A few days ago, I flew home for the holidays. I was excited, seeing as I usually take the train. Just to clarify, the train takes 5 hours to get me to my destination, while the plane takes 1. The sooner I arrive home, the more time I have for family bonding (read: the more time I have to pet the dog until he remembers who I am).

It was a fairly calm morning, as most Torontonians were celebrating Christmas. I, on the other hand, was about to celebrate boarding an aircraft. Hallelujah.

Waiting to take off, I solemnly nodded at the passenger next to me. We were both about to experience a flight so quick that it was nothing short of miraculous, and there’s nothing quite like a nod to communicate that feeling (…although I’m told a nod can mean many different things. For the purposes of this post, it only means that one sentiment).

What followed was a turbulent nightmare-coated-nightmare of a trip.

The winds were so rough we couldn’t even land the first time. I looked at my air-sickness bag in disbelief, in denial of what I knew was about to happen. Kids, these times of peril really change how you see things. The passenger to my left became my Mother Theresa by talking me through weather so bad that more than half the plane was being reminded of what they ate for breakfast. The father in front of me, attempting to soothe his infant daughter, became my primary candidate for the Nobel Prize For Being Super Cool (who won the last one? Was it Stephen Colbert? God that guy is super cool). The flight attendants became my confidantes. I’ll likely not run into these folks again, but man alive do I wish them well.

Long story short, I had a rough flight, and I did not care for the fact that it took us almost as much time to land as it took us to travel to our destination. My dear, slow train; can I have this dance?

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No place like home

*This is a post I first put up over at Shop Wanderlust

Back in September of 2013, I moved from Montreal to Toronto. I had been accepted into graduate school in the big bad city, and at the tender age of 22 I packed my bags and left a city I’d called home my entire life.

It was a terrifying experience.

Montreal is a relatively small city in the grand scheme of well-known Canadian cities. You can travel around pretty easily, and most of the action happens in the same area. If you live close to “downtown”, you’re golden, kid. You can walk around, bike around, or skateboard around if you’re so inclined. All this to say, you won’t have to go too far to see your friends, family, or that spot where you consistently run into someone famous. Beyond that, Montreal is the city I grew up in. It’s where I met my closest pals, it’s where my parents and siblings dwell, and it’s where I found myself.

Moving to Toronto meant a few things. It meant adapting to a much bigger city where it feels like everyone lives in their own smaller city. It meant being on my own in a place I didn’t recognize. It meant having to navigate areas I’d never been to. It meant having to start over.

I’m more settled in now than I was in those first couple of months. But here’s the thing about change; it’s as enlightening as it is debilitating. Change will change you; Moving in particular will force you to re-examine what kind of person you are and who you like to surround yourself with. You will romanticize everything about your hometown when you leave it, and going back here and there will be undeniably fulfilling. And yet, your new city will make you better. It will force you to mature in the right direction. The days or nights where you feel disoriented are the ones in which you will grow the most.

There’s no place like home, but there’s much to learn when you leave it.

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Bug

This past Sunday I was making my way to a friend’s apartment. We had plans to go out, as we always do, because we are very cool.

I was but 5 minutes away from her place when disaster struck in the form of a bug. Some neanderthal insect flew directly into my left eye, and in the middle of the sidewalk, I was forced to desperately pry it off my contact lens. Soon after that, my eye turned a shade of red I’d like to call “NOT CUTE”.

After about an hour of panicking over what I was CONVINCED was an exotic bug disease, my vigorous application of eye drops kicked in and I was better than ever.

 

Here, I list the ten possible reasons why this bug flew into my eye.

 

  1. He wanted to wear my shade of eyeball. He saw my eyeball and said to himself “I THINK THAT’S GOING TO REALLY BRING OUT MY ANTENNAE. I MUST DRAPE MYSELF IN THAT COLOUR.”
  2. He mistook my eye for his friend Brenda. Brenda usually looks like a human eyeball. He wanted to at least give her a friendly hug, because gosh darn it, it’s been awhile.
  3. He simply took a wrong turn. It was either go left or go eyeball, and he just really wasn’t sure which choice was the right choice.
  4. He’s a daredevil. He thought to himself “Hey, you know what I haven’t done yet? Bungee jumping. You know what else I haven’t done? Flying into an eyeball. YOLOOOOOOOOO”.
  5. He had never seen a contact lens before and figured this was his once-in-a-lifetime shot to get up and personal with one.
  6. He wasn’t himself that day. He was tired, frustrated, and generally out of it, and just didn’t care where he ended up. Happens to bugs too, y’all.
  7. He thought my eye was the door to Narnia. In his defence, if I thought I saw the door to Narnia I would also just go for it. IT’S NARNIA.
  8. He thought my eye was a mirror. He saw something in his teeth when he glanced at me, and was simply trying for a better look.
  9. He’s troubled. He loves to cause misery wherever he goes. Just last week he slapped a dog in the face.
  10. He’s a bug with a small bug brain and I’m probably over-thinking this.
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Summer

Here is a list of things I have done while waiting for summer:

  1. I left my winter boots in another city in order to protest the weather. It’s worked out great so far. Really feel like the gesture sent a message.
  2. On that note, I spend at least 5 minutes a day trying on my summer sandals. They look nice.
  3. I made a playlist called “Let’s just pretend it’s summer right now. Is everyone cool with that? Should we take a vote? Looks like everybody’s into it. Sweet. Here are some summer songs.”
  4. I have shut the blinds of my apartment whenever the weather looks like the opposite of summer. Out of sight, out of (seriously deluded) mind.
  5. I researched sangria recipes. I have not made my own sangria yet but I feel ready.
  6. I purchased sunblock.
  7. I have sketched out my dream patio. It’s got room for a barbeque (does anybody know how to operate a barbeque), a few comfortable chairs, and a decorative statue of George Clooney giving everyone a thumbs up.
  8. I have photographed grass.
  9. I’ve gone for long walks without a warm hat. Sometimes, when I feel ballsy, I leave the gloves at home, too.
  10. I’ve made a list of things I have done while waiting for summer.
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Ode to 7-dollar sweatpants

I knew when I saw you that I had to have you.

You were soft. You were tastefully understated. You were classy, without trying too hard.

When I approached you my heart was racing. Part of me thought we could never be together. The other part of me knew I would do whatever it took to make you mine.

As I grazed your price tag, I could feel the goosebumps forming. Would this be the kind of tale ending in tragedy, or triumph? My eyes were a well of the happiest tears when I saw it: “on sale”, for the low low price of seven dollars.

When I tried you on, the word “Hallelujah” formed on my lips. The perfect fit for the perfect price. What had I done to deserve you?

Now you are home with me, resting peacefully. I give you my word to love and cherish you for all of eternity. I’ll use a gentle detergent too I guess?

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Motion

We move.

We move furniture. We move cities. We move on.

We re-arrange.

We re-arrange closets. We re-arrange priorities. We re-arrange love.

We are in motion for survival. We are frequent fliers and frequent liars and that’s no accident.  When we are hurt, torn, or otherwise confused, we turn to distraction. We cannot stay still, and we cannot always be truthful. We will run until we blister, until we know that we are stable enough to take pause.

Check your pulse when you are ready to know it.

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Lottery Ticket

Last night, I was in a supermarket when a man standing in line next to me decided to hand me one of his purchased lottery tickets. In fact, he turned to me, plopped it down on the counter where I was paying, and said “Here’s a million bucks”. I’m not sure why he did this, but I’m going to try and come up with some things that may have been going through his mind when he did this:

  • He was totally into my whole vibe and didn’t know how to ask me out, so he gave me a lottery ticket.
  • He was totally into my whole vibe and didn’t know if he should ask me out because he was a good 25 years my senior so he gave me a lottery ticket.
  • He actually thought that my whole vibe was a homeless one and figured I could use a lottery ticket.
  • He is the Messiah. The Messiah is big on the lottery. Everyone will be getting a free ticket very soon.
  • He can sort of ish see into the future and knew that, at the very least, this particular lottery ticket was a total dud, so he was like meh whatever I’ll give it to this chick and look like a hero.
  • He thinks it’s good luck for winning the lottery and does this every time he buys lottery tickets. (He should maybe revisit this ritual, because it did not seem like he was a millionaire)
  • He’s a superhero, albeit a pretty lame one considering the Supermans and Batmans of this world. “Hey guy, your superpower is gifting random strangers with lottery tickets!!! YOU’LL TOTES GO DOWN IN HISTORY”
  • He hasn’t done a good deed in awhile. This was his opening.
  • Maybe I just genuinely give off a Mother Theresa kind of aura and he thought he could get in good with me
  • I imagined this whole thing. JUST KIDDING IT’S SITTING ON MY FRIDGE, THANKS TO AN OFFENSIVE MAGNET I OWN.

In any case, i appreciated it.

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