Welp... I Guess I Just Figured Out What This Blog Is About...

I got some bad news today. Awhile back, the management company for the building I live in applied for a rent increase that goes above the legal limit, and, as these things usually are, it was approved, and so, my husband and I have now officially been priced out of our apartment. So, that's not super cool.

Lucky for me, in tragedy, I hope to have found my muse! The thing about starting a new blog is that sometimes you really don't know what direction you want to go with it. This blog has been sitting around for months, collecting virtual cobwebs, simply because I haven't known what to write about. Now, I think I do. I want to write about processes: Fresh starts, small gains (and losses), new beginnings, and growing the hell up. I want to write about simplifying: Budgeting, paring down, and consuming consciously, not conspicuously. And I want to write about finding satisfaction for oneself in a culture that promotes satisfaction as a byproduct of outdoing everyone else.

So, there you have it. That's my thesis statement.


I own too much.

Dear Blog,

Y'ever just get totally derailed by the monotony of your own life? I was on a good roll for awhile... then I got a touch o' the ol' skin cancer, and I had to have (very, very minor and superficial) surgery to have it whacked out of me. That being said, minor or not, it hurts to have somebody forcibly remove a large chunk of your flesh, so I needed some recovery from that. And so, all my little goals - work hard! get fit! get organized! - fell to the wayside.

Ah, but that was months ago now, and lately I'm feeling like it's time for me to (finally) get back on the horse and get some stuff done already. My main priority right now is getting things organized. Call it a late burst of Spring Cleaning, but... yeah. It's time for me to stop hoarding junk under the guise of it being a "collection".

I think I spend too much time acquiring things, and not enough time enjoying what's been acquired. Then, of course, I have nowhere to put said acquired things, and I get frustrated and sad because my apartment is so messy all the time. I need to spend some serious time figuring out what's really worth having, and just clear out all the rest.


The gay marriage debate.

Dear blog,

I see that, once again, America is debating (and voting on) the "issue" of gay marriage. It's difficult, as a Canadian, not to feel equal parts mirth and boredom. Not to trivialize the importance of people's rights, but I can't help but laugh, because this is ridiculous. Just let people who love each other get married, and let all married people have the same rights as other married people.

I think the world would be a better, happier place if we could stop qualifying things like "gay" marriage and "woman" doctors and stuff like that. It's just marriage. They're just doctors. Using those little qualifying phrases sets things apart as different, and, on the whole, people tend to equate different with bad. Different is the exact euphemism that people use when they want to say they don't like something, but they don't want to be hurtful about it.

Anyway. The whole "sanctity of marriage" thing pretty much went out the window when Britney Spears married that guy in Vegas or whatever, and then again, more recently, when Kim Kardashian stomped all over the sacred institution (ha!) with her pointy, pointy stiletto heels. My feeling is that, if "gay marriage" can't be legal, in the name of the sanctity of marriage, then divorce can't be legal, either. So, there you go, America. Fair's fair.


45 Days, or, what it's like to have an empty husk where my heart belongs.

Dear blog,

Several years ago, when my husband and I were "just good friends" (in part because I was dating somebody else at the time), he posed this question: "Do you watch How I Met Your Mother?". When I replied that not only did I not watch it, but I'd never, in fact, heard of it before, he all but insisted that I give it a shot. The way he described it, it sounded like something I'd be into, so I tuned in at the next available opportunity. And I kind of hated it. I wasn't familiar enough with its premise, I suppose, and the random episode that I first caught was one of the sports-centred ones (I think it was the one where they're all trying to avoid finding out who won the Superbowl, but I'm not positive). When I told this to my then-good-friend, current-husband, he said "No no no... start at the beginning". So I did, and it worked, and now we tune in together, week after week.

The most recent episode featured what I'm sure is going to become one of the show's defining moments, in the form of a daydream soliloquy given by Ted to his then-future wife, about how they're going to meet in 45 days, and how they'll get married and have 2 kids, and how he's going to love her for the rest of his days and beyond. Well, here's the part where you find out that I, apparently, have no heart, because I hated that speech. Like, it had me in a bad mood for the rest of the night, that kind of hatred. And if gif sets on Tumblr are anything to judge by, I stand alone in that assessment.

It's possible that, after bearing with Ted through so many false starts, I'm just set for this show to wrap up already. It's also possible that (sadly, for my husband) I have an extremely cynical opinion of love. Sorry, romantics of the world, but I'm with Summer Finn on this one; our common conceptions of "love" are about as grounded in reality as the average fairy tale. the feeling we experience as "love" is really nothing more than a potent neurochemical cocktail, and when the novelty wears off, so does the dopamine, and suddenly, "love" feels like a very different thing indeed. It becomes less about how you actually feel, I think, and more about how you assume you'd feel if the person you love was to go away.

Suffice to say, I'm not the biggest fan of anything that paints love as this all-encompassing, life-changing, undying, passionate thing, and Ted's 45 Days speech delved a little too deep into that territory for my liking. I mean, in a world where art truly does imitate life, How I Met Your Mother would launch a spinoff series entitled "Couples Therapy", because honestly, who stays married for 20 years plus without that these days?

In conclusion, I am clearly dead on the inside.


Spoiled for choice.

Dear blog,

I frequently feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices that I have in my life. This has big implications (still not knowing what I want to be when I grow up when I'm already in my 30s, not knowing what I'd want to study if I returned to school) and little ones (how do you decide what to pay attention to when there's so much good stuff all around?). Because I lack the basic skills of adulthood, I get freaked out when I think too much about schooling and career oriented stuff, so I'm going to devote this post to things less consequential in nature.

When I was in high school, I'd sit in my classes and just write for a solid hour and a half. Had my scribblings been even tenuously related to the subjects I was purportedly studying, I would've been an A++ student. As it was, I churned out one nonsensical stream-of-consciousness rambling after another (kinda like this blog!) and raked in a steady stream of D's and F's. The point is, I might have been concentrating on the wrong thing, but I could concentrate. Not just on writing, but on books, movies, and albums from start to finish. Blame it on what you will (*cough*THEINTERNET*cough*), but I just don't seem to have that kind of focus in me anymore.

Part of the problem is just being totally spoiled for choice. How are you supposed to find new favourites when there's so much easy access to Whatever Comes Next? I constantly feel like I'm a beat behind on finding the next great new thing, and so I can never fully enjoy whatever great new thing happens to be right in front of me at the moment. If I'm exposed to a band that I haven't heard before, and I love them, I can't just sit back and take in their work. I have to start searching for another band to love. It's a pattern that makes no logical sense, and yet I can't seem to break the habit.

I think the solution might be to find two or three critics whose opinions I can reliably count on to more or less align with my own, and let everything else fall by the wayside. And maybe take up meditation or something, I don't know.  


I've decided to start a new collection.

Dear blog,

I've decided that I'm going to start a new collection. From this day forward, any time I'm out thrift shopping, I'm going to keep a keen eye out for old I.D. bracelets engraved with the names of people I do not know.

I already have a bit of a soft spot for pre-owned jewellery. One of my favourite rings is something I picked up at Value Village. A silver ring carved in the shape of a rose, I wonder about its previous owner every time I put it on. How old was she? Was it something she bought herself and just grew out of, or was it a gift from an ex? Maybe she died and nobody in her family wanted it.

I'm not sure why I do this for people's old jewellery, but not for, like, their old pants.

Anyway. Etsy actually has some pretty rad vintage I.D. bracelets (including an ornate, silver and blue one that reads "Maxine") for not very many Canadian dollars, but I can't decide if that would take away that "thrill of the hunt" element. My favourite pieces in any of my various collections are always ones that I've found unexpectedly.

And that's all I have to say about that!


A list of my biggest regrets.

Dear blog,

I can't really think of much to say about my day. It was spent healing and shopping, and neither of those two activities is particularly interesting to talk about. Instead, I thought I'd create a list of my biggest regrets. Not in a mopey-sad kind of way, just for posterity. Why not?

I regret the following:

+ Not pursuing more of a maths/sciences track in high school. Not only would my career opportunities (probably) have been better, but I would have felt like a smarter human being in general.

+ Not paying attention to music throughout the better part of my 20s. Although, the upside of that is getting to rediscover my love of music now that I'm in my 30s.

+ Every single one of my tattoos. Tattoos are hideous! But I still intend to get more. They're hideous, but also kind of awesome, and honestly, who cares at this point?

+ Not travelling when I actually had the money to do it with.

+ Not getting out more. There's still time!

+ Getting a dog as soon as we did. Sorry, dog. You enrich life in many ways, but you also make it difficult!

+ Not keeping in touch with that one really rad English teacher that I loved.

And that's all I've got today. Remember, I said I'd try to blog every day that I'm off work while I heal from my minor surgery. I didn't say that I'd do a good job of it.