Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I'm pretty sure that when it comes to the ideal child, I hit it pretty close.

I know how vain that sounds, I get it. But I'm starting to think there's a great deal of evidence for it. When my parents made rules, I obeyed them, no matter how much my friends insisted it was unfair or wrong. There may have been times when I was tempted to rebel, in simple, tiny ways, but I never did. I was always too afraid.

Hearing the stories of other kids who grew up with strict parents is always interesting. Most of them are online, a few are real life, and all of them make me think that my parents weren't nearly that bad. I was allowed to have friends over if I wanted. When I got a car (and hey,  I got a car), I was allowed to go places as long as I told my parents where I'd be going, who would be there, and when I'd be back, and gave them the address of where it was. Which I guess seems reasonable. I know they were just worried. It wasn't like they never allowed me to go out. Freckles and I got bothered about practicing piano a bunch, but we were never forced to practice, though my mom tried several reward techniques. After a certain age, we were allowed to monitor our own junk food intake- not that there was much in the house to begin with. We were allowed to have friends over and sleepovers and eventually, to walk to the corner store alone. When I became a teenager, my mom finally let me ride my bike further than just up and down the street in front of the house. When I graduated, my mom let me go to a grad party at the last minute, despite the fact that a month earlier she and my dad had barely let me out for a different one. I got a cell phone in high school. I had a very decent allowance. We were allowed to hang out at the mall unsupervised with friends. As I got older, they got much more lenient.

But then I think about how I'm so scared of life now. Being here, being away from home, has helped so much; I'm not afraid to get on the bus for an hour to go get my skates sharpened (that was a bad choice of location on my part). I'm not afraid to just walk down my own street and window shop. I'm not afraid to be out when I please. But I'm still afraid. More so of big adult things, like getting a credit card on my own, or spending large amounts of money, or making my own travel plans, but still.

I'm not really sure if that comes from me or my parents. On the one hand, big adult things are scary for a lot of people, even those who had really lenient parents. Some people just don't like to go out and explore much, that's just how they are. On the other hand, I do know people who just... for them, trying new things or giving themselves permission to do something they love or even just find something they love- it's easier for them. I can tell.

I just wonder- because there were so many things I wasn't allowed to do because my parents were concerned, am I forever destined to be the annoying person who worries about everything? "Let's go out drinking! Swegan, do you want to come?" Sure, but I don't want to drink, and how are you guys getting home? Does anyone need a ride? Okay, but no puking in my car. Where is this place? Are you sure that part of town is safe? "Just order something new, like I'm ordering this drink and I've never had it before." Yeah, but what if I hate it? Then I've spent money on something I don't even like. And it's wasted on me. It just goes down the drain, or in the trash. "In order to participate in this, you're gonna need to have [things I do not currently own]." Okay, but I don't really know if I like this yet. Am I sure I want to buy all this stuff? What if I hate it? Then I've wasted a bunch of money and now I have crap I don't need and will never use taking up space. "So just sell it online." How? Don't you have to make an account somewhere? How do I meet up with people? How do I decide on a price? What if they're creepy? It's better just to not bother, then I don't have to worry at all. "Just get a credit card." Okay, but I look really young and naive. How am I supposed to know if the bank is pulling a fast one over me? How do I know if I'm getting a shitty deal that will end up costing me money? And how do I pay that off? Isn't it time consuming? I'd have to go to the bank... I'll just do it later. "Skating hours are Sunday from 3-4:45." Okay, but those hours are prime homework time for me. I really want to skate, but... school's gotta come first. I'll see how it looks next Sunday... ooh, but wait, I won't be here. Well, maybe the Sunday after? (Then I consequently forget). "Come hang out." But I have all this stuff I want to get done so I'm not up working until 11. I need to get enough sleep. If I don't, I get dizzy and grumpy and it's no fun at all. Plus I want to make sure I study adequately for this exam. I have to get these things done. I have to get SOMETHING done, I haven't done anything all day.

Do you see what I mean? I never let myself do anything. And it sounds a bit like my worries are overwhelming the way I've phrased it, but they're really not. This is just how I think. This is how I operate. Unless I can completely justify doing something 100%, unless I'm completely (or reasonably) sure it's a good idea, unless I'm totally convinced there's really no chance of it messing my life up or ME messing my life up, I just won't do it. And sometimes it doesn't really matter, like when I order my favourite thing at a restaurant all the time, but other times it does, like when I can't get a credit card and thus still haven't built up any credit at all.

Sometimes I think it helps to think of all the things I just do now that my parents are none the wiser about. They don't know my study habits, or my eating habits. They don't know that sometimes I leave my building at 10:30 and walk down the dark alley to Safeway. They don't know that sometimes I go for walks in the river valley and get lost. They don't know that I rode the bus into the north end of town for an hour, maybe into a questionable area, just to get my skates sharpened. They... well, okay, they know I took the bus home from the airport instead of just calling a cab. I just... I know these are stupid, tiny little things. I do. But to be able to live my life, at least in part, like it's really mine, like I get to decide how I spend my time, is incredibly freeing. Which is what makes me think my upbringing was "strict" in any way at all.

I know I'm still a stick in the mud, despite the fact that I know people don't hate me. People like me, but they also find me amusing. I worry about everything. Constantly. I can't stop it. I don't really want to. I didn't spend my teenage years running about, doing what I wanted to. I spent a lot of them at home, in my room, doing homework (there's the other thing- I was and remain a very boringly good student. In science, no less).

This may explain why I found it so wonderful when I was finally allowed to drive myself to school, even though I was still late. For some reason, being late when it was my fault didn't give me nearly as much anxiety as when I was late and exactly who was at fault was less clear. Because driving myself to school allowed me, in some small way, to control my own life. Not to mention I got home a hell of a lot earlier, and my parents didn't have to deal with having to come pick me up.

I'm still not good at this. I think maybe it's just that a lot of other people I know had to grow up much sooner than I did. I was given the luxury of remaining a child when I was still a child. Now I have to grow up, and when it seems like everyone around me is just unafraid to do simple things because they want to do them, I feel very, very lame. Sometimes it feels like I'll never catch up, like I'll forever be a step behind my friends as we progress into our adult lives. Sometimes I wonder if I'm only so intensely self-aware of this because I'm growing up now, rather than at 11 or 13 or 16.

The other thing that I know to be true is that one day I won't have my parents to lean upon. I won't have them around to tell me what to do, even when I want them to tell me. I've gotta have my shit figured out by then if I have any hope of coping.

As for my parents being strict... the issue is best summarized by explaining the facebook rule: I wasn't allowed to make an account until they said so. This is a weird rule; it's pretty hard to enforce (and was considering neither of my parents were on facebook at the time) or police, and yet I never even thought about going against it. And I didn't. Perhaps this says something about my parents' ability to trust me (and I am glad now that I wasn't permitted access to something that permanent when I was 13, oh my god), but I also think it says a lot about me. Or the time my parents forced me to write all my grade 10 exams, even though I was exempt due to my grades (they argued that there weren't going to be exemptions later and I should learn how to study now). Everyone (including my teachers) thought that was insanely unfair, and asked why I didn't just... not do it. And I could have, too; my mom never followed me into the school when she dropped me off. I could have just sat in the hallways or a bathroom for a long enough time that it would make it seem like I had finished the test, and called them to pick me up, and lied through my teeth. "How was the exam?" "Fine." But no, I went and wrote them all anyway.

Long story short: I don't have an ounce of rebellion in me, at least not when it comes to my parents, and I still don't know if that's because of me or them.

yer pal,

Saturday, September 26, 2015


It bothers me to no end when friends I have say that they're not going to vote. They offer up excuses- the most common of which is "I just don't care"- and it is so infuriating. To hear that so little of the population votes is even more so. THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO VOTE. NONE. Canadians living in other countries are figuring out how to vote. There is no excuse for you to be lazy and irresponsible.

Don't care? Too bad. Democracy only works if you take the time to figure out who you think should be making our country's big decisions. If democracy isn't working, it's your fault. I'm not even kidding. It's not the fault of the politicians, it is the fault of people who did (or didn't!) vote them in. So don't bitch to me about how the government sucks when you didn't take the time to fucking vote.

"I don't have time to get informed" too bad, it is your goddamn responsibility, take half an hour to skim through the platforms and make a decision about what matters to you. Pay attention to the news. Decide what issues matter to you personally and which person, or party, or whatever, is going to best represent those. You have no excuse for being lazy, I'm just... augh. AUGH. VOTE. PLEASE.

This isn't even because I want Harper out (which I do, but if you wanna vote for Harper, you have every right to do so and I will not stop you). This is just because democracy only works if people fucking participate. Your voice matters. Your vote matters. It's not even hard. You stand in line, you mark a circle, you hand in a slip of paper. Done. Boom. You are legally required to get time off work. There are advanced polls. You can mail in a ballot. Figure out how you're going to do it, and then do it.

Apathy is no excuse. Being ill informed is no excuse. "But my vote is just one of millions!" is no excuse. You are lucky, you are privileged to be born in a country in which you are able to have a say in who governs you. I will smack you with a fish if you try to tell me otherwise. There are people in the world who can't vote. There have been suffrage movements to get certain types of people to vote.

The only honest-to-god excuses I can think of are if you're living in Canada and haven't gotten your citizenship yet (I honestly do not know how that works, but you probably do), or if you're under 18. If you're a citizen over 18, you have to vote. Why? I said so. Democracy says so. Just do it. Don't make me smack you with a fish.

It's a privilege, a right, and a goddamn responsibility. Please, fellow Canadians- and, what the hey, anyone living in a democratic country- FUCKING VOTE.

yer pal,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I can't do this anymore

I am taking 15 minutes to write this before my cell biology class, because having this blog has honestly been such a godsend the past 2 years and Ptarckas, if you're reading this, don't. You asked me not to speak to you, I have honoured that wish (and will continue to do so), and why you'd continue to read my blog when you clearly hate me so much is beyond me. Please, please, please, just move on and leave me behind.

I have become the proverbial loser with no friends.

Which isn't even true, to be fair, I still have Carina and Redbeard and all my lovely friends that are far away, but when it comes to people in the building, it kind of feels like everyone's left.

I hardly ever see people I knew and was friends with last year at dinner anymore. The RA isn't even a thing this year, so I won't get to see them then either. The only table full of people downstairs now is the Party Krew, and I've tried sitting with them and some of the girls have been nice, but they never ask me to sit with them the same way they ask people who are new in the building, and I'm quiet and weird and never have anything to say. So much of my friend-making process depends on being able to be accepted by someone who gets that I don't talk much UNTIL I get to know them well.

And it's not like I'm not trying, too. I signed up for some dance lessons and a volunteering thing, and they keep promising "you'll make friends!!" and I keep waiting for it to be true and I am exhausted, because making friends and meeting people is so much fucking WORK and I just

I am in my third year. How do I not have a good group of friends? How did I let this happen?

This is what I hate about big schools, is that there's so many people that it makes it so hard to meet anyone. Which is kind of my favourite thing about my WGS class, it's small and the prof is trying to teach in a way that involves lots of discussion and knowing everybody, and everyone in there is so nice, so I hope some good will come of that. And I guess I finally talked to this one guy who's been in like 5 of my classes over the past couple years- apparently we both recognized each other and now I sit by him in genetics and after class I walk and talk with him for a bit, so that's nice. And my microbio lab partner is in my cell bio class- in fact, I'm supposed to sit with her today- so that's nice.

I just have to keep reminding myself of that all the time- that these things take time and you came here all alone and not from high school with an already established friend group (my jealousy of the fact that Redbeard has that is endless- he is always running into people he knows on campus).

I think it's possible that ending my relationship has had something to do with this. Not that I want that relationship back, but going over to Ptarckas' house every weekend for dinner was something I got used to (and I loved his family, and it sickens me to think of how much they must hate me now). EPASS, too, that was something I got used to. This year is so different, it's like I took away things that were comfortable and familiar. It's kind of like starting my first year all over again, minus the complete lack of knowledge of how to university.

There's just that thing about how you don't want to be the girl whose only friend is her boyfriend, and I am trying very very hard not to let that be true. But at the same time. I'm trying to be patient and also appreciate the fact that I DO STILL HAVE FRIENDS, and furthermore, there's nothing wrong with not having a giant social circle. There's nothing wrong with not seeing a lot of people every day, nothing wrong with not constantly having plans.

My birthday is coming up, and that's another can of worms. Kind of just want to spend some time with Carina and Redbeard (separately- not that they don't get along, just want to do different things with each of them) and chill and study (I have a lot of midterms around that time; my microbiology midterm is actually ON my birthday which is super lame). I know that isn't quite what some people would want, but the idea of trying to organize something stresses me out and I'd kinda just rather spend time with the people I AM close to up here and eat some cake. Maybe someday I'll have a birthday party for myself again, but right now it's just not really an option, and that is fine.

I just wish I could stop having this disaster. This is the second time today already I've talked myself down from this, but I do feel better now.

yer pal,

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Honest Update

I don't know if writing on here anymore is wise, given some messy breakup circumstances I'd rather not get into. I don't know if I will return here. I want to, and it seems unfair that I should feel that I have to leave, but if that is the case, then that is the case.

We'll see how things go this first semester.

yer pal,