Monday, 27 May 2013

Can I buy you a drink?

Hmmm. My therapist says I have to get off the computer more than an hour before bed to optimize on sleep (another thing I'm bad at) so I'd better hammer this one out quickly. Yesterday was a little bit too debaucherous for a Sunday so I gotta go to bed early. It was a nice weekend though, apparently it was supposed to snow, but it didn't, and we spent ALL afternoon on Saturday on a patio having "brunch". (Caesars are really just exactly like a healthy salad what with all the olives, green beens, pickles, etc.)

Krista and I both had the week from hell at work, and we did end up going to my office in the middle of the night in the freezing cold rain to print something on Thursday, but somehow we managed to laugh our way through an entire Saturday afternoon on a patio. (Good job, Caesars.)

On another note from the weekend, my Lizzie went out and got a beautiful tattoo of blackbirds. (PS - Blackbirds are my thing, bitch!) (PPS - Just kidding, I love you.) It really is quite lovely and although I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to actually do it, I was inspired. And I wanted Blackbirds on my shoulder too. Then I went to Urban Barn after work and was contemplating buying yet another bird picture and 2 more Buddhas and I just stopped for a second, realized that I have a problem and I left. I wanted to call my sponsor but I'm not sure there is such a thing as a bird-and-buddha-obsession sponsor to talk you off the ledge at Urban Barn. Probably not. Because this is the kind of world we live in people, one that really doesn't stand up and take notice of the important issues in soceity.

I mean, if the Mayor of our city is smoking crack on video, do the rest of us really even stand a chance? Hmmm. Back to Liz. I've been in a bit of a funk lately and she's decided I should try online dating (again!) and read this book from our new favorite dating expert (and such a cutie) Matthew Hussey. (That's right. His last name is Hussey. Google him though, I promise you'll have an instant crush.)

Anyways, Matt (we're super tight now so I can call him that) has these crazy rules about how you need to be meeting at least two new people A WEEK and following all these rules of how you act around them and then, eventually if you buy his book and attend his seminars and follow all the rules, you will meet your soulmate. I got news for you Matt, I've dated every eligible bachelor in Toronto. Tall, short, corporate, ex-con, young, old, the entire spectrum. They all seem to be pretty much the same, just with varying degrees of being a liar, sociopath and/or alcoholic. Plus once they meet you, they never really go away. They'll just pop up in your phone on a Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm when you haven't heard from them in months, which makes it very hard to pretend they just died. Even if they lose their phone (it happens A LOT y'all) you'll get a message from them on LinkedIn or FaceBook or Google+ will send you an email with their picture with the caption "People you may know". And you're like, more like people I don't want to know, Google+, but thank you for ruining my morning coffee, Asshole.

And I've already met my soulmate, and he decided to go back to his wife, have a nervous breakdown and buy her dad's chocolate factory (I can't even make this stuff up), so I don't need your advice, Matthew Hussey. (Now I know Liz is disappointed. This is not following her advice about sending positive energy back out into the Universe. I'm sorry...)

I'm sure being in love is great. But it seems like an awful lot of work. And would you really want to get to that point where he's proposing and you're like, "Um, I have to tell you something". And he's a little taken back, but he says "Uh, ok. Cause I'm kinda proposing here". And you feel a bit sorry for him, but he NEEDS to know the truth: "It's not really me you're in love with, it's Matthew Hussey". And he is starting to lose his patience and says, "Who the HELL is Matthew Hussey?" And you're like, "Wait a minute, I'll google him on my phone. Then you'll understand why you're in love with him. We all are."

I guess at the end of the day, the only thing we really know for sure is...Caesars are delicious. Happy new week everyone. :)

Friday, 24 May 2013

Get it while it's HOT!

I know most of you don't believe me, but you really are getting an awesome free ride here. Pretty soon though, (like maybe in a year or two...or more...definitely within the next decade), I'll be a real writer and you'll have to pay to read about my crazy ass life and won't that suck? What will y'all do without your regular dose of free Margaux-life nonsense? Answer: Pay for it.

Monday I went sailing. I've gotta say, having friends with a yacht is not a bad thing. I even got to drive the boat at one point. We all agreed I was very bad at it. Too much responsibility you know? Like not sinking the ship or accidentally tossing people overboard. But I didn't fall into Lake Ontario this time, and being on a boat, surrounded by water reminds me of the home I miss, so...win-win.

Having 4 days off work was great, because I could paint my nails hot pink without any repercussions, and I had one of the the best weekends ever. I came home Monday night and as usual, was reading me for some kind of inspiration and I realized something. There are two kinds of people in this world, those of us who have our shit together and those that don't. Some of us pretend most of the time to be the shit-together kind of people, but it eventually comes out that we aren't and we're home alone writing blogs with the Cat on our lap. Or we're fighting with our boyfriend. Or we're having a panic attack at work while hiding in the bathroom.

(PS - Cat says "hi!")

Sorry, I got interrupted. Stuart just called me (heart!). And we all know I'll always pick up that call. Anyways the point is, it doesn't matter if we are in our 30s and still don't know what we'll do with our lives (but don't forget, I'm only 27. This is where my amazing imagination comes in and helps me understand all my friends lives). That's sometimes what makes us interesting. That's sometimes what makes us fun. And it's always what makes us exactly the person we're supposed to be right now.

Who knows what's around the corner? Our dream job? An opportunity of a lifetime? Our last real true love? The possibilities are endless. I've been working really, really hard the past few years to make it to exactly where I am right now. Is it where I'm going to end up? Definitely not (fingers crossed). For now though, it's more than good enough. I'm taking a break from being an over-achieving, A-type psycho and am planning on enjoying my summer. Aspirations, though well worth having, take their toll and every once in awhile we need to take a step back, put some flowers in our hair and cut ourselves some slack.

You know what? Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the two types of people in this world are just the "don't have our shit together" and "don't have our shit together and pretend we do" types. It's easy to give off that perfect aura when you're around other people (I would know I did it for years. Hello, I was married to an Elder and I speak Vietnamese.), but at the end of the day, do any of us really know what we're doing? I think we just try the best we can to be good people, to work hard, to give back. To practice showing love. If we can do that while staying true to ourselves, what more are really striving for?

Maybe a yacht. :)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Help! I need somebody...

Yes I did just steal a Beatles song title.

It's ok though because I'm not famous yet and no one will notice. One of my best friends is out of town this weekend so last night I went on a date with her boyfriend (we're cool about that). And I have to say, at the end of the day, I've been very blessed when it comes to making new friends.

It's weird here on the outside, before I could only have friends who were in the group, the same kind of people as I was. Now, anything can happen. My best friend is a lesbian. And although it would be completely unacceptable as a J-dub, it totally doesn't matter now at all because now I live in a world where people are just people, whoever they are, and we're all perfectly imperfect together and to be honest that takes a lot of the stress off.

I love my people. I've struggled like probably all of us have, with trying to be perfect and coming up short of that. And I miss my mom and my sister. But I've found people who fill in those gaps: Liz, Lindsay, Krista, my secret life friend who was here today and gone tomorrrow. We spent the day having a picnic in the park, took a nap, went for coffee. I haven't had a panic attack in three days since he's been home. He's leaving again though, so the panic will come back.

But that's ok. Jersey Shore keeps telling me that stress kills and I don't doubt him. However, if I had never taken the plunge to start over again, I never would have met the very people who keep me alive now. And as much as I miss the past, missing my future would have been the worst tragedy.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Memory Keeper

Yesterday was a bit crazy. After the fourth consecutive night of my-exhusband stalking me in my dreams I decided I probably need to purge. So I opened my cupboards. It amazing what you will find there. His old pay stubs. WatchTower magazines. A note from my neighbour that they left on the dryer saying "Thank you for folding my laundry." Apparently I'm a hoarder.

Purging a lot of that will hopefully make a difference. It was only one cupboard though, there's still lotsa drawers, the closet. The millions of pictures I still keep from my past life. In our group of friends I was always the memory-keeper, I took so many pictures people were actually annoyed, and I always told them they'd be happy about it when we were all old and we could look back on so many memories of when we were young and beautiful. It's too bad I'm the one who took all the pictures, because now, I'm gone and we didn't grow old together after all.

I am committed to this experience though, so I put on a pretty little dress and went out and sold my engagement ring. That wasn't easy.

After I cried about it, as if on cue, a couple of hours later, one of my very best friends in the world finally came home and showed up at the coffee shop near my place. We had the best afternoon on the couch catching up, looking at pictures and drinking Jameson's. I love him so much it's possible I may never have another panic attack again as long as he's home. Which he doesn't do very often.

I'm not sure what it is about having him around, I think it's just having someone close by who completely understands me and knew the before and after Margaux. Friends come and go in life, but there are a precious few you should hold onto. Work hard to bridge the gaps of geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need people who knew you when you were young.

I know I'm hard on myself, more than most people. But I think we all have to make peace with our past at some point. Realize what was in our control and what wasn't. I've been working so hard to try to catch-up to my peers but the choices I made when I was younger, weren't really mine to start with and I have to accept that I did the best I could at the time, with the information I had. So whatever happens in life we shouldn't congratulate ourselves too much or berate ourselves too much either. Our choices in life are always half chance, just like everyone else's. Comparing ourselves to someone else is futile, because in the end, the only person we're up against in life is...us.

As long as we try to be the best version of us possible, we're a success. I'm doing the best I can to move forward while balancing my extreme attachment to the past. I got rid of a lot of stuff I don't need anymore yesterday. And last night? No visitors in my dreams from days gone by. At least for now though, I'm keeping the pictures. :)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Is it better to have loved and lost?

Apparently the LCBO might go on strike within the next hour. Jesus Christ. What will we all do? I was talking to literally all my neighbours about it yesterday and the general feeling is that we'll live through it because at least the Wine Rack and the Beer Store are not affiliated with the LCBO.

I can't possibly drink Ontario wine though, so I'll probably just lose 10 lbs. Which is not a bad thing, considering swimsuit season is upon us.

I have to say it's been an interesting week. I got some BIG news, the kind that makes you need to sit down and think about it. Worst case scenario, (and probably) I'm getting disfellowshipped again. People always ask, they can do that twice? Answer: they can do it as many times as they want to. Bring it on. Living through it the first time is the hardest. Second time around, I'll be fine. Absolutely nothing will change in my life, except for the fact that mom and Erin will not show up for family outings I'm invited to and pretend they have a relationship with me, which I'm totally fine with. Easier than pretending everything is ok when they shun me all the time out-of-town non-JW family isn't around.

The is it better to have loved and lost question still lingers after all these years. I'm a romantic, so I still say yes. Does Travis still give me nightmares? Yes. But it might not be him, it seems like it's possible we have a ghost in our building. (I'm not even kidding, I wish I was.)

When it comes to men though, some of the others don't really torture me at all, at most they are friendly ghosts who keep me company when I run out of things to talk about. The American, who drove here in a snowstorm to surprise me at Christmas. Steve, who actually had a real name on here from the beginning (which is weird). 27 who I liked enough to make breakfast for one morning wearing a negligee from Victoria's Secret and a pair of red, 6-inch heels. That guy from the bar downstairs who still always gives me a big hug when I need one. My "secret life" friend who would slow-dance with me in the living room. J who will always be one of the best friends I've ever had. Vienna, who I still secretly hold a torch for.

There are a few others who I wish had never passed through (Irish!, "Did you lose your keys?" guy...by the way, I still have your keys) but for the most part, I've been a lucky girl. And I've loved them all, in their own way.

And it's all part of the process right? I still don't really know what I'm doing out here in the real world. I'm hoping eventually I'll figure it out and maybe if I'm really lucky, someday get it right. In the meantime, I had a really, really good day today. And one really good day can make up for weeks and weeks of not so great times. It's funny how life evens out that way.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Accidental Girlfriend

For Scott: who asked for a short blog.

Admit it. We've all had a "casual" or two. The guy who is your great friend, who you accidentally sleep with after a night at the bar, or on your birthday or when you take that "best friend" vacation together.

The person who everyone (especially his parents) can't understand why you just aren't together. (Best potential in-law parents ever by the way.)

It gets tricky. Once in awhile, he starts to treat you like you're his girlfriend and all the lines get blurred. He takes you for a nice dinner and pays. And you wonder what's going on. Then, you get more than confused and start to wonder why you've been keeping this great guy on the sidelines when he should be playing centre.

Because he is a great guy. In so many ways. But the reason you're fuck buddies and not his girlfriend is because there's something missing. You can try to make it work, but it won't. And that's where you end up being the accidental girlfriend. Spending entire weekends there and letting him make you food. In the weird in-between of relationship and friendship. And that's fine in your 20s. But we're old now people. Let's grow up.

I have a friend who's gone through this in the past (Ok it's me. And all of my friends). And I have to say, you just shouldn't sleep with your friends. They are precious and should be valued. And once you lose one...everyone else can go with it.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mother's Day

I'm bad at the holidays. I know, I know, that's not a great excuse. But I'm still trying to catch up. Us J-dubs didn't celebrate anything. So did I carefully write a card and send a thoughtful gift? Nope. I did send flowers though, so I'm not a total asshole.

And, I have this blog. Which will have to do, on the day before Mother's Day.

I have two moms (divorced parents), and that's a lucky thing because one of them shuns me. I still love her though, and am so grateful for the amazing effort she put into raising me alone. I thought of sending her flowers too, but I'm afraid it would probably offend her since they don't celebrate this holiday.

The other mom is the one I'm going to talk about today. She is one of the great role models in my life. We're both writers, so we have that in common, I have someone to talk to about the challenges of our shared obsession, discuss the roadblocks, share secrets with. She likes white wine, I like red. We both love shoes.

No one wants their parents to break up and I'll admit it, for a long time the "evil stepmother" role was all she was to me. It's complicated.

But over the years, she's become someone I will always think of as one of the very best friends I've ever had. She works hard, no doubt about it. And she's constantly cheerful, even when things seem bleak. She's let me bring my "strays" home year after year, loved them like they were her own and made them her famous spaghetti. She's fiercely loyal to her family, and she's still so in love with my Dad after all these years. She's funny in the you almost pee your pants laughing kind of way. And she's a very good daughter to her own mom.

I love my Dad. Some days though, I just want her to pick up the phone instead so we can have our silly girl conversations. (Let's face it. Dad and I are never going to have the conversation about how great/bad is "50 Shades of Gray")

I've been oh so lucky in the family department. Birth parents aside, Stuart called me yesterday (of "Margaux (Hearts) Stuart" celebrity) and made my whole weekend. I'm sending lotsa love to my baby Vivian, who is the closest I've come to the whole being a mom experience. Chris' parents are still some of my favorite people in the world and I love spending time on the weekends there.

Family is the single most important group you can belong to. It may not always be perfect, and most of the time, it isn't. But my mom and dad are two of my best friends and not everyone can say that. We can, and should, make our own family to fill in the gaps we're missing. But mom, I love you. I'm sorry I won't be there tomorrow to give you a hug. But I'm sending you lots of kisses. XXXX

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Secret Garden

I have a friend (ok perhaps more than one, probably several, we all know I embellish on here, so who knows what the real statistics are) who is currently in a good relationship. With someone great. Being the constant third wheel/there for you girlfriend to my girlfriends, I see both sides of each story.

The term "Single and Fabulous!" (exclamation point) vs "Single and Fabulous?" (question mark), "once you are over 30" dilemma cannot be ignored. We all know I don't have to worry about that because I've been 27 forever. But for all my friends out there, I wonder, are we settling? And do we only do that once something happens which makes the ! that we usually feel gets replaced with a ?

I don't blame men, who are for the most part generous and caring and thoughtful. (This statement excludes all you assholes out there. When we make a conscious decision to date you, there are other issues at the root of that.) I blame us. Because once we've been really in love once, and lost it, we hide a lot away. We don't want to be needy, we're big girls now who make our own paychecks and have our own fabulous apartments with our cats and dogs. We also don't want to get hurt again. And we definitely get sick of being lonely. And we never have to be. Because we are fabulous!/?

I do believe though that a lot of women are going through life, hoping they will someday find what they are looking for, giving someone else a chance to see if that will happen, and then cultivating a secret garden of disappointment when what they are looking for never materializes. One they will complain to their girlfriends about. If what we are in is working for us now, we should go with it, realizing this is exactly what we need at the moment. I firmly believe there are a million reasons to be with someone else and most of them don't include getting married and living happily ever after (don't even get me started on how getting married doesn't always mean we're living happily ever after). But if that's what you're looking for, if you are secretly every day dissatisfied with the here and now...why be afraid to be alone until you find it? You're doing both yourself and that other person a favour in the end.

Like gardening, trying to understand a woman is nothing but a labour of love and takes a lot of time and effort. We don't say what we want. But we reserve the right to be completely hurt and disappointed when we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating. And terrifying. :)

I'm a different kind of bird, because no matter who it is, I could leave anyone at anytime. It doesn't mean I don't love and appreciate all the current people in my life, I really do, but I'm acutely aware of how temporary every relationship in this life can be.

One thing that I did notice today though was all three of my best Toronto girlfriends proved how exceptional they are are in different ways. It was a good day. And whatever happens with the boys, as long as we have each other, we'll all be just fine. We're fabulous!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Peaks and Valleys

I haven't written anything lately. Well I have, but when I'm in the mindset I've been in I just don't post them. What's the use of bringing y'all down with me? It wasn't entirely about the boy, although that was part of it. Some of it was about work, being worn out from a long, bleak winter and too much homework, some stuff about some frienships. Doesn't it feel sometimes that the harder we work at life, the more we just keeping slipping backwards? In the opposite direction of where we want to go?

The Chinese idea of the Yin and Yang is that although they are opposite in nature, they are both part of nature and rely on each other for existance. I've had a lot of change over the past few years and also recently. Change can be terrifying, whether it's something we've chosen or not. Even if it's something we think we want. Jersey Shore told me yesterday that "all change is good whether people recognize it or not". I'm not sure if I agree, I'll have to ask my therapist about that today. But I'm open to the idea.

If we look at nature, it would seem that he could be right. Everytime someone dies, someone new is born. Sometimes a relationship has to end, to make room in our life for a new one. Last week, the trees in the park across the street were all bleak and dark, today as I look out the window, everything is green again.

I don't believe in God, but if we can believe that the Universe is always in control, we can have faith that everything happens for a reason. Even if we have no idea right now what that reason is.

I think the important thing to remember is that when we're feeling good and everything seems perfect and hopeful, it won't last. When we feel dark and sad and crazy, that doesn't last either. I had some time off work and felt dramatically that I needed to be somewhere else, anywhere else than where I was. Luckily, I have a good friend who just let me crash at his place, across town from mine. I sat in the backyard in the sunshine and read books and enjoyed a short, tiny mini-vacation from my life. The Cat was perturbed.

I have to admit though, I feel so much better now than I have all week. I may not even end up having a panic attack today. If I wrote down a gratitude list this morning, it would be long and substantial. Life is always going to go up and down, that's part of the fun. When we're kids, we all love roller coasters, adventures, unknown endings. There's no reason that being an adult should be any less fun or exciting. If we can remember that when we're in the valley, it might be hard and dark and we might even have a long way to climb to get back up to the top of the peak.

But we'll all get there if we keep working at it. And we might even realize that we're not alone in our journey, all of us, all of humanity goes through this cycle as well. Some of the most difficult things we accomplish can turn out to be the times in life we look back on as being the most satisfying, the most rewarding, the best opportunities we had for personal growth.

The good thing, is that we all reach those highs and lows at different times, in different ways. So it's entirely possible that while we're on an upswing, we can reach out and pull someone else up with us. Or, if we're on our way down, someone else will make us breakfast and give us lots of hugs until we feel better.

That's the best, or worst of real life. It keeps trying to make us happy, and succeeding, even if we are determined to be unhappy and romantic. Just go with it. Life's too short to stay in the valley for too long at a time. :)