2017 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Fair question.  Had a complete meltdown at work.  Flunked out of school (because I just stopped showing up). Became part of a changeover due to the death of a co-worker.  Got a tattoo.  Road-tripped to Paris (TX).  Put my cat to sleep.  Used a virtual PC at work.  Adopted a cat through a rescue.  Entered a writing contest.  Signed with a Realtor.  Watched my mother die.  Planned a funeral.  Wrote a eulogy.  Signed up for Braille class (then flunked out). Traveled for the first time with just my cousin.  Managed to avoid getting norovirus.  Cruised the Caribbean.  Visited Haiti and Jamaica.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did not.  I did not make any.  I did commit to going to school.  I signed up and paid for 2 classes, learned for a bit and then I bailed when it was one of those… which of these things am I going to drop with Sanity, work and school.  Same with the Braille class.  Survival alone was tough for 2017.  I’m just hoping to make it to 2018 and beyond.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Both of my cousin Laura’s had babies this year.  Both of them boys.  Couple of old friends had babies too.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Started off with a co-worker.  Followed up by my fuzzy Jake, after almost 13 years of kitty togetherness.  Then in August I lost my mom and my world hasn’t been the same since.

5. What countries did you visit?

Visited the US, twice.  Visited a new state while I was there the first time, and concurred a fear of another the second time.  Spent a day in Haiti and in Jamaica.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017

Less stress.  Peace.  Patience.  Love.

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 25 – Day I put Jake down.

August 25 – Day mom died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Truthfully?  Surviving it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

There’s a lot of things I didn’t do well.  But.  Survival was the function point, not surviving well.  And I survived, so I’m okay with that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not that I recall, at least, not outside of the normal depression and anxiety.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Technically I didn’t buy him – I paid an adoption fee – but the best thing I’ve paid for this year has been my cat.  Husky has been a light in a lot of dark moments.  Even if he is nuts.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

All of my friends and family who were there for me in 2017.   A lot of bad things happened and I had some excellent people around me.  Those who answered the late night texts.  Who were there for me when I needed them.  Who gave me the strength to keep going.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There is a long story to this one.  But.  There were some comments that were made by my superior during my year-end review that were incredibly inappropriate and rather hurtful, tying to the time I was off on vacation, then took leave because my mother died.  They revolved around how the place, basically, fell apart when I was off, and how somehow that was my fault.  Of course, as none of the commentary was truly represented in my written comment, and it would have been impossible to bring up as a complaint.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travel.  Rent.  Clothes.  Food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting my tattoo with Keiran.  Deciding to adopt Husky.  Spending time with friends and loved ones.  Swimming in the ocean.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017

Suburbia – the “I Miss New Wave” version.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Happier or sadder?  Depends on the moment

b) Thinner or fatter?  Fluctuated right back to where I started last year.

c) Richer or poorer?  Spent a bunch of money this year, so likely poorer. Richer in friendship.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Let go of things.  Realize that I’m only one person.  Tell people I love them.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Obsesses over things.  Given into fear.  Work/waste my energy at work.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Despite my aunt arguing to take over Christmas this year… We hosted.  I cooked a turkey, made cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes and carrots.  Melissa and dad helped.  Laura brought her family.  Horst and Jane were there, with Oma.  Husky kept everyone entertained.  It was a success, and things went fairly well.

21. Who did you spend most of the time on the phone with?

Talking, with mom, before she died.  Then picked up with Dad and sister each night.  Texting with Isabelle and Keiran.

22. Did you fall in love in 2017

I stayed in hopeless one-sided, unrequited love again this year.  But I’m at the point of crying uncle and put myself back on the market.

23. How many one-night stands?

Zero.

24. What was your favourite TV program?

Same as other years, I suspect.  Murdoch Mysteries.  Simpsons.  Bob’s Burgers.  Still Standing.  I’m looking forward to the next X-Files reboot.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate, no.  Wary of, for sure. Less trusting, absolutely.

26. What was the best book you read?

The ones I’ve taken the time to read.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery

I don’t think there was a greatest musical discovery this year.  Although I did enjoy Dylan’s The Word of Mouth EP and I did pick up some other likes.

28. What did you want and get?

Much more than I deserved.

29. What did you want and not get?

More time.  More love.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Lots of good movies out there.  Lego Batman and Lego Ninjago.  Thor:  Ragnarok was pretty funny.  So was Star Wars – The Last Jedi.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?

35 in 2017.  I honestly can’t remember what I did on my birthday.  Is that a sign of getting old?  It was mid-week, and I know I got a piece of cake.

32. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

At this point I don’t even know.  I’m just hoping for a better 2018.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Lazy.  Lazy with a mix of don’t give a fuck except occasionally.  Lots of dresses and boots.  Lots of trips to Torrid.

34. What kept you sane?

The cat.  Friends.  Family.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Josh Ramsay is still near the top of this list.  So is Matthew Good.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The ones that affected my friends.

37. Who did you miss?

The people I wasn’t, or can’t be, with.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I made friends with the individual who took over for the deceased coworker.  He’s been pretty fantastic.  I’ve also strengthened several existing friendships and I wouldn’t have made it through this year without them.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017

That there is never enough time.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

you will come back
convince yourself you can stay alive
and wait for me
and i will know what this was for
and I’ll say we’re leaving
there ain’t nothing here at all
another month, a year that’s all
so you can tell them I’m coming
and hell’s coming with me
someday this place is going to burn
is your whole life in the waiting
someday their heads are going to turn and they’ll realize
you’re missing

– Suburbia ~ Matthew Good.

I like questions that make me think…

Is it difficult for you to look into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel?
Yes.  It is.  When I am talking about feelings, or anything truthfully.  Mostly because I find eye contact intimidating. I am extra-sensitive.  If I trust you, or I respect you, it’s easier to look you in the eyes.  But put emotion behind it, and it gets that much more difficult

Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. Why were you angry?
I’m more quick to anger than I used to be.  However it’s also a quick rage and I don’t hit the REALLY angry portion that often anymore.  More of a deep disappointment.  I find a lot of quick anger and deep disappointment at work.  Some of the stuff I’ve seen happen to those I care about make me angry.  When I’m disrespected, I find that angry. But it’s not a REALLY angry. I might’ve hit the REALLY angry around when Rick died with something that happened between boss and I but that’s not something I want to talk about.

You will die in three minutes. Last call?
At this point in time – My parents. But there’d be about 4 people I would send texts as well, to say I love you.

You have three months to live…
(1) Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die?  Anyone, yes.  Everyone, no.  There’s some people I would want to know.  Others, well, they’re not really ones who will give a fuck, really.  So why waste time pacifying them.
(2) What do you do with your remaining days?  Be a little more reckless.  Not like, in crazy ways, but be more open and honest with the people around me.  Make sure those I care about know that I do.  See family and friends.  Hug and kiss more.  Find a whirlwind relationship.  Do things I love with people I love.
(3) Would you be afraid?  I think I would.  Well, I’m afraid on a general basis, so I don’t think I see that changing.  But yeah.  There’s always going to be some fear.

You can have one of the following two things: trust/love. Which do you choose?  I don’t know.  I don’t think there is any love if there’s no trust.  But trust isn’t something that comes automatically with love either. Trust has to be earned.  Lust, sure, that exists all the time without trust.  But love and trust come together.  Most of the people I love, romantically or otherwise, I have to trust them first.  So I guess the answer is I don’t know?

You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time you get fired. What do you do?
My boss is a dog lover.  While I think she would be upset, I don’t see her actually firing me over something like that.  There needs to be reasonable cause to fire.  I suppose that technically it’s a fire-able offense… But…You know… if my boss fired me for that, then maybe that’s a company that I don’t want to be part of.

You are unfaithful to your spouse/significant other. Do you tell him/her?
I wouldn’t be unfaithful.  I’m loyal to a fault.  So there’s that.  But… It’s something that I would want to know – if someone had cheated on me.  I don’t know if I would be able to be part of the relationship any longer after that.  That goes back to the whole trust thing.  I guess it would also depend on the LEVEL of unfaithful, the length of the relationship, etc.  It’s not something I want to find out, though.

Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give one year of your life. Do you do it?
Yes.  I would.  In a heartbeat I would, if I could give that someone a chance to say goodbye to the people they loved. It would be worth it.

Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?
I don’t know but I doubt it.   I can be fickle and emotionally over-available or completely unavailable.  I’ve been called cold and stand-off-ish.  I’m extremely dependent and clingy.  I spent too much time inside my own head and am not necessarily a fan of reality.  On the plus side… I’ve been told I’m funny and sarcastic, with a weird sense of humour.  That I’m sweet and caring.  That I’m the person you’d want in your corner – that I’ll fight for you.  Maybe?

Does sex=love?
In general or with me?  Hmm.  Sex=lust.  Lust is a fantastic thing, for sure.  But sex=/=love.  Sex can be a part of love.  But love is more than sex.

Your boss tells your co-worker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your co-worker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company?
So.  Here’s the issue with this question.  At where I work there’s no such thing as a “work shortage”.  Sure there’s low periods of work, but things will pick up and pick up quite drastically in a short amount of time.  So what’s the real reason the coworker is being let go?  Is it poor performance?  Is it some other issue?  How truthful is management being with the “work shortage” determination. And.  Is saying something to your boss going to do any good?  Or will it just put you on the chopping block AS WELL?  I would feel bad for the individual.  And see what I can offer in means of assistance.  But I honestly doubt it would do any good to volunteer as tribute, so to speak.

When and how was the last time you told someone how you REALLY feel?
Define “really feel”. Are we talking in the romantic sense or in the I feel really fucked up right now sense?  Because the second is so much more important than the first (not that the first isn’t important) and I’ve been doing it a lot more with the few people I trust.  I’m still damn good at bottling it all up.  But I’m also saying more.  Which is unfortunate for them, ha.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
Hmm.  I expect the first one.  I find it hard to express interest in individuals in the first place.  Not that the interest isn’t there.  I just can’t make the words come out.

What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?
So in March of this year I made the decision to put Jake down.  He had been my absolute best friend for 12.5 years.  He was the one who knew all my secrets, would comfort me when I cried or was suffering, and was always there.  I went with him the entire way.  Held him, petted him, told him how loved he was, how he’d been such a good boy and how it would all be okay.  Stayed with him as he took his last breath.  Broke my heart, and my life was so empty afterwards. It’s not answering the question, but it is.

Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them?
Well there’s an indirect love in a drunk text message from the other night which I noticed this evening and neither of us have acknowledged.  And another drunken I love you man to a friend I barely talk to.  But.  I don’t know.  I don’t say I love you much anymore.  I should.  I like to think that I express it in my actions though.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you have “no regrets” what would you change?
I don’t like this question. I have a LOT of regrets that I’m trying to move past.   I mostly regret letting my fear run and ruin so much of my life.  I regret not being a little more reckless.  I regret letting my art/writing slide.  I regret not perusing romantic relationships I’ve desired.

Imagine. It is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. what do you do?
Nothing.  I live in a high-rise, a few floors above the entry.  There’s always someone walking outside my window, well below, but outside.   If they’re RIGHT outside my window we’ve got another problem.  Mind you if someone is knocking on my door and I’m not expecting anyone then I’ll be in panic mode.

Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying?
Why wouldn’t I?  And I’d hope they’d do the same with me, if the need was there.

Are you old fashioned?
Yeah, I am.  To a degree.  I like my technology, for sure.  And I find some old-fashion things odd.  But I think I am.  I’m a romantic.  I like flowers and long walks and stuff like that.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Well, see, here’s the thing.  It doesn’t say that it’ll be the true love that gives the heart break.  So.  At least there’d be love sometime.  Besides… I kinda expect heart break anyway.

Clearwater – My Life According to iTunes

  1. Put Your iTunes  on Shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
  4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.  All the comments that are in italics are lyrics from the songs.

What do your friends think of you?
Attention to Details – Averi
(I’m tempted to tell you now / all these things I think about)

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Non-Populus – Matthew Good
(Well it says: let it be unto you)

How would you describe yourself?
She`s Got A New Disguise – Matthew Good Band
(Where is the face that you know)

What do you like in a guy/girl?
The World As I See It – Jason Mraz
(From a birds eye view I can see / You are just like me)

How do you feel today?
Heartbreak Coverup – Jesse Labelle
(It’s just another lonely night / They happen all the time)

What is your life’s purpose?
Everything Is Automatic – Matthew Good Band
(Be what you want to be)

What is your motto?
Baby Please Come Home – Josh Ramsay

What do you think about very often?
The Heart Wants What It Wants – Selena Gomez

What is 2 + 2?
Shut Up and Kiss Me – Marianas Trench
(This is just perfect as it is)

What do you think of your best friend?
The Woman I Love – Jason Mraz

What do you think of the person you like?
Hall of Fame – The Script

What is your life story?
Strange Days – Matthew Good

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Alive – Sia

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Sometimes – Walk Off the Earth
(If only you could love me sometimes / We’d rule the world together sometimes)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Rain – Plans & Disguises

What will they play at your funeral?
Never Say Die – Marianas Trench
(Again, perfect.  Haha)

What is your hobby/interest?
Masterpiece Theatre – Marianas Trench
(This masterpiece is only mine / Entirely guilty by design)

What is your biggest fear?
Born Losers – Matthew Good

What is your biggest secret?
Alive Again – Marianas Trench
(And I’m fading)

What do you think of your friends?
Who Would I be – Callaghan
(I feel the strength you give me to survive )

What will you post this as?
Clearwater – JR Richards

Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017

  1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Met Marianas Trench…. Twice…. On the same day.  Went on a Marianas Trench a-thon (5 shows this year).  Decided to get a tattoo (getting it in March).  Went on a Cruise.  Visited Alaska.  Touched a glacier. Won a painting.  Took a sculpture class.  Went to Fan Expo.  Submitted a video to a vlog and then met Michael Aranda a few weeks later.  Went to two concerts that were almost private shows, which was kinda awesome.  Attended a private movie screening.  Streaked a section of my hair blue.  Spent almost the full night at work – bordered on

  1. Did you keep your New Years’ Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn’t make any resolutions last year.  Just surviving the year is good enough, usually.  Not really making any thing year earlier.  Although, as I did say on Twitter earlier today, I’m going to go back to school in the beginning on January.  And to continue to work on living outside my comfort zone.

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

KD had a gorgeous little boy that I haven’t met yet.

  1. Did anyone close to you die?

Not to my knowledge.

  1. What countries did you visit?

The USA – Texas specifically – in January.  And again to the USA in June when I went on the cruise to Alaska.  Otherwise I’d just spent time in my home area.

  1. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Family health.  We were getting there but… A better love life.  A new home.

  1. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 19 – When I met Marianas Trench, twice.  March 21 – Got Josh Ramsay’s guitar pic post Wildfire.  June 2 – Plans and Disguises – met Dylan and Woody.  Fan expo – Sept 3.

  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Learning how to put distance between myself and some of my toxic friends – it’s still a work in progress but I’m going the right way.  Making some new friends.  Close ones, and not as close ones, but still friends none-the-less.  Discovered a MASSIVE issue at work – resulted in me getting an Achievers award for it.

  1. What was your biggest failure?

Not finding a better work/life balance.  Not saying no when I needed to.

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Mother-fucking-Mono.  Miserable there.  Couple of random little illnesses too.

  1. What was the best thing you bought?

A new camera.  Although I only bought half of that.  Tickets to all the events I attended.

  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sometimes mine, sometimes not.

  1. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Generalized Americans who voted for, and elected, Trump.  The boss, occasionally.

  1. Where did most of your money go?

The Alaskan Cruise/Vancouver trip.  Marianas Trench stuff – merch, tickets, etc.  But both were so worth it.

  1. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Marianas Trench shows, ESPECIALLY the one with Keiran.  Spending time with my family.

  1. What song will always remind you of 2016?

Who Do You Love – Marianas Trench.

  1. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    1. happier or sadder? Cautiously happier
    2. thinner or fatter? Thinner, but not by much.
    3. richer or poorer? Richer in more than money
  1. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Been more confident in myself – in my talents, thoughts and just self in general.

  1. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Given in to my fear.

  1. How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas Eve was at my Aunt’s house, with Aunt, Uncle, Oma, Laura, Laura’s boyfriend, and boyfriend’s daughter.  Christmas Day was just immediate family.  We made a turkey, opened presents, watched some movies.

  1. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

My mom, on calls.  Texting likely Keiran and Isabelle.

  1. Did you fall in love in 2016?

I tried very very hard to not.  I did not succeed. Which is unfortunate, seeing as it’s unrequited love once more.

  1. How many one-night stands?

Not a one…. Not for lack of trying.

  1. What was your favorite TV program?

Code Black.  Murdoch Mysteries.  Still Standing.  X Company.

  1. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate, no.  Strong dislike, yes.

  1. What was the best book you read?

The ones I finished.

  1. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Plans and Disguises – Just before I met them.  I’ve fallen that much more in love with Marianas Trench

  1. What did you want and get?

Much more than I deserved.

  1. What did you want and not get?

There’s a few things that I desired that I didn’t get.  Maybe I didn’t deserve them.

  1. What was your favorite film of this year?

Didn’t have a favourite.  There were quite a few delightful ones though.

  1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?

I honestly don’t recall what I did.  Worked, I’m sure.  I turned 34.

  1. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Reciprocated attraction.  But we’re getting there.

  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Whatever I wanted, as long as it was situationally appropriate.    Although most of my shopping happened at Torrid.

  1. What kept you sane?

Friends.  Family.  The kitty.

  1. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Josh Ramsay is still at the top of this list.

  1. What political issue stirred you the most?

There were a lot of political issues that got under my skin.  Which is interesting seeing as I don’t like to follow political issues.

  1. Who did you miss?

The people I wasn’t with.

  1. Who was the best new person you met?

Honestly, I met a bunch of new people this year.  And I include “met” as “got to know a lot better” in the met category.

  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

That love is expressed in many different ways.   And that it’s okay to let go of people and say no to them – especially when they replace you in their life.

  1. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Everything goes quiet, it’s like I just can’t move
You say I might as well try it, there’s nothing left to lose
Nothing will change if you never choose
~ Marianas Trench “Who Do You Love”

The start of Emily’s List of Awesome

Occasionally I fall into one of those dark scary black pits of badness.  Those times where, no matter how good life has been recently, everything suddenly turns dark and there feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  Where you wonder if truthfully your life is worth anything, whether you’ve wasted all your time so far, or if you’ve actually accomplished anything of merit.  When you see all the accomplishments that used to be your milestone goals being completed by everyone else around you, and you’re still sitting on the sidelines waiting for your turn to play the game.

Granted, the pits I’ve fallen into in the past while have neither been as dark, deep or as strugglesome to get out of, but they’ve still been a part of my life.  And I suspect they always will be.  Social anxiety and depression are part of who I am.  For the most part I’m alright with that as well.  I’ve learned to manage them and manage my world around me during those times.  I know the steps to take to take care of myself and to make myself feel better in the process.

But it’s still difficult.

So, with the help of some friends, I started to create a list.  A list of things that inspire happy memories and reminiscing.  Of accomplishments and goals I’ve achieved, both big and small.  Of times I conquered my fears by saying fuck it and doing it anyway.

Emily’s List of Awesome

It is, by no means, a complete list.  And it’s a fluid list – there’s always things going on that need to be added.  Some are stupid (to you) but may be monumental to me.  There are events that should have dates that I’ve forgotten.  And there’s events that I’ve also just simply forgotten as well.   If there’s something relevant that I’ve experienced with you and it’s not on this list, please tell me!  If you have dates for something on this list, please tell me!  And, even better, if you can think of something I should do with you that’s not on this list, let me know!  I love suggestions.