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.


Compassion by Miller Williams

Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.

From The Ways We Touch: Poems. Copyright 1997 by Miller Williams.

I came across this poem a couple of months back when dealing with some people in the office who were particularly abrasive towards me.  Mostly in the sense of “I’m hurting a lot here about things not related to what I’m taking it out on you, but you’re here at the moment so you get all my angry shit.”

I know I shouldn’t have to put up with bullshit.  But I also understand that there are some times when you just have to shut your mouth and take it, and take it gracefully.  Never mind that you’re in a similar scary place.  Complain to a trusted friend about how much it sucks, but smile and show the person love and respect next time you see them.  Despite the fact that it really fucking hurts at the moment.

Because the stuff that they’re saying to you is stuff that you don’t take personally.  It’s not you.  It’s not even them.  It’s a reaction to the pain they’re feeling on such a deep level that they don’t know realize that what they’re saying sucks.

There will be remorse expressed later, and apologies.  But there’s trust as well, and years of friendship.  And a return of compassion when I’m in such a place as well.  And I would rather they say these things to me than to their superiors and end up fired.

Is this thing on?

Or, as alternatively titled: On coming to terms with the fact that I’m technically a “retired” blogger.

I used to be a writer.

Or, well perhaps more appropriately, I used to feel like I was a writer.  I would write such a wide variety of things – stupid, funny, stupidly funny, cutesy romantic, achingly raw and honest… and I would put them on display for other people to read.  Mostly in the time of LiveJournal and early blogging.  I found an audience, mostly in the form of a game, and I was inspired, happy and creative.  I wrote for the audience, and the feedback was fairly instantaneous and I loved every second of it.

Then something happened that devastated that world for me – my journal ended up suspended. While I was able to get most of my writings back… I lost the interactions that I cherished, and most of the community. While it wasn’t my fault it felt like it was for the longest of times.  And I had a really hard time with it.  It took a long time to lose the last piece of the community, and it was just as raw and devastating as the first time it happened.  A piece of me perished with it.

I’ve still tried to work on writing.  I’ve done some NaNoWriMo’s – some more successful than others.  I’ve elaborated on the complicated and extremely detailed dreams that I have. I’ve even taken an Expressive Writing class that I aced.  I was seriously proud of that – it’s not often that I’ll see a 100 on anything class/learning related.

I have had a great amount of events in my life to write about, both positive and negative, big and small.

I had a great experience in January in Dallas, with meeting Marianas Trench twice (three times? Technically….) in one day.  I did a weekendish of 3 more Marianas Trench trips around home.  I’ve had disasters at work that it’s likely best I didn’t talk about anyway.  What about my trips to Cuba with people I’d never met.  Or attending a wedding in Honduras?  Or I’ve got one of those bucket-list trips – an Alaskan Cruise – coming up shortly*.  I’ve got a list of 101 things in 1001 days I’m working on.  Or my apartment where I’ve been making great strides at tackling my hording or not.  Or my parents.  Or the fact that I now regularly attend yoga with a great group of girls.  With dating attempts with this one guy who thought he’d be brutally honest and say that the reason I don’t date much/get asked out a lot is because I’m ugly but that doesn’t bother him, who went full on obsessed I’m-going-to-marry-you never mind that we hadn’t met… Now there’s a story and a half on its own.

And I haven’t written them.

Mind you.  Now I have a list of topics to write about?

Part of it, admittedly, is laziness.  I don’t find the time to do it even though the time is still there.  I find other useless things to do. Like browse Buzzfeed for 2 hours.  Or watch a movie I’ve seen likely 6 times.  find twitter helpful – the 150 characters aren’t a lot but it’s a fun challenge to be creative within them.  And at least I document things that way.

I’d be lying, though, if I said I didn’t miss it.  I do.  I miss spilling my thoughts and feelings onto this virtual paper.

A musician on twitter (who I’d like to be friends with – he’s just a sweet guy who gives me random bits of attention) recently finished a tour where he did a vlog.  He posted a question to his followers that asked if he should continue vlogging.  My response was simple, but it triggered this, so I guess it wasn’t really.

Maybe I haven’t really retired.  Maybe I’ve just been in a period of silence.

I guess we’ll find out.

*note.  By time I get off my ass and actually post this the cruise’ll likely be over.  But hey, what else is new?

Better late than never

  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Traveled with Lee-Anne to Roatan, Honduras. Attended a beach wedding for a bride and groom I’d just met a few days before. Swam off the deep end (lol) also known as crossed the barrier reef into the real ocean, and watched a school of blue fish swim off. Installed a series of computers at work with no help from Tech Support. Laid bricks/ did concrete work with my father. Attended a VIP concert for Matt Good and loved it. Traveled with my parents for the first time in a long time. Drove the boat while towing the dock all by myself (my uncle being in the boat doesn’t count).


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

I did not have any New Years’ Resolutions, except to make it to the New Year. I’m working on a new list of 101 things in 1001 days, and others, but it’s not “Resolutions”.


  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Amanda gave birth to a little girl. If there was anyone else… I’m drawing a blank.


  1. Did anyone close to you die?

Not to my knowledge.


  1. What countries did you visit?

In 2014 I finally ventured out of my Canada/USA box and visited Cuba. This year it was Roatan, in Honduras. Otherwise I traveled mostly just in Canada… I don’t think I even made it to the USA this year.


  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Health/family health. A better love life, job and home. But if I can’t have all those, it’s okay.


  1. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Christmas was pretty awesome this year. No one was sick, the food was delicious, and there was lots of good company. Presents were pretty nice too.

Hmm… because I’m thinking about it right now, October 27 cause that’s when Keiran bought Marianas Trench tickets for January.


  1. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving work without causing bodily harm? I would say graduating from college but when the diploma arrived in mid January it was dated December. Eh, what the hell. Graduating from College.


  1. What was your biggest failure?

Not finishing part two of my college program. Still not holding a G2 drivers license. Not finding the right house to buy. Not finding a better work/life balance. Letting people get to me and not saying “no” when I wanted to. Wait, there was only supposed to be one, wasn’t there?


  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Don’t I always? I can’t recall any specifics, however.


  1. What was the best thing you bought?

Isn’t this a loaded question. Also very commercialized. I suspect the best thing I purchased would have been the Writing Class I did. Other good things I’ve bought would be gifts I’ve given away.


  1. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sometimes mine, sometimes not. Canadians in general for finally electing out Harper.


  1. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The boss, once in a while. Same with some other coworkers. Americans who are against gun regulation.


  1. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. Savings. Food. Video games.


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

The trip to Roatan. The Matt Good tickets. The Marianas Trench tickets for next year. Spending time with my family.


  1. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Astoria was released end of 2015.  That’s what’ll remind me of 2015.


  1. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  2. a) happier or sadder? Cautiously happier
  3. b) thinner or fatter? About the same
  4. c) richer or poorer? About the same


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

Been confident in my self.


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

Given in to my fear.


  1. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent Christmas at home with my parents and my sister. Christmas Eve My Aunt Jane, Uncle Horst, Laura and Oma came over for dinner. Christmas Day Aunt Sylvia, Uncle Tom and Katie came over. Boxing Day Aunt Liz and Uncle Paul came over and the day after Jen from high school/university and her family came over.


  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 2015?



  1. How many one-night stands?

Not a one.


  1. What was your favorite TV program?

Murdoch Mysteries.  Still Standing.  Both brilliant TV shows, and both staring Jonny Harris.  I like a lot of Canadian TV as well.


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

Hate is a very strong term.  Strong dislike… now that I can get behind.


  1. What was the best book you read?

Almost all of them.


  1. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmm…. I don’t know.  I like what I like and I like it because it’s awesome.  I’ve fallen that much more in love with Marianas Trench and Matt Good.


  1. What did you want and get?

A lot of things.


  1. What did you want and not get?

A new home.  A drivers license.  A boyfriend. A new job.


  1. What was your favorite film of this year?

Couldn’t tell you.  I saw a lot of movies and a lot of them were good, but there’s not one that screams FAVOURITE.  Although I really enjoyed being able to watch the FULL Hunger Games Saga.


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

I had cake with my family, then went to Ikea with Lee-Anne.  I turned 33.


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

I don’t know.


  1. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Casual alternative.  Love me some ripped jeans and sarcastic t-shirts.


  1. What kept you sane?

The kitty.  My friends.


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

Erm….  Josh Ramsay.  Jonny Harris.   Just to start a long long list…


  1. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election that got us a new PM.  Horray for Justin Trudeau.


  1. Who did you miss?

I don’t know.


  1. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a bunch of girls in 2014 when I started taking yoga classes, but I didn’t really get to know them until 2015.  Those would be the best new people I met last year.


  1. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:

It really, truly, is okay to say no to something you don’t want to do.


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

Apologies, I’m not myself but I can guarantee
That when I get back, you won’t believe
That you knew me well
Don’t want to think about it
I’m fuckin’ tired of getting sick about it
Now stand back up and be a man about it
And fight for something, fight for something, fight for something, oh

~ Marianas Trench “Ever After”