Maybe it is…or maybe it’s just a way to get the monkey off my back?
I came back to my hometown of Chatham, Ontario after finishing a year of college up in Toronto. I played catch up with my friends and family back home – made some new memories, relished in old ones and quickly became miserable. Something was missing. Outside of having a personality far too big for the small town life, I couldn’t find a decent job either. As the summer started the come to an end, many of my friends started to sink into the realization that it was time for them to grow up. Time to buckle down, be responsible and start living the life their parents were. Time to fill some shoes! I wasn’t one of them. One day while on the phone checking in, a friend of mine could hear it in my voice that something wasn’t right. I wasn’t the same person that I was when I first came back from the Big Smoke. She didn’t like that. After a long discussion regarding the pros and cons and a slight twist of my rubber arm, I moved back to Toronto. With a few of my belongings and $2.92 to my name, I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was doing, what the next step was or how it would turn out. But that didn’t matter to me. Between my sense of adventure and the natural minimalist in me – I always figure it out.
I grew up revelling over a world unknown. I was a book worm through and through (even started a classroom library in 4th grade and made money off of it to boot – dang those late fees). When I wasn’t knee deep in some fictional fantasy, I was all over my National Geographic binders. You know the ones you subscribed to, to get 10 or 20 new inserts delivered each month? I didn’t subscribe, but my Papa did. That’s where my love for the world started. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. Between Free Willy and those monthly deliveries, I was dead-set. I had a life goal. Some 25 years later – we all see how that played out.
Going back to some even younger years, we had this old Peanut trailer. When it wasn’t loaded up, ready for the next weekend of camping, it sat in front of our house looking real sad. Between school friends and the neighbour kids, we used to give that Peanut some imagination love. During summer break, we’d run around the neighbourhood playing a game we called “Gypsies”. This was our version of playing “House” and we didn’t have the slightest idea what it actually meant, but we had a hell of a good time doing it. We used to run around the neighbourhood all day with long skirts (or towels), head pieces (usually towels also) and whatever dangly jewellery our mom’s would let us play with. We’d flee from one house to the next, “stealing” things from their yards (or garages, depending on whose house it was – they all knew our game) to later trade for something else. Once we had a hefty enough stash or we simply needed a time out to have some lunch, we’d come back to this trailer as though it was our horse and carriage. It was never the “stealing ‘” that hooked me (there were some pretty nice sticks and rocks though), it was the ability to run those streets with a couple of friends for hours on end living in this fake world that we created and being devastated when those damn street lights came on.
Many moons later, the Interwebz happened. My Mom and Dad had separated for the last time. We lived with Mom, but had the occasional weekend with Dad. Any weekends at Mom’s, I found one way or another to venture out of town. I’d head up to London and Toronto or down to Windsor to meet people I met on MySpace or some other forum. While Mom was always in a panic for my safety, I didn’t care. I wasn’t scared. I loved that sense of adventure. I vaguely recall a disagreement (or twelve) we had about it. I’m not sure that I ever used it in my defence (as teenagers are so good at doing), but I recall Mom telling me stories of these times she used to listen to the CB radio. I can’t remember all of the nitty gritty details, but I remember her saying that after jumping into the cab of an 18-wheeler with some stranger, she had seen a better portion of the 52 states in the US of A. I also remember her saying Papa wasn’t thrilled about it. Imagine that. I am my Mother’s daughter.
I used to follow my favourite bands and DJ’s all over the place too (okay, mostly Ontario and Northern Michigan). Dad used to tell his stories of growing up and I’ve got a stack of faded concert tickets to back those tales. After he caught me drinking and smoking underage (and after he stopped being mad about it) he started sharing all of his drunken idiot stories too (for the sake of babbling, I’ll spare those details). My goodness, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Low and behold – I am my Father’s daughter too (surprise)!
I have always been this “running with scissors” kind of girl. I was the girl who could never settle down in life or work or in romance. I was always the girl who could drop everything at a moment’s notice to go be where ever she needed to be because she didn’t really have anywhere else to be.
Alas, people change (ish).
What I don’t write about or even really talk about (mostly because it took me some time to get here) is the fact that my job has taken a toll on me over the past couple of years. Without getting into the politics of it all – I’m miserable. That same girl who moved back to the big city with $2.92 to her name? Yeah, I feel like her again. This time, I’ve become mildly anti-social, very much a homebody, I’ve pushed people out and I want to run away from this life full of expectations. I’m talking in a sense of living my life the way my heart and soul can feel it, not in a way of running from adulthood and responsibility. The life of working just to pay the bills, bury myself in debt and then die. The life where it’s expected to give in to this mold where buying stuff just to have stuff to fill a space that is never big enough in a social standing. “Come see my new house, which is bigger than my last home, filled with more stuff than before and we’ll sit there talking about it all day.” Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve never wanted that life and I still don’t. I never wanted to be stuck in the same place that I was born, building this life that I don’t even want. Everyone knows that – that’s just not who I am. But somehow, many have forgotten.
When the news broke that we finally set a date to follow our dream, many were congratulatory and expressed words on how they’re sad to see us go but so goddamn excited for us to break the mold and follow along on social media as if they were there with us. I love it! As I said before – we may just be the key to your next vacation destination. On the other hand, some are not feelin’ it. They weren’t happy that we had used the means of social media to let everyone know. Maybe that was wrong on our part, sure. Or maybe it’s something more? Something that lies deeper and I’m just not seeing it from their perspective? Either way, Tim and I have been talking about this for many months. It’s like some people just weren’t listening and now they’re offended because we made it largely known that it’s on like Donkey Kong. August 1st, baby!
“You’re blinded by your boyfriend. He controls you and you can’t see that because you’ve got your blinders on. It’s only your dream because he got you in to sailing…”
No. My boyfriend is not controlling me. He is not holding a knife to my throat with threats to “keel hull me and run me through” if I don’t go with him on his sailboat adventure. I’m quick to defend these comments. Not because they’re true but because you’ve made me feel weak. After everything I’ve already shared, you didn’t just say something about my partner in crime; you’ve thrown a punch at me. Apparently the “strong, independent” woman I used to be doesn’t exist anymore in your eyes. That doesn’t sit well with me.
I made a choice to stop playing the woe-is-me card. To stop whining and crying about it (sober – oops). This is me standing my ground, turning my back to the negative shit and start focusing on the fact that the girl I once was isn’t dead. She’s just been in hibernation. With that, if there is even a little piece of you that remembers the aforementioned girl but you’ve got something to feel or say about who I’ve become as of late – please remember to make damn sure that you are absolutely perfect before you start pointing fingers or throwing punches. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “The only perfection I know is in the dictionary.”
<3 Candice xo.