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November 2012

Forty Five.

Okay, so I know that I like I joke about kids being annoying and potentially scary and that I’ve mentioned how uncertain I feel about whether I want to have children of my own and everything, but deep down inside, on most days*, I love kids.

I started babysitting at a damn early age, and I was damn good at it. All of the kids I took care of? I loved them like crazy. (Okay, not all of them. Some of them were super annoying. But the ones I took care of regularly/often, I loved them.) I would like, walk through fire for them.

SPOILER ALERT: I never had to walk through fire for a kid, thank goodness, but I did do some boundary-pushing stuff for them, which I am about to elaborate on.

EXHIBIT A.
EXHIBIT A.

Ladybugs. I’m just gonna lay it all out here: even doing an image search for ladybugs made me feel queasy. I hate ladybugs. I HATE THEM. Also, I FEAR THEM. Look, I get it, it’s weird because ladybugs are “so pretty” or whatever, but when I was about seven, I had a recurring nightmare that I’d wake up in my bed in the middle of a room that was mine-but-not-mine and EVERYTHING was covered in ladybugs. The walls were crawling with ladybugs, the floors, my bed, my skin. They were in my nose, my mouth, my eyes. I was suffocating on ladybugs and all I could smell and taste was that gross smell they leave on you when you hold them, which I think is actually a defense mechanism to keep them from being eaten my predators.

SIDENOTE: Don’t worry, ladybugs, I’m NEVER going to eat you. I think you’re super gross. No offense.

(Just describing that dream, I feel itchy and my heart rate is up. Ugh.)

ANYWAY.

So this one time I was babysitting one of my usual kids, who was about four, and we were upstairs playing in her room with all of her toys (because little kids like to play with ALL of their toys, not just one or even some). At one point, she disappeared to the corner of her room, and when she returned, she looked elated. She had one had extended toward me and a huge, toothy grin on her face. Her eyes were sparkling. This was the best moment of her whole life thus far.

Look, I’m not going to torture you with anticipation. Also, if you’re smart, you should see where this is going already. It was a ladybug. It was crawling around on her hand, and she really wanted me to see it.

“Look!” she exclaimed, holding it out to me.

“Oh, wow! It’s so pretty!**” I said, taking a small, subtle step backward. (See: stumbling away and nearly putting a hole in the wall behind me.)

“Here, hold it!”

“Oh no, that’s okay – you play with your ladybug friend!”

“No, you hold it! It tickles!”

Guys, she was so happy. She just wanted to share the happiness. So I did what I think anyone with a heart would do: I let her put the ladybug on my hand and I smiled (and probably broke a huge sweat) and tried to stay calm. After a few moments, I put the ladybug back onto the houseplant in the corner of the kid’s room and then I suggested we go downstairs to play and watch a movie. (To get the hell out of the room, obviously.)

And then I thought/worried about that ladybug. It haunted me. It still does.

EXHIBIT B.
EXHIBIT B.

SIDENOTE: My GOD those fries look good.

So this other time that I was babysitting (this was actually more of a nanny gig than a babysitting gig, because I would watch the kid from 10-6 a few times a week), the little boy’s dad left me with a $20 bill and said, “You should take Sammy*** for lunch today at the Arby’s – he loves it.” So I agreed and incorporated a stop at Arby’s into one of our many afternoon walks. (Sammy LOVED going for walks in his stroller, and it was one of the only ways to get him to sleep, so we went on LOTS of walks.)

We got to Arby’s and I ordered some french fries for myself and a chicken nugget and french fry combo for the kid and we found a booth to hang out in. Sammy was so excited. He clearly loved seeing all of the people at the restaurant, climbing around on the seats on the booth, etc. It was pretty adorable, and since I was a young teen myself, I felt pretty cool sitting there with a kid and pretending he was mine.

SIDENOTE: Imagine, I thought it was cool to have a kid. That’s cute. Also, he was like, white blonde with giant blue eyes. He would have only been mine if I had stolen him.

Once we actually settled down to eat, Sammy thought it would be really, really fun to feed me french fries, probably because I was feeding him french fries and he wanted to return the favour. So I let him feed me one. All right, no problem. We went on like this for a while, back and forth feeding each other french fries. Then something caught my attention and I looked away, or I was daydreaming about what if Sammy was actually my kid or something, and when I turned back to Sammy, he was holding out a french fry for me, so I took it. But as soon as I closed my mouth around that fry, I noticed something was off.

It was totally soggy.

Guys, Sammy had totally been sucking on that french fry before he fed it to me. It was like, pre-mushed for me. All of these realizations flooded my mind in half a second of horror, disgust, and maybe some mild nausea.

So I did what I think anyone with a heart would do: I ate the fry. I said, “Mmm!” and chewed it up and swallowed it down.

(I didn’t want to break his little heart!!! DON’T JUDGE ME!)

And then I thought/worried about that fry. It haunted me. It still does.

But I guess love makes you do crazy things.

Also, maybe I should have kids one day.

Or maybe not.

xA

*I feel like my percentage of “most” is probably higher than a lot of parents. And if I were a parent, who knows.

**Because that’s the rumour I’ve heard on the streets. I’m such a sheep.

***Not his real name. It was Sebastian.

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Forty Four.

Here’s another thing no one’s going to warn you about when you start to get tattoos: all of a sudden, once you’ve got a visible tattoo, every single person who has a small, sketchy-ass jailhouse looking* tattoo is going to think that you both belong to the same tattoo club, and they’re going to want to show you their “ink.”

SIDENOTE: The most shudder-inducing term, in my opinion? Tatty. “Hey, nice tatty!” Or, “I see you’ve got lots of tatties.” Like, just shoot me now. SRSLY.

Look, I’m not trying to say I’m cooler than you or anything. That’s not what I think. And I’m totally not one to judge other people’s tattoos (unless they’re just horribly done – then I feel sad and like I’m maybe a bit cooler than you**). I think you should get whatever makes you happy. And just because I wouldn’t get something tattooed on my own skin doesn’t mean I don’t love it or can’t appreciate it.

SIDENOTE: But not if it’s a swastika or something equally hateful. Then you’re just an asshole.

But what I find funny about the whole thing is that people with amazing, intricate, well-done tattoos aren’t the ones showing off their work, even though we should be (yeah, I totally just put myself in that category – shout outs to Brent and Aza, my wicked artists). The people sharing their work are people like the girl yanking her jeans down to show me her uneven, stereotypical tramp stamp. Or the 50-something guy pulling up the sleeve of his t-shirt to show me his faded Tasmanian Devil tattoo that’s so blown out and blurry from age and sun or everything else that you can barely even tell what it is anymore. Or the girl looking at my full sleeve and then showing me the quarter-sized flower on her hip, all the while shouting, “OMG, I’ve got a tattoo, too!!!!!!”

Stuff like this:

I feel anxious just looking at it…

So, is it:

(a) That my tattoos are actually so ugly that people with worn out, badly done ones think we’re soul mates, Forget it, can’t even joke about that.

(b) That my tattoos are so nice that people with worn out, badly done ones feel like my approval is important,

or (c) That people are just really, really weird?

It’s (c). That’s one of the earliest lessons I learned. Like when I watched this boy named Morgan pick a GIANT booger out of his nose and eat it in Kindergarten. Or when this random girl in my grade 2 class dragged me into the bathroom stall with her and told me about how she doesn’t wear panties with her tights (she proved it, too, without me asking). Or when a guy decides it’s okay to force kiss you and lick your face during the process.

All I’m trying to say is unless we’re friends, please don’t just stop me and show me your tattoos. I didn’t ask. Would you stop me on the street to show me your new necklace? Shoes? Bra?***

Exactly.

xA

P.S. Another for your viewing pleasure:

Gangsta.

*That said, my uncle had this hilariously awful self-done tattoo on his leg and I kind of loved it.

**If they’re misspelled, I want to cry and my head feels like it’s going to explode.

***I’ve totally jinxed myself now. Bring on the random crazy-person fashion show.

Forty Three.

Firstly, for those of you worried about my sleep patterns, you will be proud to know that I went to bed at MIDNIGHT last night and got a solid eight hours! I feel about four years old making that announcement, but you know what? Feel free to throw some “look at you with your big sleep!” comments at me, because I’ll take what I can get.

Speaking of feeling about four years old, I started a new part-time job yesterday. It’s at an office co-run by the local university and the National Research Council, so it’s crazy official in a lot of ways (see: a LOT of paperwork to do to be allowed to work there).

So because it’s so official, I was feeling like quite the grown-ass woman going to my first day there. I put on my big-girl pants (see: nice black trousers, not skinny jeans or pyjama pants) and a nice blouse and made myself look professional.

SIDENOTE: Looking “professional” for me is kind of relative to being me, because then when I was being shown around the building and introduced to a lot of people during the day, I felt VERY young, VERY tattooed, and VERY half-of-her-head-is-shaved? But I can guarantee you I was well-dressed, well-groomed, and that I smelled fantastic. You know, as usual. NBD.

Anyway, my day was going really well. Everyone at the office is super nice and I have the best (see: THE BEST) office mate in the world. I was feeling capable, mature, and ready to take on the world! I had even navigated the science side of campus* all by myself earlier that morning without getting lost, so I basically thought I deserved some sort of award.

My boss asked me to deliver some paperwork to a few different people at what I’m just going to call our sister department. He works between two buildings and two job titles. It’s complicated and not important to the story, so blah blah. I knew exactly where I had to go and I was looking forward to the fresh air, so I jumped at the opportunity. I gathered my things and said with great confidence, “Brilliant, I’ll be back shortly.” And then I pretty much sashayed out the door like the sassy professional woman I am.**

I got down the hall and decided to take the stairs (because why not tone my butt while I’m working, am I right?). I went down to the ground floor and pulled at the door. Locked. Oh, right, this is why I was given a visitor pass (this job is so official you need security ID badges to get in and out of doors). I swiped my visitor badge: nothing. All right, so I figured I wasn’t allowed access to that floor via that particular stairwell. No problem! I walked back up the stairs to my floor and pulled at the door. Locked. Oh…okay. Surely I’d have access to my own floor, so I swiped my visitor badge: nothing. Oh…shit.

And then I felt like this:

Oh shit.

And about this big:

But not NEARLY as cute.

Thank goodness that I had tossed my phone into my pocket, which I wasn’t going to do when I left. Well, thank goodness, but also a part of me would have rather died in that stairwell than do what I had to do.

Less than two minutes after sashaying out of the office, I had to phone my boss.

SIDENOTE: My boss is like, super cool and casual, mostly because I don’t think he gives a shit what people think, because he’s the boss and he’s super cool and casual. So really that’s like a loop of coolness that I could never even dream of living in. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is when he answers his phone, he just says his last name, which for the purposes of this blog, I will change.

BOSS: MacGyver.

ANDREA: (In a trying-way-too-hard-to-sound-casual tone) Hi, Dr. MacGyver, it’s Andrea. I feel like an idiot. I think I went down the wrong stairwell…

And then I think he hung up. Only I couldn’t really tell because I was in a cement stairwell and the reception was sketchy at best, so I just started to panic while forcing my casual tone and say “hello?” over and over again. I didn’t stop until I heard someone running down the hall and my office mate freed me from captivity. I felt about four years old when he opened the door and smiled and said, “When Dr. MacGyver said stairwell, I knew exactly where you’d be.”

We reentered the hallway and my office mate gave my boss, who was standing way down the hall, an enthusiastic thumbs up (because he’s the nicest).

OFFICE MATE: I got her!

ANDREA: (Dying of embarrassment, gives a weak thumbs up)

And that’s when I learned:

(a) To always stay humble, and

(b) That I should definitely continue to embrace what a nerd I am, because it’s clearly working for me.

xA

*The alien side, says the girl with the arts degrees.

**Er, had become in the last 24 hours.

Forty Two.

I’m exhausted.

I know that everyone is tired and busy nowadays, but today I seem to have finally hit the wall that made me go, “Oh shit.”

Maybe it’s because lately, even though I have a lot (see: A LOT) of stress in my life, I’ve been feeling pretty calm and well-balanced. I think a great deal of this new, somewhat zen mindset is due to the fact that I cut all of the toxic people, gossip, and drama out of my life throughout the spring and summer. I also exercise regularly, which helps me clear my mind and helps regulate stress and all those good things.

But today I didn’t feel zen. I didn’t feel calm or balanced. From the second I woke up this morning, I felt like hell. Physically, everything hurt. I fought an insane can’t-open-my-eyes headache all the way until about 7pm.* Mentally, I felt outright angry and sad. Like my entire world was crashing down around me and I couldn’t do anything about it. Everything and everyone was irritating to me and everything I had to do felt like too much. One of my friends texted me and asked how I was and all I could think to say was “Frustrated.”

Why?

Because I’m not sleeping.

Guys, I seriously feel like this:

Only with a little more insides and worse skin.

My name is Andrea and I am IRRESPONSIBLE about my sleeping patterns.

Sometimes it’s like I’m trapped between two worlds of awake-ness.

I’m surprisingly perky early in the morning. Once you get me out of bed, I’m like, obnoxiously perky. I like the feeling of being up early – you know, rising with the sun (or before it, in prairie winters), getting shit done, really taking care of business and feeling productive. Feeling like a part of the “everyday” world. Like one of society’s good members. Yeah.

But at heart, I’m a nighthawk. My creativity and productivity hit a peak somewhere between about 10pm and 3am, and I love being able to get shit done during the quiet of a late night. Especially writing. But when I live by myself, I also like cooking, cleaning, taking bubble baths, doing laundry, having solo dance parties in my underwear, watching movies, whatever, all in the wee hours of the morning. I’m totally fascinated by insomnia and the idea of living in the “graveyard shift” world. Because while we’re asleep, there’s so much going on. A lot of people start their jobs when normal folk go to sleep. And it’s a totally different life. I’m drawn to it like a magnet.

SIDENOTE: As I write this, it’s almost midnight. I work at 8:30am tomorrow morning. I should be in bed.

Some of my jobs** lend themselves to the nighthawk’s lifestyle. Like I said, mostly writing. Sometimes I can be a productive writer during the day, but I can almost always be a productive writer between 10pm and 3am, sometimes later if I let myself stay up. When I did a lot of work in theatre, I was always working at night, whether it be directing a rehearsal or working box office at a local venue. Even teaching Zumba® is primarily an evening gig for me.

But also, a lot of life happens during the day. All the appointments I make need to be during the traditional 9-5 hours. My freelance clients expect me to be available (obviously and rightfully) between “business hours.” I’m starting a new job tomorrow that happens during business hours. That’s when most stores are open. It’s just when “everyday” life happens. So naturally I need to participate in life during those hours.

Lately, I’ve been pulling some serious doubletime. Awake early in the morning until late at night/early in the morning.

I tend to carry on this way until my body says “NO, GRACIAS,***” (see: today) and I crash. Usually I crash in a succession of crashes until I really CRASH and sleep for 10-11 hours in a night (see: somewhere around Friday or Saturday). Then I’ll have “normal” sleep patterns for a wee bit, and then the cycle begins again.

But today I felt worse than I’ve felt in a long time. Bad enough to kind of scare myself. I remember a time when I felt this shitty about life every single day, and I never want to feel like that again.

So, today is the day. Sleep patterns change now. You’re watching me learn my lesson, live, like on reality TV!****

I feel like hell. Like, right now. But I’m going to bed. And when I post this in the morning, I will have only slept 5-6 hours. But tomorrow’s another day, and I’m going to try to do better.

That’s all I can ask of myself, right?

xA

*When I woke up from a nap and drank a bunch of water. Genius.

**One of my biggest problems? The fact that I just said “jobs,” plural. And I don’t mean two. I mean somewhere between four and six with varying time commitments.

***Shout out to my girl, Louise!

****Only not nearly as exciting or scandalous. (Or scripted.)

Forty One.

I’ve realized something over the last couple of weeks: at present, I am totally indifferent toward relationships.

Not friendships and stuff, obviously, but romantic relationships.

Here’s how I got here:

See, after years and years of putting up with assholes and an impressive array of emotional games and manipulation, I put a big STOP IT on men. Well, okay, not on all men, but on the ones who play emotional games and like to manipulate women. I think it was a fair thing to do. I think every woman should do it, like, five years ago (at least).

So I decided I’d stop playing games and just start telling the guys I like that I like them. You know, like real communication. Alien, but effective.

SIDENOTE: Plus, I’m a writer, so I’m already like, totally used to rejection, so nothing about this method phases me.

Surprise! It never got me a guy. Don’t get me wrong, some of the responses were positive, but nothing ever came of them. I used to let myself get all heartbroken about it. I remember one incident about two years ago—last year? I don’t know; I have no concept of time—that left me in the dumps for ages, mostly because it was a positive response that couldn’t go anywhere for other reasons. In some ways, it was better than going through all of the relationship games, but I’d feel just as shitty afterward, so I never got much consolation out of being up front and honest.

CUT TO: A few weeks ago. I did it again. Told one of my guy friends I thought he was hot.

He wasn’t into it. But this time, instead of feeling OMGSHATTERED, I just thought OH WELL and moved on. Like maybe too fast. Like maybe I should have worried about it for at least a few minutes. But I didn’t. I shrugged and went to sleep, and then I got the hell on with my life.

Because I’m far too busy for that shit!

You know, Ru Paul (yeah, I’m quoting Ru Paul) once said something like, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?” (I know a LOT of people have said that, but I like Ru Paul, so back off.) She probably looked like this when she said it:

Testify, girl!

I don’t think we should wait until we 100% love ourselves to get into a relationship, believe me. (Because if I did, I’d never get there.) But what I took from that, and what I practise every single day, is that I have to be the priority in my life and I have to get my shit together before I can mix my shit with someone else’s.*

That doesn’t mean not caring about other people, and it doesn’t mean being a selfish twat or not doing what your BFF wants to do on the weekend even though you don’t feel like it because you love her. It just means pursuing my goals and devoting as much time as I please to them because they’re the most important thing to me right now. And I don’t have a partner or children (thank goodness**), so the time is now, right? This is me time! I’ve got to enjoy it while I have it!

Plus, I have like, five jobs when I actually count them out, so the thought of having a boyfriend right now makes my scheduling muscle twitch. Unless I could have a boyfriend who’s as busy as me and therefore only wants to hang out like, once a week. Maybe once every two weeks. Oh, and he’d have to like emailing and texting more than talking on the phone because I just can’t multitask while doing the latter the way I could when I was in grade 6. Probably someone like Adam Levine who’s always on TV or on tour would be best. Just saying.

Plus I’m a commitment phobe.

Oh. Unless you’re this guy:

Might as well be a “missed connections” advert.

Then let’s make out.

xA

*Not actual shit. Don’t be gross.

**FOR NOW.

Forty.

After some chats with some friends and readers, I decided it was only right to balance things out this week. I am a Libra, after all. I love balancing shit out.

So with that, I give you: A List of Attractive Personalities – The FEMALE VERSION (what what!), by Andrea Beça (With Photographic Examples)

(Sorry if you’re a lady and you’re reading this and you’re so straight that you don’t find any other women attractive. No, really. I feel sorry for you. Expand your horizons a bit.)

Personality Trait: Smart

Example: Mayim Bialik

She’s a motherf*cking neuroscientist, y’all. Bow down!

Personality Trait: Fucking Hilarious

Example: Tig Notaro

Two words: Taylor Dayne.

Personality Trait: Weird

Example: Kristen Bell

ADORABLY weird. Sloths!

Personality Trait: Nerdy

Example: Ginnifer Goodwin

Did you know she’s obsessed with Harry Potter?

Personality Trait: Writing Talent

Example: Mindy Kaling

THE MINDY PROJECT. That is all.

Personality Trait: Fat

Example: Rebel Wilson

Yes it’s a personality trait and yes it’s a good thing. Represent.

Personality Trait: A Sexy Accent

Example: Sofia Vergara

Guapísima!

Personality Trait: Scottish

Example: Kelly MacDonald

She’ll always be Dianne from Trainspotting in my heart.

Personality Trait: Christina Hendricks

Example: Christina Hendricks

DON’T ARGUE WITH ME. I CAN’T. DON’T EVEN.

And then sometimes, there’s just lust.

Like I’d write this post without Jayne…

Wait, I think I lost track of what I was saying.

Oh…but I still totally made my point.

You’re welcome. Happy Sunday.

xA

P.S. Lesson learned? I like boobs!

Thirty Nine.

When I was a teenager, I thought that the Friends were the coolest of the cool.

Monica and Rachel had the nicest apartment ever (and of course they were lucky enough to be living there under the radar with rent control!), they all dressed really cool in designer clothes and the latest trends, and the six of them were such good friends. They all just seemed to have their shit together in such a serious way: cool jobs, cool friends, cool lives.

Did you know that in the first season of Friends, most of the friends were 26 years old?

Yeah. It never really occurred to me until I was watching some reruns and heard Monica say it. And I was like, “Hey, I’m 26!” And then I started to pay a lot more attention to the show.

GUYS! THE FRIENDS SO DON’T HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER!

Sure, they’re good friends, but they’re also way incestuous, what with Rachel and Ross, then Rachel and Joey, then Rachel and Ross, and Monica and Chandler, the Phoebe-Joey connection, and the list goes on and on. Like maybe hang out with some other people, guys. And before Ross is 40, he’s been married like, 18 times (okay, maybe three or four) and then he and Rachel accidentally have a baby together. Oops!

SIDENOTE: And then the baby is almost always conveniently out of the picture. Babies don’t have social lives, Friends; they sort of need their parents around.

Oh, and do any of them ever even go to work?! (And don’t try to tell me they’re just hanging out drinking coffee REALLY early, because we all know they wouldn’t be getting up at 5am, and neither would all those coffee shop extras.)

But you know what? I still love them. In fact, I think I may love them more now than I did when I was a teenager, because they make me feel somewhat normal, if not partially like I’ve got my shit together. I mean, at least I know what I want to be when I grow up and I work my ass off toward it every single day. And at least I don’t have any failed marriages under my belt yet. But at the same time, I know what it’s like to bounce from job to job, what it’s like to have a brutal on again, off again relationship, and what it’s like to have a friend who thinks she’s an AMAZING singer but is actually like, totally brutal.

SIDENOTE: As I write this, the episode where Phoebe is writing her new “novel” is playing on some random TV channel, which makes me feel like I’m a Phoebe, but I can’t lie to myself or you all: I’m totally a Monica if I’m any of them. Ugh. That was painful to admit. Who are you?

Friends. They get me. And push me every day to not become a character from a sitcom. Thank goodness that’s kind of hard to do.

xA

P.S. If nothing else, at least I can say I never had this hair cut:

LAYERS.

Or any of this fashion sense:

What’s up, denim vest?

Thirty Eight.

Today is my amazing mom’s birthday.

Here’s a gorgeous photo of her in Ireland – at the Ring of Kerry, to be exact:

God I miss this scenery…

I’ve been living back at my parents’ house since returning from my master’s degree in Scotland, which was almost exactly two years ago. Did you know it’s insanely expensive to live in Europe? Especially when you don’t have a job or the time to work one? My student loans and appalling amounts of debt left me pretty immobilized (I still am), so it just made sense to move back home and save the rent money.

I’m not going to lie: the thought of living with my parents again after almost 18 months of having a large flat to myself and all the space and privacy I needed was not an appealing one. In fact I sort of dreaded it. Not only because I like living by myself, but also because in some ways, it felt like accepting failure or something. Like, living at home is supposedly super sad, so I should feel bad about myself because of it. Like it should be something I mumble so that no one would know that I’m living with my family. Like, how pathetic, right?

Full disclosure, I felt that way until pretty damn recently, and I’m not proud of it at all. I don’t know why I was so worried about living at home – my parents both work, so during the days I have the house to myself for all of my freelance work, and even when they are home, there’s no tension between my parents and I or anything. So why try to hide it?

And then I had a wake-up call.

Again, I have no idea why it took me so long to not feel angsty about living with my parents, but a couple of weeks ago, it really hit me: if I weren’t living at home right now, at this moment in my life, I would be living in poverty. I wouldn’t be able to pay rent on an apartment, or even on a room in a house. I wouldn’t even be able to buy dog food for Oscar and Lucy. I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to buy the vegan and gluten-free foods I eat. It’s only because I’m not paying rent that I can afford to do any of those things, and some months, I can’t. Some months everything I eat, buy, and use goes straight onto credit cards, adding to my pile of debt.

It’s the joy of a freelance life. One in which work is usually very scarce. One in which I often end up working double or triple time, because the number of hours that I have to put into marketing myself and finding new contracts is obscene and almost never pays off. One in which invoices are almost never paid on time, so I’m almost always late to pay my bills (if I even can). It is a difficult life.*

But it means I’m doing something that I love, and my family has always supported me in that. They donated way too much time and money to my theatre company’s shows when I was working as a writer/director/producer, and now they’re encouraging me to keep pursuing a writing career even though I’ve sunk into more debt today than when I graduated in Scotland.

SIDENOTE: That’s math that really hurts, y’all.

So what I’ve come to realize is that there’s no shame whatsoever in living with my family. It means that they believe in what I do, that they support my goals, and that they want me to be happy.

If you ask me, that’s pretty incredible.

And I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. It is a daily reminder to push my hardest, work ridiculously long hours, and never give up on my dreams. It’s a daily reminder to stay true to myself, follow my heart, and appreciate the happiness I gain from doing what I love, even if it means that I’m broke beyond broke.

It’s a daily reminder to hold onto the belief that hard work pays off, and everything happens for a reason, so everything’s gonna be okay.

So thanks, mom. I owe you one.**

xA

*I get that a lot of people have much harder lives. This is my blog in my context. Don’t be hatin’.

**(See: a million ones.)

Thirty Seven.

I think it’s only natural for a child to blame things on their parents, so here’s one for the list:

For my entire childhood (and even now), my mom had short hair. Here’s a photo of the two of us at The Trossachs National Park in Balloch, Scotland, from when she came to spend Christmas with me in 2010:

Aren’t we cute? We were freezing. Even for Canadians.

Now, I’m not up to date on the latest trends in the world of Barbie (I’m kind of too scared to even look it up lest I discover a Nicki Minaj Barbie with an inflatable ass or a Katy Perry Barbie with tiny cupcake tits or something equally over-sexualized), but when I was a kid, there was no such thing as a Barbie doll with short hair. So naturally I wanted to give all of mine a hair cut.

(Hell, even 20 years later, I can’t commit to a TV show, but I can shave half my head without flinching.)

I would never really have the intention of cutting off all of my Barbies’ hair. Sometimes I would just aim for a cute bob cut with some bangs. But one of two things would always happen:

  1. I would hit the scissor happy high, black out, and wake up to a bald Barbie doll.
  2. I would finish the cut, only to discover that Barbie hair is made to hang in one particular hair style, and that trying to force it into place with bangs and a blunt chin-length trim would NEVER work.

Long story short (oh yes I did), I would somehow always end up with an army of bald or ugly Barbie dolls.

My mom would get so mad, but it was actually all her fault.

Maybe I just wanted them to look as cool as she did/does.

But guys, duh – short hair on women isn’t feminine/desirable/acceptable. When I Googled “Barbie with short hair,” I got a lot of images of terrible hack jobs and then, oddly, a lot of photos of Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj.*

Lessons learned: Barbies are evolving in the wrong ways, I need to try to perfect my Barbie hairstyling skills for when I have or know children whose parents let them play with Barbies,** and I’m gonna keep rocking my short hair, no matter what the mainstream says.

I probably like shoes more than you. You know, despite the hair cut.

xA

*And then I found THESE:

Whaaat?
For real?!

I shit you not, I was kidding around then I mentioned Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj Barbies. I am genuinely horrified that they exist. Ugh.

**Because I probably wouldn’t. Yeah, yeah, Mommy Dearest, whatever.

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