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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Forty One.

“But is it going to be like, OVER over? Like, completely over?!”

The number of times I have heard this in the last week has been both shocking and overwhelming (in a good way).

People read my blog.

I mean, I knew that people were reading my blog, because I’ve even blogged about it (whoa meta!), but the fact that people are reading my blog on a regular basis kind of blows me away.

Like, to everyone who reads my blog daily? I am in awe of you. I don’t know that I would read my blog every day if not for the fact that I have to write it every day. I am humbled and honoured to be included in your day. Even if you’re not reading every single day, I sincerely thank you for taking the time.

…But please don’t take me so seriously.

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 10.15.27

It’s fascinating how once you put something down into words, some people will take it as the be all, end all, the absolute truth about you. It’s been pretty interesting to be able to actually see and hear people’s reactions to my blog, and how they vary depending on how well they know me. My friends who read my blog laugh off a lot of my dryness and sarcasm (and craziness), while others take it a little more to heart, I think.

Let’s just say that none of my closest friends have called me to say, “Don’t worry about your forehead wrinkles! They’re barely even there!” They’ve either been like, “Yeah, that’s shitty, hey? I have them, too.” or they’ve read the post, laughed at me, and moved on.

A lot happens in a year. A LOT. A lot happens in a week. Your feelings toward something may change daily. I love bananas, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat them all day every day. I had to do that while I was starving in Ireland and then I hated bananas and thought I didn’t want to eat them ever again. If I had been writing this blog at the time, there would be a post about how I hate bananas and never want to eat them again.

SIDENOTE: I wrote that very thing in my travel blog at the time, I am certain. Cashews, too. And just look at me now. I had a banana with my breakfast about 15 minutes ago.

ANOTHER SIDENOTE: Right now, I’m on a break from beets. Because….well…that was just too much for me.

Just a small selection of other “things”:

– I actually don’t have a mega-crush on Adam Levine. Like, sure, he’s attractive, of course, but if you asked me to name five celebrity crushes (I don’t know why you would do that, since you’re not the latest issue of Tiger Beat, but you never know), he would not come up.

– I don’t actually hate cats. I love cats. I needed something to write about that day, and I was shocked by a cat bite story. I have bonded with many a cat, despite my allergies. (Shout outs to Nala, Fred, and Flora (RIP), just to name a few of my fave felines.) Sometimes you just think of a joke/story and run with it.

– I’m not panicking about my breasts. I was perplexed by them shrinking for about a week. Then I got used to it. Then I realized I love it. So to everyone who has been either making fun of me for it (yes, that happened), or trying to reassure me that it’s gonna be okay, my boobs and I are doing just fine.

– I would get into the ocean or a swimming pool. In fact, I’m trying to find a day to go try out Aqua Zumba. Yes, I’m terrified of the water. But what would life be if you never challenged yourself? Also, while I don’t swim, I LOVE being near the ocean. It’s peaceful and beautiful and wonderful.

– I don’t ALWAYS sing in my car. It’s a mood thing. So I apologize if you drove by me and I wasn’t wailing at the top of my lungs. I know I’m a huge disappointment. I apologize.

SIDENOTE: There’s some typical Andrea sarcasm.

Now, all of that being said, if you’ve ever read my blog and expressed concern for me, I think you are wonderful. (If you’ve made fun of me, you are less wonderful.) And I mean that genuinely and seriously. I so appreciate your concern. It feels really warm and fuzzy to know that you’ve read something here and it’s moved you – no matter in what direction – to want to say something. I think that’s super cool. In fact, sometimes your concern makes me feel like an asshole because I think, “Over exaggerated again, Beça.” But also, a lot of what I write is serious and it feels pretty incredible to know that other people feel the same way, share the same fears, love the same things, etc. I have lost count of the number of relationships that have either started or grown closer because of this blog. And that is pretty fucking cool.

Here’s another thing about me: sometimes I think I know where a blog post is going, and then I start to write it and it grows and grows until I feel like I am completely unable to properly encapsulate how I feel about something.

This is one of those moments.

What have I learned from this particular thing?

Um…

(A) I am humbled by everyone who reads this blog.

(B) Being a writer is a hilarious thing because everything you write is a little piece of you, but when you write that crazy-ass twisted disturbing horror story or a play about siblings who are in love, it’s awkward because everyone thinks you need therapy.

(C) I thought I had a “C,” but I got distracted and forgot it.

xA

P.S. Yes, this 365-day blog will be over on October 17. But I’ve got other projects in the works. You won’t get rid of me that easily.

Two Hundred Seventy Nine.

I love that I’m about to post this on the Internet. I can’t wait for you all to judge me.

(Oh, wait…it’s day 279. I’m used to it.)

Okay, so today I was running some errands, and I had to stop at a pet store to re-stock on some treats/snacks for Oscar and Lucy.

Did you forget about my dogs, Oscar Wilde and Lucille Ball Beça? I sure hope not.

Some recent cuddles, to refresh your memory…

Oscar is my nurse on sick days.
Oscar is my nurse on sick days.
Cuddle Monster.
Cuddle Monster Lucy.

Anyway, there I was at the pet store when I saw another Boston Terrier! How exciting! I adore meeting other Boston Terriers, because they’re so sweet and funny. I like seeing how a lot of personality traits are inherent in the breed.

So there I am, petting this adorable little Boston, and what thought pops into my mind?

Well, in all fairness, my first thought was, “Aww, I can’t wait to get home and smooch my pups!

But my second thought was, “My dogs are cuter.”

WHAT!

I know, it’s rude. It’s weird. It’s like, not even relevant.

But don’t pretend you haven’t done it.

FLASHBACK TO:

A couple months ago, one of my co-workers was puppysitting his childhood dog while one of his parents was out of town. The dog doesn’t live with him full time, so he was super excited about it. He came into my office and started showing me photos on his phone.

“He’s adorable!” I said. (And I was being honest! I think basically every dog is adorable. Or cat. Or bird. Or anything. I think we’ve discussed how I love animals way too much but not too much because how is that possible, and I right?!)

Anyway, my co-worker is weird (all of my co-workers are weird, it’s why I love them so much), so he looked up at a photo of my dogs on my bulletin board and he said, “Your dogs are really cute…but mine is way cuter. I mean, just look at his face!”

Speaking of rude and weird and irrelevant…

I laughed out loud. I LOLed IRL. (Whoa.) Not because I disagreed (I did), but because…well, okay, maybe because I disagreed, but also just because he said it. Who says shit like that out loud? Save it for your blog, buddy!

SIDENOTE: Do people do this with their children, too?

Today, as I relived this thought process at the pet store, I learned two things:

(A) Clearly love is blinding (and I think that’s an awesome and beautiful thing), and

(B) We’re all snobs.*

xA

P.S. Just for the record, if I’m friends with you and your pets, I think they’re the cutest in the world, too, and basically that we’re all related. Like I refer to my BFFs as my dogs’ aunties, etc.

P.P.S. I may need professional help.

*Or I suppose the people who read this and go, “Oh yeah, I do that, too.” are snobs along with me.**

**No, you know what? If you read this and go, “WTF? Who is this girl?” then you’re lying. WE’RE ALL SNOBS.***

***We’re all snobs because love is blinding. See? The world is so fucking beautiful. Happy sigh.

Two Hundred Twelve.

A year before I started my glamorous triple-threat career with a role as Mama Bear, I played a black cat in another bizarre medley show at my elementary school. The show – written mashed together by my music teacher – was so bad that even as a fourth grader, I knew it made no sense/had no point/SUCKED.

I was supposed to be some rip-off of the Cheshire Cat, only I was a black cat, and I had two other black cats in my posse (non-speaking roles, the losers). Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am more than mildly OBSESSED with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, so I felt like an asshole playing a black non-Cheshire Cheshire Cat, but also, I wanted to be a star, so I took the part.

I’M SORRY – I NEED TO INTERRUPT MYSELF FOR A SECOND.

I need to let you all know that when you Google image search “Cheshire Cat,” this

cheshire-cat-corset-costume
WHAT THE FUCK.

shows up well before this

chesire-cat-2
2 LEGIT 2 QUIT.

I feel like I need to just QUIT LIFE now. Fucksake.

(Jesus. Seriously. Ugh.)

ANYWAY.

So I was playing a rip-off cat. And the lead of the entire show was some Disney Princess® mash-up disaster (played by the music teacher’s daughter, naturally). And in the scene we shared, I was supposed to sort of taunt her. (But I didn’t know that at the time.)

This was my line (yes, I remember it exactly): “Just look at her! The girl’s flawless!”

JUST ONE ISSUE.

I was nine and I had no idea what “flawless” meant. So I thought I was just like, stating a fact, and I had no clue what the fact was.

So I said my line like someone who had no idea what it meant.

My music teacher called me out on it one day in rehearsal.

“Andrea, Andrea,” She had both arms up in the air and her glasses tight on the very tip of her nose, “Let’s talk about the delivery of that line.”

I stared at her.

(I was nine.)

“You need to be more – well, your delivery, it’s – here’s the thing: you’re being sarcastic. She’s not actually flawless. You’re being sarcastic about it. So I need to hear that.”

JUST ANOTHER ISSUE.

I had no idea what “sarcastic” meant either.

I nodded at my music teacher, the nerves of what was sure to be my Tony Award winning performance getting to me.

I needed to own this line.

SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t.

My music teacher continued to yell “SARCASTIC” at me in rehearsals, and my answer was simply to say the line LOUDER and ENUNCIATE.

At least I looked cute dressed as a black cat.

But not this cute.
But not this cute.

That was when I learned that acting is hard.

Also, to ask if you don’t know what a word means.*

xA

*Especially if you don’t know how to pronounce it. This one stupid girl in the show had obviously never seen the word “deny” written down before, and she would always pronounce it “DEN-ee,” even after my music teacher corrected her. And she was in grade six! I’ve been judging that girl since the fourth grade!

Ninety Eight.

All right, it may seem like a blogging cop out, but I totally don’t care.

The day I learned that cat bites (and apparently some dog bites, too?) can actually kill you, I also learned that cats will probably rule the world one day.

Or maybe they could, but they choose not to for some weird reason.

And they kind of scare me already anyway (it’s those eyes), so more fuel for the fire.

(Plus I’m allergic, so I’ve never really bonded with a cat.)

(Plus I have crazy ideas like this all the time, so just let me go with it, okay?)

xA

P.S. I Googled “scary cat” and this came up:

And I remembered that cats are scary AND adorable (sometimes).
And I remembered that cats are scary and ADORABLE.

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