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Haiku

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.

Thirty One.

When you have a really hectic job, you start to envy those people who seem to have it easy at work.

You know the ones.

The people who are like, “Yeah, I basically just have to man the fort – I get to read books and stuff.” And they get paid to do it! And in the meantime, you’re stuck working a job where you get paid next to nothing but can barely even go pee without everybody panicking because something’s gone wrong in your 30-second absence*, or a job where your boss emails you at all hours of the day and expects you to reply instantly, which often leads to you staying up until 2am finishing projects (s)he is late on.

So you dream about the day you can get paid to take it easy.

But let me tell you something, friends: if I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that we folk who thrive in chaotic environments – even if we think we dislike them – do not cope well with having nothing to do.

Here are some things I have done at jobs when I’ve had nothing to do:

  • Gotten way too good at Solitaire.
  • Gotten in trouble for playing Solitaire when I “should have been working.” (My manager had no work for me to do at the time, and told me to play Solitaire. Some jerk from another department didn’t agree.)
  • Watched every episode of The Nanny. (Love it.)
  • Practiced speaking like Fran Fine from The Nanny. (I’m damn good.)
  • Gotten addicted to The Sims.
  • Eaten an entire tub of hummus with carrots. (Not all that unusual, but this happened in like, less than an hour.)
  • Eaten an entire tin of mints. (10 minutes, max.)
  • Watched every episode of The Big C.
  • CRIED. (Have you seen that show? It’s amazing.)
  • Written terrible haiku poems.
  • Flirted with boys I’m not actually interested in. (Not proud, but hey, we all do stupid shit sometimes. Pleased to say I’ve grown out of this. Mostly. Sort of.)
  • Painted my nails with whiteout.
  • Scraped off all the whiteout nail polish. (Because ew.)
  • Eaten the majority of a grocery run done on my lunch break.
  • Gotten high off Sharpie markers.
  • Practiced what my signature will look like when I marry a handful of different celebrities. (Always be prepared.)
  • Drawn caricatures of all of my coworkers on the sides of boxes to keep me company.
  • Found myself talking to the boxes more than could be considered healthy.
  • Internet shopping.
  • Facebook. Oh, the FACEBOOK.
  • Taken photos of myself with my phone.
  • Deleted all of the photos I’ve taken of myself on my phone.
  • NETFLIX.
  • Read the entire 50 Shades of whatever trilogy.^
  • Texted everyone in my address book in an attempt to have a conversation.
  • TWITTER.

Here are some things I have not done at jobs when I’ve had nothing to do:

  • ^Read a book.

Need I say more?**

xA

*Okay, 2-3 minutes. I’m not a super hero. (Not that I can tell you about, anyway.)

**Maybe I need to start taking Xanax…

Three.

Don’t you hate when clichéd phrases are true?

Take, for instance, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”*

I write across a lot of genres and forms. I started out as a child trying to write novels, then developed into a teen who liked writing short stories, novellas, and plays, and now I write all of those things (not that they’re all published, haters and doubters) and then some. Like this handy-dandy blog!

I think this gives me a different, though not neutral, stance on how writers from different forms and genres relate to and see one another’s forms and genres. (Did that make sense? I never said I was good at what I do.) See, while I feel like writing comes naturally to me, I certainly don’t see it as easy, no matter what type of writing I’m doing. Maybe I’ll have a fantastic, fleshed out idea for something, so it’ll flow more quickly than another project I’m struggling with, but I’ve never found form to have much to do with that. Short story, play, screenplay – it depends on the idea.

Wait…I feel like I should backtrack.

Okay, I’m gonna tell you what I was gonna tell you, and then I’ll explain why it’s a lie anyway.

I was going to say, “So I find it more humorous than anything when a novelist, for example, tries their hand at playwriting for the first time and says it’s SO EASY! Or vice versa.”

And I was going to say, “Rather than some writers who may be committed to one form and get offended and defensive about these sorts of statements.”

But then after I started writing this, I realized, heck no I don’t just find it only funny. A part of me feels offended and defensive, and the size of that part varies daily. Because sometimes I’m just a huge snob and I don’t want to hear anyone saying any type of writing is SO EASY because it’s my ART, OKAY?! (And also I don’t want to hear about how you’re like, super succeeding at this EASY writing when I’m crying about not knowing where my play is going at 3am while eating an entire tray of vegan brownies and trying to explain to my dogs that I’m really FINE, STOP LICKING MY FACE.)

But I do feel somewhat drawn to arguments and drama (theatre kid, right here!), so maybe I should just say I like to watch writers get huffy about other writers telling them their form is easy and therefore less legit. And maybe I just think it’s so silly that one writer would even say that to another writer! Like, hello? Am I right?

WRONG.

Guys, I totally realized I was doing it! I was telling other writers (not to their faces or anything, but rather I was telling other writers by telling the WORLD) that what they do is easy.

About the Haiku poem!

I’d be all hanging out with friends or whatever and I’d start talking about how I like to write Haikus like, all the time, because they’re like, super quick and you can just like, think them up and jot them down and like, no big deal, I’m a Haiku artist. Like my Haikus are all so clever and meaningful. (Note: speech patterns exaggerated)

I could not find the Haiku I wanted to share with you all to demonstrate what an idiot I am, but I will tell you this: it was about a horse wearing one of those coats horses wear in cold or rainy weather. My Haiku was about a horse in a coat! (It took all of my strength to not put that in all caps, because I’m having a caps lock kind of day.)

But here’s another I found! Wouldn’t spare you! I wrote it in my first year of university.

Tiny, piercing cry /

Rushing through the pain, tears /

A new life begins.

Do you need a minute?!

Birth! Life! Pain! It’s a beautiful thing! Suffering! Society! OH MY GOD! 18-year-old me totally gets it!

And then I read real Haiku poetry like this:

The old pond;

A frog jumps in –

The sound of water

(By Matsuo Basho)

And I shut the hell up!

(And don’t ask me why those syllables don’t match up to the 5-7-5 format, because I know there’s a good reason but I clearly know nothing about Haiku.)

xA

*SIDENOTE. So the other day my friend was like, “I’m finally getting some muscle on my bird legs!” And I was like, “Bird legs?! Gorgeous thin legs! Try having HUGE CALVES!” And she was like, “But look at them! They’re beautifully muscled!” And I was just like, “They’re HUGE!”

So what I’m trying to say is, you try buying sexy boots when you have huge calves, all right?!

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