Friday, March 26, 2010

You think you know me but you have no idea...

Lately it's been boggling my mind how much I don't know a lot of people any more. This is especially true for people who I went to highschool and graduated with. So weird. It's funny how in highschool that was pretty much my life. School. Didn't really hang much with friends outside of school till grade 12, 11 maybe, a bit of 10? And sure I went to church, but that was only on Sundays and throughout highschool I had my falling out with doubts and stuff. So school was pretty much life. No wonder those years were sometimes so lonely and seemed like a waste. Still it's crazy how you can spend hours each day with people for how many years and yet not know them fully because it's only in one setting that you see them. And now I don't really know many of them at all.

It's funny, seems like a find a lot of things funny, but I remember my sister telling me in grade 11 how I won't hang with or know most of my friends after graduation. I told myself that would never be us. Yet to this day it's totally true. It makes you think about those who've really stuck around your life and the effort you put into the realtionships that matter most to you. Well that's my thinking. Here I am, living in a comfortable size of a city, not big at all, with most of my graduating classmates within a 45 minute drive. But do I make the effort? No. I guess we've just all accepted it. I hope there's no view of animosity in it or anything. That's just life. One of the other adult volunteers for the Youth ministry I'm part of says this quote a lot: "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime..." And I believe this is true. Doesn't mean that the friendship has to end badly; sometimes (actually, a lot of them) they just end.

Wow, it will be three years since I graduated come this June. I'd like to think that I'm older and wiser, that I've changed and grown in character into a better person. And I believe I have. I'd like to think that others have this same observation of me as well. But I can see how after having seen eachother for so long, we can get stuck on viewing people as we last remember them. I know I get stuck there. But I can't do that. There's this person engaged, that girl making music, that guy moved away, this one no one even knows where they are at these days and so on. And even through my aim of being real and transparent, I know that I have my own secrets and other sides of my life that not everyone knows about. Nothing bad or anything. Just stuff that I'm less willing to share. Does this mean I'm two-faced? Am I living a lie? Maybe... Or maybe it just shows the truth that each relationship I have with different people are all unique and specific to their own norms and habbits. Still there are definitely some parts of me I wish I weren't as chicken to share, especially with my closer friends and family. I feel like I've hinted at things or even said it bluntly, but they don't hear me. Hmmm... I suppose a sit down and talk is a must.

No, I don't tell everyone my whole life. But for close friends and family I don't understand why I can't trust them with parts of me that I can share with strangers. That's a messed idea of trust. Am I just making this a bigger deal then it actually is? I'm thinking so. Uhh... You will see the lamest side of me yet. But since I'm putting it out there I'm not fully ashamed of it... except with those closest to me?...

I sound crazy. But it makes sense in my head. That doesn't help. But you don't really know me so that explains that...

                Alexandra of course... O_0?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daylight Savings: you're not my favorite...

So usually I have nothing to say about Daylight Savings besides how I could feel that one hour gone. Turning our clocks forward this last Saturday was a little different.

I had gone to sleep a little later than intended. My mind was going haywire when it should have been shutting down for sleep. I wrote an entry on here, yes another long winded, deep one, but that still didn't get all the junk outta my head that was preventing me from sleep. Nevertheless, I still tried to catch some Z's, especially since Cheaky was sleeping on my room and I didn't want to wake her up with my laptop light from Facebooking or checking out YouTube. Yes, that's what I do to waste time, besides trying to finish a Jane Austen book.

So there I was pretty much waiting to go to sleep. And of course that never works. Around 1:30 while I was still lying there waiting for sleep, Cheakers was having a bad dream and started wimpering. I swear, it's like children go through a phase of having bad dreams and wake up screaming. But she settled down and woke up to go to the bathroom.

Another half hour goes. I'm still waiting. My brain continued to not shut down. Then at around 2AM with Daylight Savings in effect Cheakers get's up and stops just outside my door. I start hearing this noise, like water was being poured out onto the carpet. Crap. That's not good. I waited till she was done.

"Awwhhh, Cheaky, did you puke?"

I knew it when I heard it. And there it was. A lovely pile of chunky pink stuff. I must say I was impressed at first. I didn't think a little girl that size could could throw up that much. And it was pink! But then I see realized the reality. I had to clean that up. I could have easily woken up my mom. Or not easily, but that would have been the bratty thing to do. Instead I made sure Cheakers finished up in the toilet, was good. She was brave. She got it done then went back to sleep. I would have cried for my mom.

Next to do was to clean it up. Especially being next to my door I wanted to do it well. And there it was. A pile of a cheeseburger Happy Meal with frutopia of course. I'm assuming that gave it the color. Of course I couldn't just use my ShamWow to soak it all up. It was pretty chunky. So what else to use besides a bowl and a wooden spoon? Yup that's how I got 'er done. I must say, this process almost ended up with me contributing some of my own dinner to Cheaky's lovely pile. But I prevailed. And after flushing that stuff down the toilet I had the various nice-smelling cleaners to block most of the acidic smell while scrubbing the carpet.

By the time I was done scrubbing, the pink stuff was gone and my carpet stunk of cleaning solution and badly needed some air drying. So I left to to that and went to bed. The eventful morning event had done the job and I was overall done for the day. Of course it was quarter to 4AM by the time I was done. I couldn't help but end my day with an update to Facebook:

Alexandra P...Test #167: how to deal with a puking child and their chunky pink puke at 2AM when daylight savings is in effect. The answer does not include waking Mom up or a shamwow. It requires a bowl, spoon, goodsmelling cleaning spray, lots of scrubbing and new pj pants   *Note: you do NOT want to see pink on the carpet in the morning

Daylight Savings, you're a punk. But I guess all in all we're the ones who made you and in the end it makes for an interesting story... Oh and I guess McDonald's should be avoided at all times.

             Alexandra of course...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Playing the game of Life...

Tonight I babysat, well more so hung out with a 6 year old. An awesome 6 year old by the way. She brought me an apple pie from McD's (hadn't had one in forever) as well as the game of Life. Of course we played the game after our pie and with Jukebox Oldie's playing in the background. Ahh the good old days, well beyond my time...

It's been a while since I played Life (no pun or deep meaning intended, but on second thought...). So it was a game that took longer than it could since I was actually reading the instructions as we went along. Hey, if you're gonna play, you play it fair... unless it's not that kinda game... but most games have rules right?

So we played the game, put our pink ppl in the driving seat in their cars, hers on the left, mine on the right (my game self lived in England...), and off we went. Naturally we both advocated for the advantage of college, or more so she demanded it be the route we take, and I couldn't refuse education. And there we were playing life.

It's kind of scary how we are socialized to think certain things, like what a normal life is. We, or I can see how I sometimes get hung up on rules or systems; like go to school, finish school, get a job in some sort of successful career field, make the moneys (yes, moneys), get married, buy a house (no living with parents when married! that is one of my goals), babies!, move, career change? (mid-life crisis?), pay for children as they start life, get ready for retirement, then retire. Well that's what I learn from the game. And I'm not gonna lie, I like systems when I see thier use. I have this system with our plates and bowls in the cupboards, it annoys me to see it messed with. But sometimes we do need to throw the instruction manual out the window, especially if they're written by other people who don't see or know all the different paths of life there actually are.

But I can get hung up on rules and expectations. I didn't have babies in the game. I didn't land on any "it's a boy" or "it's a girl". And I noticed it right away. Cheekers told me it was okay, there were lots of spaces and chances to get a baby, they were just spread out. But later on I realized that I was near retiring. I have to say, I worked up myself more than I should of about not having children. But Cheekers didn't have any too. "Ah well," she said. "It's not real life."

No it is not. But that got me thinking. We do have these ideals of how our lives will turn out, how we want or expect them to. Whether they're learned from society or family I think to some degree we all have them. But life's a mystery, a surprise. You never know what can become of it till... well, it actually happens.

I think of one of my aunties who's single. I love my Auntie, she's awesome. She used to live with us and taught me how to make some awesome banana bread (which I've forgotten, lame point) and she's one of the best cooks/bakers I know. I remember her making a home made pizza once from scratch, crust and all, and it was kick butt. She has the most genuine laugh ever and does not hold back when she finds something funny. I love her for that.

These past few years I've been able to have more grown up talks with her which I love and make me appreciate her more. She lives life as full as she can and yes, she's single. She doesn't let that hold her back in any way. She still fills her life with people she loves and who love her back. She's a fighter, oh boy, listening to her stories of when she used to work in McDonald's after she immigrated here just make me laugh. I love that about her. Yes, I love my Auntie. This is where I would insert a smiley face.

And so, realizing how I do have these expectations of life, I do realize that I can't contain my life in these boxes till the next one comes around. My childhood friend (wow, we can actually call eachother that) gave me this quote to put on my wall that says "color outside the lines". And its true, I need that reminder sometimes. That's one thing I strive for. To be who I am, not different for the sake of being different, but to genuinely be me, not conforming to other's ideals. Oh Life, how you bring such mystery and learning. I like it, most of the time, eventually...

           Alexandra of course...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dear Diary: Sad stories break my Heart. But happy endings are possible... Right?

Learning about storming and self-awareness in school I've realized that I'm one to run away from conflict. That goes literally sometimes. Examples? Okay, if I must. Take two Saturdays ago. My parents have a had a Bible study going since I was in school probably. It's international, which pretty much means anyone who is interested is welcome to come, so we've had lots of people from such different backgrounds and life history come into our home. I used to take it for granted and I can still be a brat about it now, especially, when I see the toilet seat up in MY bathroom... But I do see the value in it all.

Back to the point. I find that some people who come need fellowship, badly, more so they need someone to hear their story, like their overall life story and where they've come from. And man, have they been places and experienced things in their lives. It amazes me to see where they are from where they've been. This one night a lady was talking to us about her life. I don't know if it's just my fear of love and marriage and broken love and broken marriage, but her story was heart breaking. She spoke of how she was swooped off her feet by some charming boy at the young age of 16. A year later she was still with him and they married as he graduated, while she was too young to and therefore didn't finish her highschool education. In the end he ended up being a cheater, a womanizer and they divorced 20 years later with some children in the mix. She claimed he had stolen her best years, and how her children's view on her were hurt as well which had contributed to her struggle with depression in the past.  

She went on about the disfunctions and hurt about her past life. I honestly couldn't take more. It was too real, too heart breaking to hear her tell her story all laid out infront of me by her personally. She wasn't crying because she had accepted it and dealt with it all long ago, but I was about to. I excused myself and went to my room for the rest of the night.

How rude! I know! But call me an idealist, I believe in eventual happy endings. Lately I've been hearing stories that are so sad. Is it wrong to hope for better? Am I just setting myself up for heartbreak? I think not. Their stories aren't done yet. And they have survived so far, I don't believe their past has to define where they're going or affect who they are today unless they let it. But still. So sad.

Another reality check. My dad has is in this ministry where he visits sailors at our city's port and share the Gospel with them. It's pretty amazing, and he can relate since he came out of the Philippines with that job. It's amazing the stuff you learn about your parents if you just ask, or even listen sometimes. But yes.

These guys leave their families and loved ones for weeks on end, sometimes even months, for their jobs. It broke my heart a bit to think that this one guy who was a classmate of my Dad's back in sailor school (?) still does the job to this day leaving his family every time. I'm no seaman or anything, but I'm sure they run into some rough waters. My heart saddened a bit too, seeing these guys in our living room on their huge laptops skyping with their families or on phones, or waiting to use our phone to talk a bit with anyone back home. That's when I know there is some use to technology, besides wasting endless hours with all its various forms. Still, I see this sort of job like a waiting game, but it's constant and all the time. You're either waiting to get back home, or when home essentially waiting till it's time to go back to sea. I don't know if I could stand that as a wife. And here I thought it was pretty tough when my Dad would have shifts that lasted a week or two when he worked the Prince Rupert- Upper Island route. I need to remember to count my many blessings. Or at least start thinking about them when I feel down. 

So what's to learn from all this?
1: I don't like conflict including sad stories. I guess it just reminds me that hey, it can happen to anybody, even me.
2: I have to stop using these stories as an excuse to not live life or give people chances. Yes, there are crappy people out there, but there are also amazing people out there. In the end both can affect my life for the better through lessons learned from experiences and relationships gained. The past does not have to define ANYONE.
3: I need to hear, even seek out, people's stories. You never know what sort of life lessons, hardships, horrors, redemption and healing people have gone through unless you ask and listen. Not just to hear that they are saying words, but listen to and understand the meaning that their words hold.

I know this world has lots of suckiness in it. Terrible word. Still, I believe in the end there is hope. And that hope should out-weigh the suckiness in this place called Earth. What do we do? We start living it. So you want to change the world? What are you waiting for? It starts with one voice, one life. Will that be you?