Ain’t nobody got time for that?

Not so long ago I was sitting in my recently tidied apartment with nothing but 4 hours of completely obligation free time. It was terrifying. I had no idea what I should be doing. I mean, I could fall down a rabbit hole of some Netflix show that I don’t really care about, or scroll through the interwebs endlessly, but to what end?

Excessive free time isn’t a state most of us find ourselves in, I don’t think. Though, who am I to speculate, maybe you have an insane amount of free time and I’m just projecting busy-ness onto all of you. But, at least from how we all go on, we seem to generally live (or create) rather busy lives.

I, however, am in this weird sweet spot in my life where I have almost no weekly obligations other than showing up to my Monday – Friday, 9 – 5 job. I should really get to volunteering for something, but that’s a discussion for a different day. I also happen to have a friend who has two children under the age of 3 and a husband who travels a lot for work. The stark juxtaposition of our lives struck me in the face with the realization that I will probably never have more free time in my life than I do right now, and I best take full advantage of it to follow whatever whims I choose.

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Beautiful, weird, complicated human beings.

I’ve never been much for new year’s resolutions. In fact, I used to detest them. I think that comes from my aversion to things that other people like. You know how that goes, everyone’s doing it so I need to find some reason its ridiculous. I used to think that separated me from the pack, but I think it just makes you an asshole. Just like what you like and let the rest figure itself out.

However, in lieu of any proper resolution I always find the new year a natural time to look back and reflect on what’s changed in my life. For me this has been especially easy because I had some major events happen in the last few years that gives me a very specific timeline to examine.

Over a year and a half ago I moved cities for a job. I had very few connections here in town. At the time my brother and his girlfriend (now fiancée) were living here, but within 6 months of my arrival they were off to take a sabbatical in France for a year.

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Desperate for Distraction

I’ve been sitting around my apartment all day, since I woke up at 9:22AM, avoiding the very thing I am doing right now, writing.

Desperate for distractions I’ve made two cups of coffee with my new aeropress and grinder (which were delicious by the way). I’ve spent hours needlessly scrolling over pages of the internet that I don’t care to read. I unsubscribed from a bunch of emails then did some laundry. I signed up for a surf lesson at West Edmonton Mall, made soup (well, I warmed up a can of soup), and picked up then put down my ukulele, repeatedly.

I’m listless and I’m restless. And realistically, for me, exactly what I should be doing is writing. It helps.

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Neither Here Nor There

I can feel myself perched precariously on the edge of a cliff. I’m facing north, carefully balancing on the arches of my soles. The rocks under my feet, rugged, sharp protrusions formed out of the lost wilderness into now towering beasts.

The wind beats at my back. I lean into it. The cool throbbing breeze comes in waves, whipping around me in a whirlwind. Shadows form across the ridges and behind the sparse pines where the sun cannot see. The crips mountain air tumbles my hair obscuring my view. Still I lean into the wind, refusing to cease.

It would be easy enough to fall forwards, just give in. ‘Let the wind take you,’ I think. But I don’t. Instead I waver, back and forth. Stuck somewhere between where I want to be and where things seem to be taking me.

Problem is, forwards seems easy; as if giving up were easy. Forward feels like life defeat and peace in one fell swoop.

If I let go, if I tumble over this edge I don’t know if I could climb back out. I don’t know if I’d want to. That’s the problem with here and there, you can’t know if there is a place you can’t escape until you have firmly planted your feet on there’s soil.

So, I waver and wonder and puzzle and toil over things unknown. Because what else is there?

I’ve Loved John Lennon Since Third Grade

When you’re a little kid you find things to obsess about. Kids are amazing that way, they love bugs or dinosaurs or outer space or Star Wars and they learn everything there is to know about it. There are five year olds out there who know more technical facts about space dust than I ever even knew existed.

When I was a little kid The Beatles were my outer space.

John Lennon was my first crush. I distinctly remember the day my brought out his vinyls and asked me if I’d ever heard a song about a pig that could fly. I spent my weekends watching as many of the 11 and a half hours of VHS Beatles documentary tapes as I could get away with before being told to go outside and play. I wrote a report about Paul McCartney in fifth grade.

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As a lot of you might already know, I’m Southern Alberta born and raised. I grew up in a little town an hour south of Calgary. We had to drive an hour, both ways, to go see a movie, and if you wanted to buy a new pair of jeans it involved a well-planned trip into the city on a Saturday morning. The only time to get to Costco or Ikea were, heaven forbid, the middle of the day on a weekend. I moved to Calgary to go to university and ended up calling it home for about eight years before I made the move to Edmonton just under a year and a half ago.

If you know Alberta, you know there is a hotly contested battle between the province’s capital and its largest city. I’ll admit as a former Calgarian and Southern Alberta kid there was little worse than the idea of Edmonton. Edmonchuck. Edmondump. Deadmonton. Before I moved to Edmonton, I had been here a total of 3 times. Once in elementary school to visit the legislature building and twice as a 20 something year old to visit my brother who also calls this city home. This, of course, is not enough to judge a city’s character, but boy, did we ever.

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