My Realms of Reality

Five years ago, I sat in my bed and bawled because I missed high school more than anything in the world. "Life was so easy! I miss my family!" I would think while I downed a tub of Nutella and watched Mean Girls for the 1000th time- which ironically portrays high school as a really horrible thing, which I didn't seem to notice. I hated university, as in really hated it. No one cared about me at university. "Where's the individuality!?" I would wail as Asians and hipsters passed me on the sidewalk. Alas, my first year at school was not good. But you know, it all changed. Eventually, year by year, I fell more in love with school. By the end of it I couldn't get enough. I would spend hours on campus, when I really didn't need to, just because I loved the feeling of being at school. I made friends, like, real friends. And suddenly I was so interesting! And did you wanna hear about my cool facts I learned in my class?

But, as all things do, it ended. My last day of university I held back tears as I wandered around the campus soaking everything in. That school was my school, and I was not ready to be done with it. Then everything changed really quickly. First, I had a job interview, then I had a job, and suddenly I had left my school for a new one. I was heading back to high school. The one place I missed the most five years before and now I was back at it.

I'm not going to give an account of what I've been up to. It's probably what you can imagine any first-year teacher doing. What I've really been thinking about lately is realms of reality. See, the way I imagine life is that as you go about things you are only within a certain reality. As a teenager, I was in a reality that was centered on friends, The O.C. reruns, and school. I didn't have to worry about a job or making my own food; my reality of life was very limited. When I graduated, and moved away from home to attend school, my reality changed. Suddenly I had to think about paying bills (Okay, my mom helped me write every cheque for about two years...). As the next five years passed, my reality at times seemed to explode, rather than nicely transition, with massive life changes.  Marriage, for example. I don't want to pretend here like marriage is not a massive life change, because it is. Let's all stop pretending like marriage is instantly easy. I've learned the delicate science of living with a man, and that in and of itself has expanded my reality to multiple new levels. ;)

I think everyone has those experiences, whether it's from traveling, or marriage, or children. You're sitting there one minute, and then in the next you realize that your life, along with yourself, has completely changed. Everything you thought was important has shifted, and you need to make room for an entirely new situation. I love that feeling. Isn't it wonderful to think: Wow, I can handle more now than I could yesterday. That's how I'm feeling right now. I have had to become what some people might call an adult, and it's entirely new to me.

I go to school everyday worried that I will do what's best for 100 different kids, and although I don't always succeed, I am constantly being amazed at how much my reality is expanding. My idea about life -and its purpose- about kids, about ideas, about whatever, is constantly shifting. As much as I would somedays love to go back to high school where my realm was tiny and comfortable, I realize that there is so much understanding that I would miss. There is so much more to life, and I'm only starting to get at it. There is so much more expansion for me.


A Plethora Of Pictures

Just some pictures from the past few months:

Part One: Weddings, Cats, and Kids

 Scott and I were both part of our friends' wedding party, and as a bridal party we all got some spray tans. I KNOW, not a great decision on my part. I was orange for two days. For some reason I forgot to put the hair net to my actual hairline (insert: expectations vs. reality of where my hairline really is). Needless to say, I was grateful for my irrational decision to get bangs a few months back.

We love these two! Also, why do us women all love bangs until we get them? This is a mystery to me...

I finished my student teaching. This was the best and hardest two months of my life. Love these kids.

I made the kids some awards the last day of what I loved about them. They returned the favour!

Note: I don't know what to do with my hands... and I am very much out of place. 

We transported some goods for my sister. By goods, I mean a weird cat that had fur like a sheep. Story of my life: "I don't know what to do with my arms!"

S'more s'mores, please!

I wear lipstick everyday. Doesn't matter what I'm wearing, or where I'm going. The other day I put on some really dark lipstick, and Scott had to gently tell me that I looked terrifying.

Part Two: My Birthday!... and food.

My birthday! 

I got a new watch. But don't worry about that too much, instead worry about the fact that I have to physically write "tuition" on my hand because I'm so forgetful. 

I was taken out to lunch to my very first food truck! It was scrum-diddly-umptous. 

Homemade fries? Pulled pork? I'm sold. 

Later, Scott took me out to a delicious Italian place called Picco Lino (Picca lina? Picco Lina? I can't remember... By this point I had eaten myself into a coma).

Gnocchi, and cheese, and gnocchi. 

 Part Three: Selfies, Plants, and... food.

So the other day Scott was showing our friends that he can put a tube of chapstick in his mouth. He succeeded, and I also managed to take a weirdly lit picture of him looking like he's straight out of an exorcist movie. 

Caught Scotty taking a #sassyselfie.


I don't know how it happened, but Scott and I have become the happy parents of an ever growing family of plants. They truly are our new pets. We say hello to them in the morning, Scott sometimes kisses them goodnight (he insists it will help them grow... okay, I do it too!), and I like to take them outside when it's raining and we hang out together. Also, please note that I have used a water pitcher as a makeshift pot for our lavender... It'll do right? New parent problems...

Aaaaaand, we eat out a lot. 

Just to emphasize my previous point: I have all the best intentions in the world to eat better. If Scott and I eat at home, we are making great choices. The only problem is that sometimes Scott calls me in the middle of an afternoon snack (cultured coconut milk, homemade granola, and fruit), and casually mentions that a food truck selling burgers is open. I didn't even think about leaving my snack behind. Long live red meat and carbs! This is a legitimate issue in our home haha. 

Well, thanks for stinking around!


Stuck In the Middle With You

I'm an 'intro' person of sorts: both introspective and introverted. I would write down a third word starting with "intro" because I'm OCD like that, and I may have just googled "words that start with intro", but alas I don't think I'm very 'introfying', whatever that means. (Just looked it up, and it is 'to increase the impregnating power of '.... hmmm...)

But yes, let's just talk about introspection, haha. I am a very restless person, and I often feel better after some inward thinking. I am one of those people who wanders the library or the streets just thinking, because it helps me to relax the crap down. I don't know how it happened, but today I realized something very monumental about myself while I was walking around campus. It was cold out, and I was wearing a giant sweater that made me feel very "college-y", and it seemed like the school was dead-- probably because it's spring semester, but nevertheless it was very peaceful and quiet. All my best thinking happens when it's a tiny bit chilly and I'm surrounded by silent brick buildings I tell ya!

I thought about how I've been feeling lately. First off, last week was a whirlwind for me. I finished classes, my sister-in-law had a baby, my friends got married, and my cute grandmother passed away. This week, some friends had babies, and others announced they were having babies. All these beginnings and finishings, and I couldn't help but feel like I didn't fit into these things. When I heard some friends were expecting, I silently cried in bed as Scott slept on the other side. Not that Scott and I are actively trying to have a baby, but for some reason I started to feel very left out. I felt like I was missing out on some special new adventure. For the next few days that reaction  was really bothering me. I didn't understand why it got under my skin so much, and thus started my most recent introspection session.

The trees around campus are just starting to bud, and the air feels like it's holding onto winter just barely enough to not let you go without a coat and joyfully lounge around outside. It's a really dampening feeling, but today it kept my senses sharp. I wasn't distracted by anything, and so as I walked I started to mull over the idea of just why I shed some tears the other day. At first I decided that it was just because it has been a hard couple of weeks, and that my emotions had caught up with me, but that didn't sit quite right with me. Next I blamed it on the fact that I haven't had much to do, and so I was just overreacting to something because I have been so sedentary lately. Again, this didn't sit right, because as I have just said I am an introvert and I love nothing more than to sit at home and recharge some nights. Finally, I realized just what has been irking me: I am stuck in the middle.

At the moment, I am off track from most people around me. I'm finishing my undergrad in the spring, whereas most of my class mates finished in April. I'm coming up on my first anniversary, unlike most of my friends who are either single, fresh newlyweds, or marriage veterans with a kid or two. While everyone seems to be finishing up the phase of "figuring it all out", Scott and I seem to be stuck in it, with no near sight of getting out. We are very much in a time where no adventure has started, and no future adventure seems to be coming up any time soon. For this, I started to feel very sad and bitter about things. I felt stuck, and bored, and mostly just left behind on things. I wished that we could be working, and have kids, and heaven forbid even a house (a real house!).

I thought this over for quite some time, then decided to finally head home. All afternoon I let myself feel more and more sorry for just how "middle-y" mine and Scott's life is, until I saw this:

A tiny little playlist that Scott probably didn't think twice about making, just for me. Three songs that define his love for me. I snapped out of my introspective "sharpness", and I thought of that song 'Stuck in the Middle With You'.

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
And I'm wondering what it is I should do,
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face

No idea the meaning of that song, but those lyrics were a comfort at the time. Scott and I are in a time where we are seemingly 'stuck in the middle', with a lot of beginnings and endings ahead of us, but I realized there is something comforting about the middle. It's relaxed, and it's warm, and it's safe. And best of all, he keeps a smile on my face. As our first anniversary comes up, I feel honoured to be stuck with Scott anywhere.

Especially the middle.


Mufasa, Mufasa!

Tonight I was trying to cook us some dinner. It's Sunday, and so that means I have taken the obligatory weekly shower and let my hair air dry. Scott must have noticed how the steam from the food was blowing my hair up like a balloon, because he informs me, "Man Kels, your hair is really frizzy right now!" I reply that it's Sunday night and that I shouldn't even have to wear clothes if I don't feel like it; I'm quite sassy on Sunday nights. I return to the food, and he disappears somewhere.

I kid you not, a few minutes later, I feel a brush being pulled through my hair.
I guess the mane was just too much for poor Scotty.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The kid has such good, hurtful intentions. ;)

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Life Lessons Lately

I cannot even count the number of times I have logged onto this blog, started a vent session in this little white box, and then quietly closed it. Where have I been the last two months you ask? I have been in what I currently call my fast forward mode. Every once and a while, as farther apart as they seem to be getting, my brain flips a switch and I just. can't. stop. Literally, it never stops. Scott affectionately calls this beast mode, though I think he's referring to some type of gaming thing that I'm completely unaware of. Nevertheless, I have been running in one spot for the past two months, and I'm exhausted: emotionally, physically, mentally, you name it! I have lost the ability to relax, to reflect, and to just sit the freak down.  I'm also lacking the ability to purge myself of, well, myself, in writing. I start a sentence, and then my brain sounds the alarm that I have bigger fish to fry. Unfortunately, this has resulted in me having absolutely zero release in the last two months. There are so many things I've wanted to talk about! So many! But instead I fill myself with things that need to be done now, and so everything else gets pushed to the "later" category in my brain.

Anyways, super long introduction there, but tonight I turned off the part of my brain that I have begun to loathe, and I opened up this window. I've sat here for an hour, and thankfully I was able to just think. Of the critical variety. Man, I love critical thinking. I could preach all day about critical thinking! It doesn't help I'm a teacher, so I have basically been brainwashed into loving it, but today I was grateful for it because it made me ask "why". Why do I do everything in my life? Why do I watch Jeopardy every night? (Okay, most obvious answer ever)

(Actually- tangent again- tonight I watched this old lady who has been watching Jeopardy for like 30 years faithfully and she finally was on it and she was a teacher. I wanted to be her so bad... But you know, she really screwed up final jeopardy. Never bid too high I tell ya!)

But yes, critical thinking. As I started asking a lot of questions, I realized that there are so many things that I have learned this past two months that I have been completely oblivious to. Let me now make a nice little list, and share my new found discoveries. Proceed.

1. Trust yo'self!

Seriously, I just need to trust myself. I tend to second guess myself. Can I pull off red lipstick? Have I suddenly started walking weird, or is it just that I thought about this, and am now walking weird...? (is that just me that does that?) In terms of school, I have had a lot of colleagues and mentors tell me that I have the "thing". The "thing" that teachers need to be successful. They watch me teach and congratulate me after, and I'm all like: "But wait, did you just see what I just saw? Because that was not good..." To which they reply: "If you don't trust in your ability, you will never see yourself succeed." That quote will be on Pinterest someday it's just that darn good.

2. I cannot do everything myself.

Before starting this semester, I told Scott that it would be hard on us. I had my placement, I saw how rough the situation was, and I prepared for the worst. Well, my expectations were not accurate. I was blown out of the water in a not so good way. After the first few weeks, I had a student go ballistic and call me some vulgar terms. It was a "straw breaking the camel's back" moment. I put on a straight face, and dealt with the situation, only to feel awful after. I went home later, took one look at Scott, and cried my eyes out. I was sad about the situation my students are in, and the difficulties they face everyday, and realized just how useless I am in fixing those problems. But, looking back, that experience needed to happen. I needed to learn that I cannot deal with my problems alone. I needed Scott at that moment. So grateful I have a husband. 50 points to Gryffindor!... er... I mean marriage!

3. Sometimes you just need to throw the book out the window.

Some days it is necessary to melt chocolate chips in a cup and eat it with a spoon. I have found this to be a great coping mechanism. Cheap therapy! Also, popcorn. Also again, really crappy movies. I need to stop thinking about what I'm supposed to be doing, and just bleeping do what I feel at the moment. The other day I was teaching a lesson, and I decided, "Hey I'm gonna tell the story about when my friends drove into a giant hole because I feel like it!" Best decision I've ever made. Sometimes it doesn't matter if your kids, or yourself, aren't on the straight path to success. Sometimes you need to take a quick detour, eat some food and see some friends, and then get back on your merry way to keep your sanity. Maybe it's the Buddhists I'm surrounded by at school, but I'm really into the idea of having a "path" that has been specially designed for me. There is no general manual for happiness and success.

Anways, if you made it this long I truly want to congratulate you. I will step off my soap box, and go watch some chick flick with Matthew McConaughey in it.

Oh, and P.S. How gross does he look in that new movie about aids? Is it any good? Scott and I need a new film to fall in love with. Feel free to suggest us something to watch!

Mrs. A, out.

Big thanks to Sara, because I saw in my news feed she blogged, and then I remembered I have one of these. 


A Cheesy School Assignment

My mother took this picture of me as we prepared to leave what we affectionately called “The Mouse House”. Given that name due to a story too horrific to share, we lived there until my parents decided it was time to move from our dainty little farmhouse into “town”.  Every time I see this picture my mind turns to a fluffy pink chair I would lounge in, and the mushroom soup I was oddly obsessed with. I was uncomfortable wearing pants, as you can tell from the photograph, and throughout my childhood I continued to have a great aversion for this one piece of clothing. I will admit this once got me in trouble, when I had somehow locked my sisters and myself out of our house in the middle of the winter, forcing them to tow me over to the neighbours bare thighs and all. I don't want to admit how old I was when this happened.

Apart from some humorous stories, this house also holds precious memories of learning. Here I learned basic mathematics. If you have one mommy cat, and one daddy cat, together they will equal more kittens than you can count. I learned some hairdressing, as you can see from my bangs, and so did my mother, as she tried to fix my mistakes. It was while living in this house that I learned to ride a horse, the seasons of planting and harvesting, and that you will break your collarbone if you try to jump from a kitchen table to the couch across the room in one swift leap of faith.

Above all though, it is in this house that I began to learn to read, my favourite pastime. When my mother would bring out the warm towels from the dryer and ask my dad and I to fold them, we would quickly jump into the pile and read Dr. Seuss books until the heat was gone. This house is far and distant in my memories, yet I hold onto it dearly. Despite being young, I remember packing up the car, holding our cat in my lap, and slowly pulling out of the driveway. When I left that warm and isolated home, I left it fondly, and with thoughts of the elephant Horton, eggs and ham of the green variety, and the smell of the prairies on my clothing.
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