Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2000-2009: God I'm glad it's over.

Inspired by a little coffee, hope dies last, rainy saturday, just a titch & fiveblondes (x 2).

In 2000, I graduated from elementary school and went from Vancouver Island to Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan to attend a francophone Catholic boarding school. It was not a pretty year; I fell in love with my first boyfriend, only to be dumped a month later because I wasn't "cool enough." My room was vandalized and I was bullied. I started smoking to fit in and gained close to fifty pounds. I went home at Christmas to find my dad sleeping in the guest bedroom downstairs and was told my parents were in the process of separating. I haven't really enjoyed Christmas since.

In 2001, I spent the summer with my dad and sister while my mom did a summer semester at UVic for her Masters program. At the end of the summer we moved (Mom, my sister & I) to Clinton, Ontario (pop 3200). I went to a Catholic school and rocked a uniform - navy blue pants, white long-sleeved dress shirt and a navy blue short-sleeved polo layered on top. I'm proud to say that to this day I still have not worn a kilt. My mom taught Religion and English to my peers. I dated anyone who would look at me twice, got dragged out of the smoking pit more times than I care to remember and joined a competitive swim team (Huron Hurricanes). My mom and I fought. A lot. I got to know my extended family, especially my grandma. Sundays we would go to mass in St. Columban and hang out at Grandma's the rest of the day. I was a part of the Liturgy group, badminton and swim team at school. In all my yearbook photos, I'm unsmiling, legs crossed and arms folded in front of me. I'm still relatively skinny.

2002, I had short hair. I got involved in our schools ministry, reading at masses and the morning prayer every morning. I started studying Catholicism in order to be baptized. I was also involved in our schools pro-life group, along with the junior badminton team, the Huron Hurricanes (competitive swim team), and our school swim team. I met and dated my first long-term, long-distance boyfriend. We lasted for 7 months and lived 45 minutes away from each other, and one time only saw each other once in two and a half months due to my schedule. I failed my first class, grade 10 academic math.

Easter of 2003, I was baptized into the Catholic faith. I went to his prom even though we had broken up the night before. I made my own dress. I fought with my mom. A lot.

I spent the first month of 2004 in Ottawa with my aunt. I returned home to write my final exams, failing math again, and then moved to Ottawa on my 17th birthday, the day of Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction." I started skipping school and smoking a lot of weed, especially as the days got warmer. I lived with a raging coke-head who hated me, again dating anyone who would look at me twice. I tried E for the first time and loved it. Tired of being on welfare, I got a job working full-time at Wendy's up the street, often working 12 hour days. I've never been back to high school. I drank a lot with my new roommates, and slept in a sectioned off dining room. I lost my job in November and went back on welfare.

2005 saw me do much of nothing. My roommate got pregnant so I left and moved to Fitzroy Harbour for two months. It was not a pretty time. Drank a lot, had lots of DRAMA! concerning the people in my life. Moved back to Ottawa at the end of June and met Shawn while hanging out for Canada Day. We panned money for drugs and got some E. We spent the entire summer urban camping while panning for money and getting high. It was one of the best summers of my entire life. Just after Thanksgiving, I moved outside permanently and hooked up with a heroin/crack addict named Tom. He gave me my first hit of crack and I was instantly, instantly addicted. I tried to keep a job and failed after 2 months.

2006 I was a bonafide homeless crackhead. I lived for the next hit in my pipe and was turning into a really ugly human being. New Years Eve I became so ill I shat myself while puking, and that was the absolute final straw. When I could move again, I started living at the Young Woman's shelter and started the long process of breaking the crack addiction, although I did spend the spring getting high every night on E, often popping 8-12 pills throughout the night. Steven "Catcus" Beriault and Tim Wonja were murdered within two weeks of each other in June. I spent the entire summer under first bridge and drank a lot. I survived on 20$ a day made from panning - 5$ for a pack of cigarettes, 5$ for a shawarma and 10$ for enough booze to get me drunk. I enrolled in a school program aimed at homeless youth and completed an English credit and my GED. I applied for - and was accepted into - the Law Clerk program at Algonquin, OSAP, and residence. I started in the fall and promptly failed four out of five classes.

2007 In January, my Grandma passed away. I still miss her and think of her often. I restarted in my program and managed to pass three. I kept going into the summer, taking five and again, passing three. I HATED living in Residence; to me they were immature, drunkard twits. I moved out in August to a really nice apartment with a roommate. She lost her job and ultimately decided to move back home. I started chatting online to someone in England and we grew as close as our computer monitors would let us. I flew to England over Reading Break to meet him, a spur of the moment trip that saw me detained by customs for not booking a hotel before arriving. I passed a measly two out of 6 courses in the fall semester. I reconnected with an old co-worker from Wendy's and we started dating. At the very end of the year, I went for psychological testing and was diagnosed with adult ADD along with a non-verbal learning disability and was granted one more semester on a reduced course-load. Tammy Couture was murdered in November. I got my cat, Elvis in September and my dog, Molly, in December just before Christmas.

2008 saw me be evicted from the apartment I was living in. I spent the month of March living with Shawn in his tiny 1-bedroom. Our relationship ended with a brutal fight over keys when he wanted me to leave. Keith's parents, whom I had never met before, came and picked me & Molly up and let me live with them. Catcus' killer is found not-guilty and is set free. Tim Wojna's is not and is sentenced to to two years less a day plus 240 hours of community service. I failed my courses once again and this time OSAP would not give me any more funding. I went back on welfare after an agonizing month of having absolutely no income. I moved in with Keith in July. I found a temp job for a month and then worked full-time at another Wendy's. WORST JOB EVER. I spent Thanksgiving with my family and then actually enjoyed my first Christmas in eight years with Keith's family. I spent the better part of the year a dark redhead.

2009 saw me be re-accepted for funding by OSAP in the spring semester. I took 3 courses and posted a 3.13 GPA. Tammy Coutures' killer had her trial delayed. I quit my job at Wendy's because I was doing a weight-loss/management program with the Ottawa Hospital that required 12 weeks of only consuming 900 calories a day in the form of shakes. I lost 35 pounds, only to gain 15 back. In June, Keith proposed. I'm still not over how pretty my ring is. I started working in buttfuck nowhere Barrhaven at the Wal-Mart in July. In October, I lost one of the best people I've ever met - Keith's mom - quite suddenly. I took four courses in the fall semester and got a B-, 2 B's, and an A-. I worked hard, laughed often, loved much and grieved deeply.

Looking back, all I can say is that I am SO effing glad this decade is over.


Britt said...

Holy crap. You've lived through more than most people do in a lifetime. 2009 seemed like a really positive year for you. Here's to many more of those!

Heather said...

Yep that's a pretty epic decade!

I'm all for new beginnings and I think you're doing an awesome job of improving your life.

Leah said...

What a journey you have had. This really is inspirational, to see how far you have come and to see the person you are now.

Thank you. Thank you for posting this beautifully written post and for the link to our blog and for being you.