Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. . .

I remember standing in a crowd in Nathan Philips Square drinking champagne from a paper cup and shivering in the cold. New years 2007/2008 looked like a promising year, not some much of a let down then the other previous new years I have endured. 2008 seemed to hold so much promise, so much adventure, and so many things that I never would have imagined would transpire.

2008 has proven to be the year that has changed my life. So many tings have changed and happened, it’s hard to keep track; and most of it seems like a movie stuck in fast forward, a blur that I need to slow down. I travelled the world this year; to Miami and the Bahamas, LA and Fiji, now Australia. I’ve lived out some of my greatest dreams; a John Mayer Cruise, several concert festivals with Jack Johnson, Death Cab, Stars, you name it. I had the most amazing job, got promoted, and made strong, everlasting friendships that have taken me literally across the world. I had the best summer of my life, lived in the greatest city, got to know who I was again. It was the best of times.

And yet it was the worst of times…I lost both of my grandmothers, Grandma Coulson in February, very unexpectedly upon arrival home from my cruise. Then Nana Rhodes, also very unexpectedly in June just after Alex’s graduation. Finally, my dearest pet Midngiht, a week before I left for Australia. All of the greatest times in this year have brought great sorrow as well. As the year winds down, I find myself trying to reflect upon what has actually happened. I still can’t believe that my grandmothers are gone, so many stories left untold, and wisdom unpassed. Also the greatest opportunities a 22 year old girl could ever ask for; some would say living a dream. But my dreams, although fulfilled are haunted as well.

Call me crazy but I don’t feel like kissing 2008 goodbye just yet, let alone sending it off with a big celebration. I’ve had my time of happiness and revel, and now I feel like it’s time for reflection and remembrance. I’ll still drink the champagne, even from a paper cup again, but replace the crowd and fireworks with an old photograph and silence and call it an early night…

(Since I wrote this, I have been peer pressured into going to the B&S Ball in Rockhampton. No silence or reflection time tonight, but this is a year I will always remember, and maybe spend 2009 reflecting on)


Monday, December 29, 2008

Taking the Long Way Around

I've been going through a tough time, trying to figure out what my next move is...on my own. I needed inspiration and found it in the words of a song.

My friends from high school

Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses
In the same ZIP codes where their parents live

But I, I could never follow

No I, I could never follow
I hit the highway
In a pink RV
with stars on the ceiling

Lived like a gypsy
Six strong hands on the steering wheel

I’ve been a long time gone now

Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
But I’ve always found my way somehow

By takin’ the long way
Takin’ the long way around

I met the queen of whatever
Drank with the Irish and smoked with the hippies
Moved with the shakers

Wouldn’t kiss all the asses that they told me to

But I, I could never follow

No I, I could never follow

It’s been two long years now

Since the top of the world came crashing down
And I’m getting’ it back on the road now

But I’m takin’ the long way

Takin’ the long way around

Well I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

Well I never seem to do it like anybody else

Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Takin’ the long way
Takin’ the long way around

Monday, December 22, 2008

Australian Christmas Playlist

Christmas carols seem to be the only thing here that really connect me to the season. Considering there's no snow, no one has a chimney, it's +30 all the time, and no EGGNOG or candy cane fudge crackle ice cream (I know!), carols are the one thing that make it feel like Christmas for me. So here's my unconventional
Top Eight Christmas Songs For a Very Aussie Christmas.

8. I Saw Three Ships
7. Country Christmas
6. Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day
5. Mistletoe (Colbie Callait)
4. Mele Kalikimaka
3. It Still Feels Like Christmas Time To Me (Lee Kernaghan)
2. I'll Be Home For Christmas


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Someday Syndrome

The internet is a many splendid thing. I stumbled upon a website called Stumble Upon.
It's a website dedicated to sites that people come across and want to share with others. Then I found this link. Could it be the answer to my previous question? Do I have Someday Syndrome?
There's another whole website dedicated to Someday Syndrome. I think I have it pretty bad!

Steak With a Side of Tears

After a long day at work I sat down to eat dinner by myself; a simple steak on the barby...but you know when a certain taste or smell triggers and stirs your emotions? Well before I knew it, the tears were welling in my eyes and I was about to cry. The steak was cooked in such a way that it reminded me of the Island and cooking over the fire. This time of year, I wouldn't be at the island anyways, but since I have no chance of even being close to there, it makes me that much sadder.
I've been doing pretty well at adjusting here so far, but there are still elements of homesickness that linger in the back of my mind. Somehow I just don't feel like I fit in here, that I'm not on par with everyone else, that I'm just hanging in the shadows, following the crowd, blending in. In T.O. I was my own person, so independent, so free. I developed a life of my own that I loved, but here, it's like it's been handed to me and it makes me feel like a puzzle piece shoved in the wrong place. And it's not that I'm not grateful for everything I have here. I live with the most incredible family, have wonderful friends; but it's not those things that affect me. It's just a feeling of being unsettled, mostly because I know that I will leave here and this is temporary. Mom knows how much I love that feeling!
I find myself being envious of my friends with long term relationships, permanent jobs, and a car loan. Basically of feeling security. But this is what I came to do, and was excited to do. I just need to get excited again about this moment, this day, right now. I always look ahead and look at what's to come...travelling, New Zealand, but I need to find my happiness now. This is still my life that I'm living, it doesn't get put on hold while I'm away from home. Every day should count and should be a joyous one.
I've tried to incorporate the things I like to do into everyday life here to make it feel like normal; swimming, reading, etc. But in the words of John Mayer, "something's missing".
What is it?

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today I finished a novel I've been working on for literally months. It was given to me by my aunt specifically for this trip. The book is non-fiction about a young Queenslander girl who carries out her dream to walk camels across the outback from Alice Springs to the ocean in Western Australia. Although it took me a long time to finish the book, it was a sad feeling to finally get it done. It's one of the best books I've ever read and it has inspired me so much to see this country on my own terms, not by some guided tour. I also saw a camel for the first time today and after reading the book, I have so much more of an understanding and appreciation for these animals. They are just beautiful and strong. If you ever get a chance to read this book please do. 'Tracks' by Robyn Davidson.

Home Sweet Home?

I've been everywhere man...I grew up in Porcupine, went to school in London, lived in Toronto and somehow I've found myself on the wrong side of the world in Australia. If that's not far away enough, I've received word that returning to "home sweet home" might not be possible. Dad's office back in Timmins as amalgamating with the Toronto office, and come this time next year, mom and dad could be down living in the GTA. Yeah, you could say I'm a freaking out a little bit at the moment. What does this mean for me? Who will move my stuff, do I have a room in the potential new house? And those aren't even the big issues, actually there's only one issue...I LOVE THAT HOUSE! I can't imagine going back to Canada and not going back to that beautiful warm house in quiet northern Ontario. Realistically, I will never live in Timmins permanently again, and I see myself settling down south so it would be great to have mom and dad close by. But I just love that house on that lake and I've never felt further away than at this time. So what does a girl do when she clicks her ruby heels but there's it no place to call home?
Rockhampton is my home for now, but a new plan of action has been set up which I'm so excited for. So excited it's aleviating my feelings of the "Timmins move". Sophie, Carley and I have been dreaming and scheming to get a Kombi and travel Australia...from Darwin to Tasmania, to Adelaide and Alice Springs, and not to forget about Perth. Problem was were really haven't been sure how or when or how much it would cost...until today! Sophie and I and the rest of the HBaz family were chatting and have come up with a brilliant plan of renting a camper for 6 months to travel. We have found a company that rents custom design vans for backpackers for a very reasonable price and will include insurance and road side assistance for 3 girls who don't want to get their hands dirty! The van sleeps three people, includes a kitchen, and has a buyback guarantee when you're done with it. They also offer discounts on accommodation, entertainment and dining when you're traveling. You can check out the website at I cannot tell you how excited I am feeling right now. We can finally plan time lines and budgets and destinations and get this thing started. I'm not working 7 days a week for nothing I tell you! I just feel so inspired and energized. I will see Australia! And for now, a new place to call home... the wicked camper.