Sunday, 31 March 2013

Shelter from the Storm

Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there. With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair. She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns. "Come in" she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm". - Bob Dylan

Big Easter weekend push people. Let's finally hit the 10,000 reads I'm looking for on this blog. Jesus and the Cat want you to read it. She's sitting here being very supportive as we speak.

It will make me more motivated to do homework all day if that helps. So, I have a lot of feminist ramblings on here, I know I keep telling everyone that you can do it on your own, love yourself, all that stuff. And I really hate how Eat, Pray, Love just ends with her getting married again. But on the other hand, there's a big part of me that thinks once we hit our 30s, we're all just a little bit jaded. If we're still single, we've survived heartache and maybe, we are just secretly scared of being happy.

Unlike when we were 20, now we know that it could all go away, overnight even. BUT. If we're too scared to keep trying, what's going to happen? We'll end up alone. And you don't want to be old and alone. You won't always be this cute.

I'm not saying I've got it all figured out. I've got my own issues. I've dated so many guys who I knew from the moment I met them, they were going to leave. And that's probably why I dated them. If you know from the beginning they will leave, there's no real risk. Or fear.

But hey, soooo many of my friends - I'm talking to you. You have a great girlfriend/boyfriend. Stop being crazy and just go with it. I know how hard this is. I'm struggling with that myself. Someone I love married her husband when she was 31. It was a really messed up situation, involving ex's and kids...but they made it work, and it wasn't easy in any way. They are one of the best love stories I know though, and all these years later she told me every time she hears his truck drive up the driveway, her heart beats faster. They support each other, through good times and bad ones. Isn't that what you want?

Friends are great. I spent yesterday with Liz and I honestly don't know how I'd still be here without her. I hope someday we both have kids and they become great friends and we all spend the holidays together. But Life is not easy, and most of the time, not even fair. Friends can get you through the tough times, but if you have someone to come home to, who will give you a big hug when you walk in the door, help you laugh about the things that happened through your day, you're just that much better off.

(Yes, Vienna is turning me back into a hopeless romantic.)

The shit that happened to you in your life, wasn't fair. Some of your parents were jerks, who shouldn't have ever been allowed to have kids. What we do, going forward though, is up to us and no one else. We can stay stuck in the bad stuff and blame other people, or we can realize that we're in control, there's no rules out here in the real world. Anything we really want, we can make that happen.

Having someone to go to, when the storms hit (and they always will), is what it's all about. LOVE. Let the walls down, open up and let that person in who will shelter you. You deserve it, and so do they.

And read some of my blogs. It will make Jesus happy.

Being Brave

Giving Thanks

Faith, Hope and Love

You complete Me

Sting of the Scorpion

Coming Full Circle, Ending Up Somewhere Completely Different

A Glance in the Rearview Mirror

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Margaux and Michael - Chapter 2

I'm exhausted! I spent Wednesday night at home doing homework after work, while Krista was down at the bar having fun, and Liz and Lindsay were on awesome vacations. So I've been exhausted and jealous, all at the same time. I really wasn't going to write a blog tonight, but it seems I cannot be stopped. Also, my entire apartment smells like brussel sprouts. This is what happens when you try to be responsible and eat healthy.

The Vienna thing is freaking me out a little on so many levels. First of all, he has the same name as my brother. But my bro has re-branded himself as Mick, so I can deal with that. Secondly, he booked a ticket back to Toronto last night. From Austria. (For those of you who don't keep up with my blog on a regular basis, when I talk about Vienna it's not a city in Europe, it's a person.)

Most girls would be over the moon if they had a cute, sweet guy willing to cross the ocean to see them. Me? Even though it's one of the most romantic things anyone has ever done for me, I've had a week of panic attacks. (By the way, Vienna, I'm sorry I talk about this stuff on the internet. But you knew this when you met me.)

I think the full moon is throwing me off a little tonight, the Memorial last night, the fact that my dad is coming and I have to hang out with my sister again, (Sidepoint, I love my mom and sister but I giving up on that for now. I did a lot of work and wasn't true to myself for a long time to try to appease them, but it never works, they'll just keep shunning/unshunning me, and I'm done with that for the moment.) and there's a man who will show up here in a month and stay for 7 days. I think we're being very grown up about it, no real expectations, we'll just see what happens and have as much fun as we can in a week. After all, we've only hung out for parts of 4 days since we've met. He is amazing though. Thoughtful, kind, sweet, honest. And he can fly planes, play guitar and he has a puppy and a beard. So pretty much the perfect man. Chapter 2 could lead to so many different outcomes. Maybe, we'll get sick of each other and be really glad when he leaves. Maybe we'll get really close and become great friends who stay in touch for the rest of our lives, after having an excellent adventure. Maybe...we'll fall in love.

The best thing about life is there is nothing but possibilities. If you always follow your heart, you never know where you'll end up.

I See Dead People

Disclaimer: This blog will suck. (And if you've never seen The Sixth Sense you just won't get the title. But seriously, you've never seen The Sixth Sense?) I really just want to talk about the latest episode of Walking Dead, but with my ex-boyfriend out of the picture, there's just no one who wants to talk to me about that right now.

So I could talk about the fact that Vienna has booked a trip to Canada in April. That's fun/terrifying. Some of my girlfriends would say I'm afraid of the slightest possibility of actually being in a happy relationship. Perhaps.

Last night was the Memorial, which is the single most important night of the year if you are a JW. Somehow, I had no idea it was happening. Despite their vigorous invitation campaigns and the not so subtle reminders that this is the time of year to reach out to anyone who might possibly be salvaged, I didn't get invited. There wasn't even a tract left under my door. I'm not the only one that they didn't want around. Monique didn't get invited. Or Kyla. Which means the three of us are either completely beyond hope or too dangerous to be allowed into a room with a bunch of potential converts.

I'm not even going to make any kind of correlation to the fact that I somehow decided to watch a show about zombies on the night that they all think about Jesus coming back from the dead. That might offend people.

It's possible though, that this is a very good thing. Maybe, it's not that they don't want us around. Maybe, they just forgot about us. Which would be great because then I don't have to worry about my friend the writer writing up her story about my story, or what would happen if I got 10,000 more page reads on the blog or getting labelled as an apostate and disfellowshipped again. And I can stop having panic attacks about any of those things. Because it wouldn't happen. Because no one cares. That would be best case scenario here.

Hey, I told you this blog would suck and you still decided to read it. :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Midnight in Austria

After way too many serious blogs, let's have a little fun. I spent most of the weekend right here, sitting in front of my computer. The Cat is angry, let's hope she doesn't pee on anything. Especially my computer. I would die, because my ever so patient with me IT guys would kill me. They put up with the viruses, the red wine incident, the hard drive malfunction. But cat pee? They would definitely murder me. (Just sayin' you know who to call if I stop answering your text messages.)

Today I was a little sad. It's my uncle Ken's birthday. And being the emo coward that I am, I didn't call home. I talked to Grandma a few days ago. But not today.

My sadness is just for me right now. But I can share with you my happiness. I've turned into one of those weird geeks who spends an entire weekend on her computer. Talking to a guy in Austria. How 2013 of me. It's possible, I might never see him again. But I don't think so. I can't help but wonder, why can't I just meet a great guy here? The best boyfriends that I've had (Kevin!) are always a world away.

Vienna is special. He gets me. And he's real, as far as I can tell. I think, sometime soon, we'll drink some wine together, sing kareoke, walk around Toronto, maybe have a picnic. Anything is possible in the world I live in now.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Almost Happily Ever After

It's been a weird week. (I know, I say that a lot.) But it's true!

Last weekend, I met a writer who wants to write an article on my story. Great idea, right? This is exactly what I want, more people reading about my crazy life experiences. It really can't hurt my campaign to get a book deal, become an author, get my story out there, start a non-profit organization for people like me who need support. All great ideas in theory and I've been plugging away at the journey on weekends and evenings when I'm not too tired from work or too busy with school.

So when she asked me if I would do it, of course I said yes. As much as I've been trying to repair things with my mom and sister, this project has been the end game all along. Ever since I decided to walk away from the Witnesses. I have to stress the fact here that this has nothing to do with retaliation. It's taken a long time, a lot of crying, anger, fear, guilt, therapy...but I honestly don't have anything but love for most of them. Most (I won't say all, because every religious group has it's good and bad eggs) of them are just as sincere as I was when I was there. They are good people, who believe that they are doing the right things in life to win God's approval and in the end, everlasting life.

I have no problem with that. We each must follow our path. I do however, feel that there should be information and resources available to those who are raised that way, not knowing anything else, who decide to lead a different life, make different choices. In a lot of ways, those people are just as alone when they walk away as refugees in a new country, starting over in a strange world where nothing makes sense, you don't speak the language and you are alone.

I was lucky enough to have some family outside of the religion and somewhere to go when I needed to seek refuge. Not all of us are that lucky. I have other friends who weren't. And it was only through sheer will, determination, and some luck on their part that they were able to rebuild a life of their own.

I don't believe us "deserters" are the only victims though. I sincerely feel sympathy for the ones we leave behind, who may miss their children or family members or friends, but are told by someone else they can't have anything to do with them. As much as their actions hurt us, their actions hurt themselves too. But they honestly feel there's no other option. Another thing that hurts my heart, for them, is the way they view everything in this life as so unimportant - it's all about just persevering through to the next life, just getting there. So give it up: having a family, a career, an education, a nice home, a comfortable life. The only way to the "new system" is through sacrificing all these things. It's possible they are right. It's also possible their destination is not even a reality. So why live a life fighting so hard and sacrificing so much to get there?

Back to my story. I made an appointment with the writer for Wednesday. I talk tough all the time now. I go through life feeling like I'm Sarah from Labyrinth (yes, I'm old!) when she finally confronts David Bowie as the goblin king and says: "You have no power over me." I realized something this week though, it's a secret, but I'll share it with you: they do still have some power over me. As I made lists in my mind of pros and cons and all the ways the Witnesses could possibly retaliate to my apostacy (because that's how it will be viewed if I ever say anything openly), I was sure I could handle it. But then on Tuesday, the panick attacks came back. And then the nightmares. I thought about cancelling our meeting and running away from the whole thing.

But I didn't. :)

I truly believe some of us are born with a purpose. If I could go back, would I have wanted to grow up the way I did, in a religion I would eventually get kicked out of and become shunned by everyone I loved? No. It almost killed me. But with thousands of people becoming JWs each year in Canada, and a zero percent increase rate of members year after year, I know there are thousands of people also getting kicked out who need help. And a voice.

Even though it scares the shit out of me, I know I'm strong enough to do this. So after the interview, the panic attacks went away again. I feel happier and more at peace than I have in a long, long time. It probably helps that work is going well, school is almost over, I have amazing friends who support whatever I choose to do, and perhaps the cutest guy I ever met sending me sweet messages every day from Austria. This is a success story. And that's the reason I should tell it. To pass along the hope that no matter how dark it gets, there is light on the other side. So don't give up.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

New Girl

In order to practice, we have to surrender, we have to take a risk. Otherwise what we’re doing is standing back in order to judge, in order to feel superior. Often the obstacle is fear: we don’t think we’ll ever succeed. And so we’d rather stand apart and be cynical, to feel protected in that way, not having to try. - Sharon Salzberg, "Sitting on the Fence"

Seriously people. Whoever is obsessed with "New Topic" has to either fess up or let it go. This was not a great blog on my part and you have to stop clicking on it. Obsessively. I will take it down.

I feel like lately, everything is coming together. People are reading the blog (like over a 100 people a day, although we'd have to do some math to discount the "New Topic" junkie), I had the interview this week with the writer, things are going well at work, I'm getting great marks at school, as per usual - things are good.

Vienna wants to come back to Canada. Which I'm all for, except that it's super expensive and most guys don't seem to think a messed up ex-cult girl is worth any investment. I wouldn't want anyone to have any regrets.

For someone who always has something to say, I'm not really sure where to go with this right now. I have people who believe in me, yes. But the past week, I've also had my share of people who I thought were allies who don't support the path I'm taking. Maybe they are worried about me. Maybe they are scared of the JWs. I fully expect a severe retaliation if I were to ever openly say anything about the path I've chosen and try to explain why that is.

I guess I just don't expect it from the people I trust, the ones close to me, the ones who have supported me and the ones who have come to me for support and shelter. At the end of the day though, I realize that is because of their own feelings, their own path. Which is for them to figure out. As for me? I have to follow my heart.

That being said, honestly, I'm happy. I understand that not everyone can figure me out. It's taken me years of progress, therapy and tears to get to where I am today. It's a new me, who isn't afraid of anything, except going back to living a lie. That's the only thing I won't do for anyone else. I know that hurts some people. For that, I'm sorry. But for me to get up in the morning and look myself in the face in the mirror, this is the path I have to take and the person I need to be. Not just for me. I feel this whole experience has become so much bigger than me, and that there are so many people out there who are looking for support, answers, or someone who will simply have a voice for them because they can't do it themselves.

To those people the only thing I can say is: I'll happily take the fall for all of us. And something good will come of it. And you can call me when you're sad. :)

I believe in life after death. Even when it's just creating a new life after the old one died. We mourn it, as is only proper, for a more than the appropriate amount of time. But then, slowly, slowly, we change, much like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. You wouldn't think it possible if you saw one crawling on the road. Somehow though, it is what it is. We become new, born again, and suddenly, everything is beautiful. Life is beautiful. Don't stop believing that. And I've got your back. If you're desperate and you need help, send me a message.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Kiss Me, I'm Drunk. Or Irish.

It's two days to spring and here we are in the middle of a real-life snowstorm. WTF?

It was a good day as far as Mondays go. Work was ok, yesterday was fun. I spent the afternoon with Chris' family. T has her own email address now which is super cute. I haven't seen them in awhile, and I missed my family. Came home and went to the bar downstairs with Lindsay and Scott to be a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's day. It was a good time. The boys wore kilts, the music was all Irish and I managed to escape the evening without drinking even one green beer. Win-win. I did learn my lesson though about wearing a green tshirt that says "Kiss me". Apparently men will take advantage of that, especially if most of them have been drinking since before noon. And you asked for it by wearing the tshirt. There. You've been warned.

I came home tonight right after work to talk to Vienna. We have a real international crush on the go now, and so I leave work at 5 on the dot and he stays up way too late to chat. A 5 hour time difference sucks. We'll see how sustainable this is long term. For now though, it's fun. :)

I'm still going through with the thing with the writer. We're supposed to talk tomorrow. I've thought about it a lot and I think we'll keep moving forward and see what happens. Not sure what's going on, but I've had 118 reads on my blog so far today, so I feel like perhaps everything is coming together, finally.

9 pm and I need to kill an hour or so before bed so I don't wake up at 4 am. What? There's a new episode of the Walking Dead? Perfect. Have a lovely evening everyone, I did. :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hit Me with your Best Shot

It's been an interesting day. On a personal note, I think I'm falling in love with Vienna. (Noooo, he's not gay. And he's a pilot. So shut up.)

On another note, I met someone else who, like him, may or may not end up being important. She's a real writer and while my only purpose in meeting was to pick her brain and maybe get some pointers, as it ends up, she wants to write my story. My first thought was, I want to write my story! But then I realized there's more than enough of my story to go around.

So. Here we are at a crossroads. I've been able to stay at peace with the JWs for so long. As much as I'd like to pretend otherwise, putting my story out there, with my name on it, we all know, will mean war. My dad, as always, was very realistic about the whole thing. To be honest, he was a bit of a buzzkill when I was so excited. But, all of his concerns were valid.

Doesn't matter though, because I've already made up my mind. I love my family, and my old friends. The memories, of meeting Heather, of all my times with Celine, Candace, all of those old friends I've known since I was young, are precious to me. I love my mother and my sister. Did I ever tell you the story of how I met Heather? Erin accidentally smashed the door of our car into her family's van. It left a small red mark. She said she wouldn't tell her parents if I let her wear my mom's lipstick. We were best friends ever since that day. Until about 4 years ago.

In the end, it was them who chose to leave, not the other way around. I did everything I could to make it possible for all of them to find a way back to me. 4 years out though, it is what it is.

And this is my dream!!

I've always wanted to be a writer. Did I think this would be the first story I told? No. But somehow, it is. This is the way it has to be. And I'm sorry to Dad and Mick and everyone else who will be affected if this is somehow published in a glossy Toronto magazine, but this is one of my first baby steps. The first of course, was this blog. The next, will hit a lot more publicly. That's a good thing though. This isn't really about me anymore. When my life fell apart, I looked desperately for someone else who had been through the same experience. And I found stories out there, all contributed by "Anonymous". This, I won't do. If I'm going to tell it, I'll put my name on it. And the address of this blog. And then anyone, anytime, who is desperately searching for answers, or support, will be able to find me.

The JWs will probably hit back. I was way too high profile for them to just let this go. But it's ok. I'm not me 3 years ago, I'm me now. Me now, can handle whatever they decide to throw at me. Disfellowship me again? Bring it on.

Either way, I'm going to tell the story. It's a good story. Of a beautiful life, shattered and re-built. To be better than it was before. That's not a bad thing. It's actually a more-than beautiful life if you think about it, and I'm grateful to still have it.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Random Little Miracles

This one's for you, Vienna.

I was going to call him "Austria", but I've already done "Irish" and "The American". Plus he works in fashion and even though he was super cute (I love beards!) I couldn't figure out whether or not he was gay for the first 9 or 10 hours we knew each other, so I decided Vienna was the way to go.

It would seem I can't do anything these days without meeting some guy, so it wasn't really a surprise that I was at the airport on Saturday dropping off my little brother and I picked up a new stray. I was out until about 3 am with Matt, rolled out of bed, put on some clothes and made my way unshowered and sleep-deprived, out to the airport. And there he was. Looking lost and alone, the same look I get a couple of times a day usually from random strangers on the street, asking me with their eyes to help them find where they need to go. I think it must be because I look approachable, or at least compared to most Torontonians.

He asked me for directions and it turned out he was staying at the hotel directly behind my apartment building. So I just rolled my eyes and said "Come with me". He asked me to dinner, and that was that. For the next 4 days we were inseperable. It was fun...eating, drinking, sightseeing. I have a ton of little mental pictures, but for once, completely out of character, I'll keep them to myself.

What I will say though, is that the Universe continues to surprise me, throwing me exactly what I need at the exact perfect moment. I won't read too much into it, but it does seem that it was meant to be. It is strange that a stranger can meet you and seem to know and understand you so completely, so quickly. Or maybe it's because they are a stranger and temporary resident in your world that they can exist there without judgement and just see the beauty. I didn't even know it, but I needed him to show up on Saturday. And I think he was in a place where he needed me to show up too. Either way, the panic attacks? Are gone. If we're open to it, it seems a simple hello can lead to a million good things. :)

We've got tonight.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sibling Rivalry

I have three siblings, four if you include Kyla. Which I do. Erin, Michael, Matthew...Kyla.

Saturday night was strange because we all were together for the first time in forever (not Kyla, she was only here on the phone). But good strange. I had to work much too long on my "day off" (which means a whole 8 hours) even though I booked it off ages ago. But I managed to make it to dinner and we all had quite the time of it for the rest of the night. A nice dinner and some live country music at a hole in the wall bar with Mike and Erin. Matt and I soldiered on to dancing and afterwards a drink at the downstairs bar to finish off the evening so he could meet some of my eclectic Toronto "family". It doesn't get better than that.

I have to admit, I still struggle with some of my family dynamics. My need for complete and total "honest living" now (despite how unpleasant, looked down upon or just downright embarrassing it may be), conflicts with certain social family situations. Like being around my mother or my sister once in a blue moon and they act like everything is fine, and we're all great friends. But we're not. Because unless we're around the family, they shun me. The whole thing feels wrong and hypocritical to me. But I play along, hoping that someday, things might change for the better. Even though I know they won't.

Sometimes though, I struggle with whether I should even play the game at all. It's really the only part of my life now that makes me feel bad about myself, or question whether or not it's ok to follow your heart and choose the life that's right for you, whatever someone else might want you to do.

To me, going back to the cult would be a prison sentence, worse than any other fate I could imagine. I've already broken out of prison, and it nearly killed me so going back is just not an option anymore.

I guess I'm just grateful that we can build new family, the people we choose to be close to, to let into our lives. It doesn't replace the people we lose along the way, but it makes dealing with our demons a whole lot easier.

It was great to reconnect with my little brother Matthew this past weekend. It's a shame so much of my family lives so far away, I can't help but wonder how many things I've missed over the years living in Toronto. But it's ok. Because with real family, whether it's blood or the family you make for yourself, any time you are together, it's like no time has passed in the interim. And you're always HOME.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Goal Setting - Part Deux

I just looked out my window and saw a guy wearing shorts. On March 7. It's been mild in Toronto, but seriously? People always take things too far.

It's been another one of "those weeks" but I'm pretty proud of myself because since my awful panic attack on Monday, I've managed to not actually have any. I mean, I have "almost panic attacks" every day, so my chest hurts a lot but I've been keeping them there and not going into the full blown, I'm hiding in the bathroom yoga breathing stage where I think it might kill me.

You should be proud of me though, because this week involved trying to fit 5 work days into 4 (my little brother is coming to visit tomorrow), one 13 hour work day and a midterm. And Stompin' Tom died. Cut me some slack people!

Also, I'm dealing with the incredible trauma of having my three best friends all in happy relationships at the same time while I am home alone texting and calling people and there's no answer. Even if my brother is the perfect date, I'm feeling a little lonely. I'm happy for them, but I have to admit it was more fun when there was better bandwith for actually spending girl time. In those tiny little pockets when I actually have time for anything.

I went to a seminar tonight by an organization called "Women of Influence". Not that I am one, and if they'd seen what I was up to the other night, trying desperately to sing Taylor Swift in a karaoke bar, they probably wouldn't have let me in, but they don't need to know this stuff.

It was pretty inspiring though. It's funny, there was a lot of talk about Goal Setting. Not too long ago, one of my friends said that they had established some kind of "goal buddy system" at work where you were paired up with someone and you each set a goal and then you would hold each other accountable for accomplishing it.

The speaker tonight was a very accomplished, very smart, very put-together wonder woman and she said that 20 years ago, her and a group of friends established a "goal accountability group". So basically they got together, worked out a system where they set goals for themselves that covered everything: relationships, family, careers, health and wellness, spirituality. They have spreadsheets and everything. And once a month, they hold meetings where they discuss these goals, set shorter-term goals and hold each other accountable for accomplishing them. What a great idea. So if, at the next month's meeting, you haven't done what you were supposed to do, someone will call you out and say, Hey! What happened? What are the roadblocks? What do you need to do to get past them? How can I help? What kind of support do you need to get there?

This sounds so much better than a book club (which I tried to do once but I don't think any of the girls I invited liked to read books as much I do. Maybe they should have put that in their goals.). I usually just keep a list on my fridge and cross things off as I accomplish them, but the moral support aspect coupled with the accountability to deliver must make it a lot more compelling.

Life is not easy. We're adults, (at least I hope anyone who is reading this is, my blog is definitely PG13) all of us have so many responsibilities at this point, it's easy to let real life take over and overshadow the important things, like what we really want to do and who we really want to be. And now I'm going to throw-back to my last "Goal Setting" blog and say that without goals, how do we measure our progress in life and celebrate our success? Goals help us take stock of our accomplishments in a way that we might not even recognize otherwise, and even if we do accomplish great things, we might not realize how hard we had to work to get there and stop for a minute to relish the sweet feeling of success.

The other option is that, without goals, we can stay on autopilot for so long, that we wake up one day and curse the fact that we've just wasted X amount of years not accomplishing anything more than merely surviving day-to-day. So I guess the advice I'd give (if I were in the position to actually give anyone advice) is to keep building your relationship with yourself. Even if what you think you want to do seems unrealistic, there are steps you can take to bring your life closer to that. Baby steps. And one day, if you work really hard at it, you'll achieve success. Not because of your job title, or degree, or how many letters you have after your name. But because you accomplished what you set out to do, are living a life that's honest and free, and you're happy.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Did you lose your keys?...

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I had a great day at work. I even only "almost" had a panic attack. I was pretty stressed out this morning because I had about 4 hours of meetings in my calendar, and more than 8 hours of work to do, which wasn't going to happen because of all those damn meetings.

But by the end of the day I thought, hey having meetings all day is way more fun than sitting alone at your desk working and having panic attacks. And I had pickles for lunch. So it was a good day all around. I was waiting for the elevator after popping in briefly at home to sit in the sun, read a chapter of my book and eat pickles. As I was waiting, the elevator door opened and Krista was on the other side and we both screamed because it's so weird to ever run into anyone in my apartment building. Seriously, I have been living here for over 2 years and I've never once ran into anyone in the laundry room. Ever. But that's probably because the basement is creepy and all my neighbours have bad hygiene. I know what you're thinking. Why don't you and Krista just put down the glass of wine, get off your lazy asses and take the stairs down the whole two flights? Because we're fabulous, that's why. And our cats are so demanding, we're just exhausted. And we might spill our glasses of wine.

I'm coming to the end of my newest favorite book ever, so I'm distracting myself from reading it (or doing my homework) by writing yet another blog. I've come to the realization that the more I write, the more people read it (d-uh) and I'm getting pretty obsessed with the idea of having 10,000 reads on here. (Now I've probably just jinxed it. Eff. I'll get to 9,999 one of these days, soon I think, and then it will all just end. I'll check it every day and it will say 9,999 for ETERNITY.)

So I was cleaning my apartment the other day, with greater intensity than usual because the last time I cleaned my apartment Lindsay came over and she kept walking around in awe saying things like, "Margaux your apartment is SO CLEAN. Margaux, LOOK at your bathroom!". And that's a lot of pressure to live up to, not having a cleaning lady and being lazy and all. Anyways, as I was cleaning, under my bed I found...a set of keys. I had to sit down for a minute. Sadly, my first thought was not "Am I a slut?", it was "Jesus. I know I'm bad at dating, but seriously?". I knew who they belonged to, and I knew he stopped calling me, but he didn't even come back. For. His. Keys. And then I was imagining him, walking home in the freezing cold, his beautiful, shiny long-ish hair blowing in the wind, and he gets to his front door, and he's like "Shit. Where are my keys?...Oh, they must be at Margaux's. But I am not going back there. Ever. That bitch is crazy." And then he becomes a homeless person. And possibly gets his phone stolen. (Nope, that was another guy. Maybe I am a slut.)

I'm not even sure how to end this blog. Except to say, some days a really good day is exactly what you needed. Thank you Tuesday for comin' through.

Monday, 4 March 2013

As long as they land on their feet...

So I've decided the best remedy for an entire day of panic attacks at work is to come home and read the totally innapropriate laugh out loud book my mom got me for my birthday. (Again, Helena mom, not my other one. She would never do anything inappropriate. Like love her daughter just because she's her daughter and accept the fact that she left the cult because, honestly, CULTS SUCK.)

I was planning on secretly working tonight because I have a lot of work to do and they don't want to pay me overtime, but the book got the better of me, and now I'll definitely have panic attacks all day tomorrow. Totally. Worth. It. (But honestly, panic attacks also suck. I'm seriously considering having my chest removed so it doesn't hurt so bad all the time. But then I probably wouldn't get so many dates so that's probably a bad idea. Although dating in your 30s is also a bad idea.)

The other day I ran into my ex-landlord. Travis and I lived in an apartment in his house in Maple, so he totally knew me when I was part of the org and married to a brilliant, brainwashed golfer. Who was not the best husband, but still the best friend I ever had. He got me, even if he didn't always like me all that much. It's possible he asked me on a date (my ex-landlord, not my ex-husband, he got remarried and I'm pretty sure the JWs frown upon dating your ex-wife once you're remarried), and I may have said yes because I didn't really know if coffee with your ex-landlord is a date or not. I hope it's not. But I will never live in Maple, ever again, so there's no future in this. The suburbs are really just those horrible places where I imagine the zombie apocalypse starts (that's always where it starts in the movies) plus you have to take the GO train which means if you're even 30 seconds late, your ride leaves without you. And flashes you the finger. And you're late for work.

He said I looked stressed (D-uh) and that I was always so full of life, it was sad to see me looking like something died. Well, it did Asshole. All of the friends I ever had, family, community, faith. Only they didn't die, they just decided to stop loving me, which, and I know I shouldn't say this, but for me, this is worse than if they'd died (I don't want any of them to die - clarification). If they'd died it would be sad but I wouldn't take it quite so personally.

And there it is, every guy I've ever dated since then: the reason I'm so sensitive to rejection. (Not talking about you, 27, I know your phone just got "stolen".)

I have to say though, despite the constant panic attacks, the men who always leave and the "there's something about mary" bangs, I am very happy with life. I was so proud to have a dozen friends show up on the weekend for my birthday. I've done well. I've learned that true friends will break into your apartment late at night and drag you to the hospital. Or bring you their leftovers when they know you were at school all night. Or buy themselves a toothbrush because they stay over a little too often. And very occasionally come over and yell at you until you either kick them our or take them to brunch. I'm very happy with how things turned out. And I wouldn't change it.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

There's Something About Margaux

Ok it's been twice this week now that someone has referenced "There's something about Mary" in regards to my hair. I'm growing my bangs out people! That's traumatic enough. Stop making fun of me. I'll be pretty again by summer, promise.

I think my Cat understands that birthday weeks are particularly challenging, because she's been lovely. When she dies I'm going to have her stuffed and keep her on the shelf forever. Dusting her off will be less disguting than cleaning the kitty litter, that's for sure. What a good Cat. This has been particularly obvious since I babysat my neighbour's cat who shall forever more be referred to as "that damn siamese from hell". I'm pretty sure she was Satan's cat in a past life because she looked like an angel but in reality is the worst cat I've ever met. (Sorry neighbour. Your cat is beautiful but she bites. And I mean that literally.).

So last night was my birthday party and apparently I had too much to drink. This is just a matter of opinion though because I felt fabulous. Kyla was here and she brought me a green tshirt that said "Kiss me I'm drunk. Or Irish. Or whatever." So I immediately ditched the awesome new top I bought for the occasion and wore that.

I have to say, birthdays remind you that people actually like you. I got cards, presents, free drinks and in return my friends all have lots of stories to tell of my terrible inebreation (I like to give back). I also got two little dresses and as y'all know I never wear pants from April - October. Pants suck (just sayin').

27 was a no-show, which I was sad about but is probably for the best. My brother said I deserve to date someone with a phone so I guess I should have higher expectations. Scott's huge bouquet of flowers are on my table as I type and if I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow, all would be well in the world. Sidepoint: I need a new job. Immediately. Before I try to kill myself again. (Side sidepoint, I'm not going to try to kill myself again. Apparently I'm bad at that. Like how I'm bad at drugs. But that's another story.)

So, this blog has been a little ADD. Did I tell you my nails look great in hot pink? And I have a new theme song? I always have a theme song for life, it makes it more bearable. I totally recommend it.

Well the Kyla and me thing didn't end up quite how I pictured it. This morning involved a lot more crying and yelling than I expected. But that's the great thing about family. You can cry and yell and be upset, and then go out for brunch and take a picture you will later post on FaceBook to prove to the world how happy you are. Even if you're not happy.

But I am happy about my Cat. And the fact that I can have a birthday, and a dozen people will show up, and they care about me, maybe more than all the people I left behind in the cult combined. I just have to catch up and care enough about them back. I hate change, and new people, and I'm terrified to actually care about anyone in case they leave me too. But I'm trying to change because life turned out better than I expected, and I'd be an idiot not to go with it. And Kyla was here, and Mick. I have the best siblings in the world. And they're hot. And I took this awesome picture after about 2 bottles of wine, so I think I have a future career as a photographer. Here's hoping...

Friday, 1 March 2013

Let's Pretend This Never Happened...

So I've been reading a book my mom (Helena mom not the other one) gave me for my birthday and I've realized the reason I don't have a book deal yet is that I've been leaving all the interesting stuff out of my blog. In an effort to be careful (my Dad reads this) and optimistic all the time, some of the crazier stories fall by the wayside.

So, in the absence of any new material I'll start telling some stories. And I have quite a few of them, most of them should have taught me a lesson by now. One important lesson would be "You're not in a cult anymore Margaux, stop being so effing trusting". But old habits Die Hard. (Yippee Ki-yay! Sorry, I couldn't resist...)*Disclaimer, anything I write going forward may or may not be true.*

There have been some great guys (we all loved The American), but I've also dated my share of the ones who would make you cock your head and say "huh?".

Like the guy who tried to convince me to sleep with him because we were on a date on a day that some cult said the world was going to end. (The world didn't end. And I didn't sleep with him Daddy.) Or the one who wrote a screenplay about a guy who secretly liked dressing up as a robot. When he was in the shower one morning I checked the closet but I couldn't find a robot outfit so I assume he must be hiding it somewhere else...

One of the guys I dated ended up in the psych ward (not my fault, honest). There was the sociopath (who pretended to be a fireman), the ex-con, (I know, I know. I work corporate. I just don't love the guys in gray suits and blue ties. Although I may or may not have made out with one of them in a meeting room.) and the bad Russian dude. Oooohhh, let's talk about him. I was getting sick of dating, so I started going out with people for random reasons ie. I've never dated a black guy, he's a lawyer (BAD IDEA), he has a sailboat.

So he had a sailboat. Assume he still does, unless it sank, because he liked to take way too many people out on it in lightning storms and smoke pot (but that's another story). He took me out for a nice dinner and happened to mention he was born in Russia and came to Canada when he was 9. I told him I couldn't hear an accent. He said, just wait. And of course as the evening wore on, he became not only impossible to understand but also quite annoying. We went to a vodka bar later that had a private area booked for a function, but he just walked through the velvet rope, sat down, took his SHOES off, ignored the waitresses protests and made her bring us drinks. Then we went to an after hours club (I'd never been to one before - everyone except me looked like an anorexic supermodel).

Long story short, when he dropped me off in the wee hours of the morning, I was not well, I puked all over his SUV and was determined to never date someone with a sailboat, ever again. Yet, he kept calling me. Which makes me wonder if all guys are secretly just masochistic because I've been on so many dates where I was very well behaved and didn't get sick in anyone's SUV, and I never heard from them again.

I just remembered a good story about another lawyer I only went out with because I'd never dated anyone Jewish before. The first night we met he told me I'd have to convert so his mom would agree to our marriage. But I'll save that for another time. :)

REMEMBER: Most of this is not true. Except for the parts that are.