2000: Nothing really groundbreaking here. I was in the twelfth grade, back when Ontario still had a thirteenth grade. My relationship with my parents was seriously on the rocks. I took out my weave, went to Russia and Finland over the summer, and moved out of my mother’s house (at her behest) by summer’s end.
2001: More homestead drama. Wrote my IB exams. Decided to accept my offer of admission to Hamilton’s McMaster University. Worked at Loeb Glebe, spent far too much time drinking at the bar across he street and noshing on snacks from Bridgehead Coffee. I lasted all of one month before moving back to Ottawa, though not home, and spent the better part of a gap year clad in J.Crew and cottage hopping.
2002: Finally back to the academic grindstone, much to everyone’s delight. This time I settled my sights on Hanover, NH. I love Dartmouth, but it feels a little too bucolic for my thoroughly urbanised taste and I find myself escaping nearly every weekend to Boston or NYC. I’m restless and begin exploring my transfer options. I decide on the University of Alberta, and hastily accept my position there for transfer the following year.
2003: Arrive in Edmonton, silently curse my choice come winter. Realise it’s the furthest north I’ve ever lived and if I felt isolated in NH, it’s nothing compared to Alberta. I make my way down to California for a wedding and New York for NYE.
2004: I experience my first summer storm, when I return from sunning myself in 27C weather commonly associated with a post-climate change Ontario in May to at full foot of snow, and no job for my first summer out west. I live in relative poverty on campus, refusing to reach out for a handout that I’m not even certain I’ll get from asking. The plus side to relative poverty, turns out it’s a great diet. I start the next school year looking svelte and working at the campus bar. I’ve also decided to change my major yet again, to Anthropology after a kickass first year class that I took on a whim.
2005: I finally move out of residence, and into an off-campus house and meet some of the people who end up defining the better part of the remainder on my undergraduate experience. I rush the sorority, I end up hospitalised with the flu, and I’m swept up into an endless parade of booze, boys, and occasionally books. I meet Brandon, the love of my undergraduate life. We take a NYE ski trip which is still one of my Top 5 NYE experiences to this day.
2006: Probably the defining year of my young life. My relationships, both romantic and platonic are spiralling out of control. There’s infidelity, drama, dissolution of friendships and housing contracts, and a summer wasted away under a haze of prescription drugs and booze. I take roughly 3 months off from working seriously and opt to make going out every night my full time job. I land a job at a skate shop in town mid summer and a week later I become a statistic after being sexually assaulted after a boozy night out with the girls. I totally retreat and end up moving out of the sorority house and into an apartment downtown as a result, and rekindle my relationship with Brandon while simultaneously pushing everyone else out of my life. I get offered a position managing the skate shop after a stint as acting manager at the end of the summer.
2007: I graduate with a degree in Anthropology, with Honours, and take on work full-time. I seriously consider moving in with Brandon after my relationship with my downtown roommate deteriorates to the point where I’m only ever home to pick up a change of clothes. Brandon announces that he’s going to grad school in Toronto and we effectively break up, and I sever ties with my old roommate and take up residence in a luxury condo in the heart of downtown. I take up running, something I had been loath to do in high school.
2008: I haven’t seriously dated anyone since the demise of my Last.Big.Relationship. and I take a somewhat unofficial vow of celibacy, because I’m really not ready to deal with another relationship. I work harder and more than I ever have in my life, I start doing some retail buying and consider grad school myself. It’s the beginning the end of one of my adult friendships, and it’s all because of a stupid boy. I declare 2K9 to be drama free and begin mediating and practicing yoga.
2009: I take the witness stand for the first time for an exploratory hearing wherein a judge decides if my sexual assault case has any merit. The experience is beyond humbling, and incredibly frustrating. It also takes place just days before my birthday. I lose my job, which is single handedly probably the best/worst thing to happen to me in recent years. It’s clearly a blessing in disguise, and I spend another 3 months job-free and the happiest I’ve been in years. It’s the first complete year I’ve survived without burning a bridge. I spend those 3 months reading ,writing, running, and drinking like a fish, and despite all that, manage to lose at least 25 lbs. I take on a new job that I love, that has actually allowed me to grow as well as expend my skillset. I’m challenged on a daily basis once again, and I love it. It’s the year of weekend getaways and a lot of growing up. Heartbreak is a common theme, though I won’t say whose.
2010: I think I’m finally ready for a relationship, and maybe a bit more travel. It’s also time to seriously start reconsidering grad school and what I want to do with my life.