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Lifestyles: Diary of a Vancouver Girl - Entry 23


'Nothing can really surprise me when it comes to me anymore, however this illness I “developed” or “caught” or “contracted” or whatever you want to call it, has startled me enough to scare some sense into me'.

I figure it is long overdue since I last wrote, which was soon after I arrived back home some six months ago now. Unbelievable- I have been hesitant to write again ever since.
Let me attempt to clarify some reasons as to why I have not written sooner. Truth of the matter is, I almost feel as if I have a confession to make: I have decided to write again only now because I have been kept very busy. In all fairness I was working 3 jobs! Therefore, most of my time was consumed until recently, due to a horrible illness and other such drama, in which you’ll hear all about further on.

Also, to be completely honest, without being completely dishonorable, I have kind of fallen out of writing for this magazine. As you might have been able to tell due to the lack of consistency in producing my so-called articles the past year. I’m quite the intermittent contributor anyhow. But seriously, I am re-considering my purpose for it, for all of this. I don’t really feel as if I’m an appropriate writer for this gig, nor any other at the moment. After all, I am not a “proper” writer. I haven’t even had proper lessons, or use proper grammar for that matter. I barely passed my English class in high school, for Christ’s sakes! (OK in my defense that was more out of not attending class or not paying attention, rather than not getting it, I'm the same girl who also fell asleep during an exam in college no less. I didn’t care enough for it at the time. However we will avoid any in depth probing regarding the whole subject matter of shall we say, schooling mishaps? That’s a whole other book.)

Despite my passionate relationship with penmanship, I just don’t feel like I have much to say here, in the right now, without sounding like I am talking to myself or sounding inane, I suppose. *I do have a therapeutic form of a diary to say Whatever the Fuck I Want! AND to vent off all my frustrations of the world, of the day and to reflect upon them without the worry of anyone judging it, seeing as how it is intended for my eyes’ only. But if it were to be read I’d be out righteously violated of my own privacy, of my own thoughts, for certain things you do not tell nor need they be known. It does make me think though, what person in their right mind would want to peak into my mind anyways!?*

Well back on topic here, focus Tabytha…In other words, I don’t ever prepare for what I say. I write as I think when the time comes that I am actually sitting in front of the computer. It’s all impetuously unorganized and keeps rolling non-specifically and endlessly from there. So I guess what I am getting at is that, here I really write utter nonsense because it is in the public eye and I don’t really know what to say if it is not specifically political, personal, or what have you other doo-dah. I have no standards to write to or for anyone, I don’t really have to put any extra or special effort into this; it is not for a grade or to impress a boss, maybe no one except myself; only that I know I could be judged anyway. I’m oblivious to what few readers, if any, may think, I don’t know what they think of anything in actual fact, and I stress about it too much as it is that I haven’t the energy to worry about people whom I don’t know, to care what they may think of me. It’s just that I know that I’m not talking about any issues or anything important when I write this for magazine, so it feels like I have no importance then, or rather that my writing has none.

Surely it is neither entertaining nor enlightening material. This really is just me rambling on with my thoughts and opinions on nothing. You can see by the way I write is how I actually think, very inconsistent and scattered. Just as I am a wanderlust and can’t keep still or focused, I am constantly afflicted with ironic, non-provoking, where-did-I-come-up-with-that-in-the-first-place kind of thoughts. It takes me forever to get to a simple point because I always see something else to bring up, and that may not even be related in interest or concept. There are a million ideas running through my head at once, I can’t catch them all, nor decide which one to concentrate on, so while I’m on one idea I’m already thinking about the next, and hence, this is where my confusion lies and therefore much frustration comes into play. I can only assume this is where I may lose an audience as well, when I get lost with my own train of thought. It's a constant battle, very unsettling. You see now, this is where you witness my unnecessary and excessive abuse of chemical substances in the past, (I remind you I said in the past tense.) Nevertheless where my A.D.D, (aka attention deficit disorder) shows its casually unpleasant face. It ’s evidential in my thinking processes and writing format, don’t you think? Moreover, despite the drugs, which I do not recommend anymore, and the excuses my poor, fried brain attempts to make for itself, I hope I have been able to give you at least a half assed- if not a remotely legitimate -explanation. To conclude, with some sort of retrospect, I realized that it has been a great experience over the years writing for Hacks, especially to look back and read other mumbo jumbo that I’ve come up with in the past and laugh at it or see where I may have grown or even regressed at times, but that perhaps now it is time to retire. There’s always a line to cross at some point.

What the fuck do I write about anyways, does it even mean anything? You know, it's one of those questioning-the-significance-of- and not getting answers things, just another nuisance in life. So leave it as it may, I suppose that this may be the last you hear from me, especially if those unflattering photos of me are not taken off! Please Sam, let me send you others! (Sam being the genius creator/founder/editor behind Hackwriters, not to mention my favorite uncle also!! Hope you’re not too disappointed with this revelation.)

Now, to bring up old news, yes sometimes it does still feel like yesterday I was just away. Sometimes, on other days, it feels like a lifetime ago. Sure seems like I’ve been home a long time already, almost as if I had never even gone away, but then I am reminded suddenly, (how could I ever forget,) and only long to feel free again, like I did when I was in Cape Town (SA) and London (UK).
Since I have been back all I’ve desired to do was to go travel as soon as I possibly could, which I thought would have been long ago by now, so I’m a bit disappointed that I bought into staying around here longer. It’s nearly at the point where I wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy much else, or maybe I really do feel that much better with something else? That I have not figured out.

As they say, home Sweet Home, right? I’ve mentioned before that I do love it here in the incredibly beautiful province of British Columbia. We have so much to offer, we are exceptionally diverse and very multicultural and have everything a colorful, developing and hungry society needs. I am not embarrassed to proclaim that I am proud to be Canadian, regardless of those who may be under the impression that we are all farmers or that we live in10 foot of snow all the time. Or that we are considered naïve to the rest of the world- when in actual fact it is the other way around. (You see, as we are underestimated we have a slight advantage.) As for Vancouver, the wonderfully big and yet small hectic city -but also very calming place that I have been brought up in my whole life, it is and probably always will be home to me…only that sometimes 'Home' just seems 'Sweeter' when you are away from it. Besides, being elsewhere can feel like home too, and hence, give you a sense of belonging.

We do tend to take things for granted when we live them every day, whether it be routine or what is considered to be the norm or our security of knowing. We constantly have to be reminded of how fortunate we actually are, otherwise we forget and become greedy. Worse, we may only realise what we have only when it is gone, or when we are put in a situation out of our comfort zones. Every little thing gets overlooked, sad to say, how many of us can’t stand our families and always seem to fight with the ones we love? However, how many of us have a family or get to see them for that matter, or even have someone to love and be loved by? How many people do you think would appreciate the mere pleasure of having a shower, or toilet paper even, (bet you don’t think about that every time you wipe your ass) and never mind the bigger picture? You know I could go on and on and everyone knows this already, just another fact that gets taken for granted. We should all shut up, stop bitching and count our blessings, but that won’t ever happen. We are so obliviously blinded by the news, the media, Hollywood, commercialism, material objects we are trained to believe we need and won’t be happy without, our political, parental or religious dictatorship - I mean fuck, we are so mindless sometimes! Sometimes I feel like we are just robots now, who can’t even think for themselves anymore, we are consumed with paranoia in a controlling, gutless and shameful world. I have got to stop talking about this before I get really heated.

Shall we refer back to our original topic of discussion…. Well again it has become so that I am too comfortable for it to be rewarding anymore. Been there, done that, next…. I crave new challenges and different things that I’ve not experienced, people I haven’t had the pleasure -or not- of meeting before, places I have not seen as of yet. Of course there are many challenges one faces every day within ones own back yard. Getting out of bed is the first one I imagine, unless there is something really exciting you want to wake up eagerly for. This is not to say that I have no challenges in my life here either, (trust me I’ve created enough troublesome situations for myself, especially lately let me tell you.) I am only suggesting merely that I may be too biased because I know what to expect already, not to be overly presumptuous or anything. I had to get up early every day since I have been back to go to work. I have missed many beautiful days in dedication to working for a lousy, silver penny. Fair enough to say there is a reason why I work so hard. I need to save up because I want to travel soon. I didn’t resent it so much at the time, it’s that damned “no pain, no gain” justification, I understand and appreciate that. Everything has to be earned and in the end it all seems worthwhile because of the sacrifices you made for it. I’m just glad I found a job when I did, took me two months after I had arrived back home with many huge debts on my shoulders and only $20 left to my name, I was hopeless and desperate. However my luck finally changed and not only did I find one job but three. Ironically they were all serving jobs as well. Now when I say traveling, it isn’t running away so much as it is escaping (the bullshit) temporarily to be able to take that step back and look at things from the outside, away from the situation in order to assess it in a different light, from another perspective if you will. I need to be free of schedule and routine, of what appears to be the norm, but shouldn’t be. I get bored easily, especially if I am not motivated with what I am doing. I mean come on, I’m too damned free spirited as it is and I feel as if I am being confined against my will here, it’s unnatural for someone like me. I don’t seem to be making much progress with, well, anything right now, I absolutely despise that, and it’s not as if I’m at all grounded yet either. I have much to work on. Let's face it, I’m not necessarily settled at the moment, so I have nothing to lose, meanwhile I am losing my sanity.

That is of course my own doing, my own damned fault, I could really do much more here and now instead of choosing to wait until I am not in my familiar surroundings. I’m not positive, I truly know what else my objectives are for the next few months, other than getting out of here. I must have deeper incentives than just that, although, indirectly it does relate greatly to my personal growth and finding. I get very upset when isolated, if you knew me you’d know that I cannot stay in one place at one time, I need to be all over the place. I can’t stand to miss out on something, I’m always looking out the window. My eyes are always wondering around the room. I’ve actually raised this before. When you are the kind of person who’s constantly chasing after something else, you do miss out in the long run because you don’t live in the moment with what you have there and then, for you are so concerned with the idea that there’s always something else out there. And there is always another option out there, and another, and another, something different, maybe better, maybe worse, we never know anything, we don’t know anything for certain do we, (that’s for certain,) so all we have is the choice we’ve made at that moment to learn from and only hope to make another, wiser choice soon again.

We only get one choice at a time, we can’t choose it all and we can’t change our minds once it has been done, and that’s something I am only now trying to accept. We all want to have our cake and eat it too, but don’t necessarily want to sleep in our own beds that we’ve made either. Wait a minute, how does that saying go again? I think I got that wrong, I tried to be metaphorically clever and meant to insinuate rather that we don’t want to pay for any of our consequences nor take up our responsibilities. I seem to believe that I can only achieve those magical and magnificent moments again when I am alone, and I’ll only feel alone when I am gone from what I know and who I know, even those I love, which isn’t anything to take offense at. No one seems to appreciate that concept, but really, only I need to understand it; everyone has their own thing, their own goals or ideal rewards, something to strive for. Mine is to see the world, and others want the world. Hate to sound clichéd, but is not that what makes us all so fucking unique? I sound bitter now, see what happens when you don’t get what you want right away. I can be a selfish brat at times and I hate it, the twisted beauty of human nature, I won’t even get started on that. I’ve only currently admitted to being a very anxious person, I overly stress over matters that shouldn’t matter. I only realised how bad I actually was recently. I always have been when I look back at myself. When I was 14 years old I had the shingles, a break down in my immune system that happens to seniors, not a teenager. I literally play out the term “worry yourself sick” into serious perspective, too much so it’s sick! Believe it or not I managed to make myself sick too, not a surprise. Nothing can really surprise me when it comes to me anymore, however this illness I “developed” or “caught” or “contracted” or whatever you want to call it, has startled me enough to scare some sense into me.

Everything I was doing was detrimental to my health and I knew it. Shame I’m too stubborn for my own good. Who works 3 jobs willingly at minimum wage anyways, all back-to-back, day in and day out and in 3 different cities for that matter? Not only doing that but still able to convince themselves after 16 hours of work that they deserve to go out afterwards, after such a long day. Instead they should be getting the much required sleep they also desire more than anything else, yet are too foolish to say no even though they have to get up in a couple hours again to go to work a 16 hour day all over again. The am to am hours without any very necessary recouperation periods, partying in between, booze and cigarettes replacing nutritional meals and neglecting symptoms of weakness, I never let my body rest. Did I honestly think I could fool my body into thinking I could handle it, as if I were a machine and not a pathetic piece of human flesh instead! That’s disgusting! My body needed a break and boy did it ever let me know it….. I had a breakdown at 20 years old. The doctors have diagnosed me with a virus that they cannot even identify; it still remains nameless after having just recovered from it. At least I did recover. The doctors appear to be as dumbfounded as I am in regards to my condition, which left room for much intolerable suffering. This was some scary shit! I mean, we didn’t know what I had nor how I got it or when it would be cured or how, if I were contagious and to be quarantined or what. I was put on drugs, which fucked me up even more so, I felt worse! I was so heavily medicated and loopy I didn’t react to natural healing. I haven’t taken any prescriptions in over 6 years, I believe in herbal remedies and letting nature takes its course, you know, time and rest. The medication made me feel worse because I wasn’t used to it, it was foreign to my body, a complete stranger.

The side effects were bizarre too, constant and outrageous twitching, my vision was blurry, I was lightheaded, my face swelled, it was nerve racking really, which is part of my becoming sick in the first place. My high-strung nerves contributed to some sort of dysfunction that led to my illness. I don’t know why I am such a stressful person; you wouldn’t think so even spending a full day with me. I have an outgoing personality and a pretty positive attitude, for the most part, I always laugh and usually wear a smile. It seems that overall I'm a happy being; but I guess we all have a dark pit inside of us that we can always be engulfed by. I seriously don’t have much to stress about though, it’s not like I struggle to survive or that I have to scavenge for food and shelter, it just so happens that I just let myself worry about everything. It’s ridiculous. I was stressed out about not having enough money in time to go travel the date I had intended to, then I wanted to look for a place to live in the meantime and that became a whole intense ordeal. I was tired and sore and pushed too far for too long. Did I mention earlier I also have a bit of O.C.D, aka obsessive-compulsive disorder, I just have the works don’t I!? Of course I do not allow myself to make excuses for myself with ADD and all that shit, otherwise I’d be really fucked if I believed I was. Anyhow, moral of the story, I was bitter at the world for being so sick. I didn’t feel I deserved it after working so hard and trying to do it all at once all on my own, that my efforts only punished me instead of rewarding me. I didn’t end up saving as much money as I had hoped, I didn’t get to go to Japan and Thailand the date I had planned, I didn’t get the flat I wanted at the time and looked so frantically for, all for what. I let myself down big time. I was out of order for a good month, I’m still not a 100% but I have to get back out there again, I can’t stay cooped up in the house and I can’t afford to miss another day of that dreaded vice called work.

Now that I am back in the game I cannot slip back to my old habits (which were all bad,) I have so many vices in which I rely upon for I don’t even know if you could call it comfort. Since I’ve recovered I’ve quit one of the 3 jobs. I have, for the most part, quit smoking for the first time in 9 years which is a 'huge' deal, and if you can tell, I have had a lot of thinking to do and have come to the realisation to relax, not to be so on edge and to put so much pressure on myself, to give others more credit because hey, I take a lot for granted as well and I have it pretty easy so just take things as they come and worry about it then -or rather, don’t worry. This mysterious and frightening illness just may have been a blessing in disguise, I try to believe that occurrences do happen for a reason and I was meant to breakdown to break my unsatisfying lifestyle patterns. Anyhow, I’ve suddenly discovered that there may just be a point of my writing for this magazine, it may not be a very big one, but, I do like to write and having just that means something. There is something that I rather enjoy and may have a bit of a talent for, however do not have the essential tools of doing it properly yet. I can develop this into something significant one day…who knows? So will I quit these random spurts of impromptu, uneventful, purposeless, insufficiently eloquent, not even mundanely adequate and excessively long essays? Who knows, I don’t as of this point. Then again it always comes down to - we’ll see. We’ll see about many things to come soon…. Thanks for reading, Remember, please learn something new, appreciate what you have instead of whining about what you don’t have yet, you can always strive for it and it will be so much more rewarding and appreciate life, even when it seems shit, only you can decide.

It is not what lies behind us or what lies in front of us that matters most compared to what lies within us. Merry Christmas and may all have a wonderful new year.

© Tabytha Towe December 17th 2003

All of Tabytha Towe's Diary can be found here
Last entry here

Happy Twenty-First to Tabytha from all at Hackwriters.

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