Feeling lonely when you’re surrounded by people.

I’m lonely.

There are six other people in this house and I am lonely.

And the more I read that I should be thankful that I have anyone around at all, the more I think that people equate having a family with having a cohesive family unit.

I’m eternally grateful for my family, but I think it’s important to note that just because they’re my family does not mean that we get along. It doesn’t mean that we act, think or feel the same way. It definitely doesn’t mean that we see eye to eye. I reckon a lot of families are the same. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean that being with them 24 hours a day seven days per week is going to be easy.

I was watching Dr. Phil earlier and he said that, in China where quarantine policies have been in place since January, there’s been a spike in divorce applications. This made me feel a little less awful for how I feel. Because I’m not alone in finding it tough to be at home.

I love my family. I help them when they’re sick, I comfort them when they cry, heck… they go to the store for me when I don’t want to share germs. But, truth be told, this is hard. We’re inherently different in about every category except our genetics. When we each have our own lives, our differences strengthen us. It brings outside perspectives, thoughts, laughs. When we’re each stuck inside together for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, things get tough.

On the good days, I spend the majority of the time biting my tongue. On the regular days, our vastly different beliefs are causing spats, arguments or passive aggressive behaviours that really weigh on one’s mood. And, on the bad days, well let’s not go there. The point is, it’s not easy.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you agree with everything they do. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean that being quarantined with them is going to be easy. Conversations don’t just spontaneously pop up and last for six hours to pass the time in a day. Sometimes, even if they’re family, you really have to work at it. And sometimes you really have to work at it to make sure certain conversations don’t happen.

Why aren’t you married yet?

When you are you going to give me grandbabies?

Why must you always provoke me?

Yeah, I’m sure that you know the typea of conversations I’m talking about. I’m all too sure you’ve had conversations of your own, much like these, in the past few weeks.

Bottom line is, if you’re struggling right now, you’re not alone. I see you and I understand you. Don’t hate yourself for how you feel. We’re all scared and we’re all struggling. Even the people who are driving us crazy.

And yes, it is possible that it can be extremely lonely being in a house filled with six other people. Even if it’s only one other person in your house… sometimes being close together for long periods of time, for events such as home quarantine, well it makes people feel farther apart than ever before. You don’t have to be alone to be lonely. But, if you are alone and lonely, I see you too.

Quarantine Day 8,781

Dear Patrice,

The local pharmacist has said that we should each be documenting everything happening to us during this time. As I stood behind the plexi-glass screen watching him prepare my father’s prescription, I listened to him explain about how we’re living through what will one day be one of the most historical events of life as humans know it.

As much as the introvert in me does not like talking to strangers, I know he’s right.

The sheer physical, emotional, economical impacts this will have on this world will last decades. And, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t know how to deal with that yet.

The human race has seemingly become expendable. Those who get television time are the ones who are proclaiming that economies should open back up because senior citizens and those who are immunocompromised would gladly give up their lives for the sake of the American Dream. Companies left, right and centre are firing employees not because they have to, but because they’d rather ‘cut their losses’ and sail off into the sunset. And those that haven’t fired their employees are billionaires who are asking the general public for donations.

We’re living in a time when going to to the store to get some milk for your fridge could literally mean putting your life at risk. And there are adult brats on the internet licking toilet seats proclaiming that this is all a hilarious manifestation of government control. To anyone who’s taking part in the licking toilet seats challenge, that’s not going to age well, even if by some grace of the universe you don’t get sick.

I am hurting and I know I am not alone. Billions of people (yes I said billions) are going through this with me.

And it all started with one wet market in a country a half world away.

If nothing else, this year has officially validated the fact that we are all connected and that when something affects one of us, it affects all of us.

Nearly a million people have been diagnosed with a mystery illness across our world. Nearly 50,000 of those have passed away. And, with everything that is known, or isn’t known, at this stage, there are still (somehow) women and men standing out front of the grocery store trying to hand out pamphlets about how vaccines are the real issue… WHILE, NO LESS… wearing a mask on their face and asking people to not come too close.

Preachers are preaching that we brought this on ourselves and that god is using corona virus to punish us for our sins.

Health care workers, who on a normal day have some of the hardest jobs on earth, have now had to take on the task of convincing us all to take their word as the word whilst fighting a predatory, deadly illness that has been described as an invisible zombie apocalypse.

Years from now, when I look back on this, I want to remember this feeling. I want to remember the things that people said, the things that people did or didn’t do. Though they’re too small to know what’s happening right now, I want to be able to teach my nieces and nephews about this.

Canada is closed.

What used to be a cordial, friendly nation where people held open doors, helped you carry your things, shook your hand just because or gave you a hug if you looked like you needed it, we’re only going out if we need said milk from the store. The aforementioned men and women handing out anti-vaccination pamphlets were arrested for endangering the public, but promptly returned the next day after they were only given a citation and told to stay home. It’s an ugly wheel we’re spinning when the police are trying to protect the very people they’re arresting by not putting them in a holding cell. Court is postponed indefinitely so it’s not like there’s anything else they can do except standing in front of the store themselves, telling these people to leave.

A choir decided to go ahead with their practice, despite all of the warnings to not hold such events at this time. Now, 45 of the 60 choir members have tested positive for COVID-19 and 2 have actually passed away.

Stay home.

Seriously, go home and stay home. I say this because future me wants to remember the importance and significance of these simple instructions.

Where do we go from here? I don’t know. I do know that I’ve developed a fear of watching the news, going to the store and hearing someone cough or sneeze.

My debts are mounting, whilst people are bragging about spending $600 on video game systems… just because. Wow, it’d be nice to have $600 right now. But I’m sure that a lot of people would like to have an extra $600 right now, so as much as I’m inclined too, I’m trying really hard to not judge them for their choice of purchase. They had the money, I guess that’s that.

Finding a job right now is going to be next to impossible.

And yes, I know that I’m saying ‘I’ a lot with respect to something that is about everyone and not just me, it’s just hard. When tragedy strikes, the first thing you should do is ensure that yourself and your close family/friends are okay. Well, I’m not okay. I’m trying to be, but I’m freaking out.

There’s still a lot of snow on the ground here. At least a foot on lawns. Probably several feet in the bush. The roads, since they were plowed last week, have only a couple inches on them. Spring still seems as though it’ll be a long way away and I can honestly say that this has been the longest winter ever.

There are several aisles of the grocery store that are still empty. There is still no toilet paper. There is no pasta, very minimal canned goods, and no frozen foods. We also haven’t had eggs in this town for a very long time. I reckon in the supply chain we rank rather lowly compared to the larger city centres which is probably why. Regardless, I am hoping that one of these days there will be some sort of a restock.

I’ve been anxious, a lot. All the time, actually. It hasn’t shut off since my dad’s surgery. We learned that we lost my uncle so quickly after my dad’s surgery that things in this family really have not calmed down. As much as my parents and I absolutely do not get along, I do not wish for them to be in harms way, or sad, or any form of ill. He’s had a long and slow recovery. His follow up appointments were cancelled as they were deemed not a necessity. So he’s largely been wingin’ it. My mom did take him to the hospital one day to have him checked because he was coughing blood. It was an infection and the prescribed him antibiotics, with refills so that he wouldn’t have to come to back.

My parents… oh my parents. I know everyone reacts to stressful situations in different ways, but their reactions have been to… seemingly not care? I’m sure that in some way, deep down, they are in fact worried. They’re not showing it though.

All that being said, there’s still stuff going on that is scaring me so much that I can’t even bring myself to speak it. No, because if I speak it into fruition, I have to face it.

I’m scared. We’re all scared. There’s a definite sense of urgency in living right now. Everyone is carrying a weight on their shoulders and most are trying to hide it. I have noticed the very polarizing shift in the way society functions.

10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now… this year, this time in history will be one that’s marked in textbooks and research journals, historical records and televisions/movies across the world.

We’re living in history… right now. This moment hasn’t even passed and it’s already history. How’s that for a thought? Grab hold for dear life. I wonder if that’s how they felt during the World Wars or the Great Depression or the Plague. I wonder if they had time to feel, or if they just bared it and kept going, hoping luck would favour them enough to survive. My grandfather was born shortly after the first world war, and he would never talk to me about the second. The only thing he said was that he wished for a world in which we would never have to experience what he’d been through in his life. So I really don’t have any frame of reference from personal perspective… only what I’ve read in history books. Which, could very well be what people do with respect to this year, this pandemic, this… invisible apocalypse in several decades time.

My biggest hope in all of this is that people favour kindness. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be mindful. It’s affecting everyone so I hope that very fact is remembered. Not that it’ll fix anything right now… but it might lessen the blow.

Oh and lastly, stay the fuck home.

Sincerely,
Me

Quarantine Day 3,487

Dear Patrice (HIMYM Reference),

The days are so long and tiresome, they’re all morphing together. How long has it been? When will it end? Much like the theme of my blog suggests, I have a lot of questions and zero answers.

This morning, at least I think it was this morning (let’s face it, it could have been yesterday at this point, or perhaps even tomorrow seeing as I’m so delusional) the snowplows came down our road at 6:15. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the sound of graters scraping against pavement for thirty minutes straight, but it’s not the most pleasant sound to have to listen to, let alone wake up to.

The snowplows grinding our street at 6:15 am made next to no sense given the fact that it was snowing… as they were plowing. And we had six inches of snow in the forecast for today. Perhaps they’re occupied tomorrow. Perhaps they were just excited that being a snowplow driver allows them to work while social distancing.

Anyways, enough about snowplows.

I want to talk about home.

I’m one of those delusional characters who is of the belief that home is where the heart is. For that reason, I’ve actually felt the genuine sense of home for very little of my life.

Earlier this month, I felt like I was getting close. I’ll admit, I had my hopes up. I thought there was a chance I’d be on my way home soon. After two successful interviews with the Engineering firm, I had one final interview scheduled with the CEO on March 10th. On March 9th the HR Manager reached out and said that the CEO’s wife was ill and he wasn’t going to be at work so the interview would have to be postponed. On the 5th when the interview with the CEO was scheduled for the 10th, I was hoping it was going to be for a job offer. They rescheduled my interview for the 17th and well, shit hit the proverbial fan and all my dreams are postponed. The Engineering firm has been closed since the 13th, with only the Engineers themselves working at this point, and only for emergency services.

Don’t get me wrong. International pandemic, I totally get it. I absolutely understand. We’ve been aware of the Corona Virus in Canada since January. In fact, when I went to the hospital in January, they were already taking precautions at that point and had me tested for it. I’m well aware of the serious nature of this virus and do not blame the firm for closing. I think it was smart of them.

I just… am mourning the loss of what could have been whilst simultaneously facing a day to day misery of not feeling welcome where I’m living, whilst simultaneously recognizing that virtually no one is hiring right now. Except Wal-Mart. And yes, I applied.

I’m whining. It’s 12:30 am and I am whining. I fully understand that. I also completely grasp that there are people in this world in absolutely worse situations than mine all around. But, sometimes you just have to let things out. Sometimes you just have to free the thoughts from your brain so that you can think clearly again.

Will this help? Well, if I sleep even in the slightest tonight, I’ll consider it a win.

I had a brief FaceTime call with Knight tonight. It’s amazing how, even in just ten minutes time at one-o-clock in the morning, he makes the whole day better. He just gives me a whole different perspective on things. He changes me. Makes me better. I need that in my life.

There’s a great big world out there. One that needs conquering tomorrow.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay at least a six foot distance from people. #FlattenTheCurve

Goodnight, World.

Updates from Canada

Places deemed essential services are still open – this includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and the hospital.

Schools are all closed indefinitely.

Daycares are all closed indefinitely.

Medical school students have now taken on the job of childminding for Doctors and Nurses and healthcare workers so that these people integral to saving lives can continue saving lives without worrying about childcare.

You can order take out from certain restaurants, but you’re not allowed to go into any restaurants to sit down.

You’re not allowed to host an event in which more than 50 people could be in the same room. You’re strongly warned against going to any event that could include any grouping of people whatsoever.

Certain provinces are threatening jail time and hefty fines for those who do not oblige with social distancing regulations.

I live in a small town, so being able to do things like take the dog for a walk has been a relatively easy thing to do. We can walk for miles without meeting anyone. That being said, I do feel people in larger centres need to be more mindful of going out for a walk. I’ve been seeing photos of people at English Bay in Vancouver the past couple of days that have made me very angry.

Our washing machine is broken. The laundromat is closed. How we are going to clean our clothing, I am not too sure. But that’s life.

It’s snowing. Yes, the first day of spring may have come and gone but we are still very much in winter mode around here.

I have an intense, sharp pain in my lower side that has been going on for about four days now. I’m a mild hypochondriac, so it is worrisome. But I’m working on staying calm right now, so I’m trying to not get too worked up about it. I think I know what’s causing it. I’ve definitely suffered from this pain before. And, it can wait for now.

Social distancing and self quarantining have included:

  • Applying for jobs, even though I know basically 96% of the world has halted their hiring right now
  • Weeding through the Corona Virus hiring scams that are posted all over Indeed and LinkedIn right now
  • Dreaming about running away and hiding out in Knight’s apartment
  • Worrying about Knight
  • Writing tons of posts that I’ll never publish on this blog
  • Hiding in my room
  • Cleaning. Everything. With bleach.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Be smart. Sending my best.

OH H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I dubbed this the theme song of 2020

Today was hard.

Today was a vinegar and baking soda kind of day. And that’s okay. They can’t all be good. Sometimes you have to experience the bad so that you appreciate the good days that much more when they finally do arrive.

It is 8:00 pm and I’ve gotten nothing accomplished in this day. Well, not unless I count beating myself up as an accomplishment. Which… I’m not.

To address a couple of emails I received after I published my post last night, I just wanted to say that it is illegal and extremely inappropriate for a job interviewer to ask a candidate when she plans on having children and/or how many children she plans on having. One’s family status should play no bearing in whether or not they’re qualified to do a job and thus should not play into any hiring decisions.

In a society that has long undervalued women and treated them as less-than in the workforce, there is no good way for a woman to answer that question when asked. Think about it. If I answered the question, they’d presume I’d be having children in the near future and that could count as a strike against me in the hiring process. And they’d never have to admit that it counted as a strike against me. If I called them out on it, told them it was none of their business and that it was illegal to ask me that, I could come across and stand-offish with unruly behaviour, which could also count as a strike against me. And again, they’d never have to admit that publicly because they know that the average woman isn’t going to go and take them to court over not being hired.

Essentially, it’s backing a woman into a corner with no way out. And how is that fair?

When a man becomes a father, he’s almost treated as though he’s more valuable to a company at that point. He’s the man of the house, he needs to provide for a child now so the company ‘can know’ that he’s going to be a hard-working employee. When a woman becomes a mother, it’s still often treated as career suicide. God forbid they have nine months of doctor’s appointments to look after the health of their unborn child so they’ll be in and out during weird hours for the foreseeable future. And, living in a country that offers one full year of maternity or paternity leave, most employers see it as paying out an employee to sit on their butt. You can argue with me on that sentiment, but it does happen… a lot. I promise you that if you sit down and chat with a group of women about it, you’ll be surprised as to how often it happens.

No one looks at a man and thinks ‘He’s going to ask for paternity leave so I better ask him when he wants to have children’. So, why do women get asked?

Anyways, I realize that people are going to either agree or vehemently disagree on this and that’s totally okay. I’m speaking from experience, and from what I’ve heard from my friends, family members and coworkers over the years.

Monday thoughts…

Well, today has been a hell of a day. And, in his truest most genuine form, Knight has come to my rescue again. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without that man. I am a firm believer that you learn just how much someone can mean to you when you’re going through the worst of it and they’re right there in the trenches with you. That’s not for the faintest of hearts, so I am grateful that he hasn’t given up on me.

Something that I’ve realized is that I’m really good at telling stories and that I really suck at following up with them after the fact. So, let’s share some updates:

On January 10th I shared ‘Story Time – Blaming the other woman‘. If you read that story, if you remember that story at all, the update is they’re both pregnant. His wife and his girlfriend (who has been publicly reported as ‘side chick’ ) are both pregnant. Their due dates are actually less than a month apart. So, I guess their kids can be siblings! I feel for those unborn kids.

On February 4th I shared ‘She’s Pregnant‘. If you read that story, or if you remember that story at all, the update is, they got married. Yeah, they got married last Friday, Feb 21. The only people in attendance were his parents, her parents and her younger brother. I guess they’re going full steam ahead with this whole ‘we’re going to be a family’ thing. I feel for this unborn child.

Looking at my story updates, I’m possibly seeing why so many of the social media algorithms are sharing pregnancy and new mom photos to me. Everyone I follow/know on social media seems to be pregnant. Well, not everyone. But, there are a lot of babies coming in 2020.

Other updates:

  • During a recent job interview I was asked when I plan to have children and how many children I plan to have. I can’t even begin to explain all the things wrong with that.
  • I launched a Patreon account. So, if you’d like to support my blog, click the link in my menu!

Posts I’m working on for this week:

  • All of the reasons why you should love your analytics
  • The Broke Girls Survival Guide
  • Are the stereotypes of Canadians actually true?
  • The latest blogging scam I’ve seen going around

I’ll probably sprinkle in some daily life stuff in there as well. Because, why not pour my heart out to the internet? WordPress is a whole lot kinder than the real world. I will take suggestions to, if anyone has any.

Oh, also, please note that if you email me it might take a few days to get a response back to you. I typically respond to every email that I get, I just get sidetracked. Especially now that I am healthy again, my computer isn’t being turned on as often.

PODCASTS:

Before I share these links I just want to say that my voice is something that I’m often very insecure of. I have a very soft voice, naturally, and people use my voice as a means to judge me as unintelligent and ditzy. So, if you do listen to either of these links, please keep in mind that I’m not trying to talk quietly… that’s just my voice.

Geneva (from CerratoMom) has a podcast that I was a guest on this week. Click here to listen to our converation. We talked about a lot of different subjects, and if I’m being totally honest, it’s a lot of me talking over her, accidentally. Sorry G! Do give it a listen, if you have time. And do have your volume on high because each of us have an extremely soft voice so you’re going to need high volume to hear us.

Bradley (from ColdBrewCalls) has a podcast that I was guest on late last year. Click here to listen to our conversation. We speak about many things, from being a millennial to job hunting to travelling and much more. I quite enjoyed the conversation, and it is a long one. Give it a listen if you’ve got some extra time.

If you have a podcast and would ever be interested in having me take part, shoot me an email at millenniallifecrisis12@gmail.com.

Happy Birthday

It is Knight’s birthday today. I know he’s not a big fan of birthdays and that he does not want anyone else knowing, but I can’t help it. I’m grateful for this day and his existence.

Happy Birthday, my love. I don’t know much about this life but what I do know is that, whatever souls are made of, yours and mine are meant to be.