What’s the cure for loneliness?

I cannot remember if I’ve asked this before on this blog. I’m just lonely and I cannot shake it. No matter what I try to do. No matter how much I try to distract myself. I’m just abundantly aware how alone I am at all times.

As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice sometimes to be able to cheers with someone sitting across the table. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to watch a stupid movie and hear someone else laughing in unison. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to have someone show up.

Thursday Thoughts.

Things can be both good and bad at the same time.

Dealing with the bad, in any way that you know how, does not mean that you don’t appreciate the good. Nor does it mean that you don’t recognize the good.

Problems are not a competition. Someone will always have it worse. That being said, just because someone has it worse, does not mean that your problems are invalid. Everyone’s problems are valid. If someone makes recognition of their problems, that does not mean they cannot see good. It just means that the weight of the world is a lot to carry some days.

Privilege is subjective. While I consider myself to be extremely privileged in some ways, there are some ways when I envy others. Whether it’s looks, health, economic status, family status, access, etc, etc, etc… there are plenty of reasons we’re all privileged. There are also reasons why we’re not. And that’s okay. I just want to live in a world where we can recognize our privilege, use it to help others, and have others recognize their own privileges and use them to help.

Looking after your mental health is the best thing you can do for yourself. If your head’s not right, everything else in your life will fall apart.

It’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to feel like your life is falling apart. Sometimes it is, when you’re on the inside looking out. If other’s can’t see that, you don’t have to explain it to them. You can try, if you think they’ll understand. But, if they don’t, it’s not worth getting angry about. It’s hard for people to see life from someone else’s shoes.

If things aren’t okay, that’s okay.

If things are okay, I’m happy for you. I also hope that it stays that way.

I don’t know where I was going with this. That’s all, I guess.

I don’t know how to title this other then to ask, what the hell?

There’s a story that’s making international news right now that I’ve refrained from commenting on for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason I haven’t wanted to talk about it is because the family is going through a lot with loss, and the entire world playing amateur detective and hacking their digital profiles. So, for that reason, all I’ll say is this thought I’m about to ask is related to the case currently making international news tied to Wyoming and Florida.

If your child is potentially involved in a crime, how do you react?

If your child is potentially responsible for a really heinous crime, and they say ‘hey I’m going to go hiking’, do you say ‘Okay, be home for dinner’? Do you try to stop them?

I just don’t understand.

I’m not a parent, so maybe that’s why. But, if your child did something horrible, do you protect them? Do you make excuses for them? Do you help them disappear? Or do you turn them over to authorities?

Virtual Education

So, I have been taking a class for several weeks now (I don’t even remember how many) that was supposed to be a one off, but has since snowballed into what I think is quickly becoming a full business program.

This is not important to the story, but my boss wanted me to take it. Since work is paying for part of it, I obliged. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to take, but I won’t say no to education!

So, the first professor was/is great. He understands my work schedule, he understands the stresses of being in school in general, without the full-time job tied to it. He’s just… chill. He’s my kind of a professor.

The second professor, she’s cynical as all hell. She’s giving me major flashbacks to those entry level courses everyone was required to take in first year of university. (Yes, I know that sentence alone showcases a lot of privilege) She’s questioning everyone. She doesn’t care about stressses of being a student. She doesn’t care about people who are also working. She doesn’t seem to care about anything beyond her rules.

The second professor, she has a rule that we’re required to have our webcams on the entire class. The problem is, she records these sessions. She’s recording them and she’s not giving them out to people to look back on. So she’s recording them and keeping them… for something? Who knows. Who cares what she keeps it for.

I DO NOT like being recorded.

It’s a thing for me. I worked in PR too long, I know the nefarious things that have happened with recordings. I have, myself, been responsible for burying recordings of people. I have, myself, been responsible for turning over recordings of someone for a criminal investigation. I don’t like recordings of me existing. I’ve seen too much of how the sausage is made, and I just… am not for it.

What if I wanted to become a spy? I basically would need to wipe my existence. I can do that if some professor has all these recordings of me.

What if I wanted to become a criminal? I don’t need her turning over videos of me that people could use to study my behaviour.

What if I just really don’t like being recorded? Why can’t she just… tell me I can turn my webcam off?

It really doesn’t matter why. If I don’t want to listen to her lectures with my webcam on, I really shouldn’t have to. It’s not like I’m taking an exam. I’d understand if they waned to see me to ensure I wasn’t cheating. It’s a lecture/discussion class. My mic and webcam don’t need to work in sync. I can use my mic without the webcam.

If I do end up taking all of these courses, I’ll probably run into this more and more. I know I need to chill and just go along with her rules. I just… think her rules are stupid. You should not be required to be recorded in order to complete a course.

A note for the hospital protests today

There are scheduled protests in front of hospitals in every major city in this country today and I’m just so fucking angry.

So, let’s teach the important distinction between two words:

RIGHT – a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way. Example: You have a right to not get vaccinated against COVID.

PRIVILEGE – advantage granted or available only to a particular person or group. Example: You have a privilege to eat at a restaurant. If you do not follow the rules, they can deny you entry. You don’t want to wear a shirt? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to pay for your food? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to show proof of vaccination? They can absolutely deny you the privilege of eating there.

A right for everyone is not the same as a privilege for those that comply to the rules in place to create a free and safe society.

You don’t have a right to a driver’s license. You have the privilege to obtain it, if you study for the test, follow the rules of the road, wear your seatbelt, insure your vehicle, etc, etc…

You don’t have a privilege to eat at a restaurant if there’s a potential you walk in with the bubonic plague and could spread it throughout everyone in the building. The restaurant can accommodate you, if you have the bubonic plague, by offering to have your food delivered to your front door.

You follow me?

This morning whilst scrolling Twitter before work, I saw a note from a Doctor in which he was pleading with people to not protest in front of a hospital. Why? Because the people in there being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace. Another comment noted that health care workers, who’ve largely been carrying society as a whole for the past year and a half, have really difficult jobs. Really, really difficult jobs. And standing in their way, is going to make it so much harder for them to protect all of us, like they’ve been doing for so long now.

In Ontario, the Premier actually had to threaten the general pop to not block ambulances trying to get into the hospital today because he’s so damn worried these protests he cannot stop will block someone from being able to get life-saving treatment.

If someone is in the hospital, for COVID or other reasons, regardless of what brought them there, they deserve the privilege of medical treatment. They need the privilege of medical treatment. They don’t need a bunch of assholes who don’t understand infectious disease, our health care system, the economy, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, trying to block them from someone who could save their life.

If you want to protest because your privileges might not be as plentiful due to COVID, go to a government building. Stand outside your MLAs office and protest. These are the people who can actually shape the way in which our country responds to this crisis. A doctor doesn’t make policy. A nurse cannot dictate laws. They can save your life, though. So protesting the very people who are, or will be responsible for saving you, just makes you an uneducated, inconsiderate donkey.

While we’re here, let’s talk about discrimination.

DISCRIMINATION – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

I hear a lot of people saying that those who are unvaccinated are being given unjust treatment because they’re choosing to not be vaccinated. What exactly is unjust about what’s happening right now? An unvaccinated person cannot go to a hockey game? It’s not as if you can’t watch the hockey game on television. An unvaccinated person cannot get on an airplane? Why don’t you drive your personal car there. An unvaccinated person cannot eat in a restaurant? Well, if you like the food that much, why don’t you order it to be delivered?

There’s a giant fucking chasm between centuries of discrimination of people because of who they are (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) and some entitled assholes in 2021 who think that society owes them the privilege to spread disease freely, without restraint.

Your privileges will never be rights. NEVER. EVER. EVER.

My privileges will never be rights. Privileges are privileges, whether you’re vaccinated or not.

You are not being discriminated against for choosing to not get a vaccine. You can still eat restaurant food, you just can’t eat it in the restaurant. You can still go on your trip, you just have to drive instead of taking a plane. You can still protest, please just smarten the fuck up and don’t do it in front of a hospital. If you catch COVID, you’re going to need to rely on those very doctors and nurses you’re so vehemently, grossly, disrespecting by protesting in front of their place of work.

If you want to protest because you feel that your privileges should be rights, well I’ve been alive 32 years and you didn’t seem to care about it before 2020, but hey, please go to the office of your local MLA.

Or you could, you know, just stay home and not be a selfish C***.

While you’re at home, maybe you could even read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s some good stuff. Possibly consider putting your money where your mouth is. If you want to protest the altering of privileges because of vaccination status, take a look at your other privileges while you’re at it. Because if this is that important to you, you might as well swing for the fences – get a lawyer. Fight the rules in place that say you have to insure your vehicle to have the privilege of driving. Fight the rules in place that say you cannot drink alcohol before you drive. Fight the rules that say you have to put on clothing to cover your genitalia before you go for a run through your neigbourhood.

Do I sound ridiculous? Good. So does protesting in front of a fucking hospital in the middle of a pandemic.

Society does not owe you anything if you’re unvaccinated.

Society does not owe me anything for being vaccinated.

Society is merely trying to adjust privileges to protect the masses as best as humanly possible through a global pandemic, in hopes of being able to operate as openly as possible. This is not 2019. The world has changed and we need to change with it.

If you’re going to a hospital to protest today, how about you just move the protest to an MLA office. Or, just stay home. Those doctors and nurses and health care workers don’t need your idiotic, selfish arrogance disrupting their ability to save lives. And the people who are being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace.

The relationship advice you didn’t ask for, don’t need and I’m dolling out anyway. Deal with it.

I’m in a mood. So, here goes:

If he doesn’t answer your phone calls, that’s a problem. I’m not talking a one off or a once in a while. I’m talking every call. Every single call. He ignores them only to call you back when he’s alone. There’s a reason he’s not answering your calls, whether he admits to it or not.

If he’s only willing to speak with you when he’s alone, that’s a problem. Is he trying to hide that he talks to you?

If you ask a simple question and he responds with anger, that’s a problem. Also a pretty good inclination you won’t be getting an answer from him.

If he inconspicuously disappears on weekends, that’s a problem.

If he has a million excuses as to why he cannot see you, but never any reasons why he can, that’s a problem.

If he says he’s going to show up and he doesn’t, that’s a problem.

If he says you’re being overdramatic when you ask him to spend more time with you, that’s a problem.

If he lashes out at your standing up for yourself, that’s a problem.

If he frequently gets angry enough that he doesn’t talk to you for days on end, that’s a problem.

If he lumps you in with ‘everyone else’ when he’s complaining, that’s a problem.

If he says he’s there for you, but he’s never really there for you, that’s a problem. A problem that you’ve likely heard 1,000 different excuses for.

If he doesn’t want you to know where he lives, that’s a BIG PROBLEM.

If he treats you like a customer, not his girlfriend, that’s a problem. You deserve to be with someone who’s proud of you and proud to be with you.

If he’s lied to you in the past, then gets angry with you for questioning him, that’s a problem. When trust is burned, it has to be earned back, and that doesn’t come with him intimidating you into accepting everything he says as word.

If he’s not willing to try, for you, that’s a problem. If he’s not willing to make an effort, for you, that’s a problem. If he gets angry with you for acknowledging that lack of effort, that’s a problem.

You deserve to be treated properly. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be an equal in a relationship. You deserve to be made to feel special. You deserve the moon, and a person who truly loves you would want to do everything in his power to give it to you. You deserve communication, and laughter, love and happiness. And if you keep running into problems, don’t let them slide, no matter how angry he might get.

Asking to be treated fairly is not a lot to ask for, and asking to be treated fairly should NEVER be an inconvenience. You’re not asking for yachts and diamonds and gold encrusted gifts. You’re asking for someone who answers their damn phone, and visits you when he says he’s going to, and tries to help make your life better.

Canadians – Listen Up

Early voting starts today for the September 20th Federal Election.

What does that mean? That means if you don’t want to go stand in a crowded room on September 20th, you can go today.

Early voting is September 10, 11, 12 & 13th. You DO NOT need a to provide a reason for voting early. If you don’t want to vote on the 20th, then pick one of the next four days, whichever works best for you. Grab your identification with proof of address and go vote.

Election day is September 20th. If election day works for you, please put it in your calendar to make sure you vote on the 20th.

Just pick a day, one of the listed days, and go vote. Please. Don’t skip it. Don’t throw away your vote. Go. Vote.

Visit https://elections.ca/ for any information you might need about your specific riding and where you need to go. Also listed on the Elections Canada website is all of the information about COVID precautions being taken at the voting booth. All you have to do is put in your postal code.

Please go vote. Don’t make me ask 100 times over.

And to anyone who might say, or think, that an individual vote doesn’t matter, stop thinking that way. The riding that I live in was decided by 137 votes in 2019. 137, that’s it! Not 1,000. Not 1,000,000. It was decided by 137 people. Could that margin be even less this election? Could that margin be wider given how COVID changed things? Who knows!

If you listen to nothing else I say this year, please hear me when I say that you exercising your right to vote is an important piece to a well functioning democracy.

Edibles are not that good.

One of the reasons that I’ve never gotten into weed is because the smell is a real turnoff for me. I can’t get passed it. I liken the way I feel about the smell of weed to the way the majority of the earth feels about the smell of skunk spray. That’s how much it gets to me.

Edibles, they get you with edibles. There’s this promise of having the incredible after-effect of THC/CBD, without the weed taste or smell. All they really seem to do with edibles is mask it with the smell and taste of a different strong ingredient. (Such as pieces of candy cane) The problem is, that underlying taste and smell is still there. If you bite into it, you’re going to get hit with that candy cane first, but that underlying taste of weed is there. And it’s strong. And it lingers in your mouth/throat for HOURS after the fact. That’s the hard part. I could probably deal with the disgusting taste in one bite if that’s all it was, but that taste lasts.

It seems like a lot of inconvenience for a very small amount of benefit. I’m just not a weed person, I guess. I don’t understand why people like them.

Disclaimer: Weed is legal here. It’s about as easy to get as a bottle of wine. These opinions of mine are not intended to promote, or obstruct, any opinions people might have of weed. Follow the law where you live.

Scattered recollection of the past couple weeks

Monday, August 9th – The day that I believe I contracted COVID. I had no idea at the time. It wasn’t until much later, that I thought back that this was the point in time it probably happened. It happened at work. We were taking what we thought were necessary precautions.

Friday, August 13th – I woke up with the world’s worst headache. I’m prone to headaches, so I really didn’t think much of it other than how annoying it was. This headache was on a whole different level than regular headaches. Due to the headache, I didn’t go into work. I worked from home, but ended up signing off my computer in early afternoon. I napped on-and-off through the weekend. If I’m being totally honest, I napped most of the weekend. Another thing that I didn’t realize at the time, but is important to the story is, I turned the air conditioning way down in my house (to make it 10 degrees colder).

Monday, August 16th – I still had the headache. It seemed to have only gotten worse over the weekend. Because of the headache, I worked from home. It was a long, awful day that I barely made it through. At the end of the day I sent a text message to Marla and asked her what she typically used for headaches because I was out of options and didn’t know what else to do, short of going to see a doctor. She offered an over-the-counter pain killer called ‘Aleve’ as the suggestion and, desperate to try something new, I went to the store and got some.

Tuesday, August 17th – Headache still lingering, I again worked from home. I got notification from one of my coworkers that they had gotten a COVID test the day before, and that their results had come back that morning and they’d tested positive. Immediately, I became very scared that my headache wasn’t just a headache. I called to find out when I could get tested, and I went and got tested a few hours later. I told the person administering the test that I was fully vaccinated and that, the person who’d told me they were positive was also fully vaccinated. We’d both gotten the same type of vaccine.

*Point of note – several other coworkers also went and got tested on Tuesday, as a direct result of the coworker who’d told us they’d tested positive.

I don’t think I slept at all that night. I was nervous. I was anxious. I had convinced myself that I was going to die. It was an agonizing night. My anxiety was on high-alert and I was in a consistent state of panic.

Wednesday, August 18th – I got notification that I tested positive. I was mad. So fucking mad. I got angry. I threw some things. I cried for several hours. Then I started piecing together the past couple weeks of my life trying to backtrack to where I would’ve gotten it, as well as if I’d possibly been near someone else and could’ve given COVID to them.

All throughout Wednesday we received the news that each coworker who had gotten tested had, in fact, tested positive. Our regular staff group chat became all about our anger, frustration and anxiousness of what could be coming our way.

When each of us backtracked to when it could’ve been that we were all in the same place, we all kept coming back to Monday, August 9th.

During one of the periods of which I was bawling my eyes out, I realized that my headache wasn’t a regular headache, it was early signs of telling me that I was sick with COVID. I also realized that, when I turned the air conditioning down in my house to make it ten degrees colder, it wasn’t hotter outside. My house wasn’t any hotter than it had normally been. If anything it was colder because we’d had some very rainy days. When I was making my house even colder than normal, I was overcompensating for how hot my body temperature was. I likely, at the time, had a fever but I didn’t notice it because I was so focused on my headache. I also had chalked up my tiredness/sleeping for a lot of the weekend to the headache, when in reality, I was too focused on my headache and not realizing that I was very lethargic.

Had my coworker not tested positive, I never would’ve considered that what I was dealing with was COVID. It didn’t cross my mind, because I’m vaccinated. I wear a mask everywhere. I stay away from people, or so I thought I was staying far enough away from people. I was of the belief that if I had COVID, I would have the regular symptoms that people have been talking about for the past year and a half. In reality, because I’m vaccinated, that just isn’t/wasn’t the case.

Friday August 20th – I learned that the COVID was Delta Variant. Immediately I became more nervous then before. I was extremely anxious. My mind spiraled out of control and I cried a lot that day.

And here we are.

I’m doing much better than I was last week.

I am okay. I am still sick, but I am okay. There were several days when I was so uncomfortable and so sick that all I did was cry. Out of fear, out of frustration, out of sadness, out of stress, out of everything.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned throughout this entire experience it is that I shouldn’t let my guard down. A vaccine is an added layer of protection, not a cure. While I am extremely grateful that I am/was vaccinated, it’s not 100% protection. Due diligence is still required to stay healthy. So long as COVID is running rampant throughout society, I will continue to wear my mask, carry sanitizer with me, obsessively change my clothing if I come home from being out around people, and to guard my inner-circle. I don’t want to deal with this again.