My Teeth Hurt :(


I went to the dentist tonight.  I haaaaaate going to the dentist.  And let me be clear… I don’t hate the dentist.  My particular dentist hasn’t done anything wrong, and all the dentists at my dentists’ office are actually quite understanding and respectful of the sheer amount of anxiety I go in with.

I’m also understanding of the fact that I am being a mega baby, and that my reaction to even having my teeth cleaned must make the hygienist feel terrible.  The wincing, the pulling away, the tears, the forgetting to breathe (yeah, that happened, the hygienist had to remind me to breathe)… you know… I can’t imagine they make her feel good about what she’s doing.  She just wants my teeth and gums to be clean and healthy, and I’m really grateful for the benefits that cover that.  It’s EXPENSIVE!

Please allow me to explain.

I’ve never really ENJOYED going to the dentist… I assumed it was a universal feeling.  However, I’ve spoken to people who absolutely love it because they LOVE that clean teeth feeling.

I, however, guess I prefer dirty, built up teeth…. it’s my personal philosophy that if ovens can be self-cleaning, why can’t my mouth?  (yes, I’m aware of how ridiculous that sounds)

When I was a kid, my Mom used to have to hold my hand through all dental procedures.  Tonight, after going to the dentist for a cleaning, I called my Mom who lives 4 hours away… and asked her to come down in two weeks to hold my hand through a filling.  She laughed at me…. probably for good reason.

I had a ROUGH experience with braces — 3 years of an abrasive, mean orthodontist who called me a baby when my gag reflex would kick in.  Three years of her leaving wires too long in the back of my mouth, and then telling me to tough it out when I would go in with bloody, cut up, swollen cheeks.  Those things, combined with many awful retainer fittings (I vomited on my orthodontist once… told her I was going to, she told me I was a baby and I needed to get over it), and a jaw condition where my jaw locks open, cracks, and gets very sore, have left me with some mega ‘dental anxiety.’

I had a cleaning this afternoon after work.  It was painful!  Letting someone dig tiny, sharp, metal hooks into my gums is not the way I want to spend any day.  It was kind of a bizarre experience, though… my dentists’ office has started offering fresh popped popcorn in the waiting area while you wait to be called in for your appointment…. so the entire time I’m having my teeth cleaned, all I could smell was popcorn… and all I could taste was blood.  Strange!

Long story short, because I don’t need to gripe about every single part of having my teeth cleaned… I have a cavity.  I was really hoping to not have any, because the needle is the worst part about the experience.

Due to the level of anxiety experienced during the cleaning, both the hygienist and the dentist suggested that my next appointment be done with the aide of nitrous gas.  I’m not sure how I feel about that… because I feel like there’s still going to be pain… but maybe there won’t be streaming tears?  It’s the needle I can’t do…

Before I wrap this post up, I feel the need to express that I don’t typically get overly anxious about too many things.  I mean, sure, I have a bit of anxiety over some things, but nothing like the dentist.  There was a time when I had significant anxiety over pretty much anything that could go wrong.  High school was rough.  I literally made myself sick.  Like… Mom took me to the doctor several times and the only thing multiple doctors and an ultrasound could come up with was “you need to chill out.”

Through much prayer, and much focused effort on ‘chilling out,’ I have gotten much better… but the pain from the dentist feels like it’s always going to make my heart race and cause me to forget to breathe laying in the chair.

What about you?  Is there anyone out there who actually likes going to the dentist?  Why?  Is it the clean teeth feeling?

Anyone feel my pain on the dental anxiety?  What do you do to conquer it?

Lastly… Has anyone had nitrous gas for their dental procedures?  I think I’ll be trying it for my next cleaning.  I may try to champ it without it for the filling in two weeks, though… the dentist said it’d take ten minutes without the gas, and twenty with it.

 

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You’re Not Alone.


I was driving into Cambridge yesterday and I witnessed an absolutely glorious sunset.

I’m a sunset kind of girl, myself.  I witness a mere handful of sunrises in any given year, because personally, I think life starts better at noon…. With that in mind, it’s certainly not the sun coming up that fills my heart, but rather the sun going down (since I’d rather not be awake while the sun is coming up…. ever).

I’ve been following Holley Gerth for a while, as a blogger and an author.  I have a couple of her books and I read each and every new post, faithfully.  She’s a fantastic writer.  Check her out.  But I digress.

I was driving, as I mentioned… which means that in Ontario, it’s illegal to whip out a cell phone and take a picture of a spectacular sunset.  Not only is it illegal, it’s dangerous.  I’m not saying I’m innocent of it, but especially when the roads are snowy, it’s not a risk I was interested in taking.

So instead of taking a picture with my camera phone, I took a picture in my brain, and I’m going to try to paint you a word picture.

I crested a hill.

To the West, the sky was turning a dazzling array of spectacular colours that I’m not sure I could name if I tried.  There were pinks, reds, blues, oranges, purples, grays… all of which blended together to create an almost divine glow.  Yesterday had been pretty much clear ~ hardly any clouds.  The very few clouds there were in the sky all seemed to congregate in the West, and they hovered just above the setting pinky red glow of the sun.

I went into a dip and around a bend, and I lost sight of the sun, though the clouds — now turning a deep shade of royal purple, were still visible.  When I came back up and crested another hill, it was all I could do to stay focused on the road.  I knew I couldn’t take a picture, but I had to keep reminding myself that I also couldn’t just gaze at the glory.

How clear does God have to be sometimes?  I’m here.  I’m everywhere.  I’m in the sunset.  I’m in each moment.  I’m with you.  I’ve got your back.  I felt so safe.  I felt so secure.  I certainly didn’t feel alone.

God’s there.  God’s everywhere.  And I find a lot of times, I don’t really even need to look that hard.

Holley Gerth has us writing for Coffee For Your Heart this week, and the topic was “You’re Not Alone.”  I gotta tell ya… a God that paints that kind of a picture just to put the sun to bed… He’s clearly got things to say, and I don’t think a single one of those things is “you’re alone.”

Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

Split Perspectives ~ Snow Day


I woke up this morning to the abrasive sound of my obnoxious text message ring tone, twenty five minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off.  It was my student teacher.

“I heard on the radio that all buses were canceled today, so I looked on the board website and it says all schools are closed and the transportation is canceled… what does that mean??”

At 6:35 am, my heart exploded with joy.

“Michaela* my dear, it means go back to bed!”

And that’s what I did.  I got up, went to the bathroom, and then crawled back into my warm, toasty bed.  The dog didn’t even stir… she stayed curled up in a tight little ball at the foot of my bed.

IMG_3081*(this picture was taken later, after I woke back up… it was dark when I went back to bed the first time :p)*

Sure, before I fell back into a blissful sleep, I updated Facebook and texted a few of my coworkers to make sure they knew, but I mostly drifted back into a lovely, deep sleep.

I slept until 10:30, then did a few things around the house before going out to tackle the mess that the overnight snow had made of my driveway and sidewalk.  While I was out, I was very grateful (for one of the only times this winter) that it has been so frigid outside.  When it’s not frigid, the snow comes down heavy and thick, full of moisture, and it takes forever to move with a shovel.  Every time that kind of snow shows up, I’m always just a little envious of the neighbours beside and across from me who have snow blowers.  Today, though, the snow slid almost effortlessly across the pavement of the driveway and the sidewalk, and the only trouble I had while shoveling was that I’m starting to now know where to PUT the shoveled snow.

While shoveling, my trusty Canada Post mail carrier came and dropped off my mail, right into my mailbox, her head bopping along to some presumably rocking tunes, and then she plodded on through the piles of unshoveled snow and the snow banks to finish her route.  She moved quickly and with purpose, I’m sure partly because it’s a big job but also because it was freezing cold out this afternoon.  At -16, feels like -25, I’d hustle too.  I thanked her, but I don’t think she heard me through the headphones.

When I was done shoveling, I took my phone out to the snow hill I’ve been creating in the front lawn, I flopped into the fluffy powder, and I took some selfies.  (If you haven’t seen that video I linked there on the word Selfie, please take 8 minutes and watch it.  It’s great.)  Then I took the pooch into the backyard and we played!  We played fetch with some sticks, with some tennis balls she found buried in the snow, and just with the snow in general.  Her favourite game is when I kick snow in her face, and she tries to catch it.  No joke… she’ll just stand in front of me and stare until I kick snow in her face.

IMG_3032 IMG_3039 IMG_3050IMG_3017The rest of the afternoon I’ve spent chilling.  I watched a movie, and now here I am.  Blogging.

WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge this week is to write a story from multiple perspectives.  So here are a couple more Snow Day perspectives!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christine’s alarm went off at 6:45 am.  Time to get up, get the kids ready for school, and get to work.  She got dressed slowly.  She was exhausted from the day before.  Working two jobs to pay for private school and the after school care necessary to let her work two jobs was set to kill her, she was sure.

‘Only a matter of time,’ she thought, as she plodded into the kitchen.  She switched the news on in the living room to listen to the weather as she made lunches before waking the kids up.

“All schools closed and all transportation canceled due to inclement weather.”

“NO!” Christine ran to the window.  “I have to go to work!”

Sure enough, the phone rang a minute later.  It was Jen, calling her part of the private school phone tree to let Christine know that because the public schools were closed, so were they.

“Do you want to take my kids for the day?” sighed Christine.  “I have to go to work, and my parents are in Jamaica.”

“I can’t!  I’m so sorry!”

“That’s ok… I guess I was kidding,” Christine sighed.  “I’ll find somewhere for them to go.”

She called all around, finally finding another Mom who happened to be able to work from home.  They had daughters in the same class, and Sheila was happy to take Christine’s daughters until 3:30, when the babysitter would pick them up from Sheila’s.

Christine woke her girls up, got them dressed, packed them games and some snacks, and dropped them off at Sheila’s before heading off to her first job — delivering mail for Canada Post.  She liked the job, but it was awfully cold outside and she dreaded the fact that as she started, she doubted many houses would have shoveled their sidewalks, driveways, and porches yet.  It was going to be a long day.  Waitressing to finish off the night would be busy, she was sure.  No one ever wants to cook on snow days.  It always seems like a good day to go out.

Christine picked Samantha and Luke up from the babysitter’s at 7:30.  She took them home, gave them baths, and put them to bed.  She flopped into bed herself and read until she fell asleep.  What a long day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Madeleine woke up to her blaring alarm at 5:15 am.  She had her math exam at 10, and even though she went to bed at 2 for all the studying she’d been doing, she sincerely felt like she needed to study some more.

“Don’t over study,” her teacher had explained.  But he didn’t get it.  He didn’t know how much anxiety and stress this stupid exam was causing her.  He didn’t understand how difficult she found math.  He just didn’t see the hours she spent crying in frustration over her homework.  He didn’t get that no matter how hard she tried, she just wasn’t going to understand it.

She thought if she could just study for a couple more hours, she might get it.  She might be able to handle this.  She downed a protein shake, and by 5:30, she had set everything out at the kitchen table, ready to study.  She crammed everything she could into her brain for an hour and a half, and then started to gather her stuff up to go have a shower and be ready to catch the bus to school.  Her Mom came out of her parents’ bedroom with a big smile on her face.

“Honey,” she exclaimed!  “It’s a snow day!  Sweetie, you can go back to sleep!”

Madeleine burst into tears.  Everything she’d just crammed into her brain would not be there tomorrow, and she’d have to do this all over again.  She hated how hard math was, and she ran to her bedroom in tears to curse this stupid snow day.  No one got it, not even her Mom.  She cried herself into a fitful sleep, knowing she’d just have to keep at it whenever she woke up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please note that Michaela is a made up name for a real person, and that Christine, Jen, Samantha, Luke, Sheila, Madeleine, and her Mom are all fictional characters invented for the sole purpose of this writing prompt.  I made them up.  Cool, huh?  This is my brain not on report cards.

How to Free a Sex Slave


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So this picture speaks for itself here.  January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month….

And if you’re anything like me, the idea that there are children being sold into slavery and sex work, not just in other parts of this world, but also all around us… that idea makes you want to vomit, and you feel really helpless.

Just over a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to The Exodus Road, and informed me that they were looking for bloggers.  Naturally, I jumped on that chance… and here I am.  I’m sharing information with you today about what it takes to free a sex slave.

Matt and Laura Parker, who both work for The Exodus Road, wrote an article together for Relevant Magazine about what the process is like to get a sex slave out of their awful situation.  I encourage you to read the entire article.  It’s powerful.  You’ll have to create a Relevant account to read to the end, but it’s worth it.  Do it.

Here are two excerpts that really hit me:

“For the criminals, any arrest or prosecution is disruptive. Legal fees, jail time and loss of business make the sale of humans a less lucrative trade. Regardless of the verdicts, raids and arrests send a message to the local community that sexual slavery is not acceptable. When we apply pressure to the trafficking mechanisms from a legal standpoint, we slowly force modern-day slavery into the category of higher risk and lower reward. This is potentially one of the greatest steps we can make as a community fighting this injustice.”

“Every day, I find myself wishing that rescuing a sex slave was a simple, inexpensive, quick process. But it isn’t. It might take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire army to free one.

So here it is… please read this.  Because I can’t say it any better than this. (click the picture)

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Also, possibly of note to you:  The Exodus Road has signed a band called Remedy Drive as their first artist.  I’d never heard of them before, but I checked out their website and gave their stuff a listen, and I have to say I liked what I heard.  I encourage you to check it out.

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And finally, a few quotes to let you reflect on the heaviness of this situation (geeky side note:  Anything said by Abraham Lincoln has to be worth its weight in gold, right?):

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Mirror Mirror


Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances? (WordPress prompt)

I have to be honest.  I wasn’t going to write this prompt (it’s from two days ago).  It strikes me as just the kind of thing that takes away from my One Word for this year (value) and makes me focus too much on outward appearance.  But I came across some pictures that are a few years old today, and they pretty much broke my heart.  Let me tell you why.

I don’t like to put too much stock in appearances.  Or at least…. I like to think that I don’t like to put too much stock in appearances.  But I think that when I am really honest, I actually put a lot of emphasis on it.  And it bothers me how much emphasis I do seem to lay there in my life.

You see, here’s the deal…. I’ve written about my struggle with weight before.  I’ve written about my struggle with self esteem before… I’ve even tried writing love letters to my body…. I’ve struggled with both of these things fairly consistently since I was 8-10 years old, and it pains me to admit that, but it’s true.  And I don’t know how to fight it.

Sometimes it feels like the voices in my head that tell me I’m fat and ugly and not worth anything have gone away… and then sometimes they show back up, and they pop back in, and they mess with my brain, and they make me want to hide.

Today is one of those ‘I want to hide’ days.  I truly do.

I was going through some pictures in iPhoto, trying to select some that I needed to print for a Grade 1 Science project for tomorrow.  I scrolled too far back, and ended up scrolling through the pictures of trying on bridesmaid dresses for my Mom’s wedding… almost three years ago.  If you’ve been following my blog at all, you know that I recently had a bit of a debacle with dress fitting… because my brother’s getting married and I’m in the wedding party… and I’m a size 18.  Well, I found these pictures from when we were trying on dresses for my Mom’s wedding… of me in the dresses I was loving life in… because I was thin.  I hadn’t done it properly… I know that… but I was thin.

IMG_0724 IMG_0743 IMG_0748

But I still thought I was fat.

I remember being very self conscious that day because my arms were flabby and I still didn’t like my legs.  I look at the pictures now, and I wonder how I ever thought it would be a good idea to trade that body for food… but that’s precisely what I’ve done, because now I need to start all over, and I want to… but it’s so disheartening to know that I did it once… and now I have to do it again.

I don’t know what the solution is other than to give it back to God yet again, and to ask Him to help me see my own value.  And I’m not saying that isn’t a good idea… I know that’s a good plan… I just wish I could stay rooted there.  I never seem to stay rooted there… and then everything comes sneaking back.

I know I’m supposed to be seeing value here… but I’m struggling with that tonight.

So… long story short, yes, I suppose I do put stock in appearances… but more in my own than in anyone Else’s.

I am feeling defeated tonight.  Please pray for me.  That is all.

Security.


My house feels like the safest on the block tonight.  I am currently dog-sitting my Mom’s dog, Keisha.  I also have a dog, Kloë.  I know, neither of them seem fierce….

And neither of them look fierce….

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But when they bark when someone’s at the door, I feel very safe.

To boot, I had a rather fancy alarm system installed tonight… the kind I can control from my phone, from any computer… you know, that kind.  ADT had this fierce deal on and it was too good to pass up… so I can now monitor all kinds of things… from my phone.  Anywhere in the world.

It makes me wonder though a little bit where our security is wrapped up.  Because, since I don’t live in a fantastic neighbourhood (my street’s ok… but the riff raff doesn’t hang out far from here at all), it would be pretty easy to wrap my trust up in my security system that will blare at the first sign of someone intruding… or in my precious dog who will bark like nobody’s business and would likely deter anyone just cruising to pick up a TV or something.

But is there something better?

I think there is.

I think that while having a good security system is a good investment in a semi-sketchy neighbourhood, I’m better off placing my trust in Jesus.  After all, the stuff in my house is just stuff.  I feel safer knowing that my life and the life of my precious pooch are protected a little more now, but at the same time, I don’t want to place my trust in earthly things over trusting in God.

Just some post-installation rambly thoughts.

What comes to your mind when you think of the word “secure?”

Because for me… I’m glad my Hope is secure.  That makes me far happier than an ADT Security system ever will.

I’m the Worst Blogger EVER


So this is a NaBloPoMo Month… and I haven’t written a single thing in just over a week….

Except, you know, the 30+ solid hours I’ve spent writing report cards (that’s a rough estimate… I lost count somewhere over the weekend).  I had reservations about starting a NaBloPoMo in January, knowing that report cards would do me in…. but I thought nah, I can pull this off.

Well, I’ll be back in full force tomorrow, because I’m happy to announce that as of 7:30 pm EST this evening, I finished writing my report cards!!

Hopefully tomorrow’s prompts are fantastic, because my brain is officially fried.

Anyway…. I’ll be back.

When you’re a really little fish in a gigantic ocean


I went into downtown Toronto yesterday to go bridesmaid and wedding dress shopping with my brother’s fiancee and the rest of the bridal party (I’m a bridesmaid).  I’m not a city girl, by ANY stretch of the means.

I drove from my town to the nearest GO Train station and left my car in the parking lot.  It was a little over an hour on the train, and to my shock, I’ve discovered that while I become violently motion sick while moving if I read in most other forms of transportation, I can read quite happily on a train.  I read for a glorious total of 2.5 hours yesterday with all the time I spent on trains and subways.  I think, if I ever had to take a job in the city, I’d move closer, but not that close… just close enough to take the train.

I made my train by a measly 4 minutes, which if you know me at all is not acceptable, and I felt quite at odds about it.  Once I was settled into my seat on the train with my open book though, I was much happier.

I arrived at Union Station and Roseanne, the maid of honour, was to pick me up at Front and Bay street, but if you’ve been downtown Toronto lately, you know that Front Street by Union is pretty blocked off because Union Station is completely under construction.  Roseanne had trouble finding me.

Once we finally met up, after I’d waved off many hopeful taxi cab drivers and explained to very many random wanderers that no, sorry, I have no idea where the aquarium/York Mills/whatever is… I don’t really even know where I am…. we were able to proceed to our first appointment.

We went for lunch after the first place, and it was delicious!  If you’ve never been to Artegelato on Bloor, I recommend it.  Good panini, and the gelato looked AMAZING!

We then traveled all over the city, between the downtown core and North York and back again.  Traffic sucked.  There were SO MANY LIGHTS!  There were SO MANY CARS!  There were so many angry motorists who weren’t driving properly, and then got really angry at those who were!  People trying to turn Right, stuck at red lights behind people going straight through (who obviously can’t run red lights) would honk incessantly until the light turned green.  Motorists going straight through would honk while waiting in line behind someone turning left, who obviously couldn’t just turn left into a steady stream of Bay Street traffic.  Drivers would just drive down the middle of two lanes.  Drivers would sneak up in closed construction lanes, bike lanes… really, wherever they could.  It was insane.  I’m beyond glad that I wasn’t driving.  There would have been tears.

By the time we got to the last place, I was exhausted and my self-esteem had taken a huge hit while dress shopping, so I was already edgy and nearing tears.  We did four appointments between 10:30 and 3.  Nutso.  At each appointment, I found that each store only carried my size of dress (18) in two or three styles, and so trying to try on different styles was like trying to stuff a big, fluffy, Queen-sized pillow into a cheap twin-sized pillow case.  It wasn’t working.  At one point, one of the staff at the last place we visited handed me a size ten dress and expected it to work.  I hadn’t looked at the tag because I assumed when I told her I was a size 18, she’d understand that that meant probably the smallest dress I’d be able to get my hips into would be a 16.  Maybe a 14 if it were forgiving.  This conversation actually happened while I was in the dressing room.

As she kept trying to open the curtain, she says “Laura, are you ready?  Need help?”
“No, this dress is a size ten, it won’t go past my mid-thigh.”
“Put it over your head!  I’ll hold it closed for you!”
“I’m an EIGHTEEN!  Putting it over my head isn’t going to work.  My chest won’t fit.  My waist won’t fit.  My hips won’t fit!  It’ll be a really awkward shirt, and I may never get it off again!”

Luckily, despite my not being a size ten, we had tons of time at the last place and were ALL able to find our dresses!  Super exciting.

This is where the fun starts, though.  I had plans to meet my cousin downtown at the Eaton Centre for dinner, and that means I had to navigate Toronto’s transit system all by my lonesome.  I’ve taken Subways, I’ve taken buses, but I’ve never been left to figure it out all on my own before.

I left the last bridal store on Sheppard, which unbeknownst to me is technically in North York, and I started walking the direction I thought I needed to walk to get to the Yonge-Sheppard Subway station.  I was texting my cousin as I walked… even though to my dismay, I left the bridal shop with a mere 29% battery life.  I asked him to text me instead of iMessage so that I could turn my 3G off to save battery, but for whatever reason it wouldn’t work, and I was only receiving his messages as iMessages, so I HAD to leave my 3G on.

It was rainy, it was damp, and the wind picked up through the day yesterday, so it was rather chilly walking through the streets of North York in the dark by myself.  I felt like I was walking out of civilization… which I wasn’t, it just didn’t look built up like I thought it should when I was supposed to be walking toward Yonge Street.  I was actually walking toward Rexdale and Brampton, turns out… because I was walking West and not East.  It would have been a very long walk had I not recognized the fading signs of big city life compared to the quieter buzz of suburbia.  I imagine I’d have clued in by the Allen Expressway if I hadn’t figured it out sooner :p

As I was walking, I got swamped by a TTC Bus… and let me assure you, when you see it happen in the movies, they’re not exaggerating it.  A bus drove through a giant puddle of muddy, icy water and sprayed it all over me.  It ran from my hair onto my neck, down my back, and soaked my leggings and coat.  My purse was soaked.  I was soaked.  And now I was chilled.  And I was lost, and quite frankly at this point, I was scared.  This attempt at independence I had made was not working well, and my poor cousin was waiting at a mall for me.  I felt bad for keeping him waiting.

Found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmuffins/5465619890/
This picture was found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmuffins/5465619890/ I do not own it, and I did not alter it.

Thankfully his phone had much more juice than mine, and he was able to look up transit routes for me.  He explained that I needed to get on the 84 bus going East and take it to the Sheppard-Yonge Subway station, take the Yonge-University line going South, and get off at Dundas, and he’d meet me at the Subway.

I finally saw a bus.  It was an 84 bus!  I had hope!  I ran across Sheppard at the cross-walk and flagged down the about-to-depart bus, got on in the nick of time, and made my incompetence known immediately.  This conversation with the bus driver actually happened:

“Thanks for stopping!  How much is it?”
“3.00”
“Ok.. *I fish change out of my purse.*  Where’s it go?”
*she points to the change intake thing.*
“Thanks!” *I put my change in the thing, and out pops a ticket*
*she hands me the ticket.*
“Is this my ticket?”
“yes.”
“thanks.”
“where do I need to get off if I need to go to the Eaton Centre?”
“Sheppard Station ma’am.  Step behind the white line, please.”
“ok.  oh.  ok.  Thank you!”

My cousin is still texting me subway instructions at this point, and asks me if I got a transfer ticket.  I look to the unsuspecting woman I’m sitting beside, hold up my ticket, and ask “is this a transfer ticket?”  She nods.  I tell her I’ve never done this by myself before.  She smiles and says it takes some getting used to.

I managed to get off the bus at the right station, and I managed to get into the subway station.  I found the first person dressed in a TTC uniform, and asked him to tell me where I needed to go.  He brought me to a map, where I was made keenly aware of just how far away from the actual city’s downtown core I really was, and he very kindly explained to me exactly what I needed to do.

This picture was found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/8320951638/lightbox/ and was "posterized" in Picasa to hide faces.  This picture does not belong to me.
This picture was found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/8320951638/lightbox/ and was “posterized” in Picasa to hide faces. This picture does not belong to me.

I texted my cousin to let him know I was off the bus and at the subway station, and then I planned to text him once I was on the subway to tell him I was leaving, but I had no service for like ten minutes!  I turned my phone off for a little bit to save some power.  By this point I had 16% battery life left.  I turned it back on after about ten minutes, only to find that I had a text from him saying “u ok?”  I assured him that I was, told him I was on the subway and would be there soon, he told me he’d meet me by the doors at the Dundas station, and I told him I was turning my phone back off.

Luckily, I was able to find him, and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see a familiar face in my life.  He gave me a big hug, and then as the stress released, it hit me that I was in fact quite hungry, and needed to eat.  We went into the food court, and I purchased a meal that was far too large, and couldn’t finish it.  Then, I made the very wise decision to go to the Telus store and purchase myself a car charger for my phone so that I’d have it when driving after returning to my car.  The last thing I’d want would be to break down on the 403 at night with a dead phone.

We had a nice visit, and decided that on a Saturday in the near future, I’d come up to Toronto for the day, and we’d see some of the sights and do some of the cool things the downtown has to offer, and I’m looking forward to that.  I feel like I can handle the GO train, and I can handle the Subway, but without my cousin texting bus instructions, I don’t know what I would have done.  Walked to Brampton, maybe?  Died on the streets of North York?  Who knows?  I’m being dramatic, of course, but I was getting quite scared.  If I hadn’t had battery dying issues, I’d have just Google Mapped my course, but I wanted to make sure I had at least some battery power in case I had an emergency.

The biggest thing I learned through this entire ordeal is that I am not cut out for big city life.  I very much enjoy that my city takes 15 minutes to get across, and that while the drivers here are also idiots, I feel much safer at home.

It was an experience…. one that may have shaved a year off my life due to how tense I was.  At one point I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry or vomit…. or do both… and then I couldn’t decide what order I’d do them in.  I was stressed.  It did, however, give me an opportunity to pray.  I asked God to help me see where I needed to go as I stood in the lobby of an apartment building trying to get warm, and regrouping my thoughts trying to figure out what to do.  Just after I walked back out the doors to turn around and walk back East, I saw the 84 bus on the other side of the road, and I booked it.  It had to be divine intervention that the crosswalk let me walk just as I needed to to be able to catch that bus.  I don’t know how far apart those buses run, but at the very least, I knew I wasn’t going to die on the streets of North York.  There was hope.  And in that moment, that one thing was enough to get me going again.  Thank the Lord.

As I watched all the people around me moving seamlessly on and off the bus, then transferring to Subways without any hesitation, I very much felt like I was on the outside looking in on a totally different culture and way of life.  Big City living is not something I’ve ever had to navigate solo, and while I will try it again to go meet my cousin in the city, I will make sure I have a charged up battery, that I bring my charger with me (an outlet at a Tim Horton’s for 20 minutes would have saved a LOT of trouble!), and that I’ve planned my routes out ahead of time.  Never again will I assume that public transit “can’t be that hard” when you’re a teeny tiny little minnow swimming in a sea full of really experienced, gigantic…. whales?  I think that’s about how small I felt yesterday.  A minnow in a sea full of whales.

 

 

 

** The photos used in this post are licensed for use by Creative Commons.  I do not own them, and I was not endorsed for using them.**

My Sanity Comes Before NaBloPoMo.


I’m taking a blogging break until Monday.  Too much going on this weekend.  It’s legit cray cray.  Like… I might lose my mind.  I’m stoked to be going to Toronto ALL DAY tomorrow to spend some time with my brother’s fiancee and her wedding party (which I’m in) doing some dress shopping, and then meeting a cousin for dinner.

I’m also feeling like it’s necessary to spend some time on the other blog I run for the Camp I work at all summer.  It needs some loving this weekend, and I promised I’d take a solid chunk of time for it this weekend, but that was before the all day in Toronto on Saturday happened.

I know January’s a NaBloPoMo month… but… oh well.  My sanity comes before NaBloPoMo.  There’s no time.

See ya Monday 🙂

My Biggest Fears


I’m gonna have nightmares after I write this post.  I shall make it brief.

WordPress’s 365 Days of Writing Prompts says, “You’re locked in a room with your biggest fear.  Describe what’s in the room.”

If I were locked in a room with my biggest fear, there’d be centipedes crawling around all over the floor, probably up my legs…. moths flying overhead, probably landing on me…. and there would be multiple June Bugs stuck in my hair, buzzing incessantly while they squirm to get unstuck.

Oh, and I’d be alone and childless.

You know, no big deal.

AAAHHH I need to stop.

That is all.