Monday, 9 July 2018

Best Friends Aren't Always Forever

Being in my late twenties, I thought I had naturally evolved past toxic relationships. That kind of stuff was supposed to be so high school. I had convinced myself that I was living my best life. When catching up with old friends, I would brag about my adoring boyfriend, my stimulating job, and my academic endeavours. I would also explain how I was living such a mature life, free from childish drama and toxicity. I seemed to be trying to convince others that I had the good sense to only foster friendships with those who enriched my life. But, that wasn’t true.

You see, I had this friend whom I met shortly after moving to a new city (let’s call her “Marie”). We met through social media and immediately formed a bond. She showed me around town, invited me over for coffee, we even got matching tattoos. It wasn’t until a year or so into our friendship that I started noticing red flags. Looking back on it now, I see that I actually missed several red flags over the course of that first year, but the pleasure of having a close friend in a new city blinded me to the cracks in our relationship.

I was first introduced to Marie’s unforgiving side during a Halloween party last year. In a nutshell, a mutual friend (we will call her “Diane”) showed late to the party causing Marie to erupt into a volcano of insults and foul language. Marie left the party and for the remainder of the night, Diane received a myriad of texts in which Marie called her a terrible friend, instructing her to “rot in hell.” That night, I resolved never to make Marie angry. It was apparent that, should I want to keep our friendship afloat, I would need to bite my tongue from here on out.

Marie and Diane stopped talking after that. I was friends with both of them so it was difficult for me. Because Marie didn’t have any other friends in the city, I gave my time to her time instead of to Diane. In hindsight, I see that Marie’s lack of friends in a city she’d grown up in should’ve spoken volumes to me.

Following the Halloween party, I walked on eggshells around Marie. I didn’t have the energy to fight with her if I were ever to slip up. I’m sure you’re thinking I was foolish for not cutting ties with her at that point – and I was. I was too focused on the fact that I had made a new friend as an adult – something I find extremely difficult – and I wasn’t going to take that for granted.

Eventually, I did cut ties with Marie. We got in a heated argument one day and I made a decision to stand my ground. It wasn’t pretty and I definitely could have handled it better, but I needed my sanity back. 

I guess by recounting this tale, I am trying to say (in a very convoluted way) that we deserve better. This story is not meant to convey that Marie is impossible to be friends with, nor is it meant to convey that someone who doesn’t fit in your life won’t fit well into someone else’s. It’s just to say that some people don’t mesh well with others, and that’s okay. If there is someone in your life who feels toxic, don’t feel guilty about distancing yourself. It is crucial to your mental health and well-being to rid yourself of those connections. Life is too short to foster toxic relationships. 
My relationship with Marie was exhausting. We brought out the worst in each other. Ending our friendship made for a very trying couple of months, but I knew I deserved better. And so did she.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Vituary - Jeff Haley

Jeff Haley

I first met Jeff Haley when a friend brought him to my bff’s birthday party.  He had long hair, was wearing a band hoodie (if I remember correctly), and didn’t say much.  Obviously, my brain told me that I wasn’t cool enough to talk to him.

It’s been, like…..twelve? or so years since that party.  And I’m still not cool enough to talk to Jeff Haley.  But, God love’em, he talks to me anyway!

Like a true BAMF, Jeff lives in Qatar, has an awesome job, travels the world, meets new people, and grows his own mah’fuggin’ veggies.

He’s as genuine a person as you’ll ever meet and he attracts new friends as if he’s a human friend magnet.  He’s kind and giving and sincere, and anybody who knows him can certainly attest to that!

Jeff, man!  It’s so awesome to see you living life to the fullest.  Most people should really take a page out of your book and start grabbin’ life by the you-know-whats (myself included).  You’re a super cool dude with a super cool attitude and it’s just super cool to know you.





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late 14c., "death," from Middle French obit or directly from Latin obitus "death," noun use of past participle of obire "to die," literally "to go toward" (see obituary). In modern usage (since 1874) it is usually a clipped form of obituary, though it had the same meaning of "published death notice" 15c.-17c.
plural vitae, Latin, literally "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."


While recently watching Rex Murphy’s tribute to my late father, I was saddened that my father wasn’t able to hear Murphy’s wonderful words.  I’ve decided to write pieces that are dedicated to telling the people in my life how great I think they are.  I call them “Vituaries.”  

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Vituary - Hilary Alteen

Hilary Alteen

 I met Hilary in elementary school.  She wasn’t in my circle of friends, but I liked her an awful lot (still do!).

Hilary was the type of girl that could be classified as weird, solely for the fact that she liked what she liked and didn’t care how that made her look.  I can’t tell you how much I admired that.

I remember one time in particular, in Grade 6, we had a gym class outside in the field behind our school. 


Some backstory: I started shaving my legs in Grade 5 because I thought it would make me cooler (ha, it did… for about a month).  I had to figure out how to tell my step-mom about it, so I decided to grow out my leg hair, pretend I hadn’t shaved my legs before, and then ask my step-mom about how to shave my legs for the first time (for some reason I thought she’d be mad if she knew I’d done it already).   Taking a page out of the Hilary Alteen book of “Do It ‘Cause You Like It”, I wore a skort to school while I was growing out the hair on my legs.  It was a cute skort, dammit!  I wanted to wear it, leg hair or not!  But my friends weren’t long making me feel embarrassed for doing so. 

ANYWAY, outside in the field, I noticed Hilary in her shorts, running around with her pals, leg hair majestically blowing in the wind, and I thought “God damn, I need confidence like that and I need friends like those.”

Hilary has grown into an amazing person, but she hasn’t lost that amazing eccentricity that makes her so adorably Hilary.  She lives her life for her, not for ‘Likes’ on Facebook, not for followers on Instagram; she does what makes her happy because it makes her happy.  She lives her life the way I wish I had the confidence to live mine.


Hilary, it’s been a long, long time.  We didn’t speak much in our later school years, but I never stopped admiring you.  You are an incredible person and I’m so delighted to see the person you’ve become.




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late 14c., "death," from Middle French obit or directly from Latin obitus "death," noun use of past participle of obire "to die," literally "to go toward" (see obituary). In modern usage (since 1874) it is usually a clipped form of obituary, though it had the same meaning of "published death notice" 15c.-17c.
plural vitae, Latin, literally "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."


While recently watching Rex Murphy’s tribute to my late father, I was saddened that my father wasn’t able to hear Murphy’s wonderful words.  I’ve decided to write pieces that are dedicated to telling the people in my life how great I think they are.  I call them “Vituaries.”  

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Vituary - Julie Smith

Julie Smith

Anybody who is part of a blended family (my mom would correct me right now and say “it’s a blending family, because it’s always a work in progress,” and she’s right), knows how tough it is to grow up in a house with people who are not part of your biological family.

However, it helps when some of those people are like Julie.

I spent the better part of my teenage years trying to be like Julie.  I colored my hair and stole her clothes and listened to the same music she did.  Even still, I knew there was no way I’d be as cool as Julie Smith.  I mean, c’maan.

Part of what makes Julie so awesome is her love of life.  She loves a cold beer and a good party.  She also appreciates a long hike and a breathtaking sunset.

Julie is heart-wrenchingly proud of her roots; she’s a Newfie to her core, which is something my dad adored about her (as do I). 

Most admirable of all, perhaps, is her enthusiasm for her role in taking care of two of the most wonderful little girls I’ve ever met, as well as the love she shares with Allan (that we all can’t stop swooning over).

Bottom line, Julie Smith is a kickass human who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She has a gargantuan heart, an infectious laugh, and the best collection of band shirts in NL.


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late 14c., "death," from Middle French obit or directly from Latin obitus "death," noun use of past participle of obire "to die," literally "to go toward" (see obituary). In modern usage (since 1874) it is usually a clipped form of obituary, though it had the same meaning of "published death notice" 15c.-17c.
plural vitae, Latin, literally "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."


While recently watching Rex Murphy’s tribute to my late father, I was saddened that my father wasn’t able to hear Murphy’s wonderful words.  I’ve decided to write pieces that are dedicated to telling the people in my life how great I think they are.  I call them “Vituaries.”