What Makes You Happy?

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What Makes You Happy

 

I haven’t written in a long time, part of me felt like it was maybe because I’ve been doing better. I haven’t been feeling as depressed. My life had seemingly come together, even if just the slightest. I always told myself that when hockey ended, I was going to become an author, a literary wizard; I was going to write every day now that I had a bit more time. Well, hockey’s been over for about six weeks, and I am just starting to write at 10:56PM Easter Sunday.

Sure, I’ve been busy with things in the meantime, but if anyone knows me, busy, is not an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the means to do it. Busy doesn’t exist in my world. It’s not because I don’t ever do anything, in fact, that’s probably quite the opposite. I probably have more going on than most folk. Actually, I could almost guarantee that. I just don’t feel the need to let everyone know how I preoccupied I am. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. It makes me sick when people say they are too busy.

Why? I remember years ago, my sister tried to chat with me through Facebook, through simple Internet chat… and, I recall looking at the messages, the message read something along the lines of hey, call me when you got some time, want to know how college is going. I looked at it, thought, meh; I’ll call her later… I am busy. I never called her. And, I don’t know if I ever talked to her again. She committed suicide a couple of months after, and I’ve never been too busy since.   So when people tell me, they are too busy. It doesn’t sit well. At all.

So, to say that I haven’t been writing, because I have been doing well, or because I have been doing poorly… I don’t even know the answer. Sometimes life has a tendency to just happen, and just leave me trapped in the motions that I just can’t comprehend the appropriate emotions, and feelings.

I know that writing provides me with the single most joyous experiences of my life. So, you would think it’s easier to do so. But… for some reason, it’s been getting more difficult, and for the first time, I feel like my writing is actually good. In the past, all I did was write about how I felt. That’s it. There was no scientific method to it; there was no English specialty behind it. Simply, just how I felt. I have such a difficult time re-reading my pieces, for a variety of reasons… mainly because I feel such a huge disconnect with the person who wrote that very piece, but also because… I think it’s shit. I looked earlier, and I have posted 47 entries to GAB. This being 48. I can honestly say that 1 was of quality, Your Move Chief. So, as much gratification as writing brings me… I don’t know if it’s from the actual writing, or the feedback. As pathetic as this may be, I seek so much approval, and accreditation, from… whomever, predominantly from my mom, and from my fiancé…. It’s pathetic, if I don’t hear anything within a day or so, I am texting those two asking what they thought… It drives me crazy that I do this. But… I do. And, I can probably recap every single compliment, or piece of positive feedback I have received from my blog. There is truly nothing, and I mean NOTHING more gratifying than when I hear about people who have read my blog, and find comfort from reading. Whether, I know them or not. I spend so much time wanting to write, then I spend such little time actually writing, and I conclude with spending even more time looking for approval on my writing. From, my family… my fiancé… my best friends… my friends… strangers… When, I receive this, it’s pure happiness. Joy. Elation. You know that feeling where you just can’t wipe that smile off your face. This is the only time I’ll feel it. So you’d think I’d write more, with this being the case. But, truth is… I think I have become a bit scared. My unrelenting life standards have once again trapped me with failure. Where, I need simple accolades. However, that’s slowed down significantly. I don’t know if it’s because my writing has gotten stale, or the content has. Or maybe, I am just without the random viewers from Europe. Or, perhaps, the people who have already graciously patted my back don’t feel like they need to tell me good job every single fucking time. Though they shouldn’t. However, I feel like, unless I get that… I am failing. I want to know what every single person thinks of my writing, even if they think it’s complete crap. I just want to know… because; I think it is too, I can’t even find myself appreciative, and satisfied with my own work.

So, in getting to the point of this entry… the great folks at Mind Your Mind proposed the question, what makes you happy? I thought about it for a long, long time. There are so many things that I enjoy, so many. But, to label them as something that makes me completely happy would likely be false. I think at any point, doing makes me happy. Regardless, of what it is that I am doing. I think sometimes you can find temporary joy in that, and I do. But, I tried to really think of something that makes me truly happy. True joy. I almost couldn’t think of anything, till I thought about writing, then I thought about all of the positive feedback I have received over the two years, and the people I have been able to help, if even just to help them temporarily. This has brought me pure joy, and continues to do so. It’s the only thing that allows me to feel self-pride, and self worth. Regardless, of the success I have at work, or in coaching sports, or my daily life even. I always seem to be stuck wanting more, and eventually get a place where good just isn’t good enough. But, with writing, that’s different. Even, if I receive two notes about my latest post, to me it was a success, and it provides that feeling. That feeling where I can’t stop but smiling, even if it’s a random stranger at an arena that says, “hey, you’re the guy that writes that mental health blog” … Yes, I guess so. These are the things that keep me ticking, and continue to remind me just what it is to feel joy, and to feel good.

You just hope that somehow you can find a way to enjoy, accept and appreciate your own bravery and work. Sometimes there is just far too much pressure on writing purely for the audience, and hoping to help them find joy, and hope. I need to find my own first.

Rest easy, and rest happily Max. I hope you can still find some time to read my blog, and I hope that you’ve found true joy.   I know you and Jen are hanging out as we speak. Listening to music, watching over us, and laughing at us.

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Starting Over – My First Christmas

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Starting Over – My First Christmas

A lot has gone since we last spoke on this blog, Amanda and I moved out of Discovery Ridge early in December and into a brand new house in Mahogany.  We’ve been here a few weeks now, and are slowly beginning to get settled in, we have a few more boxes of I don’t even know what left to sort through, but we’ll get there.  The home is beautiful, I couldn’t be happier with it.  We have a lot of work to do in the spring with the yard, a deck and a fence but I am looking forward to all of that.  One of my favorite things about the new house is the office space/2nd spare bedroom upstairs, it’s the one space in the home I am allowed full control of, and I love it!  For those who have read this blog in the past, you know that writing for me is sort of like a ritual, I need music, I need dim lights, I need incense, I need a lot of stars to align to be creative. In a one-bedroom condo, it was difficult to do all of that without being a nuance to someone else.  Now, with the extra space, I am able to get away and do my writing pow-wow more often.  It sounds stupid, but the new home has been much more conducive to my writing.      …I hope I just used that word properly; “conducive” has become my favorite word lately.  My mom will let me know if I used that incorrectly I am sure, haha.

I hope everyone is prepared, and excited for the holidays coming up in a couple of days.  I am a little bit of everything, excited, scared, nervous, sad, the whole works… once again.  Springtime, leading up to the anniversary of Jen’s passing, and December are usually the hardest times of the year for myself, and my family.  This will be our sixth Christmas, and New Year’s without her, and it will be my first real Christmas without Jen.  Scratch that.  Now that I write it out.  I’m petrified.  The year Jen passed away, my mom, Brody and I set out to Cuba last minute, I believe we left Christmas day.  It was the best thing we could have done, cause I didn’t have to see Christmas really at all.  We flew home on New Years day.  Again, it was great cause I didn’t have to see traditional new years back at home.  Years since I’ve been in Hawaii, with Amanda and her family, and last year with both of ours.   That was also great, because you were completely distracted from the holidays here at home.  If we flew out on Xmas day, Terrific, I missed it all again.  If we didn’t, well, it wasn’t as bad cause you were usually so busy preparing for a 2-week trip to Hawaii that you didn’t really notice it as much.  And, in Hawaii, sure we still celebrated Christmas, we had dinner, exchanged gifts, said Merry Christmas.  But we did so in our shorts and flip flops, in 28 degree weather, at a Hawaiian pub.  It wasn’t real.  The people around were doing the same thing, nothing really changed.  It was wake up, coffee, newspaper, breakfast, and beach and then onto some activity, everyone did the same thing there, you never really saw Christmas, so to me it wasn’t really Christmas, it didn’t feel like it at all, new years the same thing.  I was able to avoid it, year after year, and I truly felt as I woke up on January 3rd, or 4th, after the dust had settled, I felt like I had won.  I beat the holidays.  The 3-4 weeks before the holidays, just like the 3-4 weeks before May 7th, you work yourself up so much wondering what it’s going to be like, that you almost psyche yourself out, and that becomes the most difficult part.  When it’s over, and you’re still breathing, you’re still alive… you feel like you’ve won, like you just beat someone in a battle that took nearly a month.  You came out on top.  Christmas and New Years has always been the same thing, Usually around Jan. 3, Jan 4 once it’s all done, I don’t feel like I have to hide from the holidays anymore, I realize that I survived, and maybe, just maybe it wasn’t all that bad.  I feel completely victorious, as you would after winning an exhausting battle, even though the battle is with yourself.

Amanda always calls me the Grinch, jokingly because I am so anti-holidays.  The truth is, I do hate them.  Absolutely.  You would too.  You would hate any time of the year that is as difficult for me as the Christmas holidays, and the spring.  We used to always spend every Christmas together, whether in Victoria, or Vegreville.  Our families would be together, and it was awesome.  Christmas was always one of the few times a year I would be able to see my sister when she lived in Victoria.  I looked forward to Christmas so much.  I can remember our last Christmas break together vividly.  We were going to Joey’s in Sherwood Park for dinner, my mom, my brother, Jen, Abbey and myself.  We were meeting my aunt and uncle for dinner.  I can remember the entire drive to Sherwood Park, I remember the conversations, I remember what everyone was wearing, I remember the weather, I even remember the damn road conditions, I remember bits and pieces of the dinner conversation.  I remember exactly where we sat in Joey’s.  The exact table, and I remember where everyone sat.  What I don’t remember, was really ever saying Happy Holidays to anyone, or saying goodbye to my sister.  I had no idea that would be our last Christmas, I had no idea that would be the last time I would ever have the opportunity to hug my sister.  I had no idea.  It was.  I’ll never go to that Joey’s again.

This is why I hate the holidays.  I’m afraid of them, I want to skip them all together, if not at the very least completely avoid them.  As I mentioned before, I’ve done a bang up job of doing the latter.  But, this year… There is no escaping.  I am here.  I am stuck, I have nowhere to go, I have nothing to distract myself.  I am going to have to finally face the holidays, and it’s already been a struggle.  I can tell since the beginning of December, I’ve just started to become a bit more stand-offish, I’ve been distant, I’ve been tired, not really motivated.  Just feel like you’re in a complete slump.  And it’s not really helping a whole lot at home when we have a tall task of moving going on.  There have been days where I’ve just come home, and I’ve been completely content sitting on the couch with the hockey game on, and doing nothing, saying nothing.  I’m just completely lost in myself, the hockey game is on, but I’m not even watching it.  I want too.  And, I want to help unpack, or organize things, but I just for whatever reason.  I can’t.  A serious case of the holidays blue’s, if you will… I guess.

A few times I’ve drove to work, or to hockey, or to wherever, and I can see Christmas tree’s in the windows of homes, or families building snowmen, or Christmas decorations.  Usually, I’d think that this should make a person happy, excited, or at the least feel good.  For me, it’s as difficult as can be.  Right away I have flashbacks to our Christmas’ together, whether it’s dinner at Joey’s, or we’re all sitting around the tree in Victoria.  Then, I think ahead to what will happen in a week when I am still here, and It’s Christmas, how the hell is that going to go.  Probably not well.  Then, I begin to psyche myself out all over again.

This is why I hate Christmas, Amanda is right.  It’s not because I just don’t like it, it’s because it’s an extremely devastating time of year.  It’s just… hard.

I’ve been thinking for the last month, what the hell am I going to do when the clock strikes 12, and its December 25th.  Now what.  I thought, well, I’ll go somewhere; I’ll go for a drive.  Nope, I can’t do that, because I’ll see it.  I’ll see Christmas, I’ll see families enjoying it, as they damn well should, I just can’t anymore.   I thought, maybe I’ll just hang out, and just write all day, and watch movies, but then I thought nope, I can’t do that cause I’ll put myself right back into that slumping feeling where I am incapable of doing anything else.  I thought, well, I’ll just sleep, I’ll just play xBox, I’ll go skate at the outdoor rink… I have no fucking idea.  I have no idea what I am going to do.  I thought maybe, I’d drive to Vegreville for the day, and just spend the day with my family there… But, nope, that’s far away.  Really, I just tried to avoid Christmas with the family because of 350 Kms?  … This is how far I am starting to go to try and avoid the whole thing.  I don’t want to leave Amanda at home by herself all day on Xmas day, and I certainly don’t think I want the hoopla of Christmas.

I don’t want to take Christmas away from anyone else.  I believe it’s something every family should celebrate if you can, like I said, it was my favorite time of the year. I’ve just lost that now, and I try myself to keep it all to myself without effecting those around me, in my “Grinch” ways.  Like, Amanda for instance.  She loves Christmas, and I want her too.  She want’s to do the gifts, and the decorations, and everything else, which I great but I just don’t.   But, I keep it to myself.

So this year, Christmas for us will be on Boxing day.  We are going to celebrate it, just a day late.  I laughed at that kind of, thought that’s Jen’s way of compromising with me.  Telling me, Kid, you gotta go through this, but I’ll throw you a bone.  Do it on boxing day, not Christmas day.  Have Christmas Day at your own pace.  I don’t know if it’s her compromising with me, or having a laugh, but either way… I am hoping it helps.

On Boxing Day, my mom, niece, and my mom’s boyfriend Alan will come over for dinner, gifts, and… Christmas.  As too will my good friend Geoff, who has been through it all with me from day one of this year never ending grieving process.  I have to admit, In a weird way,  I am kind of looking forward to it.  I am looking forward to Jan 3 more than anything else, and the days to come after.  This entire blog, I shared with my counsellor, told her why Christmas is so difficult.  She mentioned that maybe this is one of the last steps in my grieving process, and the last barricade of an extremely challenging year.   Christmas was always such a special time for me, then I lost that, then I avoided every one of them.  Now this year, I have nowhere to go, but I’ve had all the years in-between to grieve, and to prepare.  I can’t hide from Christmas forever, so maybe this year, is the year I go through it, and I become victorious on Jan 3 when it’s all over, and from there it’s uphill, Christmas is the last thing I need to conquer.

Maybe I am just being too much of an optimist these days… but this year has not really been conducive to my life.

Bring it on holidays, I guess.

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#BellLetsTalk The Worst Crime is Faking It.

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The Worst Crime is… Faking it. Image

Welcome… Too a few things, first off, back to goneawayboys! I know it’s been sometime since I contributed something more than a half ass article that I wrote amdist my boredom in foreign islands, or in an airplane over the pacific.  But, here I am.  Sounds like it was a really tough break, doesn’t it?

Truth is… I contemplated giving up this blog entirely, and just riding out what it was, this blog and the sunset.  Her & I together.  See ya. Why? I’m not entirely sure.  I felt like there was almost nothing too write about anymore.  I thought,  I’ve wrote so much about my own story, my own fight with mental illness, that what else can I do, except write the same thing over and over again, because, basically, that’s almost how I feel every day… Over and over again.  Or often enough anyways.  And, being a half-ass smart kid, or so I would like to think, I know that the audience doesn’t care much for repetition as much as they appreciate new quality content.  So, I thought… What else can I do?  Welp, the NHL came back.  I thought then, after each week, I would put together my thoughts on the NHL – My viscous opinion after the week that was.   But, then I thought, wait…  nearly >400,000 writers have had that same idea.  What is going to make the opinions of yours truly any more readable then the rest?

Other than… well, what I would write would, likely be 100% correct!  But, essentially, that would grow old really fast, because people would be either a) tired of agreeing with me every single time, or b) simply wouldn’t give a shit anymore.  I’ll tend with the latter.

I have also been long thinking, that since its February, and apparent Mental Health month, depending on you who you ask… It could also be heart month, or limb month.  Either which way, I choose its mental health month, though, for me, every day is.  I do appreciate such  initiatives that are looking to get the word out.  Especially, the words that are mental illness, and, for that, I sincerely applaud Bell.

I continually go back and forth right now between, Twitbook & the fridge.  Twitbook is my reference to facebook & twitter, which have now become one and same annoying usage of social media, though, I disgruntle at times. I am the worst for it.  Fridge, well, beers don’t stay cold on the deck.  Soooo…..  Don’t judge me.

I’ve made a few posts regarding this #BellLetsTalk day, and I have changed most of my pictures on the 17 different social media sites to that of my sister; Jen. Simply, too remember her, and too show everyone her smile, and how beautiful she was.  As most of you know, from hopefully reading this blog, Jen committed suicide back in May of 08. May 7th. 2008.  No matter how many Sunday mornings I claim are the worst day of my entire life, nothing even comes close. Nothing. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I even know what I was wearing… Black Mount Royal sweatpants… That I have never worn since, along with a plain white zip-up hoodie… That I have never wore since.  You might wonder why I was dressed like such a slob. Well, I was at one of my best friends place, and we were cruising the net, entertaining the option of house-boating in the coming weeks.  Then, my phone rang.  My interest in house-boating has simply never been the same.  And, of course, I can’t blame my sweater, sweats, and houseboating on what had happened that day… But, if you know, I am annoyingly superstitious… And, these things stick with me, they do.  Maybe it sounds stupid, but I really hope you just don’t get it. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.  I remember my Uncle Jeff was the one that called me, and told me I needed to go home ASAP. Didn’t give two fucks what I was in the midst of.  That’s when I knew something was wrong.  My uncle and I have a typical boys relationship.  We chat every now and then, and when we are able to meet with each other, we do and it’s great. Thus, when he called me telling me to get home ASAP, I knew something was fucked up. I don’t think he had ever called me before. Ever… Skip the part where I break down, and throw 9 atavans in me…I had found out my sister had committed suicide.  You want too talk about a shitty fucking day.  Fuck me. I am terrible for being that guy, that when something bad happens, I immediately resort to the prototypical “OMG WORST DAY EVER” No… And, then I instantly feel my teeth, or my body hurt and I know its Jen kicking me. Her way of telling me, like fuck kid, get over it. Don’t be that guy.  You whiny, selfish weiner… And she’s right.  I hate myself for acting like that.  That was the worst day. That was the shittiest day. I can’t fathom another day worse.  And, it’s not like a pretty white dove came and sent the message peacefully, and all was good.  No, It was my mom, who too this day, I will knock out each and every tooth you own if you argue me that you know a stronger person…. Anyway, it was my mom, she came in through the garage, walked… Hmm, I suppose it was 12 feet. I was sitting on the couch, on the right hand side, in the same slug clothing I had on previously, and I remember her, she was wearing black, she kind of just crawled… crawled into the middle of the living room, and she just fell too her hands… and I knew… something wasn’t right.  But, still had zero idea of what the fuck was going on.  I still couldn’t imagine what I was about to be told….  Your sister killed herself…. And, crash. My mom fell to the ground, my Dad (the tough fuckn’ bullrider) who knew tried to comfort me, but I just immediately lost it.  I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t take it. Couldn’t believe it. I had all these other pre existing ideas in my head of what was actually happening too our family at the time, and never once did I think it was Jen… I thought she was doing OK? but, maybe, how the hell was I too know? Did I ever care too check in?

If any parents are reading this blog… I want you too imagine this, while you think you’re the shit cause your child has the latest… Well,  You are told on a friday night, that your daughter, your fucking daughter has just committed suicide. Hey, happy friday. Guess what.  Now, you must go turn around, drive along the lovely paved highway till you get home, and you must tell your 18 year old, and 8 year old that there sister passed away.  Now? How? What? … No? Fuck off.

… Yes. I still to this day, do not know how my mom did that. I don’t know. I know this though, she is the single strongest human being I have ever met in my entire life, for being able to do so. And, she didn’t try and hide it, she didn’t try make it cute.  She told us. How the hell….  Think about this one for a second.  And, if anyone knows my mom.  If for a second you don’t think she is one of the best… Do me a favor…  Grab your two front teeth, knock them out, and go give her a hug.  No one deserves one more.  Even if this was 4 years ago.  No parent in my mind should have too worry about passing along the news of a passing child, let alone, after that have too be the one too break the news to the little brothers.

Sweet fucking crocodile rock.  I can’t imagine. I can’t.

It honest to fuck, took me 4 years to believe it. FOUR YEARS! There are times even today, and yesterday, where I still didn’t really believe it. Maybe that’s why people think I have done such a good job dealing with this, that combined with, I just do my best not too talk about it ever.  Which, I know is wrong.  But, I feel like, the rest of the world will stop and care for your tragedy for a maximum of 2 days… While, you may struggle the rest of your life, I feel like people only understand, care, and pity you for 2 days max.  Not that I want anyone too pity me. EVER. Please don’t.  But, you know what… That day, and my sister is someone and something that cross my mind daily.  Maybe one day, when we are out for a beer, or a coffee, maybe just ask, How I am…  Ya’ know,  I know, as the other fella.  That may be the most difficult question ever, how do you ask that…. But there are times, and nights, where nothing else is on my mind.. I’d be enthralled to give you an answer… I know it happened 4 years ago for you, and everyone else.  But, for me and my family… It’s every day.

….. It’s hard.   Anyway, I said I was going to skip the details because I didn’t want too exhaust too many atavans, but I managed to write, and get through those few lines without taking any! Can you believe that.  It may have took me almost over an hour to write that… But, I did it…. Right, and that’s a step in the right direction.

For a lot of my life, particularly since Jen passed away suddenly.  I have denied almost…. Well, everything basically, and thought I have tried my best to come too terms with what had happened, obviously I couldn’t, and I don’t think I ever will.  And, I tried my best too get myself back on track, and though, I think I certainly leveled that challenge out, depends how you do define back on track…. But, do I go a week without falling back in my own depression, do I go a week without thinking about my sister, do I go a week without any anxiety.  You bet your sweet pineapple; No. I do not. That said,  Nor do I think I am at rock bottom anymore,  I was, and I am fortunate enough to be alive today.  But, though, I believe I may have my depression under control, its still something that I suffer from.  And, though, I may have handled the death of my sister all on my own, without any professional help, with the exception of two complete wieners, I think I have done OK, just OK.  But, there are days, like today, where OK just isn’t good enough.  I still have nighs where I will lay in bed for 45 minutes and I will just talk out loud.  I am talking too my sister, and I believe that she listens to every word, but the rest of the world must think I am fucking nuts.  Seriously. I would!

I have gone to 2 therapists in my life since Jen passed away.  But, too understand what that means, you must understand me. I am, or I try too be a very independent, proud individual, I don’t like too get help. I am a guy. And, I remember going to see a psychiatrist, I don’t think it was long after Jen passed.  But, he was a nice fellow… but, I either just wasn’t ready, or just wasn’t drinking his Kool-Aid, but it was the last time I ever went to a “big dog” and it left a completely sour taste in mouth for the entire experience.  I saw a therapist a few years later at my university, and that was equally as worse, if not more. Actually, it was painful.  It’s was a struggle, it really was. And, you know what, I understand both sides… But, they want me too book an appointmen, say, Thursday at 1:15pm! OK perfect! Can’t wait! Oh gee, me neither! Woo hoo! So, Thursday comes along. Enter the small, dark, plain, gloomy room of Ms. Therapy.

BE READY TO REVEAL ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS AT THE BLINK OF AN EYE SIR!! YOUR APPOINTMENT HAS BEEN BOOKED!!!

“So Blair, what brings you here”

“My mom”

“Oh, really, what do you mean by that?”

“Meh, Nothin”

“Did you mom suggest for you too come and see me, am I the therapist you’ve seen?”

“Kind of, not really, and No”

“Well, what else can you tell me, Blair?”

…. Silence, maximum efforts too collect my breathing….

“My sister”

“Oh! Your sister!” (As if she was expecting the typical my mom won’t pay for my textbooks this semester – story) Tell me about your sister”

… And well, you can imagine how the remaining 7 minutes of this meeting went.  It didn’t last long, my answers remained a word or 3 in length. I just didn’t want too be there.  I didn’t understand why I should tell this lady anything? After all, did she even understand? Or, did she just read a damn fucking textbook and learn what too say?  Because, that’s what pisses me off.  There is a huge difference between truly “getting it” and just “knowing what too say”

Again, I either, just wasn’t ready, or wasn’t drinking her bullshit (denial)

And, since I have talked too no one, except for Microsoft Word, as I continue to write in my blog and spill the juicy details, and that has made me feel significantly better, although unlikely it’s long-term.  It hasn’t quite replaced the complete feeling of nothingness.  But, you know what… There are times, where… I don’t mind that numb feeling that I live with, and I live with it by the day.  Sometimes I wonder, is it better too feel numb, or too feel nothing at all. Or, what the fuck is the difference.

It’s been a tough stretch since we spoke last, but, I do miss you so much Jen, I think about you every day, and there are days where I truly believe that if I just squeeze a little harder, just a tiny bit, maybe you will come back, even if just for a brief chat, I feel like you will be there.  And, you know what… Maybe you are there, I just can’t see you. But, I want too. I want to see that smile.  I want to talk to you, and I want too hear your voice.  I want too remember your voice, Jen.  Please. Come back.

In the meantime, I’ll talk, I’ll talk for both you & I, and I will count the days till I see you again, someday.

God Damnit, I love you & I miss you. So much, it hurts.

– Kid Brother –

 I wrote this entry about 10 days ago as I was boarding my flight home from Hawaii, It took me awhile to post, but I have finally settled back into my routine at home, and here it is for you to read if you wish!   

 Sitting here, in one those gimmick-y massage chairs that you find in the malls, and airports.  Except, the difference is.  I am sitting in this chair because it remains larger than those plastic chairs in this airport, and without my last american dollar bill, it is still leather.  However, I will not waste my last american dollar on a 3 minute massage that will likely ruin my back within seconds.  So, I will sit here, and allow the thing to blink at me, and tell me to put money into as long as I feel comfortable, and sane. Fortunately there is only 3 people within my visibility of this lengthy hallway, that stretches across about 10 airport gates.  Yes, I am finally leaving my beloved Hawaiian Islands and am returning home, to the real world.  It’s been an exceptionally amazing 15 days in Hawaii.  Having spent 10 days in Maui, and the last 5 days in Waikiki on the island of Oahu with my girlfriend, Amanda. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for extended periods of time the last couple years as well.  However, this year, was different and better then all of the rest, despite my 15 days being the least amount of time I have stayed on the islands.   I know, I’ve been pretty lucky.  But, this time, I was able to spend the first few days in a condo, with my mom, grandparents, my niece and my brother Brody.  All of whom, are people I only see a couple of times a year.  Especially, my grandparents and Abbey.

 It was a different vacation, in our condo we had my grandparents, my mother, my 7 year old niece, and my 13 year old brother, and then myself.  Every person was in a different age bracket, and some in Hawaii for their first ever time.  We of course, all had a different idea of what a holiday looked like, and a few times this resulted in some people being edgier then they would be otherwise, but whats a Courchene get together with a little wit, rift and edge.  Probably not a Courchene gathering, at all!  Nonetheless, It was an awesome couple of days, my brother and I spent most of the time together, walking around, hanging out at the beach, boogey boarding and chucking around a half sized water football that I could chuck better then Elway.  But, just being in the company of some people who are really important to me was above all what made the holiday one that I will never forget.  My mom and brother left about 4 days after my arrival, however, my grandparents and niece stayed another handful of days.  Later in the week, myself, my grandparents and Abbey had a nice dinner with the Fedyna family at their place.  This was probably one of the best days ever, and not just on the trip, but in recent memory.  Amanda’s dad was beyond generous, again in housing me probably longer than anyone should, and then as well, inviting my family over and making a terrific surf and turf meal yet.  I can’t remember a time seeing so many people in the same small place, having so much fun, and just being generally happy.  Especially us!  It was awesome.  I wish that my mom and brother would have still been there, to complete the presence of our family, and as well, Jen.  But, I know she was there with us still.  It was just awesome.  I can’t say enough about how special that night was, and how thankful I am too the Fedynas for making it happen.  What made the night even more special, was my grandpa and I having a race in the pool.  My grandpa is in terrific shape for his age (haha) but, he really is, it’s amazing.  He got up and snorkelled nearly every morning.  I snorkelled for about 3 seconds and hated it and vowed to never do it again.  He does it every day. So he is a terrific swimmer.  And, I am not a terrible swimmer, though it certainly isn’t graceful.  I do get to where I need to go pretty quickly in the water.  But, Grandpa thought I would have no chance against him in a race.  And, no one else really took my side either.  2 strangers watching in the pool decided to have a countdown for us, and were apparently betting.  I was pretty confident that I’d beat the man, so I suggested we throw some money down.  Well, much to his surprise and of the strangers husband, I was 50 dollars richer. Thanks Pa.  Nice try though.  I am still too young, and too athletic.  Despite my greek olympian-like figure.

Anywho.  As special as that night was, it concluded their holiday, and off too Victoria the three of them went in the AM.  But, it was an awesome 9 days spending half of that with my mom and Brody, and then more time with G&G and Abbey.  I loved it.  I missed them so much.

Amanda and I headed off too Honolulu together within the next couple of days.  Honolulu is probably one of my favourite cities I have ever been too.  Aside from the pure beauty of the place, the greenery, ocean, mountains…etc,  It’s just a really cool place.  The layout of the island is pretty neat, and the history is just amazing.  Of course, Pearl Harbour.  As well, the military feel too the city is something that I find so cool.  Driving around you’ll see different Air Force Bases, Naval Stations.  It’s awesome.  I love that stuff.  I know that the city is not all the peaches and cream that you see along Waikiki, and at the North Shore.  It can be a pretty tough city, and if I am not mistaking, I believe crime is pretty bad in Honolulu.  And if it isn’t, by the sounds of sirens, and the presence of police, you would never think otherwise.  But, I like Oahu too because it is just a real place.  As much as I like Maui, and some other places I have been.  They just don’t seem real.  To me, Honolulu is a real place.  It’s beautiful.  But, our 5 days in Oahu is coming to a halt here in the next 45 minutes or so as I will board my flight home, and Amanda has already taken off back to Maui to spend another couple weeks with her parents.  But, This has been an awesome trip.  We did a tonne within our 5 days here, Taking in the final round of the Sony Open, Spending probably too much time at the Ala Moana shopping centre, we did a drive around the island after stopping in at the dreadful Dole Plantation Farm.  We went through Haleiwa – Surf City USA, then checked out where the Banzai Pipeline action is, and the surf there was still pretty good.  About 8-10 feet. Then, we just continued driving along the shores till we made it back to Waikiki.  What a beautiful drive.  If I am fortunate enough to come back here, I am going to write off 2 days and just drive around, drive through the different towns and cities, check out the Hickam AFB and the Naval Stations, and again spend an entire day at Pearl Harbour.  I just love Honolulu.  I am sad too be leaving, but I am excited to get back to life, and get back with the Bisons, and see what lies ahead in 2013 for the kid!  Hopefully the year continues to be as great as it has been the last 15 days!

What the hell…. The massage chair beside me just randomly started going off, and no one is sitting in it, or has put any money in it.  Weird.  Thanks for reading!! Aloha!

Blair

@Blairlystang

 

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Early Loser Moment of 2013

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Further & Further into the Unknown

Flight Recorder from Viking 7

Well, Happy New Year to all.  So far 2013 has been rocking.  I have seen already crossed path with more celebrities then I have in any years previous…combined.  That been cool.  Maybe it is some kind of foreshadowing sign of my coming fame! I also enjoyed a few dark chocolate chunk cookies from Cookies By George.  Pretty Cool.  Anyone remember the first thing they ate in 2012? No. Probably not.  I don’t.  Hope everyone enjoyed a safe, and happy new year and concluded the holiday season with smiles, friends & families.

As I sit here on this Air Canada Airbus – En route to Hawaii for my annual vacation, and to start off this new calendar year.  Tough, I know.  I already told you. It’s been rocking!  As I was, I sit here, and first of all, I am absolutely freezing to death, and am puzzled as to why there can’t be even the slightest little bit of heat coming from this plane. I also sit here, thoroughly annoyed of the person who continually rifles off his “I need help right this second” beeper/light.  Whatever it is.  I have never in my life rang it, as I have always been patient, and trusting enough that the flight attendants will make there rounds in due time, and I will get whatever it is I need.  Though, maybe I should ring and get a blanket.  Nah, I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I’ll freeze. Some other people though. Clearly not. K seriously. The same guy has since rang it 5 times in the time it took me to type those few lines. I am starting to think it might just be an annoying child…  In a grown ups body.  I feel sorry for these flight attendants, I certainly could not deal with those people.  Actually, I could.  Here is how.  First, I would scan the situation, see if there is any need for first aid.  Hopefully there isn’t.  Then I would continually walk by the impatient prick, but in the opposite aisle (yes, big plane) and then, I would just continually antagonize the impatient murphy till he gave it a rest.  Kind of like my belief on crying babies.  Lock them in a room, and let em’ cry themselves to sleep.  Don’t worry. I am not a parent. Nor have any plans to ever become one. This is just how I deal with my brothers, Brody & Kyle.  13 & 21 respectively.  Still. Lock the babies in a room, they’ll cry themselves to sleep.   Haha.  Kidding bro’s!  Kind of.  Also, as I sit here on this plane.  I truly think I have the best seat on the entire air bus. Well, second.  Whoever the third person in the seat next to Dallas Green, and Leah Miller…  They might be the luckiest.  But, in terms of space.  I am right in the middle of the machine, and have a pair of seats to myself, with the window.  Across the small aisle is 3 seats, and only one person is in that! I debated whether or not she had the best seat, because she has 3 seats to herself, but then I looked out the window and saw the plane wing, and decided when we are landing in Maui, I will have the best seats as I check out the views.  She will… uhh, check me out while I check out the views.  Boom.   But yes, if you are still wondering about what I just briefly mentioned.  Dallas Green is about 25 rows ahead of me with his lovely looking wife, Leah.  Of course they flew fancy class, Which is cool. If I could, I would.  This is a long flight.  Fortunately, I got seats to my self.  But, seeing those 2 on this plane… Makes me wonder, Surely they have enough money between the two of them they are able to fly on there own, privately to Maui. Or, surely they have friends who can hook them up… Etc.  So, I am slightly puzzled as too why they choose charter.  I know nothing about flying private, so I don’t want to create much of an argument.  So, I will settle for the answer that I presume is the truth, they are flying charter, cause they just want to be normal.  Good for them. Good humble, Canadian kids.  Why can’t the rest be like the best.  Oh, also on this flight.  Mr. Mayor; Naheed Nenshi.  Not sure where he is sitting.  But, the man is somewhere on here. Just a plane of celebrities.  Dallas Green, Leah Miller, Naheed Nenshi……. Me; The Kid.

It was actually quite funny, I am about a big a fan of airports, as I am the Calgary Flames.  I absolutely hate airports. (And, the flames) Few things in life can stress me out like that of an airport.  And, I am not entirely sure why.  I have never really had any scares.  I am always organized, though in my own unique way.  I am always on time and prepared, and I have been on about 200 airplanes, so I know and understand the process.  But, still, it get’s to me.  Going through security, going through customs.  Holy piss.  What a stresser.  Once I get through customs, and security, which almost never do I beep; I am completely relieved.  Feel completely lighter, and relaxed. Then the vacation is on.  The reason I never am excited for vacations, is because I haven’t gone through security yet. Once I get through.  Party On Wayne!!!  Haha.  So, yes. I am walking to my gate, I always go there first just to see where I am going, so I am prepared, then I typically, enjoy a beer, a sandwich, or whatever, Starbucks.  This time, I walk into my boarding room, and I see Mr. Mayor Naheed Nenshi.  I know very, very little about him, and politics in general.  Other than he used to be a professor at MRU, while I was student, and of course, he is the Mayor of the city I live in, which, in itself, should be enough to make me have some interest in it.  But, no.  Though, Of any political figure, I do quite like Nenshi.  He has gone with the times, and is very social, personable, and I love how he utilizes social media.  I do appreciate that.  Being personable is a lost quality for people in positions of power.  However, Nenshi has stuck with it, and is always interacting with us Calgarians.  To me, that’s top notch, and he’ll continue to get my votes.  Any-who.  I was so excited that I saw the Mayor, even though, I have seen him around Calgary a few other times, including the Malcolm Gladwell show.  He’s probably the most famous person I have seen just chilling, other than maybe seeing the rock band P.O.D at LAX 10 years ago.  But, instead of going to talk to the man, and say hi.  I, a victim of this generation, decide to tweet him!  “Hey, @nenshi, have a good flight! I see you in the boarding room, got time for a beer?”  Yes. Creepy, I know.  I tweeted this, while he was maybe 15 seats away from me.  Haha.  Thinking I wouldn’t get a reply, within moments I have a reply.  “No beer for me, but please come and say hi!”  Oh shit.  Now what.  That was unexpected.  A logical person, would have, went and introduced themselves, and said hello.  But, then between thinking, I don’t really want to be that guy, and what would we talk about, I got all flustered and took a different seat.  A bigger, more luxurious seat, and began trying to collect myself.  Well, here comes the fucking knuckled! Sweet Bell Peppers.  Amidst, trying to collect my shit, and stop acting like a 11 year old girl who just saw Justin Bieber. I am buried nose deep into my phone, as per usual, and then, oh man, you know when you just feel someone looking at you,  Yea, I did.  So, I look up, and sweet crocodile rock, It’s fucking Dallas Green & his wife Leah Miller.  I am pretty sure, we made extremely awkward eye contact.  As I can guarantee as I saw them, I burnt a hole staring through them.  So, my loser moment of the year…took… all of 15 hours to happen.  Good one kid.  So, As I am trying to collect myself from being star struck by the Calgary Mayor, one of my favourite musicians; Dallas Green walks by.  Wow, the guy is beeping his “Help me” light again, constantly.  STOP IT. Anyways. I am a huge Dallas Green fan, I love City & Colour, right from his first album. I also enjoyed his band, or former now I suppose; Alexisonfire.  Especially their later stuff, where he had a much bigger hand in the vocals.  My sister was also a fan of Dallas Green, which adds sentimental value for me.  Also, I can remember when Leah Miller was a MM VJ, and I was just in love with her.  So, seeing these two, was pretty cool.  I never knew really if I would ever be a star-struck kind of person, cause I have never really had to find out.  Like I said, I haven’t seen many famous people, and the ones I have seen, I couldn’t care all that much about.  Until, now seeing someone that I do truly appreciate. Yep. I was starstruck.  I think I texted & tweeted everyone I knew, while, I stared at the two of them for ohh, I dunno, the next hour? Haha. Many times, I had to tell myself, deep breaths, they are only people bud. All the while, amongst this, I completely forgot about the mayor, who I was trying to collect myself so I could introduce myself.  I was fixated on the Greens. But then too, I wouldn’t talk to them, again, not wanting to be “that guy”.  Meanwhile, though, I tweeted something about having just seen him, and mentioned @cityandcolour, and then my girlfriend tweeted me, mentioning both him and I.  And, while I was still completely staring at them, He was on his phone quite a bit, and I wonder if he saw those string of tweets… And, thought, What the fuck. Haha.  The poor guy. Sorry. Awkward. So, yes.  Apparently I do get star struck, or at least did that time.  It completely threw me off guard! Not fair.  Oh, and then I instantly changed my iPod “Now Playing” playlist to that of City & Colour.  Haha. Loooooooosssser.

I will most likely get off this plane as fast as I possibly can, and will try and find a spot next to them at baggage claim, and again, not say a word, but just blatantly stare at them.

As I mentioned, Definitely my loser moment of 2013 already.  I don’t think I could surpass this in the next 300 & some days, even if I tried.  Maybe at some point in the next 4.5 hours of this flight, I will go up there and ask him if he wants the bag of peanuts I got.  I don’t know, maybe they don’t get those snacks in first class, and all the guy wants is a normal dudes baggy of salted airplane peanuts.  (I think I just surpassed my loser moment already)

I don’t even remember Jan 1/2012.  Jan 1/2013 has already been an absolutely hilarious, fun day.  Though it is only 7pm. Or, wait. No. I am somewhere in the air, so I have no clue of the time. But, lets hope today really is a sign of things to come for the new calendar year.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope the new year does bring you everything, or almost everything that you wish, and pray for, and most of all, I hope it brings you health, happiness and laughter.   Because, I know the entire world could use just a little bit more of each.

Thanks for reading goneawayboys

– Check me out on Twitter for a lighter, sharper, wittier, comical, arguing me! @BlairLystang

Reindeer Pajamas, Hot Chocolates, Holidays & Hell.

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Happy almost-holidays season everyone!  I know most of you are likely already in the full swing of things by now. Trees, lights, decorations.  All the glitter, and all the rest.  I know at our place there are a few too many snowmen, snow-penguins, snow-bears, snow-mooses…  And, pretty well every other morphed Christmas animal you can possibly think of.

While, I do enjoy Christmas.  Holidays are just never the same as they once were for me.  Especially Christmas. It’s typically an emotionally enduring time of the year.  As it is Christmas. It’s a special time of the year. But, ever since I’ve lost my sister, It’s never quite been the same. It’s hard. Actually, most holidays are just different now.  My birthday & Christmas are often the toughest.  And, that usually results in me being referred to as “the grinch” by my girlfriend.  But, it’s not that I hate the holidays, I most certainly do not.  But, maybe as some others can understand after your life changes drastically as a result of losing someone close… And, as I have mentioned before.  Nothing is ever again the same, and nothing is again as it easy as it once was.  Ever.  

Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. I longed for it every day as soon it turned December 26th – I couldn’t wait for the next Christmas Day.  I think up until I was 15 or so.  My average of sleep on christmas eve was likely 3 hours. I could never sleep Christmas Eve.  Just way too excited.  Albeit, I was a kid.  A lot of it was, I just couldn’t wait to open up gifts, and get spoiled by my parents, grandparents and rest of my family.  Then, as I grew up, it became less about the gifts (while I still thoroughly enjoyed them, and still do now!) But, it became more about spending time with those close too me, that I may otherwise not be able to see as often as I would like.  As my sister lived in Victoria, we only were able to get together a few times a year.  Which… still haunts me today.

Anyway.  Christmas was always a special time because I got to spend it with Jen, my parents, my brother, and my grandparents.  I can remember just waking up in the morning, and being so excited to just hang out, throw gifts around and watch everyone else just enjoy being together.  This is exactly what Christmas is about. Family, laughing, and being in the company of those whom matter the most.  And, as you grow up, you realize this.  And I think that’s part of why Christmas now is a little bit more difficult. We are missing one.   I think too,  I had just really gotten myself to the point of truly realizing what Christmas is about, and then suddenly we were without Jen.  While, every day is difficult after a tragedy.  Some days are worse than others.  But, holidays.  They’re just never the same. Again.  As much as you try and fake it, make some kind of shitty attempt to place normalcy into your days, and into your Christmas festivities… It doesn’t matter.  It all just amounts to trying too hard in hoping to be able to fake it, get through, and continue on in our own world of denial.  Ultimately… Just making the days and the season all the more difficult.  Then, in turn, you just kind of float through the days.   Doing your best to completely avoid the traditions that make Christmas.  All the while, just feeling completely empty and emotionless. Raw.

Now, I should never complain, because my holidays seasons the last few years have been quite extravagant, and I have been extremely fortunate and lucky to have spent the last 2 in Hawaii.  And, while as great as Hawaii is, and I do get to go with some people that do mean the world too me.  The last couple Christmas that I have been in Hawaii, I have not been with my family.  Which is sometimes difficult because I know that holidays for them are never quite the same, either. So you want to be together to try and help them cope…But, I think, why I have enjoyed going to Hawaii so much the last few years, is not just because it’s Hawaii.  But, because it’s almost like… It’s… It’s not real.  It’s not Christmas.  Even though it may be December 25th… It’s +28, people are in shorts, the beach, the ocean, everything that goes with Hawaii.  It’s not what I have been accustomed too.  It’s not tradition. And, tradition is easier to avoid. And, the other part that has made the past few I think… manageable, maybe, is I haven’t been with my family.  I’ve been with people that Christmas to them is as normal as it should be. As much as I try, and I think my family does as well to instill normalcy into our lives, like I said, we sometimes just try too hard and make it worse.  So, the last few, while I have thought about Jen a tonne.  It’s never really been talked about, or apart of the “Christmas Celebration” except in my own head, I guess.  Because, I have been by myself, and with my girlfriends family.  But, Christmas has been manageable, ultimately, because, I have ran away from what has made it so difficult in the past.

But, I know that I can’t go on like this forever, because, it is the holidays, and at some point I need to enjoy them as much as I once did, or, at the very least, make some sort of attempt to do so. While I also need to stop running away from the problem.   And, I think this year I am going to have an opportunity to do so.  While, in stages.  I think what is different this year, and is going to allow me to possibly cope with this season is, I have come to terms with my own mental illness, and I think I have maybe, finally accepted that Jen is gone.  And, she is never coming back…..As hard as that is to admit.  It’s reality. And, I think, I have finally realized that.  Despite how hard I sometimes try to bring her back.

She isn’t. 

Also, on Christmas day, this year;  I will be at home, in Calgary.  While, away from my family still, and likely just myself at home.  I will see again what Christmas is, and I think being right-square in the middle of the lights, the snow, just that aura of Christmas, that you don’t find in Maui.   I think that is going to be Step 1 of coping, and attempting normalcy these holidays.  Step 2. I leave to Hawaii ( as per usual ) on Jan. 1. However, different this year is my mom, my grandma, grandpa, brother and my niece Abbey (Jen’s daughter) will all be there.   Our family will finally be back together for Christmas.  Missing Jen but, I know that she will be there.   I get to spend the holidays with my family again…  And, in an environment to me, that just isn’t “holiday real”  – Just as I like, and for now, need. But, we are all going to be there together.  Going through it.  Together.

December through January isn’t the same for anyone in my family anymore.  And, instead of running away from the process, we will finally be able to go at it in unison once again.  Which, I am thoroughly excited for.  It’s still going to be different, and always will be.  And, maybe I am still partially running away from this by going to Maui. But, I am entirely fine with that.  So, in stages I hope to be able to enjoy a Christmas holiday season as close to normal as I possibly ever can.  Just without the tree, pajama pants, hot chocolates and christmas themed wrapped gifts.  I am not ready for that yet.

I know it will never be the same as it was.  No matter how hard I try.  I am just excited to be able to do it together, with my mom, my grandparents, Brody & Abbey.  Our way of coping with Christmas… Is too run away from it, but I am happy that we have decided to finally do this together.

Some people I am sure probably don’t, and won’t understand why we continue to run away during the holidays.  Some argue it’s the best time to be in Alberta.  Sure.  But, like I said… It’s different for us.  Remember in my last blog, or a few blogs back I mentioned the feeling I had driving to my sister’s funeral in Victoria.  I’d just expected the entire world to stop.  And, when I drove to the church, and saw people getting their mail, walking their dogs, having coffee and laughing.  It fucking pissed me off.  I just couldn’t believe people were getting on with their lives.   My world has just halted, instantly.  And, I expected everyone elses did too.  How could they continue?  But, really, of course people are going to get on with their lives.  It didn’t happen to them, but still, I couldn’t believe it.  That’s exactly how Christmas is for me now.  We used to always gather at the decorated Christmas tree in the living room, while in our pajamas, enjoying a coffee, hot chocolate,  or an orange juice…Whatever it was.  We’d sit there in our pajamas and throw gifts to each other, celebrate and embrace. We did Christmas. We did it right.  All of us.  Now… I just can’t do it. I can’t do tradition.  During Christmas I always get that same feeling I had en route to Jen’s funeral.  I, for some reason, just can’t imagine people doing what we used too, doing what you’re supposed to do.  I can’t fathom it.  And, I don’t want to see it.  Just like I didn’t want too see that man walking his dog that morning.  It’s doesn’t seem real.  It’s hard.  So, I leave so I can avoid it. Christmas is different.

That said, I am certainly not the grinch, as some of you might conclude after reading this.  I still enjoy the holidays. And, I wish nothing but the best too everyone else during them.  Actually, I wish more than that.  I hope that you thoroughly enjoy that time around the tree tossing gifts to one another. Having that mocha or hot chocolate with your brother and/or sister in your pajama pants decorated with reindeer and Santa’s. Please enjoy this moment.  This is what it is about.  Enjoy it the most. It may, now seem trivial, and “just part of it”. But, trust me.  It isn’t.  It’s more than that.  Because, you never know if you will be able to have this special opportunity again.  So, please.  Enjoy Christmas. Be grateful, and understand what it truly is about.  Family.  Not the cash that you get. Not the toys.  It’s your family.  And it’s that one really special time of the year.  So, while, I run away to the tropics to avoid tradition.  I urge all of you to run to the tree, with your brothers and sisters, Even if you see them every single day, and scrap for the majority of those days. Please, for me, soak it all in. Enjoy Christmas. Because, this is what I miss the most, and I will never get back. Enjoy one for me. 

– Happy Holidays too all of my readers!