365 Days of Hypochondria

And other personal happenings.


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Home/s (Day 288)

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This week I traveled to my hometown for a 24 hour visit. During that short timespan I felt a lot of “nostalgia”. There’s something about summer in the country that makes you miss growing up in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I really miss being a kid. Well, not being a kid, but the scenes that stand out from my childhood. In retrospect, memories from my youth seem photoshopped and perfect, a problematic but enjoyable way of remembering my childhood. Everything seems easier but surely, it was not. I miss my old home, but I’ll make a new one. I’ll make it myself, just for me.

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Lilac bush before bloom.

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Back in the city. Disheveled.

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“I Am Not A White Teeth Teen” (Day 221)

Growing up, I was serious loser. And I’m totally not being self-deprecating when I say that. I loved who I was in high school. I didn’t care about what anyone thought of me; I couldn’t be bothered with anything materialistic, and I put more thought into my schoolwork and extracurriculars than I put into my make-up and style. I started a diversity club in grade twelve, beat out the entire school (albeit, a school of merely 600 people) to win a youth optimist award, and I had badass hobbies and a lot of travel experience. I just didn’t fit in with anyone.

My hard work paid off. I got into both of my universities of choice and I’ve been consistently moving in the ‘right direction’. After all of that, I’m currently not ashamed to say that I care more about materialistic things than I did five years ago. But even though I no longer have a slight unibrow, and although I finally learned how to apply foundation and dress myself, I always feel like I’m still navigating the outside world of the social universe. I don’t think that feeling will ever leave me.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to impress people that I’ve gotten to the point where I realize how superficial it is to put that ‘trying too hard’ effort into relationships that should come naturally. I weeded out a lot of friends in my last year of high school because I realized my relationship to them was always lesser. I was done trying to make them see that I was important.

I am still not a “white teeth teen,” as Lorde eloquently sings. And I’m okay with that. The funny thing is that I would whiten my teeth if I could. But my previous oral surgeries and tooth sensitivity prevent me from being able to do so. I drink a lot of tea so my teeth are a big insecurity for me. Sometimes I panic when I run out of my whitening toothpaste. But it’s obviously important to also question the concept of white teeth. Whitening something does not make it cleaner- it only makes it whiter. And frankly I’m happy with my smile. My high school self would pat me on the back.


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Back in the City (Day 213)

Cuddling up in my home away from home. Although it feels like my actual home now, I still get a small feeling of ‘coldness’ whenever I come back to the city. Since I grew up in the country, basically any town with a larger population feels like a stranger to me, no matter how much I warm up to it. I feel this way the most when I visit Toronto (even though I grew up spending a lot of time there). I always ponder this insecure feeling I get when I arrive back from a trip to my hometown. It only lasts for a split second, but it must always be there inside of me. I like forests and quiet streets and I like the fact that in the country, I can go for a walk and see no one. I like not being seen. But in the city, eyes are everywhere. It kind of adds to my anxiety.

Ponder-sesh over!

I’m glad to be home. :)


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Birthdays Are For Contemplation (Day 191)

If you’re the person behind the camera lens, your life will always appear better in photos. Maybe it’s a narcissistic mentality or a subconscious reality. Either way, here are some photos I took today. It’s my twenty-first birthday.

(Sometimes I attempt to capture reality. Here is a photo of me immediately after waking up. My hair is a mess. But I used a filter to make this picture look better.)

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(My favourite tea. I drink this every day. It’s probably staining my teeth.)

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(My breakfast. I live off of instant oatmeal.)

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(My corner of the shower. It takes a lot of product to be a person (this is satire). I’m not as high-maintenance as this photo makes me look.)

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(I try to be clean. But toothpaste squishiness is always a reality.)

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(The roses that I posted a few days ago are now dying. I’m drying them out upside-down.)

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Today was a really weird day because I thought I wanted to spend my birthday like any other day. I did everything I usually do. Ate breakfast, showered, brushed my teeth, did work, blogged. Now I feel lonely, and I think it’s because of the societal expectation that one’s birthday is supposed to be this ‘huge’ event. My room mates are either working or away for the weekend and I told them (insisted, really) that I didn’t want to do anything special so I don’t blame them. It sort of sucks being alone today though, you know? (I’m not complaining or feeling sorry for myself, I’m simply just thinking too much.)


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Confidence (Day 173)

Today in my writing class, we had to do a ‘spontaneous combustion’ exercise. Basically, we had to write on a whim for two hours. All my professor gave us was a title and two lines; the first and the last.

At the end of the class, I wasn’t that happy with what I had written, but I was happy with how I handled the situation. I managed to somewhat finish a story in the spur of the moment and I was confident in myself while doing it. This time last year, I would have been a lot more anxious about the task. Today I was focused and I had faith in myself. I definitely feel as if I’ve accomplished something.


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Writing That Altered Me (Day 170)

A collection of books that moved me into growth.  (An on-going list.)

The Awakening – Kate Chopin

I happened upon this gem in high school. I believe I bought it for fifty cents. Life is great when passionate reads are available for under a dollar.

My Garden – Jamaica Kincaid

This book will change the way you think about plants and people. It’s for gardeners and non gardeners, this book is about more than just flowers.

A Lover’s Discourse – Roland Barthes

I haven’t finished this book, but I come back to it from time to time. That’s the beauty of it; it doesn’t read like your average novel. Barthes is known for his post-structuralist thought and that’s why I love him. This book is a dictionary/narrative about love and everything else. Because we all know you can’t have love without the plethora of ‘other’ emotions that exist alongside it.

The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls

This book inspired my love of memoirs. This book became my most-loved memoir. This book is everything to me.

When You Are Engulfed In Flames – David Sedaris

Sedaris makes you simultaneously sob and mentally shriek with laughter. WYAEIF is one of my many favourites of his. This book made me feel so hard that I shudder to think of opening it up for a second read.

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

I read this book in the twelfth grade and I still clearly remember the ending. It made me aware of so many systematic aspects of society and the reality of white privilege. And that was before I hit university/my women’s studies degree.

Tinkers – Paul Harding

I hated this book. Up until the last two pages. The author describes the experience of death and the emotion that goes along with it in a way that seems almost impossible to articulate. Yet articulate it, he does.


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Retirement at Twenty (Day 165)

Do hearts have good retirement plans? Or are they simply mediocre? I ask this because I would like to know what happens when a heart moves on. (I’ve been feeling more literal aches in my heart and they remind me of the achey people I would like to forget. I’ve been wondering if my chest pains relate to stress.)  I don’t know what to do with the plethora of connections that make my heart ache. I would love to ease my heart. To try and soften the connections with some of the people it hangs onto. Do I hold onto them for future reference? Or do I let them go along with some of my favourite memories. Can you really let a memory go? Memories are coping mechanisms. We use them to cope with loneliness. I used to be obsessed with them. Now I think I would like to pack all of my memories in a suitcase and travel with them to a country miles away. I would leave the baggage and return home empty-handed. I’d retire my heart, knowing I could revisit the past if I wanted to; but really I wouldn’t travel there again.