Going off the Grid

Growing up in the generation of social media has been interesting, to say the least. The variety of use among individuals is intriguing. Some people post pictures of food, pets, and cars. While others only post during vacations, concerts, their kids, and other epic events in their lives (I’ve already started seeing way too many engagement posts for a twenty-two-year-old). There’s the daily update so you never forget about me types and the annual update types. Hey, I’m selling this posts, and holy shit my life is awesome posts. I don’t think there is any right or wrong way to interact, it’s totally up to the individual. If I was doing more interesting things with my life I would probably be more active myself. Or at least that’s what I used to think before deleting Facebook. Since cutting that “cord” probably two years ago now I find myself getting closer and closer to snubbing another platform. The only thing holding me back is the ability to interact with friends and acquaintances from back home. Having said that other than asking for help with the writing project from my previous post I can’t remember the last time I used Snapchat. Twitter is basically a brain-dump platform, and Instagram is where I share special moments, which are few and far between. However, in the past, I’ve posted some terrible shit on twitter that does not in anyway represent who I am now. 2013 Social media Jared didn’t think about real life 2018 Jared whatsoever. Maybe that’s just youth, but I can’t help but feel like social media brings out a different side of me. I doubt I’ll ever go completely “off the grid” but it sure is tempting sometimes. Especially Snapchat, you’d think someone with ~60% selfies on Instagram would love that shit but I just don’t. Friends will send me pics and I’ll type out a response. Definitely utilizing the platform to it’s fullest potential!

 

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Scoobi

Scoobi is nearing (or already is) one year old. We got him in November of last year so I’m making some assumptions about when he was born. Bri probably knows exactly when it was. I remember my parents telling me watching us kids growing up was the most significant measurement of time for them; I’m noticing a similar effect with Scoobi. Those first few nights with him I kept thinking ‘I could easily kill you dude so watch yourself’. Literally, watch that I don’t roll over onto you because I’m a violent sleeper. He was about the size of my fist and liked to sleep on my chest. That is when he actually slept. He was and still is, obsessed with licking my face, hand, or any other body part he can find when I’m trying to fall asleep. Today he’s a little longer than my forearm and tends to sleep at my side. Bri and I got into a little friendly bickering last night because it was time to give Scoobi his pill (he has an overly sensitive tummy and was puking for about a month before we finally figured out what it was). ‘He’s your fucking cat’ she laughed at me. ‘You wanted him’. This is incredibly false. I wanted something to calm Ash (Bri’s cat) down. At one point I was about one more clawed furniture piece away from throwing Ash off our balcony. The new cat strategy worked, somewhat. Ash is much more friendly with me and doesn’t claw the furniture nearly as much anymore…mainly because Scoobi is now the resident asshole. Garbage, counter, leftover food, bacon fat in the pan, anything and everything he can get into he does. Oh, he does. Anyway, my argument was I didn’t pay for Scoobi, I don’t feed him, nor do I clean up after him ergo not my cat. Bri didn’t like that so I tried to help, but she took over and got him to take his pill in about five seconds. Scoobi is super cute and I do enjoy chilling with him when he decides it’s time to chill out, those times are just too few right now. But he’s a kitten still so I’m sure he’ll grow out of most his annoying habits eventually…I hope.

I haven’t written anything in quite a while now. Partly because of school, partly because I’m lazy, and partly because I don’t really have anything I want to write about. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year of school and got better grades than I thought I ever would. But it left my brain power on E. Now I’m back to working my mindless job and should have tons of moments to ponder different topics and ideas like I used to yet I find myself just coasting in neutral. The only reoccurring thought I have is how badly I want to go to a concert/festival as I haven’t been to anything since Odeza in November. However, with a planned twoish week vacation/wedding in August I really don’t have the funds to make that happen. Hopefully, the writing bug bites again soon. I find it to be the best method to think through ideas but for right now I’ll settle for just some thought, of any kind. Actually, one thing I have thought about lately is how many people I need to touch base with this summer. I’m awful for going months without seeing people and kind of letting the friendship run its course but I really want to get better at maintaining contact. My personality is the biggest roadblock in that regard. I tend to gravitate towards doing absolutely nothing in my spare time but hopefully I can make baby steps towards breaking out of that this summer. Speaking of which I haven’t seen my niece and nephew in months now. Life’s moving too damn fast.

Home Away From Home

I don’t know what it is about flying that knocks me right out. I flew into Medicine Hat at around 8:45 PM on December 27th after a quick connection into Calgary. Other than a short moment of complete terror when skidding for about .75 seconds during the landing into Medicine Hat, and an hour and fifteen-minute delay in Kelowna, it wasn’t a terrible experience. As I continue to get set up in Kelowna (yes after almost three years I still feel like I’m laying the groundwork for my life) returning home feels increasingly odd. The first night home, my Mom brought up how my older brother probably doesn’t feel as if their house is home for him. My Dad quickly replied, “this will always be his home”. Agreed. Medicine Hat will always be my home too. However, I don’t feel as though I belong here. Obviously, a quick 5-day trip is not enough to make one feel familiar with a place again. Regardless, when I was living in Lethbridge, coming home really felt like just that: I was coming home. I suppose it’s natural to lose connection with someplace or someone when contact is limited, I’m just shocked it happened this rapidly. Probably doesn’t help that it’s -30 with the windchill here. Like come on.

Devil On My Shoulder

It honestly seems like just yesterday I was serving pumpkin spice lattes, which by the way are fucking disgusting and you need to reconsider your life if this is your drink of choice. Anyway, it most certainly was not yesterday, it’s been over a year since then and eight months since I left Starbucks altogether. During the past eight months I’ve been having an internal battle almost every day. I’m an extremely lazy person, or at least the little voice in my head is. All he wants to do is smoke weed and play video games. Suppressing his wants and working on my needs is a daily struggle that I’ve been losing lately.

I think we are all creatures of habit and depending on which habits you choose to develop will either set you up for success or failure. I laid my groundwork over a three-year span where that was all I did, went to school or work, came home, smoked up and did nothing. Or worse mixed some liquor in. I’ve talked about this before, back then I had a much more positive outlook on this time of my life because it was in the past. I followed these years up with 2-3 years of working out, rarely smoking, and working towards what I thought at the time would be the start to my career. So what’s different?

Lately I’ve been getting to the gym about twice a week and barely eating enough to maintain my current weight. That’s not good enough. Not nearly good enough. Sure I’m much busier now going to school full time and working about 16 hours a week but that’s just an excuse. I’ve been full of excuses the last 8 months and really my whole life. I never want to face the fact that I’m the one making these choices. Staying up until 3 am the night before class, skipping the gym to play Paragon, and just straight up not eating. Do I think weed is the cause to this? No. Do I think it brings out the worst in me? Sometimes, yeah.

After saying all this I know I will most likely never completely give up smoking. Last fall shortly after Bri and I moved in together I gave it up for about a month and it was an interesting experience. I was more productive, got more sleep, and was much better at managing my time. But I was always stressed. Is that a worthy trade-off? Tough to say. As of right now I’m doing extremely well in school, having just got 100% and 92% on my math and computer applications midterms, but I know it is just the beginning and I’m already feeling a half step behind. So it’s time to stifle that little bitch that keeps telling me to push off my responsibilities till tomorrow and get shit done. Now. I’m excited for the next month for the first time in almost a year. It’s going to be a lot of work and I am probably going to be extremely stressed out but that’s the price I have to pay for slipping back into my old ways. I know I will smoke occasionally and that’s fine. If I have my school work taken care of and I’ve already hit the gym then give er. However, I quit drinking for almost a full year at one point and it was one of the best decisions I made. I’m back to having the odd pop with friends again but it really changed my mentality around drinking to get wasted all the time. So if this isn’t the last time I have this little ‘change in mentality’ talk with myself then it may be time to give it up for a good while.

Lost Connection

Between today being an excruciatingly slow day at Panago and Center of Gravity just on the horizon my mind was wandering more than usual. This is a great feeling as it usually results in some inspiration to write; something that has been lacking lately. As I slowly turned the dish I was ‘washing’ over in my hands, my train of thought led to all the amazing, and less than desirable, connections I’ve made in my short time on this earth. Co-workers, schoolmates, teammates, friends, and some rivals. Once I get over my initial anxiety of meeting new people I tend to create great relationships with others. Whether it be during my time at UofL, FutureShop, Starbucks, or any of the part time jobs I held in-between those times where I met some great individuals. Each incredibly unique, as was our relationships with each other. Yet I was left feeling quite empty as I reflected on each of these instances. My inability to maintain any long-term contact with individuals who I valued as friends was extremely clear to me. Why is this? Why am I unable to have a continued relationship with these people? I think there’s a couple reasons, though neither adequate.

Distance is definitely the greatest offender. Since I left Medicine Hat in late 2013 I have only returned three times? Maybe four I can’t quite remember (I have never returned to Lethbridge). Regardless an amount of trips that makes it near impossible to maintain any kind of human contact with those who still live there. Especially when my time is mainly spent with family (though there’s always some time for a dirty Rona night). Therefore that leaves communication to text/call/facetime etc. There’s nothing wrong with these means of communicating, I know plenty of people who facetime on a bi-daily basis, however I am terrible with these. This leads us to the next issue. I am so fucking engulfed in my own life that reaching out to someone else just doesn’t happen. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to my Brother on the phone, and he’s blood. That means the deck is already stacked against my friends. This has caused a few lost friendships in my life, one in particular which never leaves the back of my mind. They say the first step towards dealing with a problem is accepting there is a problem. That’s the goal with this piece. I can’t go back and fix the mistakes I’ve already made, but I can try and limit them in the future. Losing a friend sucks, losing a friend because of your own complacency leaves a gaping hole. However there are those in my life in which I do still maintain contact with and I am incredibly thankful to have them in my life. Taylor is the one example I feel comfortable sharing. Taylor and I met when I started at Starbucks. She left soon after that and our lives have rarely intertwined since then. Yet whenever one of us contacts the other and we do the inevitable ‘we should grab a drink sometime’ it isn’t an empty gesture. When our schedules finally have some free time that coincide we meet up for drinks and much needed catching up. We have glaring differences and yet I think I speak for both of us when I say our time together, however scattered it may be, is a great time to decompress and escape the never ending cycle that is life. I can only hope to form and maintain more of these kinds of connections.

NOS + Ice Tea Lemonade Vape Juice

Over the past month or so Kelowna has received more rain than my previous two years here combined, it’s led to flooding and quite a bit of property damage unfortunately. May long has been another story entirely however and I’m quite happy about it. My parents are here visiting and it’s been mid-high twenties all weekend. I’ve spent a few hours with them so far but have missed most of the planned activities due to work. That’s alright though, this weekend was fairly busy at work.  I saw them all day today and then they head back tomorrow. It was a good to see them, let them know about my plans for school and discuss updates. As we were catching up I fully realized just how poor I’ve been taking care of myself. My training has completely fallen apart, working two jobs will do that to you, I’ve barely been eating, losing 10 pound in the past two months. It feels like my diet consists of pizza, NOS energy drinks, and vape juice: the building blocks of health and strength. Usually when I’m updating my parents it consists of weight or strength plateaus I’ve passed and not much else. This time it was just not much else. That might be why I’m excited to see my schedule return back to normal tomorrow. I’m no longer working two jobs so I’ll have ample time to get my training and diet back on track while still focusing on saving money for school in September. Fitness is my motivation for returning to school after all so it’s important I maintain focus on constant improvement and ensure this is just a small hiccup and not a defining moment of lapsed concentration. Tomorrow I begin again at stage one and will be doing a bit of an accelerated beginner program to gain back my base level strength and then move on from there.

As for a bit of an update in regards to the blog my Take a Minute series has been put to slumber. I really enjoy sharing music with others as well as having people share music with me. However the format didn’t really work for people and so it’s done for now. Perhaps it will come back in one offs when I have something I really want to share with you guys but even then I will probably title them as such to avoid confusion. In the mean time if you are interested in discovering some music you may have never heard before and some you probably already love you can check out my spotify playlists. I’ve created three, two with laughably opposite titles: Light & Breezy and Dark & Dirty. The third called Go Hard is my workout oriented playlist. Don’t sleep on it if you’re not a regular gym goer though. Check them out if you’re interested and like I said, if there’s anything that interests me in a major way I’ll be sure to share it with you.

Right Person, Wrong Time

Happy (belated) Easter! I hope everyone enjoyed some time spent with family and/or friends this weekend. I ended up heading to my uncle and aunt’s place for Easter dinner last night. My sister, brother in law, niece, nephew, and my aunt’s mother were all there as well. We eventually finished a wonderful meal (and even better dessert) before settling in the living room for some must needed catching up. After awhile the topic of relationships inevitably came up. Now if there is a single subject I detest discussing with family more than dating I’m yet to discover it. Displaying an interest in aspects of each other’s life is natural and I understand why it comes up; yet I cringe whenever it does. “Seeing anyone lately?” is usually how it’s posed in my family. Every time I reply the same.

Some months ago I had a candid conversation with one of my friends who is a few years older than me on the idea of dating at our age. We both shared a similar opinion though he was able to put his together much more elegantly and coherent than myself. They (basically) said that at our age with our dreams and more realistically goals, unless you feel some sort of “spark” immediately, any time spent perusing this relationship takes away from your ability to achieve these aspirations. A fairly bleak, pessimistic view on the matter. One that I echo completely.

This is a viewpoint I’ve shared with others before and received surprisingly unsupportive feedback so I’ll do my best to convince you it’s a valid one; or at the very least not crazy. In regards to the two of us, we both are in places in our lives which we view as a stepping stone on the path to where we actually want to be. Personally I’ve been working at jobs which don’t have a great earning potential or spark a passion within myself – a considerable motive for my return to school come September. So in other words I’m broke and uninspired. I have grand plans for working within the fitness, tech, or marketing industries so I know everything I do now is simply the means to an end. I’m not currently the best version of myself and it will take an immense amount of time and effort to get to that point. A challenge I’m excited to see play out. The idea of bringing someone else along for this journey just sounds like insanity to me. I believe that for any relationship to last you need to care about the other person more than yourself and be willing to compromise. Two things I’m not currently capable of while pursuing the life I desire. You might think this is incredibly selfish and in reality it is, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’d rather set myself and potential future partner up for success than struggle to ever get out of lower class together. I’ve heard the idea of meeting the right person at the wrong time before and at this point in my life there’s nothing that rings truer. Having said all that, about eight months ago I disregarded everything I believe and fell head over heels for a girl. I was in daily discussions with the aforementioned friend over this change in mentality. We barely knew each other and she was all I could think about it. That’s the kind of feeling required to sway me from my staunch position. The whole time my friend was supportive despite his lack of agreement. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) she did not feel the same spark and we went our separate ways. So for now my response will continue to remain the same: “Nope, just been working and lifting weights.” Perhaps one day that will change and perhaps by then I’ll be ready to commit the love and attention necessary to make it work. Until then I’ve got PR’s to hit and soon enough exams to study for. Hooray!