Just over 5 years ago, someone took a chance on me; I remember it like it was yesterday...I didn't have the experience, I had been out of the workforce for just about 7 months battling the hardest thing I've ever had to face, and I was looking to restart my life. I remember thinking to myself 'man, this guy looks young, he can't be much older than me. It would be pretty cool to work for someone like this.' just as the interview process began. He asked me some questions, shuffled through my resume, all the while the recruiter that got me the interview sat behind me, as if I needed the extra pressure.
I felt good leaving the interview, like I made a positive impression and sure enough a couple of days later I was asked to come back in to do a test. This didn't go as smoothly...I was tasked with building a simple website that pulled some data from a database, did some basic calculations and displayed it in a tabular format. For the most part I was able to get everything to work, however one piece of syntax kept slipping my mind. And as hard as I might I could not figure it out to the point that I became frustrated and essentially said that I did as much as I could remember and didn't want to waste anyone's time. He came over, looked at my work and asked what I was stuck on, when I told him I couldn't remember the syntax to sum up a set of numbers in the database, he let me know that I was free to use any tools at my disposal to help solve the problem, including searching Google.
I kinda sat there in shock, I had never expected that a test of my programming skills for a job would relatively be 'open book'. Within a few minutes I was able to find the syntax I was looking for, thank you Google, and finish up the build and display it in all it's glory.
When I left there however, I was crushed. I thought for sure I blew it, I mean after all, who can't remember a simple SUM() or COUNT() SQL statement? I was so mad at myself, I always complained that I was never given a chance, and the one time I was I blew it. I was devastated. A short while later, I got a call from my recruiter, I had gotten the job! This young, quiet, personable guy had taken a chance on me. It was a 3 month probationary period with the opportunity for full time if all went well, but still, he had taken a chance on.
5 years later, my former boss (who turns out was only a month older than me) had become one of my best friends. We have spent countless hours talking about everything and anything, planning the "next big thing" in the world of tech, playing Modern Warfare, and attending one another's kid's birthday's. The bond that is created when you share a good part of your day in the same office with somebody for 5 years is quite remarkeable. Which is why when the news that he found a new job arrived, it hit me in two very distinctive ways.
First and foremost I was extremely happy for him. The opportunity presented to him included more money, a step forward, a shorter commute and a much needed change of atmosphere, all things that anyone of us would jump at the chance to get. He had been the soul of the company for so long, but this was his chance to really take a step forward and expand his career.
At the same time, I was devastated. I acknowledge that it is selfish, but when I heard the news I couldn't help but feel lost. After all for 5 years we developed a great friendship, and although in this day and age I am fully aware we will still remain friends and keep in touch, the idea that I will be going in to work and not see him there is a tough pill to swallow. It was the one thing I looked forward to every Monday morning, that I'd get to go and hang out with my buddy, how many people can say that when they talk about work? But alas, a new day is upon us and with it comes a new adventure. Maybe this will be the kick in the butt I need to finally reach out and find something better for myself, for now though I sit alone reminiscing of all the good times we shared...
Good luck Kevin, I'm proud of you!
- Current Mood: depressed
Now, they would pay me back whenever they could, but sometimes it would take a few instances of them borrowing money from me before paying me back, and as such my debt would grow. The very erratic nature of their requests always bothered me, and I kept insisting that instead of doing that, let me pay rent every month and that way I could at least budget, they naturally refused and so the cycle continued. Until that is I noticed that they weren't only asking me for money, but also my wife, who just happens to be currently out of work taking care of our first born. She has no income to speak of at the moment, except for the government cheque which is really meant for our child. Which effectively means that my parents were not only boring from me and my wife (who would take money from her credit card), but also from my child, all at the same time. Oh and they also take money from my brother on occasion as well who also lives with us, so it's quite the little bank we have here. As you can imagine, this started to piss me off, especially when I would see them go out and spend money on things frivolously, however the coupe de gras was realising that they were taking my, actually OUR, money and spending it at the casino.
I finally got frustrated and decided to not give them money as often, if they asked I would tell them I was broke and wouldn't be able to do it. Their erratic ways have left me in constant debt, and so when I do make a bigger purchase like a new mattress, or sending my wife to Montreal for a week so she can visit family, it ends up taking me much longer to pay it off than I would like and really throws off my ability to save up. Therefore, I always used that as my excuse for not being able to help them out, that I was putting money in savings, paying off debts and my car/insurance so I wasn't left with much else to help out with. I am paying the household cable bill, which is routinely $200 a month, so it's not like I'm completely leeching off of them, but still I had enough trouble sustaining three people on a single income without having to worry about funding my parents out of control spending.
Sometime last week, I gave my mom and dad shit for boring money from my wife again. I let them know that she doesn't have money, and that it doesn't matter if they're paying her back or not, and that they're effectively taking money from my child and it wasn't right. They didn't appreciate that of course, and I found out from my wife yesterday that my mom wasn't happy with me. She claims I made her feel bad about this, and that when I moved in I'd promise to help out but every time they ask me for money I say I don't have any. I just about lost it, to think she would have the nerve to say that I'm breaking my promise of helping out when they are taking my money and spending on things like a whole new kitchen set, which we did not need, the casino, clothes for other people's children, and gifts of some sort or another. Really?!? I offered to help out with living expenses in this household, not for you to go out and spend your money on bullshit which you do not need. How does taking money you don't have to buy things you don't need and then paying it back make any sense at all? Like how do you expect to ever land on your feet if you keep borrowing money to buy things you can't afford and then pay it back??
Anyway, being who I am I started to feel guilty, so when my mom asked me for $100 yesterday I told her no problem and transferred her the money. She promised my dad would pay me back on Friday, and I said no problem. But in the back of my mind, I started to wonder, last month my dad won about $1400 at the casino, which effectively paid for this month's rent, so being 9 days into the month why would my parents need money again? You'd figure if you came into a large amount of money that covers a monthly expense, you should have a considerable sum of money left over from your pay cheque? Well it turns out at the time of the request my mom only had $13 in her account, I can't even fathom how that's possible.
Which leads us to tonight.
Tonight my wife and I were supposed to go go-karting, and so I asked my parents to watch over our child to which they agreed, although somewhat begrudgingly. But about an hour before we were to go, my wife mentioned she wasn't feeling up to it and wanted to stay home, and so my parents took the opportunity to tell me they were going to go out instead. A few minutes before they were leaving, they asked me for $200 so they could go out. $200 on a Wednesday night? To me that translates to them wanting to pass some time at a casino and needing money to do so. She told me that after midnight she would get paid and that I could take the full $300 I lent them in the last 2 days sometime after then. I said ok, transferred them the money, and then made my way out to go go-karting with friends. (Yes I still went out, but that's a story for another time).
When I got home, about a half hour ago, I noticed a note on my laptop which read "please do not take money from my account tonight, your father will pay you back on friday"....which means that they spent a lil more than $200 tonight. In fact, it pretty much confirms my suspicion that they took my $300 total, went to the casino and lost it all, if not more. Oh did I mention that in my guilt, I went into negatives in my bank account to give them the $200. So not only do I have a debt on my line of credit and some amount owing on my credit car, but I'm also $200 below in my bank account. All for what? To fund my parents gambling addiction!??! Not to put food on my plate, not to pay for rent, not for clothes for my son, and not even for a nice dinner for my parents, but for the fucking casino.
I don't know what makes me feel worse, the fact that my parents did this to me again, the fact that my guilt from the talk they had with my wife actually suckered me into this vicious cycle once more, or that it is now abundantly clear that I'm funding my parent's gambling addiction..I thought I was supposed to be the irresponsible one...
- Current Mood: crushed
What's got me most perplexed about how I'm feeling is the fact that it was my idea for them to go to Montreal in the first place. I thought having a week to myself would be a nice change of pace and that it would give me a chance to focus on some programming projects I've had in mind. I was hoping it would allow me to work on fixing my server, do some photo editing and most importantly finish a couple of video games that are long overdue. Unfortunately so far I've done none of those things, instead I've felt super lonely and have anxiously waited for my wife to put our son to sleep so she can call me and tell me about her day.
Luckily I have a co-worker, who's slowly becoming one of my closest friends, keeping me company online. The amount of hours we spend talking is remarkable, however I've always enjoyed chatting online. It is how I met my wife, after all, and I've always yearned to re-live the many hours I spent online chatting when I was in college. So this new found friendship seems to have filled that void I've been feeling and has really helped me feel a little less lonely. Unfortunately when bed time approaches, the empty spot next to me in bed is still there, and I'm reminded how lucky I am to have someone in my life who I can share my love with.
On a brighter note, I think I've come up with a an idea for a new blog. I've always been interested in photography, but I've never really focused on it and so I'm thinking of starting a new Photography blog. A way for me to track my progress and put some of my creativity to use, but more importantly maybe it can be the gentle push I need to actually spend more time taking pictures and editing them. Let's just hope this doesn't join my list of other ideas, such as creating a "New Year's Resolution" list, which is now collecting dust.
- Current Mood: lonely
As I mentioned before, High School wasn’t very kind to me, and so some of my memories of the opposite sex were not as emotional as ‘Shannon’. In fact the only other significant memory from my High School isn’t all that interesting. It was more about how it made me feel about myself, and not so much what we shared together.
It was Grade 11 and it was the first day of Geography. I walked into the class and scanned the room looking for familiar faces to sit next too. I would normally sit as far back as possible but something, rather someone, caught my eye. Her name was Crystal and she was sitting in the first row right beside the door, so naturally I sat down right next to her. Education, it seems, took a back seat to the prettiest girl in class.
Now to be fair not a whole lot happened, it was more about the little things that just helped boost my ego a little. You see Crystal was one of the popular girls, she was a cheerleader, had a ton of friends and a ton of guys who wanted to be with her. But in this one 60 minute class, she was all mine. We would spend a lot of time talking, and although I wasn’t the smoothest ‘playa’ in the world, she made me feel comfortable enough that I’d let my guard down and actually bring out my true self. And for whatever reason, at that particular time, she seemed to really enjoy talking with me which resulted in some really cool interactions.
You see it was rare for a guy like me to have a popular girl pay attention to him and be genuinely interested in what he had to say. I was the guy pretty girls ignored and paid very little attention too, unless of course if it they needed help with their homework. I think what made the interactions so special to me was the fact that they were not just two bored people passing the time, but rather two people interested in getting to know one another.
One of those interactions which stands out the most to me was when we were talking about things we like to do, and clubbing came up. By Grade 11 most kids start going to parties or clubs more frequently, unfortunately I wasn’t one of those kids. My parents were super strict and so I spent majority of my High School years at home alone. Nevertheless, she began talking about clubbing and how much she enjoys it. She then said “we’re going to Casablanca again this weekend, you should totally come!”. Listen, I know that’s what everyone says when being nice, but when really cute girls aren’t generally nice to you, something like this is a huge deal. And honestly it felt like it was genuine. I knew she didn’t want me to go with her or anything of the sort, but I think it was more along the lines of “it’d be really cool to see you outside of this class” type of thing. I played it as cool as a loser and said “sure, I’ll see if I can make it” knowing full well it would never happen.
Like I said, nothing really interesting happened with Crystal, but the mere fact that for one semester, for one class, for 60 minutes someone like her paid any attention to me at that time was a great ego boost. I think it really helped with my self-esteem and just made me that much more comfortable with myself. Of course, once the semester was over I went back to being that invisible guy in the hallway, but that singular moment where she invited me clubbing is ingrained in my memory. It may not sound like much and I may be reading too much into it but considering no girl had ever asked to do anything with me outside of school up to that point, it really was a special moment.
- Current Mood: blah
- Current Music:Electric City - Black Eyed Peas
Oh well, this post is not about them, it's about the ONE. It's about the woman who eventually became my wife and the love of my life. What the heck was I thinking?!? I was in one of my older email addresses, in fact it was the first email address I ever owned, and was just going through some of the old emails I kept and I found a whole bunch that she had sent me between 1999 and 2001. Reading through some of these, wow I do not remember the overly needy and possessive girl that she came across as in her emails. Every email was her complaining about me not writing back to her soon enough, reading her emails and just ignoring them, why I haven't called, where I am etc. etc. etc. This kind of behaviour usually drives me insane, I hate people who are like that, however for some reason I stayed with her. I wonder why?
Maybe these emails were just a tiny collection of her bad side? Maybe she was only like this a very small percentage of the time, or was I so blinded by love that I overlooked it and realised that she cared for me deeply and this was her way of showing it? I don't know, it was really strange, but I am going to talk to her about it. I find it fascinating that she wrote some of the stuff she did, and where that person is now.
Maybe since we've been together for so long now some of those insecurities are no longer there, and she doesn't feel the need to know where I am every minute of the day. After all one of my 'rules' is that during my work day she doesn't call unless there is actually something she needs. I'm the type of person who HATES combining home life with work life. I don't bring work home and I don't bring home to work. My desk/computer have no pictures of anyone in my family at all, in fact it has no pictures. I don't call my wife, she doesn't call me to 'chat'. If she needs something like for me to pick up groceries, or to ask if I'm coming home for dinner or going to the gym, she is more than welcome to call. But if she's bored and wants to chat, too bad. I respect people's privacy when they're at work and I expect the same respect back. Simply put, don't bug me while I'm at work, or out with friends, or anything of the sort.
I hate needy people, I can't stand it when I'm out golfing with my best friend and his wife calls with some mundane question or useless conversation or to see how things are going. If you can't be without someone for 4 hours without feeling the need to call them, there is something wrong with you. And that bullshit about 'caring' or 'loving' or whatever, please, there's a time and place for it all. There's a difference between missing somebody and wanting to hear there voice, and calling someone every hour that they're not with you.
The thing that surprises me is that reading these emails, she seems like a crazy needy girl who I would never be with. But somehow, 12 years later here we are, married and madly in love. I guess you can't really judge someone by a few emails, which ultimately leads back to, what the hell was I thinking?
- Current Mood: surprised
There was one negative draw back to this however, I posted something to twitter regarding the post I'm planning on writing today, and the feedback I got was rather annoying. It was a thought that came to me after writing the post and turning off my computer that I thought really summed up the point of this particular story. So not only did I make note of it and will be adding it to the post today, but I also decided to share it on twitter (I did not post it to facebook because I didn't mean for my friends to read/react to it). One person DM'd me and BBM'd me asking if everything's ok and if I needed to talk to someone, as if the only reason I would post something thoughtful or "deep" was because something's wrong. Another person thought what I posted was about my wife and got all lovey dovey on me. I don't know why these reactions bothered me so much, I guess I didn't want people's feedback, it was more about expressing my feelings at that time in a public forum without feeling the need to be judged. I know these people only had good intentions, but it really pissed me off that they didn't get what I was saying. Maybe somethings aren't meant to be read by your friends?
Anyway, I might not be able to post these stories as quickly as I would like, they are pretty emotionally draining and I want to make sure I put everything I've got into them so it may take longer than I hoped. But I was able to finish up the second part late last night, so why not post it now! :)
High School was not a good time for me. I was never really picked on, or bullied, but I also was not part of the “cool kids”. I had a bad haircut, big glasses, a face full of zits, and a scrawny frame, every teenage girls dream. Do you remember the movie “The Breakfast Club”? Well I was the “geek”.
Although there were a few girls in the last two years of high school, there was only one in the early years, Shannon. Shannon was probably as close to my Second Love as could be. Her and I still share one of the most unique experiences in my life. Something I don’t think I’ve ever shared with any other person ever, including my wife. I wonder if she even remembers it? We were in Grade 10 and we sat beside one another in Mr. Woods’ science class. We were in the first row of seats, and there was an aisle in between us, but that did not prevent us from talking and flirting during every class.
But one day something happened that is still burned into my memory. We spent, close to, the entire hour of the lecture staring into each other’s eyes, not saying a word. Every so often one of us would smile and look away, but we’d always come right back to the other’s gaze. She had the most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen, she still ranks up there as one of the prettiest girls to ever show an interest in me. The moment was magical and it stands as the only instance in my life where so much love was shared with so little action. For that hour, in that class with 30 or so other students, we were the only ones there. In a time in which I felt most vulnerable about myself, my appearance and my self worth; she was the light which showed me a beautiful girl could fall for me.
I will never forget you Shannon…
Alas it was never meant to be, at the time she had a boyfriend. And as time went on we started to grow apart, we had two distinctly different set of friends and she eventually transferred to another High School. We never got to relive that moment, recapture that magic, I've never heard from her again.
- Current Mood: good
I feel the need to mention that I do love my wife and do not regret being with her in any way. This is more about my life prior to her.
I was never quite like the man I am today, if you were to ask most people that know me, I would assume they would say that I'm pretty confident, never really serious about anything, and a bit of a flirt. This is a far cry from when I was younger, a time in which I was more of an anxious wreck than anything else. Well besides being a distraction, that has never changed, I believe every report card/parent-teacher meeting in my entire academic history went something like this..."he is a good student, smart kid, polite....but he talks too much. He's like a grenade, where ever he sits, the students around him are less productive". And to this, I am guilty as charged, even to this day, I am the productivity destroyer. But man was I not good with the girls. I had no game, was super anxious and easily taken advantage of. This is probably why my previous and current interactions with girls/women are so important to me.
My "first love" was in Grade 2, her name was Jennifer, and it lasted until Grade 8, basically until we went to seperate High Schools. My love was never reciprocated, in fact she had a tendency to break my heart, but my love never withered. I still remember receiving a note from her in Grade 6 in which she thoroughly described how little she cared for me and how much of a nuisance I was to her. I played it off in front of my friends at school of course, but that night I sat alone in my bedroom looking out the window crying, wondering what I had ever done to this girl to ever deserve this. I never once pushed myself on her, I never once tried to do anything with her, it was the mere fact that she knew (and always knew) that I liked her and I guess I wasn't cool enough for her. I only ever really asked her out the one time prior to receiving the letter, she smiled shyly and told me she'd get back to me the following day. I remember asking my parents if it were ok for me to go out to lunch with her, the smile on my moms face, and the disappointment that rang through my body when my father said no. The following day I was crushed, thinking I was going to disappoint her only to be met with the harshest rejection I've ever experienced. Ofcourse by then the prick inside of me just chimed back "I don't give a fuck, I wasn't allowed to go anyway, so too bad". As you can imagine the letter arrived not too long after.
As we grew older we did get closer, and I guess her friends started seeing me more for who I really was and we began to click. Before our last day in elementary school we promised to write to one another, and keep in touch. This didn't last, in fact I basically just ignored her, too much trouble I thought. As the years went by I began to feel really guilty about this and decided to call her up and apologise. It went surprisingly well, she forgave me and we chatted for a bit and all was good again. In fact we had a few more talks on the phone before I did it again, just cut off ties. I wish I had a reason, but I didn't, just a prick I guess.
But nothing tops how our very last interaction went...this is one of the things I'm least proud of in life. I believe by this time I was in college, and I was on my way to school when she got on the bus. I saw her before she saw me and I put my head down, hoping to hide from her. I'm not good with meeting people I haven't seen for a very long time randomly, my first instinct is to ignore them to avoid that awkward conversation of "sooooo what's up?". Anyway, I never once looked at her or made eye contact with her, but she saw me. When we reached the final stop and everyone was getting off the bus, she was sitting by the rear doors and wasn't moving, as if waiting for me to walk by. I made my way to the door, as she stood up, I covered my face with my hand as if to scratch the side of my face and just walked out of the bus, completely ignoring her. That was the last I ever saw or heard from Jennifer..
Edit: Wow this was a longer post than I had anticipated...I think this is going to be a multi-parter :P Good Night for now!
- Current Mood: thoughtful
I believe all the things I'd like to do and the person I'd like to become are attainable and that if I indeed applied myself I could do it, however, the real problem I face is that I am not willing to make sacrifices. Instead of spending an hour or two at night working on my programming skills and building an application I've had on my mind for awhile now, I play video games. I constantly find excuses to not go to the gym or go for a jog, but I always find a way to justify my video game/TV addiction.
I am completely aware of the fact that I sound like I'm being whiny, but the truth is I feel like I need to break this cycle of laziness or else I'm never going to be able to provide my wife and kid (two of the things that happened in my LJ absence :P) with the best ME I can. I don't want to be someone who's constantly complaining about never achieving anything and live a life full of regrets. I think there is a place in my life for video games, building the next great service, getting in shape, as well as being a father and husband, I just need to learn to prioritize and make some sacrifices.
I've never made new year's resolutions before, I've always thought of them as silly and a waste of time. But maybe this year I'll write down a few things I'd like to accomplish, not just this year but going forward, and use it as a kick in the butt whenever I feel like being lazy instead of being productive.
Adding to my list of things to do...now let's just hope I do it! :)
- Current Mood: thoughtful
A lot has changed in my life, I'm no where near the person I was 4 years ago. As much as I'd like to believe I haven't changed, deep down I know I have, and not necessarily in a good way...
I sit here staring a this blank canvas, and I don't know what to write. I feel like I have so much to say, but I don't know where to start...I don't know who my audience is. Is this just for me? For any friends who may still be using LJ? New friends I make on the way? Or is it for random strangers who just might drop by?
I need to think this through, to see whether this will be a one time thing or not. But for now, to kinda put closure to my last post, I am 4 years clear of cancer. A day does not go by in which what I went through does not cross my mind. I am eternally grateful for every day I have, and although I may not show it, I take each day as a blessing. I have another one of my check ups next February, and hopefully by the end of next year I can hit that crucial 5 year regression mark...it just occurred to me, as I write this, that yesterday (Dec. 22nd) marked the 4 year anniversary of my very last Chemo session..Is that why this urge to come to LiveJournal out of no where spawned? As a way for my subconscious to remind me of this?? Either way, 4 years...wow...thank you, God.
- Current Mood: gloomy
I'm not completely out of the clear yet, because of course this can come back at any time, and I will have to constantly monitor this condition for atleast the next year. But as it stands right now, things are looking very positive and my life should return back to normal.
I wanna personally thank all my family and friends, without there strength and support there's no way I could have gone through this and come out the way I have. Having people constantly pumping you up and giving you strength is remarkably important during times of distress and I am very thankful. I'm also extremely thankful to the almighty God above, I know without my constant prayers and His/Her blessing I would not have been able to get through all those times I felt so alone and lost.
I don't want to get too ahead of myself, as I said the fight is far from over, but at least for now things are finally looking on the bright side.
Thank you again to all those who have meant so much during these past few months and I'll keep everyone posted of any further news I receive after my last chemo session.
Until then God Bless ^_^v
- Current Mood: ecstatic