What the Fuck Am I Doing? A 27 Year Olds Dilemma.

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I have gone under the radar again as far as wanting to share my life lately. I can’t say since I’ve been back things went right back to normal. They all changed as they do at this stage in my little existence. It’s funny looking back at myself, it’s embarrassing how many things I ignored that were so blatantly wrong. Being away from home for 26 days didn’t seem to have changed me much when I was in the thick of it.

I came back to a new roommate and adjusted accordingly, actually very comfortably. I really lucked out with Tim and I know he lucked out with me.

“Cough”

Because I’m awesome.

“Cough”

I guess we both were meant to end up under the same roof because it’s been so lovely in my humble downtown apartment. By lovely I mean the two of us laughing until our faces hurt. I feel like I’m back in my acting days making up voices, tag lines, and puns that make Tim’s face contort into someone who’s having a stroke. I love nothing more than to be a full blown idiot in my house and it’s nice to have someone who shares in it. Tim’s already had to carry me to bed, let me in because I forgot my keys, and more consistently dealt with me hungover.

Needless to say we are getting along swimmingly.

In booze.

It’s winter, we all turn into functioning alcoholics this time a year, it’s the spirit of Christmas!

I recently received the title of single again in the last few weeks which wasn’t the worst. The first two days I went into full female breakup mode, you know, wear the same sweater/yoga pant ensemble while your friends funnel wine down your throat.

At that point I thought about how I really felt, away from the comfort of companionship, away from the prospects, away from the fear of being alone.

Was I really happy?

The answer was no, I wasn’t anymore.

I’m at a point now where I ask myself this question a lot to kind of let my gut have a moment to put her two cents in. I sometimes ignore it or Im well aware that something needs to change. Sometimes it does this real fun thing where it makes the decision you won’t make regardless of your actions. Those are the times you learn something, at least for me it’s always another hint that I need to listen to myself just a little harder.

I’m ok being alone as long as I’m happy, I’m not shutting myself down either. I made a promise to myself that I would never allow something in my past to affect a new opportunity. I’d never want that done to me and yet it has been done to me a few times. It’s no biggy, people just have a hard time letting go, they don’t give themselves time to do it, it’s a really sad thing.
So here I am hurdled back into single-hood having to make sure my hair is brushed and socks are matched. Ok, the sock matching is never going to happen because clearly ALL my socks divorce one another once they reach the laundry mat.

That reminds me I have to put socks on my wish list…

Work life is all over the map right now, I’m in a vortex of transition. I find being 27 is a roller coaster of “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING” moments mixed with social dilemmas of “How much wine do I have to drink to be brave enough to talk to that cute guy?”
I want to go back into costuming, I miss story telling with clothing, I miss the work ethic and the environment. My training has always stemmed from my love for the stage, that’s how this whole wardrobe love started. It’s not an easy transition to make in this economy, in this overly competitive, who you know society.

However I do have this annoying habit of being relentless in getting what I want.

I blame being a Leo and a product of an Irish woman and Dutch man.

I’m back to freelancing, I’ll be in survival mode for the next month but things always have a way of leading me to where I need to be. I’ll reach out to those who have helped me in the past, I’ll bombard the internet with my CV and website, and I’ll be patient. In the meantime I’ll be back to making money here, there, and everywhere.

Tonight will be the girls annual secret Santa and we’ve all agreed to make a gift. Needless to say we’ll probably all be getting Pinterest fails while each gift comes with a bottle of wine as an apology for the ball of glue and glitter given. By the end of the night we’ll all be in animal onesies explaining the process of creating each horrendous craft.

I love my friends.

They are what make me believe I’m a good person and that I do attract the love that I put out. Seeing my close friends interact at this stage in my life is incredible. I know I’m loving because they are, I know I’m strong because each one of them exudes it, and I know I care about myself because they really care about themselves.

You can’t have friends like that unless you can give yourself that same love. I’m convinced that even in my most doubtful moments I think about who I have around me and know everything will be ok. I know my friends are loyal and always will be. They are a constant reminder of how much I have to take care of myself and take care of their friendship.

It’s family after all.

Happy Holidays Lovelies,

I’ll be hosting the Tuninga family dinner this year so I’ll be sure to report back with pictures of my father parading around in an Ozzy Osbourne wig screaming “MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS”.

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Paris Happened, I’m Back to Reality, Shits Getting Real.

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Paris was everything anyone has ever said about Paris, that’s why people love it, it’s a sure thing. I’m not saying that in a bad way, it was romantic and fairytale like. Our apartment was situated in the heart of said la la land and we spent our last days in Europe soaking up ALL the wine, pastries, ALL the baguette, and ALL the cheese.

The problem with this blog sometimes is that I usually write it in the moment of something in my life. In Paris I was writing the Berlin blog and by the time I got home I was hit with so much that Paris literally felt like a dream. I will also mention that coming home after 26 days really makes you want to turn everything off and slip into that bed you forgot you owned. I was lucky my boyfriend chose to stick around and was willing to hack it long distance styles with me. It’s not common to find someone who knows the value of travel and the value of you.

I came home to a new roommate, he’s non stop hilarity in all the good ways. I swear our first night was spent laying on the floor, drinking bourbon, and chain smoking until 4am. We’ve actually known each other and been buddies since the 9th grade. Yup, became close friends when we were pimply, I had braces, and awkward as fuck. We also dated and went to prom together. That ended in us downing a Micky of whiskey each, getting into a huge fight in the middle of a street in the beaches, and both of us going home with someone else.

It’s amazing how time and maturity can create a lasting bond right?

My career…well has taken a little detour, as it should, because you should never get too comfortable. Maybe I should never get too comfortable, it seems whenever I do shit hits the fan and I’m scrambling for an umbrella. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a learning thing, it’s a chance to grow thing, and it’s a time to get my big head out of the clouds thing.

At these crisis moments I always take a step back and go over all my work, I make lists of the skills I’ve learned so far, and I look at the brand of me that I’ve made. Usually at this point I have a hundred cigarettes and wonder how the hell I got to this point. I start thinking about all the things that have happened to me in the last 2 years, the wine gets opened, and it’s 9:30pm on a Tuesday with me drunk listening to folk music surrounded by papers.

It’s like a scene right out of the coo coo’s nest…

The next day is when I start the actual rational work, you know, look for opportunities, not drunk. I love the job I have now, I get to do every aspect of my talent, I just want more. My boss is one of my favourite humans, he’s fair, he teaches me, and he respects work ethic. Even if I’m off and I get stir crazy I can go in to the studio and create something. However like any business you need to be inspired, you need new surroundings to add to growth. This is my next step, I think at least, to go out and learn more skills. I know there are some crucial career moves I still need to make and I can’t if I don’t have the tools to do it with. It’s fucking terrifying, I have to learn software programs, I have to learn more about photography, I have to learn how to fully grade a pattern.

What the fuck did I get myself into…

Makes me wish this were like the movies and I could play the next couple months out through a montage.

That is totally one wish I would use if I found a genie in a bottle, montage abilities, uh win. And obviously you could pick the song that was going to play out, that’s essential.

Unfortunately I’ll have to play all this out in real time, I have until March to learn some new skills. It’s winter time, what else realistically will I be doing? Drinking wine, making soup, and learning design software.

Guys, I’m so cool.

I’m going to woo the boyfriend with sultry text messages about French sewing stitches and my ability to add layers to a PDF file.

To be real though, this is actually terrifying while simultaneously exciting. I don’t want to make this seem like it was an easy decision. Half of it I barely had a choice in, when you know, you just know. It’s like anything else, when you know you like someone, you know. If you are a mature adult, have self awareness then these things become loud and clear. You stop wasting time on the half assed feelings about anything and everything.

If you are half adult and an aware female you go through a obstacle course of emotions before you realize anything and everything that actually matters.

I knew for awhile that I needed to take a step back, it was a fight with my ego. It was silly thinking I could coast on everything I’ve built so far, it’s not enough. I have the talent of learning creative skills and I learn them pretty quickly when I get my drive in the right place. I know what I am capable of and I’m glad I have the life alarm bells that tell me when it’s time to switch up the game.

Time for more hard work, much more wine, and by March I’ll have a new batch of skills to put towards the professional artist title I so boldly hold.

If you need me I’ll be the jittery one in a giant blanket scarf in the corner of Jimmy’s coffee shop in the market.

Tunes
Gregory Alan Isakov – Dandelion Wine
Ezra Vine – Celeste
Pieta Brown & Amos Lee – Do you know

European log 002: Berlin

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I just woke up in a sea of my two cowl scarves on a train in the middle of the German country side. Completely delirious, sleep deprived, and dealing with a butt cramp and a uterus that seems to be mimicking the gates of hell.

Berlin is over and Paris is somewhere between wherever here is and wherever there might be.

I sit here as Liz folds herself over and over again in her seat to gain a little more sleep before a train change in about an hour. I’ve opted to write insanities and my reflection on the German city we just spent ten days in instead.

Seems like the logical thing when your brain has no filter right?

Berlin took a bit to warm up to, it’s a hard city filled with graffiti, remnants of intense political history, and beer bottles literally everywhere. Smoking is a normality and the mere thought of a health risk is looked upon with a scoff only the Germans could pull off. It’s got a sense of rebellious freedom that reminds you that this city was once, not long ago, under war with itself.

On our second day we were taken to a party in a building of what seemed like a industrial highway. We got up to the spray painted metal doors being causally guarded by a man that looked like he fought bears for fun. He explained quickly that we would be searched and what to expect. I could here the booming of deep electronic music coming from inside. The walls were dirty, there was smoke billowing in every direction, and I began wondering what the fuck I was about to experience.

We turned the corner and I was immediately hit with scenes from True Detective when they sneak into that underground biker gang party. Only instead of bikers picture drugged out gay guys in every kind of outfit you could imagine. Bondage, drag, punk, metal, goth, and the infamous vogue look.

Needless to say I sat on a bench and chained smoked while wondering if Berlin was going to be this every night. I partied really hard when I was younger, I’ve done the drug scene, I’ve done the 24 hour partying. I was not about to revisit those days of bug eyed drug glory thinking I was Queen of the world while discussing the universe with my friend naked in a bath tub.

It didn’t end up being that at all and Liz and I realized it on day three when we were met with a relaxing market day and outdoor karaoke. Our lovely host Benji, originally from France, took good care of us. We got the whole spectrum of living in Berlin and the social history and culture of its mid twenty year olds.

What can I say I learned on this trip so far?

I’m really fucking good at adapting and as long as I’m experiencing true life and not dealing with dramatic idiocies I’m unstoppable. There have been moments where I’ve had to remind myself of patience, I’ve had to remind myself of honesty and that everything does indeed happen for a reason.

I’m not a complainer and therefore it’s pretty easy to bring me anywhere. I’ve adapted to eating mainly vegetarian and vegan as my travel companion is pretty strict on her diet. I’ve embraced the concept of couch surfing which has turned out to be an incredible aspect of this trip. I’ve learned to leave my ego at the door and except help when I really needed it even if I fought hard not to admit it. Most of all though I’ve been very good at knowing my limitations and when to give myself time, space, and rest.

If I didn’t learn the last three things I think this trip would have lost it’s lustre back in Holland. I’m not about to run myself into the ground because I’m in Europe and feel the need to see everything.

I’ll see what I’m meant to see and above anything this is a vacation which should be little to no stress involved. I’ve certainly have had to remind myself of that a few times. I don’t think I’ve properly given myself a vacation in the last two years so it’s been strange to not have to worry about much. Our main concern most days is where to buy cheap wine and how many bizarre and hilarious tinder matches Liz can get.

It’s been interesting seeing our different lifestyles collide and run parallel throughout this trip. We are both incredibly different but in the same way have so many similarities. I’m a house cat that needs my down time, I need to reflect and I move at a calm slow pace most of the time. Liz is an ally cat, she’s needs the night life and sometimes I feel like I can actually feel her brain moving at the speed of light. It’s something that works both ways and we both, luckily, have the loving eyes to see that in each other.

Don’t get me wrong there have been times when we’ve needed to get away from each other, there’s been times where feelings have been hurt, and there have been times of different prerogatives. I’ve just realized we are both strong enough women to handle balancing our independent qualities with teamwork.

Paris is our next and final stop on this 26 day adventure and I’m excited to sit on my little balcony and get incredibly day drunk. I’m excited to go for long walks on my own and have a latte by the river. This is last blast of relaxation. The last thing I want to do is stand in a cue to watch a bunch of Asian tourist snap photos of a less than impressive Mona Lisa.

Seriously she’s like the size of a fucking postcard…

I want to get lost on cobblestone streets and get yelled at by an old Parisian woman for no apparent reason. I want to witness men peeing into sewer grates and whistling at the beautiful women riding their bikes dressed better than any Toronto Fashion Week attendee.

And then I want to go home, back to the job I love, back to the amazing friends and family I have. I want to go back with ease and harness the inspiration I’ve obtained from this trip. I can’t wait to go back to a relationship that has only become stronger during my time here. I’m ready to take my career to the next step and reach a new level of focus.

This trip has been everything I could have asked for and it’s rewarding to know that it’ll always be apart of my life and my story. Travel is now a big part of my life and a very important one. I plan on doing it as much as possible in the next coming years.

That’s a promise I’ve made to myself.

With that I’m off to catch another train across the Parisian country side and to hopefully stretch out my butt cramp.

Thanks for reading lovelies

Tunes (listened to this whole record while on the train strongly recommended)

Vance Joy – Mess is Mine
Vance Joy – Georgia
Vance Joy – My Kind of Man
Vance Joy – Wasted Time

European Log 001: The Netherlands

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Over a week ago Liz and I were standing in line to board Iceland Airways, half tipsy, half exhausted. Prior to take off I had warned my travel mate that I am not a treat in the first 10 minutes of departure. Basically I get an overwhelming fear and start crying like a teenage girl during a bad MSN breakup. While on descending I get a migraine that could rival most torture scenes in the Saw movie saga’s.

But we made it to Amsterdam and rightfully found a falafel house on the main strip of the city square. Promptly after that we made our way to a coffee house and smoked Lemon weed until I realized the floor was actually a giant aquarium filled with goldfish.

We had made it to Europe after a few mental breakdowns, panic attacks and insane self doubt. I had my financial worries as always and Liz basically had her whole life switched up only 3 days before we got on that godforsaken plane. I don’t think either of us relaxed entirely for at least three days, however we were here and everything was starting to fall into place.

We took a train from Amsterdam station, thankfully found our luggage at the train stations locker facility…because you know, marijuana.

First place we stayed was a friend of a friend of a friend named Kevin. A 20 year old international studies student living in probably one of the nicest “student dorms” I had ever seen. He met us at the train station, took our carry on bags and immediately started showing us where we were, Den Haag.

Cobblestone streets, separate bike lanes, cheap wine, legal weed…I had found my homeland. We dropped off our bags, cracked a bottle of wine and started to get to know our lovely host. Liz had brought along her tarot cards which we insisted Kevin take part in (this was after a few glasses of wine). After blowing the poor kids mind with introspective analysis we were taken to a Dutch tiki bar and then to a club where we danced the night away in a sea of cigarette smoke and house music.

Our first hangover had been accomplished but it didn’t compare to the next nights shenanigans. It consisted of a university house party where every 18 year girl was telling me how she hopes she looks as good as me when she’s my age…
I held back my tears and tongue at the thought of actually being called “old” by a girl who was drinking a wine cooler.
Oh and I didn’t mention we were all on bikes parading around the streets of Den Haag?
Cause we were.
Oh and also Dutch people are very tall and unfortunately Liz isn’t so it was a mission the whole time in Holland to get her a bike she could even get up on. She managed by having to hop off and on a less monstrous bike as they didn’t rent kid bikes.
After the house party we were off again to the same club the night before only this time we stayed upstairs at the bar listening to classic 80’s jams. I think by 3am Kevin showed up at my side and proclaimed that we were leaving and that my travel buddy had found her first Dutch man.

I stood pointing my figure in the poor mans face threatening that if my friend didn’t text me with wifi and location I might castrate him. Liz laughing and promising she would keep in contact I left with Kevin on our bikes home. We smoked a joint once we got home and slurred our words over music, life, and travelling.

We woke up at 4 in the after noon the next day and that was Den Haag in a nutshell. Within a few hours we were on another train heading to Utrecht to meet out next hosts Inga and Max. There’s something about having positive energy, being good people, and having a sense of adventure. It attracts like minded individuals and when travelling it hits you like, well, a train.

Utrecht by far was, and, is my favourite city. The vibe, the people, and the city itself is this wonderland of bohemian artistic class. We sat in coffee shops and drank espresso, we ate out at beautiful vegan restaurants, we saw live music, and we indulged in the most amazing conversations. It was really hard leaving that city to go back to Amsterdam, but, that’s what this trip was meant to be. Letting go to except the next adventure and this time it was 4 days in Amsterdam with a man named Barand.

Barand, doing his PHD in linguistics, a tall native Dutchman with a man bun. Needless to say my travel buddy had a certain goo goo in her eyes and I was wondering if I had brought earplugs. He lived in a small neighbourhood that had, again, cobblestone streets, beautiful Dutch children on bikes, and someone constantly playing piano out there window.

While travelling I’ve learned the value of being open, being adaptable, and taking things as they come. I went on this trip for adventure and nothing else. Some people go on month long trips to find themselves, reinvent, or even run away from something. I’m not one of those people, I have everything I could possibly want at home. I have my dream job apprenticing under a Canadian designer. I have amazing friendships that have lasted for years. I have family that’s supportive and loving beyond all means, and I have a man that is loving, supportive, and very missed at this point in the trip. Being on this trip has just set that I have someone really special that is only going to accent my life in beautiful ways. I know I’m getting mushy but Anthony is a man that stands above the rest for me and I’m quite content about that.

Needless to say I’ve been getting waves of being homesick since we’ve arrived in Berlin. I know it’ll pass, I’m already feeling better now that we’ve settled into our new home for the next week.

Oh and I’m going to rant about European toilets for a second…WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THE POO SHELF? It’s this raised bit in the toilet that literally catches your poop and it just sits there, like staring at you, it’s more abrasive then it floating in water. The worst part? Sometimes you have to give it a nudge with the toilet brush because it won’t go down with the water when you flush…I fucking hate pooping here.

I’ll leave on that note but what I can say about all this is travelling, if anything, it makes you aware of yourself in ways you can’t in your hometown. The things my eyes have seen and my soul has processed out here is beyond anything I could have imagined.

Berlin is here and I need a coffee.

Casey Jane

Tunes
Side note – these are some of the most beautiful music videos I’ve ever seen.

Bon Iver – Holocene
Bon Iver – Towers
Bon Iver – Hinnom TX
Bon Iver – Wash

A Battlefield, A Hitch, And A Fear To Fart.

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I’m checking in before I check out to Europe in 2 weeks, it’s happening and I’m insanely excited. This trip signifies a lot for me, it’s an accomplishment. A spawn of all the other accomplishments I’ve had the last couple years. All the sacrifices, all the things I had to give up, the people I had to walk away from. It sounds a little dramatic but I feel like I’m standing at the end of a battlefield just as the dust begins to settle. I don’t know if I won, or if that actually happens in life; it’s not really a competition.

I do know that I am happy to not fight for a little bit.
Like…three weeks.
Then I’ll strap on my guns again.
But I need those fuckin three weeks like Lindsey Lohan needs periodical rehab visits.
A LOT!!!

Everything else in my life is extremely amazing, which is freaking me the fuck out. My friends are still disastrously perfect as was exhibited last weekend at our first Drunk Ladies and Gentlemen BBQ. The boyfriend and I were on a mission to kill our sobriety after a week of freelance life on both our ends. There we all were, all the hitched ladies and the men we’ve seduced for various lengths of time. Let’s face it, we’re not normal, which was eloquently shown through Sarah’s opinion of The BF’s football choice. She dead stared him while burping and then blew said burp in his general direction…

This woman is teaching our children for the future.
And this happened at the dinner table.
Where food was.

I’m settling into this new shift in life, I’m really open to everything and content with the choices I’m making. The cool thing is that I’m not hiding anything from anyone. I am who I am, I have bad parts and I have beautiful parts. I’ll constantly make myself better but I’m not about to change anything I don’t want to. When you go into things bare boned you learn quickly if it’s right for you or not. That took me an exceptionally long ass time to learn and I still have to check in with myself.

Now this being said I’m still terrified to do a few things and I’ve made a list of new fears that haunt my daily existence.

1) Farting for the first time in front of my man.
2) my life is too good and I’m going to fuck it up.
3) Spiders crawling into my nostrils…I read something I shouldn’t have.
4) The designer I work for ( Mark Foreman) is going to clone me and then I’m going to get back from Europe and have to kill the clone.
5) Getting a new roommate after Kate…what if they don’t get my weirdness?
6) I’m still not working hard enough.

The trick is knowing what you’re afraid of, really asking yourself “hey pal do you like spiders? And then promptly shivering and saying a big NOPE to that shit.

My work is a mash up between my two favourite things:
Styling for Harlequin Romance Novels
Assisting a Canadian Designer and operating a workshop/boutique

It’s all groovy on my end, however I would like to make a plan of action to rise above the poverty level, but hey that takes time too. I’ve got my two dream jobs and happily have not stepped back into the realm of many many part time positions.
THATS something to be thankful for.
I think back to just a couple months ago still feeling the struggle. I remember when it broke, the struggle stopped and I was left at the edge of that dwindling battlefield.

And this is the part where I tell you to keep fighting until you feel that silence . It’s bittersweet, it’s the ending of an era for you. Yes, you’ll have many more battles to fight but when you win the career building war. When you brake into that new world the game changes and it’s the best fucking feeling you could ever imagine.

Thanks for reading loves,

Xox

Tunes
Vance Joy – Emmylou
Vance Joy – Mess is Mine
Vance Joy – My Kind of Man

Finding Bravery in a Bear Costume

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Life’s funny in the way it plays out, in the way it unfolds, and in the way it shows you the things you deserve whether you think so or not. Here I am sitting at my desk overlooking Queen West replaying the learning and events in the past week. If you read my last weeks post you’ll know that I told the story of my mental illness struggles. You’ll know it was a hard thing to write but I wrote it, I pushed myself for a purpose that was bigger than myself. This blog is supposed to inspire and make people understand that we are all, in the big picture, just humans, trying to find the beauty in it all. I am one of those humans and from that post I’ve found bravery in my life. I found a part of me that wasn’t as strong as some of my other traits. It was the missing piece I have been searching for to move my life along.
Being brave is life saving.
Being brave allows many things to come into your life. Think about it, all those times in your life when you wanted something so bad it took over any inhibitions you created.
You went for it, you said fuck it, you through yourself into the flames you normally would think you’d get burned by. You went for that job opportunity that may be out of your comfort zone. You let your guard down with someone that made your stomach get butterflies. You booked that appointment that would change your health for the best. You opened up to a close friend about something that’s been plaguing you. Yes, you hesitated and yes you felt like you were going to barf and pass out at the same time. But somewhere deep inside you was bravery and the truth in knowing this was and is the right choice.
Now what comes from bravery?
Truth.
Being truthful to yourself and others can only create a world where we can all live as ourselves. I used to lie a lot because I wasn’t brave enough to be myself. I would create stories and false promises because I wanted to please people because what would I do on my own? I felt like I needed these people who told me what was best, what I should be doing, how I should act.
It was all bullshit.
I realized my freedom while up at my best friend Sarah’s cottage last weekend. Five women in a cabin getting hammered after months of planning a simple three day retreat. There was truthful conversations, lots of love, farts (thanks to Kmo) and just admiration for each other. I never thought twice about walking around the cottage in Cats Roots sweatshirt onsie while drinking a caesar out of a champaign flute. We certainly didn’t care making Kmo dress up in a bear costume and going to the only local bar in town to play pool belligerently. And we also didn’t care that we all told one van that cut us off to suck our butts while doing a jack off hand motion through all our windows.

It’s being unapologetically yourself that attracts the right people into your life, the right people for you.

Which is how I met the gentleman from the beaches ( I didn’t tell him I was writing about this so he’ll have a nickname for now) the man I’m happily in a relationship with. It’s easy to say he came out of nowhere, because he did, however the timing couldn’t have been better. The woman that I am now and the man that he is seemed to collide at the right speed. I’ve had my single rants about dying alone in a bed of pizza pocket boxes and wine bottles. I’ve regaled stories of dates gone wrong where I’ve had food in my hair, I’ve shown up drunk, or planned a picnic only to get eaten alive by fire ants.
These escapades have all been hilarious and have kept me single because as I’ve also said “I’m not settling on maybes and sures” I wanted to meet someone and instantly say to myself “I WANT ALL OF THAT”. GB was that guy and I’m only assuming I was that lady the night we met. It was like a switch clicked and everything I was ever scared of or questioned with a man went black. Now I’m not saying I’m still not terrified, I’ve spent so much time being alone that it’s all a lot to take in.
But you know what?
It’s really easy to do this time and that’s the way it should be.

So if you’ve learned anything from me is that I know nothing.
Seriously, I’m just aware of myself more then I ever have and that keeps me at an advantage in moving forward. I trust myself and that is why I am working the career I want, that’s why I have the greatest friends, and that’s why I’m now not going to spend Friday nights alone in a sea of pad Thai and cheap white wine.
Ok those nights will still happen…
What the fuck am I thinking?

I’m going to keep epically failing so that I can notoriously prevail in this little life of mine.

Thank you again for reading lovelies, and remember if you know someone who is suffering from any mental illness please give them a stage to stand on. Back to my last post, Robin William’s death taught us anything is that we are all battling something. Talk about it openly, support and honour those that do because it’s a huge leap to recovery for them.

Xoxo

Casey Jane

Tunes!

Vance Joy – Ripe tide
Matt Kearney – Dancing in the Dark
Kevin Drew – My God

A Confession of a Class Clown

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Two nights ago I sat sitting in my parents bed while house sitting wondering if I had misread that Robin Williams had died of depression and addiction. I felt hot tears running down my face with an overwhelming feeling of loss. It wasn’t the same as if a close companion had past, it was a connection with someone who used humour as a shield. It was a loss of childhood, like the day your parents “misplaced” your security blanket because you hit a certain age where it’s unacceptable to carry it in public. I lost my ticket to Never Never Land and it was embodied by a comedic genius that made me know it was ok to be young at heart.
My parents got divorced when I was six years old, old enough to be aware that my reality was becoming adult way too fast. My father, who in every girls mind is their hero, their night in shining armour, the one that kept the monsters out of the closet, was now removed from my little girl kingdom. I escaped in Aladdin and found love in the big blue genie that could make me laugh until I peed a little. I think at a young age I realized that comedy was a great way to keep myself smiling and to allow myself to be accepted at school. School, where most kids at that time had parents together, most kids seemed easily normal, most kids didn’t want to escape. There I was, full of confusion and anger, I’d lash out and get punished, I’d get in fights, and at the end of the day retire to my single parent home and watch Aladdin.
Middle school wasn’t any better. Then I watched The Birdcage with my Dad, he always let me watch movies that were a little too old for me. There was Robin playing a flamboyant club owner with his partner Nathan Lane along side. It was everything I wanted in my world, costumes, stages, and a hero that would make weird noises with me. A hero that stood up for being different and outlandishly hilarious.
I remember vividly trying out for the beaches volleyball team in grade 7 because all the pretty girls did. I thought this could be my chance to be wanted. I was awful at volleyball and I remember the most popular girl in school laughing to her group about my lankyness, they called me gumby. All of a sudden I embraced that nickname, I did a rendition of a dance routine from The Birdcage and hit the ball off the ceiling only to welcome it hitting my face.

They all laughed at me, but it was me who was in control of it, and that’s when my life changed.

When I got accepted to an art high school I was excited for the first time about my education. I spent the summer dreaming of acting class, visual arts, and ballet. I dreamt of being invited to all the best parties and having friends that I could call on.
The summer before high school my mum who had been suffering from an addiction decided to get better. She moved into a wellness centre up north. My brother and I were moved into my dad’s house and yet again I had been left in the crossfire of childhood meets adulthood. What I did find was how to constantly make my then 11 year old brother laugh. We were usually left to our own devices and me being protective of my sweet little sibling decided that comedy was the only answer. We would watch Jim Carey, Robin Williams, Chris Farley, and Dana Carvey as if they were gods. When shit was hitting the fan, Kris and I would retreat and see how many one liners we could remember.

The first week of high school I met most of my best friends in my life. I remember when I first met Meghan I was intimidating how a seal walked in dance class and told her how farts are made. I quickly became the class clown and felt my world becoming those movies I escaped to. While things continued to spiral at home I was acting in every play the school could produce. I was making people laugh on the daily, I skipped class and smoked pot and revelled in making my friends barrel over laughing. I always had some witty comment to follow someone’s story. Everyone told me how funny I was and I always had this ability to crack a smile on my teachers faces even though they wanted to kill me.

That was high school, well, I should say that was the stage I performed on. I was popular, I had boys liking me, I was invited to all the parties, and best of all, I made people laugh.

But behind the curtain?
It wasn’t so funny…

I was silently suffering from anorexia and a diet pill addiction. I’m sure there was some depression mixed up in there as well. I can’t remember how it started, I don’t even recall it being a thing until it was too late. My home life was out of control, my mum had moved to the country, and I was failing every academic class on my time sheet. However I was still performing and winning accolades for it, I was still the life of the party, I was still the clown.
However like any mental illness I started to bleed through the curtains and my true self was now in the spotlight. My closest friends had caught on as I would miss a week of school at a time because I was too exhausted to get out of bed. At my worst, when my parents finally realized I wasn’t putting on a show, I had gotten myself down to 87 pounds by the age of 17 years old.

Most of that time is a whirl wind of therapists and guidance councillor meetings. I do remember my vice principle sitting me down after another week of school missed. I was a thin pale scared little clown performing some monologue to try and get a laugh out of her. I remember her looking at me with cold eyes, she said ” I hope you enjoyed your vacation, there are kids starving in Africa so you should be ashamed of yourself”. I didn’t realize it then but that was the first ignorant example of how people thought of me. I was a joke, it was all an act for attention. I had successfully blurred the lines between the real me and the mask I embodied.

I got better, I got help, but for the rest of my life comedy would be my Nirvana. In my early twenties I was performing in two comedy troupes in Toronto. I was still battling addiction, I was doing most drugs I could get my hands on and working in a bar that fuelled the same substance that broke up my childhood. The eating disorder came and went, might I add it still does. It’s not a flue that just goes away with time and it can creep up on you so fast that you wake up ten pounds under weight and not know how it happened.

Robin Williams said this about addiction:

“It’s not caused by anything, it’s just there” he said “It waits. It lays and waits for time you think, it’s fine now, I’m OK”. Then the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize “Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland”.

This is the truest statement and hit me hard on Monday night. And even in that quote you can sense a bit of humour. Even speaking about his darkest hours Robin still peppered in comedy. And that’s what we do as the clowns, we will always, even half way, hold our masks up.

Now I’m not trying to be depressing, if you read my blog you’ll know I’ve found an inner strength and perseverance over the years. I’ve battled it, I’m loving myself more than I ever have. However, like that quote, it still creeps up on me every now and then. The crazy part is I think a lot of people will not be shocked by this blog post. The crazier part is that I think a lot of people will be, just as we were all shocked to hear about Robin Williams.

I wanted to write this post because mental illness and addiction are real things that unlike physical illness can be masked. Robin Williams was an escape, a Peter Pan in my age groups minds. He connected to our young hearts and eased the coming of age with humour. He was a non stop whirl wind of life and energy that we all aspired to be in some way. His passing of depression and addiction is a sign that should not be overlooked.

I’ll end this saying if you catch a glimpse of a friend who momentarily drops the act, if you see patterns in the things they joke about constantly, please reach out. Most likely they are battling an internal war against a scared, lonely, mixed up little lost boy. Tell your friends you love them for who they are, fuck tell them you love them for no apparent reason. Ask people how they are genuinely, look them in the eye, touch their arm and say “What’s wrong buddy?”

Sometimes all we need is a request to come backstage, sometimes that’s all we’ve ever wanted.

Robin Williams was my hero, my on screen dad, my comedy coach, and my constant link to my childhood. I love you like you were a dear friend, because in a way you were there my whole life…and now you’re gone.

I’ll never stop believing in the power of laughter.

Please share this on your walls and pass along the message to all the clowns in your life.

Xox

Bobby McFirren – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I’m an old bitch but here’s what I’ve learned.

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Here I am ladies and gentlemen, a grown ass 27 year old lady.

I MADE IT!

Seriously though, my birthday weekend got weird, wild, and wonderful all across 4 days of late twenty something binge drinking. We danced too, I doubt it was anything to write home about. I’m sure I fell on the dance floor at least twice to the vocals of Annie Lennox. My lovely guy friends who throw the infamous F’UNREAL at The Boat in Kensington Market took to the task of making my legs fall off and my brain check out. At midnight I turned 27 on July 27th, it was here, I’m fucking closer to thirty. Promptly I headed to the bar and hoovered birthday shots like a tiny elephant. You know, to ease the realization that I have to “adult” a little more now.

Alright here comes the reflection of my age thus far.

I’ve become content with who I am, honestly, I know now that I will never be anyone else but myself. Sure, I can make improvements, I can still grow, however deep down my soul will stay the same. My personality, my hideously loud laugh, my stubbornness, and my constant quest to feel the extraordinary will never fade. I’ve stopped pulling back around people and I’ve let go of those that cause me to doubt myself. I’ve become happy with the “right now” and I except the pace my life is moving in. I’m still taking risks, however I’ve learned the ways one can protect themselves while jumping into a bed of fire.

Most importantly my friends and the people I continually meet have taught me more than I could have thought. The love, the generosity, and just the effort all my friends make to support and to be around me is immense. I can’t count how many times I’ve eaten and had a glass of wine because of Kmo. I once made it to a shoot because Sarah gave me 40 dollars to get there and back when I was broke. I’ve had Meghan pay for a night out just because she missed me and wanted us to have a great time. My lovely Liz organized our Europe tickets and made the tough call to just go for it and I adore her for that.
And there’s Branko, my forever honey bear, watch dog, and love. I’m not going to give you a list but this guy is a big part of where I am and who I am.

This is just a very small list of the beautiful humans I get to call my friends and family. I love them all for wanting to be involved in this circus of mine. Last night as the girls and I sat on a blanket after getting spoiled by Cat and her gifts from Japan. This included pancake socks, chocolate, and a full bear zip up costume.

Yes we all put on the bear costume…
And yes we all gave ourselves bear nicknames…

I really felt the love from all of us and it’s incredible to watch us all find our way. We’ve been having fun, struggling, and growing together for 14 years now and I’ll say the same thing 40 years from now.

And yes we will probably still have the bear costume handy.

This reminds me of another thing I’ve learned in the past year.
HAVE FUN ALWAYS!
Get over yourself, stop thinking you have to act a certain way, live a certain life, and do what is expected for your age bracket. Stop taking yourself so seriously because darling it looks terrible on you. Not everything in life is a networking event, competition, or interview. Things happen because you attract them not because you handed out 10 business cards at a bar you really couldn’t afford anyway.

Have impromptu dress up parties with your girlfriends, shoot BB guns at beer cans in a park with your guy friends. Meet a friend for coffee and talk about how constipated you’ve been lately. Have a night dancing in your apartment in your underwear.

What I’m saying is the possibilities are endless.

I do all these things and still have built a pretty great career so far. I’m not saying there are not moments where you need to focus. I have my crunch times where I keep my eyes ahead and do what is expected from any professional. That is the balance in order to live the life you want to live, I just see a lot of people forgetting to do the fun part.

I’m looking at you Ms Resting Bitch Face, fix it and start doing things that don’t end in a #fitspo hashtag…
Eat a fucking poutine and fart in your lulu’s already.

Again this is just my opinion, I’m not saying I have ALL the fun but what I’m saying is I make room for it to happen. Even rewarding yourself after a successful day by rolling up a joint and going to sit by the lake is enough. It keeps you happy, it keeps you moving forward, and it only strengthens your relationships with others.

That’s about it,

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and always stay humbled by the fact that I get to wake up everyday and do everything I love to do with everyone I love.

God that’s cheesy…
Kinda threw up in my mouth a bit…

K bye guys.

TUNES!

Poolside – Harvest Moon
Blood Orange – Chamakay
Still Corners – Strange Pleasures

Werkin On My Shit

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I did it again, I disappeared from my blog duties for two weeks and I apologize for that. I have this problem sometimes where I just have nothing to write about. I mean I HAVE things to write about but they haven’t been looped in my head enough. I escape into a zone where I don’t feel the need to tell everyone how I’m feeling and just live in the moment. Although I do recap the really good bits and the extremely embarrassing ones for you lovely readers.
Life is however giving me a major hard on, like a lady hard on, but one nonetheless. The last time I wrote I was on the cusp of starting a new position working along side a Canadian Designer and I’m happy to write that It happened. I’m now assisting Mark Foreman of Bionic Workshop & Boutique. I get to walk to work, Mark is an incredible boss, and I actually have money in my bank account.

Guys, I did laundry, bought groceries, AND went for a half litre of wine at Java House in the same day…
I didn’t even have a bank account heart attack…
I even bought new underwear…
And a bra…

Ok that last one was a lie because it’s not actually a bra as more of a sexy spandex sling for my chest.

Last weekend the girls ( Kate, Cat, Sarah, Meghan) and I celebrated a very special life moment, Meghan and Xan’s engagement party. Yes I have become the Kirsten Wigg of our own Bridesmaid movie and I’m coming to terms with that. It was the first time I looked around at everyone and realized this was my life family. Those people at that party are people that are going to be around years from now telling stories about when we were young. It could have been the wine talking but I felt like an adult, a real one, for the first time in my life. I mean it quickly went away when Kate and I snuck out to smoke weed behind Meghan’s parents garden shed but for that brief moment I was content with adult Casey Jane.
Now I also remember bringing up a character by the name of LG, unfortunately the dapper fellow had a few more roads to travel down. I just hope I was a nice stop over along his way, he was a breath of fresh air. That’s all I’ll say about him.
Funny thing is that I’ve got everything I need in my life, and, if anything, I need someone who’s ready to accent it. I don’t need someone who wants to paint a different picture of me, I’ve got my own paint. I’ll be 27 years old in three days and I’m ready to push my life forward in experiences, in my career, and in myself. I’ve carved a small knot in Toronto and I’m not about to stop digging deeper.
I booked a three week trip to Europe with my friend Liz in October last Thursday. This will be my first real long vacation since I went to Grenada on a post break up rehab mission two years ago. I’m going to Paris, Holland to see my people, and Berlin where I might need to transplant my liver mid week. I feel like Liz and I were meant to do this for ourselves. When we met and bonded instantly there was this underlined connection to our pasts. I think we both needed each other to motivate ourselves to take a risk and go out and experience something we didn’t think we could do. I’m the first one to hold back on big investments for myself…I mean it took me 6 months to justify buying new underwear. Now we are booked and ready to adventure in Europe. Good lord lovelies the blog posts during that time are probably going to sound like a chapter out of Naked Lunch.
I’m still learning a lot about myself, I still have scars to mend, I still fuck up weekly but I am at a time in my life where I am genuinely proud to be me. I’m glad I got kicked to the curb a few times, I’m happy I made all those terrible late night decisions, and I will NEVER regret the hundreds of 3am pizza pockets I have consumed over the last two years.

Never.

Tunes

Felix Jaehn – Shine
Kodaline – High Hopes ( Filous remix)
Francesco Yates – Call
SPOON – Do You

Just Sittin Out Maxin, Relaxin All Cool

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The past two weeks have lead me to believe that once you figure out yourself, the inside, the deep down you, the life you’re living syncs with the life you’ve always wanted. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who am I at this point in my life, what do I want, and what do I need. The answers were that I’m a very aware of myself, I want to continue finding my career in fashion, and I don’t need anything. Honestly I don’t need a thing because I have everything I need and anything else will come to me in its own perfect time. Its patience and I’m not too good at waiting, never have been. I think I got sick of working myself up, asking myself why this and why that when really I should have shut up and just enjoyed my life.

Things will ALWAYS be changing and opportunities will be coming and going as long as you keep your fuckin’ eyes open! Stop seeing what you don’t have and stop blinding yourself on high expectations that are not real. You know why I think this is the closest I’ve been to being right, well, for myself? It’s because the minute I gave up my expectations, my stresses, and my constant anxieties over not having a title to call myself was the minute everything happened. I got an offer to go and work for a well established Canadian designer, I paid off my debts, I began loving who I am, and my friendships and relationships became even more deep rooted. I even met a “Literary Gentleman” LG for drinks which turned into a few other dates of long talks and getting to know each other.

Its all very lovely and I haven’t had to stress about a thing, well this morning I stressed out about still not having a phone but it subsided once I had a coffee and a cigarette at Jimmy’s in Kensington. That will come too and Ive made it this long without one, whats another couple days, right?

In other news I was door girl extraordinaire for a huge roof top free beer party sponsored by Amsterdam Brewery last Saturday. We were at capacity by 6:30 and 80 minutes into it we went through 1’056 beers…people were clearly having a good time. We closed doors for an hour and changed over to a BYOB which continued to be just as dancy, sweaty, and hook up ready as was earlier. I spent my time at the door dancing with my bouncer Jesse and sending my brother on multiple beer store runs while keeping the masses at bay. We shut down everything at 11pm and had a small after party on the vacated roof top patio until my brother and I stumbled home. I was about to loose my shit on some pompous dick head who thought he was entitled to my beer and lit cigarette in my hand. I was talking with him for a minute before I realized he was after everything I possessed and thought being a mooch and doing deranged drunk eyes at me would swoon me over…

Self worth is one hell of a drug and I’m glad I’ve been overdosing on it lately.

Sunday I woke up at 7:30am and realized that for once I did not have to venture into work like the hungover mess I usually am on “The Lord’s” day. I happily fell back asleep until 10am when my body demanded coffee and being mobile, it’s not used to laying around too much these days. I decided I needed clean clothes as later in the day I was meeting said literary gentleman for an adventure on the island. Branko had stayed on our couch now that he had returned from gallivanting in California over the past two months. I missed seeing his feet sticking out over the couch and being fully clothed in a weird coffin pose.
Going back and forth from the laundry mat with its iconic “sea foam blue dryers” made me fall in love with my neighbourhood again. I coasted the sidewalks listening to folk tunes and became human again while carting my laundry back to my place. I ran into our local crazy woman who is now dressing up as a hotdog, ya know, for summer time. When I say hotdog I mean she actually owns a foam hotdog suit that she dresses up in to get tourists to give her money.
By 2pm I was enjoying a Ceaser on Java’s patio getting ready to head over to Wards Island with LG enjoying the fact that I was fine with having a liquid lunch before catching the ferry. I led him to a little island where I actually hadn’t gone to before and we found a tiny little beach far enough from a bunch of “Bra’s” or “Bro’s” so that we could enjoy ourselves. We befriended an old duck couple who wanted our wine. We talked about the dynamics of dating in this society, past experiences in art, and a bunch of other topics that are now kind of clouded by ant bites and alcohol.

Apparently there are A LOT of fire ants on that tiny island…

What’s ahead?

I don’t know but I am completely alright with that…for once in my life.  I have an idea of what I’d like to happen and I have my goals that I will continue to work toward. Other than that I’m just going to do things that make me happy, hang out with people that make my life better, and I’m going to enjoy the moments for what they are.

You should too, it’s a hell of a lot easier than forcing something, expecting something, or relentlessly pushing for something. If you’re meant to have it or experience it, you will.

Happy Summer Lovelies

xox

Casey Jane

TUNES!!!

Future Islands – Seasons
Beirut – Postcards From Italy
Tune Yards  – Bizness
Mac Demarco – My Kind Of Woman