Would Alanis Morissette Call This Irony?

Let’s start at the beginning.
Its April and I am writing my final exam before being titled a massage therapist. I have a thought that if I wait to get licensed and just keep serving for a little longer I can serve over stampede, make some money for student loans, and then find a job at a massage clinic.
Its June and I am sweating under a cowboy hat and regretting my choice of stampede work. The economy is bad, the crowds are bad, the money is bad, and the hours or working in a club are just plain awful. (new respect to all club bartenders and servers.) The month goes by and I begin applying for my registration. It should take a month. First step, Get a background check from my city police. Estimated time: 2 – 3 weeks. On the 25th I apply to a massage clinic that I am really interested in and I am told I get the job.
Its July. Three weeks have passed since I’ve applied for my background check and I start trying to track mine down. A friend tells me that I can go online and see when they processed my application. When I check, it tells me that they are still processing applications submitted three days before I submitted mine.
Its August and I get my background check back. I gather together all the papers I need and apply for registration. Estimated time: 2-3 weeks. Four days later I receive an email saying I am now an RMT and links to all my information. Ecstatic, I email my new bosses and say I’m ready.
Its September and I get home from a closing shift at the restaurant. I check my emails and see that I have a new one about an orientation date at the massage clinic. It lists a time for the following day and says “Please bring a copy of your first aid, registration, bank deposit slip, and city license.”
What the hell is a city license, I ask myself.
Thanks to google I find out that as a massage practitioner I have to have not just my insurance and association registration, but also a city licence. I call the next morning as soon as the office opens to apply. Estimated time: 20-30 minutes.
Wrong. The city has to do their own police background check on me. Actual estimated time: 2-3 weeks.
I cry. I’m so over waiting. I feel as though my whole summer I’ve been waiting for a door to  open but it just keeps opening to another locked door.
Its October  and I’ve settled into waiting by working extra shifts at the restaurant. I don’t work Mondays. Ever. Then my manager calls and says if I help them out and work all day Monday she will give me the whole weekend off. I agree, I make plans to leave town with friends, I get excited at the idea of a mini adventure.
I get a phone call from the city informing me my licence is in. I write to the clinic and tell them “I can start Monday!”
Its perfect. I get a weekend off as a last hurrah, and then I start my career.

Silly Sarah. Its the long weekend. They are short staffed and super busy. What better of an opportunity to network, let people know what I can do, and make money doing something that I love?
I start Friday.

I should be in New York Right Now

“Come visit me in Boston, and then we will go to New York for the American Thanksgiving together!”
The planning to visit my sister began and I scoured ticket prices online. A week later I bailed, knowing I had rent and school to pay for. And now that my ex-departure date has arrived, I am slightly heartbroken. There will be no christmas shopping in The Big Apple, no new cities scratched off on my map, and no gym time with my sister followed by binging on NY pizza and hotdogs. And, in general, no New York or Boston.
Instead, I am here in my apartment basking in my newly installed wifi and watching travel and adventure videos on youtube. Not shockingly, it isn’t helping cure this case of wanderlust/ cabin fever.
I miss my family. My sisters and their laughter, and my brothers and their really dumb jokes that still make me laugh. I would like to go travel for another 4 or 5 months and then come home to the farm and my siblings. Travel followed by vacation, followed by reality. Alas, Reality is what I’m stuck in right now and it doesn’t have me learning a new language in a foreign country while embracing a bizarre culture. (Unless you count learning medical terms in a classroom.)
I should be in New York right now.
All my love, World.
I promise, I will be back and exploring you soon.
Sarah.

On The Road Again

Road trips have always been one of my favourite forms of travel and adventure. This time I’m doing it with someone I like a whole bunch and it’s a bit of a “first” for me. Never have I ever taken a road trip with my boyfriend and met each other’s families. So far, it’s been a lot of fun.
On Sunday morning, we left Calgary bright and early by 6 am. With Tim Hortons coffee in hand and good country on the radio, we said goodbye to the city lights and hello to open roads with little to no traffic.

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We made it to Jasper where we filled up and then we ended in Quesnel on Sunday afternoon at 3:30. The evening was full of listening to Dustin and his brother, Brad, and their dad bicker back and forth with jokes and old insults. It was hilarious to watch! Dustin’s mom is an amazing cook, so dinners have been phenomenal.
On Monday it was raining but we still managed a hike up to The Pinnacles which are some hoodoo rock formations in the valley. Dustin and I slipped through the broken fence, walked down the slippery trail, and got pictures on the ledge, much to his mother’s dismay.

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Underneath the cliff was sandy rock that people carved their names into. It stretched on for ages and I thought it was kind of cool. At the same time, humans were eroding this rock and that wasn’t cool. But it was also amazing to see years worth of initials of people who slipped down that trail behind the broken fence.

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Today we have no plans until 6. This evening we are going to the river with Dustin’s family so that they can take some family photos. (It’s been 20 years since the last ones!) and apparently some couple photos are happening as well, so I have an excuse to get dolled up and all purty.
I will keep you updated on the weeks adventures.
Stay adventurous, world!
All my love,
Sarah.

The 5 Worst Things About Leaving Your Parents’ House

Moving out of your parent’s house and getting ton with your own young adult life is an exciting rite of passage that the majority of us in North America know. But amidst all the “I can’t wait to make my own rules” and “no curfew” anticipation, there are some things that you don’t even realize you’ll miss. Sure, people tell you “Just wait till you’re paying your own bills! you’ll wish you were home again.” or parents tell you “You know if you miss us you can always call or visit.” and you laugh at them because there’s no way you’ll call because you miss them. But you’ll want to call. Oh yes, you’ll want to call and with that call maybe jump back in time to when mom and dad took care of you and you didn’t even realize it. Here are the 5 worst things about moving out.

1. No one ever does your laundry.
I’ve been doing my own laundry for almost 10 years now, washing it, drying it, folding and putting it away. It’s not a difficult chore but one that does need to be done if you want to be accepted in social circles that prefer pleasant scents of laundry detergent over the musky odour of re-worn t-shirts. Laundry is something that goes with you. But it’s not until you leave home that you realize sometimes your parents did your laundry and it was awesome. I remember coming home from high school one day and when I went to transfer my clothes from the washer where I started them that morning I found them already dried and folded sitting on top of the dryer. My daddy had become my hero and I didn’t even realize it. Super-hero Daddy, will you come fold my two baskets of clean laundry that are being procrastinated against, please?

2. You always know what’s in the fridge.
Back home, someone else usually did the majority of the shopping. And even if you did have to do some, there were always leftovers from some lunch, dinner, or snack sitting around. Growing up with 5 siblings, somebody was always making something and leaving it in the fridge. There was some form of left over spaghetti or part of a sandwich that was left due to the creator being called out for some farm emergency chore. When you’re on your own buying your own groceries and creating your own leftovers, its no longer exciting to open the fridge and stare. In fact, its easier to just look at the list of what you don’t have and you’ll remind yourself that you’re broke and can’t afford to midnight snack on your left over Kraft Dinner. That’s your lunch tomorrow.

3. Dishes are no longer a two person job.
Okay, so nobody actually enjoys doing dishes, but at home it was always a set. Me and my sister, the boys, or the little sisters. two by two by two we would take turns doing dishes. If a couple started bickering sometimes the one would have to do dishes by themselves OR the two of them would have to do dishes for every meal for the next two days. (the other four who were just pronounced off dish duty for a minimum of 3 meals were always super happy about this.) But despite the bickering and working with a sibling (and the fact that we were washing cook-wear, utensils, cups, plates and everything for an 8 person family) dishes weren’t always terrible. Sometimes we’d play the inevitable losing race of the washer putting dishes in the drainboard before the dryer had emptied it. Once you’re on your own, dishes suck. You can’t race yourself.  There is no one to annoy by throwing dishes randomly into the drainboard instead of neatly stacking them. You just talk to yourself as you lose your own game.

4. Less hugs.
At home there ‘s almost always someone who will hug you at least once a day. In our family, it was customary to give a hug good-bye when someone left the house to go to town for groceries. Even if only half the family left, that was at least 4 hugs guaranteed. Then, if the younger kids were the ones who left, when they came home they were excited to see the big siblings (sometimes) and suddenly more hugs happened. That all changes when you’re moved out. I ‘m not a huggy person with strangers unless theres a good vibe and they go for it and I’m awkward but I’m not going to be the one who makes the hug awkward by not hugging and leaving the other person hanging. So the hugs I get are from my boyfriend. I see him once a week, maybe twice if we’re lucky. I went from world traveling, meeting families, becoming part of the families, and getting hugs in those families, to high-fiving co-workers and the occasionally side hugging the old kitchen guys. Hugs from people you know become a craving that is fulfilled two or three times a year.

5. Recreating Mom and Dad’s cooking is not as easy as we once thought.
All those years of thinking mom was using Hamburger Helper to extend the ground beef. All the wrinkled turned up noses at Dad’s moose heart stew or curry that could kill an Indian. Those are the meals you want to go back to, because hamburger helper just doesn’t taste as good when you make it and after eating the cheapest beef and living on chicken breasts, moose heart sounds interesting and different and the thought of warm, satisfying stew with biscuits is enough to start your mouth watering. No longer do you care about what kind of organ is used as meat. Moving out isn’t all Ramen noodles and fast food unless you want it to be. But even your own home cooking doesn’t quite relieve the nostalgic craving for the taste of something familiar even if it once seemed boring at the old kitchen table on the farm.

Moving out is part of life, but being on your own after growing up in a family of 8 or 11 (depending who’s house I was at for the weekend), all this silence is a little bit too much. Next summer I am mail-ordering my little sisters here for two weeks and they have to be the most annoying and beautiful girls ever so that when I finally send them home I can stop taking this silence and empty house for granted.
Although, soon enough I will be home! Two more weeks today and I will be pulling into my home town and  giving my father the biggest hug possible. Then we will go to the ranch and I’ll be tackled by 4 pairs of growing, lanky arms and legs belonging to my “four little ones.”

I hope you’re having a happy summer, World!
All my love,
Sarah

The Fastest Recap Ever.

Hi.
I don’t have much time to write but I just want to catch you up on my L.A. week.
So, without further ado, here is a summary of my last week.

Hostel: It was great, I met a cool French Canadian girl and we went for a run together.

Santa Monica: My favourite beach and Pier in the world. There’s no place in the world that makes me feel so calm and peaceful as I do when I sit at the end of the Santa Monica Pier. It is absolutely beautiful. There was a free concert the night before I left and it was really cool.

Couch Surfing: In order to stay for cheap, I stayed for free.
-sketchy version: I stayed on some strangers couch for three nights.
-My version: I found this really cool dude who was like “Hey, Canadians are awesome! I can host you!” and I was like “Hey, you live less than 2 miles from the beach! I’ll take you up on your offer!” and then I met him and it was a good vibe so we just chilled. He gave me a key to his place, gave me room in his fridge for any food I bought, and then I peaced and spent my days on the beach and just meandering.

Overall, it was a great week and now I’m back in Calgary. I went to Dallas Smith last night my boyfriend who I missed dearly, and we hung out at the stampede.
On Tuesday I head back into the work force and have to actually become an adult again.

thanks for reading, world!
All my Love,
Sarah.

P.S. I am super positive about the couch surfing experience. The place was super tidy and none of us expected bed bugs to be the cause of my being eaten alive. I thought it was the cat and my allergy to that crazy animal. But no, unfortunately I’m not allergic to cats, and I am tasty to bed bugs. To any parents reading this, I don’t want to hear anything referring to “That’s why you don’t couch surf! It’s so dangerous!” It was wonderful and I’d do it all again, bed bugs and all. My things are washed and they didn’t come home with me. All’s well that ends well! LOVE YOU. and thanks for worrying about me, world.

The Long Post For The Long Day: Part 2

* I had posted this immediately after part 1 and I guess it never went through. Oops. *

A shiny black Porsche stopped in front of me as I stood on the curb by LAX. Not sure if this was our ride, I looked at Rob who smiled and told me, “this is Shayn. Get in.” A handsome man got out of the drivers seat, gave me a hug and asked about my trip as he put my bag into the trunk. We got back in the car and I stared at it not wanted to touch anything. The guys talked for a while until we eventually found ourselves on the top floor of a beautiful apartment on sunset boulevard. We quickly dropped my bags off, I changed into shorts and a t-shirt, and we left to visit the Grove. It was a fancy outdoor shopping centre with the Cheesecake Factory and a movie theatre and all. We saw transformers; or, they saw transformers, I snoozed. And after the movie, my brother told me we were going to a gay bar that night. We went to nordstroms and Shayn picked up a shirt and shorts and told me to try them on. The shirt was a sleeveless flowy, artful piece and the shorts were pleated black dress shorts. I tried them and they fit perfectly, but now I needed shoes to match. I stepped out of the change room and went to pay for the clothes when Shayn tools them and bought for me! “You’re robs sister so you’re practically family.” He told me. I didn’t know what to say other than a lot of Thankyous.
In a state of shock mixed with jetlag, I followed the guys to another store where they sold knock offs of designer shoes. Again, Shane handed me a pair with order to try then on for size. He had my shoe size right too. Rob spoke up and said “I’m buying your shoes. You need a real Hollywood experience.”
So, with a pair of Louie Vuitton heels in my ownership and my outfit so perfectly put together, I was ready to go out in Hollywood. But not without some stellar makeup first. So my brother made a call to his friend who does celebrity makeup and for two bottle of wine she said we could come over and she’d do me up. It was so cool!

Rob and I went to a gay bar called Fubar where a bunch of his friends work, and it was loud and hot and fun. But I was exhausted and losing energy by the minute. It was 1am Friday morning by the time we left the bar, I’d lost count of my carefully tallied sleepless hours, but it was somewhere around 62 hours. I was falling asleep in the bar and I wanted to hold up a sign that said “I’m not drunk! I’m a jet lagged world traveller! Let me sleep!”
It was a crazy night and a crazy long weekend.

On Saturday, Rob, Shayn and I got into the car and drove to Laguna beach where we celebrated Independence Day and got a lot of sun. (Anita, I wore a ton of sunscreen and only burnt a little.)

Now I’m in my hostel bed trying to catch up on sleep and avoid the sun. You know, Greek mythology claimed that redheads turned into vampires after they died. And with this high intolerance to the sun, the amount of people I don’t like, and how much i sleep during the day, I’m stating to understand the Greeks.

Stay sun safe world!
All my love, sarah

The Long Post For The Long Day: Part 1

I have been away for a few days, but I’m back to fill you in on what my weekend has been like this far.
To sum it up in one word: long.
It began on Thursday morning, July 3rd. I woke up at 7 am Jordanian time (which is 10pm Cali time Wednesday night) and I started packing my things and getting ready for my last day in that beautiful country. Yazan was supposed to pick me up at 8 and by 8:30 there was no sign of him. I was tired (5 hours of sleep), I was a little stressed (leaving a place I wasn’t ready to leave yet), and I was hungry (Ramadan forbade any food or drinks in public and I hadn’t bought food for my room). I texted and texted and no answer so I finally paid a stupid amount for the hostel breakfast and I ate and wrote about how pissed off I was. Finally at 9:45 I got a text from Yazan saying sorry and he slept in but he was on his way. I forgave and got ready and this time he did pick me up. We went to his university and attended his last lecture and then we went to say good byes with his family. Faris eventually met up with us and we went for a drive and just hung out. That night we went for Kafkas, which is probably spelled wrong, but it was cheese and coconut and syrup.
Mmhmm. It was the sweetest and cheesiest thing I’ve ever tried and I, the biggest sweet tooth I know, found it to be too much. To be fair, we had just eaten dinner to I was pretty full from that.
We finished our traditional Arabic treat and met up with the fourth essential person of our group, Anas. We hugged and said goodbyes and laughed. A moment of telling our favourite parts of the trip and another hug later and Yazan and Faris whisked me off to the airport. Those goodbye were not easy because I normally feel excited to go and be off to the next adventure, but in that airport I felt sad and like my heart was cracking a bit. I really did not want to leave yet. One week was enough time to see the country but it wasn’t enough to visit sufficiently with my friends. I don’t know if I would ever tire of them.
I gave one last wave and walked through security without looking back. The next thing I knew, I was on the 1:30 am red eye to Paris. I passed out before we even took off and I slept for about 2 hours. Then I wrote and wrote and filled four pages of my travel journal about how amazing Jordan was. The plane landed in Paris at 5:30 am. After disembarking I found a salon for a manicure and then I found some small excuse for breakfast. I wrote more until I was emotionally drained and all my memories were documented in heartfelt detail. A few tears were spilled but very confused ones. I’m happy I went and sad it’s over and I’m happy to see my boyfriend soon but sad to go home.

By 8 am I was able to sneak in a 40 minute nap before finding my gate and getting ready to board. We left Paris at 10:45 Friday morning, 11:45 am Jordan time, 1:45am Cali time. That made almost 28 hours of me being awake and only 4 hours of sleep. Once we boarded the flight to LAX I tried to sleep again but I ended up chatting with the lady beside me. I did sleep for another 2 hours in the middle. The flight was uneventful, but 11 hours,therefore making my landing time 1pm Friday Cali time and 11pm Jordan time.
Time awake: technically 40 hours.
Time asleep: technically 6 hours.

The jumbo jet was landed and I found my bags and made it through customs. I met up with my brother and we waited outside on the curb for his friend to pick us up. I was sleepy and jet lagged and a little bit surprised when a shiny black Porsche drove up and stopped beside us.
I looked at my brother, Rob, and he said “Here’s Shayn. Get in.”

Part 2 of the longest day ever continues shortly.
Read on, world.
All my love, sarah.