swim. love. travel.

my life daily

oh where, oh where?

One thing I miss about my friends is the fact that they made me feel as if I belonged. I belonged in their group. I think that one of my biggest problems with losing my friends (or feeling as if I’m losing all my friends) is the fact that I don’t belong anywhere. I really don’t. In fact, I really don’t belong with the group of friends I have now but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to stay in their group because I’d have nowhere else to go.

I don’t have a talent. I’m not good at any sports so I can’t look into joining any sports teams to try to find a group of people I belong with. I’m not musically inclined. I’m not good at drama or any form of improvisation. I don’t belong anywhere. I’m not exceptionally funny. I’m rather introverted actually.

I’ve said before that I’m a lifeguard. Well, I made it seem better than it really is. When I was working, I felt as if I belonged with my fellow lifeguards. I had passed staff training and was on par with everyone else on staff. Now that I took two sessions off and am in danger of failing staff training (and by the way – if you fail staff training, you are not allowed to work) I don’t feel as if I belong anymore. I’m not an exceptional swimmer. I mean, I could be but I’m lazy. I don’t swim every week like I used to. Everyone I work with swims quite often and they’re pretty amazing swimmers. The thing is…I would go swimming every week. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I know everyone who works at the pool. There are only four pools in my town and I know people from every single pool. With the state of my swimming abilities right now, I cannot let them see me swim. It would be too embarrassing.

If there’s one thing I learned about being a lifeguard, it’s that you’re supposed to watch every single patron hard and carefully. One of your duties is to judge where their swimming abilities are at to see if you need to scan that zone or area more often. So the main point is that you’re supposed to judge people. I cannot let my fellow lifeguards judge me while I’m swimming and while they have the upper-hand in authority sitting high up in that lifeguard chair.

But ignoring the whole swimming situation (I have grown so tired of thinking about staff training) I have come to yet, another realization. My whole entry titled Queen St. West? I am so ashamed of it. It’s another indication of the extent I would go to in order to fit in and belong with my current group of friends. Seriously? Trying to become more fashionable just because my friends are fashion-conscious and care about their looks more than I do? Humiliating. I have never felt so angry at myself. Shopping is not the kind of person I am. I’m not the kind of person who likes to show off all the expensive things I buy. I’ve grown tired of trying to fit in with people I don’t fit in with but I know sometime in life, I will find somewhere I belong.

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realization and escape

I was feeling rather helpless last night. It was 1:00 a.m. and I decided to turn off the T.V. to do some…thinking. That’s right. Thinking.

I’ve never done this before but I felt like I needed it. I sat on my bed, stared at the wall, and just reflected on what my life has become. I’m not going to lie. Despite being surrounded by people every single day, I can’t help but feel lonely – especially when I realized my best friends aren’t who I thought they were anymore. I realized that I simply don’t connect with them anymore. We’re not into the same things. They’re into drugs, alcohol, and partying. I’m not really that type of girl. Is that such a bad thing?

One thing I don’t like about Facebook is how isolated it makes you feel. Everyday, you are bombarded with photo albums of parties, events, and social outings you weren’t invited to. When you are invited to them, you make a point of commenting everywhere just to prove to the Facebook world and to all your Facebook friends that you were there and that you belonged there. You were invited…unlike all your other Facebook friends. Losers.

I am constantly attacked by notifications or pictures that pop up on my newsfeed every single time I log on to Facebook. It’s annoying. It really is. Facebook makes me feel even worse about myself because everyday, I find out that I wasn’t invited to some party…just because I don’t drink. Because, of course, everyone that goes drinks and shows up high. Is not drinking and doing drugs that bad?

I just feel frustrated with the fact that I can’t hang out with my friends unless I go to some party drunk. It’s not like I haven’t tried reaching out to them. I’ve hung out with them several times but there has been some obvious tension to indicate that things have changed. We’ve both moved on. I have a nauseating feeling that they look down upon me because I don’t drink. They think that I’m some child.

Then I start to question myself. Is there something wrong with me? Not drinking has always seemed, in my mind at least, to be the right thing to do. It makes me feel clean and pure. But everyone else does it. It seems as if the whole world does it – even on T.V. Then I ask myself, “Should I do it just because everyone else does it?” Then I begin to scold myself for letting high school get to me and letting go of my beliefs. I can’t let high school get into my head or get the best of me. It’s only 4 years of your life, right? Well…one more year for me. Thank heavens.

Senior year is going to be one heck of a nightmare but I can’t wait until it’s over and I can move on with life. Oh, and clearly, as you can tell, I don’t swear. Or I try not to. Even if I do, it’s probably written or typed out. I would never say anything bad out loud. If I do, it’s when I’m by myself and under my breath.

So what’s my method of escape?

I find solace in dreaming. I start thinking about what my future will be like. The answer to all my problems? It lies in Europe. Oh, Europe! I want to backpack across Europe and meet new people! I want to find people just like me – trying to find their escape through travelling. Because travelling is my drug – not marijuana, cocaine, or crack. Whenever I’m dealing with pressures in life, I stop and think of Europe. It makes me feel better. You know when you’re mad and people tell you to stop and think of  your happy place? Mine is Europe. It’s cliché, I know, but I can’t help myself. I want adventure. I want to learn about different cultures and try new food! I want to learn a new language and bask in what has become of history.

Europe is the answer to all my problems. I made Europe the answer to all my problems. I’ve developed such high expectations of Europe that it scares me. What if Europe is not what it’s cracked up to be? What if it falls below my expectations and turns out to be one of the worst experiences of my life? Even more lonelier than high school? After all, I don’t drink so I wouldn’t go to some random pub in London, U.K. and drink with the locals. I don’t do random hook-ups so all those stories you hear that go on in youth hostels? Not going to happen to me. What if all the people I meet in Europe are exactly like my friends back at home? It can’t be…right?

the master list

TRAVEL

1. 1000 Most Romantic Places in the World
2. Top 10 Abandoned Places
3. National Geographic’s Top 10 Beaches
4. Top 15 Dive Sites
5. 7 Beautifully Bizarre Beaches
6. 50 Best Travel Websites
7. Trip Atlas’ Top 10 Safest Countries in the World
8. 10 Secrets For Flying
9. Top 10 Most Environmentally Friendly Nations
10. Luggage Online’s 20 Bizarre Hotels
11. Top 10 Backpacking Destinations 2010
12. 10 Volunteer Opportunities for Free Travel
13. Top 10 Places YOU Can’t Go in the World

PHOTOGRAPHY

1. Top 20 Long Exposure Photography Shots
2. Top 35 Forced Perspective Photography Shots
3. 7 Tricks to Take Awesome Travel Pictures

MISCELLANEOUS

1. 50 Things to Do Before You Die
2. 5 Most Widely Believe WWII Facts
3. 50 Fancy Arts of Coffee Foam
4. 20 Things That Happen in One Minute
5. Top 100 Foods For Productivity

More to come!

frustrations

Sometimes, I really despise my imagination. I despise my imagination for giving me such a false sense of what reality is really like. It gives me false hope. I come up with things that will probably never happen in real life…but that doesn’t stop me from continuing to dream of such things. I can’t help it. It’s what I want my life to really be like. Too bad it’s not.

I have friends who’ve said to me as they go on about their life stories, “I’m finally at a place where reality is better than fantasy.” I’m still at a place where fantasy is better than reality. Is there something wrong with me?

Then I start to make up excuses. Perhaps my imagination is just more inventive and more wild than those of my friends. I’d then proceed to scold that thought because I’d be giving myself too much credit.

It seems to be true though. If anyone else could enter my imagination, I’d turn my head in shame because what they’d see would be pretty embarrassing. It’s so far from what my life is really like. Some days, I’d be a reality star in the hit show The Fly Life on MTV about a group of lifeguards at the pool. Naturally, I came up with this idea because I’m a swimmer. I’d make up my swimming abilities though. In that world, I’d be a part of the lifesaving team representing my town in lifesaving competitions (I actually don’t participate in lifesaving competitions at all). My strokes would be freestyle and butterfly (I don’t even know how to swim the butterfly), and although I wouldn’t be the strongest swimmer, I’d be the fastest swimmer…even out of all the male lifeguards. Too bad I’m actually not the fastest swimmer out of all the lifeguards at the pool I work at. I’d be dating my fellow co-workers (based on real crushes actually) but I wouldn’t cause any drama.

Some other days I’d be an Olympic champion in skiing and snowboarding – sometimes in swimming when the Summer Olympics come around. Other days, I’d be a star on the Broadway show “Les Miserables” or “Rent.” My alter ego would go by the name of Beth Richard (I took the last name from my past crush who I don’t have a crush on anymore but his last name was just so nice). Beth is half French and half English. In fact, Beth is distantly related to the English royal family so she is of royal blood…but not too distantly related because, of course, she was betrothed to Prince William at birth. Other times, Beth is a star on the show Prison Break and has been linked to Jake Gyllenhaal and James Franco.

I know. I have an imagination of a 12-year-old…but not just any 12-year-old…a lame, pathetic 12-year-old. These stories are only my imagination at its extreme. I do relate to my life remotely in some of my imaginings.

I do have a life, I promise.

queen st. west

It’s the end of my junior year and I feel like it’s time for a change…a drastic change. I need a change in style – new clothes. My whole life, I’ve been wearing the same clothes. I’m a junior in high school wearing the same clothes as I did in the sixth grade. Okay – most of my clothes are from the ninth grade but I do have some from the sixth grade. Now…I just feel like I’ve done enough observing of what other people wear to go out on my own and get some new clothes. I think I deserve it, don’t you?

I decided to prepare a trip to go Downtown. Where else would I go to get the latest clothes? Queen Street West, here I come!

Always the bookworm, before my excursion, I did some research. I did loads of research. I wanted to go for bohemian chic meets euro prep. Fashion icons? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen combined with the ever-fashionable Emma Watson. She’s one of the reasons why I want to go to Europe so badly. I wanted to hit stores like Zara, American Apparel, and Forever 21. Little did I know how hard that would be.

I’m no stranger to Downtown, Toronto. I’ve been there many, many times. I arrived at Queen St. West and University Avenue but before I tell you what happened, let me warn you. I am not the best shopper. I feel unusually uncomfortable when shopping despite knowing exactly what I want. So that day…I ran into two problems.

PROBLEM #1

I started off on one side of the street but I was too timid to enter any of the stores. One of my biggest fears is sales employees coming up to me and harassing me. Entering a store alone and clueless would make me the perfect target. I continued walking to build up my confidence but before I knew it, I had already hit the end of the road. I was at Queen St. West and Spadina!

Oh boy, it was going to be a long day.

No,” I told myself. “I have been looking forward to this day for too long. I’m not going to go home empty-handed just because I’m scared.”

So I mustered up some courage and entered H&M. H&M was a good store; it was a decent option for me; it had the style I was going for. I walked with determination to the nearest clothing rack and flipped through furiously, trying to find something I had seen online – something that was “my” style (not that I had one at the time but the style that I wanted to go for). Nothing.

I left, disappointed. Next, I went into Zara. I fell in love with Zara’s clothing on the Internet. I entered the store and found nothing that I liked. Every article of clothing had something on it – be it sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers in places where I didn’t want them to be. Without the sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers, those clothes would have been perfect.

PROBLEM #2

So I ran into my second problem. I couldn’t find anything that I liked. Maybe I was a picky shopper like I was a picky eater (although I’m not as much of a picky eater as I used to be). There was always something wrong. As I mentioned earlier, there would be some sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers in places where they shouldn’t be. Zara was out. American Apparel? Too expensive. Lemor? Intimidating and over-friendly employees with an attitude consisting of I’m-smiling-and-being-nice-but-you-better-buy-something! Not cool. Mango? I had walked in and accidentally went to the men’s section (unknowingly). I swear it was an innocent mistake. I knew something was up when I saw two men standing there but I saw a woman looking at what I thought to be women’s clothes (but were really men’s) so I approached the rack. Little did I know that the woman was actually a man and the clothes I thought were for women were actually for men. I turned bright red as I saw faces turn and, humiliated, I ran out of the store. This happened twice.

Defeated, I roamed up and down Queen Street West, basking in my inability to shop. Everything I had imagined in my head just wouldn’t turn itself into a reality…as always. The clothes I had imagined in my head were perfect. Why couldn’t I find these perfect clothes anywhere?

Suddenly, a man clad in red briskly walked past me. Unknowingly, I followed him. I didn’t follow him purposely, of course. Everyone was walking in the same direction. I just so happened to be walking right behind him. This sounds creepy but he was attractive. He wore a red Adidas sports jacket and carried a black sports bag. Hanging off of his sports bag was a pair of red soccer cleats. He wore black shorts, which revealed his tan, tone calves. Oh boy, he had nice calves. He wore white and red Pumas and his black hair was up in spikes – not the gross, too-much-gel-in-your-hair spikes which make your hair look ten times taller, but the nice, short spikes. Not only was he an attractive guy but he was an attractive soccer player. FIFA World Cup, anyone? And not only was he an attractive soccer player, but he was an attractive Asian soccer player – the tanned, muscular type – the best kind. He started to walk a bit too fast for me. I guess he was too athletic for me or something but I was too defeated with how my day was going so I just let him slip out of my sight and keep on walking.

Back to square one.

I then reasoned with myself. Maybe I was just the type of person who will never be like Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. I’ll never be as fashionable as Emma Watson. I’ll always be the nerdy, bookworm with clothes from five years ago. Maybe that’s just the way things are supposed to be. I’ll always be the girl in the background, just observing everyone. I’ll always be the one watching all the other girls get complimented on their new tops or new haircuts. I’ll always be the person seeing all the other girls get asked out by guys who would never ever consider me.

As these thoughts raced through my head, I had unknowingly started walking up Spadina Avenue. Then…I saw him.

I saw him again…that attractive Asian soccer player clad in red.

If this had happened to one of my friends, they would have instantly sighed, “Oh, boy. It’s fate! We’re meant to be together!” For them, that statement might’ve proved itself to be true. That soccer player would’ve turned his head around to take a second look if I had been one of my attractive friends. But it’s me. So he didn’t take a second look. He wouldn’t even give me a first look. He didn’t glance at me once. Because it’s me. I’ll never be the one who would get asked out by that attractive Asian soccer player clad in red. That soccer player would never go out with a girl who can’t shop. And that’s me. I’ll always be the girl who can’t shop. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s just the way things are supposed to be. Who am I to say otherwise?

congratulations

I have many favourite bands…including MGMT. I was kind of frustrated that tickets for their concert sold out so fast! They sold out within 4 hours! Well…I guess it was a small venue in the first place so they couldn’t fit as many people.

Anyway, this is probably old news but their album Congratulations is out and they’ve been getting a lot of smack from the media and music critics. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I LOVED it. And yes, I’ve listened to every single one of their tracks on this album. In fact, I bought this entire album off of iTunes. I’m amazing? I know. I think I’m probably going to buy the actual album too.

Anyway, full track listing is included below.

1. It’s Working
2. Song For Dan Treacy
3. Someone’s Missing
4. Flash Delirium
5. I Found A Whistle
6. Siberian Breaks
7. Brian Eno
8. Lady DaDa’s Nightmare
9. Congratulations

I highly recommend you ch-ch-check it out.

across the universe

It all started when I listened to that Beatles song “Across the Universe.” John Lennon’s deep lyrics and mellow, melodious repetition of the line, “Nothing’s gonna change my world…” had my head in a daze. I repeated it over and over again with that same sense of pride of how amazing my life was. Without a second thought, I dubbed this song as one of my favourite songs. Little did I know how quickly it would turn into such an omen.

I’m extremely superstitious. I don’t mean any harm to the song itself. I respect the Beatles. In fact, they’re my favourite band. This song has such a symbolic meaning for me…so much that it has turned into a sort of jinx.

Have you ever experienced your world just…falling apart? And it seems to only happen to you but no one else around you? It sucks. And it started to happen to me the very few days after I started listening to that song. “Nothing’s gonna change my world?” Yeah, right. My world was changing fast. In fact, it’s changing right now as I type this.

It’s hard to escape when you have such serious matters to deal with in your reality. In your life. My world is falling apart. I have no glue to stick everything back together. School is going down the drain. How is it possible to have a high 90% average only to drop nearly 10% lower than that? Impossible.

I’m shocked. I’m just wondering when this whirlwind will stop. People are turning against me. School has turned against me. Teachers have turned against me. My family is falling apart. My friends are separating. What do to next? All I have left is music.