Sunday, August 30, 2009

Terminal Velocity

So, remember that list I have of completing 101 things to do in 1001 days? Yeah I haven't forgotten about it and have been slowly crossing things off....and managed to cross off #31 yesterday.

# 31:Do An Extreme Sport (click on the link to see photos)

So my one friend is a skydiving instructor. The one I have had Grilled cheese & costume/bondage sex with. And from the first time we met I have harassed him to take me falling from the sky and he has agreed to do so. But circumstance has always prevented us from doing so, and honestly I have always been relieved as to not have to actually go through with it. It sounds badass to say "I want to go but we just haven't managed to find a date that works."

But earlier this summer perhaps in drunk (post coital) bliss, I insisted that this is the summer we should go. Unfortunately he set a date around my schedule and held me to it. As any normal person would do to someone asking them. Well played. I'm not sure why I am surprised but when I got the text on Monday to say "Plane booked see you on the airfield Sat at 9am" it suddenly struck me in a peal of nervous crying and laughter how absurd it is.

I'm scared of heights. Always have been. And I'm a nervous flyer. With anxiety disorder. And so why not pay good money to jump out of a plane at 3000 feet all my myself (screw tandem) hurling towards the ground at terminal velocity. It was at this point that I questioned if anyone had ever peed in the jumpsuit before and said goodbye to all the guys I never had a chance to make out with before death. And made a will leaving it all to my cat including the shoes. No lie.

And yesterday.......................I did it. I fucken did it.

It was the hardest thing I think I've ever done physically and mentally. First off having "known" the instructor for other reasons made me really nervous as well as the fact that I was the freaking remedial kid in the class and kept freaking out and forgetting the steps. At least ten times I thought of backing out. Seriously. But while the others kicked back and chatted and waited for their turn, all day long in the hot sun I practised my jump. The course lasted all day going through everything from what to do if the plane goes down to emergency procedures to what to do if you go off course and hit a building. We went through best case and worst case scenarios. It was around lunch that K asked me how I was feeling and I gave him my most honest answer.

"I'm terrified. Absolutely terrified. I'm scared of heights. I'm scared. But not doing it is not an option."

He smiled and said it a great answer as real courage isn't not being scared. You should be scared when you jump out of a plane. Courage is being scared and doing it anyways. I've never been called courageous before but you wanna know what? I'm gonna take that compliment.

And so I practised. And kept practising. And kept practising. And finally it was time to suit up and jump. The parachute weighed about as much as me, the jumpsuit was stifling hot when in a dusty and insanely hot airfield. And we went up in the plane. The two other jumpers jumped and suddenly it was just the two of us in the plane, jumping at sunset. I was almost crying, I forgot to breathe (sounds ridiculous, but it happens) and almost hyperventilated, but we just looked into each others eyes and slowed breathing and held hands for what seemed like an eternity and then the door opened.....

And as much as they tell you in the class that it's an insanely strong wind, nothing will prepare you for it. It's like standing up in a convertible going 100+km an hour with a 40 (?) lb backpack and nerves. And you climb out on the wing, taking every ounce of brute strength to a certain point and on the cue, you let go. Except I didn't want to let go. So I ignored the command. Again on the second time. Sorry, but gut instinct told me not to let go and I was quite okay with keeping a death grip on the plane wing. I finally did let go, but found out afterwards he was about to pry my hands off anyways.

And then I forgot the proper arching procedure so almost flipped which would have screwed up my lines, but didn't and because of my screw up I actually got to see the moment my parachute opened. And after that, the view. It was hard to steer as it takes tons of strength to do so, and it takes a lot of trust in your flight coordinator as it seems like you're going way off target. But with no wind to help I managed to glide down and had what is considered a 'soft' landing despite faceplanting in the end.

And the nothing I can describe, despite the fact that over 12 hours later I can still feel the adrenaline pumping through my body. It was scary, but I did it. It was terrifying, but I did it. I almost chickened out, but I didn't and I fucken did it.

And it got me a thinking yesterday....I'm not the same person I was a five years ago. I'm not even the same person I was a year ago. Honestly I doubt I would have gone through with the jump at either points. Getting suddenly dumped was soul crushing in a way that has stung for longer than words can get into. But I built back up even stronger. If not for that I wouldn't have jumped on a plane with my best friend on a sudden trip across the globe. If not for that I wouldn't have dated some of the weird and wonderful men that have come in my life this past year. Honestly, if not for that I don't know if I would have jumped out of a plane yesterday.

But I did it. And it was amazing, and I am changed because of it. I feel scrappy and I don't feel like I can do anything right now. I know I can. The feeling of independence and power that I have right now is ethereal.

Oh and this totally gives me Bad Ass credibility too, right? Thought so.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Call It A Comeback

So my blogging minibreak turned out to be a little bit longer than expected, but you know what? I don't regret one single moment of it. The last few weeks I managed to spend time with friends, family, see the facebook wife before she took off to Europe for two months ( her Europe number is now in my phone under "The Whore That Left Me") and going back up northwest for almost a week expedition to see one of my closest gals Pirate Jessica get married.

I was super stoked when there about the post I was going to have about the wedding and all the adventures of the week up north; seeing old friends, the stagette, reconnecting with the town where I grew up, etc. But as with all things ME things have a way or going awry. Horribly, horribly awry. So I'm going to break the story up into two posts. The one I'm going to tell here about the trip from hell and another one to come later with pics to show just how amazing the wedding was complete with happy tears, a radiant bride and groom and amazing, wonderful people.

So. The Story.
(warning, this is gonna be a long one)

My trip up north started a couple weeks ago when I went to the local greyhound to purchase my ticket. I have taken the greyhound travelling numerous times and although gross it is the cheapest way to get from A to B. So I booked my trip to take off the Wed at 1:30 in the morn (blech) to go to Smithers which would arrive there at 2:35 in the afternoon. enough time to have a quick nap and get ready for the bachelorette.

Being riddled with anxiety I went to the bus at 10pm last Tuesday night beforehand to check that the bus was on schedule to leave at 1:30am. The woman announced my ticket was wrong and printed me a new one. Which stated my bus left in exactly fifteen minutes. I panicked and convinced a taxi to follow me home where I threw together a suitcase in record time and ran out the door with the lights still making it on the bus with moments to spare. Whew. That was an exciting time but I made it onto the bus and even managed to doze on the seven hour trip to Prince George where I would have a layover of two hours before continuing my journey the rest of the way to Smithers.

Except when I got to the terminal at 6 in the morning and the driver asked where I was going and I stated Smithers. and he said there must have been a mix up with my ticket. You see, there are no Wednesday buses that go to Smithers.


After a bit of panic of waiting for the station to open its ticket counter I did get the confirmation that there was indeed no bus that travels to Smithers on Wednesday.And there was no flight I would have made to Smithers and no trains running that day. I was officially marooned in Prince George-the halfway point- for nineteen hours minimum. And then they lost my luggage. And then I became the crazy person in the greyhound crying and yelling.

Didn't matter, I wasn't going anywheres.

At that point I received a text from the Maid of Shining Honour, Mare saying that she was trying to hook me up with a ride with the groomsmen. And a couple hours later of drinking coffee in a coffee shop it was confirmed that they would be passing through and would pick me up. Knowing that I wasn't going to be stranded forever made it a lot more bearable. After my luggage was found, I even found solace in playing with my makeup kit and giving myself a manicure in the greyhound washroom (I'm ghetto, no?) and finding an internet cafe nearby that allowed me to surf facebook and eat sushi. By the time the groomsmen showed up I had turned my frown upside down and was sitting on patio furniture outside of a department store enjoying the sunshine. I ended up waiting nine hours but nine is better than nineteen. (Math is fun isn't it?)

The groomsmen were amazing for men that had just picked up a stranger off the side of the highway to take on a five hour drive to a wedding. Jessica had been telling me for months she could see me getting along with them swimmingly, one in particular, Brett( with a wink wink nudge nudge) and I can see why. They were hilarious and charming and easy to get along with. We were already making plans of defacing the town mountain goat statue with funny pictures when suddenly I started to

And ten minutes later I felt even....worse?

And ten minutes later I threw up in the backseat of Brett's SUV. And again ten minutes after that. I was grabbing at any bag I could find to ensure not a drop would get on the backseat. But at one point I ran out of bags, so did the next best thing. I rolled down the window and puked all over the Jeep.

Being mortified by my behavior and starting to realize that sushi from an internet cafe was probably not the best of idea I popped gravol like candy only to recycle them at a rapid pace. But some of it did eventually hit my system not stopping my stomach from heaving but leading to an overall high and slight hallucination and tracers and a slur.Meanwhile Jess is texting me to see if Brett and I are getting along yet (wink wink nudge nudge).

Yes, we were getting along as swimmingly as two people can for guys that picked up a woman on the side of the highway only to have her start violently throwing up on his jeep and then slurring gibberish. Did I mention he has a weak stomach too so every time I threw up he slammed it into park and had to run out of the truck to avoid the chain. This went on.


At that point I had puke on my jacket, in my hair and found myself defeated to writing the text saying I would not be at the bachelorette party while ignoring texts back that I might still make it. Eventually we made it to Smithers where I went to the B&B to sleep and puke the night away.

The next day I eventually made the bridal shower with a bottle of gingerale in tow which happened to be my date for the next three days that I could not eat food. I did not eat food for almost 4 full days. Meaning I was not chock full of hot at the wedding, I'm scrawny to begin with and I looked emancipated in my dress and everyone refered to me at that girl that got stuck in Prince George and was barfing everywhere. Even if I wanted to avoid that title the fact that I could only stomach gingerale at a wedding with free drink tickets would have been a very cruel tip off. I ended up spending a lot of the days eithering sleeping or drinking gingerale and I only felt alive again ON THE GREYHOUND RIDE HOME this last Sunday.

Oh, and sorry Jess that the set up didn't work out. I thank you for trying as I know how you thought Brett and I would go well together, but I don't blame him one bit for politely avoiding me for the remainder of trip. Even if i did try to do the right thing and gave him money to clean his SUV the damage was done.

Oh and after work today I am on my way to try to get the woman fired from Greyhound who sold me the ticket for the bus that doesn't exist and caused the chain reaction in the first place. No joke.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

running behind the pack

I need a week off. Maybe two. I'm burnt out, big time.

Work is starting to eclipse into the personal life and I could almost make a full blackberry schedule out of the personal. Family deciding to surprise visit for over a week was amazing and stressful and time consuming all at once. Laundry and food in the fridge aren't givens and it seems I'm falling behind in my personal life. Coffee dates missed. Friends I don't see as much anymore, some I don't see at all.

I'm sorry but my toothache and vagina are going to have to get a place in line because I don't have time for a dentist appt/pap smear much less a haircut. Someone please tell me where this summer is going?

I can barely find time to upload pics to the new computer before I kill a cell phone and have to find out how to use the next one as well. At this point I'm going to throw fashion aside and wrap everything in bubblewrap as there's no way for finance to keep up with my vengeance for all things expensive and breakable.

Oh and anxiety has reared his ugly head again. How I missed you, you ugly prick.

And then the blog. Sigh. Feeling a week behind all posts. The last to comment. An equally shotty friend on the interworld. Sorry. I suck. And of course that's the one that is stressing me out almost the most.

Which is why I'm going away for a week. Maybe two. And when I come back I'm going to mark all as read, take a deep breath and try to pick up where we left off. For sanity's sake.

Or for the sake of not going postal on the office fax machine, hitting the cell phone with the hammer, crying while uploading pics on the computer, rambling on the blog with random words relating to "fucking split ends.....fucking marking....fucking heat wave" and doing a vlog of drunk crying to Alanis Morisette.