5 things I thought would be different when I left home

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It has been almost 10 years since I left home and went out into the wild, scary, unknown world of adulthood living. I feel like I was truly and utterly underprepared for what was out there, and had I known, I’d have pulled a jew-dude (TM) and stayed at home until I was thirty.

But just like with black, there’s really no going back once you have fled the familial nest.

I just had so many misconceptions on what I thought living away from my parents would look like.

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  1. “I can eat whatever I want!”
    Oh, oh…ohhh how I dream of the lovingly prepared home cooked meals of yesteryear. So angry and angsty was I, when a meal was NOT EXACTLY what I felt like eating, but instead an equal measure of vegetables, meat and grains. MEAT! Do you know how expensive that shit is?! What I would give, to have two middle aged people cooking for me three times a day…
  2. “I can stay up SO late”
    Want to know what I did Friday, Saturday and Sunday night this past weekend? Binge watched The Wire (because I’m about 15 years behind in my television programming at this point). I am a morning person, so around 10/10.30pm I start to fade fast. I used to think living away from my parents would be sooooooo wicked because I could just drink and party and watch movies all night long…Turns out my favourite thing these days is sleep. Yeah. I’m pretty cool actually.

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  3. “I do what I want!”
    So long as it doesn’t cost money. Seriously. Sometimes over the last few years I have had all of the freedom and none of the money (funemployed/between contracts) and other times I have had some of the money and none of the time (J.O.B). When can I have all of the money and all of the freedom? (right…right…when I rob a bank Oceans Eleven style…got it…have you guys SEEN that movie? It just came out recently in 2001)
  4. “I can date whoever I choose!”
    Remember when your parents hated that guy you were dating in High School and you were like IHATEYOUWEAREINLOVEyoudon’tunderstandmeGETOUTOFMYROOM! Yeah well. Turns out they were right. Man when I was single, I would have given my left ovary (she’s the gimpy one I suspect) for my parents to be hovering over my shoulder as I swiped like: “No. No. No. Yes Paris. No he will have a weird thing for feet. No. No. What about that nice boy from the coffee shop?” It turns out I just wanna date guys that my parents will like and not weirdo’s with spider-man face tattoo’s. Go figure.
  5. “I’m going to get a creative job and YOU CAN’T STOP ME!”
    In grade 12 when picking degree time came, my mother said to me: “Do a degree with the name of a job in it” and I laughed in her face as I applied for my Bachelor of Arts. I guess, if you were to squint your eyes, choke yourself a bit until no oxygen went to your brain and then smoked some meth – you could really consider my whole life one elaborate “Art”. “So what do you do Paris?” oh me? I’m Art. Yeah I studied it at University. In reality, life has been interesting in the working world (#noregrets) but I definitely find myself veering more towards the corporate world as I see all my fellow creatives struggling and think fucccckthatshit. Oh you live in a basement apartment with your sibling, sister and co-business partners and you work in a deli 3 days a week but your new album just dropped on myspace? Cool dude, Imma go over here and work on my excel skills though….

So many people I know have babies now. Literally holding an infant a week ago and thinking: “this adorable squishy baby girl is going to slam a door in your face some day.”

I wish I could go back ten years and slap some sense into my 17 year old self. Eat my free meals, get my free laundry, and remind myself that unfortunately…your parents were right. Uh! Gross.

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…or maims you horrifically for life

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I like that saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”(WDKYMYS). It sounds good, it’s inspirational. It makes you think “Heck, things were tough/awful/soul destroying – but I’m still here!!”

People have appropriated that saying into songs (looking at you Kelly Clarkson), put it on T-shirts, tattooed it on their bodies, put it over pictures of sunsets and posted it on each others walls when their friends have been dumped by jerk’s named Derrick (fuck you Derrick you meanie!)

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I like the expression, but I don’t know if I always agree with it.

Because sometimes things kill you a little bit inside and they make you feel weaker, they throw off your game.

Was Leo’s character stronger at the end of the Revenant after he got fucked up by a bear, watched his son get murdered, was left for dead and then had to crawl through the snow and shit of 1800’s Canada to Murder my future ex-husband/baby-daddy Tom Hardy’s character? (Oh yeah, spoiler alert… but seriously if you haven’t seen that movie yet get your shit together – it was nominated for and lost best picture like 5 months ago).

I mean…I guess he was stronger – like how calluses get stronger on the tops of your feet. But he was also weaker because he had lost his humanity, and he was a murderer murderer and he was gross (like a callus – see how I tied all that together? Yay Creative Writing Masters degree)

I wonder if people use WDKYMYS as a way to excuse awful situations they don’t know how to extricate themselves from?

I’d consider myself a strong person who has faced some challenges. Would I exchange them for an easy life where some of the shitty things didn’t happen to me? Yes of course! I’m not insane. Faced with two choices: an easy road and a hard, bush-basher of a path, I think most of us would choose the easy option.

But life doesn’t work like that, and there are plenty of things that will try to throw you off the plans you’ve made, a death in the family, a financial set-back, a painful divorce, an unexpected illness.

So I propose a re-word. “What doesn’t kill you makes you different” – because not all things make you stronger, and thats okay too.

You are not a failure if you come out of a near-death-esque experience and think: “well that fucking sucked” and you’re not stronger.

End of Thought.

 

Oh, Philip.

I’m not one to jump on bandwagons usually (first of all, I don’t particularly like the idea of travel by wagon, and secondly, I don’t know how much room there would be for me back there, like how big is the band? Are we talking brass, rock, or one-man? A girls gotta know to prepare…what shoes would I wear, how many of my handbags could I bring!?) but I’ve been thinking about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And though I am just another link/voice/non-authority when it comes to him and his recent death, I had a brief sliding doors type interaction with the man a week and a half before his demise. In my life, where I have been fortunate to be so removed from death and it’s consequences, the news that this highly regarded man passed away, after telling him where the bathrooms were at Sundance (glamorous me – what an interaction!) – well it was weird. I don’t think I have been as saddened by the death of a celebrity, someone I didn’t know, since Heath Ledger passed away.

My family has had it’s brush with drug addiction. That is no secret.

In fact – the reason this has all been churning inside of me is the following Facebook post from my mother:

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s children are small, but the internet is easy to navigate. A ten year old today knows how to get online. It will take three clicks and his kids will know all the details of his death. There is a lot that is positive stuff out there about him (amazing actor, well respected), but his children will be exposed to the good, the bad & the ugly. The spotlight casts a lot of shadows, and it seems (from an outside perspective) that some of his shadows were very, very dark indeed.

I am sorry for them, those children left behind by their fathers death. Left behind by the demonic-grip that is addiction. I have seen it’s destructive force, and it is not pretty. It is terrifying to have a parent flip-flop from the person you love, trust and respect, to someone you don’t recognize – someone who’s behavior is so unpredictable, you live with the ice-flushing fear that you will say or do the wrong thing. The type of situation where you curl into a ball to make yourself as small as possible somewhere, and just wish and wish and wish, with a feverish desire that you can’t shake, that you could be someone, anyone else or somewhere, anywhere but there. You look at other people’s families (likely as fucked up as your own – but how do you know that) and ask yourself why you couldn’t have been born into the family across the street.

Is that sad to read?

When drug addiction affected our family, I was older than Philip’s kids are now. The drug was not as “hard” and at first, it was not a “problem”. I was a teenager, and I had the “cool mum” who was out partying, who would catch the later ferry home than us on a Friday night. I wouldn’t say that I was oblivious, but there is a lot you don’t know. It doesn’t start at the extreme with a needle hanging out of your inner elbow. Drug addiction creeps in, under the door, through the cracks, until there is such a mass in the room with you that you can choose to avert your eyes, but you all know it is there. Right in front of your face.

We are a fortunate family. I have two living, loving, parents who support me and tell me I’m great (thanks guys) and two younger brothers I couldn’t live without (seriously guys, Imma need those organs at some point….) but it could have all been a very different story, very easily.

I don’t know PSH’s situation. I don’t know why he was drawn to shooting shit into himself to alter his reality – I only know what I know from our experience as a family. Not everybody has a support network that is good and wants what is best for you, not everybody has had a life devoid of tragedy or fucked up fuckery that makes retreating the easiest option. There is no way I can possibly judge Philip, I did not know him.

But what I can say is, no matter how well his wife shielded their children from the addiction, they knew Daddy wasn’t totally fine.

Even the five year old.

And now that their father is gone, they will struggle with the choices he made – to leave them – to harm himself with things that were so clearly awful for him – and they will ask themselves:

didn’t he love us?

Because that is what we do, the children of this disease. We internalize.

It is impossible at first to separate your parents actions from how they reflect on you. Was I impossible to deal with without the drugs? Wasn’t I good enough? Could I have done something better/differently/wrong? Maybe if I had been XYZ he would have stopped. Maybe if I had said XYZ he would have listened. How could he be so selfish? Why didn’t somebody help him?

The truth is, he needed to help himself. He probably thought he could quit any time he wanted, but he didn’t. Not before it killed him. Maybe he didn’t want to quit – maybe it didn’t seem like it was a problem – we all know what that sounds like.

We all make horrible decisions sometimes, we are all flawed – even the people who give birth to other people (like our parents). PSH made a terrible decision and the results are devastating.

I hope that his kids realize that this is not their fault -it takes a long time to accept that, and that their father had demons that did not relate to them.

I also hope that Philips death, such a high profile waste of talent, serves as a wake up call to others.

His is not the first shocking-drug related death, and it wont be the last.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm

Paris

Should I eat this expired Pork?

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Things you don’t know that only Google/Your parent can answer.

Should I eat this Expired Pork?
It’s best before date is 3 days ago, but it seems okay and it’s been in the fridge…?
Google says: NO!
Dad says: Yes. Just cook it well and it will be fine. Best before dates are for the retailer to sell it.
Verdict: Well I cooked it and will be having it for dinner. Usually I have an iron stomach… I guess we’ll soon see!

Should I book these tickets to Chicago for my birthday next month for a fun filled weekend of USA shenanigans?
Google says: Air Canada flights… your pet can accompany you on board… What the fuck google?! That doesn’t help me!
Parents say: Isn’t there something else you should be using that $300 for?
Verdict: Flights booked to Chicago! YAY!

Why does my stomach hurt after the equivalent of 3 wheels of Brie because there was a free cheese platter and I can’t help myself?
Google says: Here are 18 reasons your stomach might be hurting, including gall stones, Pancreatitis, Lactose intolerance (jesus christ, lets start with Gall stones and Pancreatic diseases before we suggest lactose intolerance… thanks for freaking me out google!)
Parents say: Don’t eat so much Brie Paris!
Verdict: I’m probably dying. Make sure they play ‘Party in the USA’ when I go.

What am I doing with my life?
Google says: Actually there are quite a lot of blogs and articles on this topic as other twenty something year-olds wonder where to go, what to do, how to chase their passions. Glad to know that I am not totally hopeless/alone and there are others like me out there (maybe even DOZENS of us) But no definitive tailored answer. Shit.
Dad says: Keep writing, you’re a super star, you’re amazing, you’ll get there!!
Mum says: Stop panic-ing, just live, here are some quotes, we love you.
Verdict: Curl up into a ball until this round of freaking out goes away. Thankyooooou emotional roller coaster.

Do I have a pension plan already, because I feel like my money is being sneaked out into one through tax and such and while I’d rather have that money now, I guess I should kind of know, right?
Google says: 

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension provides a monthly benefit to eligible Canadians.

You must have worked and made at least one valid contribution (payment) to the CPP to qualify for a CPP retirement pension. The standard age to begin receiving the pension is 65. However, you can take a permanently reduced CPP retirement pension as early as age 60 or take a permanently increased pension after age 65.

Dad says: Well you see… (and then I tuned out – although I love you Papa).
Verdict: Long hair, don’t care! I’ll worry about boring things like that when i’m boring, like when I turn 35.

If I keep eating the amount of sugar I do daily, will I get Diabetes?
Google says:

Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.

Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.

Parents say: We have Diabetes in our family. You should be careful, eat healthy and regularly excercise.
Verdict: Change nothing, worry every once in a while.

Thanks Google & Parents. With your combined knowledge – I am more equipped to face every day.

 

Free Advice: from people who don’t know but think they do, that you didn’t ask for

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Listen.

I think it’s really sweet that you’re interested in what I want to do with my life (be famous, marry rich, pop some kids, die at 99 while skydiving over the Bahama’s with my toyboy Tad) and that you’re taking the time to give me what you believe, is 100% bullet-proof advice.

You must think I’m a fucking. moron. that I haven’t had the brilliance of the idea you’ve just had that is SO simple. Buddy… why don’t you just show me how it’s done, since you’re the one that really knows.

Free Advice I have been given lately:

6. “You should join Alcoholics Anonymous, all the film and TV people are there!”
THANKyou random eastern European Man (and friend) who just paid for my (and my roommates) ice cream for no apparent reason (except that you wanted to talk to us.)
Your advice is so incredibly simple. To network effectively, I should just attend meetings where people talk about their substance addictions. GENIUS!

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His name was Robert Polson…his name was…

5. “You should think of yourself as a product, and put a post on Craigslist!”
Hell. No. Have you ever BEEN on craigslist? Wow. You thought you knew some quirky individuals. You. Got. Nothing. On craigslist. It’s like a High School were all the kids are the weird kids, the cheerleaders are into some freaky-deaky-shit and the Jocks are the guys who want to kiss and tenderly adore your feet (and will pay you $50).

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I get enough interaction with weirdo’s in my daily life – without having a way for people to contact me (more) through the anonymity of the Internets. Yeah-no. But thanks for the tip!

4. “You should Volunteer your Free Time and build contacts that way”:
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First off…what free time? The ten minutes a day I shower before I crash into bed? Or the 6 hours of sleep a night I’m averaging at the moment. Second off…DUH-FUCKING-DUH. If you’re at the bottom of the Film and Television food chain (like me and most of my friends) then you know that working for free under the term “internship” happens A LOT. That’s what we do, we exchange our time for experience and the hopes that some who knows someone who’s cat’s arch-nemisis’s bestfriends brothers girlfriends aunt’s gynecologists ex-wife will hire you.

3. “You should Stand on the corner and hand out Samples of your Creative Writing”:
Okay listen, I like you, but I kind of want to punch you in the mouth. Please don’t start a sentence addressed to me with the opening “You should Stand on the street corner and…”
Not only am I not enjoying the prostitute connotation here, but also, I will physically cross the road to get away from those Cancer/I’m a girl/Rainforest people who wave at you and go “Hey, how are you?” like they give a shit and don’t want me to sign some petetition.

“Me? I’m fucking terrrrrrrribbbbbl!!! Like, legit got cancer in all my orifices, suffering from severe abuse at home and crying myself to sleep every night because there are so few natural resources left in the world, and I personally have an evil personality disorder which makes me cut down endangered plants and animals in my sleep. But how are yoooooooou!?”

Stop trying to make Fetch happen. It’s not going to happen. And I am not going to stand on a corner trying to push ANY of my talents on ANYONE. Except you Tom Felton, you dirty-sexy Malfoy you. Wingardium my Levio-sa baby.

2. “You should just turn up to Production Companies with a Resume and ask to speak to the hiring Manager”:
As I may have mentioned (about 7501 times) I am currently temping to pay my bills, and usually I am put into Reception type positions. And I’ve worked in all kinds of offices, Mining, Financial type places, places that honestly could be Office fronts for the Mob (IDK) but also, Creative offices.

And the number of times people have tried to push their Resume’s on me (the girl with no clue) is too many to count (because I am lazy and can’t really remember). And do you know what happens to those Resume’s when people just show up? Straight into the bin (or shredder- depending on the fanciness level of the office).

HR managers get HOUNDED in this economy and are forever getting un-asked for Resume’s and follow up calls. When I worked at one Production company, they had a computer file with over 500 unsolicited Resume’s from people with varying levels of skill. They were courteous enough to keep them on file and if something did come up and they needed a Cinematographer or a Lighting Person, all they had to do was flick through the HUNDREDS of Resume’s. But I bet 9/10 it went to someone they already knew.

So forgive me for not following that delightful piece of advice.

1. “Strike up conversations with random people and let them know what you want to do, you never know who might be your lucky break”:

Starbucks guy: What can I get you today Mam?
Me: A Spiced Pumpkin Latte and a Job in Film and Television?
Starbucks guy: With Whipped Cream on top?
Me: Only if they pay me extra

Doctor: How are we doing today Paris?
Me: Well it burns when I pee, and also I’m looking for a job in Film and Television. Any ideas?

(Me, tripping over my feet because I’m clumsy)
Concerned Pedestrian: Are you alright?!
Me: (grabbing him by the lapels) QUICK! Do you know anyone hiring in Film and Television?

I think not.

Nope I think I’ll just continue as I am thankyouverymuch. Ranting on my blog, applying to jobs on LinkedIn, Mandy and MediaJobsCanada, and weeping softly into the tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Cosmo Sex Tips are ruining my life

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As an English Major I’ve read a lot of literature in my time, and I continue to read everything from the Game of Thrones series, sci-fi books like Enders Game, biographies and all the chick-lit in between. So for me a Magazine is like junk food for my brain. 

I mean who doesn’t want to look at pictures of chicks wearing hot stuff, with perfect makeup and hair, and be like pfffft I could be a model.

And there are articles in Magazines too. Some of them are great. Many of them relate to sex. Because thats all I’m into as a woman, clothes, and how to please my man. I just had to double check it’s not the 1950’s. Nope. phewph. 

Some of the sex tips are eyebrow raisers, some of them will outright get you punched in the face.

 

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…..there are no words. I’m trying to picture the guy I likes reaction if I tried this. Like, hey baby I want to fork you REALLY hard…in the butt. This one will definitely get you a punch in the face. Next tip from cosmo? Heat a spoon and stick it right up in there. Guys love this. Tonnes of nerves up there. Okay I may have gone a bit far. I’m gagging.

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Me: I TOLD you I like SUNFLOWERS. It remembers my favourite flower or else it gets the wax again.

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I feel like this is unhelpful. Because it’s lacking some very important information, like, when is this appropriate and kinda can you be more specific. I can’t wait to taste your toes. MMMMMM especially if you just got done sport or the gym. Nummynummy sweaty feet tastiness. I can’t wait to taste your beard. It’s…crunchy and delicious. I can’t wait to taste your elbow. Nibble nibble. Somebody call Lays, I think I just came up with their newest flavours. Also, when is this applicable. Dinner? Family dinner? At the bank? I need more information.

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Seriously? Should I just walk around being like WHOOPSIES?

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Why stop at water? Why not jelly? Or Ham? Why not whoopsie wet ham down the front of my shirt? That outta get his attention.

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Okay Cosmo. What I’m visualizing right now is I’m a lip licking, moaning clumsy babe, walking around with her butt poised in your general direction at all times, like entering rooms backwards, constantly kind of at a 90 degree angle. Batt eye-lashes. Now I’m irresistible?

 I’m pretty sure the guys I know would back slowly out of the room and then have me committed if I acted like this. Somewhere with soft walls and plenty of electromagnetic pulses. Which I’m sure the writers at cosmo would be totally into.

Eg:

Tip 18: next time he has you committed to a mental facility, try to sexy up the mood by playfully biting at your restraining straps. Arch your back seductively when they zap you with electricity. Those straight jackets are totally hot because they push your arms under your boobs making them look TOTES big.

No Cosmo.

Just no.

 

Flirting Fails: A guide to my life AKA 6 things you are doing that are turning the opposite sex off…forever

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I’ve been in and out of mid-length relationships for the last 10 years, which is surprising really, because I am a HORRIBLE flirt. Maybe that is why I am such a bad flirt. I missed all those years of getting that adolescent awkwardness out of the way, and now I’m as good at flirting as Lindsay Lohan is at not snorting Cocaine. *Bazinga! – you may applaud my pop-culture reference*

Truth is, I’m 24 and 4 fifths and I got no game.

No no friends, don’t try to console me and say:

“Paris, what are you saying!? You’ve got plenty of game!” because you see me talking to dudes.

Because what you are confusing for game is tits. Tits, my friends – will only get you so far.

These aren’t all about me BTW (mkayyyy most of them are) but if you’re doing the below, you’re probably alone and single and crying softly into one of those Japanese arm pillows I know you have.

6. Oh you seem to like me? Let me overanalyze ever word of your one word text with 15 of my closest friends.
It took me two hours to craft the response “good thanks, you?” when you asked how my day was going. It’s cool. I have a Masters of Creative Writing you know.

5. You’re texting me asking me how I’m “doin” at 11.37pm and I reply with a really long wordy response. (Also are you secretly Joey from Friends?) 
I’m so glad you texted guy I met one time at a bar, because I was really looking to offload and couldn’t get to sleep. Hey! Why aren’t you writing back? You did ask.

4. Hey, let me hit on with a really off-colour joke/sexual proposition as my opening line.
What? Why are you making that face and walking away? It worked like, 2 years ago?

Tinder Fail

3. I’m a bit drunk and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m the best dancer in the room. Check out my moves.
And pose, and pose and double dream handssssPOSE.

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2. We’ve been on like 4 dates.
Aren’t we dating now? Let me text you 50 times so you know I have no friends AND no game.

1. I drunk dialled you waaaaay too soon before it was cute. Whoops-giggle-hee-hee
Seeeeeeeyou never bitch. Delete.

Men (and women) of the world, be patient with those of us that seem like we should know better. Maybe we do and we’re just awful people, or maybe we haven’t had much practise and this is us attempting to become more worldly/better game players*.

 

* I should point out that I think playing games during dating is stupid and Juvenile and should be avoided. AhhhhnnnnnND that is why tonight I’m paying for my own damn dinner.

Happy Friday