The Big Dream and The Get-me-out-of-here

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There is a pandemic sweeping the lives of the late-twenty-early-thirty-something year olds who don’t have children, might have fur-babies and wake up one day asking themselves WHAT THE FUCK.

If you are reading this and taking a big deep breath because you realize you are not alone, you are welcome. If this awakens a long dormant sleeping dragon of thought that you suspected existed but you couldn’t fully recognize, then I apologize – because shiiiiit I am about to justify every niggle you ever felt.

We, the unsettled settled are out there and we are hungry, we are stubborn, we are restless and we are bursting out of our skins. Indulge me in self indulgence all you traditionalists.

Over countless coffee’s and beers, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again. The “I am stuck in a rut and I don’t even know how to get out because I’m too damn tired” one, where educated, hardworking, passionate people, lament the thought bubble we are stuck in. We were told we could have it all. So where is it? Cookie please!

The new normal is that we want to have jobs we like, we want to travel the world, have a couple babies, maybe get married and be able to afford it all while the job market around us is like “JK bae, 10+ years experience, no benefits, $38k pa and you cool with working unpaid overtime and weekends? Holla at me!” and the dating scene is a revolving door of fuckboys and girls who can’t make eye contact with anything but their phones. The news is going: Don’t even THINK about getting on a train/plane or congregating anywhere in public in case of shootings/bombings/knife attacks and our parents are getting older and more dependent. That isn’t depressing. No siree.

Believe me, I’m aware of how lucky I am. I’m writing this to you from a first world country that I am allowed to live in because my parents were born in the right place and got me a “good” passport. If I sound articulate or intelligent by any stretch, it’s because I am also educated thanks to that same birth place, and the guidance of two excellent people who poured money into my brain (via the veins of formal instructional institutions). I’m white, which means I hopefully wont get shot for no reason in my car, and I’m female, which puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you talk to, and so long as I’m not running for president.

And listen, I’m the first person to call people out on #firstworldproblems. Believe me. I’ve walked on the sidelines of poverty, I know that there are deeper issues at play in our world than the demented cries of a person who can’t afford the new iPhone.

But if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months of the ups and downs, it is that you can’t just push away things that you feel, and you can’t panic or beat yourself up because you feel them (thanks Mum) or because you are so preoccupied with keeping up the pretences that you have your shit together on social media. We know you don’t have your shit together…we’ve been to your apartment.

I feel it and I’m calling it out. The transition from hopefully graduate to slightly more jaded adult is not that fun at the moment. It’s not cute any more that we feel directionless. This isn’t Sex and the City where our lack of partners is because there is just too much dick to choose from. Our parents are sitting us down telling us they’d “like to see us get on the property ladder” and we’re agreeing with them whole heartedly as we open another letter about our student loans and wondering if we’ll get scurvy if we eat no-brand frosted flakes five nights a week for dinner.

We all started out with such big dreams! We went to school and we played along and we were encouraged to day-dream about what we “wanted to be” when we grew up. And then half of us fell off the wagon somewhere after high school and shrugged and realized that our job’s maybe don’t have to be our careers. Then we split up again when some of us realized that we’d give up that dream job for the security of that paycheck, or the option to travel with work. Those of us that have stayed the course  are more often than not slamming our faces into our laptops in the public library when we are on the hunt for the next job or big break AGAIN, thinking about escaping through English teaching in Asia or “how much DOES selling your *insert body part or fluid* really pay?”

I don’t have the solution to the twentythirtysomething malaise, and no matter how I google it (or Bing it… just kidding The Bing is dead, long live the Bing), no advice post or computer filtered answer can make my decisions for me (though I’d invest in the app that could).

All I know is that personally, I live happiest in the carnage and constant movement of work and sensory overload – when there are TOO many plates spinning in the air (because when that happens, how could I possibly have time to turn inwards). That lifestyle doesn’t really jive-turkey with the expiring “rising-of-the-ladder” career trajectory theory, and I’m tired of trying to be a square peg in a round hole.

Success is measured in many different ways, which is a topic for another day.

But for today – for those this resonates with, just know that you are not alone, and I’ve come to know, for myself anyway, that is the door doesn’t open, I’m just going to have to buy a sledge hammer. The coffee is on me when it comes to these conversations, because maybe if we stack our thoughts and idea’s one on top of each other, we’ll find a way to climb out of these ruts.

 

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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.

The “I like dating this person but we’re not quite ready to get married so please don’t deport me” Visa

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After 4 years of living in Toronto, 13 months of Visa limbo hell, $3500 Canadian Dollars, 16 forms, 7 tearful calls to a Lawyer, 2 police checks, an Expensive english test, a medical (and a partridge in a pear tree… no… wait…) I became a Permanent Resident of Canada on July 4th, 2015 (thank fuck).

It was a touch and go race against time, a tricky maze of paperwork, and bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

The immigration laws in Canada for Australians used to be super relaxed. There was such a thing as a “Working Holiday” visa, open to all Australians between 18 and 30, who met the criteria (no criminal background and with at least $3500CAD in the bank) and the visa was good for 2 years at a time, renewable until you no longer met the criteria.

Until this year.

The Canadian government, notorious for it’s open arms approach to Immigration has begun cracking down and changing policy. Laws have begun changing and I luckily slid in just before these changes had the opportunity to affect me.

At the time of applying and back and forth with the Canadian Immigration Centre, I was (understandably) nervous that if my application was rejected, I would have had to leave Canada.

That was a shitty situation considering I have a pretty built up life in Canada with friends I love, an Industry I am heavily involved in, a family member who also lives here, and oh yeah – a Canadian boyfriend.

At the time my Visa application began to look a bit dicey, my boyfriend and I had been dating for about 3 months. We were at the shy “I love you” stage, but we were definitely not at the, “lets get married so you can stay in the country with me” stage (although this was suggested to us as the last last option).

I felt pretty awful about the whole situation and lost a lot of sleep over it (and gave myself an ulcer I think). At the time, things were starting to get serious with Jason, and it just really fucking sucked that it seemed like our only options were, breakup, get married, or leave Canada.

Thankfully, my Permanent Residency worked out and our relationship was allowed to progress at a normal pace without making any make or break decisions.

But my story is not unique, and the struggles faced by International couples are very real.

On our recent trip to Vietnam we met Taylor and Richie, a fantastic duo who had been travelling the world together for 3 years after they met in New Zealand. Taylor is American and Richie is a Scotsman. When we asked them where they would be heading when their globetrotting adventure ended (shortly after Vietnam) they told us: Richie was headed back to Scotland and Taylor was going back to the States. There was no working visa for either of them to live and work in each others country (I have since read Taylor’s awesome article for Verge magazine which tells us that she is in Scotland with Richie for 3 months on a tourist visa… yay love!).

The same deal with my two friends Conor (Irish) and Amanda (American) who met in Toronto and who need to figure out where they can exist as a couple in the same place at the same time.

These couples are everywhere, and are constantly trying to make love work across international borders. But it’s not easy. Many people I know simply cannot make it work without a clear concrete destination where they can both live normal, unmarried lives, and still figure out if their relationship is headed down a more serious track.

So.

What is my point?

Aren’t countries always looking for a way to continue fostering great relationships with other nations?

What better way to do that than to encourage couples from different continents to continue loving each other, fostering ties at the most basic level?

This is from the internet... I do not know these people but they add to this blog and prove a point so thereeeee, yay internet

This is from the internet… I do not know these people but they add to this blog and prove a point so thereeeee, yay internet

The traditional notion of belonging and “home” is evolving as globalization and international nomadry (not a word) become more and more prevalent. Doesn’t it make sense for governments to reconsider booting someone out of a country if they have a life, a loved one, a family? It seems even my married friends are struggling with Visa constraints on their partners. It doesn’t make sense and this issue needs to be readdressed.

Hashtag ParisforPresident.

There are boy shoes in our doorway…

Since I left home around 7 years ago I have lived in a number of different places.

Minus college life (which was 3 years of boys and girls and alcohol and puke and 3am showers and tears and best friends and avoiding people/eye contact at breakfast) I have only really lived with girl roomies. Not really a deliberate preference, something that has just happened. There have been boyfriends here and there, re-occurring toilet-seat up behavior, but for the most part, only girls, and single ones at that.

My current apartment is the three of us.

When you enter my apartment, immediately to your right is a big double mirror door which when slid either side, reveals two packed in shelves of shoes. Pretty, colourful heels, boots, flats, strappy things that could actually be weapons. We try to keep them tucked away. But we are girls and girls are messy, so often there are a couple of pairs tucked neatly (read: scattered horrendously) on the shoe carpet when you first walk in. It’s handy for that pair of shoes you’re wearing day after day (lately in Toronto…anything waterproof).

So today as I sleepily went through my morning ritual (see face without make up…cry…put make up on…cry less) I almost tripped over a giant pair of MAN shoes. Leather type things with no laces. Fah-hancy.

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I have seen this pair of shoes before.

Maybe three times now.

Shit’s getting serious yo.

My detective powers tell me that the shoes do not belong to any of the roommates currently residing in unit 1314 (1st clue = man shoes, 2nd clue = we are not men) and that they do not belong to a guest of mine (turn around, check bed, conclude no men there…move on). I have my suspicions that the roommate I share a wall with is not the man-shoe entertainer because I can hear every word of dialogue of whatever terrible show she is currently obsessed with.

Therefore, Watson…errr reader… I know exactly whence the shoe wearer went.

HAHA!

Detective-d.

If these shoes are going to keep appearing on our shoe carpet, I’m going to have to start thinking about changing some of my late night/early morning habits. Perhaps I could invest in a burka to throw over my head first thing as I make my way to the room of acceptable-appearance making. This would save me having to put on more clothes and also would save Man-shoe from being turned into stone when he see’s my face (I’m nothing if not considerate and also…vain).

Perhaps we could clear a space in the shoe room for Mr Size-12 so that I don’t break my neck as I race out the door…

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Should I bake a cake for him that says “welcome to our home Random guy, please don’t pee on our floor?”

 

I hate going to the Gym but I hate being Fat more

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Today, like most days I set my alarm for 6am because yesterday, like most days, I could not be fucked going to the gym after work. Today, like most days, I rolled over, denied my alarm and re-set it for 7.45am.

I have calculated the exact number of minutes it takes for me to check my facebook first thing (gotta know whats happening on them Internets) slather my face in make up, pretend my hair looks all sexy and fresh-outta-the-bed-tousled “naturally”(yeaaaahhhhright), cut up some fruit, add almond milk and gross healthy seeds and blend it to a fine brown paste of sweet baby puke which I then sip, as I gag and curse the heavens. Brush the yellow pearly whites, choose which fab (least hobo-ish) outfit to wear, try to figure out if my outfit is too slutty, realize I don’t have time to change anyway, but yes I should probably invest in some not-skintight clothing now that I have a “real” (ish) job and get out the door so I can either pack into a super crowded subway car, or walk in the fresh (read still -4 degrees + WINDCHILL, mother nature you bi-polar BITCH) Toronto spring weather to get to the office on time.

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And then spend the rest of the day kicking myself for not just getting up and going to the bloody gym as I google pictures of Prince Harry’s gorgeous (and thin) would-be-fiance (I’m coming for you Cressida).

I fucking hate the gym.

People who tell me they love the Gym are out of their goddamn minds/have reached a place where they have replaced fun drugs with endorphin drugs. They are endorphin-addicts. Healthy Harold needs to have a serious talk with you guys. Seriously, track marks/running tracks -same same but different you overly-happy, protein punching psychopaths.

But I digress.

I have no idea how anyone could love a room that smells like sweaty boy-private parts/meaty farts, that contains all 360-degree full length mirrors so one can successfully gawp at all ones jiggling flaws with machines that make you burn and hurt and sweat and cry and beg (no more treadmill… I concede, I concede *weeps*).

But then I don’t know how anyone could love Honey Boo Boo’s mother and scienticifics tell me that she has had sex at least four times so…

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The reason I go to the prison of misery is simple:

laziness.

Que? – you ask. Or maybe you don’t – I don’t speak Spanish.

One would think that the very opposite would be true of someone with lazy running slowly walking, through their veins.

You: But Paris, if you’re as lazy as you claim – you wouldn’t be going to the gym at all! You’d be 659lbs and you’d have Chihuahua dogs, 4 of whom you’d accidentally have squished in your sleep when you rolled over!

Too true concerned citizen. Five points to Gryffindor for your astute observations.

But in reality – getting that fat means I would in fact have to do more in the long run.

Here’s how I figure:

Step 1: Get thin and mega attractive (thin is in… deal with it)
Step 2: Entice a wider selection of potential life-partners
Step 3: Now that am prized possession, select partner with most resources good hunter/fire builder/best cave location
Step 4: Entice partner into legal situation where my happiness is now THEIR responsibility and they must do my bidding
Step 5: Profit

If I was 659lbs of pure ugly and loneliness, I’d have to do things all for myself.
Need to replace the light in the bathroom?
Fat Paris: struggles to reach ceiling as she is 5″4 of uncoordinated girliness girthiness
Thin Paris: Casually select any of the multitude of dudes dying to screw anything of mine in.

Need to tell Jehovah’s Witness people to fuck off?
Fat Paris: Trapped in house. Must listen.
Thin Paris: Not at home – out on fabulous dates. TTYL jesus.

You see where this going.

Yes I hate the Gym, but I also hate doing Laundry (see post below). Both of these things could be cured with unlimited money resources, but as I’m the bottom of the food chain of my industry…

Well.

I’ve set the alarm for 6am tomorrow.

 

Oh Gladys (This Blog brought to you by the letters T.M.I)

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So it’s winter time, and many of the women folk I know are letting certain things grow naturally (because it’s cold and goddamnit we’re lazy by nature). And that is great if you have a sig-nig-other, props to you ladies, do your thang. But being single, well that’s  a whole-nother risk. There are impromptu naked-fests with people who have never seen you thusly (or who’ve seen you thusly, who you’re trying to convince want to continue to see you…in the nudie) – and it’s already winter, your skin is pasty as shit, you’re older so its all beginning to sag, and you’ve probably put on a few. So best to keep certain areas as well-tended as possible.

So with that in mind, and the fact that it’s cheap Tuesday over at my torture chamber spa of preference, I headed off into the freezing rain (I walked there because well…its winter, and I’ve got to squeeze my excercise in between Ben & Jerry’s binges) and I got to thinking about some appropriate topics of conversation during the waxing (we’re talking about getting a brazillian for those slow to catch on).

See, before I left my house, my loving roommates joked that they bet I’m one of those awkward clients that try to make conversations.

And they are spot on.

I think its weird to have another woman’s hands all over your bits and not be like “so hey, how’s it going?”

Plus, I don’t know if you’ve tried this recently, but getting your pubes yanked out is ridiculously painful, so I like to make small talk to take my mind off it.

But nothing could have prepared me for Gladys.

Five foot zilch, mid to late forties, mother, Ecuadorian. She had eyebrows that would make your pencil-drawing-granny proud and a sassy post-divorce haircut that just oozes attitude.

All was going well, we’d talked about the weather (shitty) and how cold it is lately (it’s cold) and then the conversation took a turn for the bizarre (which is saying something for me)

Gladys: You know. I’m Latina, so all my clients think I’m Loco. That means crazy.

Me: (One hand holding butt cheek, one pulling stomach skin taught) Right.

Gladys: All the Spanish women – we’re crazy. But not as crazy as the men. You ever had a Spanish boyfriend?

Me: (Flinching as wax is applied, then ripped off with paper) I can’t say that I have.

Gladys: Aye me. I had this one boyfriend, Cuban. He was crazy. Like, sex 100 times a day. Animal. I told him: That’s not making love. I don’t want that. I was always tired. Couldn’t walk. Y’know?

Me: …

Gladys: How old are you?

Me: Twenty Five.

Gladys: Aye, so you could probably handle it. But me? At my age? I can’t even. Can you lie on your stomach now darling?

Annnnnnd Scene.

I don’t know, if you’ve ever had, a forty something year old woman talk about her sex life while waxing your … But I can tell you right now, even in Paris world…well…this was certainly an interesting Tuesday.

 

Romance me like one of your Gym Socks

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I love Fairy Tales, Cinderella in particular was always a favourite of mine, and clearly Hollywood’s too, because many of the chick flicks being churned out by the entertainment machine perpetuate some form of this legend.

I mean, what is not to love about Cinderella?

That girl starts off ordinary and becomes the Princess of a realm. And there is a handsome prince and shoes. What more could you ask for??! Except maybe the Fairygodmother could turn that pumpkin into a coach sized chocolate fountain. Justsaying.

It’s a rags to riches story that I would totally watch on TLC if  it were a reality show and if I had cable…or a TV (it’s true, this wannabe TV personality doesn’t currently own a Television and hasn’t done for two and half years…sorry it’s called netflicks and the internet…plus who has time to sit through commercials? not this gal)

And it used to be that the most outrageous part of the Cinderella story was that the animals could talk and a pumpkin turned into a coach. Or perhaps because of the Meme above you’re thinking the craziest part is that he fell in love with someone after a few dances (like thats never happened to any of us on a friday night…) and then forgot what she looked like (again…we’ve all been there). Or maybe the crazy part is that there was a fairy godmother (it’s called your parents and the magic they work is putting some extra money in your account so you can go to the ball eat). Or maybe the fairytale bit is that Cinderella put up with her StepMother and StepSisters shit for so long (hellllll nooooobitches, especially not if we’re all on the same cycle).

Um no.

The most outrageous part of the story is that the Prince didn’t wake up the next day after the ball and be like…”whaa? Woah man I was so drunk last night. Lolz”, and then went hunting with his friends, singing songs in the wilderness, playing croquet, highfiving each others asses in a semi-erotic way. Or whatever. And Cinderella was left disappointed that the Prince didn’t bother to find her, faced with the idea that this going to balls and hoping to meet a Prince thing was going to make up the rest of her life for the foreseeable future. Because she’d been with all the village boys and…meh.

Or maybe Cinderella totally snuck out of the ball on purpose. Like the Prince was getting a bit handsy at the event and she’d decided “mmmmnope, I’m not going to bang this dude” (we’ve always decided, pretty much within the first 30 seconds if its going to happen or not) and then it was super awkward when he showed up at her place. And turns out he’s rich so she’s like “fuckit. no pre-nup” gimme those shoes.

Ahhhhh romance.

Oh please. Don’t look at me like that. I’m not some bitter old crone, I’m (semi) kidding.

I just wonder what Cinderella would be like in a modern setting.

Girl sneaks into party she wasn’t really invited too. That takes some balls. Maybe she’s at home pre-drinking with her friends and she’s like “SCREW my sisters. I’m totally going.” She gets there, she’s wasted (she thinks she drove there in a magic-ed pumpkin – hello?!) and the Prince is there (he’s totally out-of-it and he hates all the people his parents have invited – he knows they’re just trying to set him up with their friends ugly daughters) they spot each other on the D floor. Awkward grinding/humping in front of all the older people.

They go out on the terrace, making out, Cindy sees that its almost midnight and her Step sisters have a curfew so she totes has to be home before them, she’s also potentially got puke breath. Prince dude can barely see straight – can’t even remember what the girl looks like. But he’s got her name. She bails. So drunk she leaves her shoe behind (classic hot mess move). He crashes.

Both wake up thinking: wow, what a special night.

Now if it was 2013, Prince Dude would totally just hop on FB and stalk the shit out of this “Cinderella” notices they have two mutual friends (ewwww he hates those skanky step sisters).

Maybe he friends her. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he sends her an awkward private message being like:
heyyyyy I got your shoe.

And thats it.

People say Romance is dead.

Disney, call me if you want me to help write the re-make.