The Lowdown on Memory Trucks and Memory Towns

What's up with continually looking back on memories and the way things 
used to be? Why do I do it so much it takes up all the space under my 
bed and prevents my clothing from hanging properly in my closet?
I'd like to think that I'm not the only one.
The thing is, I'm not sure one can train themselves to think less of 
those past years... or even if we want to.
I don't know about you but I find comfort and a sense of peace when I 
look back. It's like those good times can't get messed up and the 
feelings that attach with it, are ones that won't get snatched away. 
It's safe.
But along with these happy feelings, a longing tends to squirm and it's 
movements echo throughout our body. However small this longing may 
be, our minds usually catch feel of it.

When I decided to look into the bottom of my memory box I found that a 
lot of the photos and clippings, the receipts and the trinkets were 
from a certain town.
I realized that the destination of my rides to the past, were pretty 
darn predictable. Memory lane? Talk about a highway engrossed with 
directional speed. Zooming down tootsie roll roads,over a few hills and
home-made pizza bridges, ending up in the town of Two Thousand and Seven. 
Almost every single time.
Why there?

The memory destination for each of us is of course, different. It
is not just because of the parts of the world we are in, nor our personal
experiences but because of what we value in life.
Our interests and our values determine what lies at the bottom of our memory
box which in turn, determines where we arrive when we travel back. 

Do we have a choice of where the Memory trucks go?
Instead of revisiting the streets and buildings of Two Thousand and 
Seven, can we journey beyond that town and into another?
We certainly can.
The roads there may be of different texture, and various memories that 
you had forgotten could be located in oncoming traffic. These memories 
may produce feelings you weren't expecting and may alter your course 
but eventually you get there.
Looking around we see things we are familiar with. This town is full of 
people to.The smiles and interactions, the trees and the sidewalks. 

And the things you notice matter.

Even though it may be another year of memories, with perhaps a 
different country under your feet or a person gone-someone who was 
always in your memories before,there is a connection between all your 
memory box pieces.

What do you value in life?
Let's say you have children now and you value them the most. The 
value doesn't necessarily change in your memories and moments before 
they were born,the care and devotion just gets focused elsewhere. The 
strongest feeling you get when you think of your children, was 
dispersed elsewhere before you had them.Perhaps you showed your 
husband more care and attention because you liked his dependence on you. 
You valued feeling worthy and needed that connection to feel loved.

Maybe you value relationships, friendships.
Even though there are people who are in your life only for a day or a 
week it does not make them incapable of impacting you.
Isn't that kind of neat to think about?
Some of course, are with you through a longer period of time and those 
inevitably influence who you are. Sometimes we take on their morals and 
ways of thinking, sometimes we may almost lose our individuality.
The point is, the memories we continue to go back to are generally 
ones that contain what we value most in life.

For me, Two Thousand and Seven has streets filled with incredible 
realizations based on the people who were around me. The discovery of 
friendships as well as that long-lasting knowledge. So much love that 
seems to seep out from every corner and building of that Memory town
when I visit.

Why does it always seem so much better when I look back? Why wasnt it 
just as good then? When I was actually in that year with those people?
Most of us are familiar with the lyric,' we don't know what we've got
until it's gone'.
 I believe that can pertain to the reasoning but I also believe 
if we were thinking about those moments the way we do now, while BEING 
in those moments, it would change them completely, if not lose them. 
Our awe could freeze us, our blinking eyes could miss the minutes and 
our present days would be altered drastically.

It's okay to look back on those good times and reminisce of all the 
fun things you used to do, but how healthy is it if it is preventing 
these current days of great potential from occurring?

Which brings me to my final point.
What about the days we are living now? Are we so absorbed in the past 
that we are faltering in our present? Are we trying to capture the 
good feelings we assume we will feel years later on-about these 
current moments? Are we freezing up because we are afraid that what we 
value may disappear?

It is sad to think that distance may grow between a best friend you 
had or that someone you cared about will stop spending as much time with you.
Somethings are within our control and others are simply not.
What I want us to do is figure out our values.
Whether we have to take a few trips to our memory box or 
whether we already know,once those values are established we must 
plant them in our daily lives. We need to make country hills full of 
this stuff so that we can smell it wherever we go. Our crop must be 
visited everyday. We must nourish the seeds, the leaves, and the 
flower. We must care for them with delicate compassion and respect for 
our values determine our happiness. By focusing on them, we will feel 
fulfilled and the lungs of our daily lives will enable a strength that
allows us to dance for a lifetime in the presence of what we value most.
The more we stay focused on what we care about the most, the better 
the chance we will start living days we embrace with our whole heart.

Are things usually this wonderful?

How come the Discovery Channel and How It’s Made shows are much more interesting when he’s watching with me? The history shows and the mystery shows?
I do enjoy reading but how come when we read together, the pages of my book seem more reachable?
 I like eating but when I eat with him, the food blooms in my taste buds and stays the whole portion. I’ll eat the same dish alone, and the goodness doesn’t last.
I always do a better job of folding clothes, when it’s his clothes I’m folding.
How much difference can there be between him pouring two packets of coffee mix into boiled water vs me, doing it?
The air always seems fresh, when it’s his type of music notes floating around and when the air is fresh I sing better, don’t I?
Did I get better at managing my time or is it just because I know that doing all the cleaning before he arrives home, results in the ability to spend more time with him?
Is it because the shells he picks are actually prettier then the ones I pick, or is it really because he’s the one choosing them for me?
When we play volleyball, I’m not as afraid of the ball and when we have drinks together, I make mine last longer than I usually do.
Am I not that great of a person or is it just that I am better when I am with him?
Are the small things in life usually this beautiful or is it because they truly
always are-I just have someone to share it all with now?

I like leggings but I don’t like to egg lemmings

i like sex but im not a pornstar
i like the moon but i’ve never been
i like people but i’m just a person
i like socks but i don’t wear them to bed.
i like movies but i’ve never been in one
i like taking pictures of friends, but i don’t own a camera
i like coffee but i don’t plant the beans
i like earrings, but i only wear one.
i like love but i’ve only been in once
i like camels but i’ll probably never own one
i like writing but i’ve never met my readers
i like reading but only when you write.

Insight into ‘First Times’

First times are gigantic.
The first man on the moon,the location of the first operating Starbucks,the first person over Niagara Falls to survive…etc.Even if we don’t remember the names of these people or places, we can acknowledge at some point in time, there was a first. Which tends to stand out over the fifth or twentieth time,right?
      First times are as gigantic as the new Boeing 787 that’s been built with a mini theatre, a second cockpit ( for those of you who want to pretend you’re flying the thing ) beds, bigger windows and increased oxygen absorption.
This is gigantic.Not only because it will have all these things but because all of this… will be able to soar thousands of feet above land.
First times are gigantic because they can only happen once.
Every single time.
I’m going to outline a few first times in my life. On April 1st 2006 I had sex for the first time. I was 17 and we had been together 3 months. His bedroom walls were dark green and I was shy and let him do most of the everything. It wasn’t anything extraordinarily wonderful, but I felt a lot and cried in his arms after. Most people don’t remember there first hair cut. Ido because I was 14 years old. It was in Texas while on holiday and mymother cried. After the six inches were cut off, I sauntered through the mall in front of my family, whipping my head from side to side,grinning. I was four pounds lighter. I remember the first time I got an A on a math test. I was in grade six and it was because I had cheated. Most of us remember our first kiss. It was the summer between grade 9 and 10 and I was at a church event in Montreal. A hundred of us were at a camp site  and after lights out, I sneaked away to a van Josh and I had planned to meet by. It was late and I was tired and I remember my stomach twisting all over the place, my lips and mouth as dry as the Atacama Desert. He set me on his lap after 15 minutes of painful conversation. He pushed his face up to mine and tilted my head down to his. Years later I laugh when I read my journal entry about it . I write how marvelous it was. That my heart leapt and I was transported to some magical place. I laugh because it wasn’t one fraction like that in reality. It was yuck to me. All yuck. Apparently I fit in with the majority. Most girls’ first kisses, are not enjoyed. With a blindfold around my eyes I tasted my first green olive. I was in Mrs. Parkers grade 7 class and I was in the front right corner of the room. Taste guessing. You can guess that my team did not win that round but instead were forced to settle with a gagging little Jenny.   The first fish I owned was named after my best friend at the time. Katelyn left for Alberta on January 27th, 1999 and all my future memories with her thereafter, were held solely with her fishie. I was drunk off of apple sourpuss new years 2004. I was at a house with my closest friends in highschool and was lying on the carpeted basement floor, looking up at the ceiling. I made the distinct acknowledgement that it was my first drunken encounter and that the room was in actual fact,  spinning.  I opened up my first video camera while sitting on the plaid couches. My family looked on as we celebrated my 14th birthday. The year after, I got my first snowboard. It was Christmas and my belly was full as usual, with Hershey kisses and candy canes. When I was 15 I got my first pair of skate shoes. They were all white and you were ‘supposed’ to wear them without the laces done up. I remember people asking me why I didn’t tie them. I shrugged and next week there were a few more pairs on the playground. My right ear was pierced on July 20th 2007. My best friend Melanie, got the other one done. We share earrings.  The first movie I saw in theaters was Serendipity. Jessica invited me and a bunch of other girls to celebrate her birthday. This was in grade eight.  It was October 29th 2006 and I was in an empty school yard with the boyfriend I first had sex with. In the sky was the first full rainbow  my eyes had ever seen. From end to end, it stretched bold and bright.  On January 12th of this year I rode in a helicopter for the first time.My boyfriend was behind the controls.   On February 1st I skyped with my father for the first time. He was in the kitchen and wearing the pyjamas he’s had since dinosaurs reigned. I could tell he had just had a shower and not because his hair looked wet, but because it was combed in a little cone shape, the way it usually is after he has one. About two weeks later it was my mother and I and our first. She wore her white bath robe and a smile that broadened every time I spoke.   The first song I made for my father was for his birthday in 2011.  November 19th. It was called ‘ Because of You’ and I recorded it in  the kitchen, singing softly  and strumming the guitar with patience.  The first time I bled down there, my best friend ( at the time ) and  I, were sledding down the hills in my ‘then’ backyard. My brothers had  poured water down a certain part and we thought we could handle it. I  got on the sled first and sat at the front. She snuggled up behind me.  Once the ice was hit, we were out of control. We hit a big tree and my  legs happened to wrap around the darn thing which meant my crotch got  the entire impact. I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak. My brothers  and friend looked on, stifling their laughter and trying to figure out  what to do. They ended up heaving me onto a yellow torpedo sled,  hauling me up to the very top of the hill where I more or less,  crawled into the house, yelling for Mom. My mother told me that some  girls just start bleeding down there, and maybe thats what it was. It  wasn’t. Because I didn’t bleed again for a whole year.  I went to Oman in 2006 with my family. This is where I saw my first  out-of-the-zoo camel. I was scared to touch it and an Arab looked  on, smirking, while my brother snapped a photo.    It was the morning of January 15th 2008. My four best guy friends  ( even to this day ) were standing in my driveway. I hugged each of  them individually and told them I loved them for the very first  time.Tears and snot were on shoulders and faces, all of them, their  eyes glistening. It was six months later before I saw any of them again.   Troy sat behind me in World Religions class.In the first week of the  semester, he poked my shoulder and handed me a drawing of the back of  my head. He said it had taken him awhile to do.I smiled at it,  thinking how good I really didn’t think it was.It was the first time   we had spoken to one another and he was going to be my best friend.   I started birth control for the first time in the fall of 2008. I  ended that control only a few months later.   The first year I have ever started a bit overweight, has been this one.    I woke up in a hospital wearing a nightgown and tubes. In November of  2008 my stomach was pumped for the first time. Kings of Leon were never seen by me because the two hours prior to arriving,  consisted only of taking back to back shots of cheap vodka.    The first time I got high was with my first-sex boyfriend. I threw up on  his parents porch in the summer evening of 2006.   After 6 and a half months without, I saw the first Tim Hortons in  Vancouver Airport. I couldn’t even order because I was in a confined  space with the rest of the passengers on the connecting flight.    The first idea of creating this post came to me while laying in bed on  February 18th. It was near midnight and I left pre-sleep and I sat in  the bathroom, my back against the wall, typing out the first of many  firsts.   The first time I told my sister I had started liking apples, she  didn’t believe me.   In grade 7 I was nominated to say my speech in front of the whole school.It  was about my dog Levi and I swear I was only nominated because I was  nervous enough to produce a voice that sounded like it was surfing the  biggest waves off of South Africa.   On November 15th 2007 my two best friends and I set out on an  adventure. It consisted of 30 days, 13,300 km and packages upon  packages of ramen noodles. Along the east coast of America, across the  south all the way to Mexico. Up through California and into Seattle.  Hopped over to Vancouver and back again, scooting for home. My first  official road trip. These same two best friends and I, each got a tattoo .Three days prior to that day, we got broken into and thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen. But us? We were unharmed. For two years we had thought about this tattoo and in Thailand on April 19th 2008 our left wrists were inscribed with one word. ‘ Us’. My first tattoo.    When I was 7 years old I saw the house we live in now, for the first  time. I was standing up between the passenger seat and the drivers seat in our family dodge caravan, craning my neck to see it before my  other siblings did.   I called my mother in a mild panic, asking her to pick me up. I told  her the address of a house she had never been to before and I huddled  on the stairs while people laughed and chatted below. I waited there  until she arrived. I slowly sat down in the passenger seat and through  dribbling tears I asked if she could take me to my best friends  house.It was the first time my mother saw me high.  I think we would agree that behind the large aircraft mentioned at  the beginning of this post, with all its flashy gadgetry and modern  fuselage, there has to be someone who makes it all come together in  order for it to fly. We will have hundreds of firsts in our lives but  instead of having aircraft engineers tinkering around, making things fit and bolting parts tighter, it is you that has that responsibility. Most likely the majority of the firsts in your life will have seconds and thirds, even 60ths that follow, but our firsts tend to be the most memorable.   As we get older, the chances of firsts don’t necessarily diminish into zip. Our enthusiasm however, might. That is why, we need to create and maintain that steady pace of excitement for all things new. Even if our lips happen to be too dry for that first kiss, or our first car lasts eight days before we crash it…the firsts’ are delicate and individually special. If we open up to opportunities and allow them, they will continue to occur no matter what age are we are at.   Even though we can’t pretend that the 13th is the 1st just  like we can’t make old new, we certainly can combine the ‘times’ in our life to make an invigorating and stronger ‘us’.  We should do as the engineers do and bend those pieces and weld those screws, so that in the end we are able to fly, with everything that we are.  

Raw Turbulence

i do feel off. like the shirts and the shoes and the hairstyles just aren’t right. its a sinking, rotting feeling and it aint too comfortable. we’re not talking as much as we should and im side stepping around him as if his self and words are glass. im sure if it wasn’t for sex the last few days, we’d be off in our own world, without much interaction between one another.
but he really couldn’t leave things like that.. when anything has ever been even remotely wrong, he confronts it and insists we look at ourselves in the mirror and talk about it. but… its more touchy these days..

im okay with doing our own thing under the same roof. i really am. and living together is new for the both of us. and then with his dad in the hospital, well it doesn’t mesh all too nicely. we’ll figure it out, i know. these are just wavering days and moments, where we’re snappable and easy to set up Argument Camps with. even get all the machinery and weaponry out.

i need to do my own thing. and i haven’t been out there doing it. i’m becoming unhappy because i am not surrounding myself with happy things. i am not contacting other people and being free and feeling good. ive been sticking myself in this bubble, feeling and yes, wanting to be with him, but in the end, without our own space, we snap our beaks and i eat wrong and feel fat and get sad because of this.
i want to get the things we talked about, in order. to get the full length mirror and set up a bank account for me and i want him to clean the internal of my computer before it dies completly. its been going the past few months and each time he is back from his time off he says he’ll work on it. i understand this time its faltering due to his dad being bed ridden, but it irks me how it is taking him months for him to do something he says he was going to do.
and he leaves glasses of stuff on the table and doesn’t put them in the sink and leaves hair on the edge of the sink. should i REALLY be caring about any of this stuff? i suppose the matter is, that it does. and how do we go about fixing that?
he doesn’t make me happy these days and i know its partly due to myself. but it gets draining when i’m the one that is more bubbly and happier and he just doesn’t come up and match it. hes a downer right now and i suppose that its only human to be down every now and then. but i can see how its putting stress on our relationship and it doesn’t make me want to be around him. thats okay sometimes, isn’t it?

today is the first day i have sat inside the bedroom with the door closed, while he sits out and does his morning routine of watching tv and playing video games. i realize he takes awhile to wake up and i know im more like my pops when it comes to waking up and feeling pretty spunky. ovbiously not everyone is like this and i take this into consideration and i don’t even really talk to him unless he talks to me.
im getting frustrated with these days and how long they’ve been dragging out. i need to go out there and do something to make this better. factors add together to make it an uncomfortable situation and unpleasant journeys keep happening within each day.
i need to be better at my lack of yes. i need not to argue as much and set up attacks towards him just for the sake of doing it. i do it so much these days i dont even realize it. i can agree with him can’t i, he’s my partner. why do i insist on grabbing the pitchforks and iron shields?
i guess we get it from each other. his argueing ability, to feel he has to add on to everything i say ,and not just enable the reply with a ‘ ya i think so to jen’.. . instead he tacks on other things that make me feel he didn’t even hear what i said. but i’m in the wrong to, with blame swirling around right in the stomach!

we get into habits way too easily and without much notice. do i be strict right away.. do i tell him please don’t leave coffee in the mugs because its harder to clean them when it hardens. do i tell him i feel bad when its like hes waiting for me to get out the dishes for our ordered in food. do i tell him i feel bad because i think he expects me to get him drinks and to be at his every need. even if it is just me thinking that… its still there. and we’ve been dating for three years?  maybe beCAUSE its been three years, this stuff happens… its my longest relationship and the first time feeling like i’m supposed to be doing all this stuff.. and thats another thing that makes me upset and grouchy. i feel embarressed that i don’t know how to cook or iron pants or shirts properly. i feel bad so i take it out on him because if it wasn’t for him, i wouldn’t feel the lack of household chores i know how i do.
i guess this whole living together thing and his dad thing.. combined is earthquake material.. i’ve been tip-toeing around with caution in my hands and i’m thinking my toes really are starting to hurt. im trying to just stick with it while it passes. because it will. i know . this is part of growing up, right?
i just… im capable of making it pass with more ease. with better insight and understanding and with a more joyful nature.

i dont spend much time on my computer because its dying. and i know i’ll cut its lifespan if i go on just to watch some videos or even to read blogs on here. its not good because i feel i rely on my computer… to keep my innards in order so that my outward daily life is.
maybe thats nagging in the back of my head to…
its where i lose myself sometimes and without that, well, i guess i feel like im losing myself in these routine type of days instead. oh the wonders of pressing words and making them fit all nicely on a shelf that you can come back to and pull to read..

it’s got comfort in the yoke, and i’m sure, eventually, i’ll come to terms with growing up.

Time for Taking Time Out

i think i thought i would write more here. but i just haven’t created space for time to sit and hangout with just me. i’ve been folded up on the old plaid couch thats out in the front room, watching tv and movies, eating pizza and spring rolls.  theres a picture of me and my two brothers laying on this couch and another  one exactly like it..i’m seven years old and we are all reading. oh sometimes, why don’t I pick up a book and read more?

i used to read a lot when i was younger. i suppose i do more writing now, but its a different stimulent isn’t it.

but this couch has been in our family for about 15 years. and its in my house now and i wonder if it will last long enough for my own kiddies to read their  books and wipe their snotty noses on the armrests.

i’ve done the dishes for the day, swept and mopped… even went up to the laundry spot up top the hill. i went to one of those water dispensers to. put in five, one baht coins and got 5 litres.
i’ll water the plants later on, but for now i’ll sit facing the wall.

when it comes to the scale of happiness, my meter is running a little low. i wanted to get a bunch of things done in his time off, but his dads sick.

i’ve never been in this position and it feels funny.
im doing the ginger steps and the soft, easy happy. but i know he’s not the same. sometimes i get frustrated because i don’t know how to be or what to do and things just seem at a stand still. like we’re putting in time, but not taking time out. not taking time on nice walks and good conversations.. not taking time out for dinner or holding times hand. and that frightens me big time. i don’t usually think i’m on pause when it comes to life… i like to be productive and laugh-ready, to be creative with my time and not sit so much on the old plaid couch and watch movies and tv.
i renew my understanding almost everyday based on the fact that these days carry circumstances that justify some type of sadness.
we are allowed to feel down and be upset and sometimes we need those hours for exactly that. to feel crap.
and the only way i let myself feel crap and be crap is because i know i am capable of being better.

i know that being down is part of what enables me to recognize my happiness meter and its top of the charts goodness.