Tag Archives: Friendship

On Disappointment


on disappointment     My dog looks at me, eyes wide and piercing, stone still. Not even a twitch in her top lip…but I sit.    Still.    I say No. She knows I’m not moving.

Defeated she flops down at my feet and either naps or pretends to. She has lost, but neither of us are happy with the results of our efforts.

Life is full of things we’d all rather be doing but a lot of the time it just doesn’t work out in our favour.

I’ve felt those piercing eyes of disappointment many times. Every time it hurts me, because of my attempts to keep the collection of parties involved content.  Happy.  At bay.

Compromise isn’t always an option. I wish it were.

The morning light shines on the world I now call home, and it is Beautiful. The sun will come up again on those who have been left wanting, and they will eventually forget; Move on.

Everyone moves on.

People are fluid. Viscous. Parts of them drip and stain the lives of others. As long as one avoids drowning in them, then the storms will pass. And the grass will be greener for it.

-Hailey Jane


You Can Stay?

My heart sank and my insides felt thick and clouded, slowing both my thoughts and movements. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make in such a short time, and I will always wonder what would have happened if I had made the other one.

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My first two weeks in England were thus far the best two weeks I had ever experienced as a human being, relishing what the earth had to offer me. They say the best way to learn about your country and culture is to leave it behind; I’ve said this before but I just want to repeat it because it still holds true. It’s also no coincidence that the best way to learn about who you really are, is much the same process. And I will tell you one very important thing. For the first time in my life, the self that I found those two weeks was the first one I’ve ever really fond of.

I found a welcoming home in the hearts of my long lost friends, I made new ones who I will never forget, I saw so many wonderful things and learned more about life than most of the 22 years before me had taught.

And now, after all of my adventures, I found myself waiting for a westbound plane, sitting in a Costa at Gatwick Airport with two of my friends, the lot of us being completely miserable. Even in the insanity of a churning and flowing plane station, I swear you could have heard a pin drop.

“You know, you could just…stay?” she said quietly and nonchalantly, as simple as one would ask ‘could you pick up some milk?’,  and like it was the obvious answer to all of our discomfort.

“I could…” I said passively, nodding my head slowly and staring at the bottom of my coffee cup, expressionless.

“We’d look after you, you’d always have somewhere to stay” he threw into the budding serious life-altering conversation.

Moments which seemed like hours passed in silence…

My brain began to run at top speed, overanalyzing all of the implications of not getting on that plane. The pros, the cons, all the other stuff that doesn’t really matter. Would my cat miss me if I never came home? What would the government think? Would it botch my chances of getting back in later if I stayed? I’ve got 6 months as a tourist before they get suspicious…How much money do I have left? Oh wait, my Mom would throw a fit, and I don’t think my boyfriend would like it much either. I would be out the cost of the flight too…and I’m actually SUPPOSED to be there. What if the person sitting next to my seat is worried I was killed by the people in security, or being held hostage by secret terrorists and the whole flight is doomed to failure and fiery death?? I wouldn’t want to wish that on them. But on the other hand, she (or he I guess) definitely doesn’t deserve that extra seat space for the ride. My friends also just drove me all the way to the airport, and having to drive back with me would seem like a big waste and I’d feel guilty for the rest of my life…but It’s just so lovely here and I don’t want to go!  GRAHH!

I have gone off on several ridiculous mental tangents before someone spoke up again.

“You are so happy here, do you really want to give it all up and go home?” She said

“No, I want to stay.” I say smiling, seriously entertaining the thought of just staying here.

The mood of the conversation changed to reluctant excitement, so hopefully this new simple idea wouldn’t get destroyed by too much enthusiasm all at once. Like it was a lost and lonely kitten and we didn’t want to scare it away, even though we wanted to cuddle the shit out of it.

The minutes to the flights’ departure were counting down faster than I would have liked them to, and I was beginning to panic.

‘I want to stay…’ I kept repeating over and over in my head, an unhealthy mantra that would soon lose it’s meaning due to blind repetition  My emotions were viscously rolling between excitement at the thought of staying, and terror from the thought of leaving everything I knew and loved in Canada behind me.

“I want to stay….But I can’t.” I finally said, desperately trying not to cry. I was disappointing everyone I knew in that room including myself, but it was all for the benefit of everyone and everything I had back home.

And that was it.

We all said very reluctant goodbyes on my way to the gate, but I was confident I would see them again. Not that that was any consolation for openly choosing to leave. I felt like a bad person and began to regret my decision. In the movies people always get up off the plane on the last minute to run back into the arms of a lover, but it seemed like the moment of decision was past and once I stepped through security I was committed to going home.

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I punished myself with two simple thoughts over the next 10 hours. The first was my now over stated mantra now in the past tense, of “I could have stayed” and the second which was torture in the nature of itself, “I can always come back”, which everyone knows is only an excuse and a terrible one at that used only to actually avoid doing things.

I was a coward that day and it changed my life. I’m not saying for the worse or for the better, but it made a drastic change on the outcome and on who I am as a person.

When the flight landed at the Pearson intl Plane Station, I de-planed, got my bags and went out to meet a comforting face so everything could go back to normal. I was exhausted, I was covered in plane grime and wished for no more than a hug, a kiss, some fresh air, and a shower.  I crossed the threshold into the arrival area and looked for someone I knew. I couldn’t see anyone right away, no one flailing and jumping at my momentous return, so I just moved out of the way to let others have their moment.

I thwumped my bags down next to a stone pillar and waited. I then started to think… I began to think about being back in cold and grimy Canada, where no one had come to meet me at the gate, or bother to pick me up on time.  I couldn’t help it, but it was then that I finally began to cry. I cried quietly but with every single emotion in my body. I was disappointed, I was scared, I was angry, I was alone, and I was SO full of regret I thought about running all the way over to the departure gate and getting a ticket back to England. But instead I just stood there, crying.

After an hour I was beyond frustrated and began actively searching for him. I found him sitting on a bench down some odd and random hallway that was clearly not the arrival gate, sitting under a sign that pointed towards where the gate actually was.

‘So much for the hug and kiss’ I thought, as I looked at the unshaven trollop before me. I just wanted to go home.

Maybe I should have just stayed.

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-Miss Hailey Jane

(Note: As it has been pointed out to me that ‘trollop’ is a word describing something very different, I would like to say that I know it probably shouldn’t be in there. But due to the general hilarity in describing an ‘unshaven’  person as a promiscuous woman, I will leave it for your general enjoyment. Thank you. This has been a Note.)


The POO!

Oh god, this one is embarrassing….

It’s also slightly out of place in the timeline of things, but what the heck.

Setting: Westcliff on Sea, Essex, England, circa February 2011. Beautiful sunny day, late morning.

Context: Second trip to England. First trip only 2 months prior. Recently split up with long term boyfriend.

Not Westcliff, obviously.

So here we go…

It is said, in one sector of my friendships, that to be pooed on brings with it the best kind of luck, and will result in a positive and significant life change. This change, of course, usually happens after the horrifyingly embarrassing event that is required prior. This is the story of that fateful horrifyingly embarrassing event.

It was winter in Canada. Things were not going well on the social or ‘life path’ front. There was only one thing for it. I had to go back to England. So while at work one day I, very much spontaneously and irrationally, booked myself a flight to England without telling anyone. I mean ANYONE. I was already assured accommodation, but it was still a very risky move. I didn’t tell my parents, I didn’t tell my recent ex-boyfriend, I didn’t even tell my friends right away. I was going to be going back to the best place in the world for a week and it was strangely a magnificent feeling.

What wasn’t a great feeling was finding out on the day of my imminent departure, that my flight was 12 hours delayed. Bloody Canadian winters…I ended up waiting in the terminal with nothing to do, for 12 HOURS. I felt very much like Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’…which I haven’t seen, but I would imagine it’s very much the same feeling across contexts, being trapped in an airport terminal.  Eventually I received the privilege of boarding the plane, in a zombie-like state. It was another night flight, but this time I passed out nearly instantly. Screw the tiny food, I’m going to catch as many winks as I can.   And I did. I woke up once the sun came up, which was about four hours sooner than it should have, and I eventually, groggily landed in the London Gatwick plane station.

Freedom, pleasure, and the comfort of that familiar smell that was England helped me relax instantly. I hopped on the train, made myself pretty and went south to Brighton for a weekend of educational entertainment, cricket viewing and awkward moments in the local rock club.

Educational Entertainment!

Sunday I was off to Essex, which is where I get back to the point of my story. Took the train, hauled my luggage, swore constantly that I would pack lighter next time, and eventually arrived at that wonderful flat were my best mate lived, and where I had first begun my English adventure a few months back. I was a few hours early, and when I reached her flat after walking for about a half an hour from the train station, I dropped my suitcase with significant enthusiasm (that bit is important).

I waited around for a bit, warming my face in the bright soft sunshine. I let my body relax and pleasantly anticipated the returning pleasure of being at home in that flat once again.

This is me at that very moment, sunning my face. Little did I know what was going to happen next!

My mate walks up eventually, with a big smile on her face and we do the whole hugging thing that people do when they haven’t seen each other in a while. We walk up to the door, she opens it up and I lug my suitcase inside. It’s feeling very heavy still, having been dragged all the way from Brighton earlier that morning. I take off my shoes and schlep the thing up the white carpeted stairs into the main room of the second floor flat.

The flat is just as I remembered it, now with a bigger TV and coffee table that wasn’t there before. It smells the same, it feels the same and I am wonderfully relieved for a ever so brief moment. I look back to my mate to get her attention, and I see that something is bothering her. I then follow her gaze and find myself looking at the stairs.

Oh Shit

Quite literally, shit….streaked all over the door mat and in orderly streaks up the stairs. Balls, was that me?

What had happened was, when I had enthusiastically dropped my suitcase out front of her flat, I happened to do so into a large pile of day-old shit, pleasantly deposited by one of the local wildlife. I dropped the suitcase on it right where the wheel was, so as I pulled the thing up the stairs, it wheeled it’s shitty wheel along, making skid marks up the pristine WHITE carpet.

I was mortified. She was horrified. Being an enthusiast of cleanliness as a rule, this was one of the worst things that could have happened to her that day, and it didn’t make for a very warm welcome for me either. We went to cleaning it up with strong chemicals right away. I apologized like there was no tomorrow, which was very much my style of dealing with such situations. Not like I have to very often, but in any case. She kept saying “one day we’re going to look back and laugh at this” in a terribly uneasy voice. I didn’t believe a word of it, I was so embarrassed, I could have died. In no way was this going to be funny in a couple of months. To make matters more humiliating, when her current man came by for a visit, the story was retold in great detail and I was once again the subject of ridicule. Well isn’t this a fun trip!

We spent much time talking about the incident, about how “Gee, isn’t it great, your Canadian friend comes to see you and the first thing she does is she drags shit all over your flat!” and on a lighter note, the universal significance of POO related happenings and how they change your life. She told of incidents she had had, resulting in her needing to get a mudguard on her bike and a life changing job related event soon after. Apparently it was very good luck to have dragged POO throughout her flat. It was going to improve my life apparently. So here’s to hoping.

Now, a year or so later we still joke about ‘THE POO!’ and how hilarious and awful it was at the time. I didn’t believe her then, but I guess it is rather funny now. I’m not so sure about a significant life altering event having happened, but maybe I missed it.  And to think, in that photo up there, just a handful of lines above right here, I am standing there smiling, standing in POO.

Oh, England! What am I going to do with you!

-Miss Hailey Jane


The Wall of Tea

As a University student I witnessed a lot of different ways to live life. Coming to terms with plain fashioned old chaos was part of the whole experience for everyone. Being wretched from our homes for the first time and left alone to live in a strange new world full of people we had never met before was the feeling most of us felt at least once that first week, but more likely several more times throughout that first year.

What we didn’t know was that this common sense of abandonment and the general aura of loneliness on campus was the driving force cooking up the friendships that would keep us alive over the next four years. Not to mention the convenient grouping by relative age and interests that our classes provided. It was a virtual garden of growing social relationships, which real life in turn would deprive us of later on.

Photo courtesy of Trentu.ca

In this state, a lot of us came into our own, discovering who we really were, or who we wanted to be. But there were always moments or lapses or phases, of unsurity, confusion, pain, frustration, failure and a feeling we didn’t belong in this fabricated and temporary world.  In all of these cases it was customary to cling to habits, routine, hobbies and other activities to help forget.

Some students take to the bottle with ferocity, and some do it socially but with more enthusiasm than the typical adult. Some fall into the world of narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants and depressants to care for their budding fears and anxieties. Others I’ve seen try the professional approach; talking out their qualms about the system and about their life with a certified medical professional, or more likely a Masters’ student looking to get credit. Some students form stone solid relationships with a single other person, seeking and receiving comfort in that personal sense, isolating themselves from others for a time to cope with what they think is real life. Some devote their time to sport and physical fitness, some fall too far and develop disorder. Some stay up all night, alone in the physical regard, but surrounded by the vast and unending universe that is the internet. Others opt for the more social route and spend every waking moment with people, out on the town, around campus, expanding their real life social network by friendly converse or the collection of venereal diseases. And finally some take to their studies with meticulous and devoted fervor, spending days in the library or lab, fighting the battle of knowing all there is to know.

Most have discovered a healthy mix of all of the above and I imagine this is how the stereotype of student life was formed. All of it though, began as a way to hide the feeling that was fear of the world and being left alone in it.

But we weren’t alone at all, were we. My personal groups of friends were fantastic. Always drama filled but it’s what kept life interesting, and I’m not going to claim I wasn’t responsible for a considerable amount of said drama. By second year, out of residence, we were generally comfortable with what we thought were ‘ourselves’, and stepped one step farther into independence. Out of the swaddling clothes that was residence, into a home of our own in this new town. We had rent to remember, we had internet companies to deal with, we also had a dishwasher schedule to contend with, which fell apart far too quickly might I add. There was also money to keep track of, textbooks to try not to buy and shoes to splurge on every so often. We had to remember to eat, trek across town to get groceries, and learn to cook. There were endless “Hailey get off the phone”s, and echo’s of “Who left the kitchen cupboards open?!”, “Why is there toothpaste in the sink?”, “Why are there numbers on the microwave?!?” or “Why is there a dead squirrel in the freezer??!!?” We had to catch the bus, go to class, do our homework, do the readings, write the papers, do the statistics and every three months someone would say something about how the house should be cleaned.

It was fantastic, and I miss every moment of it.

To keep from proper insanity our friends living across town kept a collection of empty liquor bottles in their kitchen, as a commemoration of the enjoyable times they had had. A very traditional thing for students to do which in a way doubles as decoration. Our house though, by happenstance, did not partake in this particular tradition. By accident and a mutual admiration for a certain heated beverage, we acquired a rather impressive collection of Tea. This we kept on a spice rack sitting in the kitchen window. It was beautiful. It was epic. It was absolutely ridiculous. There were hundreds of bags of any flavour you could possibly want, or even not want.

There was Orange Pekoe, Green, White, Earl Grey, Hampton Court Palace Tea mailed from England, the despised Blueberry, Maple, Peppermint, Peppermint Green, Chai, Pomegranate Green, Camomile, Canadian Breakfast, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast (You could have breakfast anywhere apparently), Lemon Zinger, Mango-somethingrather, Rooibos, Vanilla, Vanilla Rooibos and Dreamland Tea. I imagine I missed some as well. But you get the point. At the height of our collection we had 34 different flavours gracing our shelf, and we were damn proud of them.

Looked a lot like this, only MORE!

After a time though, housemates began to get restless. There was a toiletpaper war going on in the background, it was ruthless and its’ raw and unpleasant emotion seeped into the peaceful world of our tea shelf. Bags of one flavour would be exchanged for bags in another box, prompting hateful responses and a series of very grumpy mornings. Lives were lost, cups of tea wasted like yesterday’s newspaper, but in the end there was peace. I personally blame the vile revolting person who invented Blueberry Tea. It’s all his fault.

But there was peace in our house, there was peace in our lives, and University was survived thanks to the help of many cups of joy from that wall of tea. Whether it was there for us first thing on any average morning, next to us in the middle of the night with a bazillion-page paper to do, or even just between our hands while chatting with good people over a table, Tea was there warming our insides for us, filling us with the caffeine we needed to get through another day.

I will always remember those days with a painful fondness, likely prompting another cup all the while evoking memories of a simpler time.

-Miss Hailey Jane