If I were still a journalist

December 12th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues - (Comments Off on If I were still a journalist)

(Well, to be fair, I probably am really. I don’t happen to work in the field at the moment, but I certainly still have my journalistic mind).

If I were a journalist, and I happened to be working for one of the Quebecor papers, with my work posted on canoe.ca, I would be extremely frustrated with the web people. Reporters have consistently had problems with layout people who write the headlines. Sometimes the story is misunderstood and the headlines is out of whack with the actual news hook. Sometimes the reporter has gone out of their way to be careful not to libel anyone and the headline writer (sometimes a trained journalist, sometimes someone who just doesn’t know any better) manages to bring on a lawsuit all on their own.

When I was working in Northwestern Ontario we often had a problem with the web people teasing a story with both a headline and a photo that was completely unrelated because they just didn’t bother to read past the headline or the lead in the printed paper. Of course, this can take a more serious turn.

You have web people who are probably not trained journalists, and may be called upon to write a tease to a story. This morning canoe.ca broke one of the basic libel laws in their naming of the charges and the charged in the same sentence, thereby linking the two in the reader’s mind even though the charged is innocent until proven guilty.  Click on the link and the story itself does no such thing – in fact, the lead doesn’t mention the names of either the victim or the charged person. The question becomes who will get named in the lawsuit?

I need a job

December 12th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on I need a job)

I spent my day today baking and cooking and knitting (first pair of socks – woo), oh, and I did my routine check of all the job sites that I know. I’m getting very tired of sending out applications and trying to pretend that I have any confidence left.

I leave in a few weeks. I spend most of my days trying to survive the highs and lows. I search for jobs, nap, watch talk shows, cook, eat, knit, take baths and read, clean and pack. I try to feel normal, but I’ve never been very good at that and it’s getting more difficult day by day.

I’m trying to ignore the migraines I’ve been getting lately, and the circulation problems reminiscent of my grandmother’s. In the past stress has played nasty games with my body. At one point in high school I was on pills to calm my nauseous stomach and pills to control my headaches, and when I stopped taking both medications the ailments went away.

I’m trying to pack as much stuff as I can – and purge as much as I can – so the eventual move, however that happens, is easier for my husband, as silly as that sounds. This isn’t going to be easy for either of us. Right now the plan is in flux – my flight is booked, but the husband has a job interview on Friday that could change that, because he could end up coming with me, and we could end up in Saskatoon instead of Regina.

I’m trying to control my wants, but failing somewhat. It helps that I’m essentially broke, but I really just need to stop leaving the house. I could just go out without my debit cards. I did managed to control myself at the mall the other day by reminding myself that the last thing I need is more stuff to pack, but I still bought a couple of things. Buying clothes makes me feel better about myself because I am suddenly able to put myself together and feel new. I have discovered that the most important thing for me is to get dressed every morning, and not in sweat pants, but in actual clothes. Clothes that fit my body and make me feel good about myself and remind me that I’m a human being and not a sloth.

On the plus side, I was reading a magazine the other day and found out about a website, volunteermatch.org, which allows you to search volunteer opportunities that you can telecommute to. This could be great for me – there are non-profits looking for help with their websites and newsletters, which would give me something to do and look good on my resume.

I need to feel good about myself again, I need to start believing that I might eventually land a job and keep a job and love a job. I need to start believing that I will do some good in the world and that I won’t be a failure for the rest of my life.

At a loss

December 7th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on At a loss)

I am currently in one of those downswings in my moods where everything feels like a mistake. The job postings in Regina are going from few to nonexistent and, once again, the husband has managed to get an opportunity he doesn’t really need right now while I flounder.

We’re supposed to go to a Christmas party tonight, but I’m having trouble getting up the courage to meet new people and hear the questions “So what do you do?” twenty times or more. I do nothing. I sit around the house and pack, bake and watch television, I search through job websites and apply for anything that I might possibly be considered for, I knit and read and take baths and naps. I feel lost and guilty. I panic about the problems I’m causing, the bills I have to pay and a future that, once again, is undetermined.

For years I have been starting and stopping, starting and stopping. I have yet to get the real opportunity that will launch my career path, I have yet to have someone take me under their wing and tell me that they see a real potential. I have potential and skills out the wazoo – it’s experience and opportunity I’m lacking.

It’s not pleasant spending your days surrounded by piles of stuff, doubting the future as it approaches ever more quickly. I take off in less than a month.

Nothing but uncertainty and ever-failing confidence awaits.

"Reality" TV

December 3rd, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues - (Comments Off on "Reality" TV)

I am a fan of Project Runway, though I have no real concept of the fashion world – in fact I think people are pretty crazy (and I’m not the only one). For some reason watching the challenges every week and the same sort of in-fighting that you see on America’s Next Top Model (and don’t get me started on Bianca’s mistreatment of Heather), but between people who clearly have some sort of talent and creativity for something makes me feel slightly less bad about myself for watching it.

And then there was this week on Project Runway Canada. The challenge was to base their designs on a theme of different classic time-periods in fashion, the designs being bathing suits – one for their regular, model-sized model and one for what the world calls a “plus-sized” model, that being a normal-sized woman.

I was shocked that most of the designers on the show had no concept of how to make a normal woman look attractive. Not only that, they made them look fat and dumpy in some cases, and complained the whole time about not knowing how to fit a plus-sized model and why did they have to do this.

I am amazed that any young designer thinks they can survive in the industry without having a product that will sell to women that make up the overwhelming majority of the market. In some cases, they almost seemed disgusted with even the thought of having to fit a normal, healthy body (not that no model is healthy, I know that’s not true – but I think back to TLC’s ‘A Model Life,’ where they actually evaluated the health of each of the models present, and the most unhealthy one was the one the agency liked the most, and the only one who’s weight suited her height was the one the agency told that she wasn’t going on any castings until she lost weight).

I am glad that I am the kind of women who can watch this type of show and get mad about the mis-representations. When I was 19 and working as a coop student in the university athletics department, one of the male athletes complained that girls are never comfortable with their bodies – I raised my hand and said that I was – I saw no reason not to be. I love my height, my weight is what I make it, I have great legs, nice hands and I’m fairly proportional. I know that I can dress it to make it look better, and that I don’t always do that.

I also know that I am the exception and not the rule, and that sometimes I am only telling myself that I’m comfortable in my skin, when I’m actually not at all. When I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome three years ago and told that the only way to get it under control (and avoid a future of infertility and cancer) I had to lose weight and get my hormones under control – and I tried and nothing was working, because, through some horrible irony, PCOS makes it much more difficult to lose weight, and my endocrinologist kept testing my blood and telling me I had to lose weight – that was when my body image went down the tubes. My body was telling me that my body was a problem.

When I finally listened (really listened) to what my GP was telling me about weight loss, and when I finally told myself the truth about what I was actually doing, that’s when the weight started to come off, and my body image started to come back.

The packing has begun

November 30th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on The packing has begun)

I am overwhelmed.

I have spent the past few days flitting between wanting to read the pile of books that I don’t want to pack, knit the projects rather than take the yarn with me, pack everything I can reasonably pack while leaving a working household for my husband.

There are bags of garbage, piles of giveaways, piles of things to be sold. Stuff everywhere. I really am trying to edit myself. There are so many things I’m not willing to take with me, and every item of clothing I give away goes to a good cause, every book could be sold to pay for the big move, and I happen to know that women’s shelters in the city take donations of beauty products – of which I have an overload, not all of which was purchased by me, it should be noted.

I just want to be settled again. I want to be where I’m going – but that’s a half a year away. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know what will happen when I get there.

One more time my life is up in the air.

I used to be a news hound

November 22nd, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting | Personal - (Comments Off on I used to be a news hound)

I had forgotten my great desire to know everything. Lately, with all this time on my hands, I have had a yearning to sit with a newspaper in front on me and flip through the pages, taking the world in. I want to read magazines and listen to the news and understand what’s happening and why things are important.

I used to know things, and I used to ask questions and try to inform not only myself, but other people. I long for great debates and discussions – and I fear that once I move I will lack the circle of friends that can sit around talking about the world and everything in it.

I accept that there are things I don’t know and things I don’t really understand, I want people around me who challenge my beliefs, question what I say and are aware of things I might not realize. I want my kids to grow up in a house surrounded by smart, accepting grown-ups who discuss and debate without attacking. I want my kids to know that the world is full of people who believe different things and act different ways and that’s okay – that you have a right to your own opinion and you should never try to force that opinion on someone else.

I hope I can raise my kids to be people I like.

Turmoil 'R' Us

November 22nd, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on Turmoil 'R' Us)

Over the past several years my life has been a gigantic roller coaster – much like the hills of Northern Ontario, which I have driven across three times in those several years.

Safe to say, my life has not been anything you would call stable since I left college – seven jobs, a real relationship, engagement and marriage, six moves (Ottawa-Alberta and back, Ottawa-Northwestern Ontario and back, Mom’s house – shared apartment, shared apartment-shared townhouse). Throw in a puppy, a bout of unemployment, and here I am, having just become re-unemployed.

So today I took advantage of Westjet’s seat sale and purchased my ticket to Regina, leaving January 4 to find bigger and better things that the Prairies are supposed to have in spades.

I have no idea if it’s a mistake abandoning my new husband and taking our puppy across the country to live with my mother and prowl the streets for opportunities. There are many pros to this plan – we were planning on moving and this is probably the perfect time. I can get set up there and be ready for Joe when he arrives in April. Still, for all the arguments, the fear is astounding.

I’m not good at making friends – even less so when Joe’s not around – there are a lot of things about me that have vastly improved since he came into my life, including my ability to interact in public. I’m terrified that I will crawl directly back into my shell while we’re apart. I don’t want to revert to the girl I was in high school – or even the girl I was in Fort Frances. I worked and then went home and ate and watched TV. It’s no surprise that I gained about 50 lbs. while I was living there – I had no life.

It seems as though just as I start building a real life here in Ottawa, fate is telling me to get out of dodge.

It all make so much sense when I think about it logically – but I’m scared of losing touch with everything I have here right now, because that’s the pattern I followed in the past. I’m terrible at keeping touch with people because I am convinced that I make so little of an impression on anyone that they will forget me as soon as I’m gone and there is no reason to cause myself the pain of realizing that I have actually been forgotten.

Never has this hypothesis been proven, but my brain works the way my brain works.

A few things have changed that might make this time different: The embarrassment of never having been in a relationship is gone – I’m married; I have hobbies that will allow me to run into people – Regina has a knitting store, and probably some stitch and bitch groups; I have a puppy who will demand to be socialized, and that means socializing for me too; I have family in town – family my age who have friends my age.

When I think about it, I am optimistic about this plan, and I’m not turning back now, when I think about it too hard I want to sit in my closet with my head in my hands and not think about it anymore.

The times, they are a changin'

November 18th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting | Personal - (Comments Off on The times, they are a changin')

Right now, for no particular reason, I feel scared of the future. Up until now I have been basically okay. I’ve actually been pretty cheerful about everything that’s been happening. It all seemed to make a certain amount of weird sense – or at least it seemed as though everything that didn’t make sense eventually would. I ran into a problem, we made a plan and we have adjusted it to make the most sense possible.

Today I had a good day, we had breakfast with a good friend and afterwards she and I talked for two hours, then I went to my knitting group, and talked to more friends and drank peppermint tea, which always makes the world seem like a better place. While talking and knitting and drinking tea I expressed to these friends my great desire to be a mom – sooner than later.

Maybe that’s why I’m coming to this realization that life is changing ever so rapidly.

A few years ago I didn’t even want kids – I didn’t think I would ever make a good mother and I certainly didn’t think I would ever find a man that I would feel comfortable having as a father to my kids. If, when I was 23 someone had told me that at 26 I would be married with a puppy and desperate for babies I probably would have laughed in their face.

We can’t have kids. Not now. We’re about to be living apart for four months, and no way do I want to go through four months of pregnancy alone, nor do I imagine Joe wants to miss four months of growing baby.

We’re moving, we’re building a life somewhere completely else and that means we’re basically starting over, and that means kids will have to wait.  I have to start my job search again, I have to go through another probation and try to last, Joe will have to do the same thing, and we’ll be in limbo for probably another year. And in a year we will maybe, maybe be in a place to start the family we want.

The great clean-out has begun

November 15th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on The great clean-out has begun)

Every time I watch Neat with Helen Butigieg (hee hee) I develop a great desire to clean and de-clutter. That is exactly why this morning I specifically chose to watch the show. Soon I will be on my way West and I can’t leave a house full of clutter with the hubby – and I don’t want it all moving with us either. Now is the time to clean up and pare down and I’m in just the mood to get things rolling.

I’ve already cleaned out my closet – though I have to go through it again and really be picky. I have discovered before that if you’re not willing to move it, there’s no reason to keep it. We now have four garbage bags full of stuff to go to charity, and a list of furniture that will be going as well. We have stuff that we can give away, stuff that can be sold to help with moving costs, stuff that we might as well keep because replacing them would be more expensive than moving them, and the stuff that we don’t want to part with. All of it fills our house here in Ottawa, and is too much to fill a truck or trailer.

Once again fate is leaning my way – I chose this time in my life to really take a look at what I have and what I don’t and what I need and what I don’t and really redefine the things I consider valuable and important. This is the time in my life when I make real changes. I have time, I have reason.

My poor, poor puppy and husband – they are going to be so confused for the next little while.

It's funny how fate works

November 11th, 2007 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal - (Comments Off on It's funny how fate works)

The same day that I declared my desire to stop my hyper-consumerism I lost my job. My probation came up and they decided not to keep me on – a decision that I don’t entirely disagree with. Now, I have no choice but to cut way back on any spending, and think long and hard.

This also gives me the opportunity – though not in the best of circumstances – to take a step back and re-evaluate what I spend my working life doing.

I have, for a long time, defined myself by the work that I do. At this job, I was never able to produce up to the standard that my boss wanted. There was someone else in the office that my boss would have preferred doing the job – except she was unavailable. I would sit at my desk stressed, and come home scared of what the next day would bring.

I like what I was doing at it’s base – but I really wasn’t doing anything that was good or necessary.

Now I’m ready. I’m ready to leave the city, to make necessary changes to my life so that I’m a reasonably happy person and my stress levels aren’t skyrocketing day by day.

Now I just need to start step by step.

Copy Protected by Tech Tips's CopyProtect Wordpress Blogs.