family always comes first

In my last post, I talked about why my male friends greatly outnumber my female friends and how important my friends are to me. Today, I got to see one of my very good female friends whom I haven’t seen in 2 and a half years. It was really nice to hear from my friend that she and her boyfriend are enjoying their lives in England. I am truly happy for them. Unfortunately, the relationship my friend has with her parents here are not nearly as great. As my friend went on to describe the problems her parents have with her, it reminded me of the kind of relationship I once had with my parents.

I remember this one particular night, many many years ago, when I woke up in the middle of the night and went into my parent’s room. As I stood there at their bedside, I cried very quietly as I watched them sleep. Even though I was only 9 years old at the time, I already knew very well that my parents would get old one day and I would lose them in the distant future. I started to think about how many years I could possibly have left with my parents, and I began to feel extremely afraid thinking about what I would do if my parents were gone.

It would be just me. Alone.

As I approached my teen years, I started to become a rebel. I didn’t like the way my mom would call me to ask about my whereabouts or when I would come home. I would screen her calls because the rebel in me felt like she was interrogating me. For a number of years, I didn’t like telling her about my life because it felt like she wanted to control it or to find faults in whatever I did. There were constant arguments in the house, and in my memory there were a lot of tears. It was a very dark and unhappy time in my life.

That mindset of mine started to change when a friend said something that really inspired me. After watching me screen my mom’s call, he asked me why I didn’t pick up my phone. When I shrugged it off, he told me he wished his mom would do the same with him – call to see how he was doing – but because she was busy and wasn’t around all the time, those calls didn’t come often. He explained to me how my mom just really cares about me and that I shouldn’t take that for granted. He was absolutely right, even though I didn’t want to admit it at the time.

In the eyes of every mother and father, their children will always be children, even when their children are 50 years old. Someone once said to me…if you will put effort into your work, why wouldn’t you put effort into maintaining a good relationship with your loved ones? It took a few years for me to figure out how to maintain a relatively good relationship with my parents. It’s not perfect and we occasionally have fall outs, but it’s better than it has ever been. I often think about that night when I stood crying next to my parent’s bed; it’s a constant reminder for me to appreciate the time I have with my parents now.

I’d like to believe that everyone goes through that rebellious stage. I’d also like to believe that everybody will get past that stage at some point and learn to appreciate their family’s presence before it’s too late. Your best relationship really should be the one you have with your family. Family is family. That will never EVER change. All parents love their children unconditionally. And as cheesy as it sounds, that really is the greatest love of all.

the friend ratio

Have you ever thought about your guy/girl friend ratio? By that I don’t mean boyfriends and girlfriends. I’m literally talking about the number of male friends you have vs. the number of female friends you have.

I started thinking about it a few months ago because it occurred to me that I have many more guy friends than I do girl friends. The ratio is something like 5:1 (5 guy friends to every 1 female friend). To be more accurate, I’m only looking at the people whom I interact with on a somewhat regular basis (so no facebook friends or old school buddies whom I don’t talk to anymore). I’m curious to know what the norm is because this was not always the case for me.

Up until the end of high school, the majority of my friends were females; I always hung out with the girls at school, and through all my years at dance class I was always among girls. You can pretty much say I grew up with mainly female friends. After high school, though, that seemed to change completely. I became better friends with more guys than I did with girls.

It took a while for me to figure out what might possibly be the reasoning behind this great shift in gender when it comes to friendships. I found that as we got older, some girls became more judgmental and materialistic. There would often be some sort of subliminal competition between girls; who has the nicer hair, the cooler clothes, the cuter boyfriend. Sometimes it would turn into jealousy which, in my opinion, should not be present in a real friendship.

With my guy friends, I can very easily get along with them because there is NEVER any kind of competition. I’m able to talk with them about almost anything and I don’t have to worry about them judging me in any way. It’s even better when my guy friends have girlfriends because then I also don’t have to worry about them getting the wrong idea. People sometimes worry about being friends with the opposite sex because it often comes off as flirting. If it is indeed just about being friends, I always try to make it clear that my friendship is sincere and that it’s not meant to be mistaken as wanting a relationship.

To be fair, not all girls are as bad as I might’ve described them to be. I do have a good handful or two of female friends who are really close and dear to me. All of them share the same values as I do and we get along really well (so no cat fights lol). Most of the girls I choose to become friends with are real; they’re straight forward and don’t sugarcoat things. I actually prefer being around people like that, but I guess I just happen to know more of them in male form.

All in all, no matter if they’re guys or girls, honesty and sincerity from my friends are extremely important to me. As an only child, my friends make up the family I choose and, in turn, they make up who I am.

and down it came…

You might have heard (from my tweets and what not) about what happened in my backyard after the storm yesterday evening. Well, here are some visuals to give you a better idea of what it looks like after a heavy branch of a very tall tree falls onto your garage and into your backyard.

Our next door neighbour called us to tell us a tree had fallen into our yard. We looked out the window and this is what we saw. Looks a bit like a jungle, doesn’t it?

It turns out the big branch came off our neighbour’s tree, with the heaviest part of it landing on the roof of our garage. The smaller branches draped off the garage roof and filled half our yard. It missed the house by just over 3 feet.

Looks like a skinny branch eh? Don’t underestimate its strength though.

That branch was longer than our garage!

It didn’t look like it was that bad at first, but let’s have a closer look…

As you can see, part of the roof is slightly caved in. According to the guys who came for emergency removal of the tree, the roof of the garage has been badly damaged and will need to be replaced completely.

When we went to speak to the owner of the property in which the tree was on, we saw this on the street behind ours…

Just wanted to share some of those pictures :) Will post more when I have more time.

oh blissful days

As mentioned in my previous post, May was an extremely stressful month for me. On a few occasions I actually thought I was going to lose my sanity. Luckily I have some really good friends who never fail in picking me back up when I’ve fallen. Thanks to them, I’m able to slowly regain my pace.

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go for walks along the lake and watch the airplanes take off and land at Billy Bishop. Wednesday afternoon saw me doing exactly that. After work, I went for a long walk to the lake with my co-worker friend, Steve. He is like my shrink most of my the time, so it was nice being able to sit under the sun and just get out a lot of the things that have been stressing me. However, I did go home with a sunburn on one arm, one side of my neck and both legs. Reminder to self: WEAR SUNSCREEN NEXT TIME!

I’ve always said that my friends are very important to me, so being able to spend time with them is crucial to my well-being. Since I’ve been fairly busy over the past 2 months, I haven’t had much time to see my friends. I’m glad I was able to finally do some catching up with some good friends over the course of this past week, like lunch with Edison & Kevin last Saturday, dinner @ Moxies with my Bayview friends on Tuesday, and a fantastic night out with my good buddies on Friday.

My plans for dinner with Adrienne, Robin and Danny on Friday night were quite last minute, and I was surprised that we all happened to be free that night for what seemed like an overdue dinner. I think the last time all four of us hung out was for Winterlicious back in February (Summerlicious is just a month away!). We wanted to get in some patio time since it was so nice outside, so we met up at 10 Dundas East and winged it from there.

Considering it was a Friday night, we figured patios everywhere would be packed. The battle was between Milestones (est. 25-30 minute wait) and Jack Astor’s (no given wait time); we waited to see which would have a table for us first. Milestones ended up beating JA by about 5 minutes, with the wait being about 20 minutes. Not too bad for a Friday night, eh? The patio at Milestones was alright. Its view is nothing compared to what Jack Astor’s has to offer, but the company more than made up for it :)

After some catching up over dinner, we walked up the street to Bar + Karaoke Lounge near Yonge & Gerrard. It is possibly one of the best karaoke bars in downtown Toronto, at least from my knowledge. The rooms are surprisingly clean and they have a good selection of songs. We spent 4 hours there singing our hearts out. By the time I got home, it was 5am. The last time I got home THAT late (or early, depending on how you want to look at it) was last June when Far East Movement was in town for the very first time. Yeeeeah, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a good night out :p

Speaking of Far East Movement, it has been confirmed that they will be in town again to perform at this year’s MMVAs! Ha, didn’t I call that one in this post? It’s going to be a crazy amazing MMVA. They’ve got FM and Bruno Mars in their line up! You know I’m going to be glued to my tv on the night of June 19th :D