So I got invited to go kayak/canoeing/camping this last weekend for Saturday.
I hummed and hawed about it the entire week and had to have several pep talks to convince me to come.
Because truthfully, camping just usually isnt my thing.
But I kept getting asked what part of camping I didnt like. Was it the outdoor activities? No I generally like the outdoors. Is it the not showering? Please. I have no issues with that... well issues - but not in the minding dirty hair side of things. Are you worried about the kayaking? Yes but no. I actually really like water, despite that new things make me panicky. Am I picky with camp food? Good gracious no. Everything tastes better via camp fire. There's something completely magical about camp food.
So in the end (and I mean Saturday morning at 9am when we were leaving at noon) I agreed to go. But my anxiety over camping didnt really subside.
Cause yes - I'm a total stress case sometimes.
We drove, rented a couple kayaks, loaded the canoe and set out.
I paddled my little heart out against the ocean breeze that was a little breezy for my liking and decided to confess my non-camperness mid-paddle.
"I have a confession to make"
"I'm actually not a camper"
"(Sassy tone) Really? I never would have gotten that from all the convincing it took to get you here and the fact that you've been anxiety-ridden since I picked you up"
"Ok, I guess it wasnt much of a secret"
Bumpkin Island was pretty cool tho.
Its a super small island in Boston Harbour. And we (a little crew of like 8 people) were pretty much the only people there since the season is pretty much over. But the weather was great. The island has all these campsites/random old buildings and this super random path that all the sudden is just covered in an explosion of bricks with a brick seating area in the middle.
We wandered the paths a bit, and the beach.
And we played on this awesome dock. Cause in prime summer season a ferry docks on the island (or something like that). Brent tried to skip rocks off the top of the dock (which was pretty high in the air mind you) which was an epic fail.
And then he jumped from the top of the dock (a good 20 feet probably) into the water. Yes he tried to convince me to jump - and no I didnt think being soaking wet was high up on my list of things to do.
The funniest part of the night?
A group of us went for a walk - because in low tide a strip of land opens up that connects Bumpkin island to the mainland and you can walk across it. Well on our way back we ran into this random old guy and his two kids. They had the most hardcore Boston accents ever and the father told the son to tell us a scary ghost story - but to keep it short. Well the kid instantly put his ghost story voice to work. And when he finished his dad goes "Oh but you gotta tell them about the stone that rolled across the floor by itself." So the kid gets right back into to it and tells us in his spookiest voice that the lady in black haunted a room and pushed a stone across the floor until no one would go in that room anymore.
I did eventually discover why I am not a camper. Its all about sleeping. Cause remember how sometimes I turn into an insane insomniac and become all finicky with sleep in my nice and comfy bed? Ya - turns out, even with all the blankets we had available to act as a cushion, a great sleeping bag and Brent's pillow (which he was kind enough to let me use since I forgot one), I slept wretchedly. Like woke up every half hour and didnt sleep soundly at all. And that folks is why I dont camp. Sleep is much too high up on my priority list.
I would probably never run if I didnt have Dee, Lucinda, and Royall urging me on.
So again... another 10K. Looking at my schedule I feel like I have no time to run. But I guess thats why signing up for races is good. Cause I have to make time. Stupid making time. I have mixed feelings about this next 10K. Hopefully the next three weeks are filled with lots of running.
I get nervous when I try new things.
I know intuitively that its ridiculous.
I know that I shouldnt be such a baby about it.
But I persist.
I'm all anxiety and sugar (cause I cope with anxiety with sugar obviously).
This week has been a bit of a crap shoot.
I got a cold and pretty much was useless Thursday and Friday.
Have I mentioned what a wussy sick person I am?
Its rather pathetic.
My good consistent running was a no go - in fact instead of running I took three naps on Friday.
And clinic has just been kicking my butt - despite that I havent really had any appointments this week.
Its apparently the thought that counts.
Stupid clinic thoughts.
And as a reward for my lazy bones, what am I doing today?
Oh - just going kayaking slash camping and vetoing studying.
Oral Path what?
Turns out I will be trying to re-dedicate myself to life on Monday.
Next week is gonna suck!
With Clinic, if I want to do anything, it becomes the longest day ever. Which isnt necessarily a complaint - just the truth. I constantly am pro/conning activities that would be fun against all that I need to get done. And working my behind, extra hard, so that I can justify the time I've been taking away from school to do other things. And probably to my detriment, I've kinda decided that if I want this new ward to be different, I am to re-try that whole, being seen and present bisnatch. Cause turns out, if you're never there, no one knows who you are and you remain completely invisible. But as always, I'm searching for some semblance of a balanced life. And socializing is part of that.
But the ward campout was this weekend. And I was thinking that I probably wouldnt be able to go, because I had a patient Saturday morning (which would negate the Friday night part of the camp) and my 10K on Sunday morning (negating the Saturday night part of the camp). Which left a whole lotta nothing. But seeing as I hate missing out I decided that it might be doable to drive up after my patient on Saturday and come home to sleep so I could go to the 10K. I spent the entire week agonizing on whether driving to Raymond, NH was worth it. Whether I could study enough beforehand to ease the guilt I feel when I push aside my school responsibilities. Whether I would get there, know no one, and wish I hadnt come. Whether I could keep my head about me. Because too often I find that I push myself to the limits to feel a part of things. I'll be stressed to the max, busy and just outta of my mind with worry, but I dont want to miss out. So I sacrifice sleep and my school. And end up cursing myself and playing catch up. With this new clinical phase of my life, I'm really trying to not be retarded like that. Be more put together and smart about where my time needs to be devoted. Because the truth of the matter is, when the parties, people, tv shows, books and movies are done and gone, I'll be left with myself and what I've accomplished in school. And I'd like to come out of it not in total ruins. Because alot of the deficits I've come back from, were caused by my inability to say no to doing something that would be fun, but was a major conflict with setting school as the major priority in my life. So six years later, I'm finally trying to be smart about things.
But I went to clinic on Saturday morning, still debating. I'd booked my zipcar and set the plan in motion, but I was still holding out on the final decision to go. And then clinic was crazy and the faculty were nonsense and I remembered that sometimes, taking a break from school is exactly the right decision.
So I grabbed some stuff together, brought a text book along (ya know, to pretend like I might study, even though I knew it would never happen) and got in my car. The drive to the camp out was quicker than I'd anticipated, which worked out since I had left later than I had intended.
I was nervous though. Arriving by myself - after it'd already started... cause sometimes I'm ridiculously shy in new places and with new people.
Molly text me asking if I was coming, which eased my anxiousness knowing I'd have one person to talk to at least. So I parked my car and wandered up this random road through the forest. And Molly met me.
I really and truly adore Molly. There's a certain easiness to our friendship. I think part of it is that she's from Alberta and naturally feels like a piece of the friendships I've left there. But another part is the person she is. While we were sitting at one of the dining area tables chatting with a bunch of people, I noticed her and her boyfriend Chad, whispering about a girl that was by herself. It would have been such an easy thing to miss. A girl, sitting by herself, looking kinda lost and sad. But I've discovered that Molly has an uncanny ability to read whats really being said in different situations. She's very intuitive. So in that easy natured way, Molly went over to the girl and brought her back to the table and introduced her around. And it was so perfectly natural and genuine. Add to that the fact that Molly is certifiably hilarious and you can see why I like her.
But the campout was really fun. I went and walked by the lake and sat on the dock. And they had a ward olympics which was pretty great.
The first activity - you put people in a canoe and paddled to a canoe that was on the lake, then you had to transfer people from the first canoe to the second and canoe back to shore. We were racing to see how many people we could transfer in a specified period of time. Brent treaded in the water to act as the canoe stabilizer while they transfered people.
Some of the ward were the canoe people and the rest stood on the dock to cheer them on.
I opted against getting wet, seeing as I didnt have a change of clothes.
Molly and Chad
We loaded each canoe as full as it would go.
Brent was in the water, and would help them line up the canoe.
And hold both canoes steady while people transfered from one canoe to the next.
And then they'd canoe back to shore.
The canoe steering was always a little comical - and involved alot of course corrections.
Next in the olympics was trivia - which FYI - I suck at and find boring.
Then we had an obstacle course. I decided that sometimes participation is better than standing off to the side all too cool like. I mean, I hadnt driven all this way to just stand and watch people. It was a rope obstacle course where you had to cross ropes that were suspended from tree to tree.
I started off all confident that I could do this quickly.
And then came the middle of the rope.
I seriously almost bit it to the ground.
But I caught myself with my arms and managed to only lose one shoe.
I forget sometimes that I'm clumsy.
Molly had opted to documenting my endeavor. So glad my uncoordination was caught on film.
And yes, there were jokes made about my shoe fitting when it was very cinderella-ey placed back on my foot.
I was determined to not be undone by my one moderately embarrassing display and rushed across the next rope.
When I got to the end though, I leaned to one side and nearly fell off the rope again. Again I caught myself with my legs. Yes, I realize I'm terribly clumsy. I like it.
In case you were wondering, this rope burned as you shimmied across.
But I made it to the end.
Molly was great at documenting other people's trek through the rope course.
But LP1 won the Olympics in the bonus round. I really like my new ward.
The road show at night was the big event of the day.
And let me tell you - it was pretty brilliant. People wrote little play/musical/skit type things. And there was singing and performing. It was really great. And sometimes hilarious.
LP1 did an ode to Scooby Doo-esque mysteries, complete with a few 70s musical numbers that played into the story. Oh and did I mention that apparently these people take their craft very seriously... there were TWO onstage kisses. And not just a kiss on the cheek. Full on my friends. I was secretly so embarrassed by the PDA - despite that the people kissing were just playing parts. Thankfully it was dark - cause I'm very sure I was blushing when it happened.
LP2 did a MTV Music Videos/Saved By The Bell skit. Which was awesome. They'd "change the channel" between awesome music video re-enactments and scenes from a Saved By The Bell episode. It was really well done. And also involved a big whomping kiss at the end.
My favorite skit was the last one. Two guys in overalls, that were stuffed to make them look super fat, came to shore via a rowboat on the lake. They were lamenting their girl problems, or lack thereof and called a number for help wooing the ladies. Well, then comes two guys that were dressed up and had their clothes stuffed to look like they were body builders. It was super funny. I laughed so much.
Turns out, the older Boston wards, take their road shows very seriously.
I ended the night off, by going onto the lake in a rowboat and laying in the boat looking at the stars.
I had such a great time. And even though I was exhausted when I drove back to Boston at midnight, I was very happy I had made the effort to come. It was well worth it.
Yessurrey - I just finished my 10K. And let me tell you... it had a lot more hills than I ever run with. Lucinda and Dee had told me it had rolling hills that you hardly noticed... which was a lie. I straight up asked Dee - "If these are rolling hills, what the heck are real hills?" But even with the addition of the hills I think it went well. It was a run along the shoreline - which I suppose was slightly wasted on me, since I stare at the floor almost the entire time I run... But I looked up every now and then to see waves crashing against the rocks. Plus ocean breeze - pretty clutch. I definitely had to do some mental pep talks to keep running (pretty much the entire way) and my legs were dead by Mile 5. But I made it! And to add to that - back in Edmonton (3 years ago) I ran a 10K in an hour fifteen... welp... I beat my time: 1:08:54. Yes I'm slow. But a win is a win. I am already sore and tired though. Yay for victories.
We took a quick gander at the beach we started our run from (and no, we didnt have to run on sand - That would be HORRIBLE). Gorgeous beach.
So I am a firm believer that there are two types of fear. Fear that immobilizes you and fear that motivates you. Some of my greatest successes have been hard fought battles against the ever present reality that if I dont give it my all, I wont make. Yes, its a struggle. Yes, it is emotionally exhausting. But the moments I recall with such clarity, where I was proud of what I had accomplished, came hand and hand with overcoming a goal that was a struggle and seemed just out of reach. I know that with enough hard work, you can come back from huge deficits. My entire University career is a constant reminder of such. I think that you need to fear failure and have goals that stretch you beyond your current reach in order to grow. But set unreachable goals and suddenly you are paralyzed and unable to achieve anything. If something is going to worry and scare me, I'd much rather come out the other side more than what I started as.
Clinic for the first bit was border-lining on being too much. I felt constantly out of my depth and that it was past my reach. Has clinic really changed much? No. For the most part its still just as bureaucratic and frustrating as ever. But the fact that it has set the expectations so high has caused an effect I didnt quite expect.
I feel put together in ways that only a few short weeks ago I felt broken. And this feeling of unmatched wholeness is new to me. Always the realist, I'm well aware that reality kinda blows. But because clinic is such a task master, it left me with only two options: 1. Fail miserably and crumble away under the pressure or 2. Let that pressure turn me into something better than I started.
Am I the picture of perfection? HA. Hardly. But I feel balanced and happy. I'm busy, I'm tired and a lot of the time I still question whether I'm gonna make it - but as of yet I'm keeping it together (except when I'm shirking my responsibilities like tonight).
One of the biggest fears I have is that dental school and being in Massachusetts will irreparably change the very person I am for the worst. And this moment, this period of time gives me hope. Maybe I wont come out the other side as a completely unrecognizable shell of the person I started as. Because I rather liked who I was before I came here.
Will I probably be cursing clinic shortly? H Yes. But for now I'm reveling in this feeling. However short-lived it may be.
Molly Bikman is from Stirling AB.
Twenty minutes from Lethbridge.
We had never met until a couple weeks ago.
She invited me to the Museum of Science.
She's way cool.
But then again so are most people from SoAB.
Seriously. I mean I had fairly high expectations (since I love plays and musicals) and have heard such good things about it. But honestly - this blew my expectations out of the water. The music was brilliant. And it was actually super funny. I've read the book (which was so-so if you were wondering), and the end of the play was a little different from the book. But the change was for the better. Believe you me. I love plays so much. I could go to a play everyday and be completely blissful. Its amazing. It really and truly is. I am just amazed by the talent and ability of these performers. And after the craziness of my life lately (cause yes, I whored myself out all day today for Perio assists and had a crazy Ortho exam) - this was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate my spirits. I just feel happy. Which has been kinda fleeting lately. This moment probably wont last. But I thought I ought to revel in it, even if its just for the moment.
P.S. I totally went rebel to get all these pictures in the Opera House. Cause photos are a no-no. What can I say... I live on the edge.
And dont even worry about it... I bought a t-shirt.