I'm really behind on my August Blog challenges. This one took a while. Hopefully the others are easier. My personal story/aka life story has had a lot of twists and turns.
My personal story? Well, that seems like a long post. I'll try to keep it short.
I was born September 11th, 1980. I was born in a town called Biggar. A little bit about Biggar: the town sign actually says: "New York is Big, but this is Biggar."
The first three years of my life, I lived in North Battleford. I don't really remember those years.
We moved to Plenty next. That's where I grew up. To hurry along my personal story, here is a little bit about my hometown: http://erinisawriter.blogspot.ca/2014/03/march-16th-hometown.html. In high school, I met great friends, who I've been friends with for years.
I met both my best friends: Denise and Karen at camp type things in 1996 and 1997. (I think). Neither of them lived near Plenty, but we have been friends ever since.
I graduated high school in 1998, and although I knew I'd go to University I took two years off. The first, I joined a program called Katimavik. http://www.katimavik.org/ This experience allowed me to meet new people and travel to places I wouldn't have gone to otherwise. I went to Newfoundland, Ontario, and Quebec. We travelled, worked, and learned about life for 9 months. The program no longer exists, which is kind of a travesty. I travelled with 11 others, and still keep in contact with some of them. Facebook, obviously, has helped with this. I had a lot of firsts in Katimavik. First love, first travel experiences, first time experiencing a world outside my small town. It's a whole separate story. Someday, I'll write it.
After Katimavik ended, I needed to make a plan for my life.I still didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I decided to move to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and live with my Grandma McCrea. I was going to work for a year. The job I found was at a place called Community Connections. I'm going to be perfectly honest: to this day, I still have no idea what the job was about. We hung around an office, painted a wall, did job follows, and did things in the community. Through this job, I met Nehal. My identical twin. She lives in a different province now. (and we aren't really identical twins). I also met my first very serious boyfriend. We stayed together for five years. I'm pretty glad Nehal and I lasted longer. He was a good first serious relationship though.
One of the big highlights of that year was spending it with my grandma. She was (and is) one of the inspirations for everything in my life. She was a great woman.
Finally, two years after graduating high school, I went to University. Like I said, I knew I would, it just took me a bit. I lived in Regina, for the first two years with a roommate. An awesome gal named Courney from my high school. It was a fun two years, but G and I moved in together after that.
I think my University experience was a bit different than most because I was dating him. He didn't go to University, so I didn't socialise as much as I wish I had. I worked at a grocery store for three of the four years, and lived off a student loan. I completed my BA in English in 2004.
To be honest, I still had no idea what to do with my life after I finished. I worked for the newspaper in Regina for 3 months - while still working at the grocery store, and then decided to move to South Korea to teach English.
G and I broke up two months into my year in Seoul. It was the best thing for me. I'd like to think it was the best thing for both of us, but I wasn't thinking about him. I wanted to experience all there was in life, and I was ready to let him go. I've never regretted that decision.
South Korea was full of fun, adventure, some teaching, and meeting new friends. It was such a great year.
When I finished my year, I decided to teach in Taiwan. My friend, Katie (a friend from Katimavik), and I decided to travel to Thailand and then Taiwan for three weeks. When the three weeks were over, she was going to return to Calgary, and I was going to teach. We had a blast in Thailand, and when I got to Taiwan, I realised I didn't want to do it again. I was fine with just travelling. I wanted to go home and start a life. So I did.
I moved to Saskatoon. I lived with friends to start, and then lived in a few different places. With roomies and on my own. I worked at a book store and then a furniture store because it is hard to find a job for an English Degree. I took the bus to the furniture store, and kept passing a Broadcasting school. Finally, I called it, and decided to go back to 'school'. It was a six month course. I did date while living in Saskatoon, but nothing that lasted four months (that's the serious month to pass).
Eventually, I was offered a job in Melfort, Saskatchewan as a Creative Writer. I lived there for a year, and while I loved the job, I didn't love the town. I found it hard to make friends (other than my coworkers).
I decided to get a job at it's Sister station in Whitecourt, Alberta. This was a hard decision because I did love Melfort. I just didn't love the lack of social life and men.
My life changed a lot when I moved there. I grew up, and I learned a lot. I changed a lot.
I bought a condo. I became a house owner. I regretted it, but didn't know enough when people were convincing me it was a good idea. I still own it today. I rent it out.
Shortly after my birthday (28th), I decided I didn't want to be alone. I felt lonely when I came home from a birthday supper alone. I decided to start trying to date again. Of course, I had no idea how. I joined Plenty of Fish. I spoke to only one guy, and we met up, and decided to give it a go.
The whole time I was dating him, I knew it wasn't right, but wanted to test the relationship waters, and didn't trust my instincts. We made it to the 4 month, serious or not serious stage. We both were done, but things went a little crazy. I found out I was pregnant, and he wanted to break up before I told him, but instead of ACTUALLY breaking up with me, he didn't answer my texts or calls. I'm pretty sure he thought he would be breaking my heart, but really, I had no problem with the idea of breaking up.
It's funny how such an insignificant relationship had such a significant moment in my life. Or not funny.
When I finally tracked him down to tell him the news, he basically got scared and left town. We spent the night together after I told him, and the next morning, he was silent and moody. I was emotional. I went home, and I didn't hear from him for almost a month. Who does that? Any of it?
I was sharing the news about my pregnancy. My family, friends, and coworkers knew I was expecting. My mom and I bought clothes, I started a baby journal that Denise wrote in and gave to me. I still have it.
I contacted the 'father' through email, and let him know I did not care about the fact that he wanted to break up, and I just wanted to let him know what was happening. He emailed back and said we should get together and talk next time he was back from work, and that, yes, he did want to break up, and he didn't think we should stay together because of the baby. To this day, I find his ego ridiculous. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, his true colours were showing. They weren't good colours. Him telling me that 'we shouldn't stay together' was silly because I had decided that weeks before. He wasn't a good man, in my eyes.
I also met Cameron around this time. Denise was up to visit, and she introduced us. She worked with his mom. It became a joke that his mom set us up. We started as friends, but it didn't take us long to start dating.
Right before the 12 week mark, I had a miscarriage. I lost the baby. The baby I hadn't planned on, and hadn't yet felt, was gone. It was strange. It was sad. It was confusing. It was also painful, physically and emotionally.
If I had been in Saskatchewan when this happened, things would have been different. I wasn't. I was a bit secluded, and I didn't know how to handle any of it. I was depressed. I continued to try to go to work, I continued dating Cameron, and I tried to get out of bed every day. Two months later, my Grandma McCrea (Dad's Mom) passed away. I spoke at her funeral. I still miss her today. The same year (2009), in the Fall, my Grandfather (Mom's Dad) passed away. It was a really bad year. The depression didn't go away, and I didn't try very hard to help the situation.
It was a rough time, but if I've learned anything, it is that the sadness in my life can't define me. I feel bad that this part of my story lasted so long.
I turned 30 the next year. I quit my job, and tried to find new employment in Whitecourt. It was another bad time. Slowly, slowly, I started getting out of my haze. I worked at a couple of different job until I found the job I wanted in the city I wanted.
I moved back to Saskatoon in July of 2011, and started working as a Creative Writer again. Cameron and I broke up after I moved back. It was for the best for both of us. We weren't making each other happy. He stayed in Whitecourt, and we worked on being friends.
When I think back to that time, I was still in a haze. I simply lived life, but didn't enjoy it. I drank too much, I ate too much, and I don't think I laughed enough. I was lucky enough to find a roommate, Crystal, who was patient with my moods.
December, that same year, Cameron, was killed in a car accident. Those were the hardest months of my life. However, this time, I fought back before I could sink. I started seeing a therapist in the new year. I ate better, and I tried to lighten my heart. This was when I learned that the sadness wouldn't define me (as I said above). His death was hard on so many people, and three years later, I think we're all still healing.
2010 in Whitecourt.
I think being in Saskatoon helped me as well. Living near my family and friends has helped. I have a really great support system.
A few months later, I decided to try dating. I wasn't sure if I was ready, but I wanted to try it out. Four men later (just dating and meetings), I met Clint in May of 2012.
I found him at the right time. I had learned how to be alone, and I had learned how to be grateful and happy with my life and with myself. That's the perfect time to meet somebody.
And he was the perfect person to meet. We met through online dating, and have been together since our first meeting. We moved slowly (at the four month mark, he moved back to Ontario for a few months). I knew it was serious though (because it was four months!). He's changed my life for the better. He sees me, he trusts me, and he is always encouraging me to be me. He wants me to write, he wants me to live a life with him, and we are happy.
I lost two more important people in 2013. My aunt, Marilyn, passed away. It was incredibly hard, and yet another unfair death. My last grandparent, Grandma Burton, also passed away. I made it through both those, as did my family. They were big losses for everyone.
I had started writing my novel before Clint and I started dating (or around the same time). I take the credit for writing it, but I also appreciate that he constantly asked me for updates, and constantly asked me if I was writing. He also asked to read it. I've NEVER had that before with anybody I've dated.
Now, in 2014, I've never been happier with my life. This isn't because of Clint. He helps, but mostly we make each other happy. It's a team effort. It's because I have finally started to focus on the positives in my life, and there are so many. It's unbelievable how much a little tiny thing like gratitude can change your entire personal story.
It's not over yet. I still need to write more books, get published, make a home with Clint, maybe have a baby, and maybe get married. So... to be continued.
Thanks for reading. This was long, and I didn't know where to stop.
Until next time.
And as always:
August Blog Challenge explanation: http://erinisawriter.blogspot.ca/2014/07/august-blog-challenge.html
©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.