In two days, summer will officially have come and gone. It really feels as though it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. I must admit that it was quite an eventful summer, compared to previous summers. A lot has happened, and a lot has changed. I’ve traveled, I’ve met new people, I’ve listened to new music and attended numerous concerts. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been confused and I’ve been upset. I’ve changed and I’ve grown as a person. And today, I take the time to look back at all of my experiences from this summer and how they have shaped me.
The month of June was an exciting one because not only did Richard and I have a trip to Boston planned out, but it also marked the beginning of summer for the kids at the daycare. The beginning of summer at daycare always means a week of jam-packed activities based on a theme, and this year, we chose to do Superheroes VS Supervillains! You can imagine we were pretty busy at work making decorations and planning games and activities for hours on end. We even went in to work the weekend before the first week of summer to get everything set up. As for our trip to Boston, it was actual a lot less expensive that we had budgeted, and we got to see one of his favorite metal bands, Dillinger Escape Plan. Did I also mention that we stayed at a Marriott Hotel and I got the room at half price thanks to Hotwire.com? Yeah, definitely a great way to start the summer!
OH! I almost forgot to mention the biggest highlight of June 2015: After six months, my credit card company finally reimbursed the fraud charges from my trip to India in November/December 2014!!! I can’t even begin to explain the relief that washed over me. It took numerous phone calls, both to the credit card company, and to our contact in India, countless e-mails to the police in India, as well as a well written, detailed complaint to the credit card company. To give you the shortened version of the story, we were victims of a scam the first day we arrived to Delhi and my credit card was charged for $5000 CAD. We only realized what had happened on the second day, and at this point we were 10 hours away from Delhi so we lied to our driver, got him to take us back to the airport where we were picked up by a wonderful gentleman who worked at the hotel that I had initial booked for our first night in Delhi. From there, I called and cancelled my credit card. Then we booked an actual tour for the remainder of our time in India and managed to do even more than we had hoped throughout our five week long trip. I even called the credit card company twice on Skype (thank God for wi-fi!), and both times they had confirmed the fraud charges and told me to go and enjoy the rest of my trip. Two months after we returned to Canada, my bank statement is still showing the fraud charge plus interest for the two months that I hadn’t checked my account. Panic washed over me as I tried to deal with the man who was responsible for my file. He basically told me that the chances of being reimbursed were slim to none. So you can imagine that after finally receiving that sum of money that I closed my account and switched back to my old bank.
In any case, let’s move on to July! The month of July was looking mighty fine. Richard and I made plans to go to a music festival called Afternoon Delight, to go to a good friend’s wedding in Edmundston, and to go down to Sydney, Nova Scotia for my dad and stepmom’s annual family reunion. But due to unforeseen circumstances, everything didn’t go quite as planned. And then a series of misfortunate events happened, and well… you’ll understand once I get into the details of it all.
We did end up going to Afternoon Delight, as planned, but for some reason thought it would be a good idea to come back home the same night instead of camping out like everyone else. Well, the music was pretty amazing all day, and I got to see one of my old friends from Nova Scotia that I hadn’t seen for years! There was also face/body painting being done (oh my god, basically my favorite thing ever!), food vendors, live painting, handmade crafts and clothing for sale, and much much more. The main reason we were going was to see a band called Moon Hooch. If you haven’t heard of these guys, you are obligated to click on the link and take a listen. You won’t regret it. And their live performance was IN-SANE! As exhausted as I was at 2AM, it was all worth it. And I feel incredibly thankful that Richard volunteered to drive all the way back to town. I attempted to stay awake and talk with him on the ride home but passed out cold within the first five minutes. Oops.
On Friday July 10th was our friend Janik’s wedding. I had had a hard time taking the day off work, because the wedding was at 7PM, in a town that was 5 hours away from Moncton. But in the end, I got the day off and was able to go. Richard, on the other hand, had booked a gig with his band in PEI the same night, so fortunately he didn’t need the day off, but was unfortunately unable to join me to go to the wedding. I ended up going with a gang of friends music university and we had a great weekend. The ceremony was absolutely flawless, as could be expected from such a lady. We danced, and laughed, and ate a ton of cake! We also made a fire and sang old acadian songs in four part harmonies. Amazing night. I got a drive back to town the next day with some of my guy friends because I didn’t want to stay in town for an extra night.
The next day, I get a text from my best friend who, at the time, was living out in Alberta. It sounds like something’s wrong, he texted “Gotta talk.” Obviously, as a caring person would do, I called him immediately. He wasn’t answering, which was odd because he usually always answer his phone. I go to hang up and feel suspicious about the way he had been texting and walk to the front door. As soon as I can see out the window, I notice him standing there, a smirk on his face. Typical Max decided to surprise everyone by not telling us he was coming to New Brunswick. He came inside and we talked for a bit while I got stuff ready because I was heading to a party in Cap Pelé that night. It was great catching up because he had been living out West for almost three years now and I only ever got to see him at Christmas time, if we were both around at the same time. It felt like old times telling stories about our family and friends.
And speaking of family, Richard had another gig booked for the same weekend as our annual family reunion on my dad’s side of the family, so I had been planning on making the trip alone. But then when I realized that Max was in town for a few weeks, I figured why not invite to come since he was pretty close with that side of my family. Plus, he was also best friends with my step-sister, who was unaware that he was visiting, so we decided it would be another surprise visit. I even managed to get Monday off work so we could drive down to my hometown in Chéticamp to go watch Ronald Bourgeois (definitely check out his music as well – french musician from my hometown). It was an amazing weekend filled with so many hilarious and beautiful moments.
The following week was a busy one, and led to the series of misfortunate events that was the end of July. I started to question whether or not I was happy with my life. I came to realize that I wasn’t; and it wasn’t easy to admit, neither to the people I cared about most, nor to myself. So after spending some time alone, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make a decision about my relationship. Richard and I had been together for two and a half years. It was coming to the point where I felt like I needed to decide whether or not I was in it for the long run. And sadly, I realized that I was not.
This month was particularly hectic because I had nowhere to live. Fortunately, I have amazing friends (and friends of friends) who graciously accepted to keep me up throughout the entire month. As for work – yes, Richard and I both work at the same daycare – it was a bit awkward to tell our coworkers, but it was going well and we knew how to be professional and to keep our personal matters at home.
Then came August. As hard as the entire month was, I still managed to make some great memories with family and friends: I started dating Max; I took motorcycle rides to visit Shediac, Gordon Falls, and Hopewell Rocks; I played a gig with my band Les imprévus for the acadian festival called Acadie Rock in Moncton on August 15th, which is Acadian Day (Fête des Acadiens); I went to see one of my favorite acadian rock bands, Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, that same night and celebrated my acadian heritage and culture with all my friends; I got to spend time with my mom, step-dad and my niece who visited me in Moncton; I moved out of my apartment; and I finally moved into my new place.
And so that brings us to September. I was pretty glad when September came around, but the coming of September also meant that Max was going back to Alberta. Good news: that got postponed. Bad news: shortly after the good news, he got a call from a buddy in Alberta who said he found him a job. Max took the afternoon to get some more details on the job, talked to his parents and me about what he should do, and in the end, we all agreed he should take the job. So he booked his plane ticket right away and we drove to meet his parents in Miramichi to get all of his stuff. He was flying out the following day at noon.
Let me tell you that despite the fact that this is a new relationship (we became an official couple on the day he flew out), accepting the fact that we would be apart was so much harder than I had imagined. While we drove to the airport, I came to the realization that I had never had to say goodbye to someone before. I was usually the one who was travelling or leaving. And all of a sudden, I was in someone else’s shoes and I didn’t know how I was going to feel about that. Of course, I knew saying goodbye would not be easy, but I underestimated how much it would weigh on my heart. In the end though, saying goodbye is part of life, and it’s not so much goodbye as it is “See you later.”
About a week later, life decided it was not done giving me bad news. Friday evening, right before we were finished work, my boss asked me to go into her office. She had a very serious look on her face and I began to worry that I had done something wrong, so I prepared for constructive criticism. Unfortunately, that did not prepare me whatsoever for what she actually needed to tell me. I was told that I was being laid off in two weeks time. I talked with her for a bit about what this would entail. I actually ended up crying, and I felt so unprofessional. I asked if I could leave right away despite the fact that it was only 5:20pm, and she said that was alright. I called my family and close friends to tell them, and even texted Richard because I wondered if they had told the other employees already. I was pretty upset – and that is putting it lightly – because I actually loved my job. Not only that, but it paid well, had great hours, and I had benefits. Now I had nothing. I didn’t know how I would be able to face all the kids again, knowing that I would have to leave them in two weeks. I thought about it all weekend, and I called in sick on Monday (As a side note, I had actually been sick for over a week and was still having trouble breathing on Monday because of new medication). I called my employer again later in the day and decided I would prefer to be laid off immediately instead. So that’s what we did.
The next day, I applied for EI and started updating my resume, writing cover letters, and checking for job opportunities. Unfortunately, there aren’t many job offers for which I am qualified here in Moncton, and that was weighing down on me a bit. I called my mom and after talking for a while, she suggested that I could always go to Alberta to work there for a bit to make more money and spend some time with Max. I don’t know why, but the idea had never come to mind. I actual could. I didn’t really have anything holding me here, and I was due for some traveling. I had been checking flight prices for a while now anyway, so I could either get a one-way ticket and then figure out the rest later, or I could drive across Canada, which I had always wanted to do.
When I talked to my roommate Julie about the idea of going out West, she suggested we drive there together and split the gas (booya) and then she could get a flight home and I could stay there for an undetermined amount of time. I actually loved that idea right off the bat and I said let’s do it. So we’re doing it. We leave Sunday November 1st. I guess I’m going to Alberta!