I'm going to discuss various things today. Jumping around health, cultural differences and... who knows what else. Get comfy. It's a long'un.
Life has been pretty good lately. It's summer, so that means holidays. The north takes their holidays now, and in a week or two, the south take theirs, all for like, 3 weeks or something. I might not be spot-on about that, but it's close. And weird. I explained in Canada while the majority like to take a couple weeks in the summer off, we basically take them when we want. The plus is you know everyone's on holidays and expect that things are a bit slower. The con is... you know everyone's on holidays and expect things to take s-l-o-w-e-r. I digress.
The weather has been pretty fantastic. It's been hovering anywhere from 23-28. We've had a couple hot weeks in there, but nothing has beat an Ontario summer. Really. When it's hot it's hot, don't get me wrong, but the humidity cannot be matched. Yet. I hope not ever. We had two random downpours in the middle of the night and the last heatwave just broke. Ahhh.
So remember me telling you about going to my doc, explaining that my monthly issues were rather painful and really getting nothing in response? Well, she had the heart to send me to a gynaecologist. Thank goodness for that. Went to the specialist (if you're on Facebook you saw my pictures of the hospital cafeteria - O.M.G) and I got answers *on the day*. I'm not kidding. I was in shock. Never in Canada would I have gotten results that quick and decisive. I had an exam and she showed me the ultrasound while it happened and explained to me what she saw; what was normal, what wasn't so much. She had an idea what it was when we first started talking, but post-examination she confirmed: PCOS. I had a diagnosis. Cure? There isn't one. Treatment: painkillers. Naturally, the pill and IUD etc were advised, but I dismissed them as treatment options. All I care most is about controlling the pain, not as much regulating my cycle (it would be nice, but it's not a priority). First was shock. Then there was validation; I wasn't crazy, the pain is real and someone actually HEARD what I was telling them. Then anger; my body was fighting against itself. That's not cool and there's not a damn thing I can do to stop it (unbeknownst to me). I think I've finally come around to acceptance.
I've gone to a couple get-togethers and have met some more people. Expats, mostly. I'm still not social a fraction of what I used to be in Canada, which has been something to get used to, but it is what it is. Oh! I have met one of my neighbours on a walk, though. Very nice man with very good English (and he has a cute dog). I try to be social when I can and I have been trying to come out of my shell more to talk to the locals. I've been enjoying developing my new friendships. In fact, I had a party for my one year here (sorry I didn't post that day to celebrate it, but, life y'know? Also.. it was July 4th) and some of my new closest friends came. Not everyone was able to make it, but we still had a great turnout (for the size of our apartment vs people not being squished) of 10 (and omg presents!). I made the food stuffs, a basic spread on the table (and I made a strawberry-mint water that I couldn't keep full, it was going over so well, very refreshing!!) and we sat around and talked. Everyone got to know someone new and they interacted with each other very easily. I was asked to give a speech and one of the things I said was that meeting such wonderful people helped ease the void of missing my other friends in Canada so much, making it just a *little* bit easier. It's a compliment to the new people and an ode to the old; you guys gave high standards to live up to and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I miss you all dearly and you cannot be replaced. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Did I mention a possible trip in September? Perhaps I did, but I still will not disclose my location until it becomes final. I'm waiting on good 'ol goverment of Canada to finish my taxes and deposit them in time. C'moooooon CRA.
At the end of my party I noticed someone exchanging business cards. I thought it was wonderful that people were networking. This gave me an idea. As a side tangent, W and I got talking last night about how to be successful in selling your product or service and what some of the keys are of making that a success. Marketing, we decided was one. You can even have, say, an average product, but HOW that product is marketed - clean, polished, professional - can make or break you. You know the others in the list: word of mouth, certain professional habits you can acquire as a person, self-confidence (or even a 'fake it till you make it' mentality) etc etc. But it got me thinking; what if I held a networking party? A couple people I know are out of work (me included) and the others are able or looking for additional work. I'm starting to very much believe in asking for help and support from those around me; without that I don't think success is (as) possible. Who's skills can I enlist in my baking-from-home to help me be successful? But I'm rambling. What do you think? Is this a good idea?
COOLers, please pray for me. My spiritual life has been dry again and I have not had the dicipline to get my arse to church. *sighs, ashamed* I have said a couple basic prayers, but nothing of substance. It really sucks being so far away from a church. An excuse? Perhaps. Reality? Definitely.
Well, I think I'm going to list cultural differences in another email. This one is long already!