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Saturday, June 06, 2015

Put Yourself Out There! You Won't Stay 32 Forever!

Welcome to the sixth of June, and the final stages of the retrospective portion of the blog.  Gosh, I can't believe I'm almost at the end of this month long project.  I honestly spent so much time planning this thing out that I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do after this is over!  I'll have to think of something.

Maybe I can do one of those things where I review a television show and point out all the flaws, inconsistencies, and bloopers.  They seem to be all the rage these days.  Let me know what you think.  I think I can make it happen, and it will bring this blog back to its pop culture origins.

For now, let's go ahead with today's blog post.

I am 32 flavours and then some
I'm taking my chances as they come
I am 32 flavours and then some
I'm nobody but I am someone, someone
     -Alana Davis

In case you haven't guessed already, we're at year number thirty-two.  Which happened just two years ago, might I add.  This just proves that we're getting closer to the final parts of this retrospective.

I think I'm gonna shed a tear.

Ahem...okay, let's have a look and see what I was doing in 2013.  Let's start with a photograph, shall we?

Ah, yes.  Here I am wearing my favourite colour and standing in front of my workplace - which has really blue walls.  There's a story behind this picture.  I'll tell it a little later.

#1 SONG THE WEEK OF 5/18/2013

Not my favourite song by these guys, but a fairly decent song nonetheless.  And this is coming from someone who is not a fan of rap typically.

"Star Trek:  Into Darkness"

Sorry Trekkies.  I'm not a fan of Star Trek at all.  Though, I do have a tiny memory of this movie that is linked to a sad moment.  2013 was the year that my friend Graham passed away, and I remember that a week before he died, I sold him this movie when I was working electronics.  I sure hope he got a chance to watch it.

"NBC Sunday Night Football"

You know network television has taken a nosedive when football is the most watched show that year.  Of course, part of me wonders what the top show was on Netflix.  I predict that it was "Orange Is The New Black".  I could be wrong though.

Okay, so here's my story of turning thirty-two.  And remember that photo that I posted earlier where I'm standing outside of a department store wearing purple?  That was taken on the day I turned 32!

Yes, I remember that day incredibly well.  It was a scorcher of a day - temperatures reached 34 degrees Celsius by four in the afternoon.  I had gotten a printer, some clothes, and some iTunes gift cards for presents that year.  And some of the people from work bought me a little cake that year!  It was really a touching gesture on their part.

Then again, I spent part of my birthday celebrations at work.  Only I wasn't working.  Well, not really, anyway.  Confused?

Okay, well, let's take a look at the picture a little more closely.  Notice the tables that are filled with knick-knacks, paddy whacks, but no bones to give a dog?  No, my store wasn't having a sidewalk sale, nor did we have to remove items from inside the store because they were doing inventory. 

No, we were having a yard sale.  A yard sale for the Relay for Life.

Seriously!  Meet our team that year!

Yes, this fine group of people volunteered their time on Victoria Day Weekend 2013 to sell some of the stuff in our homes that were collecting dust to raise money for cancer research.  I donated some old comic books and some of my time to help sell some of the items that we brought in, and it was a fun experience.

Of course, having a barbecue set up and having live music from a local band probably helped us attract people as well.

I don't know exactly how much money we raised for that yard sale, but I want to say that it was close to a thousand dollars over the two days we held the event.  Can any of you say that your yard sales raked in a thousand bucks?  I know any I've had never did!

Of course, that was just one of many events that took place in 2013 that helped support fundraising events in our community.  There were others as well.

Like the time we held a spaghetti dinner for CHEO and for the Relay for Life and despite the heavy snow (the dinner was in March), we still had a fantastic turnout.  I even won a prize in the raffle that was held that night. 

And, of course there was the actual Relay itself.  I spoke about it in great detail the first year I did it (which you can read about HERE if you're interested), but here are a few pictures from the event of 2013, just in case you wanted to see them.

It's funny how I remember every single detail of that night...which I really should, given that it happened just two years ago.  But still, it got me thinking about a lot of things.

You know how earlier in this retrospective, I talked about how I didn't really have a lot of community spirit at all?  How I would hide from the world instead of facing criticism and abuse from a select few people?  Well, I found that by volunteering in the community, it helped get me noticed - in a good way.

I guess it all started with volunteering my time at my old elementary school.  Sure, it was a small step, but a necessary one to take at that time.  It got my foot in the door to embracing my community a little bit more.

And through my job, I have to admit that I did a lot of things involving community services as well from volunteering at yard sales, to painting banners, to walking around a track thirty-four times within a twelve hour period.

Yes, you read that right.  Here's the beaded necklace to prove it.  I ended up getting two more added on to this necklace after I snapped this photo!

Putting yourself out there is never an easy task - especially in a community in which you always felt isolated or alone because you were made to feel different from everyone else.  But when it comes down to it, I think everybody should try and find a way to make the most of a situation.

Look, I'll never be hobnobbing with the rich and famous of my hometown any time soon.  And honestly, I'm perfectly fine with that.  If they can't accept me for me, then that's on them.  And, I know that when it comes to communities, every one has their share of jerks.  I suppose one of the perks to living in a small town is that they get exposed to you fairly quickly.  In places like Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles, it's harder to tell them apart.  But of course, there's always the joy you get when you discover that someone who you may have written off as a bully or a jerk ends up being someone you can really count on.  Believe me, there was one instance in which I was absolutely frightened of one of the assistant managers at our store, but once I got to know them, they quickly became one of my favourites!

I guess it just goes to show you that you never know what you'll find unless you go out and explore it.  And I suppose that doing all sorts of charity work in the community helped me out in that regard.  Of course, that's nothing compared to the help that charity work does for the community as a whole.

Yep, 32 was the year I learned a lesson in putting yourself out there.  And 33 was the year I learned that toxic people have no place in my life whatsoever.

You'll read about that story tomorrow.

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