October 21, 2011

Friday Fives: The Life In Your Years

This week over at Paper Hangover, the Friday Fives question is:
What are the FIVE best ages of your life and why?

I have to preface my answer by saying that I don't remember all that much about my early childhood. Weird, but true. So for me this question translates to the most memorable ages in my life (with pictures because, as you can probably guess, I love pictures):

Age 12 (1990)
Dad today: happy & healthy
When I was 10 my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The next few years were beyond horrible as he battled this disease that kept trying to take him from us. Several rounds of chemo, radiation, an autologous bone marrow transplant, 40 days of total isolation in a hospital 9 hours by car from where we lived… Not a good time. But age 12 was especially good because that was the year my dad went into remission for good. Twenty years later he is still cancer-free and I’m so, so thankful.

Age 15 (1993)
My first year of high school sucked, so I switched to an all-girls Catholic uniform school. A couple girls I knew went there and they just seemed so happy that I thought I might give it a try. Best. Decision. Ever. I loved wearing a uniform! There were no worries about having the latest trends, and no decision about what to wear. It’s also amazing how freeing it is when you aren’t tearing apart another girl over some stupid guy. Jocks hung out with geeks and there just weren’t the same barriers that I had been so used to seeing. This was the first time I remember being really happy at a school in a long time. [Note: no pic because...ugh. That's all I'm going to say.]

Meet Freak and Weirdo
Age 22 (2001)
This year of my life involved a whole lot of crazy. Everything in my life went to crap and then, through a series of extremely difficult and yet extremely liberating personal choices, I emerged an entirely different, stronger individual. The year started out horribly and ended up a heckuva lot better. Mainly, because I met my best friend who also happens to be my husband, Todd.

Age 32 (2010)
For two reasons:
Women's Hockey gold medal
1) The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Not only was my brother-in-law, Trev, a torch-bearer, but this two-week long event will always be special to me for another important reason: For the first time ever, Canada actually felt like a united and proud country. We’ve always been divided in ways too complex to explain here. We are not known for our patriotism, and so this feeling was unbelievable. I will never forget what that was like as long as I live.

Special Constable swearing-in
2) Getting the call that the police wanted to hire me as a Special Constable.  This was a several months long process, including months of waiting to hear whether I passed the polygraph (I totally felt like a criminal).  Getting sworn into the police felt loads more exciting than my University grad for a variety of reasons (cheaper, for starters).  I’m not with the police anymore, but I will never regret taking that job. Ever. 

Age 33 (2011)
Every time my life takes a major turn, I generally find myself in a much better place than before. ‘Change is good’ is pretty much my mantra. Unemployed (again), I decided to take this newfound free time and take a stab at something I'd only ever talked about doing: writing. I decided that now was as good a time as any to give it a whirl. Awesome decision and I’m pretty excited about my life at the moment. I’m unemployed, renting, have no kids yet, and I’m the happiest I think I’ve ever been. 

My best years usually started out SUPER crappy, but then did a 180° and finished off well.  Despite all the crap, there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m in a place now where I can honestly say that I have no real regrets (well, except having bangs from the age of like 4 until 22.  Seriously, why didn’t somebody just come at me with a pair of scissors?!).

Speaking of regrets, I've had Shake it Out (about regret) by Florence + the Machine on repeat the last day or so:


  1. One of my best years was the year I met my husband too!

  2. So fun to learn more about you, Jaime! I also included the year I met my husband as one of my best... also the year I married him. :) Weirdly enough, I don't remember a lot about my childhood either. It's just a blur of family and school with a little adventure thrown in.

    Great post!

  3. Oddly, I have vivid memories of my childhood. Like Katy said, it is nice to learn more about you. You have a uniform thing, don't you? Did you play dress up when you were a child? I agree, though, uniforms are a great equalizer in school. While there were kids at my school whose parents had significantly more cash to throw around than others, we all dressed the same. You couldn't tell rich from poor based on attire.

  4. Pics, I forgot about posting pics! looks like we're about the same age :)

  5. Thanks for sharing--it is fun to get to know you better through this post! I always wanted to go to a school with uniforms--I figured I could at least stop stressing about my clothes then (even if I'd stay neurotic about everything else). :)

  6. It's cool that you like the parochial school uniform. I hated mine and one of the reasons I was excited for 6th grade was that I could wear my own clothes. My uniform was brown plaid so it was really ugly though

  7. Yeah, I have to say I loved the uniform. I wore a lot of hand-me-downs, so it was nice to not have to 'keep up with the Jones', so to speak. What a relief!

  8. Ugh, my uniforms in high school were sucky. Khaki/navy pants, white/navy shirt, brown/black shoes, brown/black belt, navy/white/black jacket. The worst part was that you could still tell who bought their clothes at Hollister and American Eagle and who got their clothes at Walmart or Target. I don't think it did much in the way of equalizing, except for the fact that we were a big sea of neutral colors.

    But at least you liked your uniform! And it's so cool that your brother-in-law was a torch bearer! That's fantastic!

  9. Hey, stopping by to say hi! I saw your comment on my blog- we're both Albertans. I live near Calgary. It's great to "meet" another Canadain blogger/YA writer.

  10. Ok, first reaction--I'm not sure what a Special Constable is, being from the States, but it sounds (and looks) really, really cool. (Do you watch Torchwood? In the hat, you remind me a bit of Gwen Cooper in her early days.)

    And like you, Alicia, and Katy, I also included the year I met my husband :) I mean, that kind of thing can overcome a lot of bad, I guess.

    My uniform days were limited to elementary school (Catholic)--our uniform system reminds me a bit of The Giver. We'd get periodic "upgrades"--from "jumper" (which I think means "sweater" in other countries but here it means "a skirt with some weird torso bits on") to skirt in like, 5th grade, and from red snap-front tie to navy blue in 4th, I think. It was a big deal. The girls in blue ties and skirts looked like sophisticated older ladies when we were rocking our jumpers and red ties in early elementary school.

    Awesome to learn more about you! This is a fun Friday Fives.

  11. The year I met my husband was a great year too. Great to learn more about you! :)


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