Chapter 9 – Operation Summer Part II

Stardate 040617 the first day of camp has begun and by first day of camp I mean the first day at the camp which involved in polite terms bugger all. Mostly awkward interactions with my new co-workers and trying to find something to eat (looking back I assume we found food because I’m still alive) after that and a FaceTime with my parents giving them a half arsed tour of the camp and them mocking my “facial hair” which shortly involved shaving and looking like a fresh born baby maybe I’ll send a photo if you ask looking at you Adam… So there we are a Mexican an Irishlady and an Englishman on a dock looking out over sylvan lake we talked about ourselves and discussed what the summer will bring and what bought us to this place. we played some frisbee on the beach and yes I was the super hip cool guy who purchased a frisbee and yes I do still have the frisbee I threw out clothes so I could keep travelling with it! and then all of a sudden in the late afternoon a man stood on top of the path down to the beach and said “do you guys work here” our repose was a rather sheepish “ermm yes” the man responded with “I’m Kendrah’s father” we all though who is Kendrah should we know who she is? **side note she was a counsellor** so we start talking to Kendrah and no word of a lie she scared the living shit out of us telling us stories about camp all the rules what you can and can’t do It was like a weeks worth of information in a span of 4 hours. Looking back I think it helped but I really have no idea! and lets skip forward because I can’t remember what happened!

Stardate 050617 – 010717 the first day of training and oh boy my memory is failing me so I’m going to attempt to condense around a month worth of training into a few paragraphs please wish me luck…

Low Ropes

Now this was the first time we worked as a whole team hence the term team building exercises and at the time I wasn’t  a fan of the whole team building actives and feeling like a complete tit in-front of others but now I have come to the realisation that nobody really gives a fuck as everybody is in the same boat this took an embarrassing amount of time to realise! but the actives involved some name games, learning about each other and trusting one another and hence the title Low Ropes was the main focus of this portion of training now at the times I wasn’t a fan of the Low Ropes but now I have to say it’s one of my favourite activities it really does encourage teamwork and the trust of others now as all adults its pretty easy to learn and work as a team and control everybody but when attempting to teach a bunch of grade 7s to perform these tasks it turns into a big old shit show nobody listens and this can cause major issues and somebody can get hurt (I’m turning into an old teacher) but with this under our belts we where ready teach and starting to form friendships

Canoeing 

Sidenote **mature language** I FUCKING LOVE CANOEING  **mature language over** Now I’ve only ever been canoeing once before this “but ciaran how can you love it if you’ve only done it once before 6 years ago” first of who told you it was 6 years ago oh wait I’m the author and asked an imaginary question (did I just break a 3rd wall? yes, yes you did) but really I have just loved the idea of being on a lake paddling away talking about life and taking a nice long day chilling on the water man that is the dream right there! Now to actually take these kids on the water we need to be certified instructors and thats exactly what we where doing fancy that eh. Our instructor was Seb great guy super friendly and enthusiastic the course was only for 3 days and for 1 of those days it was white caps on the lake so canoeing was out the window on that day but we learnt all the strokes and how to recover a tipped canoe thats harder than it looks! and then on the last evening we played some form of tag with foam pieces that you had to pick up with your paddle and throw at another canoe (I do have a short film showing this) ask me to upload it on the internet… and that is canoe training complete I’m now certified by Paddle Canada and get a metric fuck tonne of emails from them **thumbs up**

Being a councillor 101 

I wasn’t a councillor so this section is completely irrelevant, instead I was mowing grass and cleaning porcelain like a god damn pro! because I was DR.JAN-ITOR

Operation Summer Part III will be coming to a screen near you soonTM but in all honesty the summer was a complete blast and part III I have no idea where to start so maybe there will be something different maybe A Midnight Summers Dream…

 

Advertisements

Chapter 8 – Operation Summer Part I

Stardate 200817 I have Operation Summer has now been completed and I can confirm it was a bloody good success! The premise of Operation Summer was to get away from routine and away from the big city to a place where I can experience nature and live a tranquil life. After working at CIBC for 6 months sat in an office looking out over city hall I had a realisation that I had become comfy with my life as explained in Chapter 7 this was not good! So I decided that I would work in a summer camp for the summer with the intention just to get out of the city explore nature and maybe make a few friends but after 3 months I can say I have made friends for life, pushed my social boundaries way beyond their limits and explored nature a lot!

Lets jump back and tell the tale of Operation Sumer (It will be written how I would write on the day, no time for past tense Bull$hit here)

Stardate 010617 I have packed up all my belongings once again living out of a 75L backpack its all fun and games (trust me) I have successfully made my way to Toronto airport, ski jacket in hand it’s too big to place into my rucksack shame… I sat down at the bar and ordered a beer (it was around 8:00pm) The guy sat next to me was a fellow brit and by the end of my beer I wanted to strangle this guy he would not stop talking to me, Look I enjoy conversation as much as the next guy but I know fuck all about the city your from and the business your in sorry… after this dilemma of leaving and coming off as rude or staying and pulling my hair out my flight was called “Flight for Calgary is boarding” finally Operation Summer is a go! After landing in Calgary it was gone midnight I had called an Uber and waited for around 15 minutes I realised I was in the wrong pickup spot whoops and my driver canceled on me (if your reading this Uber driver my apologies) after that stormshow I arrived at the hostel dumped my bags and set off to find some food as I was as hungry as the wolf! but could I find an open food establishment could I bollocks so I went to the dollar store (why was it open at an ungodly time) and bought some $1 cookies and ate around 24 in one sitting (no judgment required I’m a pig and I’m proud of it!) and then making my way back to the hostel I lay my head down and had a ruddy good sleep!

**note to past me, I hate you for writing all this up now**

Stardate 020617 after refuling my body with sleep juice I was ready to explore a new city it began with a walk downtown I went the the classist of food establishments A&W it was a mediocre breakfast slightly disappointed in myself looking back but hey what are you going to do about it… I then walked down the the river and a local park I started to message Taff about calgary we had a discussion that the time zone was a bitch as it was morning here and late afternoon there crazy going from 5 hours to 7 hours difference! after the exchange of messages and pictures of geese I headed back into the city centre and headed to the Glenbow museum it was pleasantly nice, learnt some Canadian history and seeing some delightful rocks and minerals (I enjoy any museum that has rocks and minerals) I briefly explored the history of Calgary in all honesty I can’t remember jack all that they hosted the Winter Olympics once… And then I headed off on a bicycle trip and man It ended up being on heck of a trip in total around 23km not to shabby considering I haven’t cycled in over 6 months! after having a Donair kebab in the middle of nowhere and after arriving there was one thing on my mind BEER! I cracked open the couchsurfing app and within moments I had met a group of people and we all chatted grabbed a few drinks and a bite to eat overall a pretty delightful and unexpected day of exercise and socialising!

**Is this written in past or present tense I have no clue now, great job me**

Stardate 030617 today is moving day! I finally get to leave the city once more and head off to the delightful Sylvan Lake, but that’s not until late afternoon so lets go and explore a bit more *ping* I receive and email from Nyquest (the company I work for) one of your fellow workers is in the same hostel! finally I get to meet a new person and explore calgary, Now that didn’t happen quite as easily as that it involved multiple emails and around a full day of pinging back and forth to finally make a meeting spot! **I can’t remember what we did or how long** so there we are it’s late afternoon waiting for are new boss to pick us up and my goodness I was as nervous as a turkey on thanksgiving. But finally we get picked up and after a metric fuck tonne of questions we arrive at the airport to pick up another councillor Yojan at the time I didn’t know that this man would become on of my best friends and camp husband. Now I backtrack imagine an irish girl, english man and a canadian in an airport waiting for a Mexican, the Canadian goes up to  a Mexican looking fellow and goes “YOJAN” I’m going to pause the blog what do you think happened here, A)It was Yojan, B)It wasn’t Yojan or C) It wasn’t Yojan and the guy seemed rather irritated to be racially profiled… If you picked C DING DING DING you’re a winner! Now I fell that that is a story better told in person if you ever speak to me I’ll tell you the story… now back to driving to Sylvan around 2 hours later we arrived tired and ready for bed and you know what I did I re-fueled my body with sleep juice

**Who the fuck though this was a good idea to write about**

Part II will include the first day of being at camp and a few highlights from training, It will be written soonTM

Chapter 7 – Routine = Comfort

Stardate 120517 It has been quite some time since my last update life has got in the way and by got in the way I mean I fell into a routine eughh I have nobody to blame but myself but I’ve had enough of going through the motions of waking up at 6:30am heading to work grab a Tims *no other coffee franchises available*, answer some IT calls (by some I mean a fuck tonne) have some lunch homemade of course I’m not made of money except on a Wednesday where I like to go to Burger King *other franchises are available* and grab a 2 for $5 deal (not to shabby but it is flabby tehee) get home for 4:30pm watch some TV cook dinner and lunch for the next day and go to bed for 9:00pm. I know what your thinking “whoee ciarán what I life you live eh” Gonna stop you right there and say bad, bad reader that is a terrible thought, Now you see I have become conformable not good I didn’t move half way across the world to work 9-5 or 7:30 – 3:30. I came to experience life now I have done that but not as much as I had hoped, I mean I should have worked in a bar or more hands on but I pursued my future career in IT but not in the good way sitting in a desk in a shirt and tie doesn’t do many people many good (well it does, but this is an exception) So I thought what was my original plan prior to getting work it was to gallivant around Toronto until June and then bugger of and have a fun summer so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Operation Summer is about to commence!

 

 

Chapter 6 – Time To Reflect

Stardate 080317 I was attempting to write this yesterday as a 3 month update but I thought this is a good time to reflect on my life at only 20 I feel that I have seen and done more than others my age maybe it’s due to never going to University or maybe it’s due to my un willingness to conform to standards as much as I want to my mind just wants to do its own thing this can cause issues as I tend to gaze into space and people have noted this and they always ask what I’m staring at the answer is nothing It’s just that I can’t close my eyes otherwise people will thing I’m just sleeping I’m not sleeping i’m dreaming with my eyes open… I digress once more I have started to question what I’m doing with my life what do I want to do where do I want to be in 5, 10 ,15 years and the answer is I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do, see, learn or work I have no set path I suppose that can be seen as a good thing but in this world I beleive it’s a bad thing as I should really consider getting some fancy paper with letters on it but then what use is that i already have 4 years of work experience in 2 fields engineering and IT I suppose right now they are an asset but in 10 years time it will either be so Mr.Stokes you have 14 years of expericnece in real world but none on paper why? Once again the answer would be I just don’t know right now…

Back to reflection as I sit in a vegan cafe again I some how just keep finding them after I ask for milk and the barista always scoffs *fuck me alright I didn’t know, I like cow juice sorry!* I look around and listen to the gentle guitar background music I notice some paintings on the wall attempting to figure them out, But I know deep inside I don’t know anything about them and I’m just using them to keep my mind busy as I’ve had a lot in there recently more than usual Taff knows about it. and I said to him it’s a story that I want to keep to myself but at the same time I want to share. I can dish out a little hint it’s due to me being to intouch with my emotions I develop feelings far too fast and have flash backs and flash fronts about my current future and past experences I can feel them it’s both great and horrible my pulse increases the tension increases I’m reliving the same moments over and over until somehting can take it’s place alas this time its been 4 days and I’m still seeing this vividly. I’m sure eveybody has these thoughts but I feel that most don’t discuss them or even think about them I’m almost too concious of my concious. man that felt pretty good to write.

Overall I feel that my life has been pretty great I’ve met some amazing people and I’ve left some amazing people I have my best friends at home, I have my drinking friends, ex co-workers and others but what’s it all for do they think about me as I do them? that’s the problem we are too busy wanting to know about others whilst we know nothing about ourselves. Take 10 minutes and just stare your mind will eventually fill in the blanks and you’ll be at peace just don’t think too hard you don’t want to put manufctured thoughts they are already there. you just have to let them come out.

Chapter 5 – Girl Problems

Stardate 230217 I have been working for 1 month and within that time I have become ever closer with a female companion, It was an instant sense of belonging and sense of this is it ciarán your here in a strange new land go get her… alas writing this I have lost those feelings almost loosing that sense of friendship maybe I’m just over complicating things who knows it is me after all! but in a nutshell maybe I’m just naive when it comes to women or maybe I just watch to many sitcoms take JD for example I like JD his personalty his ego man I wish I was just an ounce like that but at the same time it would take away from who I really am somebody who wants to be somebody else… But back to the topic tonight was in french terms a “shit show” my lady friend asked if I would like to play some tennis after work with her and her cousin sure why not whats the worst that could happen **find out next time on This Is My Life** but seriously it led me to write a blog update that’s either a terrible thing or a great things as it’s bypassed speaking to Taff since he’s in Dubai and I don’t want to dull the mood… So there I am waiting for the next train to Finch (subway station in toronto) and over the tannoy *delays on line 2 please make your way to the surface for shuttle busses* so I texted lady friend and said

Heyo delays at st.clare

Yeah this is a shit show

I’m going to head home

Too busy

And yes that is my actual text I was partially relieved as my gut really didn’t want to go play tennis but my goddam gentleman parts got in the way I mean for my age thats a damn fine thing but for a social awkward, self conscious young adult its a pissing nightmare. anyway back to the station so lady friend replays saying that she is at the surface come up and see me… *fuck* is my initial thought but I’ve had this sudden urge just to try things to get a good story and yes It did work this time thank you past me. so I find lady friend at the bus station bare in mind that there is around 300 people waiting for a handful of busses well done TTC *slow clap* so I make some small talk not my finest moment but I got a laugh *score* and lady friend informs me that she invited an old work college (sure whatever I don’t care *winces*) and lady friend says that we are going back to friends house OK I say I start reading my book as I’m kind of in that I don’t want to be here anymore but I don’t want to be rude and leave so yeah that’s an issue of mine I suppose. so we arrive at friends apartment and it’s like something from one of those American sitcoms where they have a really really modern and nice apartment but they work as a dishwasher or something along those lines not dissing dishwashers (looking at you Casey Neistat) but this put me in an uneasy mood I can’t explain why it just did (I do know I just don’t want to write it down) (I’ll tell Taff about it when I speak to him miss you Taff xoxo) But we ended up watching some utter shite program I have no idea what it was about I completely zoned out I did a JD tilted my head to the left and just started to day dream I was in my happy place (thinking about how to write this blog) and then it dawned on me I was chasing something that wasn’t going to happen I was wasting valuable resources on something that I no longer wanted I no longer have an interest in lady friend it just hit me like a tonne of bricks I don’t know what triggered it but It finally happened I was almost set free I got up and just said “yeah I’m going home” and then lady friend said she was also leaving so we walked to the subway station and parted ways I just sat on the train and continued to read my book somewhat please with what I had achieved not much to the outside but to me it felt significant and after typing this out it seemed oddly un-climatic as is life children life isn’t like the movies life is what you make of it and what I made out of it is don’t go chasing a feeling that is only one way (like running up an escalator thats going down) it’s going to be damn hard and it’s not worth the hassle just go around and take the stairs and you never know maybe the next chapter will be there.

100117 – Toronto

Well I have settled into my new place here in Toronto, It’s nice plenty of room to move big enough kitchen bathroom you know the standard things. Alas I have one gripe I’m the only english speaking person here now that’s strange and I mean it would of been nice to know before but I suppose that’s all part of the adventure! I have explored the surronding area (ish) there isn’t a lot within walking distance (depentand upon walking distance) the underground is a 10 minute walk so not too far but enough. on the topic of undergrounds it’s old school compared to the London underground no contactless barriers just loose change and NFC enabled cards (I should get one of those $3.25 for one journey will start to add up. Anyway I took the underground to Queen a station next to the Town Hall oddly pleasent but compared to the old Town Hall it reminded me of an old school english council flat from the 80s when concrete beasts was concidered “futuristic” alas nobody was there maybe it’s because it’s a Tuesday or maybe people are at work and aren’t interested in Town Halls who knows. But the people I did meet where so busy like eveything was rushed, comparing to Halifax where everybody was friendly nothing felt rushed the little granny at Timmys was so pleasent compared to the out of country student who was doing it because they have to (sorry for the sad outlook it got to me) I suppose that is the issue with living in a City I hope to get over these emoions and start enjoying the city on the other hand I’ve been here for less than 48hrs and they say Rome wasn’t built in a day and that can be said for my outlook on moving. before I left Halifax my mind was in Toronto but my body was there alas it’s now vise versa my Body is here but my mind is in Halifax.

Chapter 3 – 1 Month Later

Star date 090117 I have embarked on the next mission Operation:Toronto I have had a eye opening experience in Halifax and after spending a month there I can now share my thoughts and outlook on my first month…

First of it was strange being away from home for over a month I know my friends have gone to university but that is only a few hours drive I’m whole flight away! that seems like a long way but in reality it’s nothing I can be home in less than 24hrs if it was called upon (like a spy, by spy I mean a Johnny English kinda spy) I have yet to feel the emotions of homesickness maybe I’m heartless or maybe It’s in my blood to be away from home for extended periods or it could just be that I have a FaceTime call every Sunday I do look forward to that (when I’ve had an interesting week) I mean sometimes It was like oh what have you been doing? “erm I watched TV and played Super Mario Run!” but back to adventure talk! I have seen many new and interesting things from a Lighthouse to a lake WOW, But really everything I have seen is beautiful maybe it’s because I’m easily pleased or maybe I’m genuinely happy with my new life who knows I mean I should but I don’t…

Now for Christmas this is my second Christmas away from home and this year I wasn’t in a hospital so that’s a bonus right!? So we drove up? left? down? Canada to New Brunswick a 6hr drive in the snow we arrived and it was dark at the time I was sad as I wanted to see the view but looking back I’m happy we didn’t waking up and looking out the window took my breath away a lake covered in snow was one of the most beautiful things I have seen It appeared to be endless apart from the coast at the other end which would make it end dammit. Now I know what your thinking where are the photos? well I mean I could show you a photo but I fear that it wouldn’t show the true beauty. But I suppose that’s the issue with photos there is no scale a mountain looks like a hill and a lake looks like a pond… On the topic of ponds back home we call the Atlantic ocean a pond so “America is just across the pond” but here on the lake it was literal America was on the other side of the pond also It was a portal to the past as there is a 1hr time difference that was pretty cool! So whilst in the middle of nowhere I did things I never would of thought of doing… ATV, Skeet Shooting (I’m pretty good *insert trumpet blowing here*), Snow Shoeing, Ice Skating ON A LAKE!, Skiing (tumbling down a hill in style) all new experiences and all of them I wish to pursue in the future! But looking back It didn’t feel real I don’t know if everybody has this feeling but I know that I did those things but at the same time it doesn’t feel real I felt the same about South East Asia I was there I have photos and videos but they don’t feel real anybody can take a photo but few can tell a story. (can I tell a story or just tell my minds story hmmm) But as I write this once again on a plane cruising at a speed maybe it’s the cabin air or maybe it’s because I have no power nothing I can do I can let my mind wonder and instead of thinking about it I can write it down and share this thoughts with some stranger. I digress more I should really be talking about Toronto…

Toronto why there? you ask well I’ve always had an interest in living in a city the busyness the things to do the sights to see it just excites me it’s an adventure within an adventure all the different mini communities within a large one little Italy, Portugal, China new food man I love food! I hope it’s what I have in my mind maybe It’s completely different I suppose I’ll find out in less than 2hrs… But before I settle down I need to catch a train from the airport to the house at a station called bloom? blorg? something B I’ll find it trust me and then 15ish minute walk yay with my life on my back I still find that amusing that I’m attempting to live out of a backpack for 2 years I still think it’s insane but so far I’ve loved it limited cloths is the best no huge decisions of what to wear and I can’t buy anything so I both love that and hate by that I mean I can buy food and water just nothing I need to take with me! But back to serious ish talk I’m also heading to a city for work I mean surely a city will have work dishwashing sure, IT Heck Yeah! I do hopefully have a phone interview in the coming days for an IT job in downtown Toronto (ideal work spot in my head) but only time will tell if I get that position! but for now I’m going to enjoy some music by Lulek playlist “good” I mean says what it does on the tin I Suppose…