Posts Tagged ‘olympics

18
Mar
10

All it takes is a boost…

I’m back!

My Olympic adventure was incredible. But, I spent so much time blogging about it that I needed a blogging “break” when I came home. I’ve spent the last week settling back in, and getting used to regular routine again. Being away for four weeks and having this experience was awesome, to say the least – and it has been difficult adjusting to ‘normal life’ after such a high.

However, my experience in Vancouver was not without it’s “single girl stories”….

You may remember from one of my past posts that a psychic told my Mom that I was destined to meet a guy in February 2010. That premonition came true, but not in the way that I had anticipated. My first day of work, I met L.; a 42-year old French-Canadian from Montreal. We hit it off from the get-go, spending most of our shifts cracking each other up, sharing stories and enjoying the awesome cocktails and cuisine of Vancouver with fellow volunteers after our shifts. I felt more comfortable with L. than I have felt with another guy in years, and we developed a great friendship. On his last night in Vancouver, L. treated me to a great ‘date’ night: we went to a fancy Italian restaurant, ordered champagne and wine, and topped the evening off at a piano bar (and more champagne). The french-gentleman that he is, L. wined and dined me that evening (the french do this VERY well!), and I didn’t really realize until then how much I enjoyed that kind of attention! Maybe because it was without pretense or the intention of ‘showing-off’ – but it was really nice to be treated like a lady for one evening. Despite our age difference (and the fact that Luc has a live-in girlfriend), we became very close friends, and he’s someone that I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with. Above all else, I truly believe that I was meant to meet L. during this experience. My relationship with him showed me that there ARE great guys out there who I can get along with, feel comfortable with, and who like me “just the way I am” (to quote from one of my favourite movies, Bridget Jones’ Diary). Not to mention the fact that I was shown that chivalry is not dead, and it doesn’t make me a ‘needy’ girl if I like to be spoiled every now and then.

Fresh off my ‘romantic’ (if you would call it that) evening with L., I did something that I have never done before. While out for dinner with my 50-something year old aunt, and our 70-something year old cousins (who hosted us while in Vancouver), we were waited on by a very cute, very nice, very sweet waiter. We chatted quite a bit with him in between courses and from the little we found it about him, it seemed we had a lot in common. It wasn’t long before my dining companions were pushing me to give him my phone number/business card; and pushing, and pushing (at my resistance, because I am WAY to shy for stuff like that). Well, after a few glasses of wine and my aunt threatening to give him my number anyway – I ACTUALLY did it myself! I left the restaurant with no regrets, and feeling kind of indifferent about whether or not he contacted me or not – I was just really proud of myself for taking that step because at the ripe old age of 28, I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever volunteered my number to a guy.

The next day was the gold medal game and while I awoke with a renewed boost of confidence, I had completely forgotten about the events at the restaurant the night before; my efforts were focused on finding the best place to watch the game! Imagine my surprise when I started receiving text messages from a Vancouver number that I didn’t recognize. After responding once, I simply stopped, convinced that this mystery texter had the wrong number. It was until later that afternoon when I was on my way back to the house for dinner that it donned on me – the mystery texter was my waiter from the night before! Well, once I realized that and finally responded, we ended up corresponding for about an hour or so, and again in the morning on my way to the airport (yes – I met him on my second-last night in Vancouver). After telling him that I was turning my cell phone off during my vacay week in Hawaii, I honestly expected never to hear from him again – after all, we pretty much live on opposite sides of the country. So, I was pretty shocked after opening my phone five days later to find a very sweet text, inquiring as to how I was enjoying Hawaii and joking at the fact that I had obviously cracked on my ‘no cell phone rule.’ Now – this is not par-for-the -course for me based on my previous dating experience; I don’t remember the last time that I was ever pursued by someone I liked so receiving this text was a huge confidence booster. And it felt nice to know that someone was actually thinking about me!

Upon my return home, I contacted “Waiter” and we texted back and forth for awhile. Until – he asked that critical question: “Do you have a boyfriend?” This is it, I thought. I’m not making it up. It’s not in my head. Distance aside – he’s interested. He’s actually interested – in ME! With that in my head, yet not knowing what his intentions were behind the question, I answered: “Nope. You?” To which HE replies. “Yep. Have a girlfriend.” Uhhh…..say what now?

Well, needless to say I shut-down that conversation pretty quick and haven’t looked back. And despite my mild disappointment with the situation (really, we barely had 10 minutes total of ACTUAL conversation), it was another confidence booster and I see it as simply another example of something that was just meant to happen to me. The fact that I even GAVE someone my number was a big step for me, and now I know I can do it – and it really wasn’t that big of a deal. So what if some stranger doesn’t call me? I’m out nothing but a little hurt pride. Lack of confidence, especially when it comes to guys, is something I have always struggled with and I definitely feel like it’s been holding me back. So, between my experiences with L. and Waiter, I’m feeling a wee boost in my confidence and hoping it will stick.

15
Feb
10

Happy Belated Love Day

I have not forgotten about you readers! But I have been incredibly busy enjoying this wild and crazy Olympic adventure. Highlights to date? Monitoring a section of dignitaries and yesterday’s figure skating event, which included Joe Biden, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and the ISU and IOC dignitaries. Quite an experience!

Living the Olympics in my home country has been so amazing and rewarding. The Canadian pride and spirit is everywhere, and I have met some of the most wonderful people. Most of the great conversations have happened with perfect strangers, as we’ve just struck up a conversation on the bus or sky train about how we’ve been spending our time in Vancouver, what events we’ve been to etc, etc. The people in this city are beyond friendly and warm, and everyone is feeling that Canadian, Olympic spirit.

I have spend the last two Valentine’s Days with G&W and B&C – last year the five of us were downing pina coladas in Miami! This Valentine’s Day, I met up with two fellow volunteers and my aunt, and we celebrated Canada’s first gold medal at a small restaurant/bar near the Waterfront in Vancouver. A few champagne cocktails and a piece of chocolate mousse cake later, and we were feeling the love for sure! My volunteer friend, L. even picked up the tab as a little Valentine for us three ladies ūüôā It was nice to have a Valentine’s Day where I did not think about being single even for a second….I was just having too much fun!

I hope that you were able to spend Valentine’s Day with someone you love or care about, or that maybe you didn’t ‘celebrate’ it at all! Either way, I’m sending you Olympic love from Vancouver, Canada!

A rare, sunny Valentine's Day in Vancouver! View of BC Place from the Sky Train on my way to work

25
Jan
10

The Buried Life

I have never really given much thought to having a formal ‘Bucket List‘ in my life. However, I think everyone has a mental list of things that they’d like to do/experience at some point before they die and for me, going to the Olympics was probably one of the¬†things I’ve had on my unofficial bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure I even thought I’d get to do it in my own country, and I certainly never dreamed¬†I’d get to participate in the whole thing. It feels great to be able to cross something like this off my ‘unofficial’ list, and now I¬†can’t stop¬†thinking about the things I’m going to want to¬†do next. Again, this is where being single certainly has its advantages – I’m free to explore and act on my bucket list with no one holding me back…

MTV has recently started airing a show called “The Buried Life“, about four university guys who have set out to complete their bucket list of 100 items. For every item¬†they cross of their list, they help a stranger cross something off their list as well. If you haven’t seen this show, and even if you wouldn’t include yourself among the ‘MTV generation’, I seriously recommend checking it out (you can watch the episodes commercial free online – note: this links to MTV Canada). I find it completely inspiring, and it has certainly got me thinking about¬†creating my own official list now that I’ve actually been able to cross something off it. And¬†although going to the Olympics is not¬†that much of an¬†unattainable goal, the sheer happiness of having done something on my list is¬†momentum enough to keep going. As one of the guys says in the first episode: “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’!”

I looked up why these guys wanted to call their show “The Buried Life” – turns out, it’s because of a poem by the famous poet and critic Matthew Arnold, who I actually spent some time studying in university:

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course…

Wise words indeed….

16
Jan
10

Resolution Recap

So- we’re about two weeks into the New Year; time to take stock of how the resolutions are going.

I’ve cooked one new recipe in the crockpot – Beef and Cabbage. I guess it was healthy….didn’t have any of the condensed soups filled with sodium that seem to be in every other crockpot recipe I’ve found. Probably wouldn’t make it again though, as I didn’t find it all that flavorful. I borrowed a Healthy Recipes crockpot book from my friend J., so I’m hoping to photocopy some recipes from that and get my groove on with the cooking. There’s nothing like getting home after a long day and having dinner already made. If I don’t have a man to do it, a crockpot seems like the next best thing….

Spinning. Nope. Haven’t attempted the non-beginner’s class yet, and haven’t done the two-a-week. I am blatantly failing at this resolution. However, I have added two other additional classes to my workout schedule so I feel as though that balances it out a bit – and I’m feeling good. The two new classes are a combination of cardio AND strength training so at least I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone. I didn’t realize it would be so hard to get back into shape after being off for just two weeks, but MAN! That first class back was brutal.

Getting my finances in order. This is going well. I’ve set up an automatic payment plan to start paying my parents back, and am saving the wee bit of extra cash (from the raise I negotiated for myself back in the fall – : ) into a tax-free savings account. Feeling good about where I stand here for now, and hoping it will stick…

X. This is still a work in progress but it IS progressing – even if I have to consciously work on it. It’s been quite some time since X and I have talked or emailed, and I’m really starting to see that it is better this way. Much better, actually. I still hate to admit that – it feels like I’ve failed at having a friendship with X but I’m starting to see why it’s better that I don’t. He’s still dating his gf, and as much as I hate to admit it, it does give me a wee bit of satisfaction that B&C have confided to me that they don’t like her – at all. I’m not surprised as even the little I’ve seen them together, something is off. X is lonely and digging his own hole – it’s not up to me to save him anymore. How he deals with his own loneliness is entirely up to him. I’m nervous that we’re going to start seeing each other weekly now, as our dodgeball league starts this week. It’s been so long since I’ve even talked/seen him that I know it will be awkward, but I’m determined not to¬† let the fact that I have to see him weekly set me back. I feel like I’m at a place now where at least I’m taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back, as opposed to 1 step forward and 2 back. That’s progress.

How are your resolutions going?

P.S. May I also just add that I will be touching down in Vancouver three weeks today. UBER excited to be volunteering at the Olympics in my home country!!!

06
Jan
10

A New Year….

Another New Year.

I have to admit that I’m one of those people who buys into the hype of New Year’s resolutions, and starting fresh. While I hate the overrated activities of New Year’s Eve (it really IS just another day), there is something about January 1st that is generally encouraging and hopeful. Some people say, “But you can start fresh any day – it’s all in the attitude” – and I agree. But you have to admit that there is something about a new year that just makes it easier to start…well…new.

I am also a believer in New Year’s resolutions. Yes, many don’t keep, but some do and have helped me a lot. Lots of my fellow bloggers have been listing some of their New Year’s resolutions so I figured I’d do the same. The trick is to tell someone what they are (this makes you a bit more accountable), and make them small things that are achievable in steps. So, mine are (in no particular order):

– Up my once a week spinning class to two per week. Within this resolution, attempt a non-beginners class.
– Find new recipes for the crockpot and use it more. Within this resolution, find healthy recipes.
– Get my finances in order. This means paying back my folks, and putting more in savings each month.
– Stop worrying so much about what other people will think if I do, or don’t do, X or Y. (Baby steps on this; one person and one decision at a time…)
– Recover, heal, close-off, find peace, recuperate, detox…whatever it is, to put my relationship with X behind me for good. Within this resolution, celebrate the baby steps I achieve in this process. (Opting out of B&C’s New Years house party, for the second year in a row, was a good start here…)
Lastly, when struggling with being single and being lonely, remember and BELIEVE these words from my cousin, E: “The things you wish for will come your way – that is a guarantee. But, they won’t come until they’re meant to come.¬† You wouldn’t want it any other way because life has a way of unfolding in the way it is supposed to and if you try to force it to do something other than that, things turn messy.”

It’s hard to imagine what’s going to transpire for me over this next year. My Olympic experience will no doubt be life-changing. And at the same time, I’m trying to approach this year with no expectations – I’m not hoping for anything special, or convincing myself that this is the year that this, or that, is going to happen. I’m going to just focus on me, and what I’m doing in the moment – what will be, will be. (Although easier said than done, me thinks!)

So – best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions! I’ll try and keep you posted on mine as the year goes on….which reminds me, I should also add “Blog more regularly” to my list of resos!

19
Nov
09

Do YOU Believe?

The subject of this post is really two-fold.

First, “Do you believe?” happens to be the slogan for CTV’s promos for the Olympic games. Why does this matter? Well, I just found out that I was offered a volunteer position at the Olympics!!! AMAZING. This is really a dream come true for me; to actually participate in the Olympic Games in my home country. I’ll be traveling from Ontario to BC for just over 3 weeks in February, and I absolutely can’t wait. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m so glad I took a chance and went for this!

Now – the second idea behind this post is the idea of psychics. That’s right, psychics.

A few weeks ago, my mom went to an event where there was a psychic as a guest speaker. Halfway through her presentation, she turned to my Mom (who was sitting just off to the side) and said abruptly: “I need to talk to you after.” So, when she was finished, the psychic came over to my Mom and basically said that although she knows her daughter (ME) has been going through some rough times in the last couple of years (very true), that things were going to turn around for me in 2010 and it will be my year; she sees me doing some traveling (true), and says that in February 2010, I’m going to meet someone and he will be the “one”. She also proceeded to tell my Mom a few more things about myself and my brother, all eerily accurate. AND – she also recalled some things from my mom’s past, that very few people are privy to. So….

I certainly don’t plan on living my life based on what this woman has said. But – I’d by lying if I said I didn’t find myself a little….relieved? I kind of feel like I can just let it go for awhile, you know? Not think about it. And if it doesn’t happen – well it doesn’t happen. But if it does? I won’t have spent these last few months dwelling on it. Of course, I should be able to do this – let it go that is – without the guidance/predictions of a psychic;¬† but I guess there’s just something kind of reassuring about it that gives me that extra bit of belief….weird? Yes. Harmful? No.

So, do YOU believe?

05
Nov
09

Advantage: Single.

We all know that no matter how crappy it might feel at times, there ARE advantages that come with being single. Some are legit, and some are just things we repeat to ourselves so we feel better about our single situation. Today,  I most definitely experienced one of those legit advantages.

A few months ago, my (single) friend JD and I were talking about what we should do for New Year’s. We knew we didn’t want to stay in town, and as much as I love my friends, I wasn’t super excited about going to B&C’s annual New Year’s party with a bunch of married couples. We threw around a few ideas – one being a trip to the south of France where JD went to school and worked for two years. She goes back every few months to visit friends, and suggested this as an option (among a few other closer-to-home options as well). So, after going back and forth and considering some other (and cheaper!) options, we decided – “What the hell?” – and booked our flights to Nice today.

Not only am I thrilled that JD was kind of enough to include me in her plans to go back to Monaco for a visit, but I’m also thrilled that instead of just talking about the things you can do when you’re single (ie. spontaneously booking expensive travel), I’m actually doing them. Ever since I traveled to Europe with Contiki (HIGHLY recommend this if you’re between 18-35, single – or not – and want to travel. Best time of my life) – I’ve wanted to go back. It completely opened my eyes to what’s out in the world, and was seriously life-changing. It’s so easy to find excuses not to do these kinds of things; mostly money, time and responsibilities. Well here’s what: at the end of the day, you can’t take it with you. And life’s just too short. So yes – this will be an expensive trip, but I know I’ll never regret it. I just got a big raise, and should spoil myself. I should take advantage of the fact that I don’t have to discuss this with anyone else, and don’t have to fight over how much money it’s going to be, and that I could just decide one day to book a trip and do it. I’m also taking the train to Italy for a few days to see (and meet!) some of my relatives, so I can’t wait for that either. What a great way to start 2010.

On top of all this, I have yet to mention in my blog that I interviewed (and am waiting NOT so patiently for) a volunteer position with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I have always been fascinated by the Olympics, and would even go as far to say that I have a real passion for it. There’s something so amazing about all those countries coming together for the love of sport. And as a very proud Canadian, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to participate in something like this in my home country. If I get the position, it’s likely I may have to stay in Vancouver for up to 4 weeks (luckily I have relatives out there who have agreed to take me in!) Would I have taken this leap if I wasn’t single? Maybe, maybe not. But the fact is that I can do it – I’m not leaving anyone behind for a month, I have a good job that will let me take time off for an opportunity like this, and I don’t have to worry about someone thinking I’m crazy for spending money on another expensive trip. And I’ve decided that even if I don’t get the position, I’m flying out to Vancouver for a week during the Olympics anyway, because – “Why not!?” The final phase for tickets is this Saturday so I’m hoping to secure tickets for a couple of events.

Yes – it’s true that I will probably be broke when I get back in February, and might find myself saying: “What the heck were you thinking spending all that money on travel?! Now you’re broke!” But you know what? NOW I feel like I’m finally taking advantage of my single life, and I’m finally starting to accept love it. Yay me ūüôā




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