a long way from home
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It's been nine years since I've started this "diary", and sitting here feeling melancholy in the middle of Mexico is lending an easy hand to reflecting on the past almost-decade.

Where was I nine years ago? I graduated high school. I gained a lot of weight during my last year there. I was depressed and confused a lot of the time. Because of this, I went with my aunt and uncle back to Argentina to meet cousins and extended family and just get a change of pace. As much as I appreciate the experience looking back, I did spend 80% of the time crying in my cousins room because I wasn't allowed to leave their house with anyone but my cousins, and they could be, well... a lot. I was there for a month and a half, and then I came home. I wasn't any less depressed or confused. I thought I'd become a fashion designer, what I'd dreamed of for many years by that point. It was around that time that Grandpa's health was really deteriorating, and because of that he was distributing some of his wealth to his grandchildren. I used that money to buy some materials and a laptop to start a business upcycling old clothes. Mom and I had opened the clothing store, and by 2012 I was living in the back of it. I spent all my free time with Dylan and Brianna, sleeping most days at Dylans because sleeping alone at the store was too creepy for me.

Around the beginning of 2012 I had started a relationship with Jordan. Grandpa passed this year, and I used the money he gave me at the end of his life to buy a better laptop, two sewing machines, a lot of fabric and supplies. It was the year I started Metal Heart, and I poured my soul into designing and making clothes. I never did sell much, but when I did it was the most amazing feeling I could imagine. I met Cam Nikkel this year, and he did so many amazing photos for my line. I will always fondly remember those times. It was sometime this year that I had moved into the apartment above the store, and initially had Brianna live with me. That was a mistake; or maybe a blessing in disguise, as that was the beginning of the end of a toxic friendship. Eventually Jordan moved in with me, and then my little puff Casper, the little Maltese boy that was the family dog. I believe by the end of the year, we had closed the store. This was also the year I initially lost weight. By the beginning of 2013, I knew it was time to make a commitment.

When 2013 started I dedicated myself to eating healthy and working out. I had started a fitness account on Instagram and Twitter, and I was making serious changes in regards to my health. It gave me something new to be proud of myself for, and designing clothes started being placed on the backburner. Besides, I could no longer really afford to keep buying new fabric. Jordan and I went to Jamaica that March, and I was probably the skinniest I ever was or will be again. I probably shouldn't admire myself then as much as I do now, but that goes to show my confidence has never improved. I believe this is the year I started working at Snap Fitness, a job I mostly enjoyed. I spent all my free time cooking, smoking weed, going to the gym and being with Jordan. We were so in love. I look back on this year fondly.

In 2014, I did the course to get my personal training certification and there I met Edward Miller, another person I will always fondly remember. I was still living in Selkirk at the apartment above the store. At some point I had quit my job at Snap, though for awhile I stayed on as just the cleaner, and I started working at Sake, the sushi restaurant a few steps away from the apartment. I hated that job so, so much. It was only a few months before I quit and Jordan and I moved into my sisters apartment in the city. That did not last long, and we moved back to Selkirk. It was the end of this year when I got really into baking, and that is something that began to shape the path of the following years.

In 2015, Randi and I took an amazing trip to Puerto Vallarta in February. For the next few months I mostly focused on fitness and spending time with Jordan. Mom sold the building, and I moved back home. Around May, Riley told me to send a resume to his boss because he saw my baking pictures online. I got my first baking job at The Bake Oven. i was hooked. I took a trip to Vegas with Larissa, Randi and Maisie in June. It was shortly after coming home from that trip that Casper fell ill with leukemia. I lost him shortly after. That drove me into a very dark place, and marked the beginning of the end of Jordan and I's relationship. I got a new puppy to mask the pain of losing my best friend, but I decided to sell her before she was old enough to get attached to me, and I used the money to disappear to Thailand in October. I planned to go for six months, but only ended up staying for one and a half. My only regret about that trip is that I went with a selfish "friend", but that is something that no longer troubles me and I harbor no further bad feelings. When I came back, Jordan and I had taken a road trip to Grand Forks. It was very obvious then that our relationship was almost over.

In 2016, I got a job at Welcome Place feeding Syrian refugees. There I met Moe, who I will always consider a wonderful friend. Though there were many terrible facets to that job, it was still an experience I am grateful for. It also inspired me to apply for both culinary and baking school. Jordan and I had broken up by my birthday that year. It took me years to get over, though I hid it well. I spent a lot of time with Larissa and Kasey, and I remember that time very fondly. This must have been the time where mine and Larissa's friendship really became tight, and has been ever since. In May I began working at Oak Hammock Marsh. I also got accepted into Professional Baking at Red River College. I spent the summer drinking and having fun with my friends, I went to Vegas with Larissa and Tori in June, and in September I started the course. I miss school many days. In December, Larissa and I went to Vegas again.

In 2017, I graduated my Pastry program. I received the Academic Achievement award, and I graduated with Honors and a 4.4 GPA. I was so proud. I decided to go with Josee to Banff to work at the Faimont Banff Springs for my student work experience program. The experience was horrible. The people were horrible. I was mind numbingly depressed. I made one great friend, Madison, and that is about all the good things I have to say about my four months there, aside from the fact that the landscape was obviously beautiful. When I came back to Manitoba, I started working as the baker at Barney Gargles. It was briefly amazing -- I had creative freedom and I was working with my best friend. But that place was a mess. I stayed until December. I also started at The Pennyloaf Bakery in October of that year. I told them at the staff Christmas party that I would commit to being a full time employee there.

I moved into my own apartment at the beginning of 2018 to live closer to work. This is also a time I remember fondly. I was independent, working as an artisan baker for the best boss in the world, and I felt truly in control of my own life. I went to the Dominican Republic by myself to celebrate my 25th birthday. The Jets went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs that spring. That sparked a half-year long bender with Larissa, but I have no regrets about that. We had so much fun. I briefly dated a guy who worked for the Las Vegas Knights. I went to Vegas twice that summer; once to see him, and once on my own just for fun. i went to an NHL players beautiful cabin in Kenora. I got to truly be myself for a lot of this year. I briefly dated Lukas this year as well. He was a nice guy, but very immature. I doubt whether he ever had a real relationship. In November, I decided I would try to move to Vancouver to live with Bryce. The night before I left I got major cold feet, and packed a carry-on bag suitable for Thailand. i went to Vancouver, and promptly bought a ticket to Thailand. I called my mom 40 minutes before my flight out. I also told the girls at Pennyloaf that I'd be back in a month. I had one of the most amazing trips of my life solely due to the amazing people I met; namely Russell and Jonas. I was back by Christmas, and back to the Loaf.

In 2019, I lived at home and worked at the Loaf until April. i was hired as the bakery manager for the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. in Canmore, back in the Rockies. I went on a girls trip to the Dominican Republic before I left as one last hurrah. What a mess of a time that was. I believed I landed my dream job. It turned out to be a horrible experience, but one I was still overall glad I did. I lived in a house with 5 coworkers. The first few months were a mess of partying, drinking and working insanely hard. The house is where I met TJ, my current Mexican boyfriend. It is completely fair to say that it has been a tumultuous and rocky relationship. We have gone through many things together; most unnecessary. But regardless of that I fell deeper in love with him than I ever imagined I would. My depression from the job was horrible, I hated the people around me, I felt I had no real friends and it was just an all-around terrible experience. i knew I was going to quit soon.

At the beginning of 2020, I knew I'd had enough. I gave my notice to Darren and his pride told me to leave earlier than the notice I had given. He started to treat me like trash. Though every single person at that job recognized I did the best in my position than anyone ever had before, he wanted to degrade me. I finally had enough and gave a new two weeks notice letter. He let me go the next day. It was a lovely start to the year. In February I had a trip booked to Thailand with Madison. We went and had a pretty good time, though I wish I had gone alone which was my original plan. COVID-19 really started to blow up while we were there. We left a few days early. My dad met me in Calgary, we picked up all my things, and moved all my stuff back to Winnipeg. I stayed with my sister for a few days, and TJ convinced me to come to Mexico -- basically by saying he would break up with me if I didn't come, regardless of the world situation. He didn't care, and I was dumb enough to fall for it. I thought things would improve if we were someplace new together. Turns out he decided to be his real self. I mean, we are on his turf now.

So here I am, in Mexico, feeling alone and sad and utterly stupid. But typing this has shown me how amazing so many years I have experienced in the past nine of my life were, and it is empowering me to take my life and my happiness back.

I'm going home, as soon as I can, and I am hitting the reset button. Times are uncertain, the world has changed, but I am certain amazing things are in store if I leave the toxic things behind.

... 2020-04-21 @ 6:55 p.m.