First short = complete!

It’s been a great every day May and I am already looking at the next everyday for July. Eventually I might be able to make a post every day or every other day, but for now it is time to focus on some planning and some marathon training.

Thanks for reading the letters – a little cheesy, but it was definitely interesting for me – hope it was for you!

 

In case you were wondering, the first runDisney Short happened and here’s how it looks:
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I ended up doing a little over 5K in 47 minutes on an elliptical and a treadmill for the Yellow Shoes virtual run. Still getting my body used to exercise in general so it was odd to try to pace my 5K. Looking forward to the next Mickey Short which is June 5 – June 18, 2016 and is Red Pants!

Aiming for a faster pace this time – fingers crossed!

-A

 

 

May Amy – #31 – Thirties

Dear Amy at 30,

Well… we did it. We joke with Alex that we want to celebrate a birthday in our thirties at Club 33. It would be amazing to us if it was our 33 birthday, three years from now, but that seems a little cliché or typical. It is also quite unlikely that we will be able to find our way into Club 33 without how stringent the rules are now for members, but there is always a bit of hope for pixie dust.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of us: whether we are still in Kelowna, whether we are still pursuing the imagining career, whether we have a house, do we still read obituaries, do we still play video games, do we still waste too much money on trips to theme parks. I guess I have more questions for you than I have goals or recommendations for you. It is hard to know where we will be at thirty, but I hope that we are as happy or happier than we are now.

I can’t tell you who to be or what to achieve because only us in the present really  knows what we are aiming for. We have goals, sure, but even those can change as we rediscover ourselves in different scenarios. The Amy who started to write these letters is not identical to the one I am now, and the Amy tomorrow will have learned something new to. It is never a bad thing to learn or want to learn and adapt, but don’t lose yourself in the process. Don’t lose us. Present Amy jokes about being “here for the woo” with the team, and hated the idea of being the token extrovert who isn’t necessarily good at anything else. Being the woo doesn’t mean that at all – it just means that we find it easier to be outgoing than others in similar situations. Don’t forget that.

I’m not afraid of thirty – in fact I’ve experienced loads of women in their thirties who have been just as much fun if not more fun than I am now. It’s just a number to signify your existence on this planet – it doesn’t define who we are or what we should have achieved. Here’s hoping we still get ID’d though when we feel the need to indulge in a bottle of White Zinfandel or Pinot Gris. Wine didn’t used to be our thing, but then again we did used to drink over our capacity in high school and then stopped after graduating to avoid becoming an alcoholic. Different ages, different perspectives, different variations of the same person: Amy.

This is starting to feel more like a wordy cliché bouquet than anything else, but it’s true. I look forward to seeing how and when we will grow next and I hope that we get to learn as much as possible before we are thirty and even afterwards. It’s been an odd month of writing to myself and I am sure that I would do it again dependent on the timeline. Do I feel like I know myself better? I don’t know. Do I feel like I’ve come to terms with more things, or things that I thought I had been over? Some wounds shouldn’t be reponeded, but those weren’t necessarily included either. See you in four years to spill all of my secrets and scenarios from growing up? Well, I will see you tomorrow, but rewriting memories and revisiting this concept later sounds good to me. Here’s to the next thirty. May they be adventurous.

-A

 

 

May Amy – #30 – Almost there

Dear Amy at 29,

By this point… if we haven’t published one of our novels, even self-published, then we need to drop all fears and find ourselves a great self-publishing offer. That’s it. No more excuses. It must seem weird to you that I am pushing this so much, but current Amy still questions a lot of things. Probably sounds even weirder given how outgoing we are as an individual, but it’s true that we tend to over think and over analyze. It makes us a good sounding board, and we are quick to consider multiple options.

It is my hope that we have a new cat by now and that the healing process has come full circle. Jones was such an important part of our lives and I feel bad thinking that we wouldn’t give another cat a chance at a new life. I think Jones would be glad that we gave another feline friend a better home outside of the shelter. There are lots of cats at the SPCA and other shelters here, and it would be nice to take in one that has been waiting awhile. I know that the older ones are less popular, since they are closer to the end, but I think that would be a great fit for us. A cat companion who is older and calmer, one who likes to eat and sleep and cuddle, and one who is happy in the sunshine through the window. Damn… I miss that cat.

It may be a morbid thought, but I wonder how many more people will die between now and 29. So many of our friends and family members have already passed on that it seems almost inevitable that the count will be high.We found out about another loss this week, our Tim Hortons companion, Des. Sad to say that we found out much too late. We had gotten him a Christmas card but didn’t see him much around the winter. It’s still here at the house because when we did see him the few times after the holidays we just didn’t have it with us. I’m avoiding looking at it. It’s in our office on the pink memory board.

This will also be the year of our five-year wedding anniversary. When I asked Alex what I should write about to you, he said that I could write about us being together. Seems like an obvious statement to me now. Why wouldn’t we be. It’s a thought that I don’t say out loud too often, but I really believe that he saved our life. We weren’t in the best of phases when we met him, but he was there and open to helping anyway he could. He’s the yin to our yang, keeps us balanced and we reciprocate, notices the small changes in demeanor, shares our love for perfection with flaws, and would stop the world if needed. That probably sounds like a lot of cheese, but at least its Gouda.

We had joked about going back to Walt Disney World for our fifth anniversary and renewing our vows at the parks — or in some place unique anyway. I am pretty sure that we suggested the parks and he didn’t argue. It would be nice to do something small anywhere really and just celebrate how far we’ve come. It will be five married years, but it will also be twelve years that we have been together and worked through any divots. Tate used to joke that we were like Hawk and Dove, balancing and understanding of each other in such a unique way that is specific to us. I just hope that we continue to talk churros, cartoons, and cheeseburgers.

-A

 

May Amy – #29 – Dreamin’

Dear Amy at 28,

When we were younger we used to think about staying 18 forever. Every dream or ideal involved us staying 18 years old. At 28 this will be 10 years past our once ideal age, but even now I am glad that we didn’t find some weird way to stay 18. We aren’t a huge fan of birthdays because they tend to be negative, but getting older isn’t something we are really worried about anymore – I hope we still feel the same.

If we don’t have a house by now… I think I would be a bit disappointed in my older self. Granted it doesn’t have to be a house, if we could own some sort of property by now that would be an accomplishment. Also, I hope that we still have our friends from DI. Having lost connection with so many friends in the years that I have already existed, I would be surprised if we kept any – but hopeful 26-year-old me is optimistic about the latest set of friendships.

I would tell you about how much we want to have our novels published, how much we want to be an Imagineer, how much we want to be in California more often than now – but I think you know all these things. We’ve just recounted 26 years of our existence so if we don’t remember this two years from now – take it as a potential red flag.

Another topic of interest will probably be whether or not we are having kids. We’ve changed our minds a few times. Before we got married, our agreement with Alex was 2-4 kids and then after the honeymoon it switched to no more than 2. Now we are all under the same impression that we don’t really want them at all. Children can be great for a lot of people, but we are happy with it being just the two of us. Will be interesting to see if this changes again by the time we hit 28.

If we are still in Kelowna, still in the condo, still without one of our novels published – don’t worry too much, Amy at 28. I know us and we will judge ourselves until the cows come home or whatever the saying is… actually… I know us now, but maybe we won’t be the same. We come off fairly strong and secure, so maybe we will mirror it at 28.

– A

May Amy – #28 – Here’s to next year

Dear Amy at 27,

Writing to my future self is a little bit weirder than writing to the past. I don’t know what is going to happen in the future, but there are things that I hope would come to pass. Maybe that is what these will be.

Next year is going to be an interesting one. Right before our birthday we are running a marathon to celebrate our birthday and the second half of our twenties. True that this year was really the first year of the second half, but we are nearing the ages where we really hadn’t considered too much. Maybe we are the only one, but most of our planning and goals revolved around the early twenties and then the mid-thirties onward. Everything 27 to 33ish hasn’t really been mapped out.

Aside from completing the Infinity Gauntlet challenge with runDisney, I think there are a few things that I would like to cover:

  • Cook more. We can bake really well and we can cook somethings, but I would really like to cook more often for us and Alex
  • I would like to continue to progress with our day job and network as much as possible – maybe even get better at accepting compliments
  • Plan the next Park for Anett and I’s trip to every park!
  • Have at least of of our novels published – stop overthinking
  • Return to looking at buying a place. This is something we actually did last year if you remember, but we needed to postpone for other things
  • Have exercise a part of our weekly routine

Alex is commenting about how we will have a house next year because he will be extremely successful, which means that we can afford to fly to California and visit the parks once a month. I’m taking this as a round about permission to do so and noting it for future reference. When Alex is very successful he will buy the house and help us get to the parks every month. This is enlightening.

As a side note to round this out, if possible (and financially responsible) I would like to do the Coast-to-Coast challenge next year for runDisney. It might not be 100% feasible, but this goal can be pushed until it is reasonable. Although we are not the most athletic of borg, I do think that we will enjoy these marathons and exercising. We are definitely out of shape and this is apparent by panting after doing a number of stairs, but all it takes is a little time and patience.

  • A

May Amy – #27 – Welcome to the present

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Dear Amy at 26,

Or I guess me… now. We are six months into this year and things have been smooth for the most part. Things are a bit tight with money, but we are getting better at budgeting which is nice.

Our birthday… well we don’t like those and somehow one of our main friendships almost dwindles completely, but don’t dwell on it. People have different priorities and change is one of the many effects of life. This leads well into us becoming even better friends with Anett and Hanna, so not all is lost. You have friends – remember this, remember this, remember this. It is going to come up in our minds a fair bit, but we are not alone.

In January we hear about a new initiative in an all hands meeting where people will be hand-picked for a team to lead a re-imagining of certain areas in the department. It sounds interesting enough and right after the meeting we get pulled into our boss’ office and offered a spot. This is one of the reasons why we push ourselves like a loon – moments – like – this. Just keep doing this. Keep being you and working your buns… fingers… whatever. We get a desk upstairs, Steve the plant comes with us, and we meet a new group of people from various positions that are a great source and resource. There will be some rotation (change is inevitable), but all those who enter the room are lighthearted, easy to approach, and great to use for sounding boards. Never be afraid to talk to them.

Another opportunity approaches and we apply, we don’t get it but we also don’t lose it. Everything, even when it feels like the door has closed, is a chance for an opening. It will be a great time to learn and adapt as needed. You can do it. And now this feels like I am pumping myself up, but sometimes I need a bit of self-motivation – who doesn’t.

Outside of our day job, we have left Paper Droids to pursue this little neck of the woods and our novels. Safe to say that I think we’ve been doing well, but we could do better. This series of letters is a great step in the right direction because it is keeping us active. We’ve found a potential publishing opportunity for one of our books, and in April we are granted a media pass for our own site – this one! Something we haven’t had before – not just a news site, but us. Get excited!

As for the rest of the year… lots going on. Alex has a new job and is busy with his own company as well, which means time for us to focus on this and our own initiatives. Not that we don’t want to spend time with him, but it works out that we can both be busy at the same time, and then reconvene for tickles and talks right as he is falling asleep – we are a troll. This isn’t to say that he isn’t available for dates and other spending time, we just like to harass him because we love him (and he is especially funny when he is half asleep. He is always there for us, lean on him if you need. Right now he is messing with my hair… it is irritating. Stop it, Alex.

I hope that for the rest of the year we work towards a better self: getting used to compliments (or at least better at acknowledging them), look for and being open to more networking opportunities, and pursuing publications without too much over thinking about our novel. We are our own worst critic. Just do it. Shia wants us to.

Our next adventure with Anett is in planning – don’t over plan, but consider all options. OH! And there is a marathon or two or three that we signed up for. Train Train Train. It’s our 10 year anniversary next year; even if we don’t go, I know that we will want to feel accomplished. Don’t overestimate, do allow things to happen.

Did I mention that we got more Zillas from Dorkboy Comics? We did – they are awesome.

– A

 

May Amy – #26 – 1/2 Way to 50

Dear Amy at 25,

Congrats! We are half way to fifty and we have a lot to be thankful for. Things may have taken longer than we originally thought they would, but there are a ton of things to be thankful for. Aside from the new job, in December we are featured on a blog for work, we have our first VoluntEAR experience, and we are planning our first trip as a cast member.

Alex has a business trip to Los Angeles so we tag along in January and rent a car to drive ourselves around. We drive from Manhattan Beach to Disneyland and don’t really get to see too much of Alex the first day. It’s also our first trip to the parks alone, but it’s actually quite peaceful. Being alone gives us more flexibility, more eating what we want, and more attractions that we want. We also get a chance to visit the Glendale Campus and it is amazing – and I don’t just mean the pins available. Their buildings, floors, offices, cereal bar, fountains… it’s just all amazing. Soak it in: this is our goal.

After the trip we start planning a new one for J’s graduation (our youngest sister). It will be a bit tight and a bit weird having all siblings in one place together, but it should be good at the same time.

Work continues as normal, we get selected to be a part of different extra tasks, selected to be a trainer, and get made a permanent employee. Alex goes on several business trips and we start collecting Starbucks “You are here” mugs. Our cupboard is now full of them. We also do our annual pilgrimage to Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and consider the potential that this is our last year as it is slowly decreasing in areas that we value.

Somehow luck is on our side and we score an amazing condo in walking distance from work. Alex’s friend and one of our groomsmen, Alex, joins in as our roommate and for once we are in a place things just work. This is the roommate experience we always expected: relaxed, equal, and open. It’s also the first place without any association with Jones, but we have our memories.

Come June, Alex is heading to Sweden and we are headed to J’s grad ceremonies. Our new-found friend at work, Anett, is made permanent and we decide to go on a celebratory trip to Disneyland. Soon we are both a part of a new team focused on something called character support and it is right up our alley – an initiative that is focused on being an extension of the story. Eventually this project completes itself, but the group of us involved with it turn our mini trip into a joint trip with all of us. It’s a whirlwind of a weekend, but we get to visit the original Partners statue at the Burbank Studios, see the Hyperion building, and touch hands with the amazing minds of Bob Gurr, Angela Landsbury, and others.

In October we train the latest batch of recruits and then head to Disneyland with the siblings. It is an interesting trip to say the least. The weather is very hot and humid, the park is full of people, the dollar is not working in our favor, and tensions between the siblings is high. Overall there are a number of good memories from the trip and that is what should be focused on. Try not to worry or stress out too much about the trip; you have Alex and Alex to complain to when you get back, and they will show you the balance of it all. Admit it – we would travel with the siblings again without hesitation.

After the trip there is some family stuff that goes down and the source we least expected is the one that contacts us. Everything is still in the middle of figuring out what the end result is, so I don’t want to touch on it too much. There are definitely sides regardless of what people think or say, and let’s just say that we are of the same opinion of many.

– A

May Amy – #25 – Love & Marriage

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Dear Amy at 24,

This is it – this year is all of our stress and nerves bundled up. We would be lying if we said we hadn’t been planning the wedding since Alex gave us our first wedding planner for a Valentines Day many moons ago.

Thanks to our long engagement, the biggest worry is just paying everything off rather than locking down contracts – something we did almost right after we got engaged. The details are sorted and everything seems all fine, and then like always something fit hits the fan… that’s how it goes, right?

First off – our landlord declares bankruptcy and has to move back into our place so they drop off a hand written letter in the middle of the night to evict us with less than the minimum amount of notice. We write her an email and outline the tenancy act for her which gives us exactly two months from her and then we have to leave. Luckily finding a new place isn’t too difficult, but when we go to sign the papers we realize that something is wrong with Jones – he is acting odd and walking weird so we panic.

The vet thinks that he had some kind of stroke and isn’t sure if he will get back to the way he was, but runs some tests and gives us some meds to work with. We dismantle our bed so that we are only sleeping on the mattress on the floor (so he can get onto it easily) and we cordon off anything that he might try to jump on (and then fall because he has no strength). We also keep everything in our room, switch to a lower litter box, do some muscle exercises, and make sure that someone is with him at all times.  Slowly he starts to regenerate and is back to his old self except for the weird tremors he gets when he sleeps. Apparently an after effect of a stroke, residual memory of the trauma or something like that. Sometimes he shoots himself a foot or so over from where he was.

Needless to say we don’t end up signing the papers in time. Our one roommate moves in with their partner, and our other moves on to other things. We clean the crap out of the place, get a dump person to come take all the extra stuff out, leave everything in better condition than it was, and then get duped out of our deposit because none of us can do a walk through and… well… the landlord is broke. So with four-ish months until the wedding we move into our in-laws basement. It’s temporary and we hope to be out before the wedding but it doesn’t happen.

Jones stops eating and they tell us that he needs oral surgery as soon as possible because some of his teeth are melting into his gums. We start a donation page and soon piece together enough to get started. The oral surgery goes well, we get picture updates, and soon  he is home again. A little worse for wear, its hard having so many changes in quick succession for a small pet, but he seems alright.

Wedding comes and nothing seems to be alright with us. The flower lady uses an older agree so our finalized arrangements are not there, the seat sashes are not the right color, the many minor details that only we would know about do not please our OCD, and the wedding dress will not zip up. Fear not! KG brought her wonderful mother who has a keen sense for sewing (especially since she sewed her own wedding dress) and within an hour or two it is all resolved the night before — at least the dress is.

We lose our luggage tags, our hair gets cut, and we are off to our Disneymoon in Florida. WDW is amazing – we could probably write a whole letter about it, but just soak in the time without worries with Alex. Nothing else but the moment matters and it is perfect for the time that it was.

When we get back, Jones is looking a little under the weather. We take him in and they say his kidneys are failing fast. I will never understand how they didn’t see that in any of their other tests from his strokes or surgery where they literally tested every single thing to make sure we were on the right stuff, but they didn’t. We make his life as comfortable as possible, and then eventually (a few weeks later) its time. Jones was one of the best cats we ever had, and we haven’t existed with Alex without him so it hits us hard. The moment we see that he is struggling we take him in – its 1-2 in the morning – and the vet says that this cat has had so much strength and comeback that he wants to hope there is more but there probably isn’t. Hardest decision, but for a cat as his age it is the best one – we would never want him to suffer at all. We don’t sleep that night. We take some time off. I wish I could tell you that this death gets easier, but it still isn’t the same without him and we still don’t have another pet.

A week later we get a phone call interview with Disney Interactive, then a live interview, and then a job offer. In the main interview our future manager asks us how we handle change. We bring up Jones’ struggle right after the happiness of our wedding and right before the happiness of finally getting a Disney interview. We cry… in an interview… and we will be known as that girl or the girl with the lightsaber chopsticks for the first few months. Moving to this job and being surround by similarly minded people was the best comfort and still is. You’re going to love it, and I know you will because I still do.

– A

May Amy – #24 – More graduation

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Dear Amy at 23,

We are in our last year at University and it is a rough one. Among our classes are some that we need for credits and don’t want to be at, and some that we need for credits and our professor is… interesting. For the ones we don’t really want to be at, Art History, the content isn’t the most interesting and our professor is snooze worthy. We have seen many a student fall asleep because people can’t listen without falling asleep.

Eventually we struggle to attend because of transportation and the early hours, but we still hand everything in on time. For one of our final papers the professor asks to talk to us and states that we plagiarized some of the citations because we are saying they said something when they didn’t. We cross-reference and double-check and point out all of the citations so that the professor can see where we are pulling these quotes from and she says that we are misunderstanding the text and therefore plagiarizing… it was weird. We even had another professor go over it and she said that she could see where both parties saw the different values in the references, but either way that wasn’t plagiarism.

The other class… well.. be prepared for due dates changing without a ton of notice. We’re talking less than 24 business hours. Regardless of what is best for everyone, we stick to our guns and hold to the original, agreed upon due date that is in the syllabus… and the professor flips out in class in front of everyone. Not just at us, but also the other two students who did the same. It’s almost like our mom yelling at us for saying “Oh My G–.” Unacceptable by any standards, let alone a university of this quality. Needless to say, almost all 12 students end up reporting the incident to various people and some even drop the class. We stick it out after talking to a few professors to let them in on the situation just in case it happens again.

It gets a little frustrating because the professor ends up changing key aspects of our final project multiple times which messes with our year-end deadline. Luckily enough we come up with something pretty solid and then the professor marks us down negatively for doing it. The whole thing is pretty stupid… but patience is key here… just breathe and then graduate! Another professor talks about self publishing with us, and another tells us that we need a good editor. Both good pieces of advice so take them – even criticism is good.

There is an awesome photo of us at grad that mom takes. It is a short-lived moment, but everyone seems to get along for once. Not that it really matters – if they don’t want to get along then so be it. Nothing we should worry about because we can’t change it. Same with the house and moving… again. The in-laws purchased a house across town and the landlord is looking for another family to move in rather than continuing to rent to Alex and us. So we find a place in… an interesting side of town… with a good friend and a new one who introduces us to a potential opportunity with a new company. And Jones comes with us!! We wouldn’t leave without him.

Things at Staples are getting a little dumb. We are tired of hard work being overlooked, for everyone not just us, and we are tired of the politics involved. People would be told that they’d be next in line for something, be trained to do the job, being doing the job, and then never actually given the position or the benefits or the pay or the hours. It’s all too much – so we leave and head to Shaw. We aren’t the only ones either. In fact, it’s a bit of a max exodus as they say — 5-8 people all quit within a month span to move out of the company, some without anything lined up. All of that aside, it feels good to try something new.

– A

 

May Amy – #23 – Engage!

Dear Amy at 22,

Another year of interesting things! We are now pacing ourselves well with university and everything seems to be going fairly well. The time has come for a new car, so we pick out two and ask our grandparents to grab one for us and we will send them the money — there are more cars out in the Lower Mainland. In the end we end up with something a little newer than what we wanted. It’s still around… took a lot though so have some patience over the next few years.

With all of our classes in order and projects underway there is a lot going on. Alex is also in post secondary and there isn’t a ton of time for us together which stresses things. There is also a bit of tension between our friends, so we start hanging out with people from school because we have a few things in common. Definitely different from the type of people that we have hung out in the past, so this too adds a bit stress to the situation.

Come March there is our own issue of emotional detachment, and another guy, and it causes issues. Regardless of what happens, Alex works everything out with us and we continue on our adventure together. We visit his family for Easter and then our car dies so he has to drive us around. Everything seems to be evening out so we decide to go on a new adventure together. East Coast Canada or Disneyland (Alex has never been), but it ends up that Disneyland is cheaper so on we go in June!

Whatever our suspicions, just go with everything. When we get dropped off at the airport, Alex’s dad asks why he was in the spare room that morning and his mom kicks him under the table. Our room is at the Park Vue Inn, right across from the Disneyland walk way, and it is amazing with its giant jacuzzi tub in the room! He tells us not to go through his bag twice for two completely different reasons, tells us not to wait for him at customs as they search his bag, has to go back to the hotel for a nap part way through our first day there, and then leaves us to talk to some woman. Weirdest day ever. Eventually we film the fireworks for his Dad or something… and then in front of the magical castle after the fireworks, he proposes. Seriously heart stopping and awkward, we say no a bunch of times because its awkward and then say of course.

We search all over for the engagement buttons, that were retired the year before, but we manage to find two at a hotel. We get free stitching on our hats and free drinks. It was amazing. Even the next day cast members were asking us if we were the Castle couple, and later in the week there was a different couple in Frontierland so that was cute to be asked which one we were.

After the excitement of the summer, we head to Leavenworth with his parents for Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest. The excitement just continues and we have an amazing time. The beer, the eats, and the atmosphere there are just amazing. Everyone is friendly and there are collectible pins, and Alex and I have our own room and things just feel like they are getting into place. Let the wedding planning begin!

-A