The University Year
We’ve reached the part of my story where I went to university ten hours away from home to become a teacher - only to realize I hated the idea after drinking copious amounts of alcohol and smoking literally a fuck ton of weed.
Just like I got the inspiration to write this post after smoking a blunt and turning myself in to a wrinkled old hag through slow cooking myself in a much required bath of lavender bubbles.
Wow, talk about full circle.
We’ve also reached the point of my Lifetime meets HBO collaboration made for Netflix tv film where the people I’m speaking of are mostly still in my life and may not be happy about being goss’d about here- and so, groom here forward all names of people and sometimes institutions will be given aliases.
What kind of aliases you ask?
From here on out every person will be given Spanish names.
Why, you also ask?
Because I have spent quite a lot of time in Spain over the years after seeing Barcelona in Cheetah girls 2 and because this bitch is obsessed with Spanish Netflix (and because of my obsession with Spanish Netflix I’m also obsessed with Spanish music)
Give me a story about a rag tag team of bank robbers looting the Mint of Spain for billions while still being heroes in "Casa De Papel", quench my dramz thirst with yet another story about teens at an "Elite" private school where some poor kids and rich kids are at odds and one of the rich kids is how to get away with murdered, leaving you to guess who killed Marina the whole season, only to be proved WRONG at the last second.
Monarca? Don't even get me started.
No, seriously, don't; or you'll never get me to shut up about how Carla and Samuel are endgame and Netflix cheeped out letting Ester Exposito leave after a LITTY TITTY season three so she could slay for Yves Saint Laurent.
Danna Paola? She's literally XT4S1S.
I’m also obsessed with Spanish cuisine.
But I digress.
Back to the university whoopsie moment.
How could I forget the part that my Regina George also ended up being literally the only person from my graduating class or home town at all to end up going to the same university.
Which would mean I obviously have to mention the part where she found out I was going to Bishop’s University and said -
“You can’t go to Bishop’s! I’m going to Bishop’s!”- which I low key thought she was joking at first so I was like-
“Yes, I am!”
Then proceeded to tell me she was dead serious that I wasn’t allowed to go since she was supposed to be the only one going.
Pardon my French
So then I decided I was still going and I managed to get a scholarship. Which severely pissed Regina George off.
I went and enjoyed the first semester of classes where I felt I was learning more than I ever did in high school and I made a good sized group of friends.
And because I made friends and was so far from home and coming to realize I was learning but didn’t love the idea of being a teacher, I decided to let loose and have a great time.
Oh. It was great.
But it was too great.
Let me just glaze over the part of the story where we played flip cup with vodka because we ran out of beer and just skim past the part where I woke up four out of seven days a week serenely hungover.
A hangover I cured with what?
Bong hits. Duh.
Word of advice?
If you break all your shot glasses you should all stop drinking and definitely DO NOT go to the kitchen and second city improv yourself new drinking glasses (also known as a cereal bowl and a measuring cup) to drink a whole bottle of patron tequila and a bottle of vodka between four people until the girls go in your bathroom and chunder all over the place (like vom, ok) and then stay in there to take a total ferosh photoshoot because you’ve purged all the alcohol from your system and you and the girlies are feeling FINEEEE.
Like, Just don’t fucking do it.
Another piece of advice? Take no shit from anyone.
You see, university was also where I quickly learned that people who were dickheads in high school, would still be dickheads- and in fact, they’d be worse.
I met some of the best people I know in university, and am happy to still have some of those friendships today.
I know I told you she drank a lot in university; but, this bad sis also did great in most of her classes. I excelled in my literature courses, even learning to read Beowulf in its original- dead as fuck- language.
I joined a student-run literary conference that would host other university peeps from all over the country, and had a great time planning it over drinks that were always paid for by the professor in charge, known commonly by students as the “hot prof,” or, as I shall refer to her, Alma.
Firstly, Alma was stun.
Secondly, Alma was brilliant.
And most importantly,
Alma was so real and down to fuck shit up it was insane.
Nobody could believe Alma was our professor, and anyone who was lucky enough to have her would have a hard time forgetting to tell you how amaze Alma was.
By now, you will never forget that her name was Alma. And so, I can continue forward.
Alma was all the things I listed above:
She was so much more than that to me though.
In fact, she was a deciding factor in why I left university, in the best way possible.
I had begun turning what was originally a high school project short story of eight pages into a full length novel titled “Tears of Versailles.”
I would spend my free time bonging about in a haze of smoke, listening to music as I wrote whatever came to my mind, and then, I would share the work with her during office hours, and sometimes even over drinks at the local pub.
I will never forget the confidence boost of having a decorated intellectual, published author, and world traveler tell me that she thought my writing was well above average, and in fact, utterly captivating.
Alma was hooked on my literary excellence and that surge of positive feedback was a deciding factor as I pondered taking time off to travel Europe so that I could write a second edition of “Tears of Versailles” while in Paris, a city that had been my obsession since I was six and saw it in Anastasia the animated musical, a true masterpiece.
Why stop at Paris though?
I knew from experience that life was short, and knowing that my health could take a turn at any moment, that the world was meant to be mine for the taking, right until the very end. Remember, she was eighteen, and slightly delusional- one of which is still true at thirty.
I could spend more time on university; but, long story short I stayed when I knew I should’ve left because I knew I wanted a life that was outside school.
I was there for a year and a half before I finally took the right path: taking at least one year off so that I could travel the world and find what I wanted to do with my life.
A mixture of both amaze and gross events had led me to this moment. The moment I broke free of what I thought everyone else expected of me, and did what I knew I would regret having missed if I had stayed where I was.
I was equal parts excited and scared to death.
Would I go back to school after that?
Yeah, I would.
That’s what I told myself.
Suffice it to say I decided to take a leap of faith and listen to what my loved ones told me for years: that I was going to do something pretty damn cool with my life.
I mean, the chances of being a huge success were slim; but then again, so are the chances of being born with scoliosis and a spinal syrinx. I figured if my disability taught me anything, it was that I was one in a million, baby.
To live a life that was worth writing about. To learn from the world around me and to immerse myself in the unknown.
After all, I’d been scared of my health, bullies and even my own father for years, and I was so tired of being scared.
Instead, I was going to take chances and live in a way others may find a little reckless- to prove to myself that I was capable of anything.
I also hoped that in doing so, I could help even just one person like me who grew up feeling less than or unwanted realize that each of us holds the power to change our lives and our perspectives in ways we cannot know, until we take a deep breath, close our eyes, and trust our souls.
Spoiler alert: ten years, over 30 Countries and 240+ cities traveled to along with living in the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, and the Netherlands later and this bitch is still not back in school.
This bad bitch does, however, have so many moments in her life that are worth writing about.
Buckle up henni, my twenties were one hell of a moment. A decade of misadventures, beautiful highs, dark, and even dangerous lows. A decade of losing part of who I thought I was, to fall in love with who I truly am.
Once I knew I was leaving university and would never see her again I decided to tell Regina George what I truly thought of her and how she made me feel growing up. I did so somewhat sloppily - by sending her a Facebook message with probably a few too many fucks in it. Oops.
With that said, rather than take any responsibility for her own actions (like admitting to being mean at all would’ve been great) she decided to tell me she was bothered that I still cared and that “all kids can be a little mean”. She then blocked me before I could respond.
That really reflected more on her character than it ever did mine. So, with that, my Regina George chapter of life officially closed.
The last I will say about her is that I received therapy I never knew I needed after writing my blog post titled “Let’s Not Pretend This Never Happened” when old classmates started writing me to tell me their stories of being bullied by her as well, and how I was far from the only one she made feel that life wasn’t worth living.
You know how I said in that same chapter that I don’t believe people to be evil in general? Well, evil and cunt-y are two very different things.
I said what I said.
With that burn book closed I packed up my stuff and moved out of residence.
I returned home for a few months before departing on a trip that would be the catalyst for how the next decade of my life would turn out.
Who would’ve thought going solo on a Contiki tour around Europe at the age of nineteen would lead me to where I am today- living between The Netherlands and Canada, while working in London England as well.
Let’s not jump ahead too far though.
This first journey was so totes amaze that I now need you to picture me as Lizzie McGuire jetting around Rome with Paolo (my bad and sexy decisions) while also taking in historical facts.
She ate, Drank, and loved it very moment of it.
What are dreams made of?
Well, that’s easy.
Meeting fifty people from all around the world and travelling with them through England, France , Monaco, Italy, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands on a tour bus.
To nineteen year old me, that was tops. To thirty year old me , it’s a fond memory of the time I first got to let myself out of my own cage of insecurities.
A moment in time that changed me in a ways that are priceless.
For now, I leave you with all these little words, so that I can tell you that you glow differently when when your confidence is fuelled in belief in yourself instead of validation from others. You need to toss the need to blend in and be accepted, so that you can shine as bright as the universe made you to.
If it bothers anyone, let them gag on it.
Let them choke on your opulence.