Yesterday, I shared on Facebook and Twitter a link to an article I had read on marcandangel.com . The post spoke to how everyone has a story and how many of us only have ‘cocktail conversations’ about work and hobbies. So today, I thought I would share my story:
I was born in Hyde, England on the last day of 1983. I’ve been told my name has no correlation to the fact that January was only hours away from when I burst into the world. None the less, I was named Jan ( or ‘just Jan’ as my co-workers subtitle it). I was raised in a house that used to be a chip shop with my older sister, dad and mum. My memories of my childhood are limited. I vaguely remember watching a needle go in and out of my nose after I smashed my face into a cement wall at Primary school.
When I was five, my mother died. The only memory I have here is my sister screaming after my dad told us our mum was an angel now. I have no memories of how I felt that day or any days that followed. It wasn’t until junior high that I began to ask questions. A newspaper article was brought out that featured Tinnitus, a disease that causes constant ringing in the ears. At the top of the article , there is a photo of my dad sitting at our old kitchen table. My mother had lived with Tinnitus before I was born, and then again after I was born. One evening, she borrowed the family car and never returned home. That evening, my mother chose to end her life.
I believe that it is due to the fact that my dad raised my sister and I so well that I actually never felt a void without a mother. I know the stigma attached to suicide; shouldn’t be talked about and is something to be ashamed of , especially when it occurs in your own family. But I don’t feel that way. It’s part of my story and helped me become who I am.
The challenge that I am running into now that I am entering my 30’s is that one day I am going to exceed the age my mum lived to be. I’m quite uneasy about that.
At the age of fifteen, I found myself in my first serious relationship. To this day, I am still sure that I loved him. Like most high school relationships, it eventually fizzled . The years that followed were filled with immaturity and a lack of purpose. In later years, found myself in a relationship that would stretch a significant number of years and what I came to define as ‘love’.
I eventually became engaged and un-engaged within a span of a few weeks. I remember sitting in the bathroom shortly after the proposal and feeling myself crack.
The turbulence sustained during those years was something I couldn’t see until I was out of it. My persistence to just hit the end goal ( marriage, kids etc.) had made me blind to my situation and the circumstances.
I had good friends around me after it all happened, including a then best friend. There are some people in life that just get you, that you click with and understand the strangest things with. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
My definition of love and my understanding of what a relationship should be has severely evolved over years of experience, unrequited feelings and getting to know myself.
A few little random things about me :
– I can learn the lyrics to a song extremely quick. Usually takes me two listens
– I refuse to buy cars or drive cars that are automatic
– I use to absolutely hate my laugh
– I have a knack for changing a topic ( even if I brought it up) when I become uncomfortable because I don’t think my thoughts will be understood or accepted.
I significant part of my story is the move from England to Canada. My sister and I did not put up much of a fight about moving countries, we were pre-teens so everything seemed new and fun. The first year of living here was extremely hard on me. I missed my family immensely and talked to them on the phone for hours at a time. I hated my first few weeks of school. I was the girl with the crazy accent who had no friends. My junior high years and high school years were great. I was lucky enough to have a good group of friends who were grounded and had a good head on their shoulders.
This is a part of my story.
Superficial small talk doesn’t allow us to really get to know each other. We all have histories, stories and experiences that if we are willing to be open to share, may just help us create better relationships and connections.