Monday, January 22, 2007


My Mum is going in for surgery on her thyroid on Tuesday. It’s the second operation- this one will result in her entire thyroid being removed. And while this operation is happening to HER, and she’s just as brave & chipper as ever, I’m completely freaked.

It’s a routine operation, and the chances of anything going wrong (despite there being quite a few things that could go wrong), I can’t help being scared.

Because she’s my Mum. She may have given birth to me over 25 years ago, and I may have left home almost 4 and a half years ago, but she’s still my ‘Mummy’. I still talk to her on the phone multiple times a week, she is still one of (if not the first) the first people I want to tell anything good or bad to, she is still whom I go to for comfort. When I argue or fight with Jeff, the unhappy little girl inside of me still screams “I want my Mummy!”. I might be 25, I might have moved out, but I still haven’t cut the ‘apron strings’- my mum is, without a doubt, the most important person in my world, because she is the person who has always been there for me, since even before the first moment of my life. She has been there for me, for everything. She is still a major influence on me, and still the person whose support, encouragement and praise means the most to me. My mother is my role model, my hero, my guide, my champion. And so, she is always my ‘Mummy’- the one I still rely on, as much as I am trying to rely on myself, to be there for me, to make everything better.

And so I’m terrified. Because, right now, I want to be there for her, and I want to help her through this as much as I can. She’s going out to my sister & her bf to recuperate, and I’ll take care of Dad, so he can’t worry her. Before then, I’ll make sure she’s happy in the hospital & that she has plenty for herself there & also that Dad’s ok, I’ll even send them home with food on Sunday so she doesn’t have to cook in advance. In short, I’ll try to do everything I can- everything except for be there when it happens, take her place.

Because I would if I could- because this is the woman who gave me life. And if I could give my life, part of me, to make her healthy- I would. And not only because, as the person who gave me life, I feel that I owe her the same- that, if in my hands, I should give her that gift. But because I would WANT to- because I can’t think of someone more deserving, more special.

And so, while I’d willingly lie on that table, let Drs take my thyroid if it would make hers work, I am still terrified. Because it is still my “Mummy”, my Mum who is going to be going through this, something that has the potential to take her away from me- forever.

I know that, one day, that will happen. That my mum will no longer be here with me, and that day & the ones that follow will be the hardest & darkest I ever go through. And though I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready for it, there is no way I could deal with it now. Jeff is always saying he’ll take care of me, if things happen, he’ll pick up the pieces. But I think, if something happened, now, there would be so many pieces I don’t think we’d even be able to find them all. Maybe that’s melodramatic, but that’s how I feel. Because, in truth, my Mum IS so many of those pieces. So much of who I am, is influenced by her, shaped by her, guided by her. So much of who I am, my strength, comes from her love and support. And without all of that, I’m not sure if I’d be anything more than a shell of “Jo” for a very long time.

And so, last night, even though I know how small the risks are, even though it’s not me going through it, last night after I got my Mum’s email, I curled up in Jeff’s arms & I cried. I cried because of how suddenly this is happening, even though we’ve known she needed surgery for months. I cried because of how much I love her, and how scared I am for her. I cried because of how scared I was for me, and because my “Mummy” wasn’t there to fix it. Because, even though Jeff was there, holding me, I still wanted my “Mummy”- my Mummy to tell me that everything was going to be alright, that she would come through fine, my Mummy to hug & to hold me. Because, that little girl inside of me, she still believes her Mummy can fix anything, and so she wanted her for reassurance & love. And that little girl cried because couldn’t have what she wanted, her Mummy, right there, right then.

Instead, all I can do, as the woman that my mother raised me to be, instead of the frightened little girl, is give her all the support I can, see as much of her as possible before and after, let her know, just in case anything happens, how much I love & treasure her. So, if anything happens, I will know that we at least had that time together, that she knows how much she means to me.

And if I need to cry more, I’ll cry in private. Because although I still need my “Mummy”, although the apron strings have not yet been cut, I know better than to be so selfish as to take comfort, to demand reassurance, from the person who is undergoing this all.

Because love is about being unselfish- and that’s a lesson “Mummy” taught me a long time ago.

*note: I should have posted this on Friday, but it was one of those weekends... although I got to spend a lot of time with Mum, which was great :)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Always Female

On the BBC the other day, they had a ‘Have Your Say’ about whether or not you identified yourself more by your nationality, family, tribe, ethnicity, etc. They asked for people to send in their answers, and I was really intrigued by this question, especially since, to me, they’d left out the biggest identifier- gender. I wrote this response with the intention of actually sending it in on time, but due to its length, I didn’t get it edited down in time to submit it. This morning, I was on the grrl genius blog, and as the discussion was feminism, I was reminded of my little article, and decided to post it up. Because, really, the timing seems perfect :D

“As someone raised in two different countries, on two different continents, I tend to identify myself, of the categories on this list, by nationality- to identify myself, as the situation determines, as either English or Canadian, or ‘both’.

But what I identify myself as, first and foremost, is a woman. Although sex is (usually) the most obvious identifier of ‘what’ a person ‘is’, it is also a central part of most people’s identity, and especially for me.

My gender is the part of my identity I feel most comfortable with, perhaps because there is no confusion- while others (and even myself) may debate whether or not I am ‘truly’ Canadian or English, whether I fit better into European or North American society, what is never under debate is my gender, or how that affects how I relate to others and the world around me.

Identifying myself as a woman allows me to identify with the feelings, concerns and plight of other women, whether within my group of friends, my family, my city of residence, either of my ‘home countries’ or throughout the world. Although I can not understand the plight of refugees in the Sudan or Iraqis suffering through the insurgency there, while I have more rights than many other women around the world, I can still relate to these women as, on some level, we all share the same concerns- the concerns of caring for our families as the usual primary or sole caregiver, unequal representation and labour standards, the needs of survival, and concern for our physical safety in ways that do not apply for men.

Being female shapes my actions and concerns. I react to others as a female, I volunteer for charities that help or promote women as one day I may need their services.

I am from southern England, I am Western Canadian. I am English, I am Canadian. I am European, I am North American. But I am always female.”

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Interview Pains

So, showed up at an interview today, only to be told that I wasn't suitable for the job (which I'd found out about through my placement agency) since a) I don't have the required 5 years of experience and b) I don't have a vehicle with which to travel 5 days of the month with.

I'll point out that a) the advertisment said 'entry-level' position and b) didn't mention travelling. I'll go even further and also state that c) the agency already knows exactly what type of vehicle and experience I have (bus, feet, 1 year).

I'm less than impressed, especially since I was then given 'advice' about how to get into the industry- by doing temp work. It's what I've been doing for a year so far, without any results! So I'm very frustrated right now, especially since the industry group I joined (which cost lots of money, and was my xmas present from my very sweet parents) just sent me an email going 'nope, no existing support for new graduates- keep checking the job page!'.
For the record, the job page usually lists things for 'marketing director' or 'communications manager'.
You know, the type of job they really like to give to people one year out of University.

Oh well, back to the drawing (or should I say job-hunting) board!

My First Blog Entry

Ok, so, not much point to this post, other than that, since I'm feeling frustrated with my lack of progress on the career front through regular means, at least this way I can get some of my stuff up & about- right?

Anyways, will write more when there's something worth commenting on... which will probably be soon, knowing my capacity for writing & talking & 'commenting'.