Monday, 4 October 2010

Bonjour & Welcome!

Welcome! You may have seen comments on various blogs referencing The Transatlantic Support Group or The TASG and wondered what we were up to. Well here we are. If you read our “About Us” section you’ll know that each week on this blog two awesome bloggers, lalalalauren and TbR, and myself will be posting weekly as a way to talk about our struggles with the real world. We agreed to a weekly schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I am doing Mondays, TbR Wednesdays, and Lauren will finish off the week with Fridays.

We also agreed that we should do weekly themes - each of us writing on the same topic. This week’s topic is “Who Am I and What Am I Doing With My Life?” as a way of introducing ourselves. The three of us have separate blogs that we will continue to use - so if you follow us on those, you should probably just follow us here too. You won't regret it.

Who am I?

I’ve never really written this stuff on my main blog, but I feel like The TASG was created for stories like these, so here we go.

I’m Allison and I live in Southern Ontario, Canada - between Toronto and Niagara Falls basically. I am, at the time of writing this, 26-years-old (yikes). I have an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Professional Writing from York University in Toronto. I graduated in 2007, here is a photo of me at my convocation:

After graduation I spent four months tricking Mastercard into believing that I was a paying them, when really I was just taking money out from my credit card and then paying the minimum payment with it. This is what I call creative banking! In other words, I was unemployed. After four months of soul-crushing resume sending, I managed to get myself an unpaid internship with a local community living magazine. I was the Editorial Intern and got my name published a few times. I guess I did a good job, because in December 2007 I was hired on part-time as the Editorial Assistant - a title created for me. I had a desk, an email address, and new responsibilities. Oh, but I’ve forgotten something...back in August when I took the internship I knew I needed a paying job too. A former co-worker of mine from my high school/summer/Christmas retail job, suggested I apply at the lakeside cafe she worked at. So, I was making a bit of money while working for free at the magazine.

When I got hired at the magazine I kept the job at the cafe because the magazine job was part-time only and I needed to make some extra money and my evenings and weekends were free.

As most of you know, in 2008 the economy was beginning to go through...a rough patch. It was hard for us, a small, free publication to survive. So on February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day, I was laid off after less than three months of employment. 2008 was a long time ago, nearly three years I realize. But you have to understand that the publishing industry totally changed due to the recession. Places were downsizing, books and magazines were going online, and no one was hiring. I’ve been through many “what am I doing with my life” phases over these past few years and to be honest, it feels like a blur.

Time is not on my side.

So what am I doing with my life? I’m still working at the cafe. I have done a bit of freelance editing and proofreading, but nothing that will get me out of this rut. I took an online course and didn’t find it that useful. I apply for the occasional job, but I don’t even know what I’m good at anymore.

Why can’t my job be this? Why can’t I just get paid to write about my life. Works for David Sedaris, why not me? I guess I’m not as funny and my family isn’t nearly as wacky as his.

So there you have it folks, the sad story of me.

Oh and if you care:

I am 5’3”, I have green eyes and brown hair. I have two cats and live in the suburbs. I have a brother who is nothing like me. He is good at science and plays sports. Not that I suck at sports. I played soccer for 12 or 13 years (that’s football to you Tom) and I run on a semi-regular basis. I also love arts and crafts - painting and making things. So, I do plenty of awesome things with my life, just none that will make me any money. I love to read, also.

When I was a little kid I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I feel like 7-year-old Allison is still holding on to that dream.

Crank up Radiohead’s “Just.”

Can’t wait to hear what you have to say on Wednesday TbR!

The Canuck!


  1. The Canuck! I love it :)

    Nice to finally have all the snippets come together and fully get your life story. Well, not your whole life, but the good stuff ;)

    I hope you don't give up the passion for writing. I even think keeping the blogs going will turn into something, if nothing else practice.

  2. Great post to start us off with! Long live The TASG! :)

    I can totally relate to your statement "I do plenty of awesome things with my life, just none that will make me any money." That's so my life. If only we could get paid to write blogs!

    Also, I love the picture of you at graduation. Guess I'll have to dig out an embarrassing picture for my post on Friday, huh? Hehe.

  3. Mr. O - Yeah, for some reason I never felt completely comfortable talking about my sad post-graduation life. I think that's why I thought creating this blog would be a good idea.

    Lauren - There's a story behind that photo of me at convocation. During the ceremony my hat felt really tight and it kept gradually popping off my head and I kept having to fix it. When it was my turn to walk across the stage and shake the hands of the chancellor and the president of the university and various professors my hat fell off. So embarrassing.

  4. Whoa, are you serious? I totally had the same problem when I graduated! My hat was fine until I had to walk across the stage in front of a million people. It fell off right when I went to shake hands with the dean. No one else had that that issue with their hats and it was super embarrassing. I think it's hilarious that we both had hat problems at graduation!

  5. Lauren - This is what the TASG is all about - sharing our embarrassing, but fantastic stories like these. I will send you a photo my mom took of the big screen of me trying to put my hat back on.

  6. Here we go! Great first post, thanks for biting the bullet and being the one to go first. I've never really said anything like this on my main blog either, I think this could be a learning curve ;)

  7. I'm excited for yours and Lauren's now. Woo! It was actually fun to write - I tried not to be all "poor me." But that's hard to avoid.