I broke up with coffee

After almost a decade long affair, I broke up with coffee.image (2)

Coffee was an integral part of my day-to-day life, and had been since my mom finally decided caffeine would no longer stunt my growth. Together, we survived several late night study sessions, endured many early morning lectures, and powered through countless workouts and/or hangovers. We were, very much, codependent. Then, quite suddenly our chemistry changed.

With each venti iced americano I grew increasingly nervous. With every grande pike no room I became uncharacteristically restless. During the day, I struggled to focus, and at night, I could no longer sleep.

And that’s when I realized, coffee- It’s not me. It’s you.

For me, and for many others I am sure, coffee is, (or rather, was), far more than a trivial part of a morning routine. Both my mood and productivity were contingent upon my caffeine intake. My loved ones were perplexed by my sudden desire to ditch my daily cups of joe. Their concerns, no doubt were less for me- the one bound to experience symptoms of withdrawal, and more for themselves- the ones that would endure the repercussions of my decision. In retrospect, they had cause for concern.

They say the first little while is always the hardest and in the beginning, there certainly was a noticeable absence in my life. I missed the rich smell of coffee grinds; I craved the comforting taste of a dark roast; I longed to embrace a warm java-filled mug. Eliminating coffee undoubtedly caused obstruction to my habitually regimented world. The residual damage of my breakup took the form of afternoon headaches and constant fatigue but most prominently, I grew increasingly and unbearably irritable- (which is not to say I am, otherwise, always a ray of sunshine).

Replacing my once beloved coffee, herbal teas became my new copilot on long drives, my arm candy whilst running errands, and my necessary accessory to each and every outfit. The change from coffee to tea made me acutely aware that I have spent most of my adult life operating on caffeine autopilot. Now, in addition to no longer having to ward off coffee breath, my energy levels feel stabilized, my nerves have certainly subsided, and I am generally less fidgety and more focused. It took me no more than a week or so to move on. Though far faster than I had anticipated- when you know, you know.

And when it comes to herbal tea, I think I found the one.

– xo Jordan

relentlessly restless

photo 2 copy 3As I sit here typing my sixth Quinntessential piece, at 2:13am, with not an ounce of fatigue to fight, and half a glass of wine in hand, it occurs to me, that some of my best works have been conceived in moments of over exhaustion or minor intoxication. Given that I am currently an amalgamation of the two, I strongly suggest you continue reading. This is going to be good.

~

As a child, who had the misfortune of being a habitual worrywart, and chronic over-thinker, my ever-lurking irrational fears only seemed to amplify at night. It pains me to admit that, a small part of my younger self, bought into the childish illusion of a monster under the bed. How so very basic of me. Still, I wasn’t willing to take any chances. And so, after exhausting all stalling tactics, and promising to stay snug in my bed, I would wait only long enough for my parents to get downstairs before sneaking across the hall to wake up my little sister, Braedie. This was never an easy task. But once successful, I would then safely stand on my mattress, while my comatose sister bravely searched under my bed. Each night she assured me the coast was clear. Each night I wasn’t convinced.

~

Over the past year or so, along with my writing, my 1:30am-5:30ams have best been spent redecorating and rearranging my room, colour coordinating and cleaning out my closet and shamelessly shopping online. Sleepless night, after sleepless night, this can become both redundant and expensive. Thus, in an effort to break monotony, and not the bank, I turned to Instagram, as I do in every waking moment. Seeking alternative forms of entertainment, I now follow several Australian accounts. We are, after all, sharing waking hours.

~

Despite my concerned parents’ tireless efforts to sooth this sleepless six-year-old, their dream catchers, storybooks, and nightlights, were no match for my relentless imagination. I simply would not, could not sleep alone. I would wake in the middle of the night, and find Braedie fast asleep to my right. Unjustly, I would be annoyed by her presence, forgetting, of course, that I had begged her to stay with me only hours before. Then I would lay wide-awake, imagination up and running, and wondering if my dad’s incessant snoring was possibly masking the sounds of burglars breaking in to our home. So, to my parents’ room I would run, with blankie and Sarah (my doll), leaving my little sister to breathe too loudly on her own. Safely on the floor beside my mom, I fashioned a bed from her decorative pillows, and there I would sleep, night after night, for more years than I care to admit.

~

And now, unfazed by monsters under my bed, or burglars in my basement, I lay awake only concerned that sleep will somehow impede upon my creativity- that through dreaming, I may lose my train of thought, and that come morning this post may remain unwritten. But it is 4:56am. My wine is finished. My eyes are heavy. I reread my work. And as I tire, I find myself reading the same sentence over and over. And as I tire, I find myself reading the

– xo Jordan

hormonal outrage

cropped-cropped-mg_2356.jpgAmong the promises of new beginnings that come with adolescence, (all of which seemingly lead to some form of self-discovery and/or public humiliation), the one I awaited most eagerly was my first high school dance. As someone who has never been too keen on change, a school dance, unknowingly, appeared a rather smooth transition for this naive freshman. I assumed that I would have a certain advantage in this category, given my years of competitive dance training and my affinity for elementary school birthday parties at Wheelies, (a local roller rink that has since been shut down and that, in hindsight, I’m pretty sure housed the majority of Whitby drug deals).

My first moments inside my first high school dance can best be described as sensory overload. To this day, the faintest whiff of Axe aerosols or Britney Spears’, Fantasy instantly transports me back to my Catholic high school cafeteria turned raunchy underage club. In a similar sense, the sight, taste, or smell of Malibu rum- the unofficial taste of my teenage years, sparks elusive memories of every school dance thereafter.

And while Sean Paul’s, Get Busy was a welcomed step up from Mary J Blige’s (and Wheelies classic) Family Affair, the lyrics seemed to inspire the majority to, all too literally, “shake that thang”. Aggressively. I learned quickly (and embarrassingly) that no one cared how high I could kick my leg or how many pirouettes I could execute in the middle of that dance floor. No sir. It was not that kind of dance. Rather, it was a public demonstration of how alcohol has the unique power to simultaneously loosen ones hips and inhibitions. It was a hormonal outrage and I was, so evidently, a late bloomer.

I breathed a sweet (and short lived) sigh of relief when the Dj started to slow things down with J Holiday’s, Bed. To my horror, I realized that slow dances were just as, if not more awkward than the earlier groping I witnessed, (which I later discovered to be termed “grinding”). I spent the first part of the song hoping a cute boy would ask me to dance, so as to avoid the single girl huddles forming throughout the room, and the latter part of the song wishing, desperately, that I was swaying safely alongside them. Slow dances in high school were not at all like Wheelies’ snowballs, where there was a mutual understanding that the hand holding never exceeded a single lap of the arena. Instead, in my cafeteria, with my sweaty hands wrapped around his neck, I came to the conclusion that I was trapped in this hell hold for the remainder of a seemingly, unending song. I would compare slow dancing to standing with one other person in an elevator. An elevator going up to the 20th floor of a building. A brief, but unnecessary exchange of smirks. Minimal eye contact. Absolutely no speaking.

– xo Jordan

seven seconds in heaven

photo 4I have fallen crazy, madly, truly, deeply in love only once in my life. Prior to this, the closest I had come to such ineluctable admiration was when I was four. Satisfying the cliche of every young romance, he was, quite literally, the boy next door. Nicky. He was five and therefore, wiser, cooler, and more desirable in my eyes.

Our love was as simple as the landscape in which it was harvested. Wheatland Avenue. We played at the purple park for the good slides and the yellow park for the good swings; we rode our bikes down our street, as far as our parents’ view allowed; and on occasion, in the privacy of my backyard, Nicky would even agree to play house with me. A testament to our generation, we assumed our usual roles as Nick Carter and Geri Halliwell when playing husband and wife. And though an American, boy-band, sensation and an iconic, British, pop-star may have seemed to be a geographically undesirable couple, such was not the case for this Ginger Spice and her Nicky Carter.

Our close proximity, though beneficial for our blooming love, proved stressful for our parents at times. I remember it was summer. It seemed everyone on our close-knit street was outside for the day. Nicky and I had been playing with the other neighbourhood kids when he grabbed me by the hand and asked me to come with him. This innocent public display of affection was no surprise to our friends. I was never shy to announce that Nicky was MY boyfriend, nor was I above shooting the other girls vicious looks if I felt the slightest inclination that they were moving in on my territory. As we separated ourselves from the group, he led me to his garage, pulled me behind his dad’s car, placed his hands on my chubby cheeks and said “Just don’t tell anyone, okay?” And without giving me so much as a chance to agree to such secrecy, HE KISSED ME ON MY LIPS!! I stared at him wide-eyed and catatonic for a moment, and then negating his only request, I sprinted out of the garage and screamed “NICKY KISSED MY MOUTH!!”

What followed was nothing short of a completely unnecessary speech about age appropriate relationships, from my mom, who to my embarrassment bore witness to my public announcement. Apparently at age four, kissing is not okay. Luckily for her, my premature mini make-out sesh would be the last of my promiscuities (except for the one other time at his birthday. But by then I was five). And, admittedly I have been an otherwise “late-bloomer” in many regards. It didn’t take long for Nicky to forgive me for telling the street about our seven seconds in heaven. Soon enough we were back to sliding down the purple slides, swinging on the yellow swings, and pretending to be Mr. and Mrs. Carter-Spice.

With the moving trucks loaded, and our Wheatland house empty, we packed up our car and began heading to Whitby. As we pulled out of the driveway, Nicky, his mom, and his little brother came running out of their house for one last goodbye. My mom rolled down my window in the backseat and Nicky and I shared a very G rated hug. He then handed me his school picture. On the back it read, “To Jordan, From Nicky, Age 7.” I told him I would put it in my new room. Then we pulled away as they stood in the middle of the road and waved until we were out of sight. The handsome boy with the golf shirt and greased side-part in the picture hardly resembles the fully pierced and tattooed man that I hunted down thanks to the magic of Facebook. And while life may have pulled us in different directions, Nicky will forever be engrained in my memory as the boy who sat beside me on the turtle bus, the one who fixed my bike chain, and the shoulder I could cry on when Ginger left the Spice Girls,

-xo Jordan

est. 1999

image (1)Sarah and I became friends when we were seven. She was drawn to me because of my hair; I liked her because she has the same name as my doll. (That same doll has since become an occasional point of contention in our friendship. She claims my doll is disease infested. I feel similarly about her ex). In Grade Two, we were in the same class for the first time, a luxury we would only experience once more in all our years of elementary and high school. Though I came to the school the year before, by primary division standards, a friendship was socially acceptable only now that we were both in Mrs. Perron’s class.

Early into the school year, Sarah approached me on the playground one recess and asked if I would like to be friends- a simple, sweet, and innocent enough question that did not deserve the officious response it received. Without any degree of humour implied, I told her yes, we could be friends, so long as she brought me a tiara the next day. It amazes me that we became friends. But Sarah has always been able to go with the flow and laugh things off in a way that the stick up my ass has never allowed me to. And that has never changed.

Back in Grade Five, for the elementary talent show auditions, I remember stressing over every detail of my performance- the music, the choreography, the costume. All of it. It had to be perfect. When I showed up to the atrium, only part of me was surprised to see Sarah there. She had taken a Band-Aid from the office and stuck it on her head. No further costume planning required. When her name was called, Sarah took centre stage, ready to perform her infamous Humpty Dumpty routine, where she demonstrated how she could AMAZINGLY recite the four-line nursery rhyme AND put actions to it. The routine hardly impressed me. I had seen it time and time again at recess when she would mockingly audition for American Idol- a game I had rigged to win every single time. And she knew it.

I was mortified when she received a laugh and a huge round-of-applause from the audience. Mrs Foran, the talent show director, thanked her through her giggles and told her she could take a seat. Later, during my audition, my music skipped and I forgot a small part of my emotionally intense lyrical piece. But that is neither here nor there.

The anecdotes are endless. Sarah was the only kid I knew who ordered the Fillet-O-Fish at McDonalds. She tried out for our high school softball and lacrosse teams having never played either. She was always the first to fall asleep at sleepovers. She would steal money from her little sister’s piggy bank so we could buy candy after school. She came to my dance recital every single year and pretended to enjoy herself. She purchased a standard car having never driven stick a day in her life. And at our prom, when I was voted Drama Queen 2010, my best friend Sarah presented me with my sash and tiara. (I mean, finally).

– xo Jordan

semi-squeaky clean

photo 1 copy 2I got my first ticket last week.

I’ve never been much of a rule breaker or “bad ass”, if you will. I always pay my train fare, never dine and dash, always wipe down the treadmill post-workout, and never experiment with any illegal substances (except for that one time in first year that I tried marijuana, had a near death experience, and swore never to “live on the edge” ever, ever again). So naturally, given my semi-squeaky clean record, I was mortified and moderately in denial, when blinding red lights started flashing behind me, on the 401, last Friday.

As I started to pull over, I only embarrassed myself further by forgetting to check my blind spot, which nearly resulted in me smoking the car to my right. He honked. I cried. He gave me the finger. I cried even more. Then he drove off a free man as I pulled over to await my uncertain fate.

It felt like I sat there waiting for an eternity. Maybe police officers do that on purpose though- make you stew in your own guilt? This gives you time to reflect upon what you have done. And say a prayer. And chuck your phone in the back seat. When the cop finally decided to approach my vehicle, I felt well prepared to defend my honour. To my dismay however, he didn’t seem to be buying my “I didn’t think there was a speed limit in the fast lane” story. He reminded me that I had been going 146km/h and then he just stared at me with disdain. I stared back through my tears and tried to look as remorseful/innocent/sad as possible. Then he asked for my license and registration. Reluctantly, I obliged.

After he handed me my $220 ticket and insisted that he had “cut me a break”, I drove away feeling defeated. And really dumb. I drove the rest of the way home in the far right lane going no more than 95km/h. People honked at me. I cried. With my ego slightly bruised, I tried to make excuses for why I wasn’t able to talk my way out of that ticket. I just wasn’t his type. My coat isn’t figure flattering. It’s dark out. I pulled in to my driveway, caught a glimpse of my mascara-stained face in my rearview mirror, and concluded that that had to be it.

– xo Jordan

unedited. unfiltered. uncensored

photo 5For quite some time, I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog. If for no other reason, I relish in the idea of living just a mere spec of the Carrie Bradshaw life. Giving it my best Sarah Jessica Parker, I picture myself in my New York City apartment, putting pen to paper, musing about love, fashion, and sex, while unapologetically expressing my inner most thoughts on the emotional decisions that led me to heartache, in my all-too melodramatic life. So that’s what I’m doing. Only not in New York, but Whitby. And not my own apartment, but my parent’s house.

The urgency to start a blog (outside the obvious, to one day get a book deal, become famous, and be featured on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are) stems from no longer having a fully honest social media outlet. Though I have handled the Twitter accounts for some clients at work, Tweeting has never been a suitable social expression for me. Truthfully the 140-character limit offends me and I simply refuse to sacrifice spelling, grammar, and punctuation in an effort to meet a predetermined word count. My Instagram, which I, like so many others claim to be the lens in to my life, is admittedly a personal collection of thoughtfully selected, meticulously angled, methodically filtered photos. I have also received feedback from a few followers/so-called friends, stating that my captions often read as novels and that I may benefit from cutting them down. Significantly. Lastly, I find myself censoring my Facebook to accommodate my eighty-year-old grandmothers and other various family members over the age of sixty-five. And I will leave it at that.

And so, a mere desire to express myself through an unedited, unfiltered, uncensored vessel, coupled with a healthy obsession with Carrie Bradshaw, has brought to fruition that which I proudly call The Quinntessential. This blog space, as its title denotes, will represent the most perfect or typical example of Jordan Quinn in all of my perfectly imperfect ways. No word counts, no VSCO-Cam, no nosey grandmothers.

– xo Jordan