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Amanda Farquharson is a fine artist from Dundas, Ontario. Her work is cheerful, colourful, bright, and explores themes of nature, family, animals, and memory.

This Writer Is 28 Years Old / 16 Years On A Bus

This Writer Is 28 Years Old / 16 Years On A Bus


Today is my birthday!

When I was a kid, I had a lot of expectations about what I would be like at 28 (married, house, two kids, job as a shop owner).  I think childhood me would be pretty confused at how adult me has turned out. But that's okay. What did I know as a kid, anyways? I definitely didn't expect that mostly I would be exactly the same!

5 things I love about childhood me that I nourish in adult me:

  1. I still love to tell stories. With hand gestures. And drawings. And crazy facial expressions. I still tell stories best when standing up.
  2. Being an open book. Everything I feel shows on my face and that is awesome. I blush less than I did when I was 6, but the 100% disgusted-by-you look is still going strong.
  3. I still have imaginary friends and friends I make out of nearby animals. I may not have a best friend who is a bottle fly anymore, but now I have Wilfred the Rabid Raccoon, Norman the Grey Squirrel, Geoffrey the Black Squirrel and Office Robot.
  4. I still like to think I watch out for Brenna.
  5. I still love to read as much as I did on day one.

I thought I would use this birthday post to tell the story of my 16th Birthday, which I spent on a bus.

There is a lot of buildup to turning 16. That's when you sometimes get a car (which is partly what makes this story even more ridiculous), your parents may start letting you have champagne at New Years, you feel like an adult even though you aren't at all.

Background to the story: Brenna and I got rides to middle school for years from some family friends who had daughters our age. I was the oldest, and when I moved on to high school I started walking or taking the bus home depending on the weather. So I took this same exact bus for THREE YEARS by myself before this event. That's what makes the story so embarrassing. Every day for three years I left the school and stood on the same corner in front of the school and got on the same bus that always took me home and I always knew that the bus across the street would take me away from home.

That brings us to September 6th, my 16th birthday - and also the first day of school with Brenna & these family friends of ours being in highschool with me. My mom basically threatened my life if I didn't watch out for Brenna and make sure she got home safely after her first day of high school, so I collected everyone at their lockers and we went out to the bus. As we get to the curb, the bus going the other direction comes down the street. The oldest daughter of our friends yelled "Our bus! Come on!" and ran to get on it. Everyone else followed her. I was yelling after them "No! I think it's the bus that stops HERE!" but I must not have had very much conviction in my voice (Something I have since corrected... I can now tell you straight out that that tofu tastes just like chicken and not have a single person question me). They boarded the bus.

I stood beside the bus. I looked inside at Brenna. I would love to pretend that I got on the bus because I loved her so much and wanted to look out for her. But in all honesty, I think I had a full-on, pure, unadulterated brain fart. I can't think of any other reason why I would purposely get on a bus that I knew went the opposite way that I intended us to travel. I do remember assuming that it would go a few blocks and turn around, as most Mississauga buses do.

That bus doesn't.


So we got seats at the back and I told them I thought we were on the wrong bus. As expected, we drove off in the wrong direction and we all just stayed on, not knowing what else to do.

30 minutes later, the air conditioner above my head began to leak air conditioner fluid on my head. I was getting upset because I knew we were going the wrong way but had no solution. Every single house looked the same and I had no clue where we were. I didn't want to get off the bus and get stranded when, if anyone out there was watching out for me, they would surely turn the bus around and head it back towards home.

Yeah.... no.

So the bus leaked, and I got upset and we made it up to the top of Mississauga an hour and 20 minutes later. The bus driver realized that the air conditioner was spewing toxins on someone and kicked everyone off the bus. Which finally and irrevocably put a stop to my wish that the bus would magically turn around.

We borrowed a strangers cell phone and called my mom who, thankfully, didn't rage at me, she just did this sigh thing that mothers are so good at and told us to wait for a ride. I can still remember her asking me why I would ever have gotten on a bus when i took the correct bus for three years.

I had no answer.

It was like those sitcoms where the stupid teenagers just do stupid things for no reason and everyone laughs except that that was totally me and air conditioner fluid has never gone well with my hair colour.

So that's the story of my 16th birthday. I have high hopes that today will be better!

Also, I am putting more time and skill into my illustrating, what do you think? Since it's so time consuming to draw this way, posts will be much scarcer, but higher quality. Do you approve?

Reading is Sexy, Dammit!

Reading is Sexy, Dammit!

Oatmeal: The Homemade Napalm

Oatmeal: The Homemade Napalm