The relevance of time

I’ll never stop loving the sky

If i ever stop and think about everything I’ve been through, I almost can’t believe just how much of it has really happened. I often wonder how it is that I keep going as if I have never failed before. And yet, I’ve been told time and time again that I need to stop being so insecure. It’s such a funny thing. I despise cockiness, and entitlement and try my best not to fall into either characteristic1.

Five years ago, I was moving into a beautiful house in the Junction Triangle and leaving a job I absolutely loved due to a series of unfortunate circumstances2. It was a two-bedroom first-floor-of-a-fully-detached-house apartment, with gorgeous french doors between the living room and the office3, an enormous kitchen, bathroom and backyard. I loved that house. I was just beginning my journey as a freelancer4. Which, I’d like to think I’ve gotten really good at but my still-almost-always-near-empty bank account tells me that I have a LOT more work to do to really get better at it. I also thought I was finally healed after a horrendous betrayal by a lover5. I would later learn that the scars from that betrayal weren’t actually healed, I was merely self-medicating extremely efficiently and masking the pain. A lot has actually happened between now and then, but to be honest, I can’t say that my life feels that much different than it did back then.

I certainly feel like a different person: I’m more confident; I give less fucks. There are things I’m unhappy about, but I’ve been trying something6 since January that I hope will finally make the difference. I also feel like I’m getting more cynical, and honestly, I don’t like it. I’ve always cared about people – whether they were close friends, or acquaintances – as if they were the most precious people on the planet and I genuinely believed that about each and everyone of them. I’m finding my ability to feel that way waning, and it’s honestly breaking my heart. I believe this is the result of the work I’ve been doing to practice better emotional first-aid, and self-care. I refuse to believe that this shift is permanent, however. I think that maybe this is just an exercise in self-preservation. I’m sure I’ll be back to my slightly-naive, ever-optimistic, caring-sharing-lovey-dovey self soon enough.

Either that, or I’ve finally actually grown up and I’m going to take even less of your bullshit than I ever used to 😉

Happy Birthday to Me. Love y’all.
Footnotes:
  1. I doubt that I’ve been 100% successful, but I would like to think that I’m successful most of the time[]
  2. i.e. bed bugs, and some irresponsibility on my part[]
  3. originally a dining room[]
  4. in all of the things[]
  5. who turned out to be quite the sociopath[]
  6. minimalism[]

Where have you been? Where are you going?

I was supposed to go on a first date this past Friday. He had given me his number while I was at a meeting in a bar with some colleagues. He was at the bar with his friends and had asked our server to ask if I was single. I know right? That doesn’t happen anymore. Going off of online dating sites and apps was already proving to be a good idea, simply based on how much more I was enjoying life. Anyway, we texted a bit for a couple of days and tentatively made plans for Friday; said we’d touch base on Friday, and I also warned him that I would not be very responsive during the two days when I was working at a conference. I messaged him kind of late on Friday since it was a little difficult to gather myself that day1. I didn’t hear from him, so I stayed in and relaxed. I could have gone to a Halloween party, but home was just so cozy when you’ve been going non-stop while trying to fight a cough & cold.

I actually avoided Halloween all together this year. It’s the first year in all my life when I wasn’t excited to dress up. I usually love the excuse to pretend and get creative. I wish I could explain the reason behind it, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. This past August was always going to be particularly difficult for me; so I made sure I was traveling a lot, and making great memories so that I could just survive2. The worst is over; I’m grateful for that but I wish I knew how long this current state was going to last. I know exactly what it is, and I know it won’t last forever but it almost feels worse than being in pain all the time. At least when I was in pain I could feel things, even if they were unbearable sometimes… at least there were still small moments of joy. One day, I know I will find joy again. In the mean time I just have to keep my head afloat.

I have a lot of3 work to do though. I’ve lost faith. It’s almost like I’ve completely forgotten how to trust people. Slowly, the universe has been giving me things; things to be happy about; things that should spark joy; that would normally spark joy… but the joy always feels slightly muted. It feels the way skin feels when scar tissue has formed – slightly numb. I’m almost fascinated by how slow this process is going. It’s not like this is the first time I’ve grieved loss. I’m trying to figure out why it’s affected my love of sex too though. I mean, the desire is certainly still somewhere there but every time I have the opportunity or get close… I experience what i can only describe as traumatic flashbacks. I guess that’s what happens when you put your trust wholeheartedly in someone and they end up betraying that trust in ways that you couldn’t have ever imagined.

I’ve been trying not to talk about things for a while but it seems that holding it all in is only making things worse for me.

Anyway.

That’s not all I’ve been dealing with lately. I’ve had money problems too. Again. Honestly I can’t say there has ever really been a time in my life when I haven’t had money problems. One of the main reasons for that is that I’m just not good with money. I’ve gotten better, but I have a long way to go. It doesn’t help that I love donating my time to do the things that I love. I probably should find a way to do the things that I love for money but… I’m afraid that I’ll stop feeling the joy when that happens, because it’ll be about the money. Or maybe I should just stop being afraid of that too.

What are you afraid of?

Footnotes:
  1. work hard, play hard right?[]
  2. okay maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it felt like it[]
  3. personal[]

An American Adventure – Chicago Edition

Last month, I went over to my parents’ house and slept over so we could wake up early the next morning and drive really far west. A friend of the family – someone I have known since I was four or five years old – was getting married1 in Chicago.

I have been to Chicago before, but it was winter and while the snow made everything that much more beautiful, it was far too cold to really enjoy just how beautiful the city is. We arrived at almost 1am on Friday morning, and left at 8am on Sunday morning. There was a rehearsal and dinner held on the Friday, and the wedding itself on the Saturday – it was a busy weekend.

I had insisted on driving through Cleveland for our mid-way stop. I didn’t want to drive through Michigan, so I scoured the routes to try to find something fun to check out. What’s more fun than checking out a craft brewery while you’re on a road trip?! The Great Lakes Brewery was in the heart of “downtown” Cleveland. We walked around a bit to stretch our legs, before going into the brewery for a linner-like snack. The food was okay, but the beer was delicious.
chi2016-7

Rye Oh Rye Can’t We Win

Sausage and Perogies anyone?

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I went with a dark rye IPA called, “Rye oh rye can’t we win,” ’twas delicious. I only got a half-pint as it would be my turn to drive once we got back on the road. I bought a growler to take home to Toronto with me, and a six pack of a few of their other brews.

The Air BnB we stayed in was a little disappointing for a family of clean freaks, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying our stay. Besides, the location was so convenient and lovely that the fact that we had to sweep under the bed a little bit and avoid the window sills really wasn’t all that much of an inconvenience. I do wish we had been able to use the jacuzzi in the bathroom, but we were only really in the apartment to sleep, shower and get ready all three days that we stayed.

There was so much to love about our trip to Chicago; everything we did was a lot of fun: The Chicago Riverwalk, The Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise, Walking to and through Millennium Park, Going for coffee and breakfast (Jackalope Coffee & Tea, Ain`t She Sweet Cafe and Robust Coffee Lounge), going shopping , and of course the rehearsal and dinner, the beautiful wedding ceremony and dining and dancing at the wedding reception.

Aren’t they cute walking down the aisle?
These balloons at the rehearsal dinner made their way to the wedding reception too

The beautiful couple’s first dance
The gorgeous Chicago waterfront
Windswept on the boat tour

I thought it would be hard being in Chicago after the changes I’ve made in my life recently, but it was surprisingly easy and carefree. Life, actually, has been wonderfully carefree2 in general. I still feel some pain, but it is so much more manageable than it was. I think I might even have gotten a glimpse of the end of the tunnel – I say might because I am trying to focus on the here and now.

On the way back, we drove through Michigan; specifically, we stopped in on the Great Lakes Crossing Outlet Mall. We scored some pretty sweet deals, but we also had a longer stop-over than we did on the way to Chicago… not a big deal at the time, but it meant that we didn’t get back to Toronto until 1am again. Getting up for work the next day was a little tough, but it was all worth it. I hope this is the first of many road trips I get to take with my parents, and hopefully we’ll be able to take my brother and our beloved dog with us on the next trip.

Enjoy the first half of the photos from our trip. More to come later this week.

Footnotes:
  1. finally – it’s a long story[]
  2. maybe not completely but there has certainly been a vast improvement[]

Two weeks of silence [on the blog]

I had something written up, but I decided against posting it. I’ve made a lot of changes in the last couple of weeks. I also had to make an incredibly difficult and painful decision two weekends ago. It was a decision I never thought I’d be able to go through with, let alone something that I would need to do. All my friends tell me that I’m doing the right thing. Based on the hole in my heart, I simply have to take their word for it right now.

On a related note, I’ve been dying to get out of this city1 – at the very least for the winter – but it looks like I’ll be staying put after all. I received word that an important project I’ve been waiting to hear about has decided to take me on; while I was under the impression that I would want to defer their acceptance it turns out that it’s too important [to me] to do that.

In a way, I’m glad. I’m glad that I’m capable of managing the things I need to manage2 enough to be an adult, and keep my commitments. Then again, there is that part of me that was so ready to soar with wonder, curiosity and awe at all the new things that traveling to foreign places can inspire.

I’ll just have to settle for continuing with mini-adventures with good friends, and hopefully a few with my family too.

In the mean time, enjoy some photos3 of my Montreal trip last month 🙂

image image
Satay Brothers | Atwater Market

Dinner á la Reggy

Tequila+Watermelon cocktail aprés le diner
And played this awesome game (I can’t remember what it’s called though)

Thoroughly Enjoyed their Food Truck Festival called #FirstFridays

Man-made beach with a view of my favourite bridge, what more could you ask for?
Footnotes:
  1. Toronto[]
  2. hiiiiii emotions[]
  3. and video[]