It was an emotional return home

Going Home

I’m sure the fact that I wasn’t able to get any sleep on the red-eye flight back to Toronto had a lot to do with it but a few hours after I woke up from my nap to carry on with my Friday afternoon, I became overwhelmed with emotion. There were other factors in play, but they shouldn’t have left me bawling with pure sadness the way I did. I greeted the sadness like an old friend, and let it linger if only for a moment. Once it was gone, I felt a certain kind of zen that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I’m not sure I could live out in British Columbia, but I am changed forever for having been there. It was also emotional because I had allowed myself to forget how much I enjoyed being around the company of the two people I went there to visit. They’re both amazing centres of calm, and love and I adore being around them. I wish I could have stayed longer; next time. Certainly next time.

Snowshoeing the Rainbow Trail in BC

Being out there has also left me with a renewed longing to keep moving. Even though I opened my heart up to joy this year, my body had gotten into the habit of being frozen, and unable to move because I was too sad or depressed to. Though I do wish there was a mountain I could go hiking up right now. There’s something magical about the thinning air, the gorgeous view, the implied solitude that comes with hiking up a mountain rather than a hill that you just can’t replicate in this city1.

The view from Whistler while skiing

I learned a lot of things about myself while I was out on those mountains. I learned that my body is a lot stronger than I think it is, and that I have the tendency to want to give up way too easily. i learned that if I distract myself with pretty sights, and inspiring views and thoughts that I can get through anything. I learned that I am better at practicing techniques when no one is paying attention, and that I get self-conscious when others are giving me instructions and watching. That explains why I taught myself how to ice skate, among many other things in my life.

Emjoying the view from the breakfast hall

I also re-affirmed that for the last two and half years I have been living in fear. I have somehow allowed fear to take the wheel and be the driving force behind most of my decisions. I have been trying to break the habit for the last 3-6 months, but the progress has been slow to say the least. Alas, at least there has been progress. It appears to me that there isn’t going to be a big push out of this one, I am going to have to gradually chip away at it patiently.

One day at a time. One moment at a time.

It’s the best I can do, and that’s all I can ever ask of myself.

Have you ever been to British Columbia? Have you ever been to Whistler? Was it as inspiring to you as it was to me?

Footnotes:
  1. I am certain I am not the first person to say this, but it still needs to be said[]

From the archives:
Earth Hour latest: Nelly Furtado free concert

I’m really glad that so many of you are joining me this Saturday in turning off your lights, but I have more news. Today’s edition of the xToronto Starx had an entire section on this Saturday’s upcoming global event, Earth Hour, and the section highlighted several (mostly free) events & activities taking place during this remarkable hour. One of them, is a free, acoustic concert by Nelly Furtado (Singer of I’m like a bird, Promiscuous ft. Timbaland, and Turn off the Light). Now, I’m not a huge fan of hers, but The Philosopher Kings (who you may or may not have heard of) are also going to be there. And them, I love!

The concert is being held at Nathan Philipps Square and while it isn’t going completely unplugged for the concert, power will be supplied by Bullfrog Power (uses emission-free sources like wind and water). They’re encouraging people to take transit too. And to bring mugs since they’re providing plenty of hot chocolate!

It will be a challenge for me to go via transit because I don’t live close to a line, but I’m going to try my best. Also, I have to work at 5:30 that morning, and I’m going to be very tired which makes me colder than normal. It’s not that I’m not willing… it’s that I’ll be alone as well so it won’t be that easy to go via transit, by myself, in the cold. So if it turns out to be really cold that day I’m going to end up taking my car. My guilt-easing spiel is that I drive a Toyota Yaris, and it was listed in another section of today’s Toronto Star as being efficient (is that the right word?) on fuel consumption. Also, if anyone lives in the Scarborough area (this only applies to people on facebook that are reading this, because I’m afraid I’m just not trusting enough) and would like to carpool to this free concert, I would be more than happy to take you along! Just message me and we can work out the details.

Have you signed up yet? Hurry up! It’s tomorrow night! What are you waiting for?

Photo courtesy of the Toronto Star

And off I go!

I have many goals set this year, and one of them is a resolution that I’ve carried over from a few years ago: To see more of this gorgeous country that I have been a resident of for almost 20 years. That same year I drove out to Montreal on my own; it was the first time I had ever been outside Ontario1 and it was a wonderful weekend.

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of two of my dearest friends in Winnepeg. While Winnepeg itself might not have been the most glamorous location to fly to for a wedding, Lac du Bonnet is breathtaking and even though it was windy, there was no where in the world I would rather have been at the time.

The view from aboveThe shedThe bride and bridesmaid's bouquetsThe men

 

Photo copyright remains that of the photographer whose name I don’t actually know since I got these off of Wedpics, a photo app that the bride used to share photos with us. Just trust me when I say that the bride and groom were absolutely glowing. Yes, both of them.

Tonight I’m flying out2 to Vancouver > Pemberton+Whistler to visit the very same couple whose wedding I attended in August and to go skiing3. I have never been to the west coast of Canada and I have been told that a) I will love it and that b) I am in for a treat. I have absolutely no doubt, and I can’t wait to write all about it next month :) I’ll have my4 go pro in tow so hopefully I’ll get to share some awesome video too.

I haven’t been on a trip since my family and I drove out to Chicago one Christmas. I’m pretty sure that was at least three years ago. Ever so faintly, I still feel the sting of that travel bug… the sensation has gotten a bit numb from all the debt in my life but fingers crossed this is the year I get away from all of that. And I never thought I’d be excited to be headed to a place that’s even colder than Ottawa but here I am, grinning from ear to ear.

Have you ever been to Whistler? What did you think of it?

Footnotes:
  1. and stayed in Canada[]
  2. with someone I adore immensely[]
  3. fingers crossed I don’t die – I’m not that good[]
  4. Dad’s[]

It’s a new month next week, and I’m so ready for it

[edit: As this post goes live, my optimism has dwindled ever so slightly but I am allowing this post to go public as originally planned because I need it as a reminder of what is important: taking care of me. Fuck everyone else1].

It all started in 1995. My history of heartbreak; the original iteration of ‘fragileheart’ though I didn’t take on that name until five years later. And almost predictably, I continued to have bad years in 2005, 2010 and 2015. The severity of each heartbreak never dwindled, but my ability to bounce back and continue to “love like I’ve never been hurt” simply grew2. And this year, I feel more ready than ever to continue that growth.

Love has always been a priority in my life. I think I proved that when I focused on moving to Ireland to follow said heart instead of focusing on my career fresh out of University. I think I knew that I always had what it takes to accomplish what I want in other areas of life – whenever it was that I was ready to do so. I think I’m ready now.

There’s a large part of me that doesn’t care if the love that I’ve found doesn’t succeed the way I want it to. There is a larger part of me that has this incredible blind faith that it will so long as I focus on taking care of me3.

I took life into my own hands five years ago4 – partially out of necessity but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the desire and determination was there – and it has been a wild ride. The first three years were rough5 with an absolute bottom less than two years ago. While I will always be proud of the semester I spent driving a school bus to make ends meet, I can’t and won’t deny that it was an act of pure desperation. That’s in the past though; speaking as a freelancer, last year was my best year; and this year is set to be even better.

I wrote out some goals this year. I also bombarded my twitter followers with some of my resolutions, and I’m incredibly happy with the progress I’ve made on all of them. Yes. Already. At the beginning of this year, I opened my heart up to joy and it has come barrelling in. Suddenly the things that used to bother me so intensely don’t bother me nearly as much, and the things that do bother me are easier to let go. I’m aware that sudden changes like this should raise some sort of flag, so I’m being mindful about that6 but by now – it’s been over 21 days. Any bad habits that I had of jumping to negative conclusions, or holding on anything negative have – theoretically – been broken.

I’m taking things one moment at a time, then one day at a time, then one week at a time… and so on :) Life is good, because I chose for it to be. But, let’s be get a little more real: I’ll admit that I also had enough motivation to follow-through with that choice. It isn’t always easy to pull yourself out of a7 hole, but once you find that big push you needed, it’s important to hold on and just go with it. Don’t let anything weigh you down – or do – sometimes you just need to visit the dark side again… but for the love of god, don’t linger there. Go back to the light. Always go back to the light.

Now can someone tell me how I ended up making Star Wars references?

In all seriousness, how is your year going? What great things are you going to accomplish this year?

Footnotes:
  1. but you know, if you need me. I’m here for you[]
  2. which, coincidentally, explains the never-dwindling heartbreak severity[]
  3. as long as it isn’t at the expense of ‘us’[]
  4. well that sounds morbid, I assure you that is not what I mean[]
  5. financially[]
  6. don’t you worry about me[]
  7. mental and/or emotional[]

There one where I get a little cynical

love

I’m a hopeless romantic, and I think that’s my biggest problem1, the fact that I’m hopeless about romance. I think that while I was growing up, the notion of being hopelessly romantic was the best because it meant that one would be romantic no matter what; that you would choose love, no matter what.

Now that I’m older, and not less prone to my impulses, I’ve come to the realization that it’s pretty stupid silly to be hopeless about the subject of love and romance. Being a hopeless romantic means that you are the type who would do anything for the person who is lucky enough to earn a place in your heart. “Ain’t no mountain high enough, Ain’t no valley low enough, Ain’t no river wide enough, To keep me from you”; and other such unrealistic proclamations, these are the sort of things you’d hear someone – who was a hopeless romantic – utter. It’s lovely, isn’t it? Doesn’t it awaken those butterflies in your stomach? Make your heart race, and your palms sweat? Me. Too.

Of course, as I’ve already stated – all that romantic stuff is unrealistic. You swoon while you make promises of such grand gestures and your ‘love’ is elated because, “Oh my god, you’d do all that for me? I feel so special”. Of course, unless you back it up with actions that demonstrate your dedication, you’re just a liar. Maybe that’s a little unfair – maybe you didn’t mean to lie about the things you’d do to make the other person happy; maybe you had every intention to do those things but life got in the way. Either way, it still proves my point – being a hopeless romantic is really one being just hopeless. Maybe there’s nothing romantic about it all. We were just taught to think so.

Now say, you’re on the other side of that coin and you are the one who needs to hear such proclamations of adoration to truly feel loved. Well, you’re fucked too aren’t you?. The odds of you meeting someone who a) will adore you enough to speak to you like Romeo spoke to Juliet, b) will actually mean every word they say, and c) will share your hopeless romanticism is smaller than… something with really small odds2.

All I’m trying to say is that once upon a time, I believed in Once Upon a Time. And now I realize that all those fairy tales ended in a wedding or a marriage to someone they barely knew, with no follow-up story for how their lives actually played out. All that we were told was that they lived “happily ever after”, but we were never given proof. So I think it’s time to put away my hopes of finding the kind of adoration that I am, seemingly, cursed to feel for my partner. It’s time I realize that the way I love is the way that I love, and that anyone else I may pair up with isn’t going to love me the same way, but that doesn’t mean they love me any less. I guess.

So far, I’ve always known what I know about love. But for the first time in my life, I’m really unsure. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Footnotes:
  1. when it comes to relationships[]
  2. I am not a statistician[]