Forward

It’s the only direction I’m interested in going. Except this weekend, I apparently needed to wallow in the past and miss some things that I am living without1; things that I have been quite happy living without for a while now.

I’m welcoming the sadness. After all, I’ve been pretty lucky. I spent the entire holiday season barely feeling any of it. I do wish I knew what brought it on, but for now I’ll have to settle for at least being able to be grateful that I still get to feel things at all.

I remember feeling this way far too often in the last three to four years of horrible romantic relationship luck. It used to be accompanied¬†by feelings of inferiority, failure and incredible anxiety. Always a party when those guys get together. This is different… but if you’ll excuse me I’m still going to go wallow for as long as I need to.

And then I’ll get back to the whole looking, moving and grooving forward.

One day, as I turned the corner from a tea date with a friend this was on the ground and it was perfect
Footnotes:
  1. honestly, too many to get into[]

Running out of steam

One of my resolutions this year was to write once a week. The end of last year wasn’t going so well, and I wanted to head into this year with the kind of fierceness that this year deserved to be faced with. I am finding myself running out of steam and I figured I might as well write about it. It isn’t that I don’t have anything to say anymore either. I have a lot to say, actually. Right now though, I feel like it doesn’t matter what I say nor do – nothing is going to change1.

Lounging on the lake at last year’s cottage trip
Photography by: Joanna Haughton

Luckily, I am going to get out of the city again this week. Someone very near, and dear to me is celebrating a birthday and we’re going to a cottage to celebrate. I’ve talked about it before, and I’ll say it again: I am so grateful that I get to go on these out-of-city trips during the week so that I don’t have to drive in a lot of traffic. I have no doubt I’ll feel right as rain when I get back, but I also have no doubt that the feeling will only last about a week or three until it all weighs be down all over again.

Work is extremely busy2. Dating in this city is disenchanting. There is always a pit in my stomach and while I manage to keep it at bay while I’m with my friends… it’s always there. All I can think about is going away but there are responsibilities – that are very important to me – keeping me here. I’m waiting on news about a volunteering opportunity that would determine if I get to leave for the winter. I don’t even have my fingers crossed for either outcome because no matter what I’d be a happy camper3.

I’m sure those who are close to me and are reading this are starting to worry about me: please don’t. I’m fine. I live a wonderfully full, and amazing life. I just really need to make a change, and I haven’t quite figured out how to make it. I have faith I’ll figure it out soon enough, or at the very least I’ll figure it out. I just need to give it that ever-so-precious commodity called, time. Something I imagine I’ll have plenty of while I’m up at the cottage.

Just breathe.

 

Footnotes:
  1. I guess that’s the problem with wanting something you just can’t have[]
  2. in the best of ways[]
  3. ish – I do actually really want to go away[]

Living in dark spaces

I like low lighting; mood lighting, if you will. I like candles, and soft yellow light bulbs. I prefer the times of day when awesome shadows are cast on the ground. I dislike fluorescent, and bright white light bulbs though I don’t hate being out in the sun in the heart of the summer.

That’s real light though. What about the metaphorical light in my brain? What kind of light does my brain like to live in? When I was a teenager, it lived in a pretty dark space; a space filled with angst, anger and rebellion. I wasn’t cruel to everybody, but I wasn’t exactly afraid of conflict. During my first management role, I was called a bitch a few times1; though hindsight tells me that I was a mirror for behaviour & attitude that my so-called-friends2 would only display behind everyone else’s backs. It was a long time ago and I’ve learned a lot of lessons on how to properly treat human beings3 since then.

When I moved to Ireland, something changed. I found zen somehow. Maybe it was finally getting the love I thought I wanted. Maybe there was just something in the water4¬†in Ireland. Whatever it was, it worked and I am eternally grateful for it. Then sometime last summer, something changed. Something switched. There’s an event, there’s a person involved, but it’s a story I’d really rather not tell you. Partially because the person in question doesn’t need to know how much he changed my life for the worse, and also because I don’t even blame him for it. He didn’t do anything on purpose to hurt me. The cookie just crumbled that way.

There were also other incidents that contributed to the state that I am in. One where I don’t smile as much as I used to; where I don’t necessarily feel like being social as often as I used to; nor do I enjoy singing as much as I used to. I’m slowly making peace with the fact that maybe this is just how I am going to be from now on but that acceptance hasn’t made me want to stop trying either. While in conversation with Garret5 the other night, I came to realize that I have become more negative. It isn’t glaringly obvious, at least I don’t think it is because no one has said anything to me, but it is there.

Mind you, I’ve always “prepared for the worst and expected the best” so I didn’t notice that I was focusing the negative. Thinking about the negative possibilities of any scenario is just something I had always done. What I didn’t notice was that I no longer expected the best to happen. I expected the worst, and only saw the worst. I’ve stopped looking at the bright side. Right now, I think I have a million reasons to feel like my life sucks even though logic tells me that it doesn’t. So now, I’ve got to do something to change this way of thinking. I am tired of being sad and angry. It hurts my chest, it hurts my head.

I used to run a project called Three Smiles on Tumblr. A project that has stopped and started up again intermittently, and has been on hiatus for a while now. The idea was to think about three things that made you smile that day; three things that you were grateful for. Alex Conde even interviewed me about it. I think that now, more than ever, I need to start it up again. I don’t think I’ll be able to do Three Smiles a day like I used to – at least not right away – so I’ll start with one a day and go from there. I need this. I prefer living in sunshine.

I think the most frustrating part for me right now is knowing that I am better than this, but still being unable to turn on the sunshine in my brain and in my heart. To (re)start off this project my first smile is that I am still around to keep trying.

What are you grateful for today?

Footnotes:
  1. more than a few times[]
  2. at the time[]
  3. whether they are acting like human beings or not[]
  4. or the Guinness[]
  5. not his real name[]

KAFA: Words Hurt

What a great campaign. I’m in the middle of Canadian Music Week madness and I just had to share this here because it ties in nicely with what I talked about for International Women’s Day. I found this on my current obsession: Imgur.

Words Hurt: Bitch

Words Hurt: Slut

Words Hurt: Whore

These were curated by Lebanese organization KAFA, turning the idea of verbal abuse into physical to raise awareness.

Photographer: James Day

Have you used any of these words lately? Do you think about how your words can affect someone?