Everyone is wonderful, if you give you them a chance

I wanted to capture the look on my face that night. I wanted to capture the bliss I felt.

It was 1:30am on a Wednesday night and I would usually be sound asleep by then but I couldn’t bring myself to leave any earlier than the end of the night. Sleep was the sacrifice I was willing to make to savour every last ounce of wonder that the beautiful human beings I got to spend some time with last night possessed.

I was invited at the last minute by an old friend-quaintance, but there wasn’t something about his invitation that spoke to me. There was something there that said, ‘You need to say yes to this. You need to say yes to this right now, and it doesn’t matter what you’re giving up1.’ And honestly, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation in my entire being.

A few other thoughts swirling in my mind the night that I got the invite was related to work (I had made some pretty big mistakes at work, and had gotten emails from my boss about it that night), and of course the lack of romance (from external sources) in my life…. but all of those thoughts paled in comparison to the mere invitation.

Simple, but elegant dinner table

I went to work as normal, went about my work day as normal, and had a pretty uneventful day2. There was potential to go for a coffee with a friend before the dinner, but

that fell through and instead of going home I decided to head straight to dinner. I picked up one of my favourite French Pinot Noirs from the LCBO and walked over to the building where the dinner was being held.

On my way to the dinner, I ran into two acquaintances I adore, and had a quick catch-up with them. Too quick to really get into anything but I tried to send them as much non-verbal love as I could in the brief moments we shared.

When I finally got inside the building, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was one of the rare moments in my life when I was early for an event; so I went to the washroom to freshen up and decompress from my day before I walked in. I was the second guest to arrive.

There were simple rules laid out for everyone, but things were pretty casual. No cell phones after 7:30pm; photos are okay. No interjecting when someone is talking. No trying to solve something for someone. Everyone will get a turn to answer the questions. You must listen when someone is talking; don’t spend that time thinking of your answer.

I didn’t get to ask the hosts how much thought they put into who is invited to the dinner, and whether there is any consideration given to the potential dynamic that the group could have when together. Personally, I don’t think it matters.

1st course, vegan chickpea and butternut squash soup 2nd course, all the nuts and veggies in the so many delicious ways 3rd course, mint and chocolate deliciousness

We were all open. We bore their hearts to each other and everyone, in turn, received each other with such openness I can only dream of seeing in the world. I hope I never forget the sensational, and unencumbered love that was flowing in that room and how empowering it felt. I hope we all felt the same. We may not have solved any of life’s major problems, or maybe we did in some small way; all I know is that my life is forever changed because of the wonderful people I got to meet at that dinner.

Without naming anyone (because I didn’t ask permission from any of them before writing this) I also want to remember the vulnerability, humility, strength, courage, willingness, acceptance, thoughtfulness, flexibility, and curiosity that each person3 brought to the table4 that night. I am eternally grateful, and hope that I was able to return the favour or at the very least return it in the future.

My fortune from the inspiration campaign, and some peaty scotch

So much love.

Footnotes:
  1. I was supposed to grab a coffee with my ex who I am still in love with and am trying to patch things up with[]
  2. minus a few important conversations with some friends[]
  3. there are 9 characteristics because there were 9 of us, and I did pick one word for each of us but all words also applies to each person[]
  4. pun intended!![]

Darkness and light; Ebb and Flow.

Whatever happens in my life, there is something I must always to remind myself of constantly: everything is temporary. Nothing is permanent and that does not have to be a bad thing.

For far too long now, I have been plagued by thoughts that can only be described as dark. All the while, I have managed to be grateful for my life and all the wonderful people and things that I am surrounded by. And sometime in the last month, I got fed up with letting these dark thoughts ruin my good days.

After I forgave myself for losing a relationship with someone very important to me because of said dark thoughts, I decided I would never let that happen again.

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I’m in the war of my life, at the door of my life, out of time and there’s no where to run.¬†
— John Mayer, War of My Life

I’ve waged a war on said dark thoughts, but this war isn’t a violent one. That wouldn’t do me any good to be at [a violent] war with myself. It’s a war because it’s serious, but my methods are only ever gentle. I’ve been abusive to myself for far too long. I’m making progress: Less than two months ago, whenever a dark thought would enter my mind it would devour me and my entire being. It would be all that I saw, and if someone or something was able to distract me briefly it would only ever succeed momentarily.

It’s been a process, and there are some days when the fight is harder than other days. The light gets brighter every day, and I’m doing well to leave traces of where I’ve been so that if I ever get drawn back by those dark thoughts I can find my way around them. I know now that being ‘plagued’ by these sort of dark thoughts is actually something that can be considered a strength.

Come again?

The way I see it, these thoughts come to me along with the good thoughts because I can see every situation from all sides. I like to think it’s one of the reasons that I’m so good with people; why I thrive as a volunteer manager; I don’t have a problem putting myself in someone else’s shoes and taking multiple steps. One problem is that I let what I see affect me too much; I allow myself to forget who I am and how fucking amazing I am.
[Sidebar: I used to think that I do this, not because I have low self-esteem, but because I am humble. I know better now].

The even bigger problem lies in the fact that I have developed a horrible habit of focusing on the negative. Mind you, it’s human nature to get stuck in the negative, but I’m pretty tired of it and I can’t help but think back to the first TED talk I truly fell in love with by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young on how she changed her brain as I continue on this journey. These resources and many others are my ammo for this war I’m in against my bad habits.

I don’t assume there won’t be darkness when the war is over; it would be naive and foolish of me to think that way. All that I want is for the darkness to stay in its corner, and leave me, and joy to spend our days together basking in the light.

The importance of self-love

[Only because I haven’t talked about this kind of stuff since the condom reviews, I feel like I should warn you… the subject matter is sexual. Consider yourself warned]

I was raised Roman Catholic. No one taught me about sex. I discovered everything I know about that subject all on my own. Okay maybe I had the the help of a few people1. Despite all the ‘experience’ I had though, I didn’t really discover the benefits of self-love2 until a few years ago. Benefits that I am happily taking advantage of due to a combination of a recent change in my situation, as well as the realization that I am no longer interested in being intimate with any warm body.

Recently, I got to be Joanna‘s plus one at a really fun event3 and while we were sipping champagne and browsing through their awesome selection we got to talking about masturbating and how important it is for so many reasons. It’s an important part of knowing your body; knowing how to please yourself and when the time comes, knowing how to help someone else please you. It’s also a wonderful buffer to prevent yourself from becoming intimate with the wrong person.

I have to be honest that the appeal of playing with only myself was never there for me. When you consider the fact that I have never had an issue finding someone who was willing to ‘do the job’4 it’s easy to understand why. Now that I’m in my 30s though, ‘the game’ has gotten so old and having to rely on someone else has become far less appealing. Sure, I still enjoy a long play session with someone worthwhile from time to time but it actually makes it more fun if those long sessions aren’t as frequent as they used to be. Even better that in between I get to enjoy some quality time with myself.

There is one other benefit that I wish I had known about while I was in my 20s. Since I am no longer plagued by this problem, I can freely talk about the fact that when I was in my 20s I often found it difficult to avoid getting intimate with someone too soon. I don’t regret anything I did, by any means, but I’m certainly glad I was able to change that about myself. Things never work out the way I want when i sleep with someone on the first, or even the second date.

It isn’t until recently that I discovered how integral it5 is to preventing pre-mature intimacy when you’re still getting to know someone. I mean… all those dates I went on when I was feeling lonely or horny and I decided to sleep with the guy on the first date just because I had an itch that needed to be scratched? I just think about all the heart-break6 that could have been avoided… and I do feel bad. However, It’s my policy not to live with regret though; learn the lesson and move on, right?

Some people might think it’s sad, but I really don’t think it has to be. I think it’s a great supplement to a healthy sex-life. I even know some people who are incapable of pleasing themselves on their own, and I think it’s really unfortunate. But everyone has their own problems… who am I to judge?

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Now more than ever, I’m hoping to focus on being more self-sufficient because for most of my life I have relied on other people for my happiness7. I’ve been trying to focus on this though for the last 3 years. Here’s hoping it finally sticks.

Footnotes:
  1. but that is a whole other topic I won’t be getting into right now[]
  2. yes, I mean masturbation[]
  3. by a brand that I’m certain wouldn’t want to be mentioned on a post with such a sexual subject matter[]
  4. not to sound cocky but it’s just a fact[]
  5. masturbating[]
  6. not just mine[]
  7. oh and yes, there is plenty of happiness to be found in masturbation[]

Sometimes it’s okay to let others speak for you

For the first time this year, I’ve struggled to decide on something to write about… and as it got later and later in the day and my eyes became more and more tired. I decided to continue on with my quest to be good to myself, and allow Casey Gerald to speak for me this week.

This speaks to me on so many levels. And no, my beliefs weren’t about religion. That’s for another blog post though.