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[]

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.
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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 🙂

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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[]

Life between Adventures

I’ve been lucky enough to go on many adventures this summer. Cottaging, camping, Montréal, Tubing at the Elora Gorge… and a few more still to come1. I’ve also been lucky though to have had some mini-adventures right here in the city.

Like hanging out with SweetGIF at the CBC Music Festival.

It was one of the first of those hot, hot Toronto summer days but we kept our cool and showed those CBC festival goers just how exciting and fun SweetGIF can be.

Or hanging with some of the loveliest of my friends on my balcony, whether it be rainy and cold, scorching hot or just right2.

Red Sangria from Sangria Hangs Part 1
Jo in the background, with some White Sangria from Sangria Hangs Part 2
Forgot to take photos of the Sangria, but this was the spread at Sangria Hangs Part 3

I won’t be able to host one of these this month, but I’m so grateful I was able to host one every month for the last 3 months. I started hosting them because I needed to surround myself with wonderful people who I knew had my back, people I knew who loved me despite all my flaws, and maybe some of them even love me because of them. I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

Don’t you know… girls just want to have fun

And then there was this night out with the girls. We got dolled up. We ordered wine, orgasmic appetizers, drool-worthy meals and were treated to a large assortment of delectable desserts by the staff at Boehmer as we celebrated the last few weeks of our darling friend’s unmarried life.

He’ll always be my prom king

And then there was that night we went to Notable Prom. The event itself wasn’t spectacular but it certainly was fun getting out with one of my best friends, and reliving our prom night even if only by regaling stories we remembered.

Live music in the city: Alyson Menamara and her band rockin’ the house
Riding out to Etobicoke means I get to ride through, under and all around this beautiful bridge
And then there was the day we3 went skinny dipping at the Scarborough Bluffs – sorry, skinny dipping not pictured
Footnotes:
  1. Chicago and Cleveland being the next big one[]
  2. under a blanket fort[]
  3. not the same person as any of the above[]