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 😉
I doubt that I’ve been 100% successful, but I would like to think that I’m successful most of the time[↩]
i.e. bed bugs, and some irresponsibility on my part[↩]
[Pardon the cheese in the title; there just had to be some].
My dearest Mother,
I think about how mean I was to you as a teenager and I’m filled with guilt. You never once made me feel like less of a human being, nor less of a daughter for acting out. You’ll say that it was your duty as a mother but others would say that it makes you an extraordinary mother.
Okay fine, I suppose I could have been worse – it’s not like I ever got arrested or overdosed on drugs but I wasn’t exactly easy to deal with. Being highly emotional is hard to deal with when you don’t know what emotions are yet. You always knew how to deal with me though, whether it was simply leaving me alone or trying to talk to me in your own indirect way; it was always exactly what I needed. Whether you knew that or not, I’m not sure.
I’ve often wondered how different our lives would be if I confided in you more. I still remember that time I experienced my first broken heart here in Canada and your hug was the only one that comforted me; that made me feel safe. I don’t recall if I said much about the pain I was feeling, but I don’t think it matters.
I like that we’re becoming friends now. I hope we can do more of it. There’s so much more I want to say but fear that should be left for a more intimate setting. I hope you enjoy your special day, because we enjoy having you in our lives and we want you to feel just how much we do magnified by a thousand suns.
Jackie and I were partners in crime at Victoria Park Secondary School way back when… when I look back on my favourite vacations she is always there. I have two: One when I went to visit her in LA and when I went to visit her in Holbox, Mexico. Jackie, you are my soul mate and I wouldn’t have it any other way (except maybe I wish we could be physically closer to each other for a larger chunk of each year but one day… right?)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BESTIE!
Albert and I got tattoos together in 2005 and we haven’t looked back. I wasn’t sure whether you wanted to be displayed in public so I picked a photo that hid most of yer face 🙂 But know that I am not ashamed to call you my friend because you’re one of the best friends I could have ever asked for. I’m happy you and Barb are in my life.