A week away from the city

For the last five years my family and I have been camping in various Ontario Parks. We’ve been to Awenda, Silent Lake, Quinte, Sibbald Point and this year we’re checking out Algonquin. I can’t speak for my family, but I look forward to it every year. We book our campsite in February just to make sure we get a good site. Our favourite park is Silent Lake, but we’ve agreed to try a different park every other year. What’s even better is that we have the luxury of checking in on a Sunday, and checking out on a Thursday so we can avoid the crowds.

I feel so blessed though because not only am I getting a chance to go camping for 5 days/4 nights, I’m also going to a friend’s cottage for a couple of nights. A cottage that is honestly just so good for my soul. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on my balcony, and it’s bee lovely but getting out of the city is incomparable.

I have a few books that I hope to bring with me. I’ll also be bringing my notebook, and I hope to be able to get back into sketching. I really need to get working on finalizing the sketch of my second tattoo after all. Maybe I’ll finally have it this summer.

No matter what happens while I’m away from the city, I am extremely grateful for my upcoming week being able to be one with nature for almost 7 straight days.

Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, 2013!

Well, I guess that’s it. Isn’t it? This year is finally behind us. I’ve never looked forward for a year to end so much as I have this year. This year was the worst year out of all the years of life. And yet a lot of wonderful things happened1; I guess it just goes to show that there is always good that will come out of a bad situation. I just wish there had been more good this year than bad.

The things I wish to never forget about 2013:

1. That time I was in the pilot episode of a reality TV show called, Come Date With Me on the W Network.

Still from Come Date With Me Canada

2. Being auctioned off at Love a Heart2. Photo credit: Chris Luckhardt.

Facebook Events | Love a Heart

3. Stage Managing for Canadian Music Week and meeting #LeBeau, Garret3.

Canadian Music Week Stage Manager

4. Stage Managing for North By North East and meeting Sloan. Sorry no pictures.
5. Getting a brand new family member, Drogo.

Drogo Sy!

6. Having a custom vine made just for me by Cyrstal Light Canada.

Facebook | Crystal Light Canada | Weird & Wonderful You

7. Assistant Stage Managing for Pride and getting to meet and work with En Vogue.

En Vogue at Pride 2013

8. Going to Cunt Cottage and having an amazing weekend away from the city.

http://fragileheart.com/wp-content/uploads/cunt-cottage.jpg

9. Working for TIFF and getting to see some stars up-close-and-personal-like. No pictures, because I want to be able to work there again in 2014.
10. Going on a boat cruise with Shannon & the gang courtesy of Crazy Uncle. No pictures because I have no idea what I did with the pictures from that cruise. Oops.
11. Volunteering for TEDxToronto4.

TEDxToronto 2013

12. Being in a feature film that won an award at TOIndieFF2013, was part of the official selection at DIFF2013 and reviewed here.

Unhappy Happy Still
13. Working on the 48 hour film project where our team won Best Ensemble Cast.

Hashtag Bougie Productions

13. Meeting and falling in love with #LeBeau’s two daughters5. No pictures, of course. They’re too wittle.
14. Celebrating Christmas with our families and getting 2nd Christmas with the girls. Also no pictures, because I’m a spoil sport like that.
15. Being able to celeberate my birthday & the holidays with some really awesome friends. Again; no pictures, because we didn’t take a group photo and there are too many great ones to choose from.
16. Getting to keep in touch with my wifey, Christine Estima even though she’s a gazillion miles away.

Skyping with the Wifey

Last but not least…
17. Getting to do this fun photoshoot for Ford Canada with the ever-sexy, Ford Fiesta, Marie & Brock.

Date Night with the Ford Fiesta

Shopping fun with Marie & the Ford Fiesta

I’m not at all interested in re-living the past that was this horrible year, so I won’t go into any details about it. I would rather look forward with hope and excitement for what 2014 might have to bring. I can only hope that it’ll be a good year because if my own personal history has taught me anything 2015 is set to be another doozy. You see, there’s something about years that end in zeros and fives – they don’t like me very much. I had a terrible 1995, I can’t say 2000 was any better, 2005 was horrible, 2010 was another nightmare year… mind you, they were all bad for heartbreak but not much else.

Anyway, that’s a whole 365 days away. For now, here’s hoping that in 2014, I…:

  • …no longer have to worry about how I’m going to pay for groceries or laundry.
  • …can actually afford to meet up with friends at least once a week.
  • …find the energy to get off my ass and start exercising again.
  • …will visit my parents and cook for them more often.
  • …will stop worrying about things that I really have no control over.
  • …can reconnect with some old friends who I miss but have drifted away from, for no good reason. And stay connected.
  • …get to go camping twice – once with the family, and once with the man and/or friends.
  • …get to visit somewhere I have never been.
  • …write more for this blog.
  • …learn how to make a Filipino dish I have never made before, but love to eat.

And that’s about it. I had a longer list but I’ve cut it down some in an attempt to be a little more realistic with my resolutions. I didn’t make any resolutions for 2013 because at this age, I’m kind of over them. Since 2013 was such a bad year though, I needed some things to look forward to. And these are some of the more important things I’m looking forward to for this New Year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

Footnotes:
  1. I met Garret this year after all[]
  2. an annual favourite[]
  3. Nope. Not his real name[]
  4. another annual favourite[]
  5. and finally having children in my life. wee![]

The volume’s down, blue lights are dancing around, and still, I can’t seem to find, the quiet inside my mind

[Title stolen off of John Mayer’s “Quiet” because he’s awesomesauce]

Sometimes when you’re afraid of being alone with your thoughts, that’s exactly where you need to be. Camping this weekend really helped me find a bit of peace. I didn’t write as much as I thought I was going to, but I did let my thoughts just run their course. There were a lot of happy and grateful moments in which I thought about my awesome family and friends. There were a lot of sad moments in which I thought about the loves I’ve had and lost, and the ones that are currently in apparent limbo. There were some fear-filled moments in which I thought about work and what-I-want-to-do-with-my-god-damned-life. There were bliss-filled moments in which I didn’t give a flying fuck about anything because I was sun tanning on a rock in the middle of lake with nothing to stare at but beautiful clouds, trees and the occasional bird that would fly overhead.

Being able to get to the point where I didn’t care that I had gotten bit by however many mosquitoes, nor the fact that I’m going to have to walk around with a bandage on my left knee for a little while is a wonderful feeling. It’s the kind of don’t-give-a-fuckery that can only come from being out in something so beautiful as mother nature, rain et al. And when I got home, I was delighted to find a quote, in a Newsletter from Swissmiss, from an article that summed up exactly why I was filled with such Zen. I posted it to facebook and the article itself has been shared around quite a bit so you may have already seen it, but I’m in a repetitive mood, perhaps because I spent all weekend with my Mum who tends to like things on repeat. Who can blame her; when something is good, wouldn’t you want to do it over and over again? 😉

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

New York Times Article: The ‘Busy’ Trap, by Tim Kreider

Even before we went camping, I was thinking that now more than ever I need to schedule more down time for myself. For a while I gave in to the advice of saying yes because saying yes brought amazing things to my life. Those things can only stay amazing if you give yourself the time to appreciate them, however. I wasn’t doing that enough. I’m going to try. It’s the best I can do 🙂 Ever.

How do you decide when it’s time to take some time for yourself?

Oh Canada!

I love this country. I love Toronto the most. This is largely due to the fact that it’s the only city in this country that I’ve lived with but I don’t doubt that my love for Toronto will grow as I explore this great country, which I hope to do starting very soon.

My family and I moved here in 1997 from Dubai and we haven’t looked back. Sure things went a bit sour after the first year, but that’s all in the past. We used to go camping at the beach in Dubai, which admittedly was pretty damn awesome, but camping in the gorgeous wildnerness that exists in Canada is pretty unbeatable as well.

I was happy but mostly indifferent about living here for the first 10 years we lived here. It wasn’t until I moved back from living in Dublin that I fell in love with this city. Something about the possibility of greatness that’s in the air; the hope, the love, the acceptance that is just wafting in the air1. Whatever it is, I love this city and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.. except that my nomadic genes have been itchy for the last 6 months. But I digress.

I love that I can wake up on any given day and have so many choices as to what to do that day and no matter what I choose, I will have fun. Not just because the choice is mine, but because the people of this city are fun-loving despite what the negative nancies out there will try to tell you.

As we finish packing for our 3rd annual family camping trip, I want to wish you all a very Happy Canada Day and Happy Pride!!

Have I mentioned that I love that both of those are celebrated over the same long weekend? Boss!

What are you doing this Proud Canada Day Long Weekend?

Footnotes:
  1. maybe it’s just weed[]