Shake it out, because Life is Sweet

Borrowing a phrase from one of my favourite sirens, Florence; sometimes the best thing you can do is shake it out because it’s hard to dance with a Demon on your back. I’ve been battling with my own demons for some time now1. Some of them manifest from external sources2 but at the end of the day, my demons are my own. I’m the only one who can shut them up.

I don’t have suicidal tendencies… except that there are these moments when a part of my brain flashes images of3 about doing things that would probably kill me if I were to carry them out IRL. Things like jumping in front of the incoming train, off a bridge, out of a moving car, through a window of a condo apartment that’s high enough.

I love speed

There’s a part of me that’s an adrenaline junkie and she visualizes these things because these images. Then there’s another part of me who likes to write stories in my head. The two of then together bring me said images whether I’m in a good or bad mood. What’s fun is that I also always manage to survive said actions4; I somehow superhero my way out of dying. Because happy endings are better than sad ones.

Thankfully, I know better than to carry these fantasies out. What if one day I got so emotional, high  ((you can be high on love right?)) and/or drunk that I lose that grip on reality? It’s a scary thought but it happens. More often than it should. I’m a pretty private person5. For all the things that I vocalize through social media and to my closest friends, I have at least 10 other thoughts I keep to myself6. I doubt I’m the only one who goes through this.

It’s hard for me to admit when I’m depressed. I hate feeling sorry for myself; almost as much as I hate feeling other people’s pity for me. There were far too many days this past Autumn when I would wake up to a gorgeous sunny day and all I wanted to do was block my windows from the sun and go back to sleep.

I’m not sure what else to say right now. It’s really hard to admit that.

The thing I find most puzzling is that this past summer had been one of the best summers I can remember. That’s all I’m really willing to say about it for now though. I just know that I still feel off most days. I still don’t feel like myself but at least now I feel like I’m slipping into someone new7 with a little more ease. When I get to a point when I can look back at all this and smile, I can’t wait for the day I can thank the catalyst8.

I had to come to terms with the fact that I let things affect me whether I want to admit it or not. I used to deny myself the ability to feel something if I think it’s going to negatively affect someone else. I still do that, but I am getting better at finding the balance between taking care of myself and taking care of everyone else around me instead. It isn’t easy fighting yourself to change for the better but I think I’m doing an decent job. So, I wanted to talk about it because whether I know it or not, there may be someone out there who needs to read this.

Partners for Mental Health held Let’s Call BullS#!T in January and I’m happy to see that wasn’t the end of the conversation surrounding Mental Illness. I wanted to share these thoughts in support of someone I adore immensely, who is doing something very brave9 in honour of her late Mother’s memory.

Ashley Gibson: Life Is Sweet

Ashley Gibson is a fascinating creature who I’m honoured to call a friend. Ashley’s Solo Cabaret, Life is Sweet, is happening at the Flying Beaver Pubaret this Friday, February 22nd at 9:30pm. Door proceeds are being donated to the CAMH Foundation but the show is sold-out; However, she is also accepting donations through the CAMH website.

“Every February I am faced with a bleak, cold month in Toronto with my mother’s death anniversary on February 24th to top it all off. For the last couple of years I’ve made concerted efforts to do something nice for myself on that day to make it easier to cope and to honour her. This year I decided to create something that has been rumbling in my soul for a long time. On February 22nd I will be performing ‘Life is Sweet, Even in February’ to honour my mother. The show will feature a range of songs that she enjoyed and songs that remind me of her alongside stories of her life, our time together, the impact of her mental illness, and my journey through healing after her death.” – Ashley Gibson

I have been lucky: no one that close to me has ever taken their own life; nor have I ever witnessed it happen. The thing is, I never want to. No one should ever have to see that happen. No one should ever feel like it’s the only way out. We can’t predict when that’s going to happen or for whom. There is no magic pill that’s going solve the problem, but conversation goes a long way towards helping spread the sentiment10 that they’re not alone.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? To be Forever Not Alone?

Footnotes:
  1. something like the last year and  half[]
  2. like other people[]
  3. i.e. fantasizes[]
  4. in my fantasies[]
  5. insert your shocked reaction here[]
  6. on a slow day[]
  7. and actually, better[]
  8. yeah, not telling[]
  9. as she does[]
  10. whether they want the reminder or not[]

Just another reason to love Stella

Good ol’ Stella. I have been following along with them more closely since La Societe was on everyone’s beaks1 last year and after they threw the super awesome, super secret Underground party in the old Bay Subway station and I thought I was completely sold.

But their latest campaign that got people talking about how their Street Teams were giving away complimentary samples of their beer just made me love them even more… add to that how amazing anyone on the Stella Street Team2 and they’ve found themselves a fan for life in me.

And you know what happens when you love a brand right? They love you right back and I have some lovin’ to give right back to you, my darling readers, by way of TWO lovely Stella Artois Legere t-shirts designed by Toronto artist Dave Murray. You can see what it looks like in the pictures below… once the winner is picked, we’ll talk sizing.

Oh but that’s not all – I’ve ALSO got two pairs of passes to the Block Party on August 13th that I am sure will be super awesome3. Side note: I’m going on the assumption here that you know that #downtown won the race for hosting this block party and my id and I would like to think that I had something to do with it but my ego knows better.

TO QUALIFY we must be friends on facebook so add me up. Please include a message to tell me that you’re a reader of my blog and that you want to add me to enter the contest4. After you’ve done that, you’ll want to give the ol’ thumbs up to Stella Artois Legere’s Facebook page. because I will be checking and I’m sorry to say but you can’t win if you haven’t given ‘er.

After that? I’m afraid you’ll just have to watch my news feed on Facebook to see how you can actually win these things. What, and you thought this was going to be easy? Clearly you don’t know me at all5.

 

I’m going to leave you with some details about the block party:
DATE: Saturday, August 13, 2011
TIME: 8pm-midnight
LOCATION: 525 King Street West (West side of Starbucks, South side of King street)

(The party will be for 600 people, entrance is subject to capacity. Now, anyone of legal drinking age or older can RSVP to get on the guest list – all you have to do is go to Stella Artois Legere’s Facebook page. If you’ve already RSVP’d, no need to enter6 but feel free to anyway).

Footnotes:
  1. so you know, on twitter[]
  2. the light taste of the beer helps too[]
  3. if I’m going to base my expectations on the secret subway party and the awesomeness of that event[]
  4. I’d explain why but I’m sure you understand[]
  5. I don’t blame you, I’m pretty introverted[]
  6. or even add me to Facebook right?[]

Keeping hope


The above is a cute movie I found when I went on flickr and searched for the tag “Hope”.

I am almost 30 years old and I never thought I was one of those people who let the numbers of their age affect their outlook on life but I suppose that’s one of the last1 naive sort of things that you think when you simply haven’t realised any better yet.

Some people who may be reading this and know exactly what I’m talking about will nod in understanding and some who haven’t experienced this2 will be confused and for that I apologise because I’m not going to elaborate on this right now.

What I want to talk about is dating; more specifically: sex and dating. Why is it SO difficult for us to be honest about what we want? Why is it so difficult for us to be more open-minded when we finally hear the truth from someone?

My heart hurts right now because some very dear friends of mine have gotten hurt recently; regardless of whether the hurter3 intended to be dismissive of the hurtee’s4 feelings or not – a sudden change that causes the hurt doesn’t make the hurting any easier to deal with.

Almost two months ago, I decided that I was done with the lifestyle that I had been keeping: casual, distant and unattached5; I decided I wanted to try being in a serious relationship again. I guess in a way, I decided that enough time had passed since I broke someone’s heart and that my heart had been tricked by someone else. I thought I was ready.

Naturally my focus shifted to other things a little more: exercise, eating right, work, my passions, friends, family… and I haven’t really been dating. And the recent news of my friends getting hurt has made me realise just how much I have been hoping6 that this date that I have tonight is somehow going to be the one I’ve been waiting for.

What a dork. That certainly snapped me out of that! However, it also got me thinking about my past relationships and the hurt I’ve experienced in the past. I wondered why it is that I’ve been able to keep hope in love. I don’t have an answer yet. But I did want to ask everyone out there…

Do you still believe in love?

Footnotes:
  1. perhaps?[]
  2. regardless of what age you may be[]
  3. let’s pretend that’s a real word[]
  4. again with the pretending[]
  5. yet somehow never really alone[]
  6. despite convincing myself that I wasn’t hoping[]

Joanna Haughton: one of the hardest working women I know

She writes everyday, takes care of a handful of a baby girl, keeps a wonderful home for her rock star1 husband and manages to look amazing the entire time. Joanna Haughton is an actress, tv hostess and martial artist. I met her through Victoria Murdoch2 and am so glad I have her in my life.

She started writing her blog, Moda Mama, not long after she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl. She recently finished an 85 dress challenge, where3 she had to wear a different dress for 85 days without repeating one. It was partially a way to try to see what she could get rid of from her closet and also a challenge to herself to put together different looks.

I’ve been meaning to write about her since she started the 85 dress challenge but there has been a lot going on in life that kept me from writing on this blog4. If you like fashion delivered by a quirky but amazing sense of humour, visit Moda Mama and get hooked.

Footnotes:
  1. tee hee[]
  2. who is another one who falls into the category of ‘hardest working women I know’[]
  3. just in case it wasn’t clear[]
  4. at all[]