Thanks for being an interesting one, 2016

My view while brushing up on my skiing skills last January

This time last year I was fighting to keep a love that I was losing. I think it’s amusing to look back at the situation, because I was fighting so hard and of course it did nothing because: I was the only one left fighting. I just hope that the next time that happens, I stop fighting sooner so I can save myself the time. I’ve spent the last four months of the year off of online dating platforms and also not actively seeking to date1. It has been extremely rewarding to say the least2.

Stunning views in Pemberton, BC

This Christmas season, as the entire world welled up with sentimental, and loving feelings it was really tempting to feel sad about the things I still miss. Except I have so much to be grateful for in my life right now that I’d be foolish to give in permanently. I’ve allowed myself small moments of sadness, but just enough that allows me to appreciate all that I do have.

I’m not going to pretend I’m completely healed though. I have a long way to go, but at least it’s gotten easier to see, and remain on the bright side. I’ve been listening to The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Douglas Carlton Abrams and it’s the most perfect thing to listen to around this time of year, but I’m sure it would be great at any time.

When depression is something you’re susceptible to, it’s so far too easy to become angry at the world; to become someone quick to anger, and to become afflicted by that cynicism that every city-dweller is so prone/accustomed to. I hate being that way. I was there though: Someone’s bag on the subway accidentally touched my leg and that person is an asshole; someone didn’t respond to my text message for two days and that person is an asshole3.

I had actually downloaded the book in September, but I had to wait until I finished a few other books before I could listen to it. What karmic timing that I was able to start it last week. My favourite lessons are:

Be mischievous. Don’t take life too seriously; don’t be afraid to make jokes and to have fun with life.

Let suffering shape you. There are always going to be bad times; be prepared for it, don’t escape it and allow it to teach you the life lessons it is meant to teach you. Be graceful in spite of suffering, but don’t judge yourself for the times when you aren’t able to be. Just strive to be better next time. So much of what causes heartache is when you try hard to change the way things are, rather than just accepting them as they are.

Fear has a purpose. If something terrifies you, take the time to figure out what that fear is trying to teach you. Sometimes it’s only purpose is to show you what you want most of all, and sometimes that fear is trying to show you areas in which you still need to grow.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”.

Minimizing worry is a worthwhile exercise. Stress and Anxiety are a part of life, and can’t be avoided. Something is always going to happen to cause stress, anxiety or worry. It takes training, but it is possible. There isn’t really an easy answer to make it happen either. You have to find what works for you but I would suggest reading or listening to audiobooks such as The Book of Joy or The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck might be a good place to start.

Prioritize Rest. Whether you just need 10 minutes of absolute quiet or 10 hours of sleep, or a good 3 hours at the gym – whatever you need to feel ‘right’. It’s easier to maintain your calm, and not over react to what life throws at you when you’re in a good head space.

Joy and Sorrow are tied together, and the less you try to separate them the easier it will be to see the importance of both in maintaining happiness and joy.

By far, my absolute favourite lesson from the book, and one that continually comes up as they carry on:

Be compassionate. Make it the focus of your life. Spend minutes, even hours a day figuring out how you can be better at being compassionate every day. Practice it so it becomes like breathing. It doesn’t matter whether other people will be doing the same – that isn’t your burden to carry. But MOST IMPORTANTLY: Be compassionate with yourself. Allow yourself to get angry, allow yourself to feel all the things – both positive and negative. What matters are your actions. Remain positive in your actions, and you can help spread joy and compassion.

It’s been great feeling like I can trust the universe again. It’s been great feeling like I can trust people again. What i am really enjoying is the feeling that I can trust myself to make the right choices, and behave in a way that I can be proud of. I’m also enjoying the fact that I don’t beat myself up too much when I don’t behave in a way that I can be proud of, because I know that I’ll behave in a way that at the very least attempts to make up for it. I know I’m not perfect, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stop trying and it doesn’t mean I should give up when I fail either.

I know we’re all still trying to figure things out, and I think that’s the most important thing to remember. No one has all the answers and when someone does something that doesn’t make sense or seems to be coming from a negative place – give them the benefit of the doubt. Rather than acting as if you are sure their actions are rooted in the negative, assume the best, and give them a chance to explain. I know it can seem like the world is inherently evil because of what we hear in the news but believe anyway damn it. Just fucking do it.

🙂 Or don’t. I’m not a cop.

In no particular order, my 2016 recapped in pictures:

  1. for the first time in my life since I’ve known anything about dating and love[]
  2. funny though that I haven’t been ‘alone’ in that time… the difference is that I haven’t been actively seeking anything[]
  3. for the sake of argument, let’s say they had a legitimate reason for not responding[]

The one with all the questions

IMG_5856When will I learn?
When will I stop beating myself up?
Why can’t I stop?
How do I stop?
When will it stop?

How can I make this day better?
How can I make someone’s day?
Do I make the people I love happy?
How can I make the people I love happy?
Where does this guilt come from?
Did I make the right choice?
Will it be the end of the world if it wasn’t?
Where will I be this time next year?
Will I still feel this way?
How do I feel?
Do i like the way I feel?
What can I do about it?
Who can I talk to about it?
Am I proud of myself?
Are my loved ones proud of me?
How can I be someone worthwhile?
Can I do more?
Can I do better?
Can I be better?

Did I blow out the candle in the kitchen?
Did I pay my phone bill?
Did I text my parents this weekend?
Did I respond to everyone who texted me?
Did I return the phone calls I needed to?

Will I ever find zen again?

[This isn’t even half of what goes through my head sometimes. I am not ashamed. I am who I am; it is all I can ever be].

When change hurts

It has been a journey to say the least. The last few months have been a wonderful whirlwind of ups, downs and important lessons and realizations. I think the one lesson that I didn’t expect to learn after all this is that despite being able to adapt to my surroundings extremely well -how much my bearings are affected if I don’t have a proper place to sleep.

For the last three months I have been sleeping on my Ikea love-seat because I couldn’t sleep on my bed1 until three nights ago. Depending on what way you look at it, you could say it cost me a lot but I don’t think placing blame on circumstance does me any good so it just is what it was: a learning experience. Heck, it didn’t kill me right?

30 years. As of some time in the late evening on November 7th, the cells and whatever spirit that make up this girl right here would have been alive for 30 years. I’ll admit there is a part of me that feels like a bit of a disappointment but then there’s another part of me that knows that my life is only just beginning so long as I allow myself the chance at said beginning.

Live each day as if it were your last. Someone great said that to me recently as we were walking the 6.5kms to my new home2 at 4am. By the way, don’t let the knowledge of this act taint your image of bohunkCA; he was the perfect jerk as always – and yes ladies, he was totally topless the whole way there 😉

I want to make an art out of living life, where I find joy in every little moment of every day – regardless of what is going on at the time. Growing up, I had never really paid much attention to the things that really made my heart soar. I knew the obvious things like music3, food, love, and sex… all those self-indulgent sort of things. But now I’m paying more attention to how happy it makes me to be around people like my family and closest friends4.

I know I have lot of work to do up ahead of me but I do think I am up to the task. It feels strange to say that I have never really felt this ready before but I guess I’m just done being afraid. I’m still in the process of getting my life back but I have no doubt that whatever is coming next is going to be amazing. It’s been amazing even when it should have been horrible so how could it not?!

I want to know though: did you love or hate turning 30?

  1. I really don’t want to say it, don’t make me say it: I had bed bugs[]
  2. it was so old school I couldn’t resist but agree to walk home with him[]
  3. specifically singing[]
  4. the ones who have stuck by me no matter what fucked up shit I’ve done – you know who you are[]

Uncertainty, muddled beliefs and the benefits of doubt

I have always maintained that everyone deserves love1 but I am suddenly finding myself leaning towards the cynical side of life philosophy these days. It’s unnerving but also difficult to shake. I’ve had a lot of bad shit happen to me2 but I have always been able to bounce back into hope. Hope that things will always get better; hope that things always work out for a reason; hope that if you want something bad enough you’ll get it; hope that everyone deserves the best3.

Cynics4 would call me naive in thinking all that but all the ‘pain’ I’ve experienced in my life has been accompanied by amazing life lessons, experiences and memories that I would not trade for anything -no, not even a happy ending. Why? Because who’s to say what happy ending that would have been, and who’s to say it would have actually lasted? I almost had my so-called happy ending, at least according to some, but it didn’t happen because it wasn’t right for me.

Hope would have me believe that the reason it didn’t happen was precisely because it wasn’t right for me; this other side that is creeping into my life philosophy is telling me that I wouldn’t know because it didn’t happen -except that I do know. And so the battle goes. This weekend I witnessed5 some ridiculous behaviour by people. I say people because women are every bit as guilty of bullshit as women are. Yes, I include myself in this. It’s because we don’t know what we want; and if we do know what we want there’s no guarantee that what we want will remain the same for any given length of time.

And to top it off for the most part we are ashamed to admit that we don’t know what we want. Maybe we’re not ashamed; maybe we’re unsure of how to express it; maybe we’re unsure of how it will be received; maybe we don’t even realize that we’re doing someone else’s head in; maybe, maybe, maybe… whatever the reason the truth is that when it comes to emotions and/or sexuality6 our brains don’t function quite the same.

Going back to said bullshit, I should probably elaborate for curiousity’s sake but that’s just not how this goes so you’ll have to take my word for it and understand that the main thing is that there was disrespect displayed7 displayed in several unrelated scenarios that has compounded and made me question my entire belief system. Maybe I’m speaking too soon8 but if this keeps up I may just become a cynic.

I want to try. I want to be stronger than that; I don’t want to give in to the dark side but right now I just don’t think I have enough fight left in me.

I don’t have any questions today9.

  1. don’t worry I still do – mostly[]
  2. once again I say: hence the name fragileheart[]
  3. and gets it[]
  4. they call themselves realistic; side note part two: I’m starting to believe them[]
  5. and unfortunately was party to[]
  6. as much as we try to convince ourselves, these are not mutually exclusive – try to argue with me all you want you ain’t convincing this chickidee[]
  7. and that I am, regrettably, not innocent[]
  8. and heavens-to-Betsy I freakin’ hope so[]
  9. at least not ones I care to ask here[]