Balancing act

Peek-a-boo

Balancing is tough. It’s tough to find a balance between work and life. It’s tough to find a balance between time you spend with friends versus family versus your significant other. It’s tough to find a balance between downtime and time spent being social. I haven’t spent a lot of time by myself since I moved out of my parents place last summer1. And in fact, I’m pretty sure I had not spent a lot of time by myself since I came back from living in Dublin.

I haven’t had much time to sit down and figure out why that is2, which means I haven’t really had time to figure out exactly how I feel about it. I finally went camping this year and the photo above was taken on our last morning at Silent Lake;  I was disappointed with camping for so many reasons3, but the most important was that I did not get to spend time with nature4 as I so long to do right now.

I write. I like to write anyway, but a lot of my writing requires the quiet of birds chirping or only the wind whisper-howling through the rustle of leaves. But it’s difficult to get in that mindset when I barely have time to put away laundry. But I have no plans on stopping the way life has been pushing me to live; no, I’m determined to live life this way and still find my writing mind with less down time.

After all, what good would I be if I needed to hole myself out in the woods every time I wanted to write something heartfelt? I haven’t shared my poetry on the blog since I removed it from my portfolio5 but I’m thinking maybe enough time has passed that I can do that again6. I shall keep trying to find a way to have balance in my life, and if I should discover some secret to it – I promise to tell you.

How you find balance in your life?

Footnotes:
  1. and I really kind of miss it[]
  2. it’s a cycle[]
  3. we didn’t rough it as much as I was hoping to[]
  4. and myself; my thoughts[]
  5. which used to be listed on this main domain[]
  6. not right now of course, soon…[]

Hindsight is 20/20

As I was catching up on some blogs, something that Rachel said a little while ago really made me realise just how early on I1 should have realised that it wasn’t going to work or that things were starting to fail. Scheduling a weekly skype night seems to make so much sense right now. How did either of us expect that our love would really survive the long distance for such a long time without making each other an actual priority? Simply ‘knowing’ that the other was a priority without really making the effort to do something as simple as scheduling a night to talk and catch up, is just asking for trouble.

Not that it was the single cause but it certainly would have been a good starting point. After that, maybe facing the fear of pissing each other off and fighting would have been another good step. Though that’s a difficult one; we started off fighting. I thought he hated me because his friends hated me. And then there were trust issues… so we started by fighting and it was understandable that neither of us wanted to fight over the long distance.

I know this could be an unhealthy exercise… looking back on why it fell apart2 and what could have saved it. But I think it’s a necessary exercise, so long as I put it away after this. And if I’m being honest? I don’t remember why I insisted so much that we were meant to be together other than I just ‘knew’. Yes, he made me laugh. But for the most part… me made me feel like shit about myself. He judged me because his friends judged me.  Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t out right abuse me 24/7. He was very sweet to me3. And our interests did align, because I forced it to do so. It wasn’t until I moved to Dublin that he really turned around and started treating me the way I knew he could have treated me all along. I was in heaven.

I was devastated when I had to move back to Toronto, but I was optimistic because of how great everything was going. But even 9 months of a perfect relationship doesn’t just heal the past4. And the rest is history really. At least for now.

Footnotes:
  1. we[]
  2. especially when some would argue that the only reason it fell apart is because I cheated. I won’t argue, but I have to be realistic[]
  3. in private quarters[]
  4. unless the past issues were discussed and the air was cleared – which it wasn’t[]

In the end, only kindness matters

The title of this post comes from lyrics from the song ‘Hands’ by Jewel.

I’ve been reading the Toronto Star’s Acts of Kindness for quite some time. I don’t read it every day but it’s always in the back of my mind. Some stories truly are heartwarming, whereas some stories remind me that people are very… different. Some tell tales of the sheer selflessness of others, where some only indicate to me how much we need to change the way we think.

One of my favourite psychological theories is that of the self-fulfilling prophecy; if we expect people to disappoint us – inevitably they will and alternatively if we expect them to wow us, they have a higher chance of doing so. Of course, simply expecting someone to be a certain way doesn’t guarantee the outcome… I’m not saying that at all.

I will always have a special place in my heart for the Acts of Kindness section of thestar.com but I wish someone would edit the submissions so that comments like ‘restored my faith in humanity’ are eliminated. It depresses me to see such comments because it means that there is someone jaded enough out there who felt the need to point it out that before some good Samaritan returned their $60 at the bank1. I just feel it would have been a better story if there was no negativity attached whatsoever.

But I know I can’t tell someone how to talk, write or feel… I’m just hoping that putting this out there will help people understand that if we all just changed our thinking2 that maybe, just maybe, that’s all we’ll ever be. But you can’t expect… it shouldn’t be viewed as a right that everyone be kind to us.

Do you think if we just have faith in everyone else, and act accordingly ourselves, that the world really would be a better place?

Footnotes:
  1. when they absent-mindedly left it at the ATM[]
  2. that “everyone is evil”, to “everyone is kind”[]

A twitter meet-up tale

This weekend, I got to do one of the things I love to do the most: Drive. I got to drive so much and it didn’t even matter that some of it was in traffic. Late Saturday morning my Mum and I set off for Buffalo, NY to meet up with fellow blogger/tweeter, and comedian Dartanion. I would love to say that the return trip back to Toronto went off without a hitch but sadly, not only did we start off in the wrong direction for about 30-40 mins but we also encountered a huge line at Lewiston bridge! Once we were past the border, we discovered a traffic jam in St. Catherine’s, but we easily avoided it thanks to Dartanion’s trusty Australian GPS1.

As soon as my Dad left with my Mum in tow2, I downed two shots of tequila and got ready for the 80’s party that we were 4 hours late for. Of course, we didn’t leave before downing one more shot of tequila. Once at the party, there weren’t many people left but we made it our own with some dancing and our very own game of twister. Dartanion came out as the winner of the first game but didn’t play again for a shot at the title.

You would think that going to bed at almost 7am would mean that we wouldn’t be able to get up before noon, but apparently one can’t sleep when you have a pounding headache from being hydrated purely by alcohol 3. Once we had breakfast4 and our showers, we headed out to do some touristy things in Toronto. After visiting Casa Loma, the CN tower and a 1 hour harbour tour I showed him my5 beloved Distillery District. We could have gone to another party that I knew about that night, but we wanted to get up early the next day and head down to Niagara for a little bit.

Traffic had other ideas though, and we didn’t get into Niagara Falls until around 12 p.m. which was way later than either of us wanted to get there.  The crowds and $20 parking fee meant that I had to drop him off at a good spot to take photos and drive around until I could find a good place to make a U-turn6. The rainbow bridge treated us better than Lewiston did a couple of nights before and we were eating a late lunch at Chili’s in no time.

Now I know you think this story has come to it’s end but I’m sorry to inform you that it is far from that. On the way back I tried my best to avoid Lewiston but obviously don’t know the US freeways well enough to know that there is no way to do that when you’re on the I-190. Luckily, I was able to exit at R. Moses Parkway before being perma-stuck in a long line to hell… after a scenic drive I arrive at Rainbow bridge where the wait was at least 10 times shorter than at Lewiston.

I managed to hit a bit of the same traffic in St. Catherine’s that we had hit a couple of nights before, but I also managed to take the same detour through the vineyards7 and shaved about 40-50 mins off my travel time. But someone didn’t want me back in Toronto just yet… out of the corner of my eye, I saw her: a lady in the passenger seat of the car to my left was frantically waving her arms in the air. Once I looked over, I realised she was waving at me. She quickly pointed to my rear, driver side tyre and made a gesture to simulate a flat surface. I furrowed my brow and mouthed ‘Thank You’, and quickly turned on my signal to change to the right lane and eventually the shoulder.

After my phone conked out and decided that it didn’t want to reset itself for a whole 20 minutes, I finally got a hold of my Dad and got some basic directions from him. I knew where to find everything: spare tire, jack, crow bar… but I didn’t want to start until I was absolutely sure there wasn’t something I needed to know. Three people stopped: one car just stopped behind me and watched me for a few minutes but must have seen that I was on my phone and so drove off after I waved and smiled at them; one car stopped just ahead of me8: being able to check off “change a tyre” on the proverbial to-do list.

Footnotes:
  1. it wasn’t really Austalian, he was just using the Australian voice[]
  2. he came to pick her up at the apartment[]
  3. so, NOT hydrated[]
  4. and I swept the entire apartment to appease my hangover[]
  5. yes, it’s mine[]
  6. yes, another illegal one — sorry!![]
  7. not literally of course[]
  8. and was actually putting himself in a lot of danger because of where he stopped), and got out to ask me if I needed help but I thanked him for stopping and sent him on his way; the third car that stopped was actually big rig, and the long, blond-haired driver insisted on helping so I let him check to see if I had tightened the bolts enough and remove the jack for me… he seemed to welcome the break he got from the long drive he must have been on.

    I was at my parents’ house 30 minutes later and I have to say that it was actually the perfect end to the weekend of hanging out with a smart cookie, and rediscovering my city ((and what I love so much about it – the harbourfront[]