Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Walking Dead

As I walked home from class tonight, with my third "A" project of the past week in my bag, I felt a little happy, a little proud, but mostly like a zombie. This is the worst week of our quarter at the job, with the whole marketing leadership team flying in from all over the country, 2 solid days of meetings, and a cross-country video conference for all of marketing. No wonder these weeks give me panic attacks.

Had I not missed so much school/work from my 6 week bout of bronchitis, I would have stayed home and chilled out tonight, but no can do. I thought about skipping our little team dinner on Thursday night (because of course I have class tomorrow, so Wednesday is out as a chill-out evening), but we always get private dining rooms in fabulous restaurants with copious amounts of yummy wine, so this is definitely one of the perks of the quarterly week from hell. Plus, four of our little group of 12 have birthdays this week, including Jersey Shore, so I imagine if I skip our celebratory dinner, I'll be canned.

And I wouldn't want to skip out anyways. We have a great group. One of the business development guys who we invited to present at our last meeting commented on how strange it was to walk into a meeting room where everyone was greeting each other with a hug and a kiss (one of our guys is French). Imagine if that were normal in the corporate world...people might just be a little less jaded.

Of course to top it all off, there's Christmas market in the Distillery these next 2 weeks, which I hear is insane, so I'll be working my ass off at the restaurant instead of the usual easy 6 or 7 hours on a Saturday. Christmas Market is non-negotiable. If I survive this week it will be a miracle. (I'm still sick by the way. It's possible I'm already a zombie.) Upon making it to Sunday, I have girls day at the spa to look forward to - yay!

Feeling much better regardless of all that, I've added nightly baths and morning yoga to my daily routine and it seems to be helping. Keeping the panic attacks down. I think if everyone was able to have a hot bath every night and do yoga every morning we could solve most of the world's problems.

On another note, realizing that Communications is more of a passion for me than marketing, my amazing manager has asked our Comms Director to let me in a little bit, shadow some of their people, get involved in a few projects with them as opposed to just the CMO projects I work on now. And she said yes. So that's a little victory. Not sure how I'll find time for it, do zombies need to sleep? If so, I'd rather continue in my course to-date as a vampire.

I also ran into Adam today. I swear I can feel him walking down the street before we ever see each other. I was running around in the freezing cold with no coat (not smart for bronchitis-girl) desperately looking for a bakery that sells birthday cakes so I could get one for Jersey Shore. (All the cake shops in Toronto have been turned into cupcake shops, no joke.) It was ok. Adam and I now, it is what it is. I was happy with a hi and a smile. We've come a long way.

My little brother is turning 25 tomorrow. He's getting married in the summer. Such a sweet guy. Happy Birthday Matty! Love you.

So those are my random thoughts for Tuesday night. Imagine how many times in the past week I could have written that paper if I'd just stay off the internet. All in all, good day, crazy week, fun times. Life really is what you make it. It's been hard to feel optomistic being so sick, although I continue to believe I thrive on the insanity. But...if you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything! So take your vitamins, get enough sleep, quit smoking.

Sullivan out.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Chat Noir

Ok. I've been holding off on blogging about my cat, because I don't want to be that crazy cat lady girl. But something's wrong.

As cuddly as she is, she's never been a lap cat. Until recently. She always wants to be on my lap now. She cries for her treat food all the time when she used to be ok with it being a "treat", drives me insane. My friend Krista had a dream about her the other night and texted me in the morning "How's Cat?". Ominous.

I swear to...hmmm. I almost wrote God. Nope. Um, the Universe? If my cat dies I will lose it. I get it, she's very old, it might happen. But not yet. Please.

My old friend and roomate Monique, thought the Cat was plotting to kill us. Just because she used to chew through our phone cords. (Yes, phones used to have cords. I am very old.) Monique is slightly paranoid. She usually hates men (the Cat not Monique), but that's probably just because she got pulled into being married to Travis with me, and he hated her. And me, apparently.(Exceptions to the rule of who Cat hates being my boyfriend from last summer, Terry, the Cat Whisperer. And of course, Steve. *Footnote* to the men I've dated: you're wondering why some guys get actual names and you were always a nickname? You have to stick around long enough to earn it.)

I call her "Chat Noir" and speak to her mostly in French, but sometimes in Vietnamese. She's a very talented Cat.

Ok, so you're probably wondering why the Cat doesn't have a name. Ever seen Breakfast at Tiffany's? She's a lost girl who decides she'll give the Cat a name once she settles down. Well, I did and I still never named the Cat. I guess, deep down inside, I knew it wouldn't stick. So. In the end, she's the only one who's been here with me through everything. Through being single and married, and alone again. But never completely alone, because I have her. So please don't die.

The Dark Side

If you were lucky enough to grow up when Star Wars was big, you might remember drinking ginger ale and eating popcorn while watching one of the best movies ever. The problem with Star Wars though, is that there are only two sides.

Life, as it turns out, is much more complicated than that. It's not Deathstar vs. Jedi. It's not black and white, good and bad, dark and light. As it turns out, most of us have a dark side. Stuart called me yesterday (I still (heart) him), he knew me when I was dark. My new boss, Jersey, calls me "Sunshine". Both of them know the truth.

Like the Universe, most of us are made up of both elements. The darkness and the sunlight. Try as we may, to be happy and upbeat and wonderful all the time, that's impossible. We can pretend the unpretty places don't exist, and never show them to anyone. But...diamonds come from coal, don't they?

So my current line of thought on this is maybe we should embrace the darkness, after all, it's part of who we are, isn't it? Accepting and embracing the dark side, means we are even more at peace in the sunlight. We're not ignoring or pretending the other side of life doesn't exist.

The real challenge here is to find people who won't run away when you show that to them. Because to be completely honest means to expose that side, along with the good side. Most of us, are more sun than dark. Will you love the imperfect person with the dark side? We're worth it, don't run away.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

It's a Beautiful Day

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot

I took the day off. Planned it about a week ago, but it turned out just perfectly - it's a beautiful, sunny, warm day in Toronto. I have BIG plans for today. Got my teeth cleaned. That's a little strange now that I've become good friends with Lindsay, the dental hygenist. Nothing like a good gossip catch up with your friends hands in your mouth scraping guck off your teeth. Life is so funny sometimes.

I went shopping in Yorkville. Now I'm listening to Taylor Swift, burning candles, getting geared up to take a bubble bath. Also on the agenda: yoga, write a paper for school tonight, clean my apartment. I might not get around to the last one. That's the best thing about living alone, it really doesn't matter all that much if your place is a mess. :)

So I've been a little stuck lately, and am working on turning things around. Unsticking means asking the right questions. So what can I cut out to make life less stressful? It's hard to find the right balance between working hard and not going too far. I saw a naturopath yesterday, as, like a lot of people right now, I've let my stress level get out of hand. Now, I've got crazy high blood pressure to compliment the insomnia and constant panice attacks. She's concerned.

The amount of tasks we juggle between career, education, friends, family, diet, exercise...it's hard to prioritize. Obviously work is a non-negotiable. Perhaps I should find a less stressful job. But I love my job. And it's a fabulous opportunity for growth. So, the hours and the stress are part of that package. On the other hand, I work with some amazing people right now, you don't always find that out there. So we'll stick with the job for now. Just to put it out into the Universe though - corporate is really not my dream. Ideally, I'd like to be a writer with my own flower shop. Yup, a writer/florist (I'm actually quite talented at floral arrangment). I'd also like to have a job someday where I can wear yoga pants and tshirts. But that's for when I grow up.

What about school? I might cut down to one course next term instead of the two I've been taking the last two terms. But whether this takes me a couple of years or a dozen, I believe this is absolutely essential to my growth and future career asperations. (What you've never seen a florist with a degree in Communications? Don't be crazy.)

So I guess I could cut out my social life, which would include my precious Saturdays spent at my restaurant. Not! It's widely acknowledged by doctors that people with good friends live longer. I recently spent 2 years without any, so I'm already gonna die young. Are you trying to kill me?

So where do we land on this? My new doctor has suggested some diet changes, some supplements, a guided meditation program that I can do when I'm pacing around in the middle of the night that will apparently calm me down and lead me back into some kind of spirituality. Sounds good to me. All I need to do is lower my stress and get back to being healthy so I can handle the chaos. The chaotic life is not the problem here, the problem is how I've been handling it. And allowing it to completely stress me out. According to Jersey Shore, stress kills so I need to be smart here.

Shakespeare said there's a destiny that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may. So if we're brave and honest and hardworking, destiny and the Universe will guide us to where we need to go. I truly believe that. So I'm not worried.

In the meantime, I scored a $55 bottle of bubble bath today. Not being a princess or a rock star, I've never had one of those. Got it on sale at Anthropologie for $10. It smells like heaven. And I like my baths scalding hot. So I gotta go. I hope everyone I love out there is having a fabulous day. How could you not? It's beautiful out there.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sad, Beautiful, Tragic

So Friday I was a bit down. I think it's just a combination of being sick forever, overtired, overworked. I just needed a weekend like this one.

Hanging out with the Cat, going to work at the restaurant, catching up with Tara, going to the downstairs bar, Betty's...I made a conscious decision not to do any homework, not to read my work emails. Just disconnect. It will all be there on Monday, waiting to get done. In the meantime, I made a lasagna, bought myself flowers and saw my friends.

I brought Julie flowers too yesterday. Sometimes, tiny little things can make a girl so happy. Like a lot of people in my life now, she'll probably never realize how absolutely essential she has been in my recovery. Ok, as I typed that, I knew it was the right word. Recovery. I'm currently in repair. But I'm getting there.

There are these people out there, like Chris' family, and Julie, and my "new" friends, who will pick up a broken girl and love her for who she is. Which is crazy, because the people who knew me my whole life, when I tried so hard and worked so hard to be perfect, will walk away from you overnight, and never talk to you again, just because someone else told them to. And I was so much "better" then than I am now.

I'll probably never understand it, and that's ok. That's what they need to do. I'm just happy I don't have to be one of them anymore. And I pledge to always, always, appreciate the people who are here now. And try my best to get over my issues and accept that they love me and not expect them to leave. I still believe, deep down inside, that everyone is going to leave. I've become really good at being alone. But that's my own fault.

In my last post, when I talked about never feeling anything, I know that's because if I felt anything, I'd have to admit that I love people again. And if I decided to love anyone, I might get hurt. And I'm not being self-indulgent or anything, but I've had my heart broken so badly, by do many people, I don't think I could survive anymore heartbreak. But the survival mode I'm living in just doesn't make me happy enough. Because I can't live this way. It's not the way this sad, beautiful, tragic girl is programmed.

So I'm going to change. Starting with yesterday, with Tara, Julie, Hilda, Jay, Krista. It was a great day. I am very, very, very lucky. And it's a beautiful, sunny day in Toronto. It feels like hope.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Girl, Interrupted

Another Friday night blog. I worked from home this afternoon, after going to the doctor and finding out I have bronchitis. No wonder I can't get better. Even after 5 weeks.

Yet, I soldier on. Going out with Red tonight, haven't seen her in awhile. It's Adam's birthday, so I need to suppress the urge to stay home and cry alone. I might cry tonight, but at least not alone. (To be honest, I did cry already tonight while watching the Walking Dead. Usually I watch all my shows at my ex's place, but I missed TV night last weekend and had to catch up.)

So we're not living in a post-Apocalyptic zombie-infested world (yet). But in some ways, I am. I don't fight zombies, but I fight ghosts of my past life. I think I'd prefer zombies. At least then it's not personal, they just want to eat your brain. And you can kill them. :)

Been feeling a little sad lately. Not sorry for myself or anything, life is great. I'm a lucky girl and I know that. I have great people who somehow have decided to love me.

For the longest time, in my own personal life interruption, the fight was all about survival. So much so, that I just don't know what matters now. I have a great job and a boss who loves me. That makes me happy. I like my volunteer work. I like school. I like my friends. I really can't think of anything that's missing.

But sometimes I wish, like in the movie, they would just take the girl who tried to kill herself and lock her up for a year or so until she had a chance to figure things out. I've put so much effort into rebuilding a life, a real life with everything I want in it, and I have it now. But it feels weird. It doesn't fit. It's by turns exciting, scary, lovely, fun...almost like an amusement park. I hate amusement parks. I like the ordinary. But I can't go back.

So we'll stay the course. And hope that someday we'll feel the way we used to. The passion and excitement and feeling. That's my problem. I don't feel anything anymore. Hopefully it's just a 3.5 year interruption. And it will come back. It was such a big part of who I always was, I miss that part of me. Come back.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Twilight

Either I've got my second wind tonight, or I've become a vampire. Last night I was up until sometime around midnight working on a 10 minute oral presentation I had to give in class tonight. I finally went to bed and slept until about 3:30 am. Then...I was up. Drank a lot of coffee and went to work today, wrote a list of my must-do to-dos, it was 15 items. I accomplished about 6 of them between 8:30 am and 6 pm. Damn big corporations and their incessant need for meetings. I could get so much more work done if I didn't have to go to so many meetings.

But I didn't really even make a dent in my list and that's what I was stressing about last night. That, and the presentation tonight, and the two papers I have due tomorrow. I've decided to rebel against them and go to bed instead. I'm tired. Working all the time, carrying an A average...the presentation went well though, and I even got a laugh out of the audience when the Prof played back the recording and asked me what I thought of it, and I said I thought my hair looked fabulous.

Joking aside, I might take a break from school this next term. I don't sleep anymore, I'm back on the panic attacks, my blood pressure is extremely elevated...and I'm too young to have a heart attack. And I've been sick for over a month now. And it's getting cold. Do I really want to be walking to Ryerson through the snow and the slush for the January-April months? I took a different route home from school tonight, because the homeless people are getting hostile. Better to be safe then sorry. Maybe it's because they are cold.

I had dinner with Chris' parents and Temperance on Sunday night. She wanted me to stay and play, but I said I had to get home to finish my homework. She had a big project due and so did I (hers was on Tigers) so I said, you'll have to let me know how it goes and she took my hand and said, you'll have to let me know how yours goes. I looked at her. She's 9. And here we are.

Something I realized on Sunday, as I was going to see them, after the work week, after the school projects, after the restaurant job, after seeing a few of my girlfriends is...this is my life now. It's become full-sized, it takes turns being stressful and busy and happy and fun. I have more than enough friends. I can't go to the bar downstairs from my apartment without meeting some cute guy who wants to buy me drinks and hang out all evening. (I secretly think my friend Raquel who owns it is using me as a marketing technique. Everytime she invites me to come down for a glass of wine, there's always, magically some really cute guy who wants to buy me drinks. I'm either a marketing ploy or she's trying to set me up...)

This life, my life, still feels weird, almost like trying on something you like, and it looks ok on you, but it doesn't quite fit and you're not sure why. Or a new haircut that's so dramatically different you sometimes don't recognize yourself when you walk past a mirror until you get used to it.(Sidepoint: I'm still not really used to my bangs. I think I might grow them out.)

I went through a ton of old stuff the other day looking for the appraisal on my wedding rings (after I put my dress up for sale, I thought why not?). I went through boxes and boxes of letters, cards, pictures of my old life. It wasn't better or worse than this one, it was just very, very different. Those people though, whatever has happened since I left, loved me in their own strange way. And I still love them. Especially Travis, I'm dying a little on the inside right now, but I wish him every happiness. I hope he finds what he is looking for in his new marriage.

And I hope someday, somehow, I can finally sleep.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

My blackbirds are bluebirds now

I know I say this a lot lately, but I'm exhausted. Working a full day on the weekend is slightly brutal after the week I just had. I know, however, I won't be able to give up my restaurant job addiction, because I love it. Where else in the world can I walk into a place at 10 am on a Saturday and get 4 consecutive hugs? It's a slightly disfuncitonal little family of people you love, you can tell anything to and you can occasionally have a great fight with over who sat who were and whose table is that anyways. I love opening in the morning, four of five of you in sweatpants, drinking coffee, listening to Michael Jackson while getting the place in shape for open.

I love all my 20-something year old little sisters, my gay boys and especially our manager, Julie. She's awesome. Honest, smart, always interested in how school is going, ready to listen to your boy problems and give you a hug. Most of the time, we need it.

There are so many amazing people in the world, and things are so much more interesting being able to be free to bring whoever you like into your life. I feel like I've finally hit the right balance in my Universe, between the job, the school, the volunteer work, the friends, the second job. It all fills some part of a need. I read once that the more aspects that make up your life, the less threatened your happiness is if one of them goes away. I can attest to that being completely accurate. When I was a JW, that was my entire identity, the only people I knew, the only thing that mattered. When it went away, or rather, I walked away, I was lost and alone. Not so much anymore.

Now, if I lost my job, or the boy I like decides he likes someone else, or a friend stops calling, or all 6,000 people stop reading this blog...I'll be disappointed, no doubt. But nothing in my life now that goes away will ever have the power to completely destroy me like the j-dubs did. Because all those things are just slices of life now, not the whole pie.

I know I still need to work a bit on getting things a little better balanced out. Everyone I meet who I explain my life to thinks I'm insane. Probably heading for a burnout again if I don't cut back a bit and take a little more time to relax. But I'll figure it out. We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world, and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement. And then, if we're lucky, success.

Interestingly, I found this song on the internet when I got home from work: (click the link)

My blackbirds are bluebirds now

Blackbirds to Bluebirds? Is it possible? Yes. Lately, I believe that more and more. I think I'm probably partway there already. And now, it's Saturday night. Time to get ready to go see the girls and the gays. I have to spend all day tomorrow doing homework, so might as well have a little fun first. I should probably stay home and go to bed instead, but that's not gonna happen. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Politics & Religion

Allow me to vent for just one moment, before I tell you what an awesome day it was today. Since when have Canadians become so interested in American politics? I can't get over how 99% of the past 24 hours of Facebook has been all about the election. From my experience, most Canadians don't even care about Canadian politics. Now, all of sudden, it's all about Obama.

Y'all feel strongly about him winning. But why? Don't get me wrong, I'd vote for him too. Cause he's cool, he's funny, his wife is a snappy dresser. But I don't know anything about his values, what he's accomplished in the last 4 years or hopes to in the next 4. (Except for the occasional rant from my sweet friend, The American. He proudly voted for Romney.)

Actually, I think most of the reason I'd vote for Obama is that Romney is a *(cult-that-shall-remain-nameless)* and I'm very anti-cult now. Can't be helped, that's just the way it is! Although, what I've learned over the past year and a half is, even though I don't go to church, I'm still a church girl at heart. I'm happier living closer to the safe zone than living on the edge. And that's ok.

Second rant of the night: Didn't we just start TV season? Why are all the shows on a 3 week hiatus? What's a girl going to do if she desperately needs a 22 minute study break? Write on her blog, apparently.

Tonight, much like last night, I dragged my tired ass off to school, after a long day at work, not wanting to go there at all. And, like last night at school and Monday night volunteering, I walked home feeling great. Nike is right, you know. "Just do it." If just doing it is, in fact, doing the right thing, you won't regret it. I actually love school almost as much as I love being back into volunteer work, I just wish I was 20 and that was the only thing I had to do in life, school and homework, instead of work and the restaurant and school and homework. I tried to get this sweet 20 year old Scottish boy to switch assignments with me the other night, since his is scheduled for the week after mine. He was like, I'm so slammed right now. I thought, Really? What do you do? Oh you go to school. I also do that. And work 60-70 hours a week. And volunteer. Oh well. That's not his fault. He's just a sweet kid with a cool accent, I'll find some way to bring it next Tuesday in class.

So from the list of projects I have due over the next month, I am definitely going underground from the social scene and doing nothing but studying until mid-December. But it's ok because I love it. Tonight, much like last night but in a different class, we got stuck with another group assignment. I sighed. The only 20 year old friends I have are at the restaurant. But, once again, I got a look from the girl sitting across from me and found a partner. Very cool girl. Strangest thing - she's friends with two of the girls from Pure that I know. Out of everyone in the class, it was an odd coincidence.

I love the professor too, he's been genuinely concerned for me as I lived through the cold from hell, and has been completely understanding as I've fallen behind on assignments and missed classes.

And I was happy at the real job today. Jersey Shore has finally, finally made it out of Jersey after a terrible bout with a Hurricane. I'm happy he's back. He's sick, probably a by-product of terrible weather and no water, electricity or heat for the last week and a half.

Between what he's been through recently and walking home from school, through a neighbourhood of hookers, homeless people and drug addicts, I feel very grateful. To have a lovely roof over my head, a job that I love, being able to go to school, have good friends, a loving family and all the opportunities ahead of me in life right now. And that I can come home, light candles and have a hot bath. Finally, I'm happy that I make it home from school alive twice a week. A homeless man actually tried to attack me the other night on the way back from class (not cool dude), but Toronto is essentially good at the heart of it, and I am fine.

Exhausted though, time for bed. If I can make it to yoga this week, I'll be having the best week ever. Nameste.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Is it the weekend yet?

I am exhausted. And it's only Tuesday, that's not very reassuring. (Is it Tuesday? I'm not even sure about that.)

It's funny how sometimes, in a very busy life, the things you feel like blowing off end up making you the happiest. I was tired after work last night, but I volunteer on Monday nights. It was hard leaving my apartment, to go out in the cold, to volunteer. But I walked home feeling so, so, so much better. As usual, this gig is bringing me so much more than I am bringing to it.

Tonight, same thing. Came home from work exhausted (that's my fault and I'll get to that), and I did NOT want to go to class. But I did. It was a strange experience. For this Communications program, one of the classes I'm taking (and thoroughly enjoying) is in public speaking. So tonight, the teacher put us in groups for an assignment, we had 45 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to speak. I haven't felt this way in forever, but when he told us to make our own groups, I panicked. I felt like that kid who is going to get picked last for a team in elementary school. I'm so much older than most of these people and I don't really know any of them.

It's hilarious how easily that childhood insecurity can flare up. To my relief, the cute girl sitting across from me gave me the look and I knew I was ok. She's good too, I've seen her present in the past. We ended up in a group of 5 and actually had to turn extra people away. The assignments went well, our professor even said we were the best group he's seen in the past 5 years. Not too shabby.

The other thing I did last night, not as responsible. I went to a party (damn Linnea's 3 day birthday extravaganza!). It's been fun and yes she should definitely celebrate turning 21. Only happens once after all, unlike all the times I've turned 29. Actually, it seems like almost everyone I know has been having a birthday lately. So many Libras and Scorpios out there! Or maybe that's just who I attract.

It's funny. With my new warm winter coat, a few good friends and 6,000 people reading this blog, I have almost everything I've ever wanted. And I'm only a year and a half out of the cult. I'm not a published author yet and I haven't married George Clooney, but we know these things will come. I thought to myself as I walked to class this evening, "I'm too old for this shit". So I think, for the rest of the week, I'll just lay low. I have homework to do after all and I still need to clean up an apartment full of balloons and streamers. But give me a few days to get my strength back and who know what next weekend will bring. :)