Sunday, 29 December 2013

After an entire week of listening to myself talk, even I am sick of me. So I thought that today, I'd just share some of the fun facts about the Blackbird blog. 

I like looking at the words people use to find it. This is a snapshot of the past week:

Any combination of Margaux and Blackbird are pretty routine, it's the last two that get me, first of all, "blackbird blog sweetpants". Hmmm. We all know I don't even wear pants from May-October. But maybe sweetpants are a new thing, probably mass produced in Vietnam by Lululemon. If they are, can someone please send me a pair? They sound delicious. 

Secondly, "how to call people to join my cult". Whoever was searching this phrase, I don't think you get what I've been saying on here the past couple of years. Just to clarify, I am definitely ANTI-cult. And I have never written a blog telling you how to call people to join your cult (who calls each other anymore anyways, dude?). Maybe Martha Stewart has some tips on one of her "how-to" pages. Sorry I couldn't be of more help...that's all I've got on that one. 

I also enjoy checking out where y'all are coming from. This week we've had visitors from:

They will only ever give me the top 10 countries at a time, so if I've missed yours, I apologize. Now that I've installed that tool that translates me into every language, I worry that people might not be getting the full picture of what I'm trying to say. I know that the Google translate tool is not the most accurate but I guess it works in a pinch. (That last part of the sentence will definitely not translate well at all...)

I guess in parting (I promised it would be a short one) I just have to say that I wish y'all would comment a little bit more. You can talk about what I'm talking about, you can talk about yourself, whatever you like. It just seems like I have a lot of friends out there all over the place who I haven't met yet. Say "hi". :)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Waxing Poetic

I received another Christmas present last night. I love ALL my presents! I imagine I'm just really easy to shop for because all you have to do is pick up a book or some fancy makeup or a pretty necklace and I'm a happy girl. I am going to put this out there though, because my birthday is coming up next: I really am set now for lipgloss. You can totally put that on the list for next Christmas, I love it, but for now I'm good, probably well into 2014. I'm not sure if this very popular gift this year says something about me, I'll admit I am slightly obsessed with always having pretty lips. 

Thanks to all you lovelies out there, I can now spend the precious few days left of my vacation reading, looking pretty and smelling good. Thank you. :)

So I had dinner last night with my adopted family, lent to me by my most handsome ex of all time. I feel so normal there now it doesn't really matter about the fact that I'm adopted. I have my own spot at the dinner table, I can talk to them about anything and I really do feel more like a kid than a grown-up when they are pouring me juice, knitting me leg warmers, fretting about how much am I working? and dropping me off at the subway at the end of the night with a hug. And it makes my heart feel oh so happy.

Now I know I wax poetic on here a lot. One of my friends actually told me I should just tell the truth more. But this is the happy version of the truth. And I think I'm way more honest than people are on FaceBook, where they only ever post the pictures they look gorgeous and happy in, and then everyone sits around and secretly compares their life to all their "friends" whose lives seem perfect. 

Truth of the matter is, life throws a hell of a lot of shit at you. And doing something drastic like I did and deciding to change your entire life, as an adult is not easy. So many of us need to decide to do that though to finally find our path. 

I'll tell you a secret: sometimes it was really hard to write those posts and find someway, somehow to put a positive spin on it. I'll tell you another secret: doing it, finding a way to make it funny or optimistic, is what keeps you going. Keeps your head above water (even if only barely) through the tough times until things get better. Because you're telling yourself that as bad as everything seems right now, you'll be ok. That helped me, even when I didn't believe it. And maybe you didn't believe I believed it either (and you were right).

I promise you, if you're willing to do the hard work it takes, it all turns out better than you expected. :)

Friday, 27 December 2013

When I'm Gone :)

Your background music for this blog:

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone. I know I've been saying this for awhile, but 2014 will the year I figure out how to get out of here. Or I get pregnant. Obviously I vacillate between the two objectives of my life. On one hand, if I don't move to New York soon, can I ever really do it with a toddler? Not unless my *yet to be decided upon* baby daddy is filthy rich and willing to fund it. On the other hand, if I move to New York and don't get myself knocked up first, I might be too old to have a kid later. Life is complicated in your 30s. I mean, when you're 27. :)

So Christmas has come and gone, and I think all my exes texted, called or took me out for drinks (except Travis of course). While that might be a bit strange, I think it's a testament to what an incredible ex-girlfriend I am. (Ex being the operative word.)

Strangely, the Big Four have all recently found new girlfriends. It's strange because of the timing of it, not because these guys aren't awesome and can't get girlfriends. The American, Vienna, Steve and 27.  "Why do they get to be the Big Four?" Irish pouts. 

Because. I could see a future with each of these guys. I still can it seems, apparently as their friend who listens to them describe the lingerie they bought for their new girlfriend for Christmas. The friend they send the sonogram picture of their first baby to. The friend they like to still go skating with on Tuesday nights. The friend who writes and sends each of them a Christmas card and best wishes for the new year. The friend who will always love them and want nothing but the best for them, even if I haven't found my happy ending just yet. The fact that they all got in touch with me though, I think, means they miss me a little now that I'm gone. 

I think through all of this, the Universe was sending me a message this Christmas season. It's almost a new year, time to move on Margaux. For real. Blow them a kiss, wish them the best, be their friend if you like, send them a Christmas card every year for the rest of your life. But move on. 

My girlfriend, when I told her all the news, simply said: "Time to move to NYC :)". I think she's right. Toronto has been oh so good to me, and wherever I go, I'm pretty sure I'll come back here eventually.

But it might be almost time for a change. In the meantime, I got a gift card for Christmas and I booked a massage, mani and pedi for the day before New Years eve. Might as well face midnight - and whatever 2014 is bringing with it - feeling relaxed and having awesome red nails. :)

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Jane Austen would be disappointed.

Phone rings. 

Me: Hey. I didn't go on my date tonight. 

My girlfriend: I knew you wouldn't, why do you think I'm calling you? You probably went to yoga, came home and poured a glass of wine and thought, fuck that. 

Me: I also made a grilled cheese sandwich. (Matthew Hussey frowns.)

Her: And you're probably smoking out your window. (Now, we all know I don't smoke, but if I did, could I be any more Carrie Bradshaw?)

I've probably just been listening to way too much Pitbull but then I had a great idea.

Me: We should go dancing on Saturday. 

Now I usually hate clubs, and most of the time I feel way too old for them. It might be the new haircut or all the time off work, but I can't think of anything that would be quite as much fun right now than drinking gin and tonic, wearing high heels, fishnets, lots of makeup and dancing. Maybe kiss some random handsome stranger. 

And there you have it.  This is why my dad doesn't read my blog anymore. And why Jane Austen would never have tea with me. 

She is one of my heroes, and I can relate to her sensitive, romantic soul. I'll probably end up exactly the same way she did: one great love affair that didn't work out and then I die young, with only my brother by my side. Then he publishes my book and everyone reads it after I'm dead. (Henry was also in finance, and he seemed pretty cool, but I'm sure my brother would do the same for me.)

At least I don't have to wear long dresses and put my hair up everyday. Or drink tea. I bet though, that given the chance, Jane might just let her hair down and come out dancing with us on Saturday. :) 

"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere." - Jane

Give me everything tonight :)

Tonight. I want all of you tonight. Give me everything tonight. For all we know, we might not get tomorrow. 

I know what you're going to say. I've been posting too many blogs lately, you can't keep up. What else is little A-type going to do on her vacation? Relax? Clean my apartment? HA.

I think all the artists out there: songwriters, painters, poets, writers, whatever we are, are somewhat tortured. There's something wrong with our brains. We feel too much, we feel it ALL.

So we write, or draw or make music to get it out. After I got home from lunch today (don't worry, I know y'all are going to throw up in your mouths if I post any more cute pictures of me and Lindsay, so I won't) I spent more hours on the phone than I think I ever have, catching up with the people I love and sending and replying to Merry Christmas texts. My ex's parents, Grandma, my very few lifelong friends who left the cult too (Imagine: we could all wish each other a Merry Christmas, such a novelty!), everyone I've ever dated. Then my gay fairy-god-uncle Brett called. There's someone I can talk to about anything. So we settled in for a chat and over an hour later, when the boys got back from grocery shopping and they asked who he was talking to, we all had to laugh that it was still just me. 

We'd both been drinking so the conversation went downhill pretty quickly, but he did say he loved my blog, and when he reads it he realizes I'm not as messed up as I seem to be. Thanks Brett. Seriously though, I dare you to read my blog, from the beginning, the whole story from then to now and not be able to think I'm pretty well adjusted, considering. Yes, sometimes I rage against the JWs, the corporate world, walking to school on cold winter nights, the past...but for all that shit, I'm pretty normal. 

I don't have a great point of reference for where I am in my writing compared to anyone else. I really only follow two bloggers, The Bloggess and Matthew Hussey. The Bloggess is posting on Christmas day and tweeting like crazy, so I don't feel like all that much of a loser for doing the same. Matt's angry at me right now because it's the 25th and I didn't really follow his December regiment on how to find the guy you're going to kiss on New Years eve. (Apparently it only takes a month.) So I'll probably do the same thing I did last New Years and kiss a girl instead. No chance for any kind of long term prospect there, but they do have nice, soft lips and what else are you really looking for at midnight on New Years? Your soulmate? :)

Brett and I are a certain type of soulmates, so he graciously offered to be my donor if this kid bug I've got doesn't go away and I never find a boy to do it with. My uncle Ken would probably come back from the grave and punch his best friend in the face for knocking up his niece, but our children will be lovely. Short, but lovely. And they'd probably talk too much, drink too much and fight with each other to be the center of attention. They will definitely need a therapist.

If you think about it though, who didn't fuck their kids up? I was reading one of my Christmas present books, written by a famous shrink, and he said that if we grow up feeling safe, accepted and loved, whatever happens to us as an adult can't really shake that foundation. If we grow up without it though, it's always going to be an uphill battle to make it there.

So many people take the easy way out. They blame their past, give in to their vices, and ignore the important issues that we need to overcome to be the best version of ourselves. I won't do that. I'm finally in a better place than I thought I'd ever get to. And I swear to God, someday I'll be a famous writer and if I'm very, very lucky, a good mom who tries her best to only fuck up her kids a little bit. :)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

I woke up and the weather is absolutely perfect for Christmas morning. Great big snowflakes, falling slowly. Lindsay is in bed next to me. We both had lunch with our exs yesterday at the keg, then I went to church. Lit a candle and said a prayer for my very dear friend Donia. Sending you lots and lots of love girl!

Merry Christmas everyone. The holidays are a good time to be grateful for what we have and for me, I'm very grateful that the love around me is abundant. I wish you the same. X

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

It's Christmas eve. :)

Guess who's already opened all her presents? This girl. That kinda sucks, but on the other hand I have enough books, lipgloss and spa treatments to take me well into 2014. Also, I have tickets to City and Colour and the Celtic necklace I really, really want on it's way over from Ireland. My friends get me.

In an attempt to be responsible, on the first day of my vacation, I went to the dentist. I honestly hate nothing in life except my stepbrother, the TTC, the old white dudes who run the JWs and brainwash people and the dentist. I think they are all a similar kind of evil, except maybe the dentist really is just trying to help you.

I'll be the first one to admit, as usual, that it's my own fault. I could easily just get a new dentist who isn't located right across the street from my ex-husband's work. I hate change though, so here I am. Lindsay thought it might be a good idea to change my appointment from first thing in the morning to the end of the day, when Travis would definitely be gone home from work. We all know that guy never works past noon.

So I show up, terribly grumpy, but then Linds and I went to the pub, had a glass of wine, Cass showed up and we all decided it would be a splendid idea to go home and make leftover turkey/cranberry/brie grilled sandwiches.

While Cass went to grab the brie, Lindsay and I hit the LCBO for a bottle of wine. Now, the LCBO is crazy this time of year, so we walked in and it was insane.  But then, through the crowds, I saw him. A tall, lanky blonde guy wearing earphones and holding a six pack of beer. And without saying anything, this is how it went:

Lindsay: Babe, it's not HIM. 

Margaux walks in a daze towards the dude. She hasn't seen her ex-husband in, well I don't really know how long. Years.

Lindsay: Margaux, no!

Margaux keeps walking. This has never happened before but I swear to God he could have been Travis' twin. It wasn't until I was right in front of him, looking him in the eye, that I realized "It's not you." That's what I said right before I walked away and immediately started crying in the liquor store.

At least now we all know exactly what would happen, if I ever ran into him by accident. Thank God it wasn't him, he wasn't with his new wife, he didn't get a chance to shun me. What was I thinking? What would I have said anyways? 

I'd like to think though that this incident was a good reflection of how I face life now. Just walk up and look it in the face and accept the consequences, for better or worse, instead of running away and hiding, which is what I used to do for way too long.

Anyways, it's Christmas. Or almost. Mike, Lindsay and I are heading out for midnight mass in a few hours and I think I'm friendly enough with church not to have a panic attack this year. "They" say time heal all wounds, and it's true. Not to say it won't leave you blind, crippled or scarred, but the good thing about life is it keeps trying to make you comfortable and succeeding. This Christmas, I feel blessed. And not just because of all the lipgloss. Those sandwiches were pretty effing awesome too. :)

Monday, 23 December 2013

My brother is way too handsome. And other "first world" problems...

Where to begin?

I like the new pope. Betcha didn't see that one coming. When asked about gay clergy by a journalist, he said, "Who am I to judge other people in this context? Who am I to judge the way other people live? Who am I to be passing judgement?"

Maybe if more people, in positions of authority or not, took up that mind-frame we'd all live happier lives for it. 

I'm pretty sure already this post will be very ADD. Turkey dinner was fabulous last night and I have a ton of leftovers so if you're in Toronto without power/water/heat in this terrible ice storm give me a ring. I'm happy to set up a hostel as I'm one of the lucky ones. 

I'm also happy to report I'm already over my yearly mid-December depression. My bounce-back time is getting better every year, I think my therapist is proud of me.  It probably helps that it's my first day off work until after the holidays and even though I keep getting up, going back to bed seems to be how the day is going. 

Bed, IPhone and a book, that's probably the best way to spend your first day of holidays. I don't want to downplay the effects of depression. I know the holidays can be rough for many people, not just me. I have a girlfriend battling cancer right now. Another one facing her first Christmas ever without her mom. Now we all know I've lost a hell of a lot of people. But I have to say, heading into Christmas, I'm extremely grateful for my oh-so-handsome brother. 

I feel like if we were in the Hunger Games he'd totally have my back. Even though I'd be one of those people who die in the first 5 minutes because I'm clumsy and don't know how to use any weapons. I've written quite a few blogs on here about the people who mean a lot to me, family and "like-family" but I don't think I've ever really expressed how utterly important this relationship is to me. 

Even before we moved in together, I remember being sick at the hospital, and they asked me to fill out an emergency contact form. I didn't know what to do with it. Michael doesn't always answer his phone. And he loses it a lot. But that was my option, so I went with it. 

Then we lived together. I wasn't much fun, I spent most of that year crying in bed. But he'd come in and take the wine glass out of my hand after I'd fallen asleep, hold my hand when I cried, dragged me out to yoga on Saturdays. 

Neither of us could be labelled as completely sane and well-adjusted. But we keep trying. Confronting and solving problems is a painful process, which most people attempt to avoid. We don't anymore. We can be open and honest and solution driven. He's also the best date for any important function, appreciates my cooking more than most people and calls to talk when he knows I need him to. 

We don't always see eye to eye, but we are always there for each other, and we take a damn good picture. From my perspective, that's a glass half-full. :)

Ps. Just to tie it all together, my best friend is gay and she kinda likes Pope Francis too. It's almost 2014 people. Obviously Armageddon is not coming, let's just accept people for who they are (except for the really bad people) and live with acceptance and hope. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Rattle and Hum

I know you already get it. I've spent the entire afternoon cooking a turkey and listening to old U2 cds.

I couldn't decide what to call this: Running to stand still? I still haven't found what I'm looking for? With or without you? We're not even going there.

They would all be true.

Hey so I stole my neighbour's cat. They are out of town for the holidays and I went over to feed her and she looked lonely. Or maybe I'm just lonely. Either way, I have a cat until January 4. Yay!

If you live in TO please don't leave home tonight unless it's an emergency, the whole city is a death trap. Except of course if you're invited to my turkey dinner tonight. Then you should totally go out cause I bought a turkey and cooked it for you. :)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dying Young

If I die young, bury me in satin Lay me down on a bed of roses Sink me in the river at dawn Send me away with the words of a love song

I love country music. You should click the link, it's a great song.

So here we are at December 20th and I haven't written a blog yet about my suicide attempt anniversary. My brother and I were talking the other night and he thought we should do a theme party every year where we all come dressed up as how we would kill ourselves. He's lovely, really. Imagine it, people with knives in their heads and nooses around their necks and me dressed up as multiple bottles of sleeping pills. And then we all do a shot.

On a serious note, this stuff totally upsets my family so if any of you are reading this, feel free to close the web page now and wait for the next happy-go-lucky margaux blog. They don't like talking about anything that's actually important so we all pretend everything is just fine, all the time. I like to think if I had got around to having kids, I would have done things differently.

I'm happy to tell you I'm much better than I was at this time last year. First anniversaries are always the worst. I remember knocking on Krista's door and handing her all my sharp knives and asking her to keep them until I felt better. Gawd, I guess I'm lucky that after that we're still friends. I came home and lied down on the floor in the living room and I didn't get up for maybe 2 days.

I'm not complaining. I feel acutely how lucky I am and I feel so grateful for everything I have. And I have a friend who is dying right now way too young. I wish I could just swap our lives out, she's a better person than me.

I went to see Ross today (best therapist ever) but unfortunately, I found myself saying the exact same thing I said last year when he asked me his questions. Last year I said I couldn't help but wish I had been successful in my failed attempt. This year, I said the same thing.

Ross isn't worried about me and neither am I. Both of us know I won't try it again. And for all of you out there who look to me for inspiration, I'm not letting you down, I'm just being honest. I have a good life. One that is true to my values. I know that the old life was an illusion but it was one that I bought into. When 27 said the other night that I was sparkle and shine I couldn't help but think yes, that was me. A long time ago.

Maybe the problem is just that I see myself differently now than everyone else does. Clap your hands if you believe in fairies...

Urban Hippie

K: Just at Ki if you're keen
me: Sure, I'll head out in a few minutes

Why I decided to do that, I don't know. I absolutely hate "suit bars". Now, I've been called out on this. Technically, I'm a suit. It comes with it's perks. I've eaten in all the best restaurants in Toronto, spend my days with a ton of great, smart, successful people, and panic attacks aside, usually like what I do in the 9-5 space.

Outside of that though, I just want to wear my skinny black jeans, put on a pair of keds and spend my time with people who are a little more real than all those rich guys with their pink pocket squares who buy you overpriced glasses of wine in return for you listening to them talk about how great they are. Yawn.

I've had an awesome week. But one of my best evenings was spent changing out of my blouse and black wool and into five layers of of sweatshirts and a pair of hockey skates and spending 2 hours on the rink with 27. He's someone I can be real with. I told him my big story about meeting a famous magazine editor last week. When I said she told me they're looking for writers with "sparkle and shine" he said that if he could only describe me in 3 words, those would be 2 of them. :)

Luckily, my girlfriends felt the same way as I did and soon we left, trekked through the snow back to our bar, where we bought our own drinks, only got charged for half of them and got some great hugs and kisses on the way out. It was unanimously decided we were definitely over Ki and happy to do girls night at AAA instead from now on.

While the corporate world has it's benefits, we all know it's really not where I belong. Even my boss, Jersey Shore, when he's giving me career advice, just tells me I should move to NYC, get a job as a bartender and write a book. My secret life friend is doing that right now, and I'm oh so jealous. One of these days, I swear, I will live in a world that does not require dry cleaning. In the meantime, I'm one day away from a couple of weeks off and I can't wait. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

God Grant me Serenity...

It seems like it's finally time to change all my passwords from "winteriscoming" to winter is here. (Yes, Games of Thrones geek actually uses that as her password for everything. Feel free to hack me.)

Yesterday was the perfect Toronto blizzard, and of course, as usual these days, I had plans to hit the Christmas Market with some dear friends. I'm sure some of you can relate, being alone in the big city, my adopted family really does mean the world to me. With everything that's been going on lately, when my ex's mom and kid dived in for the goodbye hug, I felt really happy. But then his mom leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and for a minute, I thought I might cry. I have no idea why these very normal, very well off, very successful people have adopted a messed up, lonely stray, who obviously is never getting back together with their son, but they did.

I woke up early this morning and thought, maybe I'll go to church again. But then I had a message from Google+ that my mother had added me to her circle. Looking at her profile pic, happily holding up the new JW Bible was enough to throw out church for yoga and then maybe a drink.

I'm happy for her, I am. But it seems my mommy issues know no bounds and God forbid I'm still dealing with this in another 10 years.

The Serenity Prayer says we should accept the things we cannot change, ask for courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference. I made those tough changes and years of therapy, yoga and meditation, have brought me to a place that I can live in. But underneath it all, I still have rage nightmares over the things I cannot change. It's on an unconscious level, which is why I don't think I can fix it.

I was talking to one of my best friends this morning and she said things will even out and my next life will be perfect. Here's the meantime, things are ok.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room

I had holiday lunch with my bestie today, still feeling the effects of the last few drinks at the office Christmas party last night. It might just be being five work days away from holidays, but I have been in a really good mood lately.

I think after the Triple Threat life is giving me a reprieve, everything seems to be turning up Margaux-friendly. This morning as I was composing my gratitude list for the day, randomly I was thankful for all the guys who have danced with me in the living room and that one guy who got up on a ladder and changed my lightbulbs. :)

So here is your Saturday morning playlist, courtesy of Vienna, JJ, my secret life friend and of course, 27. (Guys I love almost as much as my yoga mat!)

First song
Second song
What, are you greedy? Ok. Fifth

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sparkle and Magic

I love this time of year. Not the crowded malls of course, but I'm never big on malls at any time of year. People are generally happier the closer we get to Christmas, even in a city as unfriendly as Toronto. The countdown to the holidays is even more exciting when you know your whole company shuts down for an entire week. It seems to be the one time of the year it's really ok not to check your email. :)

I went to a seminar last night and the speaker was Bernadette Morra, Editor-in-Chief of Fashion magazine. I ran into her in the bathroom, just before it began. It was just the two of us, her looking fabulous in Louis Vitton and me running in late from work. I froze up, smiled politely and didn't say a word.

For someone as successful as her, she really was quite funny, honest and down to earth. She started off the evening by asking how many of us wanted her job. Hands went up all over the room. She admitted that when she started down the path which has led her to her current career, she didn't know where she wanted to go.

I think I have a pretty good idea where I want to go in life at this point, the problem I'm still struggling with is how exactly do I get there? I asked her that after the session. She said: What is your obsession? What makes you different from everyone else and why do people read what you write?

I guess besides a few life experiences that aren't exactly commonplace, I'm not sure. I think people read me because they can relate, perhaps not to exactly what I've gone through, but for seriously getting the shit kicked out of me in life and somehow figuring out how to keep getting up. Most of us need to do that, over and over and over again. And on top of that figure out how to stay positive, how to keep being open to trust and love, how to follow our heart and protect it at the same time.

This last writing course that I took at Ryerson, hearing the ins and outs of freelance writing from people who do it for a living, was slightly discouraging. It really is a full-time job and it's hard to figure out where to come up with all that time and energy when you already have a full-time job, and one that you need to keep because you're not wealthy or a kept woman (unfortunately). But last night's speaker said they are always looking for new talent, hard working writers, people with sparkle and magic. She would know, she's definitely got that down. I think I still have it too and the more I shed the effects of the past few years, the more I can see it coming back, even if right now it's just faintly glimmering a bit.

As it ended, her and I were leaving the event at the same time. I was horrified of course because I was wearing mittens on a STRING and had already changed out of my heels and into my salt stained winter boots. I also couldn't help but think it was too bad I don't carry around a folder with some of my best blogs and a professional biography. Note to self: I gotta start doing that. And maybe buy some grown-up winter gloves to wear to events like this. 

It's so exciting to watch my readership growing every week, to see that people all around the world like to read what I've got to say. But I realize, what I really need is the RIGHT person to read me. So help a girl out, if you enjoy my blog please comment, share me, tweet me. I feel like I'm getting close - I just need a little magic. :)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Keep Calm and Make a List

For all my A-type-ness, I had the perfect weekend. Dinner with a friend after work on Friday at my favorite bar in the world, home to bed early. Went to the Christmas market with a girlfriend on Saturday, picked up a couple of Christmas presents, home early, read a book, went to bed. Got up this morning and grabbed a coffee, got to work on my final assignment of the school term, took a break and went to yoga.

I love the Sunday 10 am teacher but she knows me and could tell something was wrong with me today. The panic won't leave me alone. She came over and whispered, "you keep shaking". I said I was ok. It wasn't the time or the place to explain to her my extreme problems with anxiety and how I'd had a panic attack on the way over. I made it through the class, picked up some lunch and finished my last paper. Did some work to prep for some meetings tomorrow morning. Called my grandma, did laundry, took a shower. Went back to the Christmas market in the freezing, freezing cold.

Now everything I did this weekend was super fun/important. But I almost didn't do any of it. When the anxiety takes over, I have trouble concentrating. I want to go back to bed. But that just makes me more anxious that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So this weekend I made a list. Of everything I was supposed to do, what time and where. It makes me happy to be able to cross things off. I briefly thought I'd like to go to church again, but it didn't make sense to think I'd be able to fit it into the list so instead, I wrote down what I believed I could actually accomplish. If I could find the strength to get out of bed.

Surprisingly, everything is crossed off and I'm even halfway through my new favorite book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I love the classics, huge Jane Austen fan. But zombies just make everything better. I guess part of me always believed in them since the JWs are so big on the fact that everyone is coming back from the dead. I think they just see that a little bit differently than the rest of us do. :)

Point is, life's up and downs can be scary and after what I've been through, most of the time I just want to throw in the towel and go back to bed. But if we force ourselves to cross all those important things off our lists, we might just start to feel happy again. Or at the very least, like we're really alive, and not just a zombie.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Pen & Paper

I received my first Christmas card last night from a dear friend. I have to say, written messages: cards, letters, etc. - it's a lost art. 

One of my favorite exs used to write me love letters, and I think that's one of the reasons I will always love him. I keep them in a box and never look at them, but if I wanted to, they are there. We should all throw away our bills and bank statements once we've dealt with them, but keep your old letters. In the age of FaceBook and Email those are special. 

When I was a teenager, my girlfriends and I always wrote letters to each other. I still have all of them in a box under my bed. I'm not sure when we got too busy to write, I guess the problem with putting pen to paper is that we can't backspace when we make a mistake. We have to start over. Or live with that mistake and send it anyways. 

In life, we usually can't "backspace" either. As much as we may want things to be different, those past episodes are are written dark ink. The stains are impossible to get out. 

There is something about the holiday season though that makes me feel like we should just stop with the insanity of life and think about how to make that intimate connection again with the people we love. Not just sign a Christmas card for the sake of ticking boxes off a list, but because we have something to communicate to the people who are important to us. To be honest, the cards are what make me happiest, not the perfectly wrapped presents. 

We are all individuals and we see the world differently. I've been told how we do that is 90% our own perspective. That's true. But half the battle is being able to listen to the other person and try to understand their 90% perspective on things. It doesn't mean we have to agree, just be open to the conversation. 

The alternative is, of course, that we ignore it. That we don't speak our mind or be true to ourselves for the sake of keeping peace. 

Unfortunately for everyone I know, I'm way too good at saying how I feel. It may have been the lifetime of repressing that before but now I think if you want to be part of my life, you should talk to me. I'll listen to you but please hear me too. We can agree to disagree but if you don't even want to listen then I'm not sure how we move forward. 

Maybe I'll send you a letter. :)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Oh. My. God.

I woke up this morning and called my bestie and she was having a terrible time of it trying to parallel park. Which begs the question, why would one be parallel parking so early on a Sunday morning? She was going to church.

Now, neither of us have had a stellar week so I got up and decided I was going to church too. Why not? I have a love/hate relationship with (maybe you are, maybe you aren't) "God" so out of defiance I put on my new sweater with a bulldog on the front, skipped my shower and headed off to St. Mike's.

This was clearly a risky choice. I haven't been able to be in a Catholic church without having a panic attack and I am out of Ativan.

Thanks to the "not stellar" week I mentioned, I had the craziest panic attack yesterday - despite getting a massage and going to yoga - and I woke up this morning with my chest still aching. Yes, I know, I am killing myself with this stress issue. 

I would probably describe myself as agnostic, but I'm still a bit of a religious mutt. I went to Catholic church a bit as a kid with my dad. I was raised Jehovah's Witness. I've done research into everything from Atheism to Buddhism. I have a Christmas tree in the living room, an idol of Ganesh on the bookcase and Fred, my Buddha on the table near the window. I believe in Fred, Ganesh and the Universe, but God? I'm not so sure.

But maybe I do. I had a hard time following the sequence of Catholic mass (yoga is easier), up, down, kneel, sing, up, the priest says something and everyone says something back and I have no idea what they are talking about. But I did say the Lords Prayer along with all of them and when we knelt and it was silent, I finally, after all these years, talked to God. It was hardly reverent or poetic, I just said: "Fuck you." Then I said it again and again and again until I thought that if he's out there, he might have heard me.

Even before I lost my faith I used to ask God what he was doing. What more did I need to learn? Hadn't I suffered enough? I know I only have first world problems to deal with and I'm grateful for that: family, relationships, money, work. For better or worse, I suffer though through the suffering of other people and I've seen enough of that. The JWs used to say that everything we believed in was necessary because without it, what was the purpose of life? My uncle passed away awhile ago and it made me revisit the question. A friend I've had for almost 20 years is dying now at 46, the same age he was, and I have to admit, I don't know what the purpose of life is. I don't believe in an afterlife where we are rewarded or punished, I don't have any kids who would have given me some purpose, even though I really wanted them.

The re-emergence of some family issues lately and talking to my sister has brought up all these memories. I've been flipping through old photo albums and I have to stop myself from pulling out pictures from the past and putting them back into frames.

I have to say though that I thoroughly enjoyed being back in "God's house". Unlike the Kingdom Halls I grew up in, churches are great what with all the stained glass, the incense, the boy's choir that sings beautifully. They read some scriptures from the Bible, a book I've read straight through so many times I almost know it by heart in two languages.

My friends were shocked this morning to hear of my plans for the day. Which church? They wanted to know. That was a no-brainer. Catholics believe Jesus is God and he seems like he was a really nice guy. Half of the Bible sucks, it's sexist and racist and judgmental. But the other half is one of the most beautiful works of literature ever produced. If they just keep focusing on that, I'll go back to church anytime.