Thursday, 25 December 2014

All I want for Christmas...

Is exactly what I have. 

I don't know what it is about the holidays that makes us insane. Yesterday I walked into my friends work. He's gay and when he decided to live the life that was true to him, his JW family cut him off and never came back. 

Him: How's it going Maggie? (Only one other person has ever nicknamed me that. I secretly love it.)

Me: (Sighs as she drops her shopping bags.) Christmas is hard work. Maybe I was better off in the cult. 

He laughed and laughed. He gets me. :)

I was feeling kinda crazy though. My psychic told me in the summer that I had bad karma. And if I paid her $300 she could get rid of it for me. That the love of my life was out there and we were both unhappy apart. If I removed the bad karma he would come back. 

So - yes I know as I'm typing this I'm an idiot - I emailed him. All I said was Merry Christmas. He sent me a note back and I cried and cried. And I called the psychic three times, determined to fix this before Christmas. She didn't pick up and I think the Universe was sending me a message. 

I realized I don't want him to come back unless that's what he wants. I honestly don't need a man in my life, I just miss him sometimes. I really did love him. But last night my brother came over and we watched a cheesy Christmas movie and opened all our presents. We're not big on waiting until Christmas morning. I woke up this morning with someone I truly care about. We have a pretty tree, two cats and way too much chocolate. 

The first guy I dated after my two year hiatus after getting divorced gave me the best gift ever - he let me into his family. I haven't seen him in awhile, but I got a call this morning to come over for dinner. His family has been my family for so long now I can't imagine there was ever a time we weren't all together. I showed up for turkey dinner. I have my own spot at the table. I let his daughter give me pink highlights which may or may not have been the best idea depending on whether or not they wash out before I have to go back to work. 

He's as handsome as ever. And I'm so happy he's home. I'm so grateful for everything and everyone I have. I have a whole family again, I have a new family that I've build over the past few years. It's been hard, I won't lie. 

If you're not happy though, tearing everything down and building it up again can make you the happiest person ever. Pushing boundaries, letting new people's all worth it. Like I said at the beginning of this post...all I want for Christmas is exactly what I have now. Thank you all for being a part of that. And I hope you've found exactly what you're looking for too. 

Sullivan out. 

PS: Merry Christmas!! xo

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Just Give Me a Reason

This time of year is funny. People show up who you haven't heard from in forever. I was over at my girlfriend's place the other night and this is how it went:

Her: So are you seeing anyone?

Me: Nope. I am getting those random text messages from guys I dated a few times ages ago who want to reconnect. 

Her: It's just this time of year. I get those too. 

Me: Why don't they ever delete our phone numbers? I don't even know who half of them are. Because I deleted their phone number

Guys of the world - make a note. Unless we decide to have a lovely friendship with you, we've deleted your phone number. Please do us a favour and delete ours instead of texting us at Christmas time because you're lonely. :)

Since I'm off work, I've had a little bit of extra time and I finally checked out my sister's wedding website. She's posted a bunch of pictures on there and she looks like she's really happy. Which makes me extremely happy. There is absolutely nothing in the world I want more than my sister's happiness. 

It made me think though. Maybe I should start trying again. Maybe I want to look that way in pictures too. Maybe, just maybe I want to look at someone with that same look in my eyes. I felt like maybe this is the reason I've been looking for - and you just need one reason - to open up, to try again. 

But that's silly. I know some of y'all disagree with me, but I believe in The One. And there's only one "the one". And when we took pictures, we looked like this. And when he held my hand I was the happiest girl on the planet. And when he left me, I didn't believe life was worth living anymore. 

So no, despite all the lovely, documented proof that love exist and flourishes, and as much as I will celebrate that for Erin, it's not for me. There are all sorts of "little loves" that I can enjoy. Without my soulmate. I apologize to all the guys I've dated in the past 5 years. You just didn't stand a chance against the ghost of Him. But...Game of Thrones is back this weekend! That's the current love of my life. :) 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tell me about 4 am

I have a sleep problem. I wake up at 4 am almost every day, no matter what time I go to bed. Usually it's because I'm having a bad dream. By "bad dream" I just mean visits from ghosts of the past. They are SO REAL. I can hear their voices, see the exact color of their eyes. I remember our conversations. I wake up confused, disoriented and sad. 

My therapist likes to talk about this now. He's always asking me: "So, tell me about 4 am." Sometimes I can get back to sleep, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I do yoga, read books, listen to music, meditate.  

On Sex and the City the girls used to say it takes half the amount of time you were with someone to get over them. Considering how long I was there and the amount of people I've had to get over, I think I'm doing pretty good at only 5.5 years in. 

Recently I found something in a box. I had (geek alert!) a Winnie the Pooh guestbook that I used to leave on the coffee table for people to sign when they came over. This morning at 4 am I started flipping through it. Apparently I was a great hostess. I used to throw tons of dinner parties, I used to make cheesecake. I used to bring home boxes of mussels from PEI every summer and have a seafood-fest. 

The guestbook is actually quite funny, every page has a picture or a quote from Winnie the Pooh. People would add their own quotes, draw their own pictures, make fun of what one of our other friends had written. There's people in there that I completely forgot even existed. Then there's all the people who I don't let myself think about because it's too painful. Girls I was friends with since elementary school and was a bridesmaid in their wedding. Boys I was in love with at one time or another. 

Disclaimer: before you keep reading, this is a long one. That's what happens when you write blogs at 4 am. 

There are quotes from movies we used to be obsessed with, lots of thank yous, lots of compliments on the dinners and the one that gets me...lots of "I will love you forever".

That was back when I was a perfect hostess and a nearly perfect little JW housewife. At 4 am today I had to laugh. Because growing up that way wasn't ideal, of course I would have picked a different life if I could have. What I've had to overcome to get out? I couldn't do it again. I wouldn't survive a Round 2. 

I never answer the "tell me about 4 am" question. But if you'd like to know I'll tell you now what it's like. Sometimes it's lonely, sometimes it's sad or frustrating, sometimes it makes me happy. One thing is for sure though, I always know I'll feel terrible getting up for work in a couple of hours. Most of the times I wake up because of a bad dream. That means I'll be having a panic attack. It might take an hour or two for it to subside. 

Sometimes though, 4 am brings amazing clarity. There is only one person from that old life who used to be a close friend that I have completely hated. Even with all my efforts to be Zen, to have compassion, to forgive, to love. When I was suicidal I reached out to him for help. His answer? There is no help for the disfellowshipped. I've been upset about that for 5 years. 

Reading all his comments in my guest book next to all his ridiculous Batman pictures, along with everyone else's today, I realized that it's okay. We all have bad stuff that we wish had never happened to us. But before all that bad stuff, there was a lot of good, a lot of fun. If they hadn't chosen such an extreme way of treating me in the end, I may never have left. It was painful but they did me a favour. Because despite all the anxiety, despite the 4 am wake up calls, I'm really happy to have the life I have now. Those friends, that life was not a mistake. I didn't know any better. My marriage wasn't a mistake. It was the right fit for me at the time. And truth? I still love y'all. (Even you, you asshole.) :)

My therapist asks me why I can't just ask them to leave when they show up. It's because part of me doesn't want to. Part of me is happy to have that visit. But could y'all maybe wait until closer to 6 am? 4 is a bit early. :)

Sullivan out.  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

We're not broken, just bent

"Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough. Just a second we're not broken just bent. And we can learn to love again."

My girlfriend came over yesterday to do my hair for the big work party. Apparently my hair is awful but you'd never know from this picture (she did a great job). And that seems to be what life is all about, isn't it? Pretending we're all fine even when we're not. 

When we do let someone see the "not so pretty" parts of us it's very disappointing when they go away. It's so hard to put yourself out there in the first place. Then there are those people who you know will never walk away. You can disagree, you can fight, you can yell and they still show up the next time you're supposed to be together. My brother is one of those people for me. 

I won't lie. I can FaceBook it up as well as anyone else. And I can make my life look perfect. But it's not. It's good enough though. I'm luckier than a lot of people. I do however have bad dreams that don't go away. The old life still haunts me at night and sometimes my roomate says he hears me screaming in my sleep.

That's the one thing I would change if I could. If I could just sleep I would have no complaints with life. I still manage to get out of bed in the morning, go to work, even though some mornings are not as easy as others. I think if more of us could tell the truth, confess that our lives are not perfect FaceBook pages, that we struggle, we wouldn't feel so alone. We'd know the truth - that there are so many of us out there dealing with depression, with anxiety. That we love our lives, we are grateful for what and who we have but we're dealing with some heavy shit.  We're not broken, just bent.  

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

I think I wanna marry you

"It's a beautiful night, we're looking for something dumb to do. Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you." - Bruno Mars

My little sister is getting married. Don't ever let your best friend and your sister get engaged in the same week. It's very high maintenance. Y'all know my philosophy on it: "If it ain't broke, don't marry it." I can understand how to people who have never been through it before it can seem very exciting.

And it is. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life even though I spent the entire night before not sleeping, wondering if I was making a mistake. (It wasn't a mistake. If I went back in time I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Even knowing the outcome.) :)

Getting divorced though is a different story. Statistically speaking, one of these two marriages will end up the same way mine did. But I hope both of them beat the odds and live happily ever after. 

I used to be such a romantic. I loved old movies, read all the classics over and over again, had poetry books on my coffee table. Then I became jaded. I guess everything spiraled so far out of my control that I just lost whatever that was that was such a big part of me. 

But I still believe in love. Maybe not romantic love, but love is what gets us out of bed in the morning. It's what we go to work for, it's what we come home to. 

I was talking to my therapist last week. He's been through a similar life as me, written papers on escaping a controlling religion and losing everything in the process. He gets me. 

Me: When does it go away? The nightmares, the sadness, the fight against the old life?

Him: It doesn't. It gets better. It doesn't go away. 

He's always honest. My last boyfriend said he was a terrible doctor for telling me that, but I think that's what makes him a good doctor. 

This is why I don't date anymore. They all just want me to get "fixed". There is no way to do that. And I don't see myself as broken. 

Then I told him that what I missed most about the old me was how much I felt, how much I cared. I still care about people. But not the way I used to. He didn't think it was a bad thing. He said I used to be at an extreme level on one side of this, now I'm at the other end. It will even itself out. 

I got up the next day and went to the Christmas market with my adopted family. T made me a card. She held my hand and I caught up with "mom". I met up with some girlfriends after they left and I came home feeling a slight flicker of all that stuff I miss about me. 

Whether we get married, get divorced or stay single our whole lives, what provides us with the best love is family. If that is our biological family or the family we make for ourselves...that's the love that keeps us grounded, that helps us through hard times, that makes our hearts feel full. Find your family. And then work hard to keep them close. 

Sullivan out. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

You & Me

The perfect Sunday morning song

Someone who will be there when you start to fall apart. Guiding your direction when you're riding through the dark. That's you and me. 

My secret life friend was over the other night. He ate my food, we had some drinks and then he stole my new CD. (Yes, some people still buy CDs, and yes of course, I gave it to him, he didn't steal it.

We're not in love. But if I actually wanted to be in love we would be great. Guys, listen when I say this: a guy who will slow dance with you in the living room, cuddle with you on the carpet? Who shares your taste in music, who holds your hand for no reason, who is so cute when you go to a concert together of one of your favorite bands from when we were young?

In another time and place, he would be The One. We're both older now though and have been through real loves of our own. I don't know if we're incapable of falling in love again or just jaded. 

Love is love though. In whatever form it comes in it matters. As I left the other night, I turned back and said "I love you". He didn't say anything. I said "You can say it back, it's not a big deal."  And it's not. You & Me is so many people over the past few years. I probably love Lizzie more than anyone I've ever met. My sister and brother. 

I have the love of my life out there somewhere and an ex-husband. My dance card is probably full. I have to believe it all happens for a reason. That's you and me. 

Sullivan out. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

My Therapist Says...

So like every Friday afternoon, last week I walked into the doctor's office. 

I picked him on purpose. He's a spiritual teacher, he's studied Buddhism, he's very Zen.

I told him about the nightmares. Just like the week before. The week before he told me I should just ask those people to leave when they showed up. Didn't work, I couldn't do it.  

This week was completely different. And a little surprising. 

Him: Have you thought about getting a sword? 

Me: No. 

Him: It might help. Have you ever taken self defense classes?

Me: I took boxing for awhile. 

I went through a rough time. Boxing helped. I remember one night, when the X and I were still friends, he texted me before my class and just said: "Punch something. Hard." He and my brother are probably the only people who will ever know how hellish life was back then. 

Or maybe my therapist gets it too. I've been on the internet for the past few days looking up boxing gloves and how does one even buy a sword in Canada? 

Maybe we can fuse the zen, the spirituality, the striving for inner peace with our innate need to feel like we can protect ourselves from harm, from evil, from injustice. 

I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'll still go to yoga, but I found a boxing gym close by. My gloves will be pink. And if you know anyone who sells swords, let me know. :)

Sullivan out.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

We've Got Tonight

I can't find the right version of this Bob Seger song so no youtube link today. But I'm sure you know the song. If you don't, please stop reading me right now and go watch whatever it is you kids are watching these days.

"I know it's late. I know you're weary. I know your plans don't include me. Still here we are, both of us lonely, longing for shelter from all that we see."

My last boyfriend told me I was just terrified of being alone. That's not true. I've been alone more than most people I know ever have. And I'm pretty sure I rock it. That doesn't mean though that I don't appreciate the company when they are here. :)

I've chosen to open the door to good people who want to come through it and however long they stay, they stay. When they leave, they leave. I honestly don't have a plan. I don't have an end game. I don't need you to buy me a diamond or try to spend forever with me. My forever is on a different path than what I was programmed to believe in. It might mean I end up alone, but I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'll figure it out.

This song...good story. I dropped my little brother off at the airport after a long night of barhopping. I was hungover, sleep deprived and smoking a cigarette. This guy walked up and asked me for directions so I took him to his hotel. Cause I'm nice like that. He hung around for the next four days and one night after we went to dinner I put on this song and we danced to it in the living room. We were supposed to come back together but it didn't happen. And that's okay.

It seems like everyone I know got engaged recently and I'm happy for them. But for me, tonight is all that I can commit to right now. And you know what? All those years I spent with my ex-husband? Were special. I still miss him. But some of those short stories along the way are special too. I think we're programmed to not want to be alone. Getting to that place though where we can just appreciate the present and not worry about the future has been probably the most significant achievement of my life.

When we learn to love ourselves, we're never really alone are we? Then having "tonight" with someone special just makes life all that much better. :)

*Dedicated to you, Vienna*

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

In Repair

I was pretty happy coming home from work today. Monday and Tuesday - always rough. I write a lot of to-do lists and by Wednesday afternoon I've finally crossed a lot of things off and it all starts to seem more achievable and then I begin to calm down.

I wish I could just convince my brain that by Wednesday afternoon it would all feel better. My subconscious seems to hate me though. I'm not sure if you can relate but for all the positive reinforcement, the meditation, the trying to think happy thoughts, I can't control what happens a third of the day, when I'm sleeping. 

All I do lately is have dream after dream so it feels like, in some ways, I'm working 24/7. Not at "work work" but just work in general. When I'm sleeping it's real life stuff, usually past life stuff. People I haven't thought about in ages just barge right in and sit down in my living room and refuse to leave. Apparently I've started talking in my sleep. My roomate tried to wake me up the other night and I just yelled at him to get away from me. But I was still dreaming and the person I was yelling at wasn't him at all. 

My therapist (yes here we go again) has been lovely. He's treating me for free and I can't really figure out why, except maybe I'm a fascinating case study. I asked him last week if he thought all this effort and time that both of us have been putting into our time together was worth it. Not to mention the lost work time for both of us. 

Me: Can you fix me?

Him: (sighs) No. 

He went on to explain that he can help, no doubt. And if I keep working hard like I have been, it will continue to improve. But it can't be fixed. Too much trauma to completely recover from. 

I asked a friend of mine the other day who has been through a lot if he ever has rage nightmares against the people who hurt him. I think I've worked hard to get past any anger and resentment about the past. But when I sleep, it comes out. It's buried somewhere in there. He said no, not any more. Now he just dreams about the happy times. 

I honestly don't think I would pick that over this. The dreams are so real, so vivid. I see their faces and hear their voices as if they were right here in front of me now. If I woke up thinking I was back there in the happy times, I might be too sad to get out of bed. 

So for now, I'm in repair. I'll take the panic attacks, the insomnia, the talking in my sleep. And be grateful that when I do wake up, the family, friends and support I have pretend not to notice the circles under my eyes, the fidgeting, all the nervous habits I've picked up. If I have to be in repair mode, I do have the best support system I could wish for. 

I know worrying is a exercise in futility. That's why I try not to do it. I hope someday my subconscious catches up and tries to be as happy as I do. :)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Hasn't Hit Me Yet

I'll be the first to admit I haven't really been on my game lately. I'm so happy to be back at work but after being off/sick for so long, it's really hard to get your stamina back. I am trying, for sure, but the other day I came home for lunch and thought I'd just lie down for a few minutes. I woke up half an hour later in a panic and had to go back to work hungry. The people there though are great, there's lots of leftover Halloween candy and those things make everything worth it. :)

Speaking of Halloween, can you guess who I was?

Everyone said "bar wench" and asked me to make them drinks. Not correct. Then there was the incident of me dropping my phone (again) and having to spend all day Saturday trying to get it fixed. It was expensive. I think I might need to get a land line for emergencies. 

The real story here though is that today was awesome. It's possible I've completely embarrassed myself twice now with my semi-celebrity crush, but I think he thinks I'm adorable and if I hadn't been so lazy this morning and put my hair in a ponytail before work I would probably be married by now to Jim Cuddy. 

I love Blue Rodeo. They're my favorite (sorry U2, you guys are a very close second). My sister and I discovered them together at an all day, multi-musical group concert when we were new to Toronto. I still have a picture of us somewhere sitting on a blanket on the grass. And that's usually how I see them now. They always play in August. I always sit on the grass and buy the tshirt. They always do a show in February and I figure that's my birthday month so I can justify buying some tickets and guilting some friend who doesn't really love them into going with me. 

Their best concert I saw was a secret one they performed at a little dive bar in Toronto. And as close as I got to them that night, I'd still never met them. So many of their songs resonate with me, but having two lead singers mixes it up. Usually my favorite songs are Greg's. (Don't tell Jim. Greg just has a bit more edge. Hasn't Hit Me Yet is the best song ever.) But I've always had a crush on Cuddy. He kinda looks like my dad. And he's the one who sings "Try"

I ran into him once in Kensignton Market. It was one of those split seconds where you recognize someone as they are walking past you. I turned around and said "Jim Cuddy!" he looked back and I couldn't think of the right thing to say to this man whose songs I'd listened to a thousand times.  So I just said " I love you". He got that "she's a crazy stalker" look in his eye, laughed and kept walking. I was like, damn. 

This morning, I was running late. So for maybe the third time ever in the 4.5 years I've been at this job, I put my hair in a ponytail, grabbed an umbrella and ran out of my apartment and right into my crush. Apparently (according to Spencer) I was the biggest geek ever. If I was hoping to redeem myself from our awkward first run-in, that didn't happen. 

I said the exact same thing I said the first time: "Jim Cuddy". He had a guitar and some luggage with him. I could have asked him to play "Try" and how fun would it have been if he opened his guitar case and started playing on the sidewalk and the Bay Streeters walking by would throw some change into it?

But I was dedicated to redeeming myself this time. So no, I did not tell him that I love him. (Sidepoint: I really don't care about dating right now, but I do love you Jim. I do.) Instead, I was just an overly talkative mess. It would appear that I told him not once, not twice but four times that I go see every show they do in the city. And that I accidentally told him I loved him in Kensignton Market once. And lots of stuff about how great the band is and how much I love their music. Then I asked if we could take a picture. And look at us. We're besties now. :) He really is the loveliest guy and if you want to hit them up at Massey Hall in February, call me. 

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

I'm too old for this Shit

Murtaugh said it best in Lethal Weapon. (click!) "I'm too old for this shit."

That's kinda how I feel tonight, at home, working, doing laundry, fighting with my friend, not talking to a lot of my family. 

We're past the point where drama was fun. It used to be, back in the day. When you're young you thrive on that stuff. Now it's just a headache. My girlfriend has gone through this recently as well, lotsa family drama over things that should just be her choice. 

I get it. We all have a past. We are all insecure. We are all battling the demons that have creeped in over the years. But let's not take it out on each other. For God's sake, can't we all just grow the hell up and get along? 

I always get confused between Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. Probably because they were both movies that I loved but had to watch secretly as a JW. Murtaugh always said he was too old for this shit. But...he kept doing it. 

Bruce Willis always said "yippee ki-yay motherfucker". Two completely different statements that always had exactly the same outcome. :)

I might someday get back to the place where I like to take risks. Where I like drama and the unknown and all the emotions and excitement that comes with that. Right now though, I'm okay with just being me. I'm okay with Thursday nights early in bed, with not dating, with walking away from the people who don't quite fit into my life. 

If you've walked away from everyone once, you can easily walk away from anyone. I'm sorry this isn't an upbeat post. I'm just like you, ups and downs. And today wasn't the best day.  

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Beloved

Well, me and being sick had a good run but like with everything and everyone else, eventually I had to break this relationship off. The tide has finally shifted and I'm back to work full time now. 

It was weird in the beginning. After being through so much and getting so down and low, I was a different person coming back to the office. I lost 25 lbs and that great place that I thought I was at just before I left, where I felt so hopeful that I would become successful at what I wanted to be. No, I just lost that too.

I realized something though. When I'm at work, I want to give it my best. I do not however want that to define me. I am so appreciative of where I am with work and the people I get to see 5 days a week, but there has to be more to life than just that. My family, my friends, my volunteer work. I attach a huge significance to all of those aspects of life as well.  

My boss is a Rockstar. Most people probably couldn't keep up with him even if he was in a coma. He's driven and oh-so-smart. 

He's always looking for ways for our team to be more productive, so he had all of us to do a personality test before I left. Everyone else killed it. Their dominant traits were Power, Prestige, Innovation. They got cool names like "The Change Agent", "The Trendsetter", "The Mastermind", "The Architect". I got "The Beloved". Apparently my dominant traits are being passionate, loyal and sincere. I'm genuine, no hidden agenda. Empathetic. Comforting. Welcoming, accepting, NURTURING. Expressive. Engaging. I could go on but I won't. You get the idea. 

I will never be the boss. I sighed as I printed it off and added it to his pile of profiles on all the better people than me that we have on our team.

By that I mean better at work. I'm not sure how most of them are in their real lives, they all seem pretty great. I'll tell you a secret though, before I took the test, when I was looking over all of the possible outcomes for who I was, as much as I'd love to be a super star, I just wanted to be "The Beloved". That's all I've ever wanted. And I guess I'm okay with it. 

Sullivan out.  

PS. It's Scorpion season. Happy Birthday to all my lovely Scorpios out there. Most of y'all have really hurt my feelings at some point...but I'm stubborn love all the way. Love you!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I was wrong

Dear readers, 

If you read my last blog, please read this. 

It's been brought to my attention that Rod Stewart did NOT write The First Cut is the Deepest. It was Cat Stevens. Also, if you click the link (just FYI the orange writing is all links) and watch the video you'll see that he was a total babe. 

I'm sorry for emotionally scarring my very good friend Cameron and anyone else out there by getting that wrong. (Jesus, everyone is a critic!) It's just that I'm too young to know that, being 27 and all. 

Also apparently I've never talked about Cam on the blog and that is just adding insult to injury on this whole Rod Stewart/Cat Stevens issue.

Y'all know that I feel so very lucky to have met such wonderful people out here in the real world. The latest additions to my social circle are not only fabulous but they also live within a block or two of me (Cam lives across the street, I can look out my window and into his) which is very key because I don't like to leave my neighbourhood. 

One night at the bar downstairs he decided to friend-pick-me-up. I was walking past him and Robin and he asked me to weigh in on some boy issue she was talking about. He told me later that he just decided we had to be friends and now we are. :)

We're like secret superheroes though because we all have code names. Cam is Cameron the too beautiful, then there's Robin on the fly, then there's me, Margaux Blackbird. I haven't been friends with these two misfits for long, but I absolutely could not imagine my life without them. Cam comes to charity events with me, took me to the hospital when I was sick (and stole my KPMG hat by the way), Robin baked me cookies and loaned me her dog for company when I off work. Cam took me out kayaking on my wedding anniversary this year and didn't even complain that I could come not even close to keeping up with him. 

This is the night Robin accidentally stole my purse with my keys, wallet and phone in it and Spencer had to go running around trying to find her so I wouldn't have to live at the bar forever. (There you go Spencer, you're on the blog now too.) Actually there's a funny story about how Spencer accidentally became my roomate but I'll save that for another time. 

There's a line in that Cat Stevens/Rod Stewart/Sheryl Crow song that says "When it comes to being lucky she's cursed". I said in my last blog that I've always been unlucky. I felt like I could relate to that line. But in reality, it's not true. I've had some difficult challenges to overcome, no doubt. 

Looking at the people I've somehow managed to bring into my life over the past few years, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I would never in a hundred years trade the people in my life now to get the old ones back. I still love them too, this is just a better fit for me. And Cam, I totally completely hope we're friends until we die. Which is hopefully a long, long time from now. And in the meantime, I hope we have lots of adventures I can write fun blogs about. 

Sullivan out. 

*graffiti at our local

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Get the Guy

I would have given you all of my heart. But there's someone who's torn it apart. And she's taken just all that I had, but if you want I'll try to love again, baby, I'll try to love again but I know...the first cut is the deepest. - Rod Stewart

Yes, it's been a cheesy old people music kind of day. I hate to be a complainer but I'm so tired. Never take a few months off work, even if you're really sick because it's so hard to get back into your routine. I just want to take naps and stay home. 

I do however love my neighbourhood. We're all friends here. I went into a store today and the guy working there called me Maggie. Maybe that's what set off my Rod obsession (for all you teenagers out there Maggie May is a very popular Rod Stewart song) but no one has ever really nicknamed me. Okay, not "no one". My little brother calls me Marge. I hate it. My sister calls me Aux. But only one other person has ever called me Maggie, which I'm actually fine with. He was one of the best friends I ever had, who turned out to be one of the worst friends I ever had.

Men. I've always been unlucky, which I knew even though the JWs don't believe in luck. When my ex husband wanted to marry me I told him my bad luck would wear off on him. He considered himself extremely lucky and said no, his good luck would wear off on me. WRONG. 

It seems like everyone I know got engaged this month. I'm happy for all of them. But I have reservations about marriage. I feel like I've been to the puppet show, I've seen the strings. Since my divorce I've tried really hard to put myself back out there. I've dated everyone. Tall, short, slim, chubby, white, black, brunettes, redheads, blondes. 

There have been three guys in my life that I was absolutely crazy about. The rest were nice guys I've been lucky to spend some time with.  I realized in the midst of all this wedding news, I don't know what I want. I thought I wanted to find love again, have a kid. Be a normal person. I'm not normal though. I've given it a good try. It never works out for me. 

Right now, I care about me. My life, my siblings, my job, my friends, my happiness. I'm just a fucked up girl who really doesn't know if she needs or even wants a man anymore. I feel completely complete without one and I'm happy. I have my girls, my gay boys, my lovely ex-boyfriends, my adopted family. I feel surrounded by love and support from the best people in the world. If it happens again, great. If I stumble upon someone who is a great best friend, a wonderful lover and completely into being mutually supportive, I'll give it a shot. But I'm not going to try to chase it down anymore. Matthew Hussey is disappointed with me. He really wants me to try to "get the guy". :)

I just don't believe "getting the guy" is the purpose of life. We don't need someone to complete us. We complete ourselves, with a little help from the fabulous people around us. You'll have to excuse me, now I have to go and help plan a bunch of weddings. 

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Confines of Fear

"I've been worrying that my time is a little unclear. I've been worrying that I'm losing the ones I hold dear. I've been worrying that we all live our lives in the confines of fear." - Ben Howard

Week three back at work. Gawd, I'm tired. My doctor warned me to stop sleeping so much a week before I went back. Did I listen? Nope. I feel like I'm catching up on years of sleep, I love it. :)

It's nice to be back into a routine. I count myself as extremely lucky to be able to walk back in there after 3.5 months and have all the support and care that I've experienced. But I was terrified to go back. It was never a question of whether or not to go back, it was more of a question of if I could combat the fear and be successful again. 

I'm starting to get my groove back. I can't help but think about how many times in life we let ourselves be fenced in by the confines of fear. Work, friendships, relationships, is SO scary to put ourselves out there when we're afraid of failure, disappointment, pain. And so many people choose not to go down that path. It's safer. I'll tell you something though, it's lonelier. 

There are hundreds of good reasons to cut things out of your life. Or maybe just to limit them. I read something once that said not everyone is healthy enough to sit in the front row of your life. So like in a theatre, some people need to be put on the upper balcony. It doesn't mean we don't love them, they just aren't healthy for us. The same could apply to anything we strive for. 

That's different though than refusing to take a chance on someone or something that we might feel we could really want, but are just too afraid to try.  

I feel like it's taken me this long to figure out where my limits are, what I can and can't put up with, what I'm willing to go out on a limb for, what I'm willing to walk away from. The difference now is that I don't make decisions out of fear. I've worried enough for an entire lifetime. 

I went to pick up some groceries today and there was a kid with a sign that said "Homeless and Hungry" outside the store. I bought him a bag of food and bent down to talk to him as I was leaving. It made me sad, he looked so young. 

I've been thinking about him all evening. Because I've been there. Homeless, broke, unemployed. And I think all of us can take tragedy and go either way with it. Either it breaks us so that we're so broken we can't be fixed. Or...we can fight the fear and let those experiences make us stronger, better, more compassionate people then we ever would have been otherwise. Let's face it - it's the theme to every superhero story there ever was. The hero picks the harder, higher road and decides to help other people in peril. The villain may have gone through the same terrible things, but they choose to spiral downward and hurt others. 

I'm confident I will become what I deserve. And the fear is slowly dissipating. I wish the same for you. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Searching for the Silver Lining

My Therapist: So why aren't you writing anymore?

Me: I don't feel like writing. I feel like the sky is dark, it's always raining and I'm cold and wet. 

He laughs. 

Him: You could write about that then. I'm sure a lot of people could relate. 

Now ya'll know I have no aversion to sharing the good bad and the ugly on here. But I can't do it without a spin. A silver lining that makes us all feel better at the end of the blog. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving though, I thought about it all the way home from the doctor's and here's a quick update of terrible things gone wrong that are actually all okay. 

1. I was sick ALL summer. I got out of bed/the hospital/whatever and now it's fall. But it's alright because fall is my favorite season, I'm starting to feel better and we're having a bit of an Indian Summer. 

2. Because of that I was off work for months. Finances started running pretty low and I didn't even know how I would pay my expenses last month. There is always one man I can count on, and as usual he came through for me - no guilt, no pressure. "Wait until you're back to full pay and then you can start paying me back." Thank the Universe I have someone who has always got my back. 

3. My doctor, who doesn't have any kind of responsibility for me, offered to just treat me for free this month - again - it's just until I get back on my feet. Just because he wants to help (or perhaps he's just the only man who thinks I'm too fascinating/crazy to get rid of just yet). It was such a kind gesture that he actually, finally was able to make me cry in his office. I felt very "Good Will Hunting" that day, but hey, they won an Oscar so maybe my story will be interesting someday too. 

4. Despite not being able to work for awhile, I have a good job with people who care about me, who would check in, stop by, meet me in the park for lunch. And I still have a job. 

5. I got dumped again. This guy was way too smart, successful and lovely for me anyways. On our first date he told me I was a "nice girl". "Totally completely crazy" but a nice girl. The silver lining on this is that he actually took me out for gelato and dumped me in person instead of a text message. Text message dumping really sucks guys. Grow a pair and be a grown up. 

6. I have a great relationship with my brother and sister. It's taken awhile, but we've all got each other's back now. And nothing - not family, not religion, is going to pull that rug out from under me again. 

7. I spent two days trying to bail my friend out of jail. (Don't worry, he's lovely.) I didn't realize though that if I did that he'd have to come live with me. So now I have a couch surfer/roomate. He's a chef though so I don't know if you know what it's like to come home at lunch from work and someone is cutting up veggies and making fajitas. It's fun. His two cats make me allergic, but they are adorable. 

8. It's my girlfriends birthday this weekend and even though she's upset about it, I think age is just a number. We're still fabulous. 

9. My best friend got engaged. I will be the oldest bridesmaid ever but somehow I'll figure out how to rock it. I'm so happy for her. 

10. I have some great new friends. On my wedding anniversary, a day I hate, they invited me to go kayaking. I'm still pretty weak and I almost died but at least I wasn't alone. 

My girlfriend was over the other night and she said look at you, you attract us messed up people. I think at this point, we're all messed up. But we're making the best of it. And we have each other. That's a silver lining. :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Shock to your system

Yesterday was my little brother's wedding. I hope it was a wonderful day. I stayed home to be with my sister. 

We had a great day together. All I want is for us to be close again. 

So - this may come as a shock - but I'm done. No more JW stuff. Y'all know where I stand and that if you need someone to talk to, I'm here for you. I'll still write about silly boy stuff, life stuff, I'm just walking away from that. I guess it's time to move on. 

You know how I feel. I feel like they stole years of my life. That they separated me from my family that I love. But yesterday I walked into a shop waiting for my sister to show up and they had these rings and they just said "loved". I got us both one and it's true, love heals wounds. It doesn't erase the past, it doesn't undo what's been done. But love is the only answer. I'm hurting my beloved with this blog, by hating on what they love. 

I see the value in what that religion brings to them. It's not for me, but I won't discredit it anymore. I love my family, especially my brother and sister. We have each other and that means something to me. 

Sullivan out.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Sort of Revolution

I'm very bad at being zen. I try. I go to yoga. I've read a tonne of books on the subject. One of my therapists (yes I have two, stop judging me) is also actually a spiritual teacher. I signed up for a Buddhist meditation class with my brother a few weeks ago. We have to do homework every day. Thank the Universe I'm not back at work yet, I have no idea how I'd fit it all in. 

Yet, I still worry. All the time. Halfway through my meditation class this morning, I got a panic attack and had to leave. Crying. The teacher came out and said don't worry about it. You've been through hell. Would you like a hug? The amazing kindness of strangers is almost overwhelming at times. It just made me cry more. 

Today is my little brother's wedding. He's such a good guy. Funny, smart, hard working. We have some complicated issues in the family. My sister didn't feel like she could be there and I decided to stay behind to be with her today. It's hard though, not being there. Not seeing him marry his beautiful high school sweetheart. Or as he will no doubt be doing, dancing like an idiot tonight, the way he did at my wedding, a million years ago. :)

The problem with families sometimes is that you just can't talk things out. Mick, Erin and I? We can talk. About everything and anything. We don't always agree, but we don't let that affect the love we share anymore. I know my parents love me - all three of them. I love them too. But the fact that we can't even discuss anything, ever, makes it hard to move forward. 

I know I've drawn lines in the sand. With both sides of the family, I've made a stand, a decision on where I stand on things that they don't agree with. Or would rather ignore and not speak of. I've become an unfortunate inconvenience with my absolute refusal to bury my head in the sand and take everything that gets handed out. It is probably hard for them to process, I was always the good girl. Never tried to rock the boat. 

My therapists (yes both of them) keep telling me that my problem is not standing up for myself and what I believe in. Being too much of a people pleaser. I feel that by leaving the JWs and speaking out against that organization started a sort of revolution that is spilling over into the rest of my life now. Work, family, friends. Once you've come so far, there's no going back. Not for me anyways. 

Come so far. Let me know when we get there...if we get there... 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Rainy Days and Mondays

We're having a terrific thunder and lightning storm in Toronto. There's really nothing better on a Friday night than writing a blog and watching the rain in your cozy apartment and Blue Rodeo tshirt. 

I forgot to tell y'all about going to Blue Rodeo by myself a couple of weekends ago. I love them. I was afraid of running into JWs (they all love that band for some reason) but they are my favorite so I chanced it. I kept a low profile, drank a glass of wine and had a wonderful time. And then I bought a tshirt, even though we all know I have way too many Blue Rodeo tshirts. I figure if I get to the point where I let the JWs keep me away from the things I love, they're still winning. I want to win. :)

Anyways, I'd like to reintroduce you to Donia, aka "Trashy Black Ho". Before y'all think I'm racist, she's totally okay with that nickname. She started it actually, she kept calling me "Streetwalker Barbie". Streetwalker Barbie needed a comeback. 

She is the oldest non-JW friend I have in Toronto, besides my brother of course. (Who is fabulous, yes Michael, you're fabulous.) I met her 19 years ago and even though as a JW you're not technically allowed to be friends with the rest of the world (unless you're converting them, then it's okay) we managed to work it out somehow. And stay friends all these years. 

We've gone through a million ups and downs, mommy issues, boy problems. I remember when the screensaver on her computer said: "Happiness is the remission of pain." Dramatic much? But we both were. :) 

I went through my first real heartbreak with her next door. She used to sing "Rainy Days and Mondays" to me at the office. She has a beautiful voice. I think about that when it rains as crazy as it is tonight. 

When we worked together our offices were right next door to each other and we used to just talk through the walls. The girl who worked across the hall would kill herself laughing to us. We were ridiculous and probably extremely inappropriate most of the time.

Then, she got cancer. She was exactly the same age as my uncle Ken, who I watched waste away from that fucking disease. But she beat it. It wasn't easy and there were a lot of sacrifices made on her part. But she is one of the strongest women I know, she did it and then it was over. And everyone was so happy. 

And then it came back. I'm old enough to know that second time around is never good. They gave her 6-12 months to live last August. I would visit her, see her in her hospital bed and we would make jokes about her dying. Because that's how she is - always funny, always smart, always rescillient.  

One night, we went to visit her in palliative care. My brother offered to make her seafood pasta in a few nights. It was raining and he wiped out on his motorbike on the way home. He showed up, on time, a few nights later with real dishes and cutlery and the seafood dish. He had a broken arm. But that's the kind of love she inspires with her pure soul. 

I don't think everyone will understand our humour. I've been so sick myself I haven't been able to be there for her the way I would have liked but tonight we caught up and made plans for Monday. We were talking about all the things we've been through and my wedding came up. 

Me: I was a pretty bride though right?

Her: Yah totally. I wanted to knock you down and rip your face off. 

And there you have it - Streetwalker Barbie and Trashy Black Ho stuck with each other for eternity or until something comes along that can actually kill us. We're doing pretty good beating the odds so far. 

Tonight? Hearing the news that she was cancer free? I cried as much as I cried the night she called me and said the cancer was back. But these were tears of joy, of relief, of finally feeling like the Universe I try to believe in was righting itself after all this pain. 

I love you bitch. Thanks for not dying. 

Sullivan out. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What Women Want

I know what you're thinking...and you're right. Why should you take any kind of dating advice from me? I'll be the first to admit, I'm terrible at it. Not at the logistics so much. I'm pretty good at pouring a glass of wine, putting on some red lipstick and choosing a cute outfit. Or making you a picnic for the park. I'm also a pretty good kisser. 

It's the making it last part that I suck at. Romantically at least...I seem to have no problem staying awesome friends with all my ex's. Seriously, I still meet up with them for lunch or coffee or drinks, get together at Christmas, sometimes they'll send me pictures of their new baby.

I have however dated a LOT. And have a handful of girlfriends who tell me everything about their experiences. I've talked to men, to women, to gay and lesbian friends and there are some fundamental things you should know about the woman in your life. I'm just going to share what I've heard. 

1. Don't lie to us. Women in their 30s have seen enough bullshit to be able to identify it. But we are still romantics. I happened to meet three Irishes in a row. One of them said on our first date: "I'd love to take you to Ireland with me." I knew it was a lie but...swoon. Another one asked if he could see me again and when I asked when? He said tomorrow, the next day, every day. He never even called me again. So guys, you don't have to be so over the top. If we like you, we'll probably see you again without all the grandiose claims. Just tone it down a notch. 

2. If we do end up sleeping with you at some point, please call the next day. Not for a big conversation, just say "Hey, I had a lovely time. I would love to see you again." It would literally take you five minutes. Text messages just don't have the same impact. And I mean, we did sleep with you after all. 

3. Get over yourself.  If you feel the need to tell us on the first or second date that you're "not looking for anything serious" that translates in our minds to: "I'd love to sleep with you and never call you again." And then we'll walk away. Who says we're looking for something serious? We've known you for five minutes. Give us a little more credit than just being some girl who wants to tie you up and drag you down the aisle. A lot of us don't even care about getting married and having kids anymore. Life has changed. 

4. Sometimes we just want you to listen. You don't have to fix us. We can fix ourselves and we know how to do it. We have our girlfriends, our therapists, our careers, our interests and hobbies. But if we've had a bad day, we might just need to talk it out. If you can listen without saying "um hmm" while looking at the tv or computer or iphone, bonus points to you. If you can give us a hug, even better. :)

I can't speak for all girls, but having been the girl whose boyfriends buy her fancy dinners, chic hotel rooms, Tiffany jewelry, expensive perfume, pretty guy even made me furniture...I can say all of those things are greatly appreciated. But we'd give them all up for someone who makes us laugh, who appreciates our intelligence, who gives us a hug when we're having a bad day. 

A lobster dinner never hurts though - just FYI. :)

Sullivan out. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Two men, Margaux and a puppy

It's been an interesting month. JJ had to move out of his place. 

Me: Just stay with me until you find something new. 

He moves in. 

Two days later I get an unexpected visit from my brother. He also needs a place until September. I spent a couple of days moving things around, throwing things out. Making space in my already sparse apartment. 

My girlfriend Robin has a dog. She usually has dog walkers and puppy daycare, but she thought I might like some company, being off work and all. So every morning, Gidget shows up and spends the day with us. 

It's a little cramped, we have too much stuff. It's a bit more messy, three people and a dog make more of a mess than me by myself. There is some kind of dead carcass here with antlers, I don't even want to try to figure that shit out. We have a hard time sorting out whose underwear is whose after we do laundry. 

I can't say though that I'm not enjoying it. I've been on my own for SO long, the voices and music and tv are comforting. It's nice to have a little family. I guess in some ways, this is how I thought life would end up for me, with noise and mess and people eating my raspberries (ah um, Micheal). But it didn't. (Except the stealing all my raspberries incident, that is real.)

I can't believe the month is almost over and things will eventually go back to normal. This mandatory time-out from work has been terrible, awful and great all at the same time. For the first 6 or 7 weeks I was too sick to think about anything. I was just in survival mode. Survive this trip to the ER. Survive this stay in the hospital. Survive this slew of doctor's appointments. Do this and you'll be fine. 

Now though, I'm starting to get better. And I've realized that I needed to go through this because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have figured out what's the most important thing. I love my job, I lived for it. I miss my colleagues because I've been blessed with having great people to go to every day. 

People, friends, family, that's what matters. We are all fucked up. As much as we try to pretend things are fine, advance our careers, plan for financial aspects, it really does not matter at the end of the day if we aren't able to come home, pick up the phone and find a way to help each other be okay. 

The amount of love and support I've received over the past couple of months...there are no words...except thank you. Thank you for meeting me for lunch, for having picnics in the park, for sharing your dog, for calling, for texting, for moving in with me and making me feel less alone.

Three's company but four is definitely a crowd. I couldn't throw any of you out though. This is the best month I've had in a long time. But Christ's sake, stop stealing my fruit. :)