Sunday, August 30, 2009


I've been mulling over these thoughts in my head for days now. But the words? They will not gel, they will not form a coherent thread. They jump all over the place, from thought to thought. All connectedly unconnected and coherently incoherent.

It's like how when you first wake up from a dream and everything makes sense but then 5 seconds later the world makes less sense and you didn't write down the answers to the questions you didn't know you had. But now you have them! If you could only remember.

It's like how a problem has a totally theoretical solution. It can be fixed in the abstract. But sometimes when you apply the solutions that should work they just make everything more of a mess.

It's like how sometimes things just fall into place. Like putting together a puzzle and you searched and searched for that one piece of blue sky with the slight grey on the one edge and the slight green on the other and suddenly there it is right on top in a place you looked 1,000 times. And it makes no logical sense that those pieces weren't there before and it makes even less sense that they are there now.

It's like how sometimes things are just easy. You say all the right things or maybe the wrong ones but it doesn't matter because you are saying them. And all that matters is that moment, not what came before or what comes next.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Every time I sit and stare at this blank page I think about how hard it is to start again. I think about how many thoughts and feelings and ideas I have to fill up this space, about which blip of conciousness I am going to choose to share, about how many moments I choose not to share. I think about how much easier it seems to close the window and make this blank page go away.

I have learned, over and over again it seems, that shutting my eyes and pretending doesn't freeze time, doesn't make the pain less painful, doesn't make the happy less joyous, doesn't mean things won't change. I am still learning this, still blindly hoping that the good moments will freeze and the bad ones will fast forward on by ... all the while acknowledging that without those bad moments I would not have grown, would not be the person that I am becoming.

I think in some ways I have always felt a little bit like expressing myself here was a bit of a cop-out, a way of avoiding expressing myself in person. I didn't (and don't) want anyone that I care about reading something here and thinking "I really wish she would have told me that she felt that way". I don't want this to be the crutch I use when I am too scared or nervous to say something face to face. That being said, I don't want to feel like I shouldn't write because I am scared that what my stream of conciousness brings to the paper will be a major revelation. I am going to work on trying to balance those two extremes.

I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately. About why some people stay in my life and why some people fade into the background, about why some friendships are ok with long gaps of not talking and others need daily attention, about how some people know me on a deep level and others know me on a totally superficial one and how sometimes it seems totally backwards that the people who know me deeply (or have the potential to know me deeply)are who they are.

I have been re-connecting with people from my past over the last month or so and that has left me pondering how much I have really changed over the last 10 or so years. I know that I have changed, I know that I am not the same person that I was when I went to camp or when I spent time in University courses with these people. But I am starting to think that it is not so much that I have changed on a fundamental level but that I have changed in how I express those values and ideals that I have always had. I guess what I mean is that the core of who I am is not different, but my level of acceptance of myself and my ability to stay true to myself has changed. I am less likely (although it is not out of the realm of possibility) to do something or say something just to fit in. I am trying to mean what I say and say what I mean. With an emphasis on the trying.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Things: A Meme

There is this meme floating around on Facebook but I decided to do it here because Facebook is not exactly the place I go to share my deepest thoughts and secrets. It is a place where I share bits and pieces of my life but not necessarily the big stuff, the real stuff. You know?
So I have seen a few examples and it is unclear just how many things you are supposed to share, some say 10, some are 19, some are 25 ... I guess I am just going to share until I get tired and that will be how many things you will have learned about me today.

1. My name means friend. My parents chose it because Friend was my mom's last name and there were only daughters in her family. I try to emulate my name and what it means to be a part of that family. I am not sure I always do a good job, or that trying is enough. But there it is.

2. I lost 3 of the people I loved most in the world in 2008. I thought that losing those people would kill me. But I am still here. Taking things day by day, trying to put my pieces back together. A numb shell of my former self. I am not sure anyone notices the difference.

3. I keep telling myself that despite what I lost, despite that void feeling so very huge and black and despairing, there are good things in my life. And I know that this is true. There are things and people that I love. There are moments of happiness, however fleeting. There are things like New Orleans and Vegas and a summer wedding to look forward to. There are reasons to wake up and get through the day. And so I do.

4. I have a recurring dream where I have lost something and I am crying and searching desperately to find it. Do you know how it feels to wake up and realize that what you lost was something that you never actually had?

5. I often overthink things. I often feel guilty about things over which I have no control. I remember in great detail times when I have hurt people in the past and I wish that my actions had never caused those people pain. I know that in life it is impossible not to hurt people but I wish it was easier to always treat people excellently while treating yourself excellently as well.

6. I caved in to peer pressure and tried online dating. I guess technically I am still trying it since I haven't taken my profile down. But I haven't really enjoyed the experience. I'm not really interested in IMing someone I hardly know, I feel like I don't have enough time (or energy to make time) for the people who are important to me so why would I want to waste any of that precious time on a guy who can barely construct a sentence let alone spell half the words in said sentence. And then when I meet them - there was the guy who lied about who he was, the guy with the dead grandma, the guy who made me feel like if I misrepresented myself even just a little bit he would leave me on a street corner. Seriously. Not my thing at the moment.

7. Loud noises scare me and make me uncomfortable. My mom likes to tell the story about how she would call out the window to my dad and she would have to raise her voice so he could hear her over the lawnmower and this would inevitably lead to me sobbing uncontrollably. Despite being uncomfortable, I am friends with a lot of loud people.

8. I am terrified of caterpillars. I am convinced that one day I will be sitting under a tree, minding my own business and a caterpillar will fall on my head and crawl in my hair. This might be irrational. But I try not to sit under trees just in case.

9. I am terrified of needles. But my friend Simone convinced me to donate blood on her behalf while she was pregnant and now I try to do so on a regular basis. Even though I know it is not so bad or so scary in real life I am still nervous every time. I miss being able to go with Simone and her family and having someone there to hold my hand.

10. I am usually very good at remembering faces and usually names. I almost always assume that the people I recognize will not remember me.

11. I have issues with commitment. I think it is because I am scared that if I let someone get too close they will eventually figure out something horrible about me and decide that they can't be friends with me because of it. I have yet to figure out what that horrible thing is. My alternate explanation for my commitment phobia is that I am convinced, based on past experiences, that anyone I let get close will eventually find someone better than me and they will leave.

12. I am struggling to find balance and peace in my life. I know that writing more would make me feel better but I also know that putting my thoughts and feelings into words will make them real.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I am sad today. But I don't really want to talk about that yet.

I am not really in the Christmas spirt. But I don't really want to talk about that either.

Moving on ...

I received a letter in the mail yesterday. Totally unexpected, I think the last actual letter I have opened was way back in my camp days. My friends and I often send little cards filled with warm fuzzies and sometimes notes about how Asthmatic Sheep are Evil. But an actual letter is almost unheard of. And a letter from my brother is even more shocking. But never the less there it was.

My brother is currently in New Orleans. You could ask me what he is doing and I could probably tell you with almost certainty that he is working as a project manager for a non-profit organization that is helping with the rebuilding of the city. And that I think it has something to do with needing volunteer experience to get into an MBA program. And that he has an apartment near the French Quarter and that I am planning on visiting in February for Mardi Gras. But before he went to New Orleans he was in Cincinnati working on the Obama campaign in general and encouraging people to come out and vote in specific. Reading his letter last night a)made me homesick and b)made me realize that while I might not understand entirely where all of this is coming from, I am very very proud of him.

He writes: "... it was rewarding to see the people laugh, smile and cry after having cast their ballot in this historic election. I witnessed people brave rain, cold and hour long lines, to have their voices heard. This was democracy in action and the communal cry was that a new type of action is needed - more and more people are realizing that their responsibility extends further than one vote every 4 years... His (Obama's) campaign became a political movement of people longing to fill the 40 year void without a cause as noble as the right to vote ... One afternoon I took off from the campaign ... to head out in search of something I materially "needed" only to be reminded ... that life is all about the journey ..."

So I am reminded. Life is all about the journey. There may be days when I will stumble. There may be days when I need to keep running when I would rather stand still. There may be days when many miles are covered in seemingly effortless steps. What matters is what I learn with each step, the good I take from each day, and the knowledge that one day I will get where I am going and all of the hardships and moments of celebration will be a part of that story.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I think about writing all the time. When I am running, when I am swimming, when I am lifting weights. When I am cooking, when I am eating. When I am driving, when I am walking. Every waking moment, and some sleeping ones too, I am thinking about writing. I am running words and phrases through my head. I am trying to feel how the sentence will look on the page, how the syllables will sound, how the pictures will be formed.

And yet my pen (in all honesty my keyboard) is silent.

There have been so many moments this past year that I have longed to share.

I have lost many things, many people, over the course of 2008, and I have wanted to use language to make those losses tangible, to explain what and how and why I have lost.

I have gained many things, many people, over the course of 2008 and I have wanted to use language to celebrate those joys, to echo my laughter, to explain what and how and why I have loved.

But every time I have sat at this computer I have been filled with self doubt and self pity and self loathing and I have stopped myself. I have been scared of who might be reading and who might not be reading. I have been unsure of what I wanted to share, of what would be better kept private, of what might be misunderstood.

I have let my voice be silent.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I've always had a bit of a hard time with my birthday. It's not so much the getting older thing, although some years (25 in particular) that has been an issue.

I think in some ways my birthday has always made me feel like an inconvenience. I was born at the worst possible time for my school teaching mother and although she went out of her way to make sure I had a party etc I always felt like I was adding to her workload. I was one more thing that had to be taken care of before the end of June. I think now that those feelings are more to do with me and my insecurities but they are my feelings none the less.

In Jr High & High school there were always exams on my birthday and more often than not I have been sick as a dog and miserable. I feel awkward when people make a big deal out of it but then a little bit disappointed when others don't. I associate my birthday with feeling strange about the passage of time, unsure of who I am/where I am/where I want to be/where I am actually going.

My most memorable birthday was the year I turned 23. I was in Ireland with Beth & Mel and we spent the day exploring Tara, getting caught in a sudden rainstorm, playing catch up on a pubcrawl and downing 2 litres of cider in what felt like 2.5 seconds, getting approximately 40 minutes of sleep before catching a plane back to Stanstead. I made out with a boy whose name I did not get, who may or may not have spoken English. Definitely my most rockstar birthday ever.

I was expecting yesterday to come and go and not be anything out of the ordinary. And in a lot of ways that is exactly what happened. I got up, went to work, talked to my parents, got a lot of birthday wishes on facebook, had icecream with Becca, had flowers delivered to the office, came home, had a nap, supper and gluten free cake with B and then drinks and dancing with some Calgary friends. But in the midst of the ordinary birthday celebrations something small and extraordinary happened. I felt really and truly happy.

I feel like the past year has been a lot of ups and downs. Some really amazing things happened - Niki's wedding, my trip to Mexico, buying my condo - but for the most part I feel like I spent the year slowly but surely closing doors. There were hard moments, there were bad moments, but mostly there were a lot of bittersweet this really sucks but I have to do it anyways moments. And yesterday, for the first time since that night of toboggoning with Sarah, I feel like I have a wide open future in front of me. The past is still there, and definitely not entirely dealt with, but it is no longer an insurmountable obstacle blocking my way forward. I am not entirely sure what that means exactly but I can't help thinking it is a good thing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fantasy vs Reality

I haven't been able to tell B why I am ... I am not even sure if I can articulate exactly what I am feeling ... why I am scared? nervous? stressed? ... about our high school reunion.

I can tell her parts of what is going on in my head, that I am worried about being judged - on who I am now, on who I was back then. That I feel pressure to look my best and think of interesting things to say and put on a worthy performance. Which is crazy because, for the most part, the people I care about from high school are people I see and they know and love me for who I am and all those other people don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. And yet, in some ways, I am hell bent on impressing them and I am in a head space where I am not even impressing myself so it seems like a mission destined for failure.

I think it is June that does it to me. My birthday is a reminder that I am not where I said I would be when I got here. And even though I am happy - I love my job, I love my condo, I am making new friends and enjoying time with old - I still want those things I have always wanted, that seem at times like I will never be good enough to get. I wonder why I don't have them, what I did wrong, what I am doing wrong. I wonder if I will ever be able to accept myself as I am and be appreciative of what I have instead of condemning myself for what I don't.

Our reunion is a week away and it is another reminder that I am not where I thought I would be.

But the real story, the one I haven't been able to talk to B about, is that all through my teens I swore that at my high school reunion I would prove a point. I would show all those people who were mean to me in jr high because my mom didn't give them the grade they thought they deserved or my mom was strict with them or because I was smart or whatever other logic jr high meanness has behind it, that I was someone. I would be stunningly beautiful and married to someone who obviously adored me and we would have beautiful children and in my spare time I would have done something wildly successful and ... Of course there was one boy in particular that this was directed at, a boy who I was crazy in love with in the way that only 12 year old girls can be crazy in love. A boy who tormented me and rocked my self esteem to its very core. A boy who would be fat and ugly and gross at our reunion and who would beg for a moment of my attention and I would stare haughtily down at him and walk away. A boy who is not currently fat or ugly or gross. Which is kind of fitting since I am none of the things I swore I would be either. And even though it doesn't matter anymore, it is still a reminder that I thought/hoped my life would be different.

I can look honestly at my life and say that I am glad I am where I am, but that doesn't mean I don't feel disappointment that the life I thought I wanted was all just a fantasy.