Growing Pains

I am on the eve of my 29th birthday. About a decade ago I would have thought I would be older more accomplished and more secure in the world then I was on the cuspe of adulthood. The truth is I am not more accomplished. I am not entirely sure how I feel about this fact. I have completed my degrees, I have a child, I have a job and a car. Surely all things like this mean that I am more grown up than at 19 when I was a university kid collecting change for pub beer specials. But something came to my attention which alarmed me yesterday. My quality of life back then was top caliber. My day to day life was simple, fully of simple pleasures and little luxuries and friends and fun. The stress of school and deadlines and competitive rankings only fuel to the preverbal “go fire” of the early days of adulthood. 

My life now is full of worry, responsibility, bills and competing demands. I honestly don’t have time to eat, drink and sleep sometimes. This is awful. I work at a job that doesn’t pay me enough to have a 2 bedroom apartment for myself and my daughter, I drive a car that could break down at any moment, and between groceries and gas I am never sure if there is enough fuel to keep the engines operating. I have so many bills I don’t know where to start paying. I am in fact the opposite of where I hoped I would be when I think back to my younger self. This fact is undeniable. My quality of life stinks now that I am an adult. It stunk when I was a child, and it was pretty good for a few years in college. So what went wrong?

Why was I not able to better steer the course of my young life? I am not so hard on myself to not accept that growing up without parents and losing my daughters father are challenges, and life events that any person might have a hard time to cope with and move forward in life afterwards. But in all honesty most of my quality of life issues are related to money. And money whether I like it or not, while it has never exactly been abundant in my life, is the cause of a great deal of turmoil in my life. What is stopping me from getting the cash I need to the pay for a quality of life I think is befitting for myself and my daughter? Me. I am the only impediment to my success. 

I get in my own way. My money troubles are two fold. First off I sell myself short. I write articles for free, I do freelance work for free, and I connect people without a fee. I also accept wages that are less than what I have previously made and tell myself this is ok, because after all a pay check is better than no pay check. Secondly its the spending. I live frugal by many people’s standards where I live but I have to stop emotional spending. Giving my daughter the 15-30 dollar toy because of the guilt that we live in a one bed room apartment and save the dam cash to afford a deposit on a better place. But its easier said than done.

Little steps I have been taking in the last few weeks to improve my life position is to find joy in the things that money can’t buy. Nature. I have been trying to get fresh air and exercise as often as is possible. Friends. I have been making an effort to stop isolating myself and shutting out the world and getting back in touch with the people near and far who enrich my life beyond measure. Love. Self love, love for my family, love for others. So often in desperate times we forget the energy associated with loving and all of the benefits it can bring into your life. Even in these measures I know that something else has to give, because at the end of the day, You can’t buy me love, and love won’t pay the bills, so where does that leave me and my quality of life question on the eve of kissing a decade good bye? Frankly for the first time in my life I don’t have a hunch or an answer to be convicted about, I am not sure. Maybe my own inner turbulence is what’s the major different. When I was young I was always so sure that the resources I needed would come to me, ignorance was bliss and this bliss attracted what I wanted and needed at the time and life felt spontaneous and carefree and fun. Now that I have more responsibility for a human life aside from my own the pressure of providing creates this inner dialogue that is so combative that I actually block myself from being open to pursuing and receiving the opportunities for prosperity for me at this stage of my life. I need to quiet my mind and reflect on this all for a while now and focus on how the heck I can get out of my own way and make the 30’s the best dam decade of my life. 

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Try to be

Be patient.

Be pleasant.

Be positive.

Be sure.

This is your life.

You can endure.

 

Be hopeful.

Be blessed.

Be humble.

Be true.

This is your life.

It is up to you.

 

Be caring.

Be compassionate.

Be considerate.

Be kind.

This is your life.

There is no rewind.

 

Be lively.

Be loving.

Be legitimate.

Be you.

This is your life.

Show them what you can do.

 

To be all of these things,

Can be difficult indeed

The world is fraught

With people who ought not to believe

That mere thoughts about being

Can help things to proceed.

 

Be mindful of your thoughts.

Be careful not to lie.

Be aware of being

Continue to try, try, try. 

Seasons

Life is full of seasons. Not just the earthly seasons of summer, winter, spring and fall but seasons for business, seasons for companionship, seasons for learning, seasons for relaxing. Its like life itself has some sort of sophisticated calendar for each and every human in which they have seasons and then when the time is up those seasons change.

 My life is possibly entering into a season I have never experienced before. My life is entering into a season of transition like no other. I am morphing. I can feel it. My personality has not so much shifted as my perception. My perception has frames or lenses and so maybe this is my first real season of perception. My only issue with this is that as the cliché goes. ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ I am not just optimistically blind and fanatically obsessed with a sense of can do, instead a sense of what about this or what about that. This whole perception thing is exhausting. It’s about being analytical about every single part of my life, all of the interactions, all of the different engagements. 

My shift into a season of perception is exhausting. I am drained. Yet restless. The issue with perception is it falls into the area of grey and I am more comfortable with definitive black and white.  Sometimes you have to step outside the comfort zone, but generally speaking I like to know where I stand on things, I like to know what I am working towards, and I want to believe that I am capable of achieving what it is I have set out to do.

Maybe this is all just the ranting’s of post-grad graduate student. I guess I thought in my head somehow that after attaining higher education I would reach some euphony.  Maybe I thought that pay automatically was scaled according to credentials. Maybe I thought somehow when I entered the program 3 years ago that I wouldn’t be single when I finished, like my peers maybe I’d have an engagement at the end of the degree, or some sort of something…. something that said I am emerging from this feat a new person. On a brighter path. Just maybe somebody who is being something more than she was before.

Maybe I could just be having post grad blues. What now?  Maybe it’s the recent break up I had that shattered my confidence and my ability to judge what is right and wrong for me. Maybe it is just emptiness because of the lack of focus on the next big thing. The truth is I now know deep inside myself that certain things don’t spur other events the way we intend. Despite free will, despite personal choices, despite opportunity or circumstance, we have to throw caution top the wind if we want to avoid running against it.  The seasons for the different things are just going to happen according to larger agenda.  Seasons are going to come and go, and despite the lineup I might have intended. I need to embrace each season for myself and know that its always a preparation for what’s next to come. 

Love life.

I love my life right now. My child is healthy, happy and full of smiles. I am fully engaged in my work. I am meeting great people every day. I am incredibly positive about the future. But every now and then something ugly from my past tries to creep in and pull my quintessential happy rug out from underneath me. I had to note how I respond to this. I want to remain in a happy place. 

I think we have two options in life when it comes to our overall outlook on things; it’s pretty plain and simple. We can live in the past stuck in the present stagnant or we can be in the present with our eyes wide to the future. The main difference, is basically are we living with regret of our life choices, or are we living actively making choices for our future. The proverbial cliché comes to mind of the glass being half full or half empty, but I say a better analogy is better stated are we filling up our cups or just emptying them.  

Life filled with optimism and hope, means that we continually filling up our lives or ‘cups’ with all kinds of good. This kind of overall mental well-being acts like a pump primer for more good things. Simply being grateful for what you have and dedicated on what your moving towards naturally is going to attract more positive interactions with friends and family, people at work, and in the areas of your life that have other social aspects. The more good you put out essentially means the more good you attract your way.

Life filled over analyzing the past, picking apart every detail of a tragedy or down turn in life essentially is emptying the cup. The amount of energy that being negative and thinking negatively it takes is unbelievable and this behavior causes a serious physical, emotion and spiritual drain, literally and figuratively. Mental anguish is exhausting entirely.  It’s just a drain on our limited resources to be a social and productive member of our work places, families and communities.

I have not always been sunny side up. I have had my share of dark times. I look back in my life at look at the times that I was abandoned by my parents, let down by people who were supposed to care for me, bullied by my peers, not making a team, not landing that job, not accelerating in a work place, and it all makes me exactly who I am. Perfectly equipped with all of the experience necessary to not repeat my failures and not completely empathy my cup festering over the things in life that don’t go my way.

Instead I look at the disappointments life deals me and I feel a sense of peace knowing that every moment brings me closer to being the person I am meant to be, to do the things I am meant to do. I am not entirely sure of what that looks like, however I am fully grateful that the more that I make great choices, and the more happy I am on the inside with all that I have (namely being what I need right now) the more opportunities I create for myself. It’s like a turbine of inner positive motivation, simply propelling me forward. 

Filling the cup, so that you can drink from it as often as you need is difficult. Being positive and eager in uncertainty is a inner battle. It’s human nature to want to anticipate surprises and anticipate risks. It’s actually inherent to survival of our species. It is so much easier to let the cup drain. This is why a lot of us are walking around stuck in the past, stuck in a moment, stuck with a bad attitude or a dismal outlook. But if you put in the hard work and make a mental note to practice gratitude, self-evaluation, moments of joy, moments of laughter, and moments of happiness, the overall sense of inner quiet and inner peace and true joy creates more of this in your life, happiness brings abundance in all of the things that you need.

My pathways to avoiding being an emptier of my cup and seriously loving my life a lot more inlcude;

  • Practice my spirituality. Meditate and
  • Engage with friends, groups and family members.
  • Reading. Getting lost in another world. 
  • Seek balance in work/family/life.
  • Count everything that I am grateful for, every time I am down.
  • Do something juvenile; colour, run, make a fort.   

Close the door

I don’t need you to love me
I don’t need you to make me live
I don’t need you to provide
I don’t want you to give
I just want you to listen
To hear what’s in your heart
I just want you to feel
The feelings we feel
when we are together
when we are apart
I don’t want you to tell me you can
Because I know that you will not
I don’t want to hear that forgiveness is impossible.
I know that its the only way to set me free.

Awake

Intense dreams, I want to scream. What the hell does it all mean? It’s scary and serine. Crazy ideas, coming from Completely, unexpected places. With lovely have-familiar faces, but trapped, in subconscious suitcases. What is destiny? What is fate? Did I just not peg the right soul mate? What the hell should I do, now I’m broken in two, I’m asleep and awake, Over one little date Over a year ago now. How much is chance? How much is choice? Did I fuck it all up or is going after it not even a choice It’s not very clear, But I hear a voice, inside of me say, just follow your dreams and you’ll wake up some day, it will all be ok.

Love thyself…

Yesterday I cried- a deep long and loud sob. I am not sure if it was the communication that I received so much as it was an accumulation of emotional exhaustion from the last 6 years. I am not entirely sure that I have ever been in a long term healthy, positive and mutually beneficial relationship. And for the record, I have never ever spent a holiday season with the ‘one I love’ even when I did have a plus one. There has always been a separation in one way or another.

I am a mom now so I let the whole Santa thing try to distract me. I surround myself with people who won’t allow me to mope. People who love me, accept me for who I am, forgive me for my faults and like me just as I am. This year that’s hard to do. I am over 5,000 kms away from my family and most of my dear friends. I am close to some people I care about but there are huge barriers to being near them at this moment.
The truth is that this very same time last year I experienced much of the same feelings, at around the same time. And the year before. And for most of my 20’s. I’m so distressed with myself for not evolving past this already and progressing towards a more self assured being. I guess the cop out is I am guilty like a lot of other people of relating my loneliness to being with someone as a pose to just being comfortable being alone with myself (during the holidays or any time really).

What’s that other song, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with? If I am only with myself then shouldn’t it just be so easy to love myself. It is not better to just realize this and own it and find that fulfillment within and not look to others to fill a void of any kind. It also brings about another very important question; am I better off without the ones I love? Better off to figure out how to be alone but not lonely? Better off to find self fulfillment and joy within myself and not transferring that responsibility onto someone else? Taylor Swift and Pink songs following me around all day didn’t help matters much. Lyrics like “And the saddest fear comes creeping in. That you never loved me or her or anyone or anything,” or “Where there is a spark, there is bound to be a flame, where there is a flame someone’s bound to get burned,” don’t help me to pull myself out of a mini rut. Ugh top 40 radio can you f off already.

I don’t want to be the holiday Debbie downer. I don’t want to have any more pity parties where crying in my cornflakes is the soup du jour festive special. I just want to be happy. I want to be so happy and so comforted on the inside, that nothing that happens on the outside effects me to the core so much. I just want to love myself so much that I don’t need anyone else to love me or be with around me, to help me feel good. Lovely readers, self love and appreciation tips welcomed.

5 Ways To Change the World

So December 21, 2012 has arrived. I am still alive to blog about it.

The Mayans are hopefully having a chuckle over the fact that the second stone tablet never made it into the history books. Or maybe it was just a theoretical end of the world. Maybe just maybe we will wake up tomorrow and few major issues will start to resolve themselves.

Looking back in the last year, a lot has happened to me personally, but a lot has also happened in my country and around the world. There is so much on both scales. I don’t even know that I am emotionally capable of unpacking it all and still writing a cohesive blog post.

I will say that I have a small list of what I hope changes for people on an individual level, which I hope might affect change on a larger scale.
After all it is all the combined small things that collectively are able to make miracles happen.

1)Forgive. Forgiveness is so important and powerful. Forgive yourself first and foremost and forgive all of those that hurt you. It does not mean you must forget. It means that you accept a person or a situation or a circumstance as it is, and move forward. Hang ups never help anyone.
2)Help. Help yourself by constructing positive habits, relationships and positive environments. Give a hand up, not a hand out, every time you can and not just for a tax receipt. True charity is almost entirely anonymous.
3)Be grateful. Let the positive overpower the negative. Be grateful for all of the things you do have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Shower yourself with feeling empowered by all that you have, and not all that you perceive that you lack.
4)Love. Love yourself, love your family, friends and humanity. Love doesn’t expect anything. Love is simply gentle acts of kindness, consideration, and empathy. With a little more love in the world and a little less anger or hate we can and will change the state of the world.
5)Live. Live life to the fullest. Live like there might not be a tomorrow, because frankly every missed opportunity to experience life is a tragedy. Do what you want to do. Do what you need to do. Make time for people you care about. Breath the air into your lungs and feel the ground move under your feet. Get out of the bubble you put yourself in and live, experience life with the community, with your networks, through your daily lives.

Happy start of a new world everyone!

Does it all mean a bit more?

I feel head over heels in love when I was 14. I then lost the love of my life when I was 22. I had his five month old baby in my arms when I found out. I remember getting the news at 5:00 am and thoughts of just disappearing completely seemed more feasible then doing a bottle feeding or diaper change in the next 45 minutes. I was envious that he had died and escaped the pain. It’s sick to recall this feeling.

This Valentine’s Day will mark 6 years since that fateful day. It’s hard to believe. Where does the time go? I remember thinking my life was over. I remember thinking that I done for. I remember just the total sense of loss. How could I go on? How could I ever love again? I was 22 and my life had no foreseeable future with the man I had spent most of my young life dreaming about.

After he passed away I spoke with a spiritual medium. Judge me if you must. It was an incredible experience. The medium told me that David would leave me dimes in the most random of places as his way of showing me he is with me, in my moments of joy and sadness. Today I found a few such dimes. It made me smile. Is it possible that he is doing more for me and his daughters now, than he did while he is here? Am I just a nut, or am I just hopeful that everything has more meaning than it appears on the surface?

Simple Acts of Kindness- Pass it on.

Ok so I admit. I have been somewhat leery about trusting in and having faith in people. I try to remain positive but I have been let down a lot lately. I am thinking I give out my trust to people who won’t earn it too easily.

I have my reasons just like everyone else. But just when I was about to give up hope, my hope was restored.

Earlier this morning, I slid into a van. I braked hard and slide on ice for about 6 feet wildly before mildly going bumper to bumper. The woman did not call the cops. She genuinely saw the concern in my eyes for her well-being and she took my phone number and name and went on her way.

Another good Samaritan fixed my windshield wiper today. No charge, onsite service and with a smile, with no obligation of payback in any form. The wiper broke the other day en route to work. On the highway, of course. As its drizzling freezing rain and misting dirt and mud from all the work trucks in Fort Mac, like it seems to do for 6 months of the year, I am one month of 6 in.

I am so grateful so these two very small and very simple acts of kindness. Bless these people for their consideration of me today. Bless them for their simple acts of kindness. Bless them for thinking of me in the run of their day and helping in small ways which really saved me.

Thank you people! I am paying this forward.