Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Turning 27 is always fun!

Even though it's only 5:30 in the morning I should be doing homework instead of writing blogs. I'm so behind! This is what comes of going to bed at 10 pm, which is what I've been doing a lot of lately. So I'm up at 4 am. Which means I'll be in bed by 10 again today. It's a vicious circle.

But today is my birthday. So I refuse to have a panic attack, whatever happens once I get into the office. One day without a panic attack would be nice. (After work update: I had a panic attack.)

Another year gone by, and here we are in a slushy snowstorm in Toronto. I went skating last night with 27, in the rain and slush and snow. When I should have been doing homework. But it was so fun! After skating we went to the downstairs bar, where everyone was super excited about my birthday party on Saturday. I love the downstairs bar. They let us go buy hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream at Starbucks, bring it in and brought us shots of Baileys to go with it. I get lots of hugs down there and they're even writing "Margaux's birthday" on the sandwich board outside on Saturday night.

So I should have been doing homework, but Ross says I should let things slip a little bit and realize life won't stop if I screw up. Maybe not the best advice ever, but I trust him. So, here we go.

For me, screwing up just means not getting an A, or leaving work at 5:30. It's just being more normal than I usually manage to be. None of us are perfect, as much as we might try (and try and try and try).

I think though that we can find perfection in the imperfection. From my experience, one mistake can change your entire life overnight. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Our mistakes may end up shaping a path for us, one that if we're very lucky, can take us to where we really should be. Besides, being perfectly imperfect is what I'm good at. This year, I can look at my life, what I've managed to piece together, the people who are still here and the ones who've appeared along the way, and I am so grateful and happy with the life I've built over the past few years.

I had coffee with Adam today (I'm hearing people groan, but we are friends now. Deal with it. I love Adam, I always will and I get to do what I want on my birthday.) and I got presents. Pretty good day if you ask me.

Kyla is coming to visit this weekend. And we'll all go to the downstairs bar on Saturday and have a great time. On February 27, I always turn 27. And it's always a chance to start over and maybe this time, get it right. :)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Sunshine of Happiness

Yet another gray, dreary day in Toronto. I think we've seen way too many of these, because everyone seems to have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It's hard to be happy when you never see the sun shine.

It's been an important week for me. Although I've always kept a diary, I don't anymore since I started writing this blog, so I need to document it for the sake of preservation. You know how they say that everything that happens to us, good or bad, can actually be good if we see the silver lining? It's true.

It was reading week at school, so no classes. I took that and ran with it. It was a stressful week at work (aren't they all?) but Tuesday I went to see Die Hard with 27. Wednesday I went out with my restaurant friends, invented a new drinking game and danced in Jay's living room with Linnea. Thursday Krista and I went to the downstairs bar. Friday I went to my good friend's place, ordered pizza and watched a movie. I haven't done that in ages. Saturday I spent the day wedding dress shopping with my cousin. By Saturday night, I needed to stay home, recouperate and catch up on The Walking Dead. Despite daily panic attacks, it was a good week.

Work is important, yes. But the relationships that define us, the people who give us hugs, that's important too. And this week I was able to balance both. This morning I applied for a job as an editor at a magazine (don't tell KPMG). I won't get it, but it was very empowering to step outside the box for a minute and try something different.

Today, I have to write a paper for school. Clean my apartment. Get life back on track after a week of way too much fun. But that's ok because who wants to go outside today anyway? And tonight is the Oscars. I love the Oscars and I'm happy they always happen right around my birthday. I'm going to Liz's place to finally check out her new giant tv.

Happiness cannot really be measured in any calculated way. All of us spend time in euphoria, in the valley of despair and in between the two. What matters most is not beating ourselves up over never being perfectly happy. We can't. That's not the way life is designed and to expect that is just setting ourselves up for failure.

But we can be happy enough, and muddle through the gray days until the sunshine of happiness shines again. And it always does. Yippee Ki-Yay!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Anything Can Happen

Ok I'm done with the melancholy bullshit. I blame City and Colour, too much listening to that could make anyone want to off themselves. Although Dallas Green is brilliant. And oh so sensitive.

But tonight, I'm back on my game. I had a great weekend. Although I intended to work, I didn't. And panic attacks be damned, what the worst that can happen? I actually drop the ball ONE time on something and someone notices. Not the end of the world. Just because I work with a bunch of over achievers/over performers does not mean I should kill myself over this. I don't get paid enough to have this many panic attacks. Seriously.

So. Let's re-adjust. It's reading week at school so I have a break there and I'm going to see all my friends. I'm watching the new Die Hard movie with 27 tomorrow night. (And no, that's not how many guys I've slept with, it's just his age.) Yippe ki-yay.

And I have a re-newed optimism on life. Seriously, anything could happen. Krista might become a chef and I might end up as a writer and Lindsay might be happy with Scott. In the meantime, my hair looks fabulous, I have a great family and friend base and I'm happy to get up and go to work tomorrow. Ok that last one was a lie. :)

Things ain't like they used to be

Ok this is the last sad, bleeding heart post I'm going to write for now. I know I haven't been my typical Pollyanna this weekend. Here I am, having another panic attack. I couldn't help but think it's fitting my heart always hurts when this happens.

One of my ex-best friends emailed me today. He asked for my phone number. I sent it to him but told him he was only allowed to use it if he promised not to call me up and tell me I'm going to die at Armageddon. He said that he always loved my honesty, and still does. And then I had a panic attack.

Merging the old life to the new life is not easy, and perhaps, may not even happen in the long run. All I know right now, is I can't breathe and my heart hurts.

I have a theory though. I haven't run it past Ross (best therapist ever!) so don't quote me on this. I'll ask him what he thinks on Friday. I'm a romantic, nostalgic, loyal, sensitive Pisces. Letting go of the past is not easy. But I kind of have, without really noticing it. It happened gradually, the way Sookie always seems to drift from man to man on True Blood. Picking up someone new while never completely letting go of the last one. (Vampires need love too!)

So here I am. With a great life, awesome friends, a good job. But it seems I'm terrified of letting go of the past. Probably mostly because I don't know who I am without it. And there are still a lot of people I miss out there. But Ross says they probably aren't happy either.

And he's right. I've been there, I've lived that life. Now, it's in the rearview mirror and if we stare into that too long, we just crash. But it's good to check in once in awhile. Just to reaffirm we're on the right course. And I am.

The things we do just to stay alive

Yesterday was really fun. I have the best neighbours ever, and we had a rotating dinner party. So apps at one place, main at mine, dessert somewhere else. All across the hall from the last place. I spent the morning going through recipe books. And then, the panic set in. I'm not sure why, I've done some dinner parties. Mostly just Thanksgiving or Christmas with Tara and Chris and Michael.

Last night though was a throw-back to old Margaux. I loved throwing dinner parties. I was always the one in the kitchen, watching everyone from a bit afar, so happy to see all my dozens of best friends having a great time together.

Yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about Candace. My ex-best friend. I don't even know how to contact her anymore. I don't know her phone number or email address, I purged all of that information from my life ages ago. But I never had a dinner party without her.

So I'm trying to clean my apartment and make dinner, while having a panic attack. Apparently it was successful, Lindsay couldn't get over how clean my place was (which made me wonder, how filthy is it usually?). The food was good, the guys had seconds.

Ok, I've obviously been listening to too much City and Colour lately. But I can't help but wonder, did I make the right decision? To leave. I have a sister who won't talk to me, my mom - well, that's complicated, and a ton of people out there who I miss a lot. Not to mention, a re-married ex-husband who was one of the best friends I ever had.

I can look around my fabulous apartment, call my new friends and be grateful for how lucky I've been on the outside. But I'm not sure how long it's going to take to stop feeling like this is all weird and unfamiliar. Most days, I feel like I'm just trying to stay alive. Maybe we all feel like that, if we were being honest.

Or maybe it's just the winter blues. Thank God spring is coming.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Taking the Long Way Around

"They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting."

I am grateful for my upbringing. It was innocent, safe, decent. My mom was a single mother, so it couldn't have been easy on her. She's a strong, intelligent woman and I have an immese amount of respect for her. BUT. I woke up this morning getting ready for a dinner party tonight, and I accidentally pulled out the wrong cookbook. My ex-best-friend had made me two books when I got married. One with recipes, one with recipes for a good marriage. From all my old friends. They are identical.

So I sat down and read it. All that good advice that didn't work in the long run. Because my husband picked the cult over me and immediately got re-married. My favorite piece of advice was "Don't go to bed angry. Stay up and fight!"

I know I revisit the past a little too often. But I'm pretty sure I have post-traumatic stress. They say people who leave a cult are as damaged as those who have lived through a war. Yes, the "casualties" may still be amoung us, but they're not people who left you because they died. They left on purpose because they want to teach you a lesson, because they view you as the worst possible people. They'll go out every Saturday morning, and spend the day trying to "help" the less fortunate, but they will leave the people they love for dead, or worse. And it's not their fault. It's the cult.

And while I will continue to move forward and try to be positive, it's hard. My good friend is going through a difficult time right now, and her parents won't even talk to her, hell, they wouldn't even let her call them when she got engaged to tell them the news. I'm grateful to finally have a relationship with my mother. It's taken forever. But to be honest, I don't even know if I want it. It just opens the door to all those emails about how I'm ruining her life and I'm a horrible sinner because I won't come back to "the way". Those aren't that fun to get.

I get it. Anger and resentment only hurts us. Part of me though, is always going to be angry about this. And I don't think that's a bad thing. Someday, I'm going to be heard by a lot of people, and they need to know how dangerous it is to blindly believe in something that hurts so many people. They need to know that love is the answer, to everything.

In the meantime, I'm taking the long way around, but it's ok. The journey matters, not the destination. To be honest, I have no idea right now what the destination even is. But we'll all get there. :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Long Time Running

Valentines Day 2013.

Saint Valentine. Apparently he was a Christian romantic who when the Roman Emperor decided that single men made better soldiers than married ones, continued to perform marriages in secret for young lovers. Legend would imply that he fell in love with his jailor's daughter before he was martyred and wrote her a farewell note that was signed, From your Valentine.

Whatever is truth and whatever is legend, you can look at February 14 in two ways. One: it's an overrated Hallmark holiday where everything from dinner to flowers to chocolates cost double or triple the normal price. I saw single roses going for $10 today. That's insane.

On the other side of the coin, I'm a romantic, and I tend to think any holiday that celebrates Love can't be all that bad. This morning, I woke up to two messages from my girlfriends saying Happy Valentines Day. I got to work and Liz had left a heartshaped box of chocolates on my desk. I had lunch with Stuart (heart!) and came home to a card under my door from Krista that was covered in hearts and said "Who needs men when we have cocktails and chocolate". So true. Lindsay called me tonight to tell me she loved me and her boyfriend sent me a happy v-day message.

So? No date tonight. Successful Valentine's Day? Yes. It's been a long time coming. Love, true love, without boundaries, conditions or restrictions, is not the easiest thing in the world to find. But I think the biggest tragedy would be to stop believing in it. As for me, I got a bottle of red, ordered pizza and watched a movie, had a low-key date with Margaux who needed someone to cut her a little slack and give her a time-out from the oh-so-stressful real world out there.

Love is great, wherever it comes from. But don't forget, to love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. Fall in Love.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Community

First of all, I hit over 8,000 reads on this blog this weekend. I don't know who y'all are, but I wanted to say thank you. I know it's not always the best story, but the past almost two years that I've been writing this, have been a journey and a lot of you seem to have taken it with me.

It turns out it's true what Anne of Green Gables (slash L.M. Montgomery) said: "It's not what the world holds for you. It's what you bring to it."

I might never be a real writer, but in some ways, now, I feel like I already am. I hope some aspects of this story have resonated with some of you, that while it's true we're always tied to our past, the future is in our control and really what we make of it. Even a blackbird can become a bluebird and maybe even eventually, a dove.

I think a sense of Community is an important contributor to our happiness in life. I know when I lost mine, I was...well, lost. But it seems as though I've found it again by sheer luck. The building that I live in, on my floor, is filled with great people. People who have become my friends, who bake you treats at Christmas, who take care of your cat (or you take care of theirs), who bring you their leftover dinners so you can have something to eat when you get home from school, who have a party last night where we all showed up.

Or I can go to the bar downstairs, (it really is like Cheers, everyone knows your name), and talk about a rough day at work or the guy who just broke my heart, and Charlie or Tiz or Andy will listen, and it might only cost me a quarter of a million dollars (long story short, sometimes Charlie adds extra zeros to my bill. Thank god I don't seem to have a limit on my Amex.)

The other place I've been lucky is at work, where I found great people who support me, Stuart who I will always (heart) and my best friend in the world, Liz.

So, my dear wonderful friends who read this blog...the story is not over. If anything, the last couple of years have been a prologue and the real story is yet to come. Stay tuned.

Sullivan out.

Monday, 4 February 2013

About a Boy

About a month ago, I went out for drinks with Hilda. I don't get to see my restaurant friends as much as I'd like anymore, so we made plans to meet up when she got off work next door at Mill Street. Ah, Mill Street. We've had a lot good times there, Jay, Hilda, Linnea, Howard, Michelle, Jordan and I. Our little eclectic urban family. I might be naive, but I think we'll all stay friends for a very long time.

Even though I've been trying to quit, I was out at a bar on a Friday night, so I went out for a smoke. Smokers are friendly people. I was alone, and there was a group of guys, so we all made nice and started chatting. One guy introduced me to his friend, he said he was a doctor. Not being one to pass up a cute doctor on a Friday night, I decided to go with them to their next destination, even though I was wearing a sweater and flats and not dolled up nearly enough for meeting 20 of their friends.

One thing led to another and I spent the majority of January in the midst of the biggest crush. Turns out he wasn't a doctor, but he was sweet and kind and fun, so I could overlook that. On our second date he made me dinner. Somehow dancing in the living room became a "thing". I know I'm often preaching girl power on here and proclaiming the fact that none of us really need a man, but I have to admit, they are nice to have around. I had quite a few perfect weekends and turned into one of those annoying people who smiles all the time, for no reason. I started making breakfast again.

I'm not really sure what happened after that. Have you ever seen that episode of Sex and the City where the guy breaks up with Carrie on a post-it note? This wasn't quite as humilating as that, but almost. Probably the most embarassing part is the timing of it all, I finally decided to give into it, buy new sheets and tell people how happy I was. But, then I got a text message last night, and it would appear, I'm once again, locked out of heaven.

But, that's life. I never know if I should keep taking risks, when so often it seems like I'm just setting myself up to be hurt again. But for better or for worse, this is who I am. And I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all, which is one of the alternatives. The other, being happy, I'm still working on. Truth be told though, I did have more than my fair share of happiness this past month, so no regrets! And I will be loved, when the time is right.