Sunday, 28 April 2013

Call and Answer

If you call, I will answer. And if you fall, I'll pick you up. And if you court this disaster, I'll point you home. ~ The Barenaked Ladies

I went out on Friday night with one of my girlfriends. She was with a group of her friends, and while I think I try really hard not to judge...these people were awful. We probably looked like a normal group of downtown 30-somethings (except me, we all know I'm only 27), on a cool patio that you really can't drink on unless you can afford the $20 glasses of wine. We were mostly all "suits", corporate, smart, attractive, successful.

Besides the one girl I went there for though, it wasn't a great experience. Let's take the guy to my left. We were chatting and I happened to mention I was divorced. "So am I!" It rolled off so quickly and easily, I had no idea he was lying until said girlfriend told me the next day he was married. The girl across the table? Fake nails, fake smile and all she really cares about is finding some guy who makes a ton of money and wrapping him up to take home. She was out half the night with that married guy. The other guy? Also an assole. He seemed nice at first, but true colours came out pretty quickly. He was really pissed off when my girlfriend called her boyfriend to pick her up because he wanted to "take her home". Even though he has a girlfriend and doesn't want a relationship or anything like that with my friend.

I left early, let the suits pay for my 2 overpriced glasses of wine and woke up feeling intensely grateful for the friends I have in my life. I won't lie. I feel lonely a lot. My dad always says, in life, you can count the number of real friends you have on one hand. But coming from my background, I'm used to having an entire community around me, people there, all the time. I was married, I always had someone to come home to. So I'm still adapting to life as it stands, now.

One thing I decided to do differently this time around, was not just accept people into my life without purpose. I only have 3 real girlfriends in Toronto. But if you learned anything from Sex and the City, that's all you need. And I have other friends.

Yesterday Liz and I went to Yorkville, we had coffee, went shopping, ate ice cream, got our nails done. It was the perfect day. Today Lindsay and I sat in my bathroom playing with Krista's foster kittens (we have to keep them in the bathroom so Cat doesn't kill them). I spent this morning on Skype with secret life friend who is away having the best time ever. I miss him a lot. I'm really happy for him that he's so happy, but selfishly, I just want him to come home.

Because, I truly believe I've made great choices when it comes to who I decided to rebuild my life with. I couldn't ask for a better group of friends and I really am very happy. But having someone who has lived the same life as you, found the same doubts, made the same choices? That's beyond special. My dad mostly gets it, but the only people who really, truly understand me are K, M, and this guy.

Somehow the sound doesn't work on my computer, so as we were Skype-ing today, we gave up on text and just started writing messages on a notebook and flashing them up on the screen to each other. When they make my book into a movie that will definetely be one of the scenes that makes people want to cry. True, never-ending friendship and unconditional love. That's all any of us really strive for in life, so I should stop worrying about how the hell am I going to end this story and just write the book. This is enough of a happy ending, even for an OCD, A-type like me.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Cat, Fred, Margaux

So I've decided to name my big, blue Buddha. He looks like a Fred. Call me crazy (I know...I kinda am), but I like it. Cat doesn't pay much attention to Fred, I don't think she's noticed there's 3 of us who live here now.

Fred and I were talking today about all those years I spent with the Vietnamese people and the English names they'd pick for themselves. For girls it always ended with a "y": Cindy, Jenny, Wendy, Kimmy, the list goes on. I'm not quite sure why that was. I knew one poor kid whose parents named him Strychnal. A quick google search will tell ya, he's not the only Vietnamese kid who had that to live up to.

I'm going off topic. Fred gets Vietnamese people (most of them are Buddhists) and he feels strongly that I should stop repressing all those old memories and make peace with the past. He's right. I loved them so much. They drove me crazy, yes. Learning their language sucked, yes. And I couldn't relate to so much of who they were. Or ever bring myself to eat tripe. But at some point, I just went with it. That was my life, these were my people. Their crazy was my crazy. I will never forget the night I spent at my friends place, the night her husband went to jail for getting busted in a grow-op. I went to bed with 2 of her kids. We couldn't fit vertically, so we all slept horizontally across the bed and I don't think I slept at all while her babies snored. And then we all got up and had rice for breakfast.

When I look back on my past life - it seems so crazy!!!! But good crazy. In the "let's put ice cream in root beer and see what happens" way. One of my friends is posting pictures on FaceBook from Vietnam and I think that's what's making me and Fred nostalgic tonight. She's one of 3 people I know right now who are taking time off and travelling around, having the time of their lives. One in Asia, one in Australia, one in Europe.

And they aren't kids either. They're my age or older. So I got a little inspired. I've been thinking a lot lately about what happens next? I know I still have a million things I need to get better at. But - in a short/long 4 years, when I had to start all over again from scratch, no home, no job, no friends, no husband, feeling suicidal all the time...I've come a long, long way. I wanted to show them what I was made of, and I did. I got a good job, great apartment, new friends to replace the old ones, adopted a new family...and still manage to pass myself off as 27 on dates. But what then? I don't think I'm in any place to settle down, have a family. I can't even keep a relationship going longer than a couple of months. So I need something else to do.

Saying it out loud will make me more committed, so I hope that, by this time next year, I've figured out a plan for the next chapter. I could never do what my international travelling friends are doing, I'm too straight-laced and responsible. But...I am lucky enough to work for a big corporate company. I could take a sabbatical. I love my apartment. But...I could sub-let it. If I'm smart and industrious, this time next year, I could be getting on a plane. And spending some time doing what needs to be done. Life has been way too serious. Not just the past 4 years, but always. Some time off couldn't hurt. I could meet new people, see new things, spend my time writing.

I don't need much to get by, I could travel light. However it happens though, Fred is coming with me.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Grace, Too

Alternate title: Happy Birthday Darling.

I know I'm a couple of days early, it's not quite the 24th. And I'm obviously a little too obsessed with the Tragically Hip (it's a good song, they all are).

Besides the Tiffany's bag you got on my birthday, the only other thing I'm good at is writing you a love song. And by a love song I mean a blog, that's my version of it. : )

I've recently entered into enemy territory so I'm not using real names anymore. Plus my dad* (*may or may not be his real name) told me that if I go ahead down this path, there's a really good chance K and M (for all their dabbling outside the lines) will just cut me off too. At this point, I don't doubt that there's anyone out there who won't walk away from me. I'm used to it. I never know what M's gonna do. I love her, but she's a wildcard. K though, we've been together since she was a baby. Since we were both babies I guess because in light of her recent birthday, we have both decided to stay 27 forever and now I guess we'll always be the same age.

What can I say about the oldest friend I have for her birthday? We've both gone through our crazy, self-destructive stages, dealing with what we had to deal with. Her, when she was supposed to, in her teenage years. Me, I suppressed it and lived my crazy 20s in the past two years of my thirties. (I mean 27.) And we've switched places. I was always the older, mature, stable one who she could come to when she needed to. I can't imagine it's easy to deal with things turning completely upside down, and now I'm the one she worries about instead of it being the other way around.

She got married to the greatest guy, is following her passions, as am I, but with a family, a marriage, some real security in life. Although I think we both have almost healed, she's a better person than I am because she would never give in to occasional relapse of anger. She is grace personified, no matter what her parents throw at her. I do ok for awhile, and then I always give in, give up, and walk away, to protect myself.

And she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Despite our extreme differences, we are kindred spirits and as she turns 27 (again) like I have so many times, I wish her the best year ever. Even though the past few years must have have been pretty awesome.

I'm sure we'll go years and years into the future together, calling each other on Fridays, her listening to my stupid dates while I stand and cheer at her accomplishments in life. And that's what real family does, even if they're not your real family. They love you, they support you. Every once in awhile, the pedulum swings and you take opposite roles. Sometimes the supporter, sometimes the one who cries. The beauty lies in unconditional love, full support and no judgment. And the occasional classic fight, the occasional perfect gift, the occasional Taylor Swift concert in the rain and coming home together to your home away from home in the middle of the night. The occasional shared bottle of red wine. The constant love and support and conversation.

How did we get here? By never drifting too far apart. I love you kiddo. Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Never never land

In my efforts to forget about the fact that Vienna was supposed to land here on Friday, I had two dates this weekend. Candidate #1: 39 years old, works corporate like me, cute. Candidate #2: 25 years old, I don't think he has a job. But he's super hot so one can overlook that.

At the end of the day, both of them are just man-boys, like all of them are. It's been an endless rotation of Peter Pans and I'm getting sick of being Wendy. It happens all the time. I'm not sure what kind of aura I'm sending out to the Universe, but it seems to be this: If you're heartbroken, come this way. I'll feed you, bandage you up and send you off to the next girl, the one you'll be serious about.

I woke up early this morning and got on the subway and went to North York (I hate the subway and won't take it for most people). I hung out with Chris' family, my sorta family. T wanted to paint our nails so at the moment I'm typing with the worst manicure ever (she's 9, cut her some slack).

I should take it off because I can't go to work tomorrow with sparkly, bright pink nails. On the other hand, I don't want to take it off because this family is the only real, sincere thing I have here in TO. I have a couple of good girlfriends. But it's different from having a family.

So back to another recent post, I feel like it's time to move on. Get outta here. You're coming with me, right? :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Lost in Translation

So, my most recent crush and I spoke a different language. He spoke German, I spoke English and it made for some interesting conversations to say the least.

Sitting in bed alone on a Saturday morning, I can't help but wonder, was it just him or do I not speak the language of the entire male population?

I don't think I do. I have my "secret life" friend who totally gets me, good girlfriends, and to be honest, I actually never have to go to bed alone unless I want to. But I still don't understand men. They act like they want the same things we do. Someone to come home to, someone to love, but most of them don't actually want that at all.

Even if they choose it, decide to settle down, they will eventually become unhappy and come after you to fill their voids and make them feel whole again. So don't do it. Married men never leave their wives. It's a universal truth. And single men in their 30s? I'm sure there's the odd one who is honest and sincere, like my dad was back in the day. Most of them though? Fucked up. Move on. This brings us back to all the 20-somethings I've been dating, that's not a good idea either.

It's been pointed out more than once that I could just become a lesbian, unfortunately though, that's not a choice, it's how you're born. So? I'm sorry to be the one who says it but enjoy your girlfriends. Make the most of your friend with benefits. Because it seems like love is reserved for just a few special people out there.

It's snowing again in Toronto. I think I'll go back to bed.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Hope Springs

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming." ~ Pablo Neruda

I have to say, it's been a long, dark, cold winter. The good thing about winter, is that spring is never far behind. As dark and long as the days become, it's only temporary. Winter is arguably the least popular season, and for good reason. We socialize less, stay home alone more and it's easy when everything is dark and gray, to give in to self-pity, loneliness and depression.

Everything seems dead, especially at times, our hope in brighter days ahead. I didn't have a great winter myself. It was the anniversary of some particularly hard times in my family and then my husband got re-married. Although I wish him happiness, that wasn't easy for me either. And still it seems, as hard as I work, nothing ever changes. I'm still at the same job I started 3 years ago. I'm no closer to finding someone to love.

But there are those little things that have changed for me gradually. Like having a few good friends. Finding a voice and being able to stand up for myself when I need to, say no when I need to. My identity is not shaped anymore by any one aspect of my life and I think that's a good thing. The more facets that together form who you are, the less threatened you will be if any one of them goes away. Friends, family, home, career, hobbies, boyfriend/partner, social status...any of these could leave you at any time (and I would know). But I'll never lose all of them at the same time ever again and that means that even when you hit a bump, you still get to hold on to most of who you are.

I've just finished my term at school, and I'm relieved. It's been a great experience so far, but on top of my job, when you add in my A-type personality and tendancy to be an A student, it was a lot of work and I'm looking forward to taking a break over the summer. Last summer was crazy, working at the restaurant and everything that comes with that lifestyle (par-tay!). I'm happy I had that experience but I think this summer will be much more relaxed and laid back. I plan to focus on my writing in my spare time, there's still some crazy book that's been sitting on a shelf in my apartment for 2 years now that begs to be completely re-written. Right now, it focuses too strongly on the cataclyst of my life, the thing that shook me out of the fog and into the light, and while he was monumentally important, he's not the star of this show.

I am. And if I had ever realized that before, I wouldn't feel so far behind where I should be now. But it's ok. Any of us, at any age, in any situation, might face the reality of starting over. Or, for some of us, it's just a matter of shaking off some bad times and feeling the sun shine for us again. That's why I love spring. Every day, we are reborn and have a chance to change everything. It is however, particularly inspiring and much easier to do that, with some birds chirping in the park, a warm breeze blowing and the sun on our face.

Hope springs eternal. Almost a month since spring officially arrived, we are finally walking in to the new season. Let's make the most of it. :)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rebuttal

Dear readers,

I received an interesting message on my blog today. I have to say, it was quite well-written and I really love all the big words, not to mention the Batman reference. I almost feel like perhaps this person and I used to be very good friends at one point. :)

For your reading pleasure:

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The man behind the curtain":

You write well Margaux. I think your readers will be sophisticated enough to realize that your views are, necessarily, somewhat tendentious. Equanimity makes for dull reading. As you have generously enabled commenting on your blog, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective if I may.

Your view of this policy, I think, depends on what you believe to be the motive of the one pursuing it. I don’t wish to trivialize a sensitive topic but let me take a cue from you and refer to a movie. In ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, at one point Alfred tries to dissuade Bruce Wayne (whom he loves) from a course that he believes is recklessly dangerous. He tells him: “If you want to kill yourself that’s up to you but don’t expect me to stay around and watch” (or something like that). I don’t know your family members but perhaps they are thinking something similar? Let’s say that they sincerely believe that the course you are taking in life is self-destructive or harmful to your long-term well being. Let’s assume that they also believe that a by-product of their limiting contact with you is that you might be moved to reconsider the dangerous path you have chosen. You may feel that they are utterly mis-guided on both counts of course, and you would certainly be entitled to that opinion, but I suspect that it wouldn’t be fair to label them as wantonly cruel or harsh, which could be our conclusion at first glance.

In any case, I hope you continue your writing career. I don’t agree with a lot of your opinions but I do think you have talent."


First of all, thank you, Anonymous. I know I have a long ways to go, but I'm working on it and having 11,000 hits on this blog to-date, I have to agree. I think I have a little talent at this whole writing thing.

Secondly, I agree with you again. My views on the subject are of course, "somewhat tendentious". I lost an entire life overnight, went into a deep depression, tried to kill myself. Quite a few "not so good" years, after a lifetime of sacrifice. Sacrificing education, career, home, family, potential friends, potential lovers, a so-called "normal life" in many ways for a cause I was indoctrinated to believe in since I was a toddler. They say you have free will, but if making a decision to join a certain group at 11 or 12 years old, to please your parents and your community, a choice you can never recant and never turn back from...that's not really free will.

Next: I think I've been pretty clear, not just in my most recent "Man behind the curtain" writings but for quite some time now, that the people are not the problem and of course, never who I blame. Some of the best, kindest, most wonderful people I've met and ever will meet in my life are JW. I think back fondly on so many memories of the past, so many good times, so much love. I honestly still look at old pictures and smile.

I would never label my family or anyone else's I know as "wantonly cruel or harsh". I believe I pointed out in the blog that you referred to, that I think the organization who makes these rules is hurting BOTH non-JWs and the JWs. I know this from experience. From having someone who was like a sister to me disfellowshipped and although I worried all the time and my heart ached for her, I never contacted her. Because I had to be faithful and obedient. I know from times spent with her mother, the heartache she felt over the situation. I've seen it over and over again. They are good people and they love their children. And it hurts them immensely to be told to stay away, not even saying a greeting to them should they pass them on the street or check up on them once in awhile to see if they're ok.

The Watchtower article I referenced in that blog, implied this was the correct course of action, even though the example in discussion was someone who was disfellowshipped for 16 years. Can you imagine the pain of his parents, not even thinking they were allowed to check in and see if he was ok? Or alive? Or happy? For 16 years. But putting forward a "sterling example" such as this one, encourages all the JWs who buy into this as "loyalty to God", to just keep the course, and eventually, like that guy, their son/daughter/sister/brother will come back. What if they don't? What if they make a new life, and they're happy? What if they die? What if said mother/father/sister/brother dies? Never having seen their family member who they love so much, ever again?

Does this belief make people (JW or not) happy? No. I firmly believe that. And I can understand limiting your association with anyone whose life course you don't approve of. But to not even have that natural, family love is not right. People out there, every single day, do much worse things than leave the religion they grew up in, and their family still loves them.

The problem I see here, is that people live in the fear that they are taught and don't believe there are good people of every race, every religion, every background. The new world that I've found is rich with kindness and beauty, things I was taught were impossible on "the outside". I just don't want anyone else to buy into the idea that life can't be everything we want it to be. Some beliefs and lifestyles work for some people. But just because you're born into something, doesn't mean it's the right course for you. And even if you do buy into it and want it in your life, no one should tell you that you absolutely have to walk away from anyone that you love. Love is rare in this world and should be cherished above all.

To your last point. About how my family feels that limiting their association with me will save me from the dangerous path I've chosen and save me from my my self-destructive lifestyle - I don't doubt that, but...they believe it's dangerous (as I'm sure do you) because I will die at Armageddon. My "self-destructive" lifestyle includes the best job I've ever had, finally going to University and being educated, the most loyal and true friends of my life and finally, finally the one thing that's always eluded me my entire life...inner peace. I don't believe in Armageddon, or Judgment Day, and if I'm wrong, if there's a God out there who will destroy most of the people I love just because they don't buy into that either? Take me with them. I'm at peace with that decision.

By the way, Batman kicks ass and takes names, and actually doesn't die. And him and Alfred live happily ever after. And Batman has the inner peace of knowing that he did what had to be done. What no one else had the courage to do.

I still have my issues with the past and I'm still working on myself, I won't deny that. But I'm the happiest, most free, most honest version of myself that I've ever been. And I wouldn't change that for the world.

Thank you, Anonymous for your thoughts. I wish more people would comment on my blog and tell me what they really think. I encourage you to do so, anytime you like. It's always good food for thought and I'm open to all of your thoughts and opinions. The only difference between me now versus me back then, is I'll think about it, analyze it, and decide whether or not it's right for me.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Get the Hell out of Dodge

I can't think of a better place to spend a Saturday morning then right here in my apartment. Talking to you. Enjoy the free ride while you can, one of these days I'll have to hoard all my words and sell them. Now, I give them away for free.

I thought I should follow up my last blog with something a little more upbeat, if only so y'all know that I'm not upset, I just find the JW organization upsetting. But it's ok, because I'm doing something about it.

The great thing about starting over in life is that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. I'm sure this is a little premature, but now that I've rocked it in Toronto, I'm ready to move on. I've realized that it doesn't really matter where you are, as long as you have somewhere you can make home and a laptop. (This blog is upsetting the Cat. She's not as adaptable to change as I've become.)

Where will we go next? The possibilities are endless. Hopefully somewhere that they don't eat Cats for dinner. That rules out most of southeast Asia. Maybe New York? Living there is on my (also hopefully premature) bucket list. Europe? Despite the cat issues I'd still love to live in Asia. This year, we got our shit together. Next year, we'll do something entirely different and completely awesome.

The past four years have been an interesting journey. The first two, I really didn't accomplish anything besides crying and mourning the passing of a life I once loved. The next two were a strange combination of recklessly reliving (for the first time) my 20s and working my ass off because I felt so far behind in life.

The thing about getting to where you want to be in life, is...where do we go from here?

The next logical step would be to take all this work I've done on myself the past couple of years and settle down, let someone else in. Fall in love. And I've been trying to do that. (Not for long, maybe just a few minutes now.) But I was telling my brother today all the elaborate reasons that Vienna had to cancel his trip here in a couple of weeks, the one I took a week off work for, and he just looked at me and said "And you believe that?". And I have to admit, I don't.

So whatever the untold future holds, no more men for the moment. But if anyone in San Francisco or New York wants to offer me a job, I'm ready to pack up and move on. The Cat will just have to deal with it. :)

Friday, 12 April 2013

The man behind the curtain

Yet another post about religion on a Friday night. My friends are waiting for me at a restaurant, but I'm stalling, because I think this is important.

My dad is in town. I'm so happy to see him. He is an alternate version of me and according to Krista today, we have the same eyes. In different ways, the same soul.

In one of my classes we've explored different cultures and it's almost scary to know how many groups practice shunning of those who leave. One would only hope a religious group would evolve with the times, even though I understand the perception that doing that would mean turning back on their values and ideals.

It would seem though, as much as we wish it would go differently, the JWs are becoming more and more firm in their stance on how they view those who might leave, instead of moving forward with the rest of the world. While at one point it was completely acceptable for immediate family members to make their own judgments on how to interact with those who have left, the latest issue of the Watchtower has taken an unprecedented hard-core stance on disfellowshipped people.

You can read it all here, paragraph 17.

http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20130615/jehovahs-discipline/

They don't come right out and say it, because they never do. But what is implied here is that this is a sterling example of a sinner-come-to-their-senses, and you should do the same thing. Do NOT say a greeting when you meet your sister/mother/daughter on the street. Do NOT check up on your sister/mother/daughter to see if they are ok, even if SIXTEEN years go by. Leave them for dead, or worse. Because that's what God wants. It's right for you to punish them so severely that they will suffer for a huge chunk of their life, and then, when they can't take it anymore, (maybe 16 years later) they will come back. Come back to a group that controls them, their every wish, every thought, every word they say. Because that's why God created us all so different. To punish the ones that he created to be free thinkers.

Again, I will say, I don't blame the individual people who buy into this thinking. I blame the organization that controls their thought and actions and makes thousands of people, JW and not, sad.

Margaux, are you angry? Yes. Anger is not healthy and I get that. But if none of us are ever angry enough to speak out for those of us who are disfellowshipped and don't have a voice, will anything ever change? No. I have friends who suffer because their family hasn't talked to them in years. And they are better people then me, because they suffer in silence and would never think to tell their parents how much it hurts them.

And normally I wouldn't attack the WTBTS, but when they put stuff like that in writing and distribute it to 10 million people, I have to say something. And all I have to say is, I'm sorry they feel that way. I'm sorry freedom of speech and freedom of thought and action are so unacceptable in 2013. And I'm sorry that for the rest of my life, I will do anything and everything I can to stop any more innocent people from believing that this is "The Way".

I'd love to do a survey. Find out how many people who have left the JWs who suffer from guilt, anxiety, depression, who have become addicts, who have tried to commit suicide. Who have suffered from abuse that's been covered up by the organization.

If there is a God, and that's a big IF, and if he's more like the new testament God than the old testament God, I think he would agree with me. And I think he would think we should stop with the way we treat women in Africa, the way we abort girl babies in Asia, the way we kill women for no reason in the middle east, the way we kill women here in North America on the inside who are raised in a cult.

Because it's not right. I am so lucky that I survived what I went through. But stop for a minute and think about all those people who were not as lucky as me. Is dying for unconventional beliefs, ones we might not even buy into, whatever they may be, something we should continue to turn a blind eye to? No.

Join me. And we'll build something that will help all of them. The man behind the curtain? Just an illusion. The things he's spitting out to the Universe? Are poison. Let's make it stop.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Reckless

I've been trying to write tonight, but I'm blocked. I can't think of a single topic to approach that won't bore you. The more people who are reading me, the more pressure I feel. (Sidepoint: Big shout out to Europe. I've got blog-stalkers in Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Russia these days. It's about time you guys caught up - yay!)

So I was thinking about potential topics tonight. "Why didn't you and your fuck buddy ever make it as a couple?" Nope. Too easy. "Is it possible girlfriends synchronize on relationship patterns the same way they do with their periods?" Too real-life lately for my group. "Eating half of a red onion in your dinner salad: why being single will always rock." Nope. Cleaning out the kitty litter just ruined "the perks of being single" for me.

Seriously though, it's raining yet again in Toronto and although the rain always makes me feel melancholy, it also makes me happy. Right now it's a sign of spring around the corner, I get to watch cute couples with rubber boots and big umbrellas out my window. Work is good, school is almost over, and come 2 days from now, my dad will be here. Win, win, win. I love spring!

I have a bunch of little dresses in the closet that haven't seen the light of day for a long time. I thought about going to Vienna on my upcoming week off from work and I realized a few things. Mostly, that I have awesome girlfriends. Lindsay offered to loan me money for the plane ticket. Krista said I should just do it. Liz and Kyla thought I should just take a sabbital from work and see where life took us from there.

And I seriously considered it. The thing about being a grown up is we tend to lose that childish wonder, the complete feeling of being invinsible and not fearing anything. Back then, we were immortal. Now, we could get hurt. We know that because we've been there oh so many times. We've broken our bones, we've broken our hearts. Once, when I was into kickboxing, I tried to make a move on my best friend who was being really annoying, slipped and ended up with two broken bones in my wrist. My arm really was broken but Monique was a fainter, so she got all the attention. Someone told me I should just put some ice on it, but the way the whole thing bent backwards made me insist we should try something called "the hospital". Imagine calling into work on Monday and telling them you wouldn't make it in because you broke your arm in an accidental kickboxing incident. Where you were wearing high heels. I could get away with it then, I was probably 22. Now, not so much.

I have to tell you though, as much as being an adult can sometimes rock, I miss those days of carefree abandon, that start with a card game and end in an impromtu game of hide and seek, which have now been replaced with long days at the office and weekends at the local bar with my friends trying to forget the fact that we're all grown up. (Although I do love my local bar. And bad karaoke bars.)

I've wandered off topic. I decided I was up for the challenge of throwing myself out of my comfort zone and doing something reckless for the first time in forever. In the end though, Vienna was not meant to be. And to be honest, I'd rather go somewhere I've never been. Maybe India. I hear it's terrible. I'm sure I'd love it!

In the meantime, this blog is probably the only thing I do that would make 12 year old me proud. She wasn't really into yoga, or working all the time, or wearing black wool suits. Are any of us? Even the most driven of all people, Jersey Shore goes home on the weekend to his family, his painting, his recipes. Career and job security are important. But maybe more important, (yes! more important!) is nourishing our soul with the things that make us truly happy. And being a little crazy and reckless once in awhile? It's a good choice, and even if you get bruised or banged up a bit, it's makes your inner child very proud. I have no regrets. :)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Yippee ki-yay!

It's raining in Toronto, and the actual title I thought of before this one was "Sleepless in Toronto". Not even I can be that lame.

So I got to 18 days before it was all gonna happen and of course, I found out today Vienna isn't actually coming here. It's not his fault. It just seems like everything I touch turns into bad luck for the other guy, so all you men out there, stay away from me, because if you decide you like me, I will jinx your life. Not on purpose of course, I never mean to harm anyone. I've just always had bad luck, even when I wasn't allowed to believe in it. And it rubs off, so you've been warned.

Maybe that's why I always have a thing for the guys who are already messed up and don't have their shit together. What's the worst I can do to an Irish or a 27? Not hurt them or make their lives worse.

My Buddha is still laughing at me, but more reproachful tonight than usual because he thinks I'm being a defeatist and I should just suck it up and laugh with him at life's little quirks and injustices. But maybe Bruce Willis really has it right and when we're feeling like this we should all just steal a helicopter or jump off an exploding building and say our catch phrase, because when Bruce Willis does that, everything ends up ok in the end, no matter how much of a mess he made along the way.

Ok you got me. I have a weird, geeky crush on Bruce Willis. And now it's thunder and lightning in TO. My dad will be here in a few days. I haven't seen him in a very long time, although it never really feels like that.

And don't worry - I'm fine. I finished my 5th paper for school in the last week tonight and I am DONE. Going to take a break and be a normal person who only has a demanding job but doesn't moonlight as a university kid. Too bad Dexter's not back yet and the Walking Dead is over so I could have some down time, but I've recently discovered Californication and one bad-ass show can be as intriguing as the next one. I secretly wonder when I watch it though if all writers are just messed up. If so, is there any hope for us finding redemption? I hope.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Wanna join my cult?

Last night I went out with some friends, had two glasses of red wine and was home in bed by 10:30 pm. Not too exciting. I'm exhausted from the week. The problem with that kind of Friday night is I've been up since 5 and I'm already bored at 7:30 am. So here I am.

I've been thinking lately about religion. Touchy subject I know. But some parents...people, I meant people!, think that we can't be whole again without some kind of religious belief system. And there are a lot to choose from. Who will you worship? Who claims your allegiance? Allah, God, Jesus, Jehovah, Buddha, Brahman, Ganesh, Krishna...the list goes on and on.

Recently, I've been exporing Buddhism. The teachings seem to fit most closely to the values and ideals I'm trying to live by. I've read a bunch of books on it, yesterday I bought a big, blue Buddha and put him in my living room. He looks really, really happy. Digging a bit deeper though, I realize that any religious group has its pros and cons, good things and bad things.

My last boss, Stuart, brought me back an idol of Ganesh when he went to India. He said he wasn't sure if I'd like it or it would offend me, but Ganesh was a "nice God, unlike the one you know."

I'm sure this is something I will keep exploring, but for now I have a few opinions on the topic. I think religion can be a great force for good in the world. I completely understand people who 100% buy into it and need it in their lives. The thing I don't agree with anymore is proselytizing. I know, this sounds stupid coming from the girl who used to spend 100 hours a month voluntarily doing that, without pay or any kind of return on investment.

Arguably though, as much as it can be a sometimes force for good, religion is also at the root of so much of the evil in this world. I can't in good concience, pick one over another, because organized religion is a money making, people controlling establishment as much as any other corporation is.

I believe it was L. Ron Hubbard who said: "If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

There are good, sincere people who are members of almost all religious groups across the planet. For me, I think taking a little bit from here, a little bit from there and putting it all together into a belief system that I can actually buy into, is how it's going to end up. I'm a religious mutt. I have Buddha on one side of me, Ganesh on the other and a bible on the bookcase. And if I have kids, I'll tell them that, educate them about all the different options out there. And then let them choose their own path.

In the meantime though, I could use some extra money, especially now that I'm mad over some guy who lives in Austria. So, if you're looking for a new religion, come join mine. We're totally allowed to drink coffee, we'll do yoga sessions in the park and we won't judge anyone for anything they've ever done. Y'all would just have to prove that you're a Pure Spirit, dedicated to the common good, and you would never harm anyone or anything. Love, acceptance, forgiveness. Come to the dark side. We have chocolate.

Namaste.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Spoiler Alert!

If you follow The Walking Dead and haven't seen the season finale, don't read this blog. On the other hand, I guess if you consider yourself a fan and haven't watched it yet, you're not truly committed, so knock yourself out.

I probably would have accomplished so much more over the weekend if I had been as committed to these final 5 assignments from school as I was to getting 10,000 hits on my blog. Or if I hadn't caved last night and gone over to watch the last episode of my show with Jay and Hilda. I was lured away from my laptop and sweatpants by those two very bad influences texting me from Jay's place and enticing me with pizza, burnt popcorn and bad Pinot Grigio. (Just kidding guys, I love you. And homework sucks. I made the right choice.)

The first thing I have to say, is come season finale time on TWD, you know someone is gonna die. Or a lot of people (which was the case last night). If I were Andrea, I probably would have blown my brains out too instead of becoming a zombie (I said Spoiler Alert!).

Keep reading: I will get to the point where this relates to real life. When I was at the point where I wanted to do that, it was because I felt like a zombie in real life. It had been too many (nope not days, not weeks, not months) years where I got out of bed in the morning, went to work, tried to make new friends, went to bed at night and didn't feel anything at all.

Life can be a lot like this show. (Sidepoint: have you noticed that it's really just "Lost" reincarnated with zombies? I guess that's why that show was a big deal too.) There are some people, like Adam (and me in a past life) who meet their friends in school, the girl they are going to marry in high school, and everything just stays the same. You all stay together forever and live happily ever after. But for so many others, you move somewhere new, you decide to make a big life change, you get kicked out of a cult. And suddenly everything is different. And scary. And new. So, like in the show, you walk alone for awhile just trying to survive, until you meet up with a group, some of them you like, some you don't. You trust some of them, some not so much. People may come and go, switch sides. But slowly, slowly you make your way back to being human.

And that is how TV is exactly like real life. Except the zombie apocalypse hasn't hit yet. (But it will.) Next time I will be reviewing why we all secretly love Dexter. That will be some weird shit.