Sunday, 30 June 2013

Rainbow

So on my cross-country road trip I find myself in Magog, Quebec. I spent two days in Montreal, one of which I spent working. For the entire day. I tried to meet up with a friend for lunch, ended up leaving early, going home to work, and being late for my hair appointment. I swear to God I was the only geek in the entire salon who wasn't just enjoying one of the greatest indulgences in life, not to mention being in Montreal, one of my favorite cities. Instead of enjoying it, I was on my laptop working the rest of the afternoon.

This is why working corporate and me are never going to last. So it's Pride weekend in Toronto and I feel a bit sad missing it, seeing as how me and Lizzie always paint the town red (ie. drink for 5 consecutive days at Pride parties) and all. I think I'm getting a little bit old to have the stamina to make it through Pride, so secretly, I'm happy to have an excuse not to have to keep up all weekend.

I have my own tiny version of Pride going on this weekend though, as I'm currently out in the country and tomorrow road-tripping it out east with my adopted uncle, Brett. At dinner tonight he made a toast (one of the thousands of things I wasn't allowed to do as a JW) and he said that all of us were "family". I had to leave the table so I could run to the washroom and cry.

I'm still not comfortable with the unconditional love. I like it, but it's foreign to me still, and I'm more at home with people who I can't and don't really trust. But maybe going home with Brett will change things. We'll go see Grandma, then I'll go see my Dad and if that doesn't set things right in my head, I don't know what will.

I know one thing for sure though. I'm proud of my friends who are celebrating Pride this weekend. It takes guts to go out and be who you really are in a world that may or may not choose to accept that. Sexual orientation is only one of the important issues facing us, but in a lot of ways, my gay friends can relate to me on a much deeper level than my straight friends do. Most of them have suffered the insecurity of coming out. (Like I did.) Most of them have dealt with some kind of shunning or abandonement. (Like I did.) Most of them have come through the other side. (Like I did.) All of them are fabulous. Like I am.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lovie

As I locked the apartment door tonight after work and shopping and way too much cleaning, I had a thought. There are too many people who know I don't usually lock my door. They're the same people who know the front door code, so being proactive, I'm making a list of all the people who know the code, in case I end up murdered and my cat eats my face before anyone finds me. (please, please no open casket)

I'll keep the list in my desk at work, that way the murderer can't find it and take it home with them. (But you can find it and avenge my death.)

I think it would be prudent to also make a list of people I've dated (the ones whose names I remember anyway) because you can cross-reference that with the list of people who know the front door code, and that's where I'd start with the investigation.

I'm working on a third list, of all the homeless people who hang out on my block/in the park across the street, because one of them tried to attack me one night on the way home from school, so I don't trust them either.

But definitely start with the guys I've dated. I've put all of them through varying degrees of craziness, all perfectly proportioniate though to how much I knew we would eventually crash and burn. Being me, I can't get really hurt anymore so, it is what it is.

I tried to make a list the other day of all the guys who have floated in and out my life over the past two years. It almost shamed me because over the next couple of days I had to keep going back and adding people I had completely forgotten about. The majority of them? Good times, glad we both moved on. There have been those precious few though that were really great people. Unfortunately, at our age (27), goals, logistics, lifestyle, schedules, etc. all matter way too much. Some of the best guys I've met just didn't work out because things didn't line up for us in those categories.

I don't think we should view that as any kind of failure on anyone's part, instead we should be grateful for the experience and look back on it with a smile and with love.

So it didn't work out with us. That doesn't change the fact that I love you. You know who you are.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Summer Solstice

Have you written anything lately? Nope. I've been blocked. It's not like nothing is happening. I could tell you lots of crazy stories if I wanted to. Last night I accidentally ended up at an Irish pub listening to some guys play Willy Nelson with an odd combination of guys I know from the bar downstairs. The benefits of being at a dive bar listening to Willy Nelson music in the middle of the night is that you can get up and dance without feeling stupid. It was fun. :)

I blame my computer for this recent blockage. It's uninspiring. I need to go out and buy another Mac. Friday was, however, the first day of Summer. Although it's been cloudy and wet in Toronto, we can all be happy that winter/spring is finally behind us and here we are at the start of a new season.

We all know I'm a new beginings junkie, but I'm a bit of a oxymoron here because I also hate starting over. And when things change. Way too sentimental, I still have a picture of my ex-husband in my bedroom. I still miss him. One of my friends is also moving forward from the past, and it kills me a little on the inside. I know we each make our own choices. I know I'm better off with Travis married to Nicole and me on my own now.

I know we should all be grateful for our lives and all the good things, but every once in awhile shouldn't it be ok to say, "this sucks".

I think it should be. Sometimes in life, things you really want just don't work out the way you hoped they would. Being halfway through the new year, it's easy to think about how little progress we've made on what we had hoped to accomplish by now. OR, we can take a different approach. We can say hey, it's halfway through the year, time to re-evaluate. Track down you list of New Year's resolutions and re-focus.

In that train of thought, I ordered a new juicer, went back to yoga and decided to make some changes. I booked a trip home. There's really nothing better to help you get grounded again than going home. (4 more sleeps!)

I don't know about you, but I think this will be a great summer. Despite not hitting all the targets I set for myself this year, I did accomplish a lot. Between work, school, and just general healing, I can't complain at all about how 2013 has been treating me. There's still 6 months to go though, so after this well-deserved break which will include tons of giggles with people who actually have known me for longer than a year, I'll be back and ready to take on whatever the second half of the year wants to throw at me. Lately, that's been a lot of good things. :)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

You Complete Me...?

Possibly one of the most famous movie lines of all time, when Jerry Maguire walks in to that room full of women and says it to Dorothy, we all believe in true love, even if only for a few minutes.

A little known secret and one of the most important things I've learned is that you don't actually need someone to complete you, you can complete yourself. Being in love is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and I've been there. And apparently everyone wants to be there, all the time. The movie never ends with the girl deciding actually she's ok on her own, saying goodbye to the guy and going home to eat ice cream in her pj's because she's happy to be out of a mediocre relationship and excited for the unknown future.

Looking for love outside ourselves can often lead to disappointment and a broken heart because nothing in this world is constant. Even getting married or having a child doesn't guarantee you automatic love for the rest of your life. People get divorced, they move away, they die, and sometimes they just stop loving you.

Self love is something I've always struggled with. I think most of us do. We don't say what we really feel, or do what we really want to do in our lives because we're afraid. For me, I was afraid people didn't love me enough, wouldn't accept me for who I was if I showed them the real me. So I tried to be perfect me instead.

Of course, that plan didn't go so well, I found myself completely wound up in the life I had thought I wanted, with everything I had worked so hard for, but I was unhappy. It wasn't really me who had wanted those things, it was my mother, my friends, my community.

The problem with that life is that although I hit all the targets that I had been programmed to think I wanted, it was never enough. There was always more I had to do to be accepted and acceptable. It was exhausting and in the end, I had to get out.

That's when I met Adam. I was totally in love with him, and a big reason for that was, for the first time in my life, I was seeing myself through the eyes of someone who completely loved me. No conditions. I didn't feel a need to be taller, or skinnier, or smarter, or more hardworking or less honest. I was perfect, even in my imperfection. And I felt complete. It was intoxicating.

We all know how that ended, and after losing a love that I thought was never going away it's taken me years to get back to being able to look at myself even a tiny bit like the way I did back then. But this time everything is much better, because I'm not with a man that I'm in love with. And I'm not looking to "him" (or anyone else) to make me complete. I just am.

I did meet a man who has loved me unconditionally for real. Over the past couple of years, he, his parents and his daughter have taken me in, accepted me and loved me. And that has made a huge difference. And my family has been there through it all, supporting my choices and the changes I've chosen to make in my life.

But what made the biggest difference for me has been realizing that I'm already enough, just as I am. Sure there will always be a need for personal growth and further education, learning never ends. I hope to get a better job eventually, maybe have a family, be able to do a headstand in yoga, learn to speak Italian, become more patient, be a better person than who I am today in so many ways. But the Universe is always in control of these things and I believe I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, right now.

And at the end of the day, if we can complete ourself, won't we be so much better able to weather the storms that come from losing friends, losing family, losing romantic relationships. One way or another, these changes will come. And they will hurt. And the people around us will try their best to help us come through the other side. But the only person you know will always be there for you, is you. You might as well learn to love them.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Comin' Home

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

I was checking my blog stats today and I have to ask...what is with y'alls obsession with Stuart? I get it, I love him too, but besides Faith, Hope, Love I think he's my most popular post. Stuart's gone people, get over it. Sure, he calls me out of the blue every once in awhile from a cab in NYC or on a trip to Canadian Tire (apparently people who make insane amounts of money can get very frustrated by the cost of ladders for their yachts) but mostly, he's gone. Stuart's out, Jersey Shore is in, that's how life goes. I don't like it any more than you do, but I accept it, you should too. Jersey's way better for my career progression anyways, and that's why we go to work right? Not to see our fill-in dad and talk about our feelings. Although it is Father's Day this weekend and you can rest assured I'll be calling Stuart to say hi.

So yesterday was two weeks to the day until I get the hell out of here and head on home. I'm ready. The city is great, but I'm tired of all the people, the crowds, the pretentiousness. I recently took a day off work and spent it with a friend who is having a hard time. I love her, I do, and I am happy to support her through the hell she's going through right now. But Jesus Christ, her friends suck are not people I would choose to socialize with voluntarily. (Present company excluded.) I ended up on a patio in what can only be compared to the mad tea party from Alice in Wonderland. The guy to my left? I accidentally slept with him one night and I can't for the life of me understand why. Is he cute? Totally. And he knows it. Every word he said all afternoon made me wish I had a time machine and could go back in life and make different choices. The girl across from me? A (I want to say "hooker") lady whose "boyfriend" pays for her company. He drives a brand new Aston Martin though, so we all know he's compensating for something. Add in a few more people who I'm sure I shouldn't even mention on here and you have yourself a perfect afternoon in the suburbs. (Ps. I hate the suburbs. There is literally no way to get home, even if I knew where I was and how to do that.)

None of this really matters though, when pitted against the big issues in life, and I'm just happy that I get to pack a bag, get on a train/plane/automobile and go somewhere that I feel like Margaux and life makes sense again. Lindsay's mom died this week, and while we were talking about it the other day she asked me what would I do when my dad dies? Answer: I will lose my shit.

I'll probably just walk over to St. Mike's, voluntarily check myself in to my old favorite padded cell, and curl up. No stand offs with the cops this time, no getting handcuffed to a stretcher and dragged out of my apartment. (Sidenote: that cop asked me why I kicked him. He seemed like a nice guy. If he's reading my blog, I'm sorry about that. I know, I know, violence is never the answer.)

My dad is not going to die, but with Father's Day coming up this weekend, I have to say I've been really lucky. To have been afforded enough time to make everything alright. I lost my mom through this process, but I got my Dad back. Both of them are so important to me, but I have the peace of mind of knowing I did the hard work to turn myself back into a "JW" so mom can come back anytime she likes. Dad - I couldn't have got through the past 4 years without him. He's been my best friend and constant support. When I got disfellowshipped and was alone for a long time he called me every day to see if I was ok. (I wasn't.) If I was having a bad day, he'd call me twice. If it was a really bad day, 3 times.

Distance can be challenging, but in the end, if we really want to enough we can find ways to bridge that. Reflections on this week can be summed up in the fact that life is way too short. Losing people we love hurts more than we admit to ourselves or anyone else. At the end of the day, life is just a crazy tea party with the Mad Hatter. Duck out, get away from the people you know are never going to be all that important to you and call your Dad.

I love you Daddy. See ya really soon!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and hell are not some places I’m going to go to later on. Heaven and hell are here right now, and I create them for myself with my own choices. ~ Hae Doh Gary Schwocho

Hey y'all. I know, I know it's been awhile. Truth be told, I've been pretty blocked lately. I went to a patio yesterday with a notebook and a pink sharpie, to people watch and hopefully gain some inspiration. I wrote a lot but at the end of the day, I had nothing. I made a lot of lists though, which are always very helpful in life.

I did go on a date on Saturday, which turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. (Yes, that is the stage I'm at. Where I expect dates to always just be bad.) It was funny, because we were chatting before and he asked me what my blog address was. I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't think of a reason not to give it to him, what with all you thousands of strangers reading me all the time. So I gave it to him. And I will never do that again. Because by the time I showed up for dinner, he knew all my deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets and all I knew was that he was a lawyer who knows stuff about corporate leasing.

He asked me if I would consider being with someone who was actually religious. Jesus. Dude knew way too much about me for a first date. So now I can't help but picture us baptizing our children while I stand in a Catholic church, in a modest dress, trying not to have a panic attack. Doesn't work though, and I panic and drop the baby in the holy water (cause I'm clumsy) and he shakes his head like he knew all along cult-girl was the wrong choice for all of this.

But he was lovely.

The real focus of the weekend though was that one of my best friends mom passed away, tragically and unexpectedly, at 53 years of age. That's more than a decade younger than my parents. I called my dad the next day and told him that I loved him. Unselfishly, I feel for her. I lost my uncle last year at a ridiculously young age, I can't imagine what it's like to lose a parent. In some ways though, I can and I have. Selfishly, I couldn't help but think about how I will feel when my mom passes away and we haven't spoken in a decade? More? My girlfriend called me yesterday and she said, Don't you just want to call her and tell her that all of this religious stuff is bullshit and she doesn't want to die never having talked to you again? YES. I want to call her and tell her that.

On the other hand, I truly believe the quote at the top of this post. We make our own little heavens and hells, and who am I to impose on what she wants to believe in? I don't believe there is an afterlife where we are either eternally happy or eternally tormented. It's our choice, now, to decide which one will shape our life. And while I don't believe either are sustainable long term, because life is an endless series of ups and downs, failures and successes, we can choose where we spend the majority of our time.

It was Steve Jobs who said: "For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something...almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."

We don't have anything to lose. Except eventually, our life. Death is the constant enemy who is always waiting for us around the corner. Life is shorter than we think, it's special and we should make the most of it. Enjoy the little heavens, live through the little hells, know that neither lasts for too long, whether it's the highs or the lows. Appreciate every day that we're still around to tell the people we love how much they mean to us. If we're unhappy, we should make a change, even if it's the hardest thing we ever do. At the end of the day, the only person we have to answer to is us.

And remember Lindsay, love can't be bound, can't be tamed, can't be killed. Love is eternal. It lives on, even when the person we love is gone. Believe in that, and your mom will always be here. In you. With us. xo.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Catch me if you can!

Is it a Rod Stewart afternoon? Yes please.

I've been cleaning for the first time in weeks (apparently I've been a bit of a savage lately, but I'm starting to make some progress on cleaning up my apartment/life). I actually spent some time today considering if it's ok to write a blog about the pros and cons of cleaning up cat vomit when it's wet vs when it's dry. (Seriously, when it's wet, it's so much easier to clean up. But I have a very sensitive gag reflex and then I almost throw up too. When it's dry, it's so hard to get off the floor, but at least it's less disgusting. No? We don't like where this is going? I knew it was a bad idea. Sorry. Feel free to contact me to get your money back plus damages for the time wasted/emotional trauma you've suffered having to read that.)

I finally decided to take the picture of Vienna off my fridge and move on. And by "move on" I mean "focus on my career". Isn't that a great term? No matter what you want to get out of in life, you can just say, I need to focus on my career and who can argue with that? No one. Cause yah, you do.

I was talking about it with my secret life friend the other day and he said: "This is a little something I've discovered about my sweetest friend Margaux. The minute you feel threatened with hurt or abandonment you start shooting like an epileptic cowboy." Um, hmmm. Ok, I can go with the whole "I have a disability" thing. I've been a bit emotionally disabled for like, 3 years now. But, in my defense, it's sort of a self-preservation mechanism. It's complicated, but once you've been shot through the heart and left bleeding on the sidewalk, you gotta start wearing bullet-proof gear. (So you don't almost die again, OBVIOUSLY.) You can't really love anyone without taking the risk of getting hurt. But after everything I've been through, getting hurt again is not really an option anymore.

It took a few years of therapy but at least I know now that's what I do and why I do it. When life went away so overnight, I had no control over any of it. Now, if I get even an inkling that you're halfway out the door, I will cut you so fast you won't know what happened. At least it was my decision, in my control. I'm not trying to hurt you, really. I'm just trying to protect myself. Which is why I will probably die alone and my cat will eat my face before anyone finds me. That's also why my best ex-boyfriend ever used to call me "Little Flight Risk" (I'm trying to think about how to make that funny, but I'm drawing a blank). I think the solution is...wait for it...to get a puppy.

Puppies. Rainbows. Ice cream. See? This was a happy blog after all!

PS:

I would have given you all of my heart. But there's someone who's torn it apart.

And she's taken just all that I had. But if you want I'll try to love again.

Baby, I'll try to love again but I know:

The first cut is the deepest (funniest Rod Stewart video ever)