Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Faith, Hope & Love - Two Years Later.

Has it been two years already? Missing you, always. xxx


Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13

I love my family. I just don't know some of them very well. Until the past year, that was the case with my uncle, Ken. We were rarely home at the same time in the summers, he lived in Montreal, I was in Toronto. He was on the quieter side, and although I always enjoyed any time I did spend with him, I really didn't know who he was.

On the outside yes. Ken was cool, he was a dancer, he's travelled all over, he loved cats, he spoke French, he smoked Peter Jackson - the white package. Our whole family has always been so proud of his career, he was one of those rare people who didn't sell out but instead followed their dream and made a success of it. Ken is a well known and well respected dancer and dance teacher. His students loved him.

It wasn't until he got sick though that we became close. I started going to Montreal more often, spending time one on one with him. For me, there were a lot of firsts, learning about the people he's worked with, travelled with, danced with. Looking at pictures from all his trips. Hours spent talking about life, relationships, death, religion, God, family, friends. Food - he loved food. Making meals, having snacks, drinking coffee and eating croissants in the mornings. Getting to know his partner, Louis. The times I've spent in Montreal over the past year are very precious memories of making a very good friend.

And not just one, but many, as Ken had so many people who really loved him and were there for him through this time. After finding out he had cancer, Ken didn't give up, but he kept himself busy, reading books, cooking, collaborating on new dance projects. He was good natured and easy to be around, even on bad days when he felt so sick.

I feel very grateful and humbled to be a part of a family of such loving, hard-working and accepting people. Watching my grandma, aunt, uncles and mom rallying around Ken, providing support in any and every way possible was truly inspiring.

Seeing Ken's "Montreal Family": Louis, Brett, Sarah, Sioned, Heather, Luc, Francis and others consistently showing up and doing all they could for their friend solidifies my belief in true friendship and true love.

We all hoped he would get better. But he didn't. And now we need to take solace in knowing he's no longer suffering and have faith that he is somewhere kinder, better and happier than here. Hope and Faith can keep us going during even the darkest, saddest times. In the end though, without Love, the faith and hope wouldn't actually mean all that much.

I say it all the time on this blog, but I truly believe Love is an action. Sure, it's also a feeling, and a great one, but without the proofs of love, can we ever be sure it really exists? When Ken breathed his last breath, he knew he was surrounded by people who loved him, accepted him, believed in him. They had shown him this through their actions over the years, but it became especially evident when he really needed them to be there. And they were.

Having lost three family members this month alone - my grandfather, my great-aunt and my uncle - I feel more than ever the importance of demontrasting love to those we cherish, as much as we can, as often as we can, as vocally as we can. Lots of phone calls, visits, hugs, kisses and "I love you"s.

It's so easy to let busy lives, careers and the day to day issues crowd out time and energy we would like to spend on our important relationships. It breaks my heart to see what Ken had to go through this past year, but I'm also grateful for the time it afforded us to know him better, love him more, and prepare to say goodbye.

Healthy or not, none of us really know whether we'll live to see tomorrow. So no regrets! As Picasso said: "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."

Rest In Peace, dear Ken. I love you.

Dear Anonymous,

While I am very grateful for all the time it must have taken you to write not one, not two but three comments on my blog in the past 5 hours, you should know I've now turned on "comment moderation" and no one besides me will be reading these. From the amount of negativity you've spewed in my direction today, I doubt I'm worth the effort to you. 

Gawd, you ex-jws are worse than the real ones. Get a life dude, you're obviously sitting home on your computer being obsessive. 

Margaux the Charlatan. xo

Monday, 27 January 2014

I've got this friend...

Click me. 

One more JW post and I will stop I swear. I will talk about silly things like dating and lipgloss for the foreseeable future. Just give me this one. 

This past weekend has been an experiment. The ex-jw meetup group, the ex-jw group on Reddit.com. The reason I've stayed away from these groups in the past is that I have absolutely no interest in sitting around, complaining about the past and feeling sorry for myself. Or worse yet, spewing negativity into the Universe. 

The group on Saturday was cool, but we're Canadian and I think we are more hardwired to be nice, polite, respectful. We were able to talk about our experiences, friends we had in common, and laugh about fun times we had in the past growing up JW. I think a big part of that was this group I was with, for the most part, has moved on. 

That internet group on the other hand (mostly Americans) while I'm sure some of them are very nice, doesn't seem to have let go of the past. They are posting comments about the most recent WT article (why would you still read that? It was chore when we HAD to read it!), the governing body, the meetings...I understand if they need an outlet for their pain but keeping up with the current state of affairs of the JWs? Who cares?

Also, apparently I am a terrible traitor for getting reinstated. Which I think is slightly hypocritical because I know most of them are "faders". So I'm being judged for my life choices by a bunch of people who have never even been in my situation. I really don't think it makes me less supportive of the cause to do something that will actively better my family's situation. 

Dear ex-jw's of the world: I am on your side. I feel your pain. I'm not "living a lie" I don't go to meetings or pretend to live by their standards.  Yet this is the kind of feedback I was getting:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post:
This must be one of the shittiest blogs I've ever read in my life, written by a shallow, whinging, attention seeking charlatan who instead of standing up for what is right and having some dignity and self respect, chose to live a lie to appease those who wouldn't think twice about never speaking to her again at the behest of a cult. 

Dear Anonymous, 

If you'd like to post comments on my blog, please use spell-check. It's a pet peeve of mine. 

A shallow, whining, attention seeking charlatan. :)

PS: By the way, you might also want to try a dictionary. A charlatan by definition is someone who uses a form of deception to get what they want. I'm honest. I tell the truth when it's hard, when it's embarrassing, when it's not even something I want to hear. 

My bestie came over tonight. We can sit and talk about anything and if we're really feeling really, really evil, smoke a cigarette, drink some wine...complain about our complaints, dance in the living room...there was a time I wanted nothing more in the world than a community of people like me, who understood and could relate to where I was coming from. 

It's obvious now though, I don't belong with the JWs. I don't belong with the ex-JWs. I'm a Freebird it seems. Sometimes I feel disappointed that my friends don't always completely get me. But they love me. Just the way I am with all the baggage. If my own people can't do that...I'm better off without you. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Truth

JW Beginner Class 101: They call it "the truth". Because it is the one and only true way to live, to please God, to attain everlasting life. Anyone who chooses to believe differently? Enjoy Armageddon. 

This used to bother me, yes. Now, not so much. It seems that time really does heal all wounds. That "this too shall pass". All of those cliches...are cliches for a reason.

I asked my therapist psychic about my uncle last time I was there. I wanted to know if he was ok. She told me not to worry, he's passed over. It appears, so have I. 

One of my friends kept telling me I should just post my blog on Reddit.com - the internet sensation. I ignored him (although acknowledging that quite a few of the guys I know are obsessed with that site) for about a year, until late, late last night/early this morning I decided to give it a try. This is what happened:

734 hits in one day? Seriously? Why didn't someone tell me about this sooner? (Alright they did. I just didn't listen.) #goingviral

The problem with being an internet sensation today is the haters. Someone posted this:

Purposefully having yourself reinstated into an organisation that advocates the death of minors if they require certain medical procedures, tears apart families, denigrates scientific endeavour, lies to adherents and exerts draconian influence on all aspects of life. I have to wonder if you can be morally and ethically serious and post that on this forum. Your actions have vindicated the WTS shunning policy, so they have further grounds to do it to others.

Hmm. I'm used to getting hate posts from the JWs, but girl, you and I are on the same side. Yes, I got myself reinstated. Before I did I changed my phone number and email address. I never went back to my old friends (they were pissed). I walked away because, like you, I don't agree with many of the teachings and actions of the WTBS. I know, first hand, how they tear families apart. I lived it: first my parents, then my marriage. All casualties of the JW belief system. I understand why you're angry about the reach of their control over people's private lives. I get angry too sometimes still. But then I sit down, read some of the pages I have flagged in "The Wise Heart" and try to ground myself back into compassion, forgiveness, love.

I could have stayed disfellowshipped out of spite, to make some kind of statement, but I understand the people we left behind there. Most of them will never be capable of seeing life in any other way. And according to their belief system, to please God, to achieve everlasting life, they need to shun me if I have that title. My mother has a terminal disease. My sister is sick as well. What do I, or my family, gain by me staying disfellowshipped as a matter of principle, and cutting myself off from being part of this family that needs, wants and deserves my support during difficult times?

There's this meetup group in Toronto of ex-JWs. I've been meaning to go, I just never seem to get around to it. Last time they had an event, it ended up being the same day I put my Cat down. When I told Lindsay, the first thing she said was "Man, you will do ANYthing to get out of going to that meetup group."

Today, there was a lunch. I had responded "Yes". This morning, I got up and didn't know what to do. I responded again, "No". My friends were trying to be supportive. Her: "Just have a glass of wine, suck it up and go." (It was 10 am.) Him: (whispering) "Go to your people...with great power comes great responsibility...brains..." (Apparently ex-jdubs are also zombies.)

So I went. And I'm glad I did. I had never met any of them before, but I'm pretty sure with the amount of experience I have I could walk into any restaurant in the city and pick out the table of JWs - ex or not. 

It was nice. These really are my people, even this random group of strangers. We all grew up the same way. We speak the same language. (I'm not kidding, JWs really do have their own lingo. You wouldn't understand.) We've experienced the same pain in leaving, the same sadness over losing friends and family, the same stress for our aging parents who don't take the future seriously financially because the "new system" is coming any minute now. We talked about how even though some of them completely shun some of us, we're worried we'll have to support them when they get old. 

We talked about how they absolutely refuse to believe we are happy. And then we talked about how happy we really are. :)

My advice to my unknown friend who posted the comment above? We can't change them. In my own way, I've been trying to change things, to be honest, to educate and support others. But when it comes to our families, anger, hate and resentment are not the answer. This journey we're on is one of peaks and valleys, one step forward, two steps back. Make peace with the journey, with the things you can't change. I may be one of Jehovah's Witnesses on paper, but everyone who knows me, and thousands of people who read my blog and don't know me, know where I stand. What's the use of winning a war if at the end of it, all that remains are casualties? Fight smart. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Start to Start

Somehow I didn't end up in school this term. I signed up for a course, sure, but it seems not enough other people did and they cancelled it at the last minute. By the time I figured out another course to take (I only have 2 left) and got that approved at work, it was full. I guess all the other cancelled people decided to take that one too. 

So I decided to make use of this next few months that I'm on hiatus, and start working on my book on those evenings I'd usually be in class or doing homework. You may or may not know this, but I've got half a book written already. Haven't touched it in a couple of years, I could barely find the file on my computer. I was sure it was very bad. I pulled it out tonight, and I was more than right. Not sure if any of it can be salvaged. I can't decide what would be more appropriate: should I throw my laptop out the window or print it off and burn it? 

It's extremely depressing and most of it focuses on that one guy I was so in love with it almost killed me. Which is not an accurate depiction of my entire life story since he wasn't really around all that long. 

I suppose I should just start over, but this is what I imagine (click me!) it is going to feel like going back to it. 

It seems like a daunting task, starting over, so I ignored it for the past couple of years and spent that time starting over in life instead. Or reading other people's books. I have two bookcases overflowing, yet this is what my coffee table looks like:

And yes, I have read all of them, most of them more than once or twice. Apparently people can do this whole "write a real book" thing. I was doing really well at it (in terms of actually writing it, not writing it well) when I got to the half way through point and gave up. Then I started writing this blog. It is so much easier! Writing a blog vs. writing a book is like the difference between morning sex and actually making love. It's quick n' dirty, yet still quite satisfying enough. 

My boss, Jersey Shore is the quick n' dirty type. (Just to clarify, I'm talking about work now, not sex.) He's probably the most ambitious man I've ever met and working closely with him is both inspiring and terrifying. Every time we start some new, daunting project he says: We need to start to start. It's never perfect the first time around, but if we don't start...we'll never reach the finish line either. 

Here's what's going to happen: I'm going to post this blog. Then I'm going to start Chapter 1 all over again from the beginning and stick with that commitment to work on it every week, just like I would if I was writing papers and doing assignments at school. Wish me luck. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Dear "John"

Just to clarify, this blog is not about my dad. I've just decided to never use real names again and I'm running out of generic options.

I wrote a rant the other day about guys never deleting your phone numbers and stalking you on LinkedIn and your blog so I won't bore you by revisiting it. (Although, I do think LinkedIn is kind of like your bitchiest friend who actually enjoys the drama and wants to tell you about all the people who are talking about you behind your back.)

When I wrote that though, I knew he was around. I swear to God, Ganesh and Buddha, I can feel that guy. I thought maybe he was just reading my blog but it wasn't surprising that a few days later I checked my (effing) LinkedIn and there he was, from a couple of days previous, "people who have recently viewed your profile".

The thing that gets me about LinkedIn is...you know that they will send me an email with your picture. And then I will know exactly what you did. It's the most passive aggressive way to remind me that you still exist.

When he worked across the street, I could always feel him before I ran into him at starbucks or subway, before we were both walking through the same park in opposite directions. It's because, and I still feel it to this day, we are soulmates.

I may just be reading too much of "The Wise Heart" lately, but this time it didn't even upset me. I looked at his picture in my email inbox, and I hoped he was happy. Dear "John": I miss you too. I was hoping we'd grow old together, in that beach house you said we'd buy with the counters that are all cork so we didn't have to use cutting boards when we cooked and have lovely redhead/blonde/strawberry-blonde children, but it didn't happen...and I'm ok with that. Although it devastated me at the time, now I think perhaps your soulmate is not the person you are necessarily meant to be with forever. Maybe they are just put in your path to help you see something important, help you change your life, which is exactly what you did for me. For that, I will always be grateful.

I vacillate these days between my career ambitions, my desire to find a good relationship, settle down and have kids and the thought that maybe I should just ditch it all, move to New York and try to be a writer. I guess I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up and...that's ok :).

My brother and I were talking the other day about how soon or now we should probably become adults, stop dating the odd hot 19 or 20 year old...but if we can still get away with it? Why not. We're secretly scared one day we'll wake up and look old but there really is no sense in worrying about the future, it may or may not ever come.

I have an orchid, one of my ex's bought it for me last mother's day, when my mom was still shunning me, 3 years in. He felt a little sad I think that he was going for dinner with his family and I was going home alone. It died of course, like orchids always do and for the next 8 months or so, I wondered whether I should just throw it out. I decided not to. Orchids are legendarily resilient and of course, eventually, beauty and life came back. Blue Fred is laughing about it, like he knew all along I just needed to have a little more faith that could happen to me too. Now I do. :)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Under Pressure

Mondays are always the worst for me (click me). Getting up, facing another work week. At least on the weekends I can hide in bed whenever I feel like it. Monday - Friday though, my company owns me.

I always get up really, really early on Monday, so I can spend as much time as I like sitting in my big chair by the window, or doing yoga poses while chanting positive messages to myself like: "you are not your job", "you're good at what you do", "you work hard", "if this goes away it's not the end of the world", or, "we are not curing cancer." It was easier when I had a cat to pet while doing that.

Today though, it actually worked. Guess who didn't even have a panic attack at work? This girl. It's actually a much more productive day when you don't spend your lunch hour in the bathroom with your head between your knees gasping for breath and trying to calm down.

I'm not blaming the work. My anxiety issues go much, much deeper than that. But it is a stressful environment that needs to be approached with caution. My bestie works in Diversity and she's around the corner from me at the office. She asked if I'd be comfortable sharing my story for an upcoming campaign of some sort they're having on mental health issues. Apparently tons of Partners have shared personal stories on depression and anxiety. And y'all know I'm the biggest advocate of sharing your story if it can help someone else. I out myself all the time on this blog that's apparently hit over 24,000 page reads.

At the office though, I'm not sure where the boundaries are. I put on a really good front. Yah, some of them know about this blog and read me. When they go to my manager with their concerns about how I'm doing because of something they read, I really regret telling them about it in the first place. To me work and the rest of my life are completely unrelated.

I remember once, during a performance review, Stuart (Margaux hearts Stuart) in an attempt no doubt to be helpful, told me that I shouldn't come across as so happy. He said as a blonde, it made me look hmmmm....not so smart.

I had the one and only complete meltdown I've had at work. I started crying in his office. He had no idea how hard it was to pretend I was happy at that point in my life. Every day. Smiling and making jokes when I had actually just got out of the psych ward for trying to off myself. It was a lot of effort.

At the end of the day, we all have pressure to manage and I'm totally grateful for my job. It's a wonderful opportunity. And if nothing else works, David Bowie and Queen can sympathize.

Sullivan out.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Shades of Grey

I figured out how to use Instagram. One of my ex's was over for dinner the other night and he said he's going to buy me a book on how to use an iPhone because I am so bad at it. It's ok 27, I'm finally starting to get it. 

So apparently social media is all good with the JWs now, and I couldn't help but take a look at everyone who I used to be friends with who is on there. 

Don't get me wrong, I love all those people. While I respect their beliefs and have long ago come to terms with the fact that we'll never be friends again, I can't help but think...it's a shame. 

Are us "worldly people" really so dangerous that you don't want anything to do with us, even if we have been friends for 20 years or worse...we're your daughter?

I consider myself lucky that my mom and sister are back in my life, but I still have friends who are completely shunned by their families. I don't know why they can't see that being "disfellowshipped" is a technicality. One of my best friends is a wayyyyyy better person than me, inside and out, yet her parents won't even speak to their only child. 

I was lucky, I had a wonderful father and stepmom who coached and encouraged me through all the hard work of getting myself reinstated with the JWs. So in the future (which took 4 years) I could have a whole family again. When I started this blog I named myself Blackbird, because that was what I was. Now, I'm just shades of grey. 

I'm not complaining, grey is better than black, but y'all do realize that I'm no better than anyone who is disfellowshipped, right? I'm probably worse than some of them. I live my life the way I want and I'm completely happy with that. I know y'all read my blog (even though you're probably not supposed to and one of these Tuesdays there will be a "local needs" talk on this), so I have to tell you a secret: life on the outside? Is good. People are good. I have amazing friends. I'm really, really happy and that is something "they" will never tell you and don't want you to believe. 

Besides that one person I truly love, I don't miss the old life at all. I've somehow managed to replace all my old close friends with new ones with the exact same personalities. 

Be open minded for just a minute. What IF, Armageddon never comes. What IF, there's no "new system"? What IF, this life is all we have? Will you regret shunning the people you love the most? Will you regret the fact that your daughter will be shunned at your funeral and you haven't spoken to her in a lifetime? 

Or, what IF, you guys are right? And the new system comes and we're not there? Do you really think you wouldn't have made it there either unless you took these drastic measures to please Jehovah? Wouldn't you want to make use of this time we have now to be together?

We're very happy. We've replaced you with new people. We are NOT coming back. But as far as we're concerned, the door is always open and we will forgive everything that hurt us so much. We don't blame you, we know the pressure that comes with trying to please Jehovah. And that's why we decided not to live with that burden anymore. 

It's a stupid war, with survivors but all of us are damaged. Let's make peace. 

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Call me maybe??

(That is the opposite of the message I'm sending out tonight.)

Text message: Hey! Did I pass you on the street yesterday? 

Me: I'm not sure. I have absolutely no idea who this is.

Him: It's Kevin.

Hmmm, "Kevin".

Me: You'll have to give me a bit more to go on dude.

Turns out I did know him and he described what I was wearing yesterday so I did walk past him.

The question remains: Why did he still have my number? We went out maybe twice about a year ago. 

This happens ALL the time. Some random guy sends you a text and you don't know who they are and it turns out they are someone you went on one or two dates with a year and a half ago. They say women are the ones who hang on, and maybe that's true when we're really in love. But you buy us dinner once and neither of us feel the need to try it again? We delete. Men it seems, never ever ever ever do that.

And somehow they think it's perfectly fine to text you out of the blue on a random weekday afternoon when they are thinking about you. Do you guys really think we want to hear from you at that point? 

We don't. We don't care if you saw us on the street or if you moved in to the building next door or if you were at my downstairs bar last night with your buddies. We've completely forgotten you even exist and we were hoping you'd be a gentleman and do the same. We don't want to text you or meet up for a coffee or grab some lunch. We've moved on.

I actually got smart and started keeping a list in the Notes section of my phone called the X-files. Every time I delete a guys number now I write his name and number in there. Then when those random messages pop into my phone I can cross check the number with my data. Because once you ask "who is this?" they somehow seem able to suck you into a conversation you're not even all that keen to have.

I only recently got smart about this so there are dozens of guys I haven't talked to in a year or two walking around with my number in their phone. And someday, I'll hear from them. 

It's funny to see their reaction when they realize you've deleted them from your phone. Some of them seem hurt: "You deleted my number?" He pouts. Some of them get it: "Oh I don't blame you. Guess you deleted my number." (Those ones are pouting on the inside.) 

Not wanting to sound like I have a double standard lets clarify: I'm not talking about ex- boyfriends or someone you meet and really would love to be friends with. Y'all know I LOVE hanging out with my ex's. But those are guys you had a real connection, real friendship, real relationship with. Not some random stranger who bought you a drink once upon a time. Disclaimer: This also does not apply to any of the guys who work at AAA. 

Men of Toronto: it's time to move on. It's really quite easy to meet new people. Clean out your contacts. There's this great little thing called "delete contact". 

And while you're at it, please stop reading my blog and viewing my LinkedIn profile. That's just creepy.

Sullivan out.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Sun in Scorpio

Quick and dirty tonight, Blackbird is feeling lazy. 

So I went to see my therapist psychic a few days ago. Apparently I have bad karma. If any of y'all know a good exorcist, please message me. (the JWs sigh)

I don't really know how much I buy into this astrology stuff but it is kinda strange that two of my best friends are Libra, the other two are Taurus. I LOVE Scorpios. I usually only date them, Cancers and Leos. 

Scorpios, too passionate, always ends badly. Cancers, we always stay friends. Leos are hit and miss. Since when was a fish and a lion a good match? 

Anyways, it's pretty accurate. I challenge you to say this is not me:

PISCES – The Partner for Life (February 19 to March 20)
Caring and kind. Smart. Likes to be the center of attention. Very organized. High appeal to opposite sex. Likes to have the last word. Good to find, but hard to keep. Passionate, wonderful lovers. Fun to be around. Too trusting at times and gets hurt easily. VERY caring. They always try to do the right thing and sometimes get the short end of the stick. They sometimes get used by others and get hurt because of their trusting. Extremely weird but in a good way. Good sense of humor!! Thoughtful. Loves to joke. Very popular. Silly, fun and sweet. Good friend to others but needs to be choosy on who they allow their friends to be. 

I was shocked the other day to see I was saved in my ex-boyfriends phone contacts as "DON'T!!!". Some parts of our destiny may be written in the stars. The rest is up to us. :)

Sullivan out. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

I'm Not Your Hero

I have limited experience in parenting. Sure, I feel like I've raised so many other people's kids I could give you a tip or two...but they weren't mine. Except the one who really was. I wasn't her birth mom but I feel like the bond we had actually surpassed the one I have with my own mom. She was my baby. 

Until of course, like everyone else from the old life, we were torn apart by religion. That was years ago and now that my mom and sister are back in the picture, there are only two people I really, really love who are still missing. Her and Travis. Travis, got remarried. He's not coming back and I'd never try to make him do that. I've accepted that. 

Her though, I haven't given up on yet. We had lunch today after a couple of years apart, and I realized how much I'd let her down. Parents (even pretend parents) are not perfect. We only really start to realize that in our 30s. In our 20s, we still feel oh so damaged by losing what we looked up to, idolized. If our parents mess up in life, how can we feel secure that we won't?

I got divorced and losing the me and Travis fill-in parents combo has been a lot for her to deal with. I let her down by not being able to be perfect. I admit and accept that. 

I hope someday though she'll realize exactly how much I love her despite needing to move on and make different choices for my own happiness. Sure the religion shit adds an extra layer of messed up, but we're all just doing the best we can, in the situation we're in at the moment. I understand that about my parents now. At the end of the day, love is what matters most, not being a hero. That's almost impossible to keep up with consistently. Imperfect people trying their best? That's attainable.  

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Year of the Snake

*Alternate title: I love you too Jenny!!!*

Ok, I know according to the Chinese zodiac it's actually year of the horse. Last year however, was year of the snake. That was supposed to be MY year. (Apparently, even though it's one of the only phobias I have, I am a snake.)

I was a wee bit disappointed to find out that was not the case. 2013? Don't let the door hit you on the way out. I forgot something though. Snakes need to shed their skin. Native Americans believe this is associated with rebirth. 

So here we are, and I'm fairly certain that this time, it's Year of the Margaux. The past few years have not been easy, but y'all have been on that journey with me. And here we are. I'm almost done my program at school. I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Last night, I was home sick, and my friend who works at the bar downstairs actually came upstairs and brought me the dinner he made for me. I have plans to meet up with my ex's mom on the weekend so she can bring me the legwarmers she knitted for me before she goes on vacation. The way the weather has been in Toronto, we all could use a pair of those. 

I was Skype-ing with my secret life friend tonight, I talked to two of my girlfriends/sisters I've had my entire life who also decided to leave the j-dubs. We just get each other in a way no one else does. My mom and sister have decided to let me back in, so in whatever capacity it is, I pretty much have a whole family again. 

The best part? This has all come about in spite of the fact that I decided to stay true to myself. This is one of the most difficult things for all of us to do, and a lot of us get part way down that road less traveled and give up because it's too dark, too difficult. Don't do that. The light at the end makes it worth the journey. Right now, I'm not lying, I'm the happiest version of myself that I ever would have dreamed was possible. 

I'm grateful for my job, where I live, all the ex-boyfriends who know my psycho story and still make time to be my friend, even if they have new girlfriends. I've been working a bit harder on my writing aspirations, and then this happened:


You may or may not know who she is, but Jenny Lawson is who I want to be when I grow up. I'm pretty honest on here, but she's even more honest than me and I envy how much she gets away with saying "fuck". She's a blogger, turned best selling author, millions of people read her every month. And she's following ME on twitter. My other writing related side project hasn't even been in print yet but I'm on my way, I can feel it.

Sometimes it feels like life just keeps kicking the shit out of you, over and over again, and it will never end. When that happens, and you want to give up so, so badly, you pretty much have no choice other than to channel Bruce Willis in Die Hard and find some kind of fun in somehow, someway, making things better. Yippee Ki-Yay! 

I think I've shed my skin. Welcome to the future. It looks bright.

Sullivan out.  

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Stubborn Love

Y'all should be grateful that I almost always provide you with a playlist to my blog. I'm introducing/reminding you of great stuff. New favourite song: 

I've been trying to do it right. I've been living a lonely life. I don't know where I belong, I don't know where I went wrong, but I can write a song... 

I had yet another date on Monday night. Another suit. I hadn't seen him in awhile and I was shocked when he showed up to be reminded of exactly how much he looked like one of the the last guys I dated. I definitely have a type. And...I was so bored. 

Dear Suit, I know you make tons and tons of money. Thank you for reminding me of it over and over again all evening. 

Can I put this out there to the Universe? Yes, you should have a job and do the best you can in life. But tons and tons of money? I don't need that if you don't have anything other than that and a cute face to offer...I'm just not all that into you.

Next night, different story. I had dinner with 27. Y'all know I love being great friends with my ex's. Yah, it didn't work out but if you liked someone awesome enough to date them for awhile, where does all that good stuff go when you break up? 

There's something to be said for a guy you can just hang out with, cook dinner, listen to music, talk...and none of it is about money. Or trying to impress each other. Once you break up, that chapter is closed. The awesome thing about guys like 27 though, is I never had to try to impress them in the first place. It was just always easy and comfortable. 

I've met my fair share of amazing people over the past couple of years and it's crazy how many of us are *stubbornly* trying to do the thing we love and become artists: writers, singers, musicians, poets, fashion designers, the list goes on. Yeah, most of us work day jobs. But that's not really who we are. 

Will the majority of us make it on the side jobs? Probably not. But they are all amazingly talented and we are at least trying the long way round, even if we don't end up with tons and tons of money: 


And those are just the ones with their own websites. There are a lot of us out there. :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Yellow Brick Road

I know I've been a little too in love with my brother lately but I really did get the best present today. It's a cross necklace, with a built-in switchblade.

Y'all have seen the Wizard of Oz. They all had the brain, courage, heart, etc. inside of them but didn't realize it until the Wizard gave them something tangible that they could look at. Right now, I feel like I might not even have a panic attack at work tomorrow. 

He said I could return it if I wanted (I did get a Celtic cross from Ireland the other day which I love) but seriously, why would anyone return this? It's awesome. It's courage on a chain. 

Margaux (hearts) Michael. :)

Ps. Don't mess with me!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Light a Lamp in the Darkness

Does this picture offend you?

Uh-oh. Rant time. Hey, if Rick Mercer can do it all the time, I can once in awhile too! 

"Diversity" is a word that's thrown around a lot now, and in 2014 we should probably all be pretty comfortable with it. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. The ability to accept and include people of all different races, backgrounds and belief systems is a skill the world is still learning. 

Let's look at this picture for a minute. Maybe you don't believe it's acceptable to drink alcohol. Those wine bottles in the background might be making you uncomfortable. Maybe you don't celebrate Christmas and you're taking offence to the tree. Maybe you're looking at the redhead and judging my best friend for openly being a lesbian. Maybe you're a Jehovah's Witness and you're looking at me, thinking about what a shame it is that I'm going to die at Armageddon now. My last relationship was interracial and even in a city as diverse as Toronto, we got our share of strange looks from people. Didn't really bother us but after awhile we were pretty sure it wasn't just in our heads.

Y'all are completely entitled to your feelings, opinions and beliefs whether or not I or anyone else thinks they are valid. 

You should know though, that it does hurt to be judged, no matter how firmly each of us may feel rooted in our values. Unless your choices in life are intentionally hurting people, your life choices are your choices. 

One of my friends moms recently saw my FaceBook profile picture (above) when I posted a comment on a picture. She was so upset. She thought I was deliberately trying to stick it to Jehovah and the Witnesses. (Sidepoint: since when are the JWs ok with everyone being on FB and Instagram? When I was there, that was a no-no. I guess the rules continuously keep changing...)

I would like to state, for the record, when I do anything now, I really don't think about how the JWs will react. Sure, when I'm around my JW family I might act a little differently than usual, out of respect for their beliefs. But I am definitely not making choices for any other reason than...that's what I want to do. I'm just living my life, trying to be a good person, like most of the other people in the world. 

My friend in the picture? She's been there for me through thick and thin, saved my life even when literally no one else was here. If I went back to the JWs I wouldn't be allowed to be friends with her. The tree and the wine bottles? They're just fun and festive. And as for "sticking it to Jehovah"? I don't even believe that guy exists, so no, that's not my intention. 

The Buddha says: We can light a lamp in the darkness. Those who choose to judge others, whether they realize it or not, are the ones in the dark, trying to extinguish the rest of us. Let's shine some light. :)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Let Her Go

I bet y'all were shocked not to see some cheesy, optimistic NYE/New Years Day blog post from me. I started one, and by started I mean I wrote the title. Then poured myself a glass of Prosecco and started playing with all my new makeup. 

I had left my laptop open and one of my ex's (I know, I know, they are piling up at this point) saw it and thought he'd start it up for me:

So...Another New Year has come and gone. I keep saying to myself that this year is going to be different..I am going to magically transform and be a better person than who I was from the past year. Looking back on the past year though it seems that a lot has stayed the same but at the same time, EVERYTHING is different.

Hmmmm. He might be able to make a career out of impersonating me someday if I become when I get famous, if he works hard enough at it. Then he said all I needed to do was link in some song I'm currently obsessed with and talk about my new favorite tv show and the blog would basically finish itself. Have I become that predictable?

Like everyone else in the world, today I logged back into my work email, started cleaning the apartment, dusted off the juicer and resolved to do things differently this year. Eat healthier, be awesome at work, stop dating unavailable men. That's the plan. 

I wouldn't say 2013 was bad to me but I'm happy to let her go. And excited to start again. The American is in town, just like last Christmas, but this time he's not here to see me. Life keeps moving forward (seemingly with lightning speed these days) and the one thing I'm doing differently this year is breaking up with the past. Oh, it'll always be there, like that ex-boyfriend you just can't shake. Until one day, you wake up and realize his birthday was yesterday. And you forgot. 

The past is in the rearview mirror, what matters now is the road ahead. :) 

Ps: This show is awesome!! (and perhaps the reason I didn't have any time to blog the past couple of days)Les Revenants

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wishing you all peace, love, happiness and all that good stuff. 

Sullivan out.