Friday, 28 February 2014

Courage, my love

Compassion is courage. Carl Jung once said: Perhaps I myself am the enemy who must be loved. It's possible that most of the time, the person we need to have the most compassion for is ourselves. 

I've been on a special kind of journey these past few years. The Buddhists preach four noble truths, the first of which is that suffering and pain are inevitable, part of life. I don't think this belief is pessimistic. I'm a romantic turned realist and accepting this truth, I believe will make us happier in the long run than trying to deny it, ignore it or change it.

We can't change it. We can't control it. It just is. Fortunately they also teach that everything is impermanent. I believe that's also true.

I spent Monday night at my sisters with three JW girls. It was surprisingly normal for the first time. There have been so many times over the past years that I almost gave up on this endeavour. Trying to find my way back to a family that shunned me for choosing a different path. My dad was always a cheerleader, he constantly gave me hope that someday it would all be worth it. And it was.

All families have their drama, their issues, their unsaid sadness and disappointments with each other. My brother and sister and I though, were always meant to get here, to that space where we could peacefully co-exist, love and support each other, even in our differences. After all, we are the same blood.

Wednesday night I went back to an even bigger JW party. I try really hard to be true to me and not change who I am for them but looking in the mirror before I left, I took off my cross necklace. It wasn't so I would fit in, it was so I wouldn't offend.

This will never be perfect. It was my birthday yesterday and I know now, at *27*, life as a whole will never be perfect. It's kinda sad actually, all those hopes and dreams of a younger, more naive you, were just illusions of grandeur that never materialized.

If you can wake up in the morning though, knowing that you're trying your best to be the best version of you possible, if you know that you can love and are loved, if you can find it in your heart to have compassion for those that hurt you, what more do we need? 

The scary world on the other side of growing up in a cult, has been the most welcoming place I've ever been. It's different, for sure, but it's very safe. If you want to change your life and aren't sure how to do it...take courage, my love. It takes a hell of a lot of time to get it right, but 5 years out, I wouldn't change any of it for the world. 

Except...just maybe, I'd love to actually be 27 again. :)

Sullivan out.









Saturday, 22 February 2014

Love is a Battlefield

I went on a date after work last night. The things I am willing to do for blog fodder for y'all. He was a Suit. Nice. Cute. Age apropriate unlike my obsession with 27 year olds.

Lizzie said this morning I'm probably the most experienced dater she knows and she might be right. I've done this a million times. I honestly don't care if they pay, if they call me again, if they text me back.

Of course eventually it came up in conversation that he wasn't "looking for anything serious". Awesome. I, of course, came back with "well, I'm not looking for casual sex".  I've been through my rebellious, self-destructive phase. I don't judge anyone who chooses to walk through life on that path. And I've been married. I have no big white wedding fantasies to project on any guy who walks into my life. Been there, done that. It was perfect the first time around so I'm not even sure if I would ever attempt it again.

However, it would be nice to find a guy who wants to talk to you after work and see how your day was.  Cuddle. Go for brunch on Sunday. I'd be happy with that. Or would I?

Dude from last night asked me if I'd ever been in love.

Fuck yeah.

I can't help but wonder if, in our thirties, we're all just too messed up to make something work with another messed up person. We're not naive, we've been to the puppet show, we've seen the strings. We build walls around our hearts and cover them with barbed wire, God forbid we ever get hurt again. But we're also lonely this way, so we keep half-heartedly looking for something else.

Let's be honest. I'm not looking for a boyfriend. I'm looking for love. Real love. Stupid, inconvenient, all consuming, can't live without each other love.

That's the end game. In the meantime I can settle for cuddles and brunch. But no more casuals. Whose name I won't even remember in a few months.

Listen to this:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a-j86tzxi8s#

Sullivan out.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Landslide

Life is a series of peaks and valleys. Which I've grown oh-so-accustomed to that at this point.

I read a great article on my "daily dharma" the other day that said we should forget happiness. The pursuit of it, in itself, is a fool's errand. He said:

"What is freedom? It is nothing more, nothing less, than life lived awake."

This is what I crawled towards at the beginning, before I could walk, when I ventured out to find the real truth. Crawling of course, because confronting reality is a painful ordeal. It's the plot of every great movie, every moving book. Overcoming adversity and becoming more than what we were raised to be, but maybe what we were meant to be? It's inspiring, it's brave, it's fucking hard. We crawl before we walk, we walk before we can run. 

February is always the most depressing month, maybe that's why I born into it (the ever-sensitive Pisces). Lately, the family, the work, the boys, the friends, it's all been depressing. Fighting, severe illnesses, stress, unhappy situations...maybe we're all just experiencing a bad case of the winter blues. And I've been backsliding into the Landslide. 

My eczema is back, after all these years. I guess I'm more stressed out than I thought. I can't wait to add that to the things I reveal to new guys I date: Oh, you know, I was raised in a cult. And I'm divorced. And everything itches. :)

I'd rather hurt though than feel nothing at all. And when you hurt, you know you're still alive. And that soon, you'll feel the sun and the happiness that comes with surviving the winter. And the bad times. Living wide awake means we accept and feel each emotion as they come, and make peace with them. Let them in, learn to love them. That way, even if they bury us, we can find a way to crawl out and learn to walk again. Maybe eventually, we can run. 

Sullivan out. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Be Mine :)

So yesterday was Valentines Day. You wouldn't believe how many men there were in suits frantically running around the financial district, buying cards and flowers, wine and chocolates after work. 

Lots of people hate on this made-up holiday. My hero, The Bloggess wrote a really funny blog: http://thebloggess.com/2014/02/fuck-valentines-day/. You should read her. :)

I kind of like it though. Maybe it's because I grew up with no holidays, ever, although I do see the commercialism, the stress and expectations that come with celebrating anything, I think if we all just calmed down a little bit and lowered our self-interest we could appreciate all the holidays for what they really should be. People pick up the phone, send sweet little messages and reconnect with the ones they care about. Holidays are a reminder to slow down from our crazy lives for *just a minute* and spread some love. 


Ellen Page chose to come out as gay yesterday. That cute little girl from Halifax was obviously so nervous giving her speech. But her message was one of love and acceptance. She's right. We all should have the right to love whoever we want regardless of age, social status, religion, race, or sexual orientation. 

I had a couple of nice dates, a bottle of wine, the heart-shaped box of chocolate, flowers on the table. The night ended with a bunch of us at the bar downstairs, pelting each other with cinnamon hearts and laughing. Apparently that place is a mess today. 

Whether you're at the place where you spent last night with the love of your life, chose to hang out with your friends, went on a first date, kept your ex-boyfriend company or stayed home alone, lit some candles and took a bath...the young, wise Ellen Page was right. You can't really love anyone else until you love yourself.

Self love is the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all. Once you master that one, the next challenge is staying true to you and only letting people into your life who love the you you love. Never settle. :)

Blackbird out. 





Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Orange is the new Black

I'll admit I'm late to the game on this one. I needed a new show though, (so says the girl without a tv), so I decided to try it. 

Like most of the things I've tried out on the outside, I like it. Adapting to life on the inside is really not all that different than going from the inside to being on the outside. 

You're shoved into this entirely new world, alone. It doesn't take long for your old friends to feel like strangers, they don't get you anymore and as much as you cock your head and squint, you don't get them either. It's not long before your mom is to completely unable to make any kind of connection with you. You're scared of everyone. They're so different from what you're used to. And it's completely terrifying.

The first guy I dated (bless his soul) was very patient with me. I'd only meet him in food courts and parks, somewhere I could be sure that if he tried to kill me, at least there would be witnesses. The first time he came over, I hid a really big knife in close proximity, lest he tried something. I forgot about it for awhile, and then when I found it one day, we had a really good laugh, but we both kinda knew I was the crazy one here.

These tv shows are slightly insane. But they are based on a reality that some of us can relate to. Three episodes in, I can't predict how this will end, but I feel like she's going to get to the point where the scary new reality becomes a comfortable place to be. 

If I had not found the kindness of strangers and decided to let them in, I don't know where I'd be right now. It's obvious I'm going through some kind of "thing", y'all can tell I'm not sleeping anymore, life is a little off. I'm backsliding. But I'm not having panic attacks either and I feel like it will all even out pretty soon. 

In the show she says: You know, I can't shake the feeling that at the end of the day, I'm gonna get to go home. Like in the morning, when I wake up, there are these few seconds where I don't realize where I am. And then I do realize. And I can't breathe. And I want to cry and throw shit and kill myself. When does that end?

Answer: I'll let you know. 

This morning, I woke up at 2, 3, 4 am. I was with Travis every time. It was so real, I could see how blue his eyes were and the lines around his face. And he refused to talk to me every single time. 

It does end, I'm sure of it. :) In the meantime, I'm so very happy I got out.


PS. I went from light blue to black, but I will never wear Orange. Unless I go to jail apparently. Which is still up for debate. 


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Like a Dream

My neighbours hate me. Except for the ones who totally love me and bring me cupcakes. I'm a little bit OCD and blog writing takes a special kind of ritual. There's always a song, which I listen to over and over and over again while I write. 

Apparently my friends who slept over Saturday night were texting each other (in front of me, in my living room) about how my new song made them want to jump out the window. Hey - you wanna sleep in my bed? My rules, my music. 

While I may be still having pajama parties in my 30s, I feel like I've been a grown-up for way too long. 

Yes, this is a vent-y blog. 

So I started seeing someone new. It was all lovely until I told him my story. Then it was more like, see ya later (like never). And I really wouldn't have told it so soon in, except he told me this terrible story about his life and then I kinda felt like I'd be lying not to reveal I was the same amount of messed up. 

Now, I've actually decided not to tell that story, ever again. And maybe never date again. I would consider becoming a lesbian, but they look like even more work than men. 

My family is having a bit of a challenging time, and it might be because I'm the oldest, or because none of my parents live in the city, but I can't help but be stressed. I actually feel like I've been the parent here for many, many years. So long, in fact that I'm too exhausted to even think about having my own children. 

I was always a romantic and I can't help but wonder how life went from exciting, endless possibilities to a parade of disappointments and douchebags?

I may not be living the dream, yet, but I'm hopeful that someday my mind will stop racing, I'll be able to sleep and things will work themselves out. If you have any ideas for my new back story, feel free to post a comment. I'm thinking Witness Protection program. (Get it? Cause I'm an ex-jw? ...Hmmm...not laughing, huh? All my ex-boyfriends tell me I'm not funny...)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Little Lights

We have this new kid on our team at work. He's quickly become my partner in coffee and crime, my collaborator on work stuff, the person I can talk to when I'm having a stressful day. He's great. 

Y'all know I love to work from home on Fridays, but he was going to the office today and I had a meeting. I signed up to volunteer for a Committee that's organizing our events for mental health week, and I'd already ignored this girl's emails for a week and a half and then cancelled my meeting with her twice. I felt obligated to show up. 

Me: You know what's going to happen. They're going to ask me to tell my story. 

Him: Just go to the meeting Margaux. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. 

So I went. She gave me an overview of the whole project. All the events they have planned. The need for Marketing/Comms support. This is usually where I come in when I sign up for some volunteer activity at KPMG. I get put on the communications tasks, and I have absolutely no issue with that. I love it, after all. 

Their big event, out of all of them that week, is this panel, which apparently over 100 people show up to listen to. Last year they had four people who told their stories about dealing with mental health issues. One Partner talked about his battle with depression and everyone cried. 

Hmmm. Depression is depressing. Who would have thought. 

The co-chair of the Committee talked about all the help they needed, I asked her what was she looking for from me? She said they were looking for a "Champion" of the campaign this year. She thought I'd be good for that. Project Management work, time consuming but I can do that, no problem. Then she said they only wanted two panelists on that event this year, so they can have time for a Q&A. Did I want to tell my story?

Get up in front of over 100 of my colleagues and talk about how I got to the point where I thought it would be a good idea to kill myself. 

My first reaction was basically, are you fucking kidding me? What I said out loud was, can I have the weekend to think about it?

I went home, at this point in the afternoon we were both working from home and I IM'd my little buddy. 

Me: I was right. 

Him: Think about it this way. If you think your story and your experiences can genuinely help those that are in the same situation, consider doing it. If not, that's ok too!

So I thought about it. And he was right. That's the reason I started this blog, that's the reason I told my story to a big old magazine so they could publish it. I do genuinely want to help other people who might feel as desperate as I did. We've all got all these little lights in us, but life, people, bad luck can put them out, one by one, until we feel so dark there's no way back to the sun. 

I felt that way for years, that I would never feel happy, ever again. And it's terrible to feel that way. We can "Pollyanna" it up as much as we can, and we should try to feel positive, but mental health issues: depression, anxiety, etc. are sometimes not by-products of us feeling sorry for ourselves. Sometimes as much as we try, for a period of time, there's no real way out. Yoga, positive thinking and reinforcement, therapy, they help. But it can take a lot of time for the "medication" to kick in. In the meantime, it's just us, battling our dark passenger. 

Me: Ok. I'm going to do it. 

Him: Awesome decision. :)

Me: You'd better start working on a kick-ass pep talk to give me when I'm having a panic attack right before this happens. 

Mental Health is a serious issue. It affects people just as much as a physical disability, or someone who is dying of cancer. Those things are obvious to everyone on the outside, this disease, not so much. People everywhere are suffering from it, and having come out the other side, back into the light, as embarrassing as it is, I want to tell my story so those of you who are dying on the inside right now, know the light comes back. I won't lie, it's slow. Little lights, one at a time. But you can get there. I did. In the meantime, go to yoga.  

Yet another great JW fear tactic.

I saw this and I had to laugh...watch out for Satan! :)



Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Love...Actually

Love, having no geography, has no boundaries. - Truman Capote

*This blog is rated PG14*

Just to be clear, I have no dilusions of grandeur on here. I can preach to the choir all day long, but John Lennon wrote "Imagine" and it didn't really make a difference in the world. 

Apparently I'm supposed to ignore this but these are a few of the comments I've been getting lately (this week), on a previous very comment-friendly environment:

This must be one of the shittiest blogs I've ever read in my entire life, written by a shallow, whining, attention seeking charlatan. (Me: I spell checked that sentence for you, dumb dumb.)
Someone can't handle the truth. 
What a nasty little worm you must be. 
"Unable to blog anything but boring piffle".
"Has an undeservedly high opinion of herself.".
This blog is rubbish. Shit. 
Yawn. Crappy blog. No one gives a shit. 
Have a nice and deceitful life. 
This blog is shit. 
Yawn. Boo. Stupid cunt face.

I have to admit, it was starting to get to me, but the "stupid cunt face" comment just made me laugh. Obviously y'all are running out of insults. And all of your accusations about how I can't handle the truth and I'm hiding your insults from being posted on my blog? It's my blog. And there ya go. All your insults are now documented for the record. 

Another comment was attacking my decision to re-connect with my mom and sister. They were like, they don't need you, you're doing this for yourself. 

I get where you're coming from. They totally shunned me for years and it almost killed me. And I honestly don't know if they need me. But they are both unwell. My sister called me at work today, probably for the first time in over four years. She'd had a bad time of it at the doctors. So I met up with her. She'd been crying. 

I come from an Irish background, east coast upbringing. Yah, we all fight in the family. We're bad at hiding our emotions. But try to go up against the family? And we're all coming after you together. 

Love, compassion, forgiveness. Life is NOT fair for most of us. But what you're gaining from being an asshole and spitting that negativity into the Universe? I don't know. There are a few things: child abuse, rape, murder that I believe are completely unforgivable. The rest? It's just us being imperfect people trying to do our best and failing sometimes. 

I will not change my values, based on a few haters who think hate is the answer. Love is the answer. You don't have to drink the Kool-Aid, but just know, I love the fact that although you pretend to hate me, you seem secretly obsessed and are always the first person to read and comment on me. If you hated me, you'd probably have given that up by now. Hoping you find a way to be happy someday. In the meantime, I'm very, very happy. :)

Sullivan out. 











Monday, 3 February 2014

GO! (Please stay)

Stay. You'll leave me in the morning anyway. When did the hopeless romantic turn into a cynic? I could blame my Buddhist tendencies. They teach detaching from life, and I'll admit, practicing that has been helping. Guess who hasn't had a panic attack in 11 straight work days? This girl. 

I went on a lovely date last night. New guy is the whole package. Funny, smart, gorgeous. I think I've turned into a bachelor though. I like my own space. I love that you have to take all your shit home with you when you leave here because we both know you might not be back. 

I don't trust you. I don't really need you. To be honest, I'm not even sure why we keep dating at this point in our lives. It's much easier, much less complicated, much safer, to just be alone. 

Fred is laughing. Cat is gone. And I'm trying really hard to not be the crazy girl who pushes yet another unsuspecting guy out of the realm of possibility. We'll see how that goes...


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Last Call

It's an undisputed fact that nothing good ever happens after 2 am. Yet somehow I keep living in that realm of the Universe. Which doesn't work so well for me because I'm incapable of sleeping past 6 in the morning. It's some rare mutant gene that I believe I inherited from my dad. 

So even though Lindsay and I were still downstairs at last call last night, we were up early. What does one do so early in the morning on a Saturday? Shopping. 

I came out of the change room at my favorite store in the most hideous denim shirt that I'm sure yells to anyone who's listening "I'm a redneck from PEI!". I loved it. Lindsay shakes her head and sighs. My next three choices were pretty but practical, I can wear them all to work. God knows everyone at KPMG is sick of seeing me in that black and white wrap dress. 

Come the weekend though, y'all are going to get pretty well acquainted with my denim shirt, a pair of leggings and my little black keds.  

"The heart wants what it wants. There's no logic to these things." - Woody Allen

So I met someone. He's adorable. Tall, dark and handsome. He's actually the first person I've dated who reminds me of my ex-husband. You may not believe it, but it's really hard to find a guy with a kick-ass sense of humour, if you have my sense of humour. 

Since I'm no longer insane, I'm not going to pull any of my usual shit, act crazy, push him away. This is a good thing. 

I can't help but think of the other guy though. Apparently, when he walks into the room, my face lights up. We went on what? Four dates? He changed my lightbulbs for me because I'm afraid of heights and in the three years I've lived here couldn't bring myself to climb up that really high ladder. And I am crazy about him. He's like this terrible denim shirt, I know it's a bad idea, but I couldn't care less because it makes me oh so happy. 

I'm in my thirties 27 now though, so I guess whatever my heart wants, "pretty and practical" is the way to go, 3 times out of 4. And whatever happens with Tall, Dark and Handsome, I'm already in the perfect relationship with a cute redhead. She calls me every day, we have each other's back, and the more she crashes at my place, the happier I am. And, come last call, we get each other home. :)

PS: Dear Blog-stalker: I get it. You think my blog is shit. So...stop reading it. And commenting on everything. I'm sure you'll do us both a favour by reading someone else instead. 

Sullivan out.