Saturday, July 16, 2016

i thought i would be married by now, and have kids, and at the very least, a good and reliable circle of friends.

instead, i'm doing what i normally do on a saturday night. and sunday nights. monday nights. heck, even tuesday nights; i'm sitting alone in my empty house while everyone else is hanging out with their family and friends. at least, that's what facebook is telling me they're [you're] doing. and all of the cars parked in my court.

now before you start telling me i need to reach out to people, i have. many times, in fact. i made some plans just this week alone, and my friends either cancelled, or coincidentally broke their phone in the middle of our conversation, or something.

i'm trying not to take it personally. really i'm not.

i mean, "the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, and everything to with them", right?

but how do i not take this loneliness personally when i'm the only common denominator in all of this?

most of the time, i just grab a book, sit in my backyard, and occupy this brain of mine, but tonight, i feel sad and feel like dwelling on it [and blogging about it] for a bit.

after all, i'm all about the #realtalk; i'm tired of fake crap, and highlight reels, and i'm certainly tired of being alone.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

i saw a picture today, and it made me mad. like really mad.

it brought stuff up, man. negative stuff. hurtful stuff. past stuff. stuff i had worked through. stuff i had forgiven.

as i felt my blood start to boil, i thought about jesus's words in matthew 18.

"then peter came to jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall i forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “i tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times".

now, some people misinterpret this verse and believe it to mean that you should let people walk all over you, but that isn't the case.


spouse hits you. forgiven.
spouse hits you again. round two.
and again. forgiven three times.
74 more punches to go.
74 more doses of forgiveness.

how i interpret it:

choosing forgiveness again and again when your mind and emotions play a trick on you and you're forced to relive what happened, or when you see a picture like i did this morning, or run into the person who hurt you, or have no choice but to face the consequences of their irresponsible and selfish actions every. single. day.

the seventy seven times wasn't mean to be taken literally [who counts that much any ways?], but jesus was making a point. he always did. and he brought the point home in the parable that followed. [see verses 23-35].

i believe:

1) that Christ died on the cross for my sins
2) that i'm forgiven because of his sacrifice and because i have asked him to [and continue to ask him to] forgive me for my sins [and trust me, i have many].

which means:

i have no choice but to forgive the trespasses of others ... even if it takes me seventy seven times.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

i was hours away from heading to the cottage with my friend from work, her boyfriend, and his entire family, when i started feeling really anxious. i'm in no state to meet anyone, i thought. i've been feeling really fragile lately; what if i cry and make a fool out of myself? what if i need alone time and can't get it? or, even worse, what if i get eaten by a bear?

my heart started racing as i dwelt on the whole bear thing - the big and hungry - bigger than me bear.

of course, these thoughts were unfounded, but it took a friend of mine to walk me through it, and a few [okay, a lot of] deep breaths, to be able to see it.

i took another deep breath, prayed a brief prayer, grabbed my bags, and left for the cottage, and am i ever glad i did; i had a lot of fun with old friends and new, managed to squeeze some alone time in, sat on a dock and in a boat, made delicious smores, caught fish [okay, one fish], and didn't - get this - didn't get eaten by a bear ... or a coyote, or a snapping turtle for that matter. [i did, however, get bitten by a donkey. jackass].

i also learned a lot about how patient love is as i watched my friend's family take such good care of their mom/grandma, who is sadly on the onset of alzheimers, and i helped where i could because, as i've been learning, compassion is useless without action.

we live in a world where liking a status, sharing an article, writing a blog, or reposting a video is synonymous with having compassion towards something. don't get me wrong, it's definitely a start, but it's not enough; we need to make sure that what moves our hearts actually activates our hands.

have compassion on the poor? spend less and give more.
feel sympathetic towards your grandma who has alzheimers? sit with her and tell her stories.
feel 'bad' for a friend who's going through the thick of it? pick up the phone and check in.
feel infuriated over what's happening in the states? check your own heart and figure out a way to bring about change.
[insert whatever else makes your heart ache here].

whether you can relate to the above list or not, your heart beats for something. it has to. and whatever it is that has been placed inside of you has been placed inside of you on purpose. the key is to do something about it. it's time we stop spending so much time 'liking' things and start focussing on turning our compassion into compACTION.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

i told an older lady that i liked her hair this morning, and she looked at me with confusion in her eyes as if she was wearing a wig. that, or she thought it was weird that a stranger just complimented her.

can you blame her, though? it is kinda weird, but ... it shouldn't be.

ironically, a few minutes later, i felt my skin burning as another lady on the bus took it upon herself to look me up and down, followed by what appeared to be a very judgemental glare. [we all know that she's just jealous of my calves].

this got me thinking [as most things do].

ladies, we have it all backwards; let's make my first story the norm, and my last one the one that's uncommon and weird. let's start accepting our own bodies [something i am personally working on lately], and doing what we can to encourage one other and build each other up, instead of comparing ourselves to every other woman out there and judging each other ... even if that means telling an old lady that you dig her wig ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

i haven't been the best version of myself lately.

my heart is full of anger, and my mind? suicidal thoughts [with no courage to follow through]. i wish i could. believe me, i wish i could. heaven seems a lot more appealing these days; heaven feels like ... home.

nothing else does, really. i live in a beautiful and safe place, but it's not permanent, and it's not mine.

nothing really is.

i feel like a vagabond; the home i grew up in is nothing but a memory, the town i lived in seems oddly vacant, and the two people who brought me into this world are gone. somehow it always comes back to them being gone.

i'm barely hanging on. i'm merely just going through the motions at this point, hoping that one day soon, i will feel like myself again.
"my dad has been given days to live", my friend's text read.

my heart instantly broke for her because i know what the next few days entail. the sitting and waiting. the praying that God would end her dad's suffering yet trying to process what that means for the one praying it. the questions. the pain. the uncertainty. everything. every single thing.

it brought me right back to february 2nd when i was sitting at my mom's bedside, holding her hand, telling her i love her, giving her permission to go, the whole works, which naturally led to february 3rd when she took her last breath right before my very eyes.

grief has a way of interrupting your life.

without fail, a mother and son have come into my restaurant every tuesday and thursday since it opened over five years a go. a couple months a go, i noticed the mother deteriorating; she got to the point where she couldn't even finish one very small piece of toast. a week later, she never returned. neither of them did. until yesterday, that is. the son came back, only this time with his brother. i couldn't get rid of the pit in my stomach for the life of me. i didn't have to ask; i knew. and it brought me back to the meal i had with my siblings right after my mom passed away.

no matter how hard you try, you can't escape it; grief follows you everywhere.

Monday, July 4, 2016

for me, brampton has always been a launch pad.

in 2002, after spending a year here, i got on a plane and headed westward to vancouver for an internship.

seven months later, i came back to brampton, where i spent three years before heading to edmonton for college.

and three years after that, i came back to brampton.

in 2010, i moved back to BC for a second time, followed by ottawa, toronto, mississauga, and then, you guessed it, back to brampton, where i have been for the past year and a bit.

this city has also been a place of healing for me; a place i knew i could run to when i needed shelter, or love; a place where i felt safe enough to heal, and grieve the loss of both of my parents, but, as i mentioned above, it has always been my launch pad, too.

i know this feeling all too well. the feeling where the fear of change and closure meet the desire and the need for a fresh start, and a crazy adventure.

it's the same feeling i had in 2002, 2006, and 2010 before i moved, and it's the same feeling i've had ever since returning from the dominican - and still have today as i type this.

only this time, other than a feeling that my time in brampton is coming to an end, and an inkling to apply to jobs in calgary, i have no other direction. zero. zip. zilch.

i do, however, trust that everything will work out the way it's supposed to - calgary or not.

"in their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps" [proverbs 16:9]

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"why complain about something in your life when you're the master of it? if you don't like something, change it", she said.

she, being a random girl i met yesterday.

she wasn't talking to me directly, mind you, but what she said hit home any ways.

the truth is, whether it's about our job, the weather, a relationship, or the amount of traffic we get stuck behind during our morning commute, all of us can be guilty of complaining at times.

even truer, most things we complain about can be, like my new friend so kindly put it yesterday, changed.

and for the things that can't, our attitude can.