The Hands Keep Moving

It’s a thief, it drags, it flies by, it heals wounds.  Time.  It passes day by day, minute by minute, second by second.  We all watch it, we all see it differently, but it happens to all of us.

In the last little while I have gained the inside track on this fickle friend that is time.   I thought I had it figured out.  It fooled me again.

Some days I feel like I have it all under control.  Other days, I realize that it was all a lie and time is a cruel creature.  What I do know, is that you cannot wait.  Time will move on without you, and you will miss what ever it was that you were waiting for.  It will never be the “right time”, you will never have everything lined up perfectly;  what will  happen is, you will miss your opportunity,  Time will take it away from you.

Spend time with your friends and family, go on the vacation, buy the new shoes.  Call the girl, kiss the boy, tell that crush how much you like them (no, I will not take my own advice on this one).  Don’t wait until the “timing” is right, it never will be.  Get the new job, go to school, demand better from yourself.

I am the worlds best procrastinator.  I put off every project, assignment, every everything until the last possible second.  I am here to tell you stop.  If something walks into your life and you think it could be good.  Take it.  Don’t wait and think, “if the timing had been right, it would have worked.”  Life is work.  If it is right it will work, work won’t be scary.  That massive exam really IS the light at the end of the tunnel.  That girl really will work with you while your life is in shambles if she is worth it.  If he likes you, he will call/text/show up (so they say, or at least he should).  Don’t wait by the phone, call yourself.  Don’t wait for the last moment to study.  Be prepared.  Don’t wait until your family member is gone to tell them how much they mean to you.  It will be too late.  Time will have stolen them, your time will be up.

Don’t sit back and let time pass you by.  Maybe there’s a good reason Captain Hook is afraid of that ticking, and it’s not just the croc.

 

Lost and Found

It happens to the best of us.  We move around in our lives, minding our own business, thinking that we are taking the least destructive path for everyone involved; and suddenly it happens, you take a moment to look up and realise you are lost.  Somewhere along the way, you veered off course, and now you have no idea where the hell you are, or how you got there, and god forbid you think about going back.  Don’t ever try to go “back”.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been lost.  Heck, I’m lost now.  Maybe I always will be.  Maybe all this time I wanted to be Wendy, and I’m really a lost boy.  Either way, I’m still waiting on Peter to arrive to show me the way.

I recently had a flip.  I lost some things, found some others.  Maybe that’s what is supposed to happen.  Maybe you need to break a little of this to gain a little of that.  Who knows for sure.

I had this moment of sheer and utter loneliness.  More terrible appointments, the worst testing yet, more stagnant information.  Get “dumped” (it really wasn’t much to begin with).  Get forgotten.  All before noon.  That’s when it hit me, I’m lonely again.  Sometimes I want it, someone to be there, someone to wake up with, have morning coffee with (just don’t speak to me), someone who is forced to go to these stupid appointments, who is forced to care about how after painful tests I’m supposed to be relieved that everything tests “normal”, but still doesn’t feel normal.  Someone who sees the messy hair, no makeup, house cleaning, PJs all day and still thinks “God, I’m so lucky to have her”.  Makes me tea and pours me a bath on a day that is just crap, and understands that sometimes it was crap for no real reason and not talking about it is just as good as talking about it.

Last night I sat across the table from a friend I have had since birth.  Literally, since birth.  I am the Godmother to her first born.  I haven’t seen or spoken to her in a decade, and because my overly mature, incredible, stubborn, 13 year old Godchild wanted to meet me, I have regained a family.

Suddenly, things look different.  Suddenly the fork in the road has a road sign and although it neither direction is where I was originally headed, it’s okay.  So I head left (I tend to veer left).  I want to rebuild relationships, I want to be there for a kid who stole a huge chunk of my heart the moment she was born.  I get two more amazing kids to be the crazy aunt to, and I am so incredibly lucky.

This is what I know.  Sometimes as adults we say things that we feel like we can’t come back from.  As kids we don’t do this, our ego doesn’t get in the way, one persons hurt is never more important than the others.  But as adults it happens, all the time.  I am telling you you can.  You can go back.  You can apologize, make amends, fess up to being an asshole, not being able to see past the end of your own nose, and move on.

No fight is one persons fault.  We both said things we didn’t really mean.  We both could have called, could have written, could have contacted the other person.  We were both too stubborn and egotistical and hurt and afraid to make that move.  We were both stupid.

You can’t take the words back, you can’t get back the time.  You can’t go back to how it was.  But you don’t want to.  How it was was obviously not as strong as you originally thought.  A scar has formed, the path is bumpy, there is a mark that will be remembered.  But scar tissue is stronger than the rest of your skin, and bonds that are able to be formed over it are harder to break a second time.

 

The Single Life

Let’s put this out there once and for all.  I am FINE.  I don’t mean ‘damn that gurrl is fine’ fine (although, we all know I am);  I mean, fine.  Happy.  I like my life.

I got lost for a little while, but, while my adventures in online dating were frightening and sitcom worthy at the same time; they opened my eyes to who I am and what I want.

I have vowed to reconnect with my friends.  The things I miss about ‘relationships’ are having someone to do shit with.  Patio drinks, movies, hikes, going out.. etc.  All things that a good friend is more than happy to do with you.  It just takes a little scheduling and I have learned, you cannot wait for someone to ask you, just make a call and have some fun.

Things I have learned from ‘dating’ at 37:  I do not like to have to wear pants.  As much as I love to have people just ‘pop over’, be prepared that it’s possible that I am walking around without pants on.  Why?  Because I can.  I don’t have to shower, clean, cook or stick to the plans that I made for the day.  If Netflix calls me and I decide that, no, I no longer want to be productive for an entire weekend, or leave my house.  I don’t have to.  No one knows but me, and there is no one contributing to my mess but myself.

I don’t like ‘sleep overs’.  Get out of my bed.  I sleep diagonally across a queen sized bed, and at sometimes it still isn’t big enough for me.  I have made a pillow fortress, I sleep with 5 of them.  Yep… 5 pillows.  Because I can.  And I don’t want to share them.  I can wake up when I want.  I am not disturbing anyone but Tallulah when I get up and put on 90s grunge and make coffee.  Or I can lay in bed until noon, and not hinder anyone else’s productivity.

I cook what I want, when I want.  If I don’t go grocery shopping (because I despise it) and I live on oatmeal and popcorn for weeks.  No one complains, and I don’t feel guilty for starving another person out of sheer laziness.

I also recently discovered that I dislike a disruption in my morning routine.  Maybe it’s a sign that I have been single for too long, or that I am actually just one of those people who is better on their own.  But I’m going to tell you a story.

I started dating a guy.  He was alright.  Seemed pretty cool.  Then he stayed over.

My morning before work goes like this:  Coffee is on a timer.  I get up, pour a cup, drink some, then take the dog for a walk.  On my walk I listen to music.  Typically it’s 90s Alt. rock or old school metal/punk.  Yes, that’s my morning music.  It works for me.  I come back, top up my coffee, sit down and flip through social media and have something to eat.  After this, top off my coffee again (don’t judge me) I shower, dress and leave for work.  It’s seamless.  I can arrange for a disruption if I know it’s coming.  Other than that.  No room for error.

Enter sleepover.  He wants to cuddle all night…. not the cuddling that leads to anything either… just cuddling.  So I don’t sleep very well, as I can’t get comfortable and he breathes loudly and by around 1 am I seriously debate just kicking him out or smothering him.  But I try to be nice, and I don’t.  I then discover he is a ‘morning person’ and takes joy in irritating people who are not morning people.  If you are one of these people, you’re a dick, and just stop.  He comes on my walk, wants to talk, “this is quality time that we get to spend together”.  At this point I have no finished a whole cup of coffee, AND cannot listen to my music.  Just no.  I top off my coffee, and he takes to pouting because “Facebook is obviously more important”.  Then it happens.  Just as I am about to shower (which has a two song minimum for me to be on time).  He decides that he wants to shower (and not the good shower together kind either… just needs to get ready for work.  WHAT?  You had all this time,  this time when he was trying to force me into being a morning person, and he wasted it irritating me.  UGH.  Yep, fine, have a shower.  Post shower, he puts on more scented lotions than I even knew existed and jammed down my throat how he takes such good care of himself.  I don’t care.  Go home.  Stop calling me.

This is when I realized.  I’m fairly set in my ways.  If you aren’t bringing middle of the night sex to the table, don’t stay over, and for gods sake don’t try to make me a morning person.  After 5-7 “I miss you soooo much” selfie text messages, after knowing each other for a week.  And a terrible sleep over experience, I came to realize that there is only one thing that my friends cannot provide that I actually miss.  Yes, you know what I am talking about, but I’m sure I may know some people who are willing to help me out.

Needless to say, I deleted all of my online dating information, and am wary of anyone who says “I know this great guy”.

Nope, I’m still kickin’

Hey.   Yes, I disappeared.  No, I’m not gone forever.  Here I am.  Back again.

Let’s discuss taking care of yourself.  Fighting for yourself.  Speaking for yourself.

Over the past little while, I have come to meet a few (a lot) of new people.  I have definitely learned some things about myself through those people and those experiences.  Who I am, who I want to be, how I think you should behave by the time you are in your 30s, etc.

Let’s start with dealing with your own issues.  By the time you reach 30, you should be fairly self sufficient.  I don’t mean that you shouldn’t look to other people for help, support and guidance;  I mean that you should pull up your big girl panties and deal with your own shit.

If someone is treating you unkindly, speak to them directly, like an adult.  Don’t run to the teacher in the school yard and tattle on everyone.  Maybe they have things going on that your are unaware of, or couldn’t possibly understand.  Maybe, just maybe if you speak to that person, explain to them how their actions make you feel, the issue can be solved easily.

If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness.  Fight for yourself.  Fight for your life.  Fight to get yourself to where you want to be.  Understand you options, understand your own body and your limitations.  Accept them and work with them.  I know too many people who live with adversity.  How have lost organs, lost mobility, lost limbs, live in pain or live with the threat of permanent disability hanging over their head.  These people fight every day.  They fight to make the best of their lives, to better themselves, to have the best life possible and they don’t let all of their “can’ts” run their lives.  So when I meet someone who has been born with an “abnormality”, who doesn’t understand their treatment, who just lays down and lets their illness run their life, it makes me want to shake them.  To wake them up.  How can you just lay down to die and not fight for yourself?

If you want a better life, make it.  Maybe you won’t get exactly where you want to be.  Maybe that girl at work will still be short tempered, maybe she doesn’t mean it how you think, maybe that’s just how she comes across.  Maybe you won’t have perfect vision, won’t be able to run a 10 km marathon, maybe you will live dependant on needles for adrenaline, for insulin, pain meds or otherwise.  But maybe you can run a 2 km marathon, or hike a tough trail instead.  Maybe you need those meds to survive, but you are surviving.  You are living, you are spending time with people who love you dearly (and trust me, those people are there).  Maybe you will live with depression, pain, anxiety, or a really shitty pancreas.   But there are options.  Is it so bad to take some pills every day if it means being happier?  Spending more time with your children?

Fight for yourselves people.  You are the only one who can open your mouths and tell someone that something is wrong.  No one can help you if you don’t ask for it.

It’s not just about the Hip, it’s about being Canadian

Ok, it’s been a while.  But I’m coming back.  And it’s all new.

Just when you thought I wouldn’t.  I’m going to.  Today is about the Hip.

For those of you who have lived under a rock since the 90’s, the Hip refers to The Tragically Hip, a band born and bred in Kingston, who have, in our eyes, made it big… at least in Canada.

Truth be told, I’m not a huge Hip fan.  I mean they have a handful of songs that I thoroughly enjoy and some that bring back some great memories, but I’m not a die-hard-Oatway kind of fan.  When I went away to college and people heard I was from Kingston, their first response was “Oh my god, like the Tragically Hip” and I cringed every time.

Wether or not you like his voice, Gord Downie is a poet.  His lyrics are beautiful.  They are inspiring, open to interpretation, and leave a mark on you.  Rob Baker is an incredible guitarist. Paul, Gord, Johnny and Davis all bring a unique presence to the stage/album/band that cannot be duplicated.

I have worked in downtown Kingston, I have met a couple of these guys just out and about, dropping off photos, having a deli breakfast.  They are good people.  Genuine nice guys.  If you didn’t recognize them, you would never know they are “famous”.  They have 14 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, 54 singles.  Heck, nine of these alums have gone #1 in Canada and included in their list of Canadian music awards are 14 Juno awards.  Yes, I had to Google that.

Heres what today is to me.  It’s sad.  It’s always sad to know that something is coming to an end.  In this case, not just the end of a Canadian music empire.  But a mans life.  A father, a son, a husband, brother and friend.  A man, who like it or not, is loved by thousands of people.  Who’s music has both inspired and healed the hearts of its fans for decades.

I remember Sarah and I sitting in her bedroom, listening to Road Apples singing Long Time Running and Fiddlers Green at the tops of our lungs.  The Doc in the living room trying to watch his shows (or sleep) probably cursing us.  Bonfires/Field parties with Oatway, Leeman and “the boys” all HUGE Hip fans,  the guitars come out and so do the songs… bonding moments of my youth.  Solidifying that I am so glad I got to grow up with those guys.  In the country, where we just hung out, under age drank, and sang together.

Cancer is a terrible disease.  It has stolen so many people I love, before I was ready to let them go.  Sometimes they get to be themselves when they go, sometimes it makes them into people who at 19 inspired everyone around them to love and be happy and kind.  Sometimes, it steals their brains, takes over their bodies and twists them into people no one can recognize anymore.  Fuck you Cancer.  We will find a way to beat you, with the help of people like Gord, who chose to take their public life, shine light on the dark parts and raise huge amounts of money for care and research.  Not to save themselves, but to save those who come after them.

Tonight I will be watching the “final” concert, playing in their hometown.  With some of those same people who made me have a small soft spot for the band in the first place.  In a cul-de-sac, projected onto a bed sheet.  To me, this is the perfect way.  How much more Canadian could it get?

Tonight is not just celebrating the Hip, it’s about being Canadian.  It’s about Canadian music, how maybe we don’t always make it big around the world, but that’s ok.  It’s about how we connect, how we live, and how we love.  It’s about long-standing friends, and outdoor music, and being together.  It’s about music that isn’t electronic and lyrics that mean something different to everyone, and songs that find a place in your playlist regardless if you are a “fan” or not.

This makes me sad, that it’s ending, sad for the fans, sad for Gords family.  But so very proud.  Proud that I’m from the same hometown as these guys.  That I live in a country that people know for their innate goodness.  Make fun of me for being polite.  That’s ok by me.  Where I come from we have an overall sense of community, kindness, and inclusion.  Where the majority of a country is going to shut down, turn on their tvs, and gather together to celebrate a group of guys who got to make a living doing what they love, and touching the hearts of a nation with their music.

Hey Hip, tonight is not good-bye, it’s see you later, it’s thank you.  We can only repay you with our love and admiration.

“It’s been a long time running
It’s been a long time coming
It’s been a long, long, long time running
It’s well worth the wait…”

 

Communication without connection

Am I becoming a curmudgeon?  Is this a sign that I am getting ‘old’?  Let’s talk for a moment about ‘social’ media and today’s communication.

Want to completely miscommunicate an idea or feeling?  Want to dot your ‘Ts’ and cross your ‘Is’?  Then, by all means, text.  Text everyone.  Text every idea and every conversation that should be had in person.  I feel more and more lately that I want to text less and either actually pick up the phone or see someone in person.  Sit with me, talk, cry, laugh, for gods sake be angry and scream and yell, but do it to my face.

Don’t get me wrong.  Text is great, for a quick conversation.  For something that takes very little feed back.  “Want to hang out?”, “I’m doing X on Y day.. want to come?”, “Saw this ** the other day.. lol.. thought of you”…. Great!  A quick little text that tells me that you thought of me is amazing.  Possibly makes me whole day.  Continue on for my issue:

My brain works in a million directions at all times.  I’m everywhere and nowhere all at once.  I could text you to hang out or make plans and also text someone else about something or .. gasp.. be on the phone having a chat… which is going to take my tiny brain into another direction completely.  By the time you get to answering me, I could have had other thoughts relevant to you that I need to get out.. so I send them too… And there is no tone, inflection, anything that tells you how that thought is coming out. You just see it as all one conversation.. then you get mad.

No one says no in a text.  They just avoid that message all together.  You cannot avoid something when you are on the phone or in someones face.  It’s ok to tell people no, it’s ok to break plans, but commit to telling the other person what is going on.

This brings me to my next ‘issue’ Facebook.  Again, as a concept I love it.  I get to see what my friends and family are doing from not just across the country, but around the world.  It connects me with the people that I care about who I can’t just jump in the car and have tea with.  For that it’s great.

It has also removed me from everyone else.  I currently have 175 ‘friends’ on Facebook.  I can assure you this is the most people I have ever left on the account.  It was a bit of an experiment.

At one time I removed people that were not either related to me or directly involved in my life.  And I mean ‘directly’ in the most loose of it’s forms.  If you even ‘liked’ or commented on any of my Facebook photos or posts, you were left on as a ‘friend’.  The removal was taken personally.  But how?  I wonder how long it even took for people to notice they had been removed.  Why do we see Facebook as the be all end all of friendship?

I can tell you that with the most people on my Facebook account ever, at this moment in my life I have never been lonelier.  Just this morning I wondered if I moved out of the city and didn’t post it on Facebook or change my phone # how long would it take for people to notice I wasn’t in the city anymore?

This isn’t a woe is me post.  This is me trying to get you to look at how you interact with the people who matter to you.  Do they know they matter?  Do you know what is going on with them?  Are you basing these answers on what you have seen on Facebook?

 

Happy (?) Holidays

I went AWOL.  I know;  But here I am again, on my little soapbox, spewing out everything I’ve been holding inside, wondering if anyone reads this, hoping the answer is no.

Its Christmas time.  12 days away, in fact.  My tree is up, decorations are out, but that’s as far as it has gone this year.  Haven’t watched my holiday movies, no Christmas tunes playing, no lights outside even.  Not a present wrapped and most of them not even purchased.

Why is this year different?  I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s the fact that I worked 200 hours last month (Okay, 196.4 hours).  Maybe it’s because I work in the mall and Christmas has been shoved down my throat since early November.  Maybe it’s because I have a lot going on, maybe it’s because this year I find myself lonelier than I have been before.   Maybe it’s the lack of snow or even cold weather.  Whatever it is, it’s missing.  That Christmas magic that I have always seemed to be able to find.

I’ll tell you what I know.  I have always known that sometimes just hearing someones voice can make a world of difference, and I got a phone call the other night that completely confirmed that for me.  I know that sometimes hearing a sweet southern drawl answer with a “Hey Love”; Or my cousins quirky, smirky “I know, right” is all I need to pull the pieces of my heart back together, even just for a little bit.

I know that there are a few people that I would give anything to wrap my arms around for the longest most awkward hug ever, but I need it.  I ache for it.

I know that I used to have big family holidays.  We used to pack up the car and travel to two different places and have dinner with huge amounts of loud, laughing family.  Now it’s just me, my parents and my brother.  I know that I am always welcome with my family, but the truth is that I would have to choose extended family over parents and I can’t do that.

I know that with a recent unexpected health issue, with the health issues of friends and family, the search for Christmas magic has fallen to the way side and it’s harder to find it when you are trying to do everything alone.

Maybe I’ll still find it.  Maybe I’ll get some Christmas cards in the mailbox instead of bills, and I’ll feel that much more connected to the people I love and miss terribly at this time of year.  Other than that, if anyone has any suggestions on how I can possibly find that magic feeling again, please feel free to pass that along.

Some Things are Timeless

There are parts of your memory that are ageless.

Lets look at memories like rocks.  As we get older some of those rocks get polished, and they change or become clearer based on our new perception of things.  There are also some rocks that remain unchanged.  Sometimes they lose their context, sometimes they lose bits and pieces of themselves, but all in all, they are the exact same rock fragments that they were when you were 7.

Let’s look at some of my rocks.

I remember that the walls to my grandfathers cottage were blue.  I remember a curtain in the bedroom.  But that’s all.  I remember the way that things smelled, or made me think of.  I remember the boogeyman doll and being afraid of my grandmothers basement, and in awe of it, all at the same time.  I remember what it felt like to be standing outside of my Grandmas house with my lip frozen to the lamp because I thought it was the warmth of my hand that turned it on (It was light sensitive) so I tried to blow on it to make it come on one afternoon.

Sometime you look back at these feelings and know that they were “kid things” other times they have just become truths and they are the best part of how you know someone.

This is how I know my Uncle Treavor, who, to a 7 year old, is cooler than Steve McQueen.  He had me the moment he put a lit pipe in his pocket.  No joke.  In the basement at my Aunt Jane’s house, playing pool with I couldn’t even tell you who, this taller than everyone else man, put a lit pipe in his pocket.  SO COOL.

The coolness was only solidified when we were at breakfast once and he did the creamer trick.  One handed opening of a creamer.  He held the edge of the little creamer cup in his coffee for a couple of seconds and then just gave it a little “pop” and out comes the cream.  I know, it’s a nothing event, but it was the craziest thing I had seen.  I mean, how cool do you have to be to even need to do that?!  Amazing.

It’s the kind of coolness that lasts.  I’m 35 years old now, and I still think of him with that level of coolness surrounding him.  I have also tried to master the creamer thing, it just explodes everywhere.  I’d like to say they have changed the packaging so it’s no longer possible, but I’m sure it’s just that this is not the case, seeing as the packaging probably hasn’t changed since creamers came into existence.

These memories have come to mind lately for numerous reasons.  One of them was that I have been thinking of how Rory is going to see me when she gets older.  What if I move away?  I have to do big things with her now so she remembers them, right?  Wrong.  It’s not the big things, it’s not the birthday presents, or the outings or the grand gestures that she will remember.  It will be the little things that I do without even thinking about it that shape who I am in her mind.

Think back about the people you love, take a look at the rocks they have left you.  Think about the ones that you are leaving for the people who love you.  Someone once told me “Take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.”  It’s true.

Dark clouds breed determined people.

I’ve become an unhappy person.  I am not sure if it happened over time, or all at once.  I couldn’t pin point it to one event in life either.  However it occurred, it did and I’m not happy about it.  Is that redundant?

I don’t like my weight or my body.  I don’t like that I have no one to hang out with.  I don’t like how broke I am.  All in all, it’s just a generally unhappy situation.

Out of my dark, Eeoyre like cloud, I have discovered something.  It’s not a silver lining, it’s more a decision.  A decision to be determined.

I cannot change that the people that I used to spend all of my time with seem to have moved on without me.  People change, situations change and life happens.  I can decide not to dwell on it.  I am learning to go to movies by myself, go to dinner, or the pub or window shop in the small towns that I love to wander through, alone.  It’s not the end of the world.

I am hell bent on being healthy.  I normally eat fairly well.  I stay away from food that really make me feel ill (such as wheat or anything deep fried) and try to be mindful of the things that I put in my body.  My issue came when I had a bad day, especially at work.  I would get frustrated and turn to a muffin, or a cookie.  I would not pack a lunch the night before (and not leave enough time in the morning) because I work at the mall and it’s easy to just get something there.  I would intend on a salad, then something would happen and I would turn to fries, or Jimmy the Greek, or even worse, A&W.  I would feel like death for the rest of the day, not sleep that night, be exhausted, and then it would become a vicious circle.  No more.  I will not eat from the food court.  I will not stop for a muffin on the way to work.  I am perfectly capable of making a smoothie for breakfast, or precook some oatmeal and pack a lunch the night before.  No more stopping for chips on the way home because I’m starving and eating the bag for dinner.  I won’t get where I want to be by telling myself “just this once”.

I am going to start taking all of those “work out at home” tips that I pin on Pinterest, or that I follow on Instagram, and I am going to use them.  I feel like I am trapped somewhere between “I haven’t been out of my bed in years” and not swimsuit model, but definitely trimmer than I am.  I need to change it and tip the scale in my favour.  I don’t need to work for Victoria’s Secret, lord knows I like food way too much for that.  But I need to be happier in my clothes and out of them.

Now comes the super hard one:  Changing how broke you are.  I need certification in something to get a really good career, but I can’t afford to go to school, then comes in the whole what do you take to maximize your employment potential.  I had always thought that I would have a husband and we would both have incomes and we would make things work.  I never expected to be paying everything on my own.  It’s hard.  I’m not bad with money.  Quite frankly, I don’t have money to be bad with.  Just making ends meet is difficult and having spare money ontop of it is next to impossible.  Please don’t tell me to “save your money”.  There isn’t anything left to save.  I have a plan, I’m not sharing it, but I’m hoping that it will work out in my favour.  That’s all I have to say about that.

In short.  This is my declaration post.  My “someone can hold me accountable” post.  If I put this out there, someone can come back to me and say.. “How’s that work out going” or “Are you actually leaving your apartment and doing things”?  I have decided that the only way that I can hope to be happier, is to make it that way.  No one is going to help me.  If I want someone to “look out for #1”  I need to make myself #1.

I think that sometimes people hit a dark spot.  It feels a lot like sinking.  It’s hard to keep your head above water.  Sometimes things happen when people stay hopeful and those things help them out of the dark place.  Sometimes, nothing happens unless you change how you face the world every day.

I will probably still cry more than I should.  I will probably hesitate to leave my apartment and opt to stay in the safety of secret cookies and rented movies over taking myself to the theatre (although I love the theatre).  But hopefully, over time, I will be able to push myself and really face the world head on.  “You can’t push me down forever, I will fight back, and you, world, will be sorry”.

Words Left Unsaid

Dear Matty;

I don’t think you realize what an amazing person you are, and just what a role you have played in my life.  I feel like these are things that every person needs to know.  Someone should tell you what you mean to them, even if you hear it all the time, it’s good for your soul.

You were all out my first love.  You showed me how someone should treat me, and how I should treat others.  Although it didn’t work out, you found your absolute other half, and thats when you taught me that sometimes you need to step back and look at WHO you are and sometimes those two people mesh as amazing friends, but not as forever.  And that’s ok.  In this case, an old boyfriend made the greatest friend I could have.

You have always been my biggest cheerleader and voice of reason.  You always tell me how great I am, how beautiful I am, how some guy is going to be so lucky to have me.  You are so convinced that I can conquer the world.  That I will be some great, whatever it is that I want to be.  That I will be world renowned, I can take on anything and come out the other side shining.  Maybe I know these things, maybe I don’t.  Sometimes I’m not sure and you have this magical way to tell me and I just believe it.  I never sounds like you are trying to “make me feel better”, you just believe it, and you make me do the same.

YOU are wonderful.  You have this infectious laugh, and when you laugh I can’t help but laugh too.  I love that you laugh at your own jokes, because even if they aren’t funny, it makes me laugh too.  You are my kindred dorky soul.  I know that I can tell you anything that I think is amazingly cool, and no matter how ridiculous it is, you will be excited too.  I’m not even sure if you think it’s cool, if you are acting, you’re convincing.  And your smile.  Dear God that smile.  I don’t know anyone else who smiles and means it like you do.  It’s like you are just so happy about something it has to pour out in your face and everyone around you can’t help but feel your kind of happy, right there with you.

You are truly magnetic.  People are drawn to you.  Your larger than life personality, your laugh, your energy.  You walk into a room and draw them in, every time.  Of course you rose to the top of your class at RMC, you are a natural leader.  It’s easy to look up to you, and you make it look easy to be on the top.

I will never forget that day.  I had to work, my alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but Mandy had called me twice; what the hell was so important so early?

The click of my alarm always woke me up before the radio actually came on.

Click.  “The names of the victims are: Captain Matthew J Dawe of Kingston….”

My mind went numb.  My world spun.  Thats why Mandy called.  No.  It’s someone else.  It’s not you.  It can’t be.  So I call my Dad.  Dad: “hello?”  me:  “Hi”  Dad: “I just got the paper, are you okay?” me: “I have to go”….. Oh my god.  It’s true.  It was you.

But we are only 27, Lucas is only two… isn’t today his birthday?  But you just emailed me and told me that this was your last tour, you were days away from coming home and never going back..  You were moving home and hoping to teach at RMC.  You were days away from coming home and never going away again.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t go to your funeral.  I haven’t been to your grave.  I avoided the whole thing.  There were too many people and it became such a media circus, your family didn’t need that.  They didn’t need to have their grief forced out there for everyone to see.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t call you like I said I would.  I just kept emailing.  I figured I’d call more when you were home, when I could just meet up with you guys somewhere and have a coffee or BBQ or a drink on a patio.  I was a bad friend.  I contacted you when I needed you, and not just to “shoot the shit”.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I miss you so much it hurts.  Seven years and eight days.  My heart still breaks.  I can’t hear your voice so easily anymore.  I don’t remember what you used to tell me all the time.  I can’t watch The Princess Bride anymore, it’s not the same without you reciting it, it’s not funny anymore, it just makes me miss you more.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all of this when I had the chance.  I was so sure we had time.  I was so sure that we had the rest of our lives, and I would tell you sometime when I saw you and we were feeling nostalgic.  I didn’t think the rest of your life would stop so soon.  I should have just told you.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that Tara became a widow so young.  I’m sorry Lucas will grow up without you.  You were an amazing father.  I hope he has some of your joy.  I’m sorry your parents out lived you, and that your brothers have lost you so early.  It isn’t fair.  (I know, “Life is pain highness,  anyone who says differently is selling something.”)  But still, good people don’t deserve this kind of pain.  No one does.

You know, I look for you everyday.  Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone who looks like you driving in a car beside me on the way to work.  Sometimes, when I need to talk to you, The Princess Bride comes on TV.  Sometimes I see a passage from the book of Matthew on Pinterest or a Matt and Nat bag out shopping.

My niece was born on your Birthday.  She’s an April Fools baby too.  She has your dance moves and terrible jokes.  But, she too laughs at them, and you can’t help but laugh with her.

The truth is I miss you.  I need you.  Some of my biggest regrets are that I didn’t tell you how much you mean to me when I had the chance.  I hope you are at peace.  I hope I find a way to remember your voice.  I hope that some day we can have that BBQ.

Always,

Ratalie.