Tag Archives: advice

me, myself & I

Hello, friend…

Just a quick thought for the night. Earlier this evening, I went for a wardrobe makeover at a favourite Toronto shop (Fresh Collective). I took home a couple of things that I felt gorgeous in, and as people do these days, I shared a picture on the ol’ Instagram.

And I looked at it…

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Not to toot my own horn too much, but dude… I’m going to be 40 in April.

40.

It’s kind of weird!! Ha! But I looked at this picture and just smiled. I’m not wearing any foundation, just some colour in my brows (as I started losing my hair there of all places) and that hair colour on my head isn’t from a bottle- it’s all mine. (I dyed my hair for 20+ years. I love how going to my natural colour as I approach my 4th decade was considered a “bold” move. So what if there is some grey?! I earned that grey!!*)

But that’s me I stared at, and I like me! I don’t like me every day, but the good days outweigh the bad.

I am quite thrilled to have bid adieu to my 20s, to be honest. I have (mostly) adored my 30s. I’m a bit scared about 40, but more so- I love this river of calm that comes with it… being comfortable in my own skin. A quote on my fridge sums this post up best:

“But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!”

xo.

 

(* Honestly? I hardly have any grey hair. I have a couple strands. I love them dearly.)

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eeyore is my spirit animal

Hello, friend…

Despite all that is going on in my life these days, and there is a fair bit to keep me busy, as I said to a friend tonight- I’ve been feeling like Eeyore has been my spirit animal of late.

I’ve been feeling a bit sad, a bit stuck and I can’t really pin point why this has been so. It just has been.

As I occasionally do my terrible check list in my head of things I haven’t done yet (i.e Get Married! Establish a diverse banking portfolio! Learn to like Apple Cider Vinegar!), I put aside what I have done and AM doing and focus on things that haven’t come my way for one reason or another. I’ve also been blue because I’m moving soon, and with leaving this place I’m leaving an apartment where I learned I was going to become an aunt again & where I’d have my final conversation ever with my late James. And it’s like I’m losing him all over again, which is just a very heavy feeling. But good memories or not-so-good memories aside, I do know that moving won’t change that these things happened.  I guess I’m simply aware that I feel a bit out of sorts, and am trying not to judge myself too much for that.

Yes, there are a lot of good things in my life right now and yes, my heart feels heavy. And there’s been a part of myself that has been super-judgey of this paradox. How can you feel down? You have no reason to feel down!! So today when my boss asked if I was feeling okay, I told her that I’ve not been feeling like myself actually… and by admitting that out loud allowed a small weight to float off my shoulder. At a BBQ tonight, I confessed to a few more friends that I’ve been a bit stuck… and another weight floated upwards.

No one told me I was crazy or an idiot for feeling down, if anything there was compassion offered and permission given to let me vent. It silenced my inner critic enough that when I got home, it wasn’t there to bark at me that I’m not doing good enough at being an adult. Likely because I acknowledged it… I found it hiding and called out “tag, you’re it!”

The truth is, I may not ever know if I’m doing this right. Finding balance can take a lot of time.

And that’s okay.

I think the more I look to improve my balance, and like ALL the parts of myself (not just the ones that do stand up & write, but the ones that can admit to thinking that Bee Gee’s song More Than A Woman was called Four Letter Woman)… then it’ll just help me ride out the bumps.

After all, I do wear a tattoo that reminds me daily that I am braver than I believe, and stronger than I seem and am smarter than I think.

xo.

 

tell your story.

Hello, friend…

I absolutely could not have imagined on Monday how this week would turn out. Maybe you’ve had a week like that recently, where by the time Sunday rolls around you’re not certain how x, y & z happened… but they did. And I mean this in the best way possible! I know utterly terrible things can pop out of nowhere, but in this case it’s all good. 🙂

If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s the power and the importance of telling your story. There is absolutely nothing better than speaking your truth, there is absolutely nothing more important. Because the thing is, you never know how your story can be a spark for someone else. And there have been some gorgeous sparks this week as the result of an article I wrote for Hello Giggles (well, hello…). From that article, I got a call from CBC Radio and a program of theirs called Fresh Air… they wanted to talk to me on air!!!! So many firsts have happened in these early days of 2017… I sold my first article, and I did my first Radio Interview.

Beautiful things can happen when we talk, when we share, when we listen. We don’t do enough of that. (This may make me sound old, but, it’s true… social media is quite the opposite of anything social. So after you finish here, please go make plans with a friend to have a coffee. Or walk in the park… unless it’s minus 20 outside. Then just stay inside with your coffees.)

A few folks have told me my career shift is inspiring to them, gave a dash of hope to a risk they thought of taking. That means more to me than I can tell you. I took a very risky turn stepping out of a role I had established myself in, but by taking that time away, I got to know myself again. I needed to get away from that life… I HAD to. I would love to run into my time machine, and go back 10 years to run to my 28 year old self with arms wide open and scream out “THINGS ARE GOING TO BE FIIIIIIINE! YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAKING A F**KING DOCUMENTARY IN 10 YEARS!!” as I hug her tightly.

Anyhoo…. Here is the link to my amazing adventure from this week, my very first radio interview:

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(with Eli Glasner at CBC Radio)

 

xo.

timing

Hello, friend…

I had a thought tonight as I left a comedy writing workshop tonight, and went to get a boneless chicken roti from one of my favourite spots in the city… I was thinking of how lucky I am. Here I was, at 9pm at night, walking up Bathurst with a roti in hand and feeling good about some new jokes I tried out tonight. Kelly from a year ago was anxious to put her toes in the stand-up comedy waters but it would take three months to get the lady-balls to actually do it.

Okay, talking about myself in the third person is weird. I’ll stop.

But yeah, in January of this year, I convinced friends to put me in their show and with my brother and a couple of friends in the audience up I went. 37 years old and no-longer a stand-up comedy virgin!! Huzzah! (Though I’d never been so convinced I could possibly pass-out in front of people as I was that night, oh my god was I scared.) Now, I’m not someone who feels like I’m an adult most of the time; I’m 38 but I think I’m still 23. But I know that I’m older than a good lot of the comics I’ve come across so far, and I had a moment tonight where I thought “Why the hell didn’t I start doing this 10 years ago? I CAN do this damnit! Why didn’t I know I could do this when I was younger??!! AAUUUGGHH!”

The thing is, I wasn’t ready to do this at 28. The timing wasn’t right.

Yes, I spent countless nights as a teen watching An Evening at the Improv on A & E, or sneaking in a late night David Letterman episode on a school night. But there was no thought that EVER came into my head that said “You should try stand-up comedy!” I did tech for improv and sketch troupes, though and THEN I got on stage myself and it was fun but it never felt… right. I was trying to fit into a pair of pants that fit but… if I sat down I couldn’t breathe. And I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to breathe in any position I’m in. It’s, as the French say, really fucking important. (Read that last bit in a French accent for the full effect.)

I morphed into background stuff, and I still love background stuff … but when I was 24 I started writing again and that became my first play. I think that’s when the proverbial penny dropped, and slooooowly I found my confidence. And then fast forward to tonight, I am 38 and I’m heading home with a roti that I should NOT be eating at 9pm at my age but fuck it. I’m heading home having told some jokes that made some cool people laugh and I’ll do it again in a night or two.  As I ride the TTC and listen to my music, I daydream about submitting a package to Late Night with Seth Meyers of my material… because, why not try?!  I can try that! What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s all about timing. It’s all about the timing when I’m up on stage with that mic and a spotlight on me, thinking to myself why  I didn’t try this sooner.

I wasn’t ready to do the thing. But now… I am doing the thing.

Cue late night dance part to work off late night roti!!!!

xo.

 

 

dark

Hello, friend…

Well. Minutes after I published my previous blog and was almost out the door, my date for tonight sent me a text letting me know he had to cancel for the 2nd time this week. HE CANCELLED. AGAIN!! MY LEGS WERE SHAVED! NEW UNDERWEAR WAS PURCHASED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goddamnit.

AAUUUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

So, what have I done for the past couple of hours you ask? Well, after learning that my date was no longer happening I posed the WWGSD* question. (* What Would Gloria Steinem Do?) And I decided that Gloria would say fuck it and go to dinner anyway. So! I did.

If this were a scene out of the sitcom that is my life, it was perfectly cast. Cool restaurant, filled with lots of people… with your semi-defeated heroine (me!) seated at the bar and quickly served by a very cute bartender. Learning of my situation, we decided a glass of wine was necessary and did not count in my month of non-drinking because this was an emergency situation. (I believed he referred to it as “miracle juice”.) A plate of baby back ribs and fries was ordered. Hey, if I was going to drown my sorrows, it was gonna be in wine and meat. May as well go big and then go home by yourself at a reasonable hour, I say!

While I wanted to cry while my yummy ribs were served, there is no crying while eating yummy ribs. Luckily for me, my bartender Braeden was a wise one… he told me that there was no use getting upset over the guy. He clearly wasn’t worth my time.

And obviously this guy was not, this was the 2nd time he’d cancelled on me in a week (as I mentioned before). And while he suggested we try to book this again, I decided to employ the “two strikes and this is over” rule. I don’t want to get my hopes up over meeting you again, dude… I have tiny arms. It’s hard to keep hopes up when you have tiny arms. They get tired easily.

At times I have to wonder what the Universe is trying to tell me. Did a signal go out tonight when I proclaimed I was happy and anxious for my date? Did Cupid send a memo out letting people know my content attitude had to be put to a stop?! Is Cupid trying to tell me I should switch teams?! Is the man I’m to be with just REALLY FUCKING GOOD AT NOT BEING SEEN?!?!?! (bangs head on desk) At this point I’d not be surprised if a cardboard cutout of a handsome gent stood me up. (I’m assuming that text would read “Sorry I have to cancel, it’s raining and I disintegrated.”)

My lovely bartender offered me a drink on the house. As we agreed, if I was going to break my non-booze streak I may as well do it up right. And… it was an emergency. So I broke that glass box and downed my second drink before heading home! I allowed myself to cry a little bit as I walked to the subway. But I laughed when I noticed a friend post that song Circle of Life on my Facebook page after I mentioned how my day started with the thrill of an article I wrote being published in The Toronto Star & ended with my being alone at a bar.  (“Cue the Circle of Life”, I wrote.)

It’s always something, the lovely Gilda Radner once said… and it’s true! It’s always something. And at least I have my friends who will get to Google quickly and post songs from the Lion King on my FB wall in an emergency. 😉

xo.

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(Pictured above:  The “in case of romantic emergency” dinner and drink plan- baby back ribs, shoestring fries and “miracle juice”)

 

light

Hello, friend…

I should be getting ready for a dinner date right now (I have a date!! Yahoo!), but to calm the nerves I’m here for a quick chat. 🙂 I’ve been talking to this guy for a couple of weeks & we’re finally able to meet… thank goodness. We’re going for dinner at a favourite Italian spot of mine, and with my admission that I’m not drinking this month he joked that he was going to “actually have to be charming” in the absence of booze. 😉

So. I’m feeling good. Yes, I’ll soon be feeling like I’ve eaten too much pasta but for now the belly is calm.

There has been a lightness in the air today though, with holiday shopping in full swing and twinkle lights everywhere… and in the exhibit I saw today with my friend Paula at the AGO. We caught the JMW Turner exhibit:

http://www.ago.net/j-m-w-turner-painting-set-free

I knew next to nothing about the painter going in, but standing there and looking at pieces from the 1800’s I was struck by this guy’s use of light. It is unbelievable. And it got me to thinking… this fellow painted these works 200 years ago or so, right? He has this amazing legacy and he continues on as people come upon his work for the first time. His metaphorical light keeps going through his work. I don’t know if my name is one people will remember long after I’m gone. Maybe 100 years from now someone will still be wondering if my brother Robert was the one who directed Forrest Gump.(This is a question I really do get! I have a brother named Robert… Zemnickis. Robert Zemeckis is not my brother- though he is the guy who directed Forrest Gump.)

There are a few things I don’t know. Well, truthfully there are a NUMBER of things but we don’t have that kind of time, people!

I don’t know if I will ever have children of my own, but I do regard my plays as my children. And I’ve got four, all of whom I love equally… with a fifth on the way! (There was a first reading this past September, which is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Baby Shower.) I don’t know if I am destined to become a writer the world will know about, I’ve got a small career (though one I am very proud of)… . I don’t know if people will see my plays or watch a movie I wrote 200 years from now in whatever form people will do those things 200 years from now. (Likely through a TV chip implanted in their palms.)

But my work is work that I am proud of, even if it’s just making a very very very tiny dent in the universe at present.

I think what matters most is that I’m making my art.

Whatever your medium is, you’ve got to speak your truth. Right?? You’ve got to shine your own light. And I’m not the most self-confident gal on the planet, I’m riddled with self-doubt but I do know this… There is absolutely no point in doing things to impress others that depress you in the process.

… and with that boost of self-confidence, I’ve got a date to get ready for!

xo.

 

 

going back…

Hello, friend…

I made my 5th appearance on TMZ Live today. I’m not entirely certain why they keep asking me back, but they do… and I have to admit it’s kinda fun! Today, I was asked to comment on the story of the kid who recently tripped and broke his fall & a painting from the 1600s in the process. It’s pretty damn funny. Unfortunate, yes… but it’s pretty damn funny.

So, I write some “bits” and just as I’m about to get on, I get told the story’s dropped and I was asked to comment on the fact that Drake & Serena Williams are back together. Now, a few days ago, I never knew they were together the 1st time. I knew she dated Common (I’m still not over the shock his first name is actually Lonnie, thank you voice-over person from the Oscars for that nugget) but my knowledge about her love life stopped there. The truth is, it’s none of my business… but thanks to TMZ, I had to make it my business for 30 seconds today.

Here’s the thing. Apparently her friends are warning her to use caution with getting back together with Mr. Drake. Isn’t that the way though, that a sort of Bat Signal goes out to your friends? Warning! She’s about to hook up with “that guy” again!! Warning! Prep battle stations now! She’s doing this again, people!! Friends can see things you can’t with the rose-coloured glasses you’re sporting that come free with each (inevitable) romantic mistake.

For me, it was Rob S. He came and went from my life so often over four years or so that my mom was pretty certain we’d get married. He just kept coming back… though yes, I kept letting him back in. There was that.

We met on the set of a TV show, I flirted by stealing his sandwich. He pulled down his pants and mooned me. By the end of the night, I wrote him a note saying something like it was great to meet him… passed it to him outside the studio and left. He ran after me, and said “You forgot to give me your phone number”. This lead to him coming to the wrap party of said show, where we played pool and as the loser of the game he informed me that we had to make out. And I was HOOKED. He was… I dunno, there was just something about him.

Which maybe is how Serena sees Drake. Granted, we’re nothing alike, but Rob S. was in an N’sync cover band. (I wish this was a lie, but it is not.) And I, I do like tennis. But I guess my point is, is that when that one who makes your heart race and says all the right things just when you need to hear them and who just has “it” comes back after leaving you in a pile of tears and tissues? You forgive instantly. You buy into the “things will be different this time”. Either I had amnesia or I truly believed Rob S., but every time he wanted back in? Door was opened.

I always thought things would be different “this time”.

Until one day, after he left the city to take a radio gig elsewhere, he told me on the phone that I should spend the weekend when his girlfriend was out of town. I could come sooner, but her dad might not like it. HER DAD. (Again, I wish this was made up for comedic points, but, nope!) Oh, Rob… Rob who gave me a ring and then told me he gave it to his last girlfriend but she gave it back when they split… Rob who, when I asked him why he had male porn magazines under the coffee table told me they were his sisters…. Rob who once asked me at the end of our date if I could drive him to his next date that night. (I did not. I promise you, I did not.)

I’ve made dumb romantic choices over the years, but who hasn’t?! Famous or non… we hope and we wish constantly that things will work out this time. And I’m not saying these are things that will happen between Serena and Drake, and for her sake I hope they don’t… but I’m here if she needs to talk.

xo.

p.s. Here’s the video of that kid and the painting: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/25/434565176/video-12-year-old-boy-trips-rips-hole-in-1-5-million-painting