Tag Archives: heartbreak

let go

Hello, friend…

I was having a chat with my friend J the other day, telling him about a time when I really, really hurt someone I cared about. It’s been about 13 years since it happened and though we have long since made amends, he now lives (happily married) in California, every now and then I think about what happened. Every now and then, I knock salt into the wound. But as J reminded me, I’m not the same person as I was then… and the choices I made then aren’t ones I’d make now.

And he’s right. I am a different person, and I wouldn’t make those choices again. So, why is it that I still can’t fully completely shake off the guilt? As I get older, I know I have to let these proverbial weights off my shoulders. It’s not worth carrying. I walked for a bit after work, along a street we once strolled that Christmas everything went belly up; and as I walked, as sometimes happens, I got these flashbacks of us standing here and talking there.

What happened, you ask? A valid question. Well… when I met this guy, I was feeling amazing at having my first short film in a NYC film festival  AND I was on a high that came with the insane mood swings I had become used with being on the birth control pill. So when he met me, yes, I was INCREDIBLY attracted to him and I thought he was just the coolest cat. But I knew something was wrong with me, just couldn’t put my finger on it.  And then days later, “Aunt Flow” came to visit and stayed for 30 days. THIRTY DAYS. It was the beginning of my body & mental health hitting a brick wall. I went from this bubbly, “let’s do ALL the things” gal (who he once called “New York Kelly”) to this mean, bitchy, quiet wet blanket (a.k.a “Toronto Kelly”).

I meet this amazing guy… he came to Toronto to visit me at Christmas… and then a trap door in the floor opened up. And while it was scary, in hindsight, it was absolutely necessary because I didn’t realize how sick those birth control pills were making me. I just felt awful that I had to take this guy out in the process. He meet and falls for one version of me, and then my evil twin popped up and hijacked what was happening.

Why does that happen? Why is that life is humming along nicely and then BLAMMO,  surprise shit storm!

I hurt this kind soul because I just SHUT DOWN. I didn’t want to be touched, bothered… my anxiety hit 100%… I was needing to get all things done quickly and now... I cringe thinking about it all these years later. He whispered in my ear as we parted at the airport that Christmas “You made me feel like I wasn’t wanted”. And he was right, because I was the worst version of myself I’d ever seen. But had that not happened, I’d have continued on- convinced I didn’t have just anxiety & panic attacks and that I was getting worse and would need more treatment. My mental health fell apart that Christmas. But it was the best gift I could have received.

I needed to hit rock bottom, so to speak. I needed ALL of that to happen in order to turn a corner. It took a lot of time to get that birth control pill out of my system, it took even more time to eventually rid myself of the medicines I took to ease my anxiety & panic. I live my days now with meditation in my back pocket when I need to centre and calm down. I believe I am more empathetic and mindful now than I ever have been.

I can’t go back and changed what happened, how I handled that new relationship… but I can look back at it with gratitude. We made amends, as I said… forgiveness was given… and ultimately, it made me a better person.





the listener

Hello, friend…

The rain in Toronto has stopped for the night (or so it seems) and I’ve got my tea and am in my favourite chair. A busy day has ended rather peacefully. My life seems to be settling down, though – blissfully- because with moving and transcripts and writing and documentary life and bakery I have been feeling as though I’ve not had time to breathe. Calmness has been a really cool idea, just not practical. But! As I say, I’m finding my balance again.

I had a moment at the bakery today though, which knocked me a bit. It was a private moment, nothing that happened with a customer, which in a way made it harder to deal with because no one around me would have understood. I’ve talked before about how I have this odd connection to the song “I Want You” by Savage Garden – it’s a song that would play whenever I was about to see my love James. When James passed, it’s now become a song I hear whenever I think about him or feel he’s around.

I feel pretty in-tune with myself, I listen closely and observe… I feel energies in rooms and around objects. I don’t think it’s all that unusual, really – but perhaps my willingness to talk about it is. So when I hear “our song” (I find it utterly ridiculous it’s a song by Savage Garden, but who am I to judge?!), I know that it’s James letting me know that yep, he’s there. He can’t speak to me directly, so I have to listen closely. I can still hear his voice, I remember his hands and how they felt holding mine… how he’d look at me. I get these reminders in this dumb pop song that I love SO much.

Didn’t hear that song today, but I did have a moment of knowing that James was there. And this is only something you can relate to if you’ve lost someone particularly close to you. This feeling that that person is there. You’re not sure where, but they’re there. I can equate it to a magnetic pull; I was there in the back, washing dishes and thought “James is here”. I felt it so strongly in my gut. So as I do, I just opened up and listened. Watched for a sign. Something.

And then “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey came on.

Here’s the thing about that song. And James. And I.

Grief is the funniest damned thing. It comes in waves. Crashing over you when you least expect it… ANYWAY…

When James was in the hospital, and things weren’t looking good at all, I summoned a couple friends to lip-sync and film themselves doing so to that song “Don’t Stop Believing”. I did it myself. And the plan was to edit them together and get it to James. But I had trouble contacting the lady who was taking care of him, and at this point James wasn’t able to speak and had limited social media time. And then we got word James had passed… he never saw the video. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for not getting it to him in time.

So I’m there in the bakery, knowing I feel his presence, and I hear this Journey song start and I froze.

But what did Jung call it? Synchronicity. A meaningful coincidence.

James promised me years earlier to always protect me. Always be there to guide me, and that I’m present enough to feel our connection despite his being gone… I’m so grateful to that but I also kind of hate that I’m connecting to someone who is no longer here. My friend Natasha mentioned twin flames tonight and it resonated with me… perhaps he really was my other half. And we talked tonight about how we connect so little with each other nowadays, really connect… we’re in our bubble and filter out what we don’t want to hear or see. It’s all customized.

Random conversations or random moments are rare. Being present is hard when it truly shouldn’t be!! I read once of how the singer Glen Hansard likes leaving his headphones off when roaming city streets so he can listen to those sounds.

I met James before email was a thing. When I got myself online I went by IrishLager as an inside joke to the night we went for Guinness and that lovely beverage hit me a bit too hard that night. I love that we met as we did, in the green room at Second City and got to know each other by phone calls and walks to the subway.

I’m still listening to him and learning.

I still see him at the College subway station.

He’s still adding music to my life.



north pole, south pole

Hello, friend…

Just a quick thought before I go to bed tonight. How life swings from one extreme to the other, how the heart and spirit can soar before the proverbial balloon is popped and everything falls to pieces.

This time last week, I was settling in for the night at my sister’s home in Lachute, Quebec and preparing for my first batch of stand-up shows outside of Toronto! I had always thought my first gigs outside of Toronto would be in Barrie, Ontario or whatnot… not miles and miles away in my home province of Quebec. But I had a fantastic Quebec debut in Gatineau, Quebec and cannot wait to go back!!

A year ago, I could not have fathomed my stand-up career would be moving along as nicely as it has been. A year ago, I could not have fathomed I could say “my stand-up career” with a straight face.

Then fast forward to tonight, I am digesting the news that my dear friend Ray has passed. His death is not a surprise, he was not well at all, but it is still a tough reality to digest. I will be at his funeral in a few days, to wish his family love and Ray peace as he goes to infinity and beyond.

A year ago, I met Ray as part of the documentary I’m co-producing on a phenomenal man named John Feal & his fellow 9/11 first responders. I recall John telling myself and the crew we’d be meeting Ray that day, and I loved him from Hello. Despite the cancer that had invaded his body, Ray was light & love. I was able to call him a friend for one year, 365 days.

Such extremes, but such a perfect example of where life can take you. A girl came into the bakery so sad, only letting me know that she was having a very bad day and we agreed a cupcake would help perk her spirits. Hopefully it’s sweetness would counteract her tears.

As my heart nurses its wound, I take immense pride in recalling how days before I went up on stage in my hometown and made people laugh. At one show, friends were in the audience. My sister and my nephew as well. I marvel at where my life path has taken me, and wonder where it will continue. If I will ever remember what it feels like to be kissed at the end of a date, because I think I’m starting to forget how nice that can feel. But that’s the beauty of a new day, isn’t it? New opportunities present itself… as my friend Ray would have said, that’s a good thing.

I have lost two beautiful friends to cancer this year, Ana-Alecia & now Ray. But while it took my friends, it can’t take away the impact they had on me and those who knew them.

Because that’s all that matters really, how you impact people & the impression you leave behind.


a place in L.A…

Hello, friend…


I’m sorry for my absence. No, I didn’t run off and get married or accept that offer from that Nigerian Prince to take all that money he is giving away… I’ve been working on my 1st documentary!! Hmm… maybe I should write that Prince back. Certainly HE would be interested in investing in a documentary…

Anyhoo. No, must get back into swing of writing and that starts NOW! And while I try to distinguish if the noise I can hear outside is a car alarm or a drunk bird… I present this. I saw it on CBS Sunday Morning today and I WANT TO GO TO THERE:


A Museum of Broken Relationships?! How the fuck am I not on their Board??!!




wheel of romance

Hello friend,

Well. I’ve had a couple of dates recently and while I felt good initially, everything of late has resulted in the following chat via text (so classy!) the next day:

Person X- “I’m just not feeling this.”
Me- “Oh?’
Person X- “Yeah. But I’m up for just FWB.”

I’ve had three dates in a row where I could insert this conversation the morning after. What the hell?! Why all this jumping to conclusions, why not let see where things go? (sigh) Oh, I guess the Pro here is that our time wasn’t wasted and they’re being up front. Yeah. I hear that. And in a way, yes, I’m flattered these guys want to get in my pants. BUT!


I’m not at all sure how I’m supposed to be anymore on a date. Am I to be myself? Not myself? Hire a Stand-In to go on the date for me? Am I to be Nonchalant? Chalant? Inquisitive? Bored? AAUUUGGGHHHH…. I’m thiiiiiiis close to making a wheel that I’m going to put in all these different suggestions on how to be on a given date night. Date will be planned, I’ll get dolled up and before I head out the door we’ll SPIN. THE. DATING. WHEEEEEEEL….. (spinning sound effects) Oh! Tonight we’ve got “Wacky”! Great. Wacky it is.

OK! Gonna go make a wheel… xo.


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.


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. 😉



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


fondue for your thoughts…

Hello, friend…

You know what isn’t the best idea? Fondue for one, you might suggest? Well, yes… it’s rather depressing to make a fondue pot for one. Swimming in a pool as a NASTY storm approaches? Totally not a good idea, yet… something I witnessed today. (They finally got out of the pool. Thank god.)  No, what I’m thinking is more along the lines of discovering Facebook notes from an old flame you THOUGHT you deleted are actually still there and so you spent about half an hour reading through them.

Not the smartest decision I made today.


Though at least I didn’t have a large, personal pot of melted cheese to drop my sorrows into ’cause then I’d feel bad and bloated. I dunno… it was kind of like going through old home movies, reading those notes again. And I’m sad, but I like that they’re still there… making a relationship I miss so very much real again for a minute. It was comforting in a way, remembering moments and closing my eyes and pretending. I’m starting to forget what his voice sounds like, but it’s not gone completely. I still remember his laugh. It will take years to forget that snoring…. OH MY LORD… he snored.

Man, the wind is absolutely howling tonight. Rain, thunder… the works. Mother Nature is ANGRY tonight!! As, I can only imagine, I would have been consuming one pot of cheese for myself. (I keep mentioning this, as part of my brain is wondering if this might be a good idea.) But maybe Mother Nature is trying to help clean the slate for me! Nudging me to keep moving, trying to start fresh. Which, I’m old enough to know, isn’t always easy.

Obvious, yes. Easy, no.

Sure, there’s a bit of a mess to clean up after a storm but you can find things that might be worth holding onto. Something to help you keep going, or to learn from… or not. I’m not sure where I’m trying to go with this tonight. I kind of just want a snack right now.

Anyway, on the plus side I seem to have forgotten the new season of Bachelor in Paradise started tonight. So that’s a positive. A few brain cells are saved!!