Tag Archives: inspiration

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.

xo.

 

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graduation

Hello, friend…

This time tomorrow I’ll be in my new apartment. My stress level will be lower. Now, I’m someone who has moved A LOT but despite this, I cannot tell you how much I HATE moving. The process- the whole thing- it drives me insane. Up the wall, batty, insane. And I’m not only mad to be crowded in by boxes, I’m also mad that I have so much stuff.

Anyway. THAT being said. I’m looking forward to settling into my new space. I am! I’m hoping we will get along quite nicely.

Do I think places have feelings? Yes. I do. And I know it’s a strange thing to say, but when I moved in to where I am now… I had a feeling, in one part of the apartment in particular, that someone had been really sad in there once. I recall painting the walls and just feeling a heaviness. It was strange, but this turned out to be the one part of the apartment where my internet wasn’t great and a lamp frequently turned itself on.

So… mull on that for a bit.

I felt a lot of stress in here at first. But when I was 18 years old I moved out on my own for the first time, a few blocks away from where I am tonight. I only lived there for a year and I recall leaving that apartment, walking towards the subway, SO upset that I had to go. But I said to myself that I’d move back as soon as I could. It took 19 years, but I kept my promise to myself! I feel as though living here was needed, necessary to even out things from my past… does that make sense? I don’t know. Perhaps coming back to this area unearthed emotions I’d left deep inside. (My stomach was a wreck for the first little while of living here, for the second time.)

In two years of living here though, with my mom as my roomie – see my Hello Giggles piece on that here-

http://hellogiggles.com/love-sex/relationships/my-mom-is-my-roommate/

… in those two years, my life changed here. It changed. Big time. I learned I’d be an Aunt again here, I made a connection with someone on Twitter that led to my co-producing my first documentary, I made my TMZ Live debut here, I had lovely lovely romances here, I learned my neighbour Anne once worked with Charlie CHAPLIN!! SO much goodness came living within these walls. But it was not without a heaviness of heart, either. Where boxes are piled high right now, I stood and learned my James had died. In the bathroom was where I sat on the floor and cried with him weeks before, as we said our goodbyes on the phone.

Not every space we live in will do things for us, some experiences in places you’ll want to run so quickly from you won’t even hear the door slam behind you. But I’m truly grateful for whatever magic lived here. Or still lives here.

The air is different here, it’s lighter… I hope the family that moves in here Saturday will add more love and magic.

I feel tonight like I’m packing up, having finished college and am moving on to see what life has in store for me next. I’m ready! It’s time to see what is beyond these walls, yo. ūüėČ

xo.

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.

 

for the benefit of mr. ray

Hello, friend…

I found as I woke up this morning not 100% certain of what happened the night before. It’s not that the previous night was a booze filled Saturday night, but rather… well. I’ll try to explain. As I’ve alluded to at times, I’m making a documentary (my first!) and about a year ago now we started filming (we being my amazing core team of Rob, Kristine, Jaime & Nic – and other awesome souls along the way). I’ve traveled with them over the year, as we follow this unbelievable man named John Feal (a 9/11 Responder and the president of the FealGood Foundation). In the course of getting to know John, we’ve gotten to know some phenomenal men & women, First Responders and their families. It has brought so much love into my life, this horrible horrible event has brought proverbial flowers growing through cracks in cement… I’ve gotten to know people who need more help now than you could possibly imagine because of what they did that day in September.

And on Saturday I found myself at a pub in a part of Long Island I’d never been to before, amongst more people than you could count, celebrating the sunshine that is a beloved 9/11 First Responder named Ray Pfeifer. For the first time, I was there without my core crew but with a new friend, my camera guy Jimmy… and we just soaked in all this love. Ray has Cancer, he’s been kicking its ass since 2009 when he (& a lot of 9/11 Responders, actually) learned of their diagnosis and it’s relation to Sept. 11th. But as I say, this is my first documentary and I came into it so very accidentally (watching the Daily Show & sending a Tweet). I began following John because I was astounded to learn of what he’s been doing and continues to do for his fellow Responders. And little by little, trust was granted and given, and they have welcomed us into their community.

As¬†photos flashed all through the venue, it struck me that we have been woven into the fabric with our little documentary that could. I saw pictures of myself, our director Rob, Jaime… I saw us flashing amongst these photos of years previous as the guys lobbied in Washington… and amongst all of their history was us.

Short of what I was wearing on 9/11, I remember almost everything about that day. I remember how scared I was as I watched the TV with co-workers at the CBC in Toronto. There is no way on Earth I could have foreseen myself crossing paths with people like John and Ray. But it’s an example of the good that has come out of the horrors they experienced, and I witnessed. There has been so much bad, but there has been so much good too. But it’s come at a cost, and I’m aware of that.

With our¬†little film, I’m trying to throw as much good as I can into the world. The world needs it, stories of good hope and people doing the right thing simply because the right thing needs to be done. For as hard of a time as I’m having with finding love, for the mess I’m making of that (though yes, I¬†know it makes for “good material for my stand-up”)… the event yesterday reminded me that I’m helping to tell stories that need to be told. And that is a good thing.

I wish so much I could make Ray’s Cancer go away. ¬†I wish I could bring back my dear James & my friend Ana-Alecia who lost their fights to Cancer, but I cannot. But I can help by telling stories.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say here tonight. What point it was to post this, except that … well… we all have stories to tell. YOU have a story to tell. So you should go tell it. Because by speaking up, it could help someone. Jon Stewart spoke up on The Daily Show, and it moved me to speak up on social media and offer help to strangers. Who are now my friends.

xo.

sugar & spice

Hello, friend…

I am hours into my 39th year. I am¬†amazed¬†that my 30s have gone by as quickly as they have. 10 years ago, I fretted about turning 30 and worried that I wasn’t where I should be in life and I should be more of an adult (even though at the time I was a homeowner) etc etc etc.

Last night I did an open mic at a long-established open mic in the city, sitting with my joke book and slice of pie (I didn’t bring pie with me- it was being offered to the comics) and catching up with an old friend who couldn’t quite figure out what happened to me. “When I saw you last you were quiet, and working at CBC TV…” he recalled, “and now you’re here telling jokes?!” My friend was happy to see me, don’t get me wrong, but he was also kind of confused. And I get it, the Kelly he knew before would NEVER have done stand-up. She NEVER would have had tattoos.

So here I am, 10 years later, seeing 40 on the horizon. I’m more certain of myself than ever before. I 100% never could have told jokes to strangers when I was 29. As much as I’ve always wanted tattoos, I was prevented from getting them¬†sooner because it didn’t fit the image people had of me.

It’s taken time to find my footing. I’m still off-balance, but I have perfected my fall! I get up quickly. I dust myself off.

While yes, I’m more aware of time than ever before… and yes, I have days where I feel like I knew more then than I do now… I’m also aware now more than ever that things will happen when they are meant to. ¬†My life is filled with things I NEVER DREAMED COULD ¬†ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It’s kind of nuts.

So… my unsolicited advice? Live each day to the absolute fullest because there are SO many places to go. Trust that you’ll be okay. You’ll make mistakes because you’re supposed to make mistakes.

 

xo.

‚Ä™+1 (416) 839-8810‚Ĩ 20150131_172313¬†(That’s me waiting to take your call, 1979/1980)

 

 

 

can i get you a beer..?

Hello, friend…

What a day it’s been… I have learned that there is a… wait for it… GIRL GUIDE COOKIE BEER!!!

http://www.eater.com/2017/3/22/15012608/girl-scout-cookie-flavored-beer-is-an-actual-thing

But in all seriousness, today my latest essay for Hello Giggles was published and the feedback I’ve been getting on it fills my heart with SUCH joy. I took a risk with this essay, or at least I think I did, in admitting that I don’t want children. I’m days away from my 39th birthday. I’ve been fielding the “do you think about having children?” questions for YEARS now and I think the only thing I’ve perfected is how I deflect the question. But owning the fact that I am okay with not¬†having the title of Mom, owning that I am HAPPY in my life and BLESSED that I get to do what I do… that is something to celebrate. I’m happy. ¬†That is a good thing!

Hearing today from women who have offered thanks for putting into words what they could not, for giving them permission to feel as they do for not wanting to become a parent… all of this just shows how important it is to tell YOUR story. I shared mine and gave comfort and confidence to women I’ve never met. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

So here is the article… grab a cookie beer and settle in. I offer a cheers to YOU, friend.

http://hellogiggles.com/why-i-dont-need-motherhood-to-be-a-fulfilled-woman/

 

xo.

… a little bit of magic

Hello, friend…

I’m just home from a¬†really great night. I did some stand-up at a venue I’d never been at before and the place was packed and friends were there… and there was some super fun karaoke times afterwards. The simple fact that I get to go and tell jokes is something I beam over. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE stand-up. I feel my nerves go up to a level I cannot describe as I’m being introduced and then I get to the mic, and I feel like I’m home.

I feel at home on stage, just me with a mic, telling jokes.

I don’t think I could have predicted EVER saying that 20 years ago, when I was at the bar next door to the venue I was at tonight.

20 years ago, I headed over to Toronto’s famed McVeigh’s for the first time with my dear James for a pint. I’d never had Guinness before, but James didn’t need to know that. But that night was magic… we talked about EVERYTHING, we confessed having feelings for each other. We kissed for the first time in a corner of the basement. That night I fell in love with James, and Guinness and Van Morrison.

As you know, if you follow my stories, James has been gone for just about a year now. Tonight, as I left the club, after a girl power inspired of No Scrubs with my friends- I was smiling as I do and looked at McVeigh’s and saw James and I that night 21 years ago saying our good-nights. Or trying to. ūüėČ I kept walking and then completely caught my breath… because…

When James was getting really, really sick we talked. And I decided with my love being so sick, he couldn’t do all he wanted to do so… since I had been thinking about doing stand-up for a good year at that point, I decided to jump and I asked friends if I could do a set at their show. They said Yes.

Something I now love to do SO MUCH came from my pain of knowing he wasn’t well. So James… thank you for pushing me. You always knew I could do things I never thought I could do. Thank you so fucking much.

I’m home and it’s 2am and I’m eating McDonald’s and my throat hurts from laughing and singing off-key and I’m so happy.

xo.