Tag Archives: life

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.

 

Advertisements

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.

choose your own adventure

Hello, friend…

I want to put a thought out into the Universe. In reading Amy Poehler’s book Yes, Please ( a favourite and one I totally recommend) she has a list of things that I copied and put on my wall… “Find a nice boy who is nice to you.”

I am having a hard time with this one. Instead, recently, I found a “nice boy” who made lovely dinner plans with me and gave me his number and pursued me… only to cancel night of said plans and “switch it up” as the kids say, and suggest we go out for drinks with friends. And he spent the night canoodling with another gal and did so directly in front of me for the during of the glass of wine I was trying desperately to chug. I just have to wonder what the pay-off of this was.

Was he expecting a threesome?

Does the man have amnesia?

I really didn’t appreciate the live presentation of “The Better Person’s Guide to Flirting” that was happening right in front of me. So I left. And he was shocked. As a result, I subjected a very kind Uber driver to my weeping – which I tried to keep to a minimum so he didn’t give me a bad rating.

He messaged me endlessly today, wanting to circle back and have said dinner… are you fucking kidding… wait. Maybe he does have amnesia.

(bangs head against wall)

UGH. Okay. I will continue to look for a nice boy who is nice to me, but I’m getting older and tiring easily. Does this ever get easier?? There will be dumb boys, and poor wardrobe choices to impress them, until I come upon someone doesn’t care about that and wants me for me. I don’t know where he is right now, but I hope he’s out there.

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:

img_0803

(with Eli Glasner at CBC Radio)

 

xo.

hoodwinked!

Hello, friend…

As I told my friend Paul tonight, I had a great date recently but he’s suddenly vanished from the site we met on and he’s not replied to my texts… therefore, I do believe that I’ve been hoodwinked. That’s right, hoodwinked! (Not enough people are using that word anymore, so I’m bringing it back.)

Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to have thought a date that went well would result in casual banter afterwards or better yet… another date! How novel would that have been!?! UUGGHHHH… how exactly does dating work anymore?! Am I to solve a limerick that unlocks a security code that sends me on a treasure hunt.. and THEN I get to see the guy again?

When did being honest jump the proverbial shark?! Clearly this guy isn’t keen on me, so maybe he’s just thinking actions speak louder than words. Which is true, they do… but…

Boo-urns to that!!

What on earth is wrong with telling someone how you feel? Why isn’t that a thing anymore?!

That does it. Along with the word Hoodwinked, I’m bringing back Honesty in 2017! I’ll start one of those online petitions…they seem rather effective…

xo.

in defence (or defense) of 2016

Hello, friend…

As the year comes to a close, 2016 hasn’t made many friends. I know it’s been a very very bad year for many reasons.

This time last year, I was trying to figure out a lot of stuff… wondering where puzzle pieces could go together… each year we feel that way, though don’t we? We see the new year with copious amounts of hope and optimism. We don’t always act on things we promise or challenge ourselves to, no… sometimes by the first week of January it’s pretty much dead in the water! But this year was different for me.

As 2016 took artists I loved dearly (Bowie, Cohen, etc etc) & took my first love (James, to Cancer in April), as 2016 caused a tremendous amount of pain… there was something to this year that pushed me towards what I wanted more than before. Things aligned in a way, possibly to counter the heartbreak & distract me. This was the year that I got up on that open mic stage and did stand-up, that I stopped wanting to get a tattoo and GOT tattooed.  2016 was a year of stop talking about doing the thing and DO THE THING.

I couldn’t have done a bigger thing than start the ball rolling on my 1st documentary, that was a big thing. That came from a tweet, which lead to an introduction, which set off a light-bulb. No Responders Left Behind is set to be completed in the spring of 2017 along with my friends Rob & Kristine providing me with a big, necessary producer safety blanket. This documentary has changed my life… 100%, full stop. I’ve made friends with men & women who ran into hell and did the unthinkable on 9/11… and that our paths crossed means the world to me. We have a big torch to carry, and I have to do them proud in 2017.

I thought I found paths to new romances this year, but they were dead-ends. But this year had bigger things to focus on, bigger fish to fry… like being able to look at myself in the mirror and say with complete confidence that I like me. A lot. Is that because I’m almost 40? Probably. (I’d hate to be almost 40 and not feel that way.) BUT my heart did find love in a way that I couldn’t have predicted, well, I knew I’d feel a lot but… seeing my nephew Cohen for the first time?! DAMN. I didn’t think you could feel that much love for ANYTHING. So here is to Cohen for bringing sheer BLISS to our family, and in return little dude, we will do our best to make sure the planet is safe for when you’re my age… 🙂

So. 2017 is almost here… it will be my last full year in my 30s & I am both sad and amused by this (where the fuck did my 30s go?!?!)… it will be a year that I keep doing the thing. Because I know I am capable. 2017 will be a year where I’ll never again let fear stop me from doing the things I love. James believed in me when we met, and now that he’s gone, he’s still sending me love. And I share that with you, friend.

I’m on a roll, baby!

Let’s dance.

xo.