Tag Archives: relationships

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.

xo.

 

 

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the power of 2017

Hello, friend…

Winter is officially here. Christmas is a few sleeps away. 2017 is slowly coming to an end.

Before I head off to a stand-up gig tonight, a few thoughts on this year. Now, at the start of the year with Trump being sworn in and the gong show that has continued on since… at the start of the year my overall impression of what I thought 2017 would have been like wasn’t a pleasant picture. I’m still devastated he’s in charge in the States, but what the past few months have given me is waaaaaay more hope than sadness.  And that has surprised me, to be honest.

But just the power of people coming together for common good has been good for the soul. I’m still concerned where things will go on this planet, I worry what the world will be like when my nephews and niece are my age BUT… for now… for now, I look back at this year and I’m happy.

Did I fall in love? Um, no. No, I still really suck at establishing a solid relationship.

BUT. Before you think “well, what else matters, really?” First off, shut up… secondly…

This year I became a contributor at Hello Giggles. My first story with them (insert shameless plug here)…

https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/money-career/left-entertainment-industry-became-a-waitress/

… well, that landed me an interview on CBC’s Radio’s Fresh Air program.

I started doing stand up in ANOTHER PROVINCE. The fact that my first gig outside of Toronto was in Gatineau, Quebec still bewilders me. That in January 2018 I’ll celebrate my 2 year standup-versary bewilders me. My stand-up career started at the tender age of 38. Amazing. 😉

My nephew turned 1 this July. The tiniest Zemnickis is just beginning his adventure and I marvel at simply watching him watch the world. This is all new to him. Hummus is new to him and the little man really loves hummus and making silly faces. I think he if he can hang onto that as he grows up, he’ll be set.

My documentary, No Responders Left Behind, my FIRST documentary with my friends Rob, Kristine & Jaime completed filming and was sent off to the Tribeca Film Festival for consideration for 2018. I am going to crap my pants if we get in.

I know, I know… I didn’t find love in 2017 but… the year isn’t over yet and truth be told… there was a LOT of love around me this year. On the good side, my friends Heather & Jeremy got married and invited me to their wedding. My friend Zane married his love, Willa. And people I loved so much, Ana-Alecia and Ray, well they lost their battle with Cancer but they left behind SO much love and light I hope their magic stays with me for always and always.

And the MeToo movement. MY god. What a beautiful thing that has been, because those of us who have been silent and hiding our scars… We can SPEAK UP and SPEAK UP and SPEAK UP. I just… I love it. Because those scars are heavy. And they need to gooooooooooo. And even if you can speak up, you know that you’re not alone and you’re loved and BELIEVED that it’s not and never was your fault.

Power is a good word for this year. Some have taken it in a bad direction, but I think the power of good is winning out. And we will Care Bear Stare the pants out of it as 2017 ends and 2018 begins.

 

 

xo.

 

a dash of perspective

Hello, friend…

The other day I went to my optometrist. I go every year, which might sound unusual to some, but a while back (during an emergency appointment- for something I can’t recall completely) it was discovered that on my right eyeball sits a mole. Like a mole you’d have your doctor check on your skin. You can get something similar  on your eyeball. So every year, as I head in to see my lovely optometrist with my stomach in absolute knots, I tell myself “if it’s Cancer, we’ll be okay”.

And (knock on wood), I’m absolutely fine. It’s not changed shape. It’s just sitting there, just as it looked last year. Phew.  Though I asked her this year, if it ever becomes the Big C, would I lose my vision? I’m told not completely. But it’s nothing to concern myself with. I’m okay. Vision is still perfect. My stomach unwinds as I leave.

I’m lucky, I’m so very lucky. Cancer has run its way through my family like a pinball in a pinball game. My dad is a two-time Cancer survivor. Today he celebrated his 83rd birthday.

But I can see. I don’t take that for granted.

Nor do I take for granted the fact that I can type and hold a coffee cup or keep my head straight. You see, I have something called Essential Tremor. Which is the DUMBEST name EVER… but it mimics symptoms of Parkinson’s. Except that you notice my tremor when I am doing… holding a wine glass (I always hold it with two hands), holding a box… It affects my arms as it has for over 20 years now. But it may decide to travel upwards and grab hold of my neck and my vocal chords and my head.

But it has not decided to do that, for which I am so grateful. I still decide what my body can and should do, and I deal with jerks who say “Oh do I make you nervous?” when they hand me a drink and I can’t hold it steady. I share this tremor with the late, great Katherine Hepburn… so perhaps one day I too will have an Academy Award and a New England accent and a longtime love who is… um… still married to someone else. ANYWAY.

I can (for the most part) control my body. I don’t take that for granted.

SO TELL ME THEN… when I can take joy in the smallest things… how a guy breaking a date with me because my answer to his question of “Do you own a garter belt?” was “No” upset me as much as it did.  WHO MAKES THAT THEIR DEAL BREAKER?!?! And why does this bother me that this was his deal breaker??? 

I can’t seem to control my heart and my hopes. There they float… when a guy makes my heart beat fast…

I kind of hate that but… I can see he was NOT someone to pursue. And as long as I’m still in control of my movements, I will punch him in the face if we ever do run into each other.

xo.

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. 😉

xo.

sand in my shoes

Hello, friend…

I’m just back from a little vacation to Miami. I can’t immediately think of when I was last in Miami, perhaps it was 2010 but I do recall it involved my travelling to Florida to meet my friend Laura to see an NKOTB concert (oh, what fun it was telling that to the border guard asking me about the purpose of my trip). ANYHOOOZIES. This trip didn’t involve anything more than my wanting to see my brother (who lives in Miami) & take a bit of time for myself (which I don’t do a whole lot of , to be honest).

And from top to bottom, it was a fantastic vacation. I almost didn’t go because my trusty Weather Network app told me the weather was going to be shit* the entire time I was to be away. (* not the exact words used) But it barely rained, the sun won out and I am now sporting something called “a tan”. So I’m now thinking maybe I need to get out of my co-dependent relationship with the Weather Network app… but I’ll leave that for another blog. The point is, my flight down had me sitting next to a very very cute guy & for reasons I still do not know, that flight down showered upon me anything I wanted. It was weird. Pizza! LOTS of wine! An iPad to use for my flight! The cutie beside me was able to benefit on this, too merely by seat assignment, and I learned a very very important lesson… when a handsome man is offered hot nuts there is no appropriate way to ask how his nuts are. BUT it all lead to us having a fantastic conversation and plans for a date while I was in Miami. So, thanks for all that Air Canada Rouge! Hot nuts all around!! 😉

What meant the most to me though, really, was seeing my brother whom I don’t see very often. For no real good reason, either… granted, I’m not very keen on flying but I’m getting better at jetting around (thanks to the documentary I’m co-producing)… no, it’s just a fact that Robert & I don’t see each all that much. We are the single siblings amongst the 4 Zemnickis kiddos, so it was nice to commiserate over the men we spotted on Tinder and such… and how our love lives are in general. There was such hope and joy over my date with the Hot Nuts Guy! And I’m glad my brother was there when HNG messaged me later that night (after our awesome date) to tell me he didn’t feel enough to see me again while I was in town. We sat in that hot Miami night in the courtyard & agreed that tomorrow was indeed another day. Small stuff, but important… mainly because it’s tiny moments like that that help us bond. It’s just not logistical for me to “pop over” for dinner or for him to see if I’m free for a Sunday brunch and have stuff like that happen.

Sure, Robert thinks I’m 39 going on 65 because I say things like “she looks fetching!” or because I mumble “Crumbs!” when I’m annoyed… but it’s nice to be teased like that. Primarily because we’re in the same room when it happens, which is rare.

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A night out with my brother (and a friend).

I’m back in Toronto and even more grateful for the proximity I have to my one sibling who lives in Toronto, too. But I’m also home with determination to not let it be SO long to go between visits to Miami (to see Robert) or Montreal (to see Debbie). Because as nice as it is to connect electronically, there’s something to sharing space at the dinner table together or staying in to watch a documentary together. My older siblings and I still have a lot to learn about each other, our connection somewhat fractured because we share a dad but have different mothers… but they are a part of me. It felt like a small weight off my shoulders to confess to Robert the other night that I’ve always carried a guilt that I grew up with dad around but he didn’t. And he assured me that it wasn’t a guilt I needed to carry, but he understood where I was coming from.

Miami was good for my skin (did I mention I have a tan? I did? Okay, cool)… but it was good for the soul, too. Really, my Uber driver’s choice of song when I got in the car summed up my trip perfectly… I indeed had the time of my life. 😉

19095460_10159019898385294_126802897840241476_o

… with love from South Beach! xo

 

xo.

 

p.s. I’m seeing NKOTB next week. But in Toronto this time. With my sister in law.

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.