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Sunday, July 20, 2008

unpacking my suitcase

When I left Vancouver, I left with a heavy heart. I didn’t want to leave the slow pace of the city, the sight of the ocean everyday, my mornings outside on the balcony with a cup of tea, or the warmth of my parents' company.

I did a lot of thinking over the week, and one of the reasons I was reluctant to leave was that I was not happy with my life in Toronto. I knew I had to make some changes.

So I came back, took some advice from a health practitioner and started taking some nutritional supplements and changing my eating habits to improve my sleep.

I cried my heart out to my boyfriend about my fears and doubts. I cried more than I have in years. When we were done talking, I had a bath, and continued to cry into the tub of water. Tears of angst and unhappiness poured into my bathwater that night, and then I let them go down the drain before I went to bed. The next morning I went into work puffy eyed, and that day I made another decision.

In the evening, my relationship with my boyfriend had re-harmonized into something even more beautiful. With everything out on the table we could be ourselves again. The weight of work and stress was no longer had precedence over our love for each other. That evening I also wrote my two-weeks resignation.

After working almost a year in retail, it was starting to make me miserable. I had known for a long time that I wanted to leave, but my love for my manager, who treats me like gold, had been holding me back. Yet the thought of spending another month of feeling dead in my skin as I try to sell dresses to strangers was too much, and I quit. I was honest, and had me quitting been a breakup, it was like being told: “I love you and want to marry you, but you have to do what’s best for you.” In other words, my manager would have loved to keep me but she understood my need to go.

The next few days I walked to work. I wore no make-up. I ate my lunch in the sunshine, and lay down on benches before starting my shifts.

And as I shed these layers I knew I had to do something about my hair. My long extensions had matted themselves together in the back, leaving me feeling far from the sexy vixen they once did. So I had them taken out. And along with the fake hair, a considerable amount of my real hair came out with the extensions that had knotted together. Normally losing this much hair would make me cry. I was calm. I knew I had two decisions: get them back in, or let my hair rest and chop it off. With a little coaxing from my boyfriend, I decided to chop it off. My life long fear of cutting my hair suddenly became a thrill.

Yesterday morning, I sat in my hairdresser’s chair with a large grin on my face and watched my hair fall to the floor. I loved every second of it. That day, I went to in audition and gave it my all. I felt unstoppable.

In the evening, I celebrated a coworker with a decadent meal and martinis. Afterwards we had an older man with an honest face read our fortunes by candlelight.

I am celebrating myself right now. I was starting to lose touch with who I am, but as I take control over my life I find I’m slipping back into my own skin. Suddenly Toronto doesn’t seem so bad after all. I just had to re-arrange myself to get comfortable again.

hair cut

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

pictures from my past

Rain falls onto the balcony outside and the sky is a light shade of grey. I am home.

I arrived in Vancouver a few days ago and have been taking it in one breath at a time.

I'm spending time with my parents and trying to plan out the rest of my life. A rough plan, but one that gives me some kind of direction.

I have been going through old photographs and journals, trying to make sense of my past as I move into the future.

It feels good to be here. My thoughts are becoming slightly more coherent, and the moments with my parents are priceless. Even the rain, for once in my life, feels soothing.

The slow pace of the West Coast, and the abundance of love I have here, is rejuvenating me one day at a time.

dundarave beach
still life
mom reading outside
sun bathing

And some photos from the past...

Newcastle, 1991
grandma young
Ireland 2002
extra on Reefer Madness 2004
ATV accident in Mexico 2004
the best neighbour
grad 2004

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

i can still fly

My suitcase lies open in our bedroom, half packed. My boyfriend lies on the sofa across from me sleeping. The apartment is quiet in a comforting way.

I feel a calm sense of excitement. Tonight, I'm flying home to Vancouver for a week to see my family and gather my thoughts.

After working too many days in a row, balancing a job of late nights catering, long days of selling clothes, pulling a tendon in my foot and continuing to work on my feet for long hours, and spending most of my free hours organizing our new business, it became very clear that if I didn't take some kind of a break my body might just give up on me.

And so I booked a trip to Vancouver. Where I can relax. Take in the warmth, smells and sounds of my mother and father, and to do my favorite thing in the world: get away.

I have travel on my mind constantly, but my savings and free time are only great enough for a small taste of it right now. I find freedom of mind by planning more adventures than most could dream of once I graduate. I'll prioritize when the time comes.

And so my suit case is half packed, the way I like it, leaving the last to be thrown in moments before I leave.

Just having it out of my closet again makes me feel more like myself again.

above the clouds