Cut-throat

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From sometime back in September…

This week was soul-sucking, spirit-crushing wicked fast rollercoaster.

I called my sister and cried on the phone yesterday, walked the streets in the dark, taking a trip out to view a suite in what some would term the middle of nowhere.

But at the time, it was kinda of perfect… Surrounded by apparently sane people, on the flat, with groceries just around the corner (open until midnight) and a library — as I found out today, that could have been the hormones talking. Still, that is one very big reason to bring someone along with you house-hunting –two heads are better than one. Because right then, my heart-strings were being pulled. I took that as a good sign I’m not dead inside yet.

I got up the next morning, heard 10 seconds of a story on the radio and started crying again. In my line of work, you always are reminded of the importance of mental health and positive self-talk, so I stared myself down in the mirror and said with wonderful conviction: It will be ok. Everything will be ok.

On the upside, I have a new rain-jacket that works great. Next on the list is waterproof footwear. Tacofino, with Forrest and Rube, was also delicious. And later spilling my guts to my brother who was awake, present and supportive was highly restorative 🙂 And I really, truly would like to visit France.

DailyLines from Diana Gabaldon was great way to start this morning, catching glimpses of book 9, Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone. And popcorn and Netflix is a great way to end it.

Recently, my mom said to me: “I would like to help but not sure how…Life is not so simple today” which means so much for me to hear.

–Sam

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More than staying warm and dry

Talked with Gma today, made me feel all warm and fuzzy 🙂 I’m talking to a lot of walls lately, so feel blessed when I can converse and connect with another vibrant human.

Question of the day was: “What comes to mind when you think of fear?” Answer for today was: “Being homeless.” Doubt is stalking me. Scripts are uninspiring, and housing seems horrendous, but cello, yoga and peanut butter toast are keeping me mostly afloat, Also, this blog.

I forget that this arrangement was only ever supposed to be temporary and that undoubtably there are more enriching experiences out there! So, the conversation has begun, and I am actively seeking greater security and enrichment. Tough combo, I know.

Working hard to keep that inner fire lit.

Sincerely,

–Sam

 

I killed my plant

My succulent has expired. Kinda ironic 🙂 Today was very solid otherwise… Got everything done/organized for the day at work — Maysome made me a cup of tea, which was just perfect! Made it home on the bus without incident. Dinner was amazingly restorative, with the house to myself, clean kitchen, good tunes and fresh food that ultimately ended up as pesto pasta and spinach salad (shout out to my sister who let me borrow herself and her vehicular talents to do some legit grocery shopping on the weekend for the first time in a long time). Listening to Bruce Cockburn with headphones while writing this and then off to watch Black Panther on Netflix and sleep like the dead.

Today was a good one and worth noting!

–Sam

 

 

Summers, growing pains

Life, it seems, is never dull.

I don’t think I’ve been bored for more than 5 minutes for all of recent history, by which I mean as much and as far back as I can remember, and most especially the past 3 years….

In the beginning of 2015, I moved out of my volunteer role at CMHA and into that of staff receptionist. December 2015 marked the end of my battles with the Ministry of Social Development and Innovation, as they were once called… Words can not describe the pain of that experience nor the relief I felt at being told that the pain was now ended. I also graduated university. But Mr T. was in bad shape and Christmas that year was a rocky one for a few surprising reasons.

In 2016, I started working full time. I went to Quebec that summer for 2 weeks to cheer for my brother, competing at Mont-Sainte-Anne. It was an amazing experience, very hot, and lots of fun. Fall was full of challenges, and a seeming truckload of isolation and stress, because I remember attending a series of counselling sessions seeking some guidance for my lost and weary soul, asking that this Christmas be better than the last. And it was.

2017, from what I can recall had snow until March, a heatwave, a fire up the street, and a crazy amount of work with CMHA on the the North Shore in transition, with myself and my team headed to our new home at the Vancouver-Fraser branch. First stop Vancouver, second stop, New West!

2018 in progress, and Today: Jury is still out on whether this year will be Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, or Sideways 😀

I chose to move from a home I loved to keep a job I love. Stress-levels were sky high from January-June, what with moving home and office, learning new systems, meeting new people, exploring new territory and managing expectations. I feel like now, at the end of August, maybe I’ve succeeded in taking a minute for myself and am strong enough to get to where I want to be, again! Evolution is fascinating.

So, this post is really about me taking a moment to remember where I came from, where I am and where I am going. And more than anything, I want to go home. Right now I have a roof over my head, but it is not home. Not for me. I feel at home on the Coast, and I felt at home on Lonsdale. I feel at home when I go camping. Home is supposed to feel safe, bring you joy, and here that is rarely the case — I’m lucky if I can carry enough groceries through the door to make a meal, or a chance to speak anything heartfelt to anyone outside of work. And I feel like everything I do is viewed as disruptive or suspect.

I haven’t gone camping yet this year, and that is a crime. Nonetheless, there is a definite camping vibe happening here for me, in that my consumption of fun, fast and low impact foods has increased dramatically and I feel like I have to hike everywhere, and it’s a if I’m in a pup tent in the rain while the neighbours are glamping around in their vehicular monstrosities, eating steak, and watching cable, unaware of the spectacle they have become or the waste they create. Don’t get me wrong, I love tenting in the rain, just the contrasts, duration and cost is starting to really get to me. **Note also that usually my camping experiences are much more fun, and come with much more ice-cream or hot chocolate depending on the time of year 🙂

Home is a very important place. I had hoped for the best in this arrangement, and got much less. Life is harder and a lot less fun than it has been for a while and I am eager to change that. I have lost some independence, but strengthened my resolve. I have a plan and I will act on it to make sure better days are ahead.

And… seven hundred words later, this post is about to conclude. One last thing: I’m thinking about getting a tattoo.

–Sam

 

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No guarantees

So I hopped on the coffee-train yesterday afternoon and the result was disastrous. However, the location could not be beat, with a engaging community of diverse individuals and perfect view to Main Street’s Saturday happenings. So today I’ll go back and try tea instead and run some errands.

You fool your self into thinking that once you have your shit together, it will stay together if you just play by the rules. But that’s not how it works, you must do things with intent and forgiveness and commitment to continuing that work with as much grace and laughter as you are able. Also, don’t forget to have some fun and break some rules! Life doesn’t come with guarantees.

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My friend proposed a picnic on Tuesday which I am looking forward to already.
Music lifts me up this morning and it’s a fantastic feeling, it’s feeding that internal fire, which I’ll admit has been getting a tad scrawny lately.

The day is still young and I’ve the advantage of not  feeling like I’m 500 years old, so I will  end this now and get on with my rule-breaking.

Hugs,

Sam

 

Conversations on the margins (5)

My sister and I attended a conference in Sudbury, Ontario in February 2018… This is another post in a series I’ve written since about the experience.

When I told Ruby this, she didn’t believe me… One of the excursions I participated in was to the Ontarian version of Science World, Science North. We had the place to ourselves as a group and I really enjoyed the experience.

I fell in love with the little beaver recovering in his upscaled habitat. He went for a swim and I watched him underwater for several minutes. He was adorable. Beavers are maybe the only rodent I would apply adorable to; certainly not the naked mole rat or even the capybura could compare 🙂 No one would say how old he was, telling simply “He is a teenager, he will be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.”

There were live tarantula spiders who as ambassadors for their kind were permitted to interact with us, the guests in a very up-close and personal manner. The handlers asked everyone, including me, if I’d like to hold one, or touch it or even just come forward for a closer look from where I was standing at the back of the room. I declined, but not everyone did. Rube thought I was joking when I told her people were handling and petting very large, very alive spiders 🙂

The presentation in the planetarium, was stunning. It was about the stories behind some of our constellations told from the view of some of the Indigenous peoples of Ontario… “‘Under the Same Stars: Minwaadiziwin’ aims to give visitors a chance to learn about the Indigenous worldview and sit at the fire with two people who are connected to the traditional ways” (Science North).

On our last day. I had breakfast with a friend, just the two of us. Though impromptu and somewhat unexpected, this sharing of food and conversation would be one of the most memorable events of the conference for me. We shared our experiences, thoughts and hopes for the future. The discussion was well-rounded, animated and heart-felt and I left feeling lighter, happier, inspired and hopeful.

I am grateful to have had the chance to participate in this gathering. I have been reminded of the importance of learning, fun, friendship and informed actions. As people, as individuals, we can come together and make a difference. And that to me is both powerful and comforting.

–Sam

where from here?

I didn’t know if I was going to make it past 1030am today. I only started work at 10am. It was an interesting day. My phone is dead, so, sorry not sorry for anybody trying to reach me.

Keeping myself housed, and happy, is on my mind. It would seem odd to go into too much detail here, because, well, there is a real world out there, and real people might actually read this, and I don’t know if I want to drag the internet through my thought process.

But, I don’t know how the world came to mean so much nonsense. People need to be housed, they need to eat, they deserve safety and happiness. How long can we tread water for? How many festering couches have to be surfed, how many pairs of shoes worn through, how many meals missed?

Jeremy Kittel and Natalie Haas are playing The Boxing Reels on YouTube and the effect on my wpm is quite remarkable.

I want to feel welcome in a space and to welcome other people in. I want my own kitchen, and a commute that doesn’t kill me. I’m researching my options and the possibilities aren’t exactly inspiring.

I’m considering co-op housing. Then, of course, there’s craigslist; want to live off-grid in your yurt, or in a literal rodent-infested closet?– or the NEWSPAPER, or dodgy mortgage calculations, which my mom noted seemed to be based ‘not on reality.’

Craigslist is where I go for a laugh now.

“No pets allowed. Dog or cat ok.” — Thanks for clearing that up. I’ll have to look at rehoming my T-Rex, then…

“Private, self-contained suite. No doors, landlords may lounge in your living room and commandeer the washer/dryer that’s located in your suite, but otherwise it’s all yours!” –Thanks, but no thanks.

Shout out to my friend Sarah for all her hard work, and brilliance. You will go far, girl! And also, to my brother and SideStix team for giving my Stix some needed TLC and me the gift of silence 😀

I’m calling it a night, and going to find some chocolate to nibble.

–Sam

 

Hump day

Hey, so today is Wednesday. I’ve been awake since 730am. I didn’t have dinner last night. It didn’t seem necessary. I watched “Cargo” which for those interested is a zombie movie with Martin Freeman in the title role. If you know me, you probably are aware that I am not usually in the audience for this genre 🙂 Watching without popcorn, and in summer when it doesn’t get dark-dark until 1030pm makes it safer, ha!

The movie was excellent. Made me laugh to think of the time when my good friend misread one of my texts and thought I’d auditioned for and got a part in The Walking Dead. And sober at the thought that sometimes fiction is not that far from fact..

I have the day off today. I am ecstatic.

With time to kill, I watched another movie this morning, showered, blogged, listened to some Bruce Cockburn, had breakfast, packed my bags and now I’m back to blogging and listening to some more tunes. Breakfast was delicious. Later today, I’m looking forward to having some fun, some hugs and new parts for my Stix that will hopefully stay together and quiet!

My sister is not here yet.

I feel like the world sometimes is too caught up in keeping up appearances and has forgotten how to eat. I might not have a dog of my own yet, my rescue tendencies have been redirected towards victuals instead. Everybody’s like, “Are you going to eat that? Now?” and usually my answer is yes.

And this is where I leave you.

–Sam

Hooray!

I made it through today. Go me. It was uneventful, but very hot, the kind of hot that had me daydreaming about swimming in the ocean even though when Rube and I went last week it was FREEZING — and it has to be pretty freakin’ frigid for me to say that, in my past life I’m sure I was a seal or some sort of ocean-going creature.

After work today, I finally figured out how to make a decent delicious tofu scramble which is absolutely amazing because every once in a while, I REALLY, REALLY would kill for an omlete or a fried egg sandwich. But, due to the fact that I have to carry everything around in a backpack at high-speeds for several hundred metres across varied terrain, bringing my own eggs home is a very bad, and impractical idea (also considering the plight of thousands of nameless, hapless, helpless chickens makes me nervous). Tofu on the other-hand is very Sami- and backpack-friendly, being light-weight, nearly indestructible, vegan, high in protein and with minimal packaging, superb in stir-fry and now an excellent egg stand-in.

The only downside to this discovery is that I am now out of tofu…On the upside, I got a whole pile of other groceries for cheap, including a pint of raspberries for $1.00! Winner, winner (no) chicken dinner! 😀

I love raspberries and quiet evenings.