Posts tagged with "busy"

i’m okay

I can say that now.

It’s hard to tell exactly when everything became too much for me to handle, but I knew I reached stable ground when Marie said it was nice to see me smile. It seems like she’s only seen me at my worse — when I’m not coping and trying to rationalize all the wrong things — but she still welcomes me every time without any expectations, and that’s the kind of acceptance I need at this point in my journey.

self-portrait

This is my okay face.

Not to say there aren’t struggles, especially months like this, when I’m dealing with colitis flare-ups on a daily basis and the constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Between the time I spend to nourish myself, finding peace with so much of my past, and this love that found me, I’ve started to understand how life can catch up to a person without warning. There’s barely a chance to process the developments in my head, let alone record curves and colours with a camera.

I’m anxious to get to the point where I can start growing instead of healing, and living instead of surviving. Being okay means it’s easier to deal with the insecurities and moments of weaknesses I face on my way there.

so we beat on

Life at the comic book shop continues to be the Empire Records fantasy everyone dreams it to be. Maybe that’s why someone walks in every shift to hand in a resume. Even people who have no intention of looking for a job ask if there are any openings as soon as they see the merch catered to every genre of geek.

The fact that there are only a dozen among us means the crew is tight. I get to play back-cash DJ and turn up the electronica that’s come to define this period of recovery. Still, there are days when the computer breaks down on a night when I’m running a tournament by myself, I have to do all the pairings manually, and getting home to a hot shower is the purest relief.

dog in snow

Having a steady stream of plans mixed in with work means I’m constantly waking up to an alarm. It’s wearing me down, but my need for stimulation is outweighing my need for sleep. For now, at least.

I don’t write anymore cause I get my validation through people. The right ones set aside time for me, listen as much as they speak, and don’t treat me any differently cause of my past. I haven’t felt the need to sort out my thoughts — one of the main reasons I used to write — as much as accept myself. It’s a matter of patience at this point, and weathering the rough periods.

Arcade Fire — Reflektor tour

Arcade Fire on their Reflektor tour, featuring Stephen Harper as tambourine-playing box head.

That means I’m still learning how to take care of myself. Still coming to terms with the fact that love is so rarely clean or tidy or in our control, but realizing that’s okay. Still trying to believe that I shouldn’t be embarrassed of anything I’ve suffered. Still figuring out my idea of happiness, what’s meaningful and what’s possible.

finishing the game

It’s been an aimless winter. Some days full of meaning, others passing without so much as a moment worth remembering. I’ve learned to cherish every storm cause each one could be your last. Who knows when you’ll get to walk on trails cut through tangled branches with the snow as wet and thick and heavy as this again?

long driveway with snow

The holidays snuck up on me. I’ve been trying to figure out where all the time has gone and how best to use what’s left. The only decorating I’ve done for the season is a real pine wreath (generously given to me by Steph) hung on the office door. A small act that doesn’t seem like much compared to the glorious ceiling-scraping trees in the houses of my friends and neighbours, but certainly more than I’ve done in the recent years. It’s an easy concession to make against my growing distaste for the commercialized Christmas culture when my room is filled with the scent of sap, scattered pine needles, and other reminders of life.

car-in-snow

The ever-faithful steed.

My existence is defined by what I have left to do, and the list grows ever shorter. I live week-by-week, through cycles of productivity and play, trying to meet each need in turn. It’s always a delicate balance to be managing when so much in life is out of your control.

As for the short term, I’m off to Shirley’s for Christmas and my annual dose of family. It’ll be a complete break from my regular life of single-serving meals and never being around more than one person at a time. I imagine we’ll spend most of the days eating finger foods and watching reality TV among the rambunctious fluster of her kids. I always look forward to seeing how they’re carrying their grown-up voices and how their styles have changed.

hot chocolate

This is the time of year I’m most scared of being left without plans1, but recently I haven’t had enough time alone. It’s left me feeling numb and tired and that’s exactly what I need right now.

Friends still make the best distractions. It’s easy to hide from anything when you’re sharing a blanket and some early episodes of Trailer Park Boys.

  1. Also why I usually make a trip to Toronto. []

reduction

Heather G made reservations for us (and Sergey) at the Back Lane Café last week. We hadn’t seen each other since the summer, before they were homeless 1 and I started recovering. Last time I saw her, she left me with a takeout Hintonburger and a meditation audiobook that she hoped would help me feel better. It was so sweet that she didn’t understand at all what I was going through, but tried so hard to help with very thoughtful gifts anyway.

This time, she wouldn’t let me pay, even though she treated me last time as well, and she said please with such heartfelt intent that I knew she’d be hurt if I didn’t give her the honour. We’d been playing phone tag for weeks up to that point, and between their careers and camping, they could only spare themselves for a meal sans tea or dessert. It made me realize how precious their time is nowadays, and the fact that they made the time to see me meant so much more than the two hours we spent catching up over a great food and conversation.

poached shrimp salad

Poached shrimp salad, with Niagara nectarines, bibb lettuce (for it’s tender texture), endive, lime, and hazelnut dressing. An appetizer good enough for a main.

Continue reading “reduction”…

  1. They got evicted due to an unsympathetic landlord, couldn’t find a suitable place to stay, and ended up putting as many of their possessions as possible in storage and selling the rest. Luckily, one of their friends needed a house-sitter, and it gave them enough time to find a place. []

going out in style

Cause I want to has been the reason for everything lately.

I started to understand how we’re all dying in the Silvia Plath sense of the word, so I decided I might as well go out in style. Vonnegut got it right with his Pall Malls, though I choose not to add tobacco to the mix.

Magic draft

Steve draws something really good or really bad.

I quite consistently get my ass kicked at the drafts that Seth hosts, his crew always being made up of veteran players. The advantage is that I always walk away having learned a thing or two, and getting enough new cards to build on a concept is a nice little bonus. If someone told me I’d be spending money on a collectable card game at this age, I never would have believed it.

Magic has been keeping me busy in a good way. It’s never just about playing, it’s also about being around friends, and the camaraderie, and getting fat on Steph’s amazing meals. Those are exactly the things I need in my life.

pho and spring rolls

#1, beef rare, every time.

The red bean ice is a treat I don’t get often enough.

It was hard balancing my time around others and the time I needed alone. I have needs that require the company of certain people, and when I’m trying to meet those needs, that often leaves me feeling very overstimulated. The exhaustion had been giving me flare-ups, not to mention headaches that dulled the senses and eloquence.

Now I have some breathing room, and a chance to do all the little things I’d been too occupied to handle, like catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while, getting the car fixed (from $9k worth of hail damage), filing my taxes (from two years ago), changing the strings on my uke to high-G tuning, or just watching a movie. I’m still in night mode though, where I tend to get the most done after 10pm, and I find myself staving off sleep to do just one more thing.

root beer float

Root beer floaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

I want to travel somewhere, cause it feels like it’s time to step out of my comfort zone again. I haven’t made enough of my own experiences and memories for too long. But I’m in too unstable a place right now, and I probably will be for at least another year or so. Ironic that it’s instability I crave. It’s left me wondering what I should be exploring here.