I remember a time when I felt invincible. I was in the twelfth grade (maybe even first year of university). I finally had my first kiss, been to some great parties, taken some risks by being honest with my friends, and really felt like I could do anything. I remember skipping my first class, it was English and it felt sacrilegious to do, but necessary all the same. I remember going for long drives on my lunch or spare with one of my friends; we’d blare Michael Jackson songs and sing until we couldn’t breathe.
I remember getting my heart-broken so deeply I didn’t think I would survive. I remember standing up for myself and being so unapologetic about it that I felt like a rebel (when did that stop?). I remember getting my first tattoo with my best friend by my side, simply because we could. I remember sneaking out of the house to meet a boy. I remember feeling so young that I wasn’t sure I would know what it would feel like to grow up.
I remember MSN, diaries full of scribbled emotions, and digital cameras. I remember conversations over coffee and plotting the path of our lives. I remember how real it all was; before screens were attached to our hands.
I remember all of those moments with fondness and pride. It was all so innocent that the pain didn’t actually penetrate the innermost layers near my heart. Most days I still feel glimmers of who that girl was, that happy and hopeful wallflower ready to take on the world, I’m just not quite sure what to do about it or how far she’s gone.
Maybe it’s time to send out a search party…
On Thursday, Alex and I decided to head to the newest sports bar in Bolton (Brooks) to have a little date night before his surgery. It’s amazing how comforting an evening out with your fiancé, a turkey club sandwich, and a delicious brownie can be.
When we got our bill I realized that our waitress hadn’t included the dessert on our bill. “Babe, this is a karmic moment – what if the outcome of your surgery depends on what we do in this moment!?” I nearly shouted. After almost seven years of being together, he’s used to my dramatic nature, so with a smile and a laugh he agreed.
We not only paid our bill but we made sure that we covered the cost of the dessert. When we let our waitress know about it she became flustered and confused, as they use iPads to take orders she had no idea where she had entered the desert. After a seemingly brief conversation with her manager, she walked back to our table with wet eyes and said that dessert was on them. We thanked her but didn’t change the amount of money we put in the bill folder (is that what it’s called?).
The next day at work, I decided that I needed a coffee break and went to Tim’s for a French Vanilla. Every time the weather gets cold I crave a French Vanilla. I paid for my drink and had to wait nearly fifteen minutes for it (which I didn’t really mind to be honest). Either I had my resting bitch-face on or the woman who served me is super nice because she gave me a few Tim Bits for free.
NOW THAT IS A KARMIC MOMENT GOING FULL CIRCLE.
I know I’m not the only writer who forgets why they put a pen to paper or tap letters on their keyboard. I can’t possibly be the only writer who forgets to get excited by the satisfaction of clicking the post to blog button. I can’t be the only one who goes through moments so tender and fragile that sharing them seems offensive to the beauty that is the privacy of one’s life.
It seems as though “I have a lot going on right now” doesn’t seem to encompass everything that is happening. There are so many precious moments that I’ve captured in the pages of my journal in hopes that they’ll appear real; sometimes the internet feels too much like fiction.
My Pen, My Voice goes on hiatus from time to time but always comes back with something new of offer. It comes back REVIVED. Sometimes it’s a new layout, other times it’s a new series, this time it’s a new logo, a new layout, AND a new sense of self. As intense as this year has been I can’t help but feel grateful for it. So many changes and challenges have torn me apart with the complex task of allowing me to find out who I really am. My twenties (so far) have been the most confusing and promising. Finally at twenty-six I understand and accept all that I am and what I have to offer.
I hope this newfound confidence and killer new logo will allow me to explore different kinds of writing while staying true to my voice.
Welcome to the new chapter of My Pen, My Voice.
P.S. Thank you to Victoria Stacey for the amazing new logo and for understanding EXACTLY what I was going for!
The page is blank but my heart is full.
Taking a step back to enjoy this world.
Every moment is a blessing; every failure a whirl.
It’s time to dance in the rain like a little girl.
Photo from Ultralinx
When I was younger I was against looking back; moving forward meant forgetting the past. Yesterday as I went through my various memory boxes and packed up my old notebooks, I realized that sometimes the only way to know how to move forward is by looking back.
Relationships are quickly put into perspective as memories jump out of photos and leap off of letters. Reminders of who you were and how far you’ve come smile at you like an old friend. Suddenly your entire world expands and everything makes sense, including the hard times you couldn’t control, the hard times that you created, and even the good times you didn’t think could be beat.
“Taking time to look back, is a foundation on course to build a stable future.”
― Unarine Ramaru
Here’s to a brand new week of a brand new month. Remember that you can face anything that this week throws your way. Remember to start and end each day with a smile. Remember to love.
I received a press-release recently about Triumph’s Beauty-Full collection. I don’t purchase underwear or lingerie all that often, so this press release fell short for me in actually purchasing anything from Triumph. What didn’t get lost on me was the fact that sometime in the last year or so, the definition of beauty has changed from being thin to being in love with your skin.
I love how little I hear about wanting to be skinny, about losing weight. I love that it’s more about being healthy and eating the right food. I love that there are women out there like the owners of The Store On Queen who emulate health, confidence, and beauty regardless of weight or size. I love that celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Pink, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Lena Dunham are dismissing body-shamers and spreading love, light, and self-worth.
I love that my generation and the younger generation (from what my narrow little brown eyes have seen) have snubbed the notion that being thin is equivalent to being beautiful. I love going to the mall and seeing young women of all shapes and sizes trying on clothes and walking around with their heads held high. I know that there are tonnes of wicked and sad things going on in the world, but I also know that good things will only happen if we build ourselves up rather than cut ourselves down.
“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.” ― Simone de Beauvoir
*Photo from: Lotus Leaf*
As a writer, using the correct wording isn’t enough, you have to use the ONLY word in the entire English language (or whichever language you write in) that will make the sentence perfect. And there is only ONE word — not a jumble of words listed in a thesaurus to choose from.
Days are longest when that word won’t come out from behind the bushes, when I’m lost in a labyrinth of possibilities and none of them stick out at me. There are days that turn into weeks when nothing sounds right. It is all crap. It’s those days or weeks that I question my abilities as a writer. Those days when I rush through a post or an email and scream at my reflection in the computer screen FRAUD!
Then there are days when all of the words are perfect; they exist one by one in perfect harmony. Together. Separate. They are my salvation.
Last weekend, Alex and I watched Whiplash. He’d seen it before and said to me, “when you watch this, think about your writing”, so I kept that in mind as the opening credits rolled out. There’s no denying that Whiplash is a time-bomb of emotion, a story that depicts what it really takes to be one of the greats. There’s a part in the film where the band teacher (Fletcher) says to his student (Andrew), “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job”. Why? because it promotes mediocrity. It promotes that just because you’re good, you don’t have to push yourself beyond the capabilities that you don’t even know are there.
I was there to push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that’s an absolute necessity
If you’ve watched Whiplash, you’ll know that Fletcher is a little insane in the way he pushes his students – especially Andrew. But it kinda worked, didn’t it?
Andrew: But isn’t there a line? You know, maybe you go too far, and you discourage he next Charlie Parker from ever becoming Charlie Parker?
Fletcher: No, man, no. Because Charlie Parker would never be discouraged.
This line moved me beyond belief. It inspired me to sit down every morning and evening this week; to write all of the words I could let out of my head. It inspired me to start trying again, to believe in myself, and to push myself harder when the words won’t flow as well as I hoped they would. Because, the next Dorothy Parker would never get discouraged.
*Quotes from Imdb*
Those days are going to come and go. The days where you feel inadequate as a writer, noticing the strides other people are making, wondering why you’re not working hard enough to make them yourself. The days where the words get stuck in your brain, turning into a web of thoughts that cannot untangle. The days when you go to work with the most positive attitude and whimper in the bathroom because you’re making mistakes or feel overwhelmed. The days where nothing you do is right, or even enough. One of those days where you feel like shedding your skin and starting fresh.
Days and weeks where your anxiety becomes so intense it paralyses you, body and mind. You make an appointment with the doctor and the hairdresser on the same day at the same time. You forget about that story you started writing or that you promised to get together with a friend. It gets so bad that you feel sick ever day, your head aches, and your body sore. Those days where you take the anti-anixety pills your doctor gave you, but they just make things worse. They turn you into some kind of zombie, The Walking Dead are more alive than you.
But then there’s a day where everything is okay. Not just okay, but magical in its closeness to perfection. A day where you feel good, write well, and work better. Where a smile doesn’t leave your face and laughter widens your mouth letting through a booming sound known as pure, innocent happiness. A day where you know in your heart of hearts that you are loved, that you love others, and that even the bad days aren’t so bad at all.
*Photo from Pinterest*
Weekends are my absolute favourite; I get to catch up on my reading and blogging, spend time with my family, and have an adventure or two with my love. On Saturday Alex and I headed down to The Saint Tavern for breakfast.
I loved the dark and cool vibe of the restaurant, the deliciously creamy and strong latte, and the delectable Duck Egg St. Benny. The service was fantastic, it felt like being at home, with a bunch of other brunching strangers enjoying their meals.
After breakfast we walked around the city and ended up at a tattoo parlour near my house. I finally got the “writerly” tattoo I’ve been wanting. It’s a semicolon on my right wrist, which was inspired by this photo on Pinterest. I’m hoping that it will remind me to use my spare time wisely. To use every moment that I’m not at working, writing things down, creating characters, and stringing stories together.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings