Bursting the Bubble [Week 6]

Bursting the Bubble

After going nonstop on my Vancouver Vacation/Adventure, Week 6 felt like it went by reallllllyyyyyyy slowwwwwwww. Does anyone else feel seriously depressed after returning from vacation? I didn’t have the same spring in my step this week, my thoughts were like anchors, weighing me down, my body folding in half from the pressure until I finally collapsed on the ground.

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I find that the BEST way to get over a funk like this is the read a great book, write it out, and talk to people who understand you. I wrote a hell of a lot this week (mostly emo-diary entries that I refuse to subject my wonderful readers to), I gabbed with the lovely Lindsey over lunch, and I read Sunset Park. I found the book incredibly moving, it pulled me out of my own self-inflicted misery, and it helped me understand what was really weighing on me.

“…he wonders if it is worth hoping for a future when there is no future, and from now on, he tells himself, he will stop hoping for anything and live only for the now, this moment, this passing moment, the now that is here and then not here, the now that is gone foever.” (Page 308)

Okay so that quote sounds morbid and depressing but what it’s saying is to live in the NOW. Something my parents, my boyfriend, and Lindsey have told me this week on some level or another.

* POP * * Cue Bubble Burst Moment *

The question remains, can I live in the moment and NOT let my thoughts consume me? What should I be doing to better understand what I WANT to do in the future? What choice can I make today to ensure that I am living in the moment and not thinking so much about what will happen after June 27th? So far I’ve enrolled in a seminar at Ryerson about getting published (which I think will help out with my own writing aspirations and better my understanding of what the publishing industry is all about). I’ve been poking my head around in different departments at work to try to figure out which one interests me most. I’ve also been looking into writing classes offered by Ryerson. Right now I’m interested in books, publishing, and writing so each day I do something that relates to them in some way.

I wake up every morning and ask myself what do I want to do today? What interests me? What would make me happy right now? It’s amazing to start the day that way, to really put thought into yourself and each moment. I hope to walk into Week 7 of my internship with a bigger spring in my step than ever before! I’m looking forward to the other half of my internship and will think of each day as its own entity — making each one count.

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But that’s next week.

Right now it’s Saturday morning and nothing would make me happier than eating breakfast with the boyfriend and family.

So THAT is exactly what I’m going to do.

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND from my heart to yours.

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Love Always

Vanessa Xo

LET’S GO, GET UP, MOVE IT, WE GOTTA GO!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Reading the works of Paul Auster has made me understand that if I want to write a great novel I first must try to understand people. I need to listen to the universal truths that are spewed out on the morning drive, on the early train, on my lunchtime walks. I need to train myself to listen, to pay attention.  Why am I so afraid to listen?  To write what I hear, what I see, what I feel? AM I hiding from the world? (It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?). This is the time to say everything, to be young and do what young people do.

But as the sun peeks out from the clouds and spreads warmth on my face, igniting the words on this page, I feel nothing and everything all at once. I don’t know where to begin. I falter. I’m afraid to move but anxious to go. You know the dread you feel when you sit down on the subway (a 30 minute ride) and suddenly the alarms in your stomach and ass start ringing, screaming YOU SHOULD PROBABLY FIND A BATHROOM? Yeah, my life feels a lot like that right now. I’m pinching my cheeks, playing tricks on my mind and body, teaching them patience (or trying to). But the screaming continues — LET’S GO, GET UP, MOVE IT, WE GOTTA GO!

By comparing my life to a bowel movement I’m not trying to imply that my life is shitty. In fact, it’s far from that. It’s the urgency I feel at every moment, the anxiety that I’m trying to get across, to relieve myself of with this post, with these words.

Writing as catharsis is not bullshit. IT actually works. I feel lighter already.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [Week 4]

Book Reviews, Bursting the Bubble

It wasn’t until I purchased my second Metro Pass that I realized I’m almost a month into my 12-week internship. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! The weeks are literally flying by! The good news is that I still love it, I’ve haven’t gotten over the sincere calm I feel when I’m on the subway, or the excitement that flutters in my heart as I walk toward my building, or the spring in my step when I hear the church bells ring – people told me that all of that gets old pretty quickly, I’m glad they’re wrong so far. I am thoroughly enjoying every minute.

THIS week I’ve been mesmerized by Paul Auster’s memoir Winter Journal, where he gives a sensory account of his life –

…put aside your stories for now and try to examine what it has felt like to live inside this body from the first day you can remember being alive until this one. A catalogue of sensory data.” Page 1

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This memoir made me think about my childhood and made me wonder about the memories I could conjure up if I sat down and really thought it out. I spent an entire subway ride home in this contemplative state, probably making odd faces as the past resurfaced. Is it odd that my memories are few and far between? I don’t remember anything before the age of 4 (or is it 5?). I remember the first house we lived in (where I was born, not conceived in case you were wondering), my old friends, the musty smell of our huge basement, the blue toy room we spent our days playing in, and the kitchen (also in the basement) that never seemed to be used. I remember our court being very quiet – I remember a wiener dog running around on our patch of grass.

Most vividly, and perhaps only because it pertains to this week, I remember my father taking us all to a Jays game. My brother wasn’t born yet, I wore my favourite red dress with small white polka dots, the dome was open and the sun was blistering hot. We took the subway down, an adventure in and of itself, and I remember seeing people sleeping in the middle of the floor, some sitting up and holding signs, some playing instruments, most begging for money. I remember being afraid of these dirty, loud people (give me a break I was 6). Then I remember my dad, throwing coins into whatever hat, cup, or case sat in front of them. I remember him handing cigarettes to a man when he ran out of change. I remember some of them saying thank you, over and over again. I don’t remember thinking much of it while watching the game but my dad’s small form of generosity stuck with me long after that.

It would be silly to pretend that I haven’t noticed people sitting on the streets since I’ve started interning downtown. I spend a lot of time on my lunch walking around and of the many homeless people I have walked by, I only helped out one of them. Why? In truth, I tend to get distracted when I go for walks — I’m busy taking pictures or admiring buildings. Other times I try to walk by as quickly as possible since I never have change on me (that sounds horrible). BUT the other day I made eye contact with the lady who sits outside the nearest Tim’s and as she wished me good day, I found myself asking her if she wanted a coffee. She replied yes-please-thank-you-so-much. So, I bought her a coffee and a muffin, handed it to her, smiled and walked off.

Only as I walked away did I realize that this woman held a genuine kind of gratitude in her eyes. Her hair was ashen with dust, her teeth yellow and chipped, but her eyes were filled with thanks and life.

Moral(s) of my story: be generous like your father (and mother).

The smallest gestures go a long way.

You can see so much if you just OPEN YOUR EYES; if you slow down a little.

Isn’t that what new experiences are about? Isn’t that the only way to burst your bubble?

By looking, seeing, and paying attention.

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Love Always

Vanessa Xo