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Turning Around

Have you ever felt like everything is just wrong. Your job, your house, your family. Just everything. Maybe you even thought other parts of your life were great. Like your vacation, that was going to be amazing. You couldn’t wait for it. But then its like the poison that has seeped into your life somehow messed that up too, to the point you barely enjoyed it.

How does that even happen? I think sometimes it just does, but it’s up to us how long it hangs around. Now please, dear God, learn from my mistakes and don’t let yourself mope around with that attitude for a month like I did.

Today, the fog lifted. Not even joking though there was so much fog tonight and it was beautiful. I let myself enjoy it. I took the long way home and enjoyed every beautiful minute of it. I sat outside and read even though it looked like it was about to downpour and enjoyed every last drop of sunshine. I went for a walk around the block for no reason other than I felt like it and out of nowhere, between houses I saw a deer. Then not two steps later the cutest raccoon. And right after a bunny. And I’m talking I’m in a random neighbourhood in Toronto where there should not be deer. And then not two seconds after these other animals literally house after house. I’m describing it horribly and you’re probably thinking big whoop she saw some animals, but for the first time in a while I was finally feeling like I was in the right place at the right time.

Normally, I would take the ugly normal route and let the storm stop me. Normally, I wouldn’t go outside cause it looks like it’s going to rain so what’s the point? Normally, I wouldn’t take a random walk in a boring neighbourhood. But today I said screw it, normal obviously isn’t working. I need to stop finding excuses for why I can’t do what I want, or enjoy myself, or be happy.

Nuclear

So I live right near a nuclear power plant, I’ve lived near it my entire life. My dad has worked there and very soon I’m going to be working there. Normally I don’t even think twice about it. But I’ve got to admit that when they test the alarm system it kinda reminds you that nuclear power plants can be dangerous. 

It was just going off two seconds ago and I knew it would because they had left a message on every phone around here about it. Weird part is the thing wasn’t even that loud. Like quiet enough I definitely could have slept through it, which is very reassuring in the case of an emergency. Maybe the joke my dad’s always saying about how we are in the fast fry zone has more truth to it then you’d think. 

Another thing I’m just realizing is I have no clue where the alarm sounds came from. Its not like there are big megaphone around here our anything. I’ll give them that, they hide their sounds system well. Honestly its just a normal neighborhood around here. If it wasn’t for a giant power plant beside our beach you wouldn’t even know.

You probably think I’m crazy if you have no experience with nuclear energy. But I promise I didn’t drink any cool aid. Thing is you can’t constantly think about it and it really doesn’t affect your life that much. You get used to having a big hunking power plant there.

Plus you may not realize but people who fly often tend to get more of a dose of radiation than a lot of workers at power plants. Same for people who get a lot of CT scans and X rays. Heck eating a banana even gives you about as much radiation as I get from living near a power plant for a year. So before you think I’m crazy for being so calm just look this image over.

If you have any other questions about nuclear energy just ask. But please dear God do a little more research before believing the publicity stunts that go around telling you it’s all bad. Nothing is all bad.

Future

Sometimes I wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong with me that I barely spend any time thinking about the future. When asked whether I spend most of my time in the past, present, our future, I answer past no hesitation and expect everyone else will too. See the thing is, is that I was wrong. Most people spend the majority of their time dreaming about the future.

I didn’t even notice until my first boyfriend asked nude what I dream about and I couldn’t think of a thing. I had to really shit there and think before I came up with a few small dreams, which in his opinion barely counted. But I must not be that messed up because he’s still dating me three years later. And he is definitely a great balance for me because he thinks enough about the future to compensate.

I got thinking about all this because of a book I’ve started reading, Stumbling on Happiness. One of the chapters was talking all about Phineas Gage. Ever heard of him? No? Well if I describe him as the guy who got a pole stabbed through his head and lived does that help you ring any bells? 

See in the book he came up because he was a big part of the reason that doctors believed that the front part of your brain doesn’t do anything. Which is kinda hard to blame them when you think that a pole went front his cheek to the top of his head and he was still fully functioning the rest of his life, although supposedly he had some major personality changes.

Anyways, that belief that the front part of your brain didn’t do anything led to lobotomies being performed. Because removing the front part of the brain shouldn’t do any damage if it doesn’t do anything anyways. But it turns out it does. Initially they only noticed that it reduced anxiety and therefore thought it was great. But eventually they realized that it completely gets rid of the human ability to plan and dream about the future. 
When someone who had lost the front of their brain was asked what they would do later they did not have a clue. They even described thinking about it as being asked to find a chair in an empty room.

This is definitely my anxiety talking but i wonder if it’s possible to have a smaller frontal brain region than average. I wouldnt be surprised if I did. But I’m also reassured because anxiety is tired to thinking about the future so the very act of me thinking and worrying about this shows that my prefrontal lobe is alive and well.

Corny

Realistic. Cliche. Plausible. Why do we even use these words. Let’s be honest, I do too. I’m always saying how things sound corny and so they aren’t as nice sounding. It drives my boyfriend crazy. But honestly what are the purpose of these words.

When we read stories we have our own worldviews and perspectives which skew them in our own way so how are we to say if a story is unrealistic. Why does it even matter if a story sounds cliche.

If you have two real stories side by side how can one be less plausible than the other? Maybe it’s not that either is more plausible its that we cannot believe other truths than what we know. 

I’m starting to realize that the level of cornyness I percieve has nothing to do with the level of truth things hold. So whats the point of even observing the cornyness?

Researching Toads

​By 1984, I’d been avoiding my novel for a year or two. It seemed to me a risky venture. I’d read extensively in science fiction, speculative fiction, utopias and dystopias ever since my high school years in the 1950s, but I’d never written such a book. Was I up to it? The form was strewn with pitfalls, among them a tendency to sermonize, a veering into allegory and a lack of plausibility. If I was to create an imaginary garden I wanted the toads in it to be real. One of my rules was that I would not put any events into the book that had not already happened in what James Joyce called the “nightmare” of history, nor any technology not already available. No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities. God is in the details, they say. So is the Devil.

-Margaret Atwood

If you haven’t heard, Margaret Atwoods book, the Handmaids Tale, is being made into a tv show… on Hulu :(. Cause honestly who even has hulu. But if you’ve read the book then you are probably excited like me about the fact that it even is getting a show. I swear I’ll find a way to watch it. Got to make a friend who uses hulu.

But that is not what I’m writing about, that’s just how I found this quote. See Margaret Atwood wrote an article about the Handmaids Tale in the NY Times and as I was browsing around on the internet I stumbled into it. I left a link to it below if you want to read the whole thing. The super long quote i took from it which is above is what really hit me though.

See I want to write a book, as I’m sure many many of you other bloggers out there do. Thing is my original story idea had magic, and curses and all this crazy stuff in it. So even though I had a gut feeling about it being the book I wanted to write, I left it. I wasn’t happy eith what it was about so i just gave up for a good while.

That is I gave up until recently. I decided to take another crack at it recently and started trying to find out a way to translate the core of my story into the real world. It was like a puzzle or maybe more like a balancing act. I wanted to leave the main parts the same whiel at the same time stripping it of all its magic and giving ut more meaning. 

I finally figured out a way to do that but now I feel all the pressure of researching the millions of things that I don’t know about. Everytime I think of writing I realize yet another thing I should research first. Not that I hate research or anything. It is just I want every detail to be perfect before I start writing.

I’m just so busy trying to get all the toads in my imaginary garden to be real. Margaret Atwood gets it. And if she can get stuck for years stubbornly planning a book and have it turn out absolutely amazing then so can I. Looks like I’ve found a new role model.

Clinging to the Past

Sitting here at my desk with a few candles burning in front of the dark window, ABBA playing, and an assignment open I’m realizing I’m really going to miss this part of my life. I sound like I’m graduating but really I’m just going on internship for a year. It does feel a bit as though I am graduating because this is the last month I will be living with my best friend and the closer I get to moving out the sadder I get.

You are probably sick of me talking about the conference I went to where Tony Robbins talk. See at the conference he asked everyone whether they live in the past, present, or future the most and had everyone say their answer at the same time. I said past confidently, thinking everyone lives mostly in the past, until most of the room said they live in the present. That hit me hard. I felt like a kid who had been tricked by adults into doing something stupid and only realizing it was stupid from their reactions.

It’s ironic too because I’ve liked this quote below for a while. I must have been really hard-headed to not realize I was internally still living most of my life in memories.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Even now, I still have a month to enjoy candles at the window. To enjoy long chats with my housemate. To enjoy having my boyfriend live 10 minutes away. To enjoy the freedom of living away from home. To enjoy my friends I get to see everyday in class.

So why am I already thinking of all of this in the past when it isn’t even finished yet?

To you, and only you

So I was listening to my choir songs because crazily the concert is only a week away and as usual I don’t know all of the songs yet. I joined my schools gospel choir a year and a half ago now because I love singing and wanted some way to remind myself to keep God in my life. Some days I feel like I fit right in but to be honest a lot of days I feel a bit out of place. Like I’m some sort of imposter for not believing everything to a T.

Problem is I don’t want to be a sheep. I don’t want to just blindly follow a specific religion’s rules when realistically this religion has been passed down and changed and branched into a bunch of different types throughout the centuries. I was raised Roman Catholic and realized a few years ago that I am kind of flexible on m religious beliefs and along with that my religion. I feel like every religion out there has good points on how to live and be a good person and I am willing to learn them all.

Problem is all religions out there also have bad points. I know there are just so many people who would lecture me to death just for saying that but it’s true. The number of times the bible talks about revenge for your enemies makes me sick and has been a big part of why I have trouble reading it.

But back to topic, one of my choir songs, “To Worship You” has one line that kinda peeved me off. It goes, “Our praises belong to you, and only you.” Now I know that doesn’t say much but it gets under my skin when I hear Catholics talk about how the only way to salvation is through our God. I’m sorry but I sincerely believe that’s a load of crap. Of course I don’t know how it all works but there are so many beautiful people from all different religions who deserve heaven more than some of the not so nice Christians out there.

It is not fair to think that it is just some sort of lottery where if you pick the right religion you win. In the end it’s about being a good person, or at least that’s what it should be about.

And if you think people don’t believe that everyone else is screwed well you haven’t talked to enough people. My own grandpa has practically disowned my uncle for becoming Jewish. He’s not the only one.

Reassuringly not all Catholics believe this. C.S. Lewis put it best in his book “The Last Battle”. I know it’s a long quote but hear me out. This is one of my favourites.

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

-C.S. Lewis

*As much as I want to end with that quote I just want to say that in no way do I consider any other’s religions God’s to be “Tash”. As long as your religion is striving for good, I know we are all talking about the same God no matter what we call him.

**Also, I’ve realized that “to you, and only you” could have been referring to worshipping God over money and technology and all those other things we spend way more time in our daily lives worshipping than God. I’d like to believe that is what it is referring to but who knows

***credit for the photo: https://www.pinterest.com/source/jefmurray.com/

What it means

Sometimes in life the littlest things take on way more meaning than they appear to.

For example when Tony Robbins was young his family did not have much money so when a stranger came to their door on thanksgiving with food it was amazing. But to Tony it wasn’t amazing for the food, it was amazing because someone he didn’t even know cared. When he said that one line at the conference I almost started crying. It was just so beautiful.

Sadly, it appears to be a two way street. I was just biking home tonight when I could hear that a car was about to come past. I usually get a little nervous especially at night because you never know how close they will pass to you. Well I didn’t have to worry about that with this car. Just as I was relaxing since they didn’t pass close and saw me even though it was dark, I see something white out of the corner of my eye fall. At first I wonder if something fell out of my pocket but couldn’t think of anything white. Then I realize that some complete strangers just threw a snowball at me.

I was so mad. Well I still am, it just happened. When I got home and got off my bike I checked myself over almost to see if there was still snow on me so I could justify it. And then when I realized that I was trying to justify my anger, I also realized that I was perfectly fine. And it was a beautiful starry night which I usually stare at with my head up like an idiot but instead I was too distracted being mad.

It still makes me mad that there are people who would be, in my case rude, but in other people’s cases just plain mean for no reason. At least I can hope that there are more people caring about strangers.

Really the only thing I can do about it is

1) get over it, being mad is making it worse

&       2) be the stranger to care about people

 

lets make sure there are more of those type of people in the world

Best friend

There is something beautiful when you and your best friend are so similar that you are surprised to find a difference between the two of you. 

Me and my best friend/housemate were talking tonight about books, and people we admire, and movies, and well everything really. But we realized that she finds books will stay with her and bother her more and i find that movies do. I can read a thriller book like girl on the train or the kite runner and be fine. It won’t haunt me. But i watch the movie and something about seeing it makes me feel so much more. Makes me have nightmares about it. Makes it too much sometimes. Wheras for her it is the exact opposite.

It’s funny how that happens because we are practically at the point where we finish each other’s sentences (let’s be honest we are at that point already) and yet we are still finding out new things about each other. Like a few months ago we realized that we both had the sane favorite movie. I guess three years isn’t that long to know somebody and yet I feel like she’s family.

I’ve never had this close of a friend. The kind of friend that’s a sister. Not that i haven’t had best friends, but I’ve never been this close with a friend. Unless you count my boyfriend that is because he started out as a friend himself. It’s beautiful to have that in a friend though. With a boyfriend i kinda expected that because i would settle for no less. It was either date someone i love with my whole heart and trust completely with all of who i am or nothing. None of this dating for fun for me. I wanted to date someone that i could see marrying. Guess that’s why i took so long to finally agree to go out.

I had kinda started to lose hope that i would find a friend like that as well. Someone i was sure about and could show my entire self and they would understand. I am so happy that i didn’t have to.
I found out recently that my friend whose family is in Africa and whose friends are in England plans to live in Canada… I could have cried of happiness. I can’t imagine a love without her without getting sad. Just realizing that there is only really a month left that i will live with her makes me tear up everyone i think of it.

I love that girl. With more love than i thought i could ever give a friend. Thank God that he proved me wrong. 

If you’ve read my post about university you know how bitter and upset it makes me and how far below my expectations it fell. But i realized yesterday, if all i get out of university is her then that’s more than enough.

Tony Robbins

I got to see Tony Robbins in person yesterday and I would honestly recommend the experience to anyone. He is absolutely amazing and says things in the exact right way to get you to see them in a new light.

He had one thing he wanted us to do after the conference and that was to write a letter to ourselves saying why we are going to stop suffering. By that I don’t mean end world hunger or anything. The way he put it was that suffering is anything that lowers your energy and enthusiasm, for example stress or anger. He wants everyone to commit to immediately refocusing ourselves whenever we feel any type of suffering coming on.

Now if you are thinking that that is such a little thing to ask of us and that ending world hunger would be a lot better goal then you were needing to hear the exact thing I was yesterday.

For some background I am the type of person that tends to feel that I should be happy with where I am in life because I have so much to be grateful for that I shouldn’t be asking for more from life. I should just be trying to give more and that is what I want to accomplish with life.

Now back to that example which was my favourite from yesterday. Should you put your child’s oxygen mask on before yours on a plane? No, you put it on yourself first so that you can ensure that you can help your kid. Well life works like that too. In life you need to focus first on taking care of yourself so that when you go to help others you can give even more.

It sounds so simple but this was exactly what I needed to hear. If you’ve read some of my other posts you know that sometimes I just feel overwhelming sadness, overwhelming suffering. I thought that at least I could help the other people suffering by giving them someone to relate to. But from now on I am promising to myself to end suffering as soon as it starts. Because suffering is not making my life better, anything but. So I am going to stop just accepting that it happens. Suffering is holding me back from thinking I even deserve a purpose. But screw it I do. So next time I am suffering I am going to think of all the things that I am grateful for (because hell you can’t be sad or mad or stressed and grateful at the same time) and yet I am still going to remember that I deserve as much as I ask from life. So I am going to ask more, because I am going to keep reminding myself I deserve more.

So one thing I ask of you guys is if I ever forget how much I deserve, remind me. Remind me that I don’t deserve to suffer. Remind me that we all deserve a purpose. Remind me that having a purpose does not mean I won’t be able to help people, instead I’ll be able to help even more. And if you need reminding too I am here for you.

“He will act like prudent archers, who, seeing that the mark they plan to hit is too far away and knowing what space can be covered by the power of their bows, take an aim much higher than their mark, not in order to reach with their arrows so great a height, but to be able, with the aid of so high an aim, to attain their purpose.”

-Niccolo Machiavelli