The Search

 

img_3824I have been wandering around all week in search of something. I suppose if I really think about it, I have been searching for a while. I can’t put my finger on it, I can’t tell you what I am searching for, I only know I don’t have it.

People drift in and out of my life, as do people come and go from yours. I have been deliberate with goodbyes and cautious of hellos. I crave that connection from that one person who gets me, understands me inside and out. Who is empathetic and vulnerable and allows me to be vulnerable back. The person who I can ‘click’ with. I crave this person I haven’t met yet. Its been a while since I felt that way about a friend.

I remember back when I was three and my best friend was Tanya. We lived in a townhouse complex with a stand of trees across the tiny parking lot. We spent every waking hour together and ran through the trees like our hair was on fire. Our imagination was what we built our days with. We were our own superheroes and saved humanity every single day from peril. When I turned six we moved to Canada’s Arctic and I lived on the shores of Great Slave Lake. I didn’t find that connection I was seeking like I had when I was 3. I was one of a handful of white kids with the First Nation kids outnumbering us. You’d think this would mean I would experience oppression but no, These kids looked downcast at us and not speak out of fear or something else. Upon 45 years of reflection, I now know they didn’t see me as an equal, they felt inferior.

When I moved back to Alberta, I lived in a community that was white. This was the opposite experience I had from my life in the Arctic. I hadn’t met a good friend or someone I found reliable. People were fine but loneliness was deep. The internal dialogue pounded my brain with “I am ugly, I am stupid, I am unworthy”. When you think that way, people treat you that way. When people treat you that way, you think that way. It is an unending cycle.

As I progressed into junior high and high school, I found a few people who were closer to what I was looking for. My internal dialogue had not changed but I kept it hidden and forged ahead anyway. The pressure to succeed or meet the expectations of my surroundings were great as they are with everyone. Eventually, I pulled away from these people too.

As an adult, I found a couple of people who I could be vulnerable and real with for brief moments. Events happen and suddenly people are scared, hurt or angry and no longer want to be connected. Sometimes it’s onesided. Sometimes them, sometimes me.

So here I am in my early 50’s living a life that isn’t much different from my childhood. People still think they can say things to change me to be what suits them. Hurtful and angry things then wonder why I pull away. It changes dynamics and others ask for proof these people did these things. I wonder if they consider how it must feel to be me. Empathy is the missing ingredient. Everyone is caught up in self. The ego dominates life choices. I can clearly see why they said and did those things. I understand and forgive where it needs to happen. Forgiveness does not mean allowing it to continue. It just means I accept the past could not have been different. REM Had it right with Everybody hurts….sometimes.

Accepting.

Lashing out is the road I used to take. Now I just accept and turn away. It is not easy but it feels better. I don’t live with anger anymore. Meditation changed me. I meditated in 1994 after I left my first husband. It helped tremendously but for some reason, I stopped. Now, I have meditated for 952 consecutive days. I began in the fall of 2016 because the anger and hurt were so intense I had nowhere to put it. I began meditating a couple days a week. It soon became a beautiful way to begin my day. I sat in silence trying to wrangle my thoughts. I would ask myself questions and answers would come. I would ask for direction and it would come. I soon craved a daily practice so I accepted a challenge to meditate every day for a year. I didn’t know where it would take me but I knew I didn’t want to be angry and hateful anymore. I began waking up earlier so I could sit in silence. I began to see this as self-care. Something I deserved to do for myself. Once 365 days passed, I knew I could never stop.

The faces behind the anger began to fade. The reasons I was angry in the first place didn’t disappear but they became insignificant. I changed. Great learnings happened. But I still find myself searching for something. I will let you know when I find it.

 

Everybody Hurts
When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone
If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts
You are not alone

Like a Boss

My Parents came home yesterday. They sold everything and left for Europe for an undetermined amount of time. They aren’t really home, they are visiting.

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I hadn’t spoke to them in 106 days. Apparently I am bad at email. My sister emailed my parents 104 times. That is 1 for everyday they were away except for the 2 she was on the plane to England and didn’t email them because she was sitting beside them.

Apparently that makes me a bad daughter.

I’m better at texting.

This was the first time since the ‘DARK TIMES’ that I had been separated from my parents.

  1. Yes I am 47 years old
  2. No it doesn’t make me an insecure baby
  3. I do not have a dysfunctional relationship with my parents
  4. we just actually like each other.

I haven’t felt like crying so much since my parents left in July, 106 days ago.

I called my dad this morning and I instantly cried. Damn I missed them. It’s not even like I am the favourite child. That would be the sister. And rightly so, she takes care of them in ways I just don’t. Then the next favourite would be the brother. He is dependant on them in ways I am not. As a mom, I know there isn’t a favourite, they just like each of us for different reasons. I happen to be the most independent of the lot. I keep to myself, hold my problems in and try not to worry anyone. I took care of everyone when I was younger, now I let my sister do it because she loves it, I just did it out of a sense of obligation. I have a hard enough time taking care of myself and my offspring. I have learned a long hard lesson about self-care that I need to be cognizant of. People call it selfishness, I call call it survival. I always seem to be on the brink of disaster and I manage to hold it off.

That gets exhausting and it is exhausting talking about it.

So, I didn’t write about it. Mom didn’t get to hear about my days or the weariness in my bones, or the times I felt like I was a total an utter failure. As a mom, I know she wanted to hear those things….but I don’t do that. I don’t share. It’s easier to stamp the feelings down and swallow them.

After lunch, I packed up the FamJam and we drove out to my Grandmothers where my sister and my parents are currently living while my sister’s home is – for lack of a better word – being finish. My parents will have a home base/in-law suite where they can have a home base while they travel the world being gypsy hobos.

I walked up the steps to the house and right into the arms of my daddy. I cried inside where no one saw. I stuffed the tears away because I didn’t want to be teased or have my emotions get in the way for visiting. I didn’t want it to be about me. I wasn’t the one who left. I wanted to hear about them.

We stayed all afternoon and caught up on their zany adventures. I learned a lot of things about my parents.

MOM: The Woman who faced her fears until Hell Froze Over

  1. She went topless on the Mediterranean (My mom has always been modest to the point almost to the level of Prudish)
  2. She drank beer AND Scotch (Alcohol always scared her and for good reason)
  3. She smoked a cigar
  4. She likes my dad – and not because he is her husband. They spent 106 days together ALONE and enjoyed their time together. They have been a couple since they were 14. Liking each other is an important part of that.

DAD: The Man who doesn’t give a crap about what people think

  1. He sat on a bus tour and gave people hell for being late – they never showed up late again (Who else has the balls to call people on their shit?)
  2. He naps whenever he damn well feels like it…and like a boss (In Kensington Palace he was bored, so he laid down on the sofa and slept…in the palace… In London)
  3. If he thinks something is outrageous, he says so. (I always thought I took after my mom, but really, I am like my dad. People annoy me and I call them on it. Just like he does. I also expect people to call me on my shit – I respect them if they do. I think they are weak if they don’t)
  4. He likes my mom. They laugh together and have a good time. He lets her baby him and he humours her by letting her plan everything. Compromise is important.

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I also learned my siblings and I are more alike than we are different.

My sister wore a fancy hat on the plan home because she didn’t have a hatbox. She owned it like a boss. It wasn’t that much different from the time she wore a Sombrero home from Mexico because how else would you get it home?

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I am pretty much the same. I have learned that life is too short to waste time doing what bores you or is annoying or out of obligation. I am busy. I have very little time for my family. They come first. Everything else second. Don’t like? I’m cool with that. I cannot please the world.

As my dad is known to say, “If someone doesn’t like it, they can go down the street to find something they do like. Don’t break your neck trying to please because only you and your family matter in the end anyways.”

Amen Dad.

Welcome home, I’ve stopped crying now, so maybe we can hang out later.

Trust the Journey

AC366 Back

I have been drifting lately.

I went for my annual MRI and lots of ‘stuff’ surfaces while I am alone with my thoughts for two hours. Perhaps I should do that more often….be alone with the thoughts. My busy life prevents me from dwelling too much, then suddenly I need to stop and think and it leaves me in an unsettled state of mind.

When I go in for my MRI, they need to get a clear picture of my brain and my acoustic neuroma. To do that, they place a cage over my head and attach it firmly to the bed while they roll me into the tube. I’m not going to lie, it isn’t at all pleasant. I suffer from claustrophobia and tried to keep myself calm enough to not have an anxiety attack. My mind was reeling between thoughts – none of them were positive in the way that made me feel great about my journey. In fact, some thoughts were actually harmful to my psyche.

I had spoken in great length to an incredible friend earlier in the week. We talked about my frustration with people constantly telling me I will be fine.

Dear People: YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. Telling me I am fine makes me feel like my feelings are inconsequential. My feelings just are. I cannot control them, they exist in a way that cannot be altered. I don’t like it, but I have learned to accept my feelings for what they are and not numb them. I know you mean well, and are trying to reassure me, but it just makes me angry.

There is a group of cancer survivors that come to my place of work every Monday night. They are part of a run/walk group that support each other and understand their situations in ways people around them just don’t. i have learned plenty from them. One gal in particular talked about not sharing details about her cancer because she didn’t want to alarm anyone, instead, it made things worse. People worried more about her.

I struggle with how much to share. I grew up with people telling me to stop being so mellow dramatic.

Ouch.

So how much is too much?

I cry on my own a lot. I blame other situations to ease the fear of the one I am facing.

So what exactly am I facing and why does it scare the crap out of me?

Well, here we go.

My Fear for all to see, judge and dissect.

  1. I fear my bran being altered in a huge way. I notice changes already, like not being able to recall nouns. Descriptors are fine, I can do that. Its like the door in my brain that holds all the nouns is locked. I can see it picture, word, image, but I cannot speak it. it evades me. Not every time, but enough that is scares me.
  2. I fear my intelligence vanishing. This part may be mellow dramatic, but it is a real fear. I never felt smart. Ever. I have learned and read studies that the more intelligent you are, the less you think you are. Which is why there are shows like JackAss. Those people are not bright, but are POSITIVE they are. With intelligence comes a humbling notation that you do not know everything, sure I tell everyone I do, but I don’t. Going back to University really proved a lot to me. I am smart, capable and understand a whole lot more than I give myself credit for. It scares me that I will lose this. Although sometimes, it might be nice to be dumb enough not to worry about things. It sounds peaceful.
  3. I fear my personality changing.  I like who I am. Whether its a real fear or not, I don’t want to be different unless I make those changes. I like being in control of who and what I am, the thought of a tumour being in control makes me angry.
  4. I fear I will look like an old person. I am 47 years old. There is a real possibility of me losing the strength in my face, making me look like I had a stroke. Apparently I am vain. I have never felt pretty, or desired…ever. But what I have I embrace. A lot of damage has been done to me over the course of my lifetime. I let men make judgements, and them believed them. I am at the point in my life right now where I am not over it entirely, but over it enough to say I look damn good for someone pushing 50. Please don’t make me look different until I am ready.
  5. I fear I will not be available for my children. My work has taken me away from them. This upsets me more than the tumour making me unavailable. But a real truth is all four fear reasons I listed above could make become emotionally unavailable or worse, physically unavailable. Death isn’t so much a reality, but vegetablism is. If that happens, please unplug me.  I trust my surgeon but anyone can have a bad day. Brain surgery is a big deal and I am not ready for it…now or likely ever. Thankfully I am not in the position to have it…yet.

 

Over the past 5 years, I am not going lie, my life has been difficult. I recognize other people’s lives haven’t been a cakewalk  either. Everyone has their own struggles. I do know this, I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. If you told me I would be standing here with the circumstances that surround me, I would never have believed it.

Yet here I am.

There is one thing I know when everything else seems so lost to me.

Trust the Journey.

It all seems to work out in the end.

I’m just not at the end yet.

 

 

MY NAME IS: yeah…not very popular

I lamented about Coke not ever putting my name on their can. I got over it.

Well, I pretended to. I went on holidays to Disneyland and searched high and low for my name spelled correctly on a SOMETHING…no luck.

I get home, check the mail, and I have a surprise package in the mail!

WOOOHOOO! I love surprises, except when I don’t and that is another story.  But this surprise came from New York via Ireland.

My running/book pal Tammy from Jibber Jabber went to Ireland and discovered a name plate with my name spelled the proper way! Here is proof:

 

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So mom…where ever you are, I am happy the Europeans – well – Irish folk, think my name is worthy of printing it and selling it.

I forgive you mom.

 

Thanks Tammy – you DO win 🙂

I see Susie and Bobby and Timmy and Mary…. but never Robyn

I am invisible.

I grew up with a name that no one ever had and people often told me they hated my name…Thanks?

My mom read Angel Unaware by Dale Evens before I was born. She loved the book and named me after the baby Robin.

In the 60’s, there sure weren’t a lot of girls named Robyn. I watched Romper Room every day hopping Miss Susan would look in the mirror and see me. I would sit up close to the TV and say Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease say my name.

It never happened. Not once. Ever.

Thus began my years of hating my name.

My first Husband, whom I fondly refer to as Idiot Stick, told me he hated my name.  Nice….Jerk. But the good thing is I have met plenty of other Jerks since him so he seems normal now.

My point being….Romper Room broke my heart.

Now Coke is doing it to me.

 

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Ouch.

My Pal Tammy from over at Jibber Jabber Happenstance  is in Ireland and posted this on Facebook.

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Orla gets a coke and so does Eweline but ROBYN DOESN”T?????

How is this even fair?

I could never get a key chain, or a mug. Never was there a pencil with my name on it. Now Coke is mocking me.  Ewelina is a regular name? Nice Coke…just nice.

My life sucked enough as a kid,  because of this now I need to take matters into my own hands.

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When I was 4, I became Danger Girl. I know that speaks to my sense of self. I was not Batgirl or Spiderman, I created my OWN Super Hero Name. I was the hero in my own life. I took control and I lead my friends to adventure and mishaps. I still rock that confidence today with some minor exceptions. Girls bring me down.

I hated the girls who got the boys. HATE them. I never played into that game of whatever it is they did that made a boy’s head turn. I was that gal who talked hockey smack, smoked cigars and played double dog dare. It still hurts a bit today. I always used my sense of self to pull up my boots (wellies) don the terry towel and safety pin and have an adventure of a life time. I was Ellie from Up. The fun kid. Lonely, but fun. Perfectly fine in my imagination and preferred it because people were nice and never hurt me.

I never had that inseparable other person who was my other half. The person who gets me. Does everyone get one of those or is it just a myth?

At any rate, SCREW YOU COKE and ROMPER ROOM. I have my imaginary side kick who loves me unconditionally. Who would move mountains for me. Who likes popsicles and will play Double Dog Dare. I don’t need you to call my name.

I am Danger Girl.

Hear me Roar.

And payback is sweet.

Here is Mom’s Coke can:

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My hair is matted and Cheetos are stuck to my face…but I have a plan

I laughed at my sister the day she received a kareokee machine for her birthday.

Not because she got a kareoke  machine, but because she knew at that moment she would never get anything done until she got over the binge use of that machine.

She laid on her sofa and demonstrated for me how she would look after weeks of use. It was as if she knew karaoke was her heroine. She leaned on the arm and feigned drool coming from her lips as she was singing Aerosmith or Show-tunes. Didn’t matter which tune it was, she had an addiction and she knew it.  I could envision dishes stacked to the ceiling and Cheetos stuck to her shirt with crusty food creased into her hip. She knew it and I knew it.

That night we sang for 8 hours. My voice was lost to every single from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I pulled out tunes from the 60’s that I learned at the steering wheel of my Dad’s Montego MX, Jimmy Rogers and the Kingston Trio, then there was Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli and Barbara… Barbara doesn’t need a last name.

My voice was done for days afterwards. My sister? Well…she continued down that road of music addiction. Then one day it stopped.

I do not mock her or tease her about that problem she had because it could have easily have been me.

Wait…

It was me.

Since I have finished University Studies, I have been binge watching TV as if the world is about to end. Since December 3, 2013, I have found myself enjoying the delights of televisions series that challenge my interest, make me laugh in a subtle way that compliments my humour and I have been solving mysteries with finesse. Or at least that is what I tell myself after watching the show 3 times in order to figure out all the clues.

I have binged watch Sherlock, Call the Midwife, and most recent….Suits.

I come home from work, watch Suits. I wake up early to get an episode in before work, I have a day off – stay in my jambes and watch suits.

I find myself looking like Penny after she started playing on-line videos games….with Howard.

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Then as quickly as it happened, it was over.  I am caught up and the season doesn’t resume until AFTER THE OLYMPICS.  I found myself relating to Donna, coveting Jessica’s wardrobe  and having a soft spot for crazy Louis. I want to be on team LITT!  I want to wear Christian Loubatans to work and carry Prada bags. I want to have the trust and loyalty of a Harvey and I want an office dammit! I want an office with a view of Bernie Madoff’s old building. I would settle for an office with a view. Hell, at this point, I’d settle for an office.

What I do have is potential and possibility. What Suits has done for me has pointed out the people in my life who I trust and those who I need to guard myself against.

I have set new goals for 2014. I understand my vision NEVER turns out as planned. If you asked me 3 years ago if I knew I would be standing where I was, I would have laughed you out of the room. Therefore I am changing my focus. Where and what are out of the picture now. I can reach higher than that.

I really like my possibilities for 2015, besides…anything can happen.

Now…what to watch next…

365 days of Awesome : Week 1 and WOW what a week!

Today is my first day off since I declared my year of Awesome Fun. I look around me and I am sitting in piles of stuff that needs attention and my eyes are a bit squinty because I am still on the sleepy side of the day (it maybe 1:14 pm MST but I had a WOW of a week and I just caught up on sleep – which is AWESOME!).

I started my new job this week and after 3 days I logged 26km of walking. The cool part is, I am keeping active during the day and this will adds loads of benefits to my overall fitness levels because I am still trying to keep up with my fitness plan – although -41C has been keeping me inside on DangerBike. I just won’t run when it is this cold for safety reasons. I am a little bit frightened of my half marathon in January, but…whatever…I’ll be in Walt Disney World, haw bad can it be?

I learned about a Beer-vent calendar and MAN I wish I knew about it in November because a different international beer a day in December sounds awesome! Next year I will give it a try.

I bought a ton on bath stuff at Bath and Body works because tub time is my favourite time of the day, me + book + bubbles = Heaven! I finally got to indulge last night because I knew I could sleep in this morning. Good thing too, because I was SO FREAKING COLD from my drive home from work at 10:00 pm, that I never ever would have fallen asleep. Best sleep EVER!

IMG_5802I have a I Heart Mickey NYC cup that I drink my water out of. It makes me stupidly happy for reason beyond comprehension. I indulge in it after coffee.

I had eggnog in my coffee this morning. Enough said.

IMG_5794My kids performed at Convocation Hall on Wednesday. Both had solo or major parts. I heard my daughter do a jazz solo on a grand piano, the kid has never had piano lessons. It was a cool experience. Their ensemble will be competing in an international competition again in California. They came in second last year. Fingers crossed they will be first this year, however…it is all about the experience, not the medal (says the mom who promotes process verses product).

A quiet morning off before I go to work is a night owl’s DREAM COME TRUE! I spent the morning laughing with my team about stupid stuff. And really, can it be more fun than laughing? I think not.

Go out there and find the fun in your day!

awesome

365 Days of AWESOME!

awesome-meter3 years ago I started off as the little girl who said no more than yes and played it safe with most life decisions…or made poor choices out of fear. The one day I woke up and decided to change my life. And change it I did!

I went to University to prove to myself that I was smart, that I could learn and to change the direction of my career. I went into teaching because I knew I would be good at it, and I was, but it never filled my passion cup. Yesterday at 8:34 pm MST, I submitted my final project and my last paper for University. If I end up getting zero on both of them, I will finish the class with a 70%. Cool. Yet I am worried sick about handing them in too soon.

I finished the number one most important goal I have ever set for my personal self. Sometime in January, I will see my marks and know I am a University Graduate. That is cool, shocking and overwhelming. I cried when I hit send yesterday. I worked hard, I completed 6 classes this year. SIX! That is stupid. That was MORE THAN FULL TIME. I am that girl who goes big or goes home. I tend to go big. AND I finished a month early. Why?

I start my new career on Tuesday and I wanted some down time with me. That’s right, with me. I will go for a run, do some planks, read Joseph Boyden (new favourite author!!!), bake cookies – I have not baked for fun in forever! I use to love to bake! I will make Chocolate Chips cookies for my kiddos and my new boss told me to make him some too. Oh…I work for men. SCORE! A new challenge! I have only ever worked for women. I have lots of new things coming up but I know from my very firsts half marathon, it is important to avoid the marathon blues.

Always have a ‘next thing’ in the wings.

I am on it!

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I am the project manager for a Do Away with SMA. We are  turning it into a foundation that will do some great work. It has become my passion and I love what it teaches me and I love the team I work with. So that is a start (please please please go like us on Facebook and follow our adventures on our blog!). It is huge and I have big plans for it, but for now we are small and just getting started.

I am also starting my new career, it is a combination of management and fitness (seriously if you had asked me 3 years ago where I thought I would be…it would not be in the fitness career field!!). That will be a huge learning curve that I am super excited about!

Then I have nights and days off. Wow…what the hell is that? I think that is where I do fun stuff with friends and family. When my cousin finished Grad School, she started a project call 365 days of fun. She went wild with cool and fun things. Well…I will too.

My friend asked me if pre-scheduled stuff counts. Is it fun? If the answer is YES, then it counts!! I want to spend the next year, 365 days of them, making them count – being thankful and enjoying every single minute! I have worked hard for this moment and now I am going to celebrate. BIG TIME.

I have some pre-scheduled things like 4 destination races…how exciting is that?? I will be in Florida, Calgary, Hawaii and Los Angeles. There maybe a Vancouver in there, we will see.  So I know I am travelling and that is always fun!

Check list, Travel? Check! New career? Check! New Doctor on Doctor Who? Check! AND I find him kinda sexy too…finally a doctor who isn’t young enough to be my son prrrrrrrrrr.

I bought an Annual Pass for Disneyland AND Walt Disney World. That means I am going back for SURE next year…that is AWESOME!

Today I had a celebration with my Aunties. They gave me gifts for finishing school…WOOT! Who doesn’t find presents fun???  Oh, and I  bought an iMAC. I KNOW!!!! I hate Windows 7 so I quit the PC world and went full on Apple. I don’t know much yet, but let me just say this….WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG???

Tomorrow is day 2 of 365 days of awesome. Then Monday is day 3. Then my new job starts.

Welcome to the Edmonton Tourist’s 365 Days of Awesome! I can guarantee it will be interesting and it feels great to be able to write – ready – JUST FOR FUN! I am going to finish my book, I am entering Canada Writes with a sad tale from my past, fingers crossed they pick it!

Seriously…I cannot begin to tell you how happy I feel or how amazing it feels to accomplish hard goals that you set for yourself.

I recommend it.

Go out and be Awesome!

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The Birthday Snapshot

The family went to my sister’s home for cake. Her fiance had kindly invited the family, arranged the party. Mom made the cakes. Sister is the cake maker in the family but it is wrong to make your own birthday cake. Not sure why, but it just is.

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My brother, for various reasons is sometimes at family events and sometimes not. He came today. My baby brother who is 43. It was good to see him.

He walked in, said hi to my sister.  Mom said she told him it was her Wedding Day so he felt he should come. He sat down on the steps and we all laughed because we will celebrate her wedding in August.

Then my sister looked at him and said, “You come to my Wedding and you dressed like THAT?”

He had on jeans and a hoodie.

I laughed because no matter how old we get, 45, 43 and 38, we always talk to each other like we are 16, 14 and 8.

It’s great having siblings. I recommend it.

Happy Birthday Sista – Love ya!

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