I need a hero

November 28, 2017

There was a Bonnie Tyler song I used to listen to often, called “I need a hero”.
This last week, I needed two.
I feel so helpless and stuck, like I am alone in a raging fire.
I am enraged, as well.

But only one of us will burn.

Get me the fuck out of here.
This place you call your home.
Your heart.
I sit cold and empty.

Tomorrow I will put up the sign.
Pack my bags.
Buy my ticket.
Tie my shoes.

You may rent here.

Then one day when you stop taking me for granted,

I won’t live here anymore.



What happened?

March 7, 2017

E sent me a few photos of myself via text this evening–“selfies” that I had once sent her.  There were three snapshots: my grumpy unimpressed face as I studied in a tank top at the UVIC library; my naked back side when I was in the Garibaldi Lake; and me dressed up as a school girl for Halloween in 2014.

“I used to feel sexy”, I told her.

I barely remember the feeling.

I don’t know where it went.

I don’t know where many feelings and sentiments went–joy, passion, desire, enthusiasm, contentment, fulfillment, motivation, drive, purpose and meaning.

I look around me and it’s dark.  cold.  hard.  How deep is this barrel?  Or is it a well?  Like in the Sixth Sense.  Do I crawl out as a dead version of myself?  Do I crawl out or make it out, at all, ever?  Is there saving?  I can’t see the way out and I’m half afraid of what is out there.  What is next for me?


January 7, 2016

That is all.

Today I ponder this.

December 1, 2015



She knows.

July 31, 2015

I love Elizabeth Gilbert.  In Eat Pray Love, she quotes an Italian phrase: devo farmi le ossa. 

“I need to make my own bones”

A reminder to build my own strength.

But, at the same time, I also want to acknowledge and appreciate the support I receive, especially from unexpected places: a classmate, likely remembering our conversation about my feeling homesick and lonely today, invited me to go out tomorrow morning.  What a sweetheart.

There are precious moments here.  And I think, if I can keep my eyes closely on those, I will find strength.

I know I can do this.  I know it will be over soon.  But these days feel so dreadful, long, and exhausting.  Especially with the long-weekend coming up where I’m typically home, at the pride parade or watching the celebration of lights fireworks, I wish I was anywhere but here 😦  This year I’m going to be here, writing, reading, and on my own.

I’ve been feeling down these last couple days.  I’m not sure if it’s because physically I’ve been feeling sick, but my mental space feels messy too.

I’ve been disengaged in class, grumpy in my interactions outside, and sleeping a lot.

And I miss my friends.  I miss laughing with A.  I miss bonding with E.  I miss long conversations over high tea with C.  I miss lunch times with M.  I miss trying new things with L.  I miss lazying around with G.

I remember telling S over text not too long ago that I don’t really dream of living-a-day-in-the-life-of-someone-rich-and-famous.  Despite the road bumps, the windy roads, and the occasional unexpected deer caught in the headlights, I appreciate my life, and I miss it incredibly so right now.

Fucking 14 days.

Ok, D, snap out of it.  Focus, re-focus, do it again.  Re-focus.  Just keep writing, one word at a time. You like to write. You have things to say.  It’s just a paper, just write.  This is just a season.  Like the cherry blossom tree tattooed on your back, remember that flowers will bloom again.  The branches are not always as bare as they are right now.  Don’t succumb to the madness.  Don’t give in, don’t give up.  Just keep going, just keep running.  Forget the distractions, forget the anxieties, forget the worries – be present here.  This is all you have to do right now.  Everything else will be there when you get there, both the good and the bad; let those things wait.     

I have 30 days left here so I have to keep as positive as possible for as long as possible.  Upon texting with S yesterday, it occurred to me that as much as I don’t want to be here in Victoria taking a set of condensed courses for 6 weeks, there are some silver linings.

Every night, V and I share three things we feel grateful for–either things that we did, things that happened, or things that occurred to us to be thankful for that day.  It helps to remind me that in any given day, no matter how typical or seemingly unexciting, it is still a part of an overall wonderful life and as such, there is always something to be grateful for.

So, here are some silver linings to my time on this island.  I am not sure I’ll have many to list today, but I will make this an ongoing process for the next month I’m here.

1) I am sharing an apartment with someone who is easy-going, quiet, clean, and friendly.  We have minimal interaction and when we do, it is quick and pleasant.  This is actually nicer than living with D at home.

2) I use much, much less gas and am saving money this way.  Gas is also cheaper when I do need to purchase it.

3) Unlike SFU, the UVIC library provides dual-screens, comfortable desk seats, and decent air conditioning.

4) I get the fridge all to myself.

5) I get the bathroom all to myself.

6) I have sufficient quiet me time when I am back at the apartment in my room.  I love quiet me time.

7) Every day, I have an opportunity to learn to embrace breaking out of my daily Vancouver routine.  Every day, I have an opportunity (sometimes many) to learn something new about my classmates, someone else going through a similar learning journey.

8) In the classroom, we celebrate each other’s feelings and emotions.  They are accepted, validated, and encouraged.

9) I don’t have to work at SFU while I am here.  Or work at all, period.

10) My room has better air quality than my room at home.

11) The bedroom and the bathroom–and the rest of the apartment–have separate thermometers – I love this.

12) I can wear the same outfit 3-4 times a week and it is okay because I am not going to work.

13) It’s nice to text with my parents sometimes.

14) I enjoy the videos we watch in class, whether it’s counselling demonstrations or documentaries, ted-talks, or other clips of interviews.

15) I am aware that this is a limited and rare time in my life, where my troubles are small and my world is, in many respects, on pause.

16) My room is relatively minimalistic and much cleaner here.

17) Although people drive too slow here, there is much less traffic to deal with.

To be continued.

food for my soul

July 13, 2015

first thought after seeing your smile
by warsan shire

come with every wound
and every woman you’ve ever loved
every lie you’ve ever told
and whatever it is that keeps you up at night
every mouth you’ve punched in
all the blood you’ve ever tasted
come with every enemy you’ve ever made
and all the family you’ve ever buried
and every dirty thing you’ve ever done
every drink that burnt your throat
and every morning you’ve woken
with nothing and no one
come with all your loss
your regrets, sins
black outs
come with all the rot in your mouth
and that voice like needle hitting record
come with your kind eyes and weeping knuckles
come with all your shame
come with your swollen heart
i’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you
wow, this must be the most lovely piece of writing I’ve read in a long, long time.  how healing, how comforting, how inspiring.

With each passing day in Victoria, I am reminded of how much I absolutely do not get along with this city–or perhaps, in particular, this campus part of town.  Everything from the early closing hours to the overuse of one-way streets, to the premium costs of….everything…and the mild weather–I can’t stand this place.  I even despise the fact that the gym is located on the roof of an upscale shopping multi-complex.  Who the fuck wants to collide with dolled-up shoppers while dripping in sweat coming out of the gym? And vice versa? Who the fuck wants to have to battle the rush hour mall traffic just to go for a run on the treadmill?  Whose dumb idea was this?  Oh, and apparently we can’t park directly outside the gym because that part of the parking lot…oh, it belongs to the mall.  Gym-goers, please park at the very bottom floor of the underground parking so you can get a warm-up taking the multiple flights of stairs up to the gym because the elevator will keep you waiting about 10 minutes. I warn you.  This place is insane.

My lack of love for Victoria–it only continues to intensify every single summer I am here.

But, of course, I have to get through the next 5 weeks.  So, notes to self – remember this in times of overwhelming stress:

1) It does not need to be perfect, great, or good; it only needs simply to be DONE.  So, do it now.
2) It is okay to have a life outside of studying.  You do not need to study every minute of every day.  It is okay if you want to do other things too; it is okay to sleep.
3) Somehow, shit gets done.  It just does. Don’t think about it or worry about it too much.
4) Remember the bigger picture.  Visualize home.  Visualize life at home.  Visualize people at home.  Visualize life after these dreaded weeks.  There was a life before this and there is a life after this.  This is only a small piece of the journey.

Half way home!

July 1, 2015

We’re half way there! It’s Canada Day today, and there’s 17 days left to our time apart.

The last week has been busy, with E. arriving in town, A.’s birthday celebration, the ScotiaHalf, dinner with some new friends, packing for Victoria, and my dreaded assignments keeping me preoccupied.

Amidst all this, we have managed to connect at least briefly most early mornings (night time for him) and most late evenings (morning for him).  The conversations aren’t always long or free-flowing; many times it is frustrating on both ends because of the weak and disrupted signals.  But, we try.  And that’s what’s important to me.  I try to keep my mind focused on the positives: we still share our gratitude lists everyday, he wished me luck the morning of the half, he tells me stories about highlights in his day, unexpected phone calls, ‘i love you darling’s, his trying to arrange company for me, and reassurances that I’ve been doing a good job managing my anxieties about being apart.

I don’t let myself dwell on my concerns for too long.  I used to.  But I won’t anymore.  I have accepted that his career decisions might not always leave me in an ideal situation–that I might have less of him than I would’ve liked and our experiences may not resemble what I had hoped for all the time.  But I am seeing now that worrying about this will not change anything and I have to play with the cards that I am dealt. The difference between now and then is – I feel more confident that I will play these cards well, regardless of what the hand is. I will adapt.  I will learn.  I will grow.  And I will thrive.

All I can do is prepare myself – to be healthy and strong enough, mentally and physically, to be able to do these things when the time comes.