My mothers scream woke me up early on a late September morning of 2012. My brother and I rushed down stairs not knowing what was going on. My mom dialled 911 and told my brother and I to go across the street to my aunts house. We over heard some of the 911 call, “yes my husband” “attempted suicide” “a lot of blood” “cuts on his wrists and 2 large ones on his neck”. We watched the ambulance pull up to our home from my aunts living room window, we watched it drive away from there too. My mom hopped in the car and drove away behind them. My brother and I got sent to school, spending the entire day scared and unknowing.
I still wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of my mothers scream, only now it’s in my head.” I wake up with sweaty palms and a racing heart, forgetting that it’s only a dream. Wondering wether or not my dad is alive.
That day was the most terrifying day of my life. Not knowing if my dad was alive or dead. Not knowing if everything was going to be okay. The terror still haunts my night mares. I am still mad at my mom for not telling us that everything would be okay.
Many people have some phobia whether it be heights, or swimming, or spiders. It’s been pointed out to me that I am quite fearless in essence and yet afraid of everything. This probably doesn’t make sense what so ever, so allow me to elaborate. I love standing on the edge of a balcony 40 stories up, but I won’t ride a Ferris wheel. I love speeding down the highway as fast as my car will let me go but I freak out when I’m the passenger in a speeding car. If I see a spider around odds are I’ll pick it up, but if a spider crawls on to me on it’s own free will it will probably be flicked across the room.
I have a huge problem with being out of control of my own body or situation. No, this is not where I reveal to you that my phobia is a trust thing. My phobia is dying; the only way that I don’t live in a corner of my bedroom is by having as much control over my life as I can. I’ve been told many times that having an irrational fear of dying is very unhealthy, and I understand that, but I’ve got my reasons.
1. I could die before I’m ready
2. I could have a painful death
3. The people I leave behind could be very emotionally damaged
4. The people I leave behind could not care at all
5. I could have a very prolonged death
6. I could have a short death and not say my goodbyes
7. I could die alone
8. I could have no one show up at my funeral
9. There could be no after life and everything would just end for me
10. There could be an after life and I’d have to be me forever
I think my reasons are valid. I don’t think death is an uncommon fear. I guess people are just surprised that I have such a wild and free spirit in some ways and such a guarded and afraid being in others. The bottom line is, amusement rides break, people get in car accidents, spiders can be poisonous. I trust in a basic sense as in I trust that people are generally good at heart and I trust that people won’t lie to me. I don’t, however, trust a roller coaster to not collapse, or a driver to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a deer, or a venomous spider to land on my shoulder and not bite me. I need control to be fearless; without control I am scared to death of dying.
I want someone to think I’m beautiful and worth it
I want someone who will hold my hand in public
I want someone who genuinely cares about me
I want someone who knows pain enough to feel joy
I want someone who loves his family more than himself
I want someone who loves God more than all
I want someone who will spend time in instead of going to the bar
I want someone who can look into my eyes and see who I am
The problem is me
When you look how I do
Not appealing to the eye
Not fat but not skinny
When you look how I do
You don’t get to be choosy
You take what’s given to you
And odds are he’ll go to the bar instead of spending the night in
He won’t go to church or have a relationship with God
He will hate his parents and love himself
He will be filled with hollow happiness because he’s never felt loss
He will hurt me and not bat an eye, because he knows I can’t do better
He won’t grab my hand, instead he’ll walk slightly in front of me always
He won’t see my beauty, he’ll see my desperation
He will look into my eyes only to see his reflection
And I will never be worth more than the cheap sex he gives me
I will never be worth his love or attention
I will never be worth commitment or sacrifice
Because girls who look like me don’t get to choose
So, I’ve been seeing a lot of these “don’t hate your body” pictures/campaigns on the internet and in the comment sections of the pictures there is usually just a shit storm of people saying now that image is shaming either fat or skinny girls, depending on the image. So the images aren’t doing exactly what they are intended, which makes the issue of body image very clear to me. In the current society there is no ideal; you are either always too skinny, too fat, too tall, too short, too fit, too too too…
So here’s me saying fuck it. Fuck you society and your pressure to make everyone fit some image that isn’t even there. I’m done with being unhappy with me and I’m tired or looking in the mirror and thinking, “I should be thinner, my jawline is too square, I wish my eyes were blue not grey.”
I could be as thin as a rail and still not be good enough. I could have huge boobs, a small waist, and ‘child bearing hips’ and sill be wanting. It doesn’t matter what I look like because someone will always find a flaw, something to pick at, make fun of me for. So I’m not going to care anymore. I spent most of my adolescence trying to fit some vague idea if beauty and all it made me was self conscious and miserable. Even now there is a part of me that says “you are not good enough”…
But good enough for what? What is this thing that I’m trying so hard to attain? When I think about it, there’s nothing there. I’m not 5’7” and I have amazing friends. I don’t have DDs and I still have had a great romantic life. I don’t have blue eyes or red hair or a heart shaped face, and my life is perfectly fine. I have I pretty damn awesome life, and it really wouldn’t be any different if I didn’t look this way.
So you can keep your skinny-shaming, fat-shaming, or whatever kind of shame you want to try to impose because I don’t give a damn anymore. I’m going to be happy with me, who I am and the genetic hand I’ve been dealt. I’m going to have bad days but I’m going to have a hell of a lot more good days. I have no one to prove anything to and that thought is liberating. I’m just going to be happy, healthy, and human, because that’s what I am, that’s what you are, and that’s how we should be treating each other.
I write for the average person
I write for the people I connect with
I write for the lost souls of everyday life
I write for the people who have nothing to show for their age
Except for scars
Broken hearts and grey hairs
The people that have worked hard for every pay check in their lives
Who scrounge up change from under the driver side seat if their car
Just to buy a pack of cigarettes
The people who go out on Saturday night because Friday was pay day and that’s all they can afford.
I write this because right now I don’t have enough money to keep smoking like I want to
To start driving the car I want to
To pay back the money that I owe
Or really to do anything outside of sitting and being stuck in my own head
And I know a lot of you are like me
Too much thinking can be a very bad thing
I’m not saying it leads to bad thoughts
Like suicide or robbing a bank or stealing a car or anything like that
It’s bad because people like me start thinking too much and we can never stop
And if we never stop we can never sleep
If we never sleep then we can never stop this ongoing effect that we call our thoughts
But eventually we sleep
And when the sun raises in the morning all we want to do is cover our face with the blanket
And go back to playing poker on the moon with all of our heroes
But instead of this dream we have to wake up
Nine to five
Nine to five
Everyday for five days a week
Fifty two weeks a year
For at least sixty five years out of our lives
Back to the grind
I write this for the hopeless romantics
For the young generations that can barely understand my words
I write this
Sitting alone in my bedroom waiting for the day my voice is heard
I write this
And I’ll keep on writing ’till my hands decide that they don’t want to hold a pen anymore
It’s amazing to think I met her 9 years ago, when summer theatre was still held in the teen room. Back in the day if Alice in Wonderland where we were both cast as garden flowers with about a quarter of a line each and High School Musical where we composed 2/4 of the “skater dudes”. The next year we moved up a little higher and received parts with names in Treasure Island and Jake and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. The following year is when we really blossomed with our breakout roles of Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King. Not only did we steal the show, but these roles brought us together as really great friends. We continued with musicals, participating in Cats, Mary Poppins, Finding Nemo, Seussical the Musical, The Jungle Book and Wicked. Theatre really brought us together. After our final summer performance I went off to high school and no longer participated in the shows. That was the last time I ever performed on stage.
During the Jungle Book I went through sort of a rough patch, and trust me, apologies have been given out generously. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of but no matter how stupid the thing I did was, she always just said in the motherly tone she was so famous for, “do you really think that was in your best interest?” She was one of the only people to not lose faith in me during that time of struggle and I wish I would have taken the time to make my gratitude known to her.
I recently read a book that taught me a bit about infinities. There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2 or 0 and a million. It just shows that some infinities are bigger than others. There are many days when I resent the size of her unbound set. I would have loved more numbers for her yet I am thankful for her little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She graced us a forever within her numbered days, and I am grateful.
She was one of my best friends. We didn’t talk every day but then again we didn’t need to. She would call me once a week or so to catch up and we were constantly gossiping about which guys we had crushes on. We made time to see each other as much as we could but encountered some road blocks along the way. When she was away for treatments she couldn’t always call but never failed to message me over Facebook a very long and detailed paragraph about how she was doing, always upbeat and always positive. She taught me the power of optimism and what true strength looks like. She is an inspiration to me in do many ways and I miss her dearly. A friend like that is irreplaceable. We had last made plans to see Finding Dory since we were in Finding Nemo together. Although she is no longer able to come to the theatre physically, I know she will be there in spirit. As reads the Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
I believe she is with us all everyday. Her mothering nature wouldn’t allow for anything else. Her love radiates upon us all and she is a constant reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. She was always beautiful to me before the cancer and long after she has gone. We are never truly without her as a little piece of her lives within each and every once of us. May she be remembered for her beauty inside and out, her strength, her sass, her talent and her grace. I will never say goodbye to her, I never have, like it has always been and will remain, it’s a see you soon Pumbaa.
Love always, Timon
Sometimes I leave the window open
At night because when the cold air
It mimics your soft voice
And the cool breeze kisses
My skin just as you did
But the funny thing is,
Even though it is below 50 outside
The kisses were never as cold
I have recently become aware of the happenings in Quebec wherein the Bloc Quebecois is interested in disallowing people to publicly display their religion through the means of a turban, veil, cross, or what have you. I brought it up at the dinner table which, in turn, started a rather heated argument between myself and my parents. Let me first explain to you my parents beliefs; they believe the Bloc Quebecois is ingenious for this new law. They have this opinion that if an immigrant has decided to come to Canada they should adopt our customs. My mum furthered this by proclaiming that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would wear the traditional veil or bur qua or which ever is fitting for the area. My dad added that by foreigners coming in and spreading their ideas and culture, that our own beliefs and culture is being threatened.
My first reaction was that my parents were crazy. They were old school and stuck in their ways. I was rather heated for a few hours actually, and I sat in my room silently lamenting about how ridiculous they were. But then it came to me, they are right. No, not in their exact statements but in the roots of their claims their argument collapses on itself. My mum said that immigrants should adopt our customs when they come to Canada and I very much agree. She says that if she were to travel to an Islamic country she would follow their customs as well. The difference lays in the fact that there is no differentiation between Islamic law and religion; they are identical. Wearing a bur qua is the law. When an immigrant decides to land in Canada they then have to follow our customs and laws. In the Charter of Rights it is clearly stated in black and white that every Canadian citizen is entitled to freedom of religion. By a man of the Sikh religion wearing his turban daily he is merely following our Canadian Customs and well within his rights.
My father added to the conversation that immigrants will eventually suppress our own culture. To this I ask; are we really so simple minded that we can not maintain our own values and beliefs despite new ideas? Are we really that easily convinced? Now you may just think, “well hello, media and government propaganda.” But I have to believe in humanity enough to think that our religion is ours and our faith is unbreakable. This argument made by my dad reminds me of high school, when the new girl came in and the queen B decided to try to make her a humble servant before the new girl was even able to show who she really was. Are we really so insecure as a nation that we can’t just accept the new girls and guys as they come?
I am an 18 year old Canadian girl and was baptized Catholic. I love my religion and my faith as it is presented (not as it is depicted). I have no problem with other religions, in fact I love learning about their practices and beliefs. I also have no problem with gay and lesbianism, I have no problem with the theory of evolution, and I dance with the idea of reincarnation from time to time. I’m malleable. I’m human. I don’t know what to believe at this point, I’m young and I don’t have all the answers. Like I said I am baptized Catholic, but in my mind my beliefs span so much farther. I have adopted ideas from many other cultures and religions including the Anishinaabe tribe, Buddhist religion, Muslim religion, and even a few ideas from my Agnostic friend. To wrap it all up, I think that abolishing the ability to display ones religion is the governments attempt to make a colony of clones. How interesting can our country truly be without diversity? Religious diversity is a very important part of the North American fabric, and part of what makes our country really attractive.