Tag Archives: Love

The Quarter-Life Crisis. My Experience

 

Fear, an anxiety that burrows deep and this incredibly urgent desire to ‘escape’ are some of the symptoms of the little documented, newly prevalent crisis that is sweeping through my generation and most familiarly, within my own social circle.

Even now, as I type this my fellow mid-twenties to mid-thirtyers  are fumbling through this early on-set predicament. And I get it. I know what it is and I understand the anxiety and discomfort it’s coupled with. I’ve been there. When I took off to BC for an undetermined Continue reading The Quarter-Life Crisis. My Experience

Advertisements

Don’t Tread Lightly

Dear ME2.0,

You’re going to be so tired. You’re going to keep being told to ‘take it easy.’ Everyone is going to be concerned because of those shadows under your eyes, and that strange slur in your character that hints towards another sleepless night.

Colds will be countless.
Your immune system will hate you.

You’ll question your ability to formulate spoken words because paper and keyboards become all you know. Emotions and feelings and thoughts separate between life and the string of words you lace together on a page.

You’ll be grateful for the sun on your skin those few moments that you force yourself outside. You’ll still be spewing imaginary dialogue and description in your head, and occasionally speak under your breathe the words of your next page, but at least you’ll only be considered crazy in populated areas.

You’ll forget to eat. Prepare your stomach for neglect.

Minutes slip to hours and you’ll look up and be discouraged by the minimal page count you’ve been able to turn out.

And you’ll be annoyed. Annoyed that you aren’t doing more, although you’re working yourself raw. Annoyed that time has no other agenda then to keep ticking by despite your plea for it to slow. Annoyed that all you wrote yesterday seems ‘blah’ today.

But.

Just ignore all of that. Forget the discomfort, the worry, the caution to ‘take it easy.’ You don’t need to tread lightly here. You’re ME2.0. You’ve been there – Done that. Survived and thrived. So keep striving. Keep thriving. Keep writing. Keep working. Keep doing more than anyone expects or asks or wants. Every minute of it is worth it. Be the you that stretches to the limits. Be the you that doesn’t second guess saying ‘yes’ to another task, another errand, another shift. It’s the best of you that shrugs off the obstacles and embraces the doubts of others and yourself. As ME2.0 you have a responsibility to be more. To be the better and the best. To write without pause and leap without looking. To know that a net will appear if you just trust the fall. So fall. So jump. So tread not so lightly and be amazed.

Love always,

ME (the original)

 

Schedule

6:15am – Wake up.
6:30am – Run.
7:45am – Stretch and shower.
8:15am – Walk and feed dog.
8:30am – Prep lunch for work and have breakfast.
9:10am – Walk to work.
10:00am to 6:00pm – Work.
6:00pm – Walk home.

A schedule always seems methodical when formatted like that. But, like this, it’s deprived of emotion and can’t be trusted. In between the lines there’s pride and beauty.

When I wake up, it’s with Sam’s sleepy voice lulling me into wakefulness. With the earth under my heels and a morning air that reminds me what it means to be alive, I run. The deep stretch of yoga followed by a moment in meditation as cool water soaks my body leaves me clear. Each day I’m greeted by puppy cuddles and the feeling of unconditional love that my dog exudes for me with no hesitation. Warm water with lemon, fresh fruit and yogurt awaiting me is a luxury I furiously remind myself not to take for granted. Our walk to work follows the bustle of mid-town Toronto, soaking up the sun, the people, the smells of fresh produce and breads and the sense of community unavoidable in the city I know and love. Surrounded by friends and people who admire my ambition and intelligence, I’m awarded with the sense of accomplishment and pride at work that people strive for in life. I’m blessed to have an income doing something that can make a difference to the lives of animals and the people who get to call them their best friends. As I head home, the exhaustion may be wearing me thin, but the evening is beautifully inviting and my home is welcoming and I slow everything as I appreciate the day.

In finality there is peace but a sweet after-taste of what is to come. The end is rarely the end. A schedule is not merely a schedule. Timetables do not dictate monotony. Beauty is fresh and new when your eyes are open no matter the repetition.

Today I got up at 6:15am. Tomorrow I will get up at 6:15am. I can’t wait.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

My Idol

I’m a little sister and the only daughter in my family. My big brother is my idol. We have the sort of relationship that is mocked for being too movie-family cliche. The only fight we’ve ever had involved me punching him in the stomach, me running wildly away, me locking myself in a room, some door banging and the anti-climatic finale of us using a poster to hide the foot size hole in the door, that very much resembled my own 7.5 shoe size. He’s never been that overly protective type who chases guys away, but with friends like his, I never totally dodged that bullet anyways.

But I’m fiercely protective. Ian is the more strong silent type of the two of us. He’s kind and unbelievably smart and hogged all the hereditary good looks of our gene pool. Yet, when we were in grade school, his confidence wavered and I will never forget the immense pain I felt at the idea that he was hurting in any way. I was that little sister that unabashedly told my brother’s first crush that he liked her because I knew how great of a catch he was, despite his own blindness. I’d do anything in my power to make my brother safe and happy.

Now, in our twenties, (him shockingly close to the big 3.0.), I don’t need to worry about him. He recently bought his first condo with his girlfriend of 9 years, has a job that suits him better than I could ever have dream for him and he’s still casting an unavoidable shadow on his little sister – One I’ve never resented or been embarrassed of. I’m so proud of Ian.

I’m always going to be that little sister that worships her big brother. He doesn’t know the extent at which I care for him or the height of the esteem I hold him to. He is a best friend that I have the solidity of blood to be tied with. He’s the older sibling that I can look up to every day of my life and aspire to be. He has been, and always will be the immovable rock that founds all my own strength. It’s through Ian that I’ve developed my strongest attributes and with him that I’ve grown. My hardest moments will forever be softened in memory by his never waning presence and I owe him more than I could ever word.

As part of this years commitments, I’m learning to appreciate and recognize with no subtly the amazing people and things in my life. I can gush, I can brag, and I can let myself just smile. Smile at the fortune I’ve acquired in people that make my life greater than I deserve.

So grateful. So happy.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

How To Lose Friends. Part 2

Here is what I believe to be the list of the top 5 biggest friendship faux pas, based off true life experience and stolen from my personal archive:

1. The friend that doesn’t want you till they need you.
Always a favourite and one sure to make you go ‘mhmm, yes…’. After months of little to no reciprocated contact, I’m rung up with an audible plea of desperation to provide the comfort and support that the friend needs. No matter the prior situation, you can NEVER turn your back on that friend, and I don’t resent that. It’s just one of the sad loops you can get caught in. You’re losing a friend here because that lack of contact and friendship before the problem, doesn’t do unnoticed and forgotten. Despite the ease of giving friendship in those rough times, the damage is done.

2. The friend that can’t deal with your happiness.
There’s that one person who not-so-subtly questions the good things that happen in your life and makes the congratulations seem a bit masked.
‘The interview went amazing! I got offered the job on the spot!’
Friend- ‘Wow… You’re so lucky you’re pretty.’
If that’s not some double-sided compliment, than I don’t know what is! Probably unnecessary to explain the path to loss here.

3. The friend with the sex priority.
Really? Do I even need to explain this one either? It can go hand in hand with my previous post as well. This friend screws up by screwing. (Heh).

4. The friend who can’t be a bro.
A touchy one in most circles because it’s almost too taboo to really discuss. This is the friend that fell for you. Whether your a guy or girl, this particular friend is the one that holds you to a higher regard. Love complicates this friendship and puts you in a rough spot. Despite warnings of not being able to return those same feelings, hearts will inevitably break and friendships will painfully come to a close. This lose is the worst in my opinion.

5. The friend that breaks your trust.
This one has done irreparable damage. Whether they’ve stolen your boyfriend, insulted your family or complicated your life with lies and rumours, they are now nothing to you. They’ve crossed a line somewhere and you’re hurting in ways you didn’t know you could hurt. Your stomach twists, you cry tears for emotions you can’t even set straight and you let go with no hesitation. This is as lost as a friend can get.

————————————————————————————–

This is what not to commit to being. Each day that I can avoid acting as any of these is a day well deserved. I’d like to think that it’s been smooth sailing thus far.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

Dear Sketchers, I Missed You. Love, Liz

With the air no longer stinging of ice and our sun forgiving the harshness of winter, I’ve been able to start running outside again. This is huge news! We live in Canada! You have any idea how hard it is to run in the winter months? Ice, suffocating wind and treacherous slush and snow bank obstacles make it almost a death wish – well, death for your poor lungs, ankles and knees mostly. I’ve been cooped up and antsy, despite my absorption into yoga and treadmill runs. I can act the part of yogi well enough, but it’s just not me. Bare feet and mats have nothing on solid earth and my sketchers.

Running is where I belong. This is my niche. It began years ago when I was a broke student suffering through a harmful relationship. Running was cheaper than therapy or booze. I ran to escape. I ran to feel. It became a life raft.

Today, I laced up, threw on a sweater and set off. I don’t listen to music while I run. I don’t carry my phone.
I am alone. I am strength. I am only me.

For years I’ve tentatively spoken of training and running in a half marathon or even just a 10km fundraiser but shied away with petty excuses as my only defence. As a new and sorely overdue commitment for this year, I’m going to ignore my aversions. By the end of this year I want to say that I’ve ran with purpose.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

5 Steps To Comfort

1. Pants off.
First and foremost, you strip it all off. Kick those jeans off. Discard the maybes, ifs, ands, or buts of the day with them and go bare. You’ve got to trade in the pants that suck and tuck and embrace the baggy tracks or skin-bearing booty shorts. It’s about leaving the easy discomforts, like pants, aside.

2. Claim the corner seat.
Even if you’re a bona-fide extrovert, your outgoing tendency could take a back seat right now. Being alone with your own mind, stealing that never free corner couch spot and lazing solo is good for you once in awhile. It alleviates the stress of your pressing social life and refreshes your own opinions.

3. Do a you thing.
Whether you’re lacing up your running shoes and hitting up your favourite running route, or curling up into that corner seat to read, you’ve got to do it all for yourself. Whatever takes your mind to the best places is where you want to be.

4. Eat right.
I’m not talking about carrots and veggie platters, unless that’s your preferred comfort food. I love springrolls or ritz crackers with nutella. To each their own. The key here is to embrace guilt free pleasure, and the simplest path to that in my opinion, is through food.

5. Love the moment.
The final and ultimate step to true comfort and relaxation is to embrace and appreciate the moment for what it is. It’s all about you and what makes you happy.

Bonus: Wine helps.

Hope you enjoyed my guide to comfort. Never become shy in the face of your comfort commitment. There’s nothing more refreshing than being you in a moment that’s just yours. More secrets and tips to come.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

The Hazards of Commitment

#3. Committing to a job, but aren’t passionate about the work.

#2. Committing to a relationship, but not enjoying the other person.

#1. Committing to yourself, but overlooking the love of others.

Beneath the commitments that rule our lives is an importance that is easily forgotten. It’s simple to remove passion from work when you are blinded by the almighty dollar. We work to appease a lifestyle, we work to earn a living and we sometimes dread Monday mornings with a terrible ferocity. Being passionate about work can be a challenge but it’s worth every bit of effort. Even when the passion is kept in our work ethic, or the happiness that we can bring to coworkers, it doesn’t need to be solely about a job title. When you love someone, you can overlook the beauty of just enjoying them. All the charms that built the relationship are ignored at later dates just because we’ve become complacent and indifferent to them. Love is blind in more than one way. Being able to sink into the comfort and playful antics of the ‘honeymoon phase’ is important no matter the duration of a relationship. And finally, while we commit to building ourselves and bettering who we are we sometimes neglect those around us that have been there silently shaping and encouraging all those improvements from the beginning. Friends and family that want nothing but the best for us fall to the wayside in our private strive for self fulfillment.

Commitments have the potential to make us happier, healthier and genuinely better people. Finding a balance and always remembering why these commitments are made is as important as keeping them.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
-L.M. Montgomery

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

How To Lose Friends and Alienate Yourself

My romantic commitment is one of the most important elements in my life. Decisions that used to be subconscious are now painstakingly run through an array of questions with the personal pronoun ‘we’ popping up everywhere. There’s a new gravitational pull when you love someone. A new need to be around that one person can almost equal, (and sometimes trump), the need for sleep. It’s easy to be swept into a bubble of blind bliss as the honeymoon passion of a new love beats persistently. The world prior, or in absence of that one new bed-warmer, fades.

Now, let’s get more logical here: This is how friendships are lost.

I find it painful and frustrating to witness the absorption of a friend into their boyfriend/girlfriend. Everyone has that one friend who disappears off the face of the earth once they’ve found themselves someone to love. They dive head first, replicating the classic clown on the high board above a glass of water.

Friends are as important to me as Sam is in many ways. They were there before my union with him, they’ll be there during it because I wouldn’t dare have it any other way, and no matter what the future may hold, they will still be there. I value and commit to maintaining my friendships. This is a promise I never had to make. Remaining in their lives was guaranteed no matter my relationship status because they are brilliant, loyal, fun people who not only make my life better, but make me better. To see how easily some people can disregard their friends existence while faced with love blows my mind. I will never get the opportunity to rely on the solidity of my friendships because I want to constantly stoke those fires with all the great attributes that my friends share with me.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.

Pets Allowed

It’s surreal that in less than a month Sam and I will be living together. I suppose it’s considered a ‘big step’ in our relationship but it’s been such a long time coming that I can practically shrug it off. That is, until I realize the commitment behind it. Committing to not only live under the same roof as my less-than-clean boyfriend, but committing to saying bye to a chunk of my paycheque each month and to all the easy conveniences of living at home. It’s a little nerve wrecking.

The finances have been hashed out, I can easily afford our joint life, Sam is the love of my life and pets are allowed. That should be all the motivation I need, yet I’m still antsy and paranoid of really setting myself in this path.

2015 is looking to be a year of big, exciting changes and I’m so achingly torn. I have a fear of letting Sam down. Of not letting the best of our relationship be the soul of it. It’s so easy to recall the worst of times when you’re living in bliss because our minds suck. You know what I mean right? The reel of highlights that’s shadowed by the few not-so-funny bloopers? I hate that. I hate that the few bad times can poison my judgment and fuel my commitment fears. Poisonous mind wandering is obviously behind it all and it’s still something I’m working to get under control.

In order to ease my fears I’m working hard all this month at being the better girlfriend that I am. The one in the highlights that doesn’t even let a negative memory slither in to tarnish the gold of the moments. It goes hand in hand with my ‘living in the moment’ commitment, as well ‘putting an end to deadly mind wandering’. But this one is more in line with committing to being less of a nag really. Sam and I will be living together soon. The excitement should be all that matters. I don’t need to fear this path…this is the right kind of commitment.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.