One In A Billion

The world, people say its overpopulated, but if that’s true why can’t I find a single soul that I feel connected with?  I walk through each day with my vulnerabilities on full display, hoping for a single connection. However, as the day’s pass, I can feel the vulnerabilities shedding away and being replaced by loneliness and sadness. Why does no one see the hurt that’s in my heart.

Life is passing by quickly, and I understand that each of us have our own trials and tribulations that we need to overcome, but what happened to connecting with those around us on a human level and having real relationships? Each one of us is preoccupied by our own daily struggles, but in the process we are losing the ability to connect with each other. We’re becoming lonely and lost souls. We’re floating through life trying to find someone who will understand our souls, but we’re not putting in that effort with others. In the process of becoming fixated on our own emotions, have we lost the ability to empathize with the people around us? Are these relationships of the past?

I try to stay positive, and share my fears with people. I want people to see my weaknesses. I don’t view my weaknesses as a hindrance to me. In fact, I view them as my strengths. They allow me to connect with people on the human level. I am not perfect, and neither is my life, and I am okay to say that. We all have our pain points, and obstacles that we need to overcome, after all, life isn’t perfect. And it shouldn’t be.

Life is about growing, and even if you don’t find the connections with people that you are looking for, you need to try and understand why. Is there something in your own behavior pattern that is preventing you from connecting?

In a world filled with billions of people, surely there is one soulmate for everyone. Whether it be a friend, sibling, spouse, parent or friend, they exist. We need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and enjoy the growing pains of life. Share our hardships. Listen to those around us, and hear their life experiences. They have been put in our lives for a reason, and we need to understand their purpose.

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How am I feeling today you ask?

I’m feeling very sad and disappointed with the state of the world today. I’m disappointed in my southern neighbor electing someone who is ignorant to the state of the world. I am upset that those negative emotions are creeping into Canada. I am so tired of the hate, and the division between people. And I am frustrated that people are having to re-fight for rights that were already established.

When did we start to go backwards?

I feel as though there is a huge void in my heart, and I don’t see it being filled anytime soon. For the past week and a half, I have been feeling very empty, and for the first time in a long time, I’ve lost hope. Gandhi says to be the change you want to see in the world, and while I am not a fan of Gandhi, I am trying to stay positive and project positivity. But, I am struggling. I am fighting hard to hold back tears every day. I feel very hollow, but I am trying with everything in me to not project negativity.

Today, on my way home from work, I saw a man’s car stopped on the side of the road. About 20 people drove past him. I also contemplated driving past, but I stopped. To be honest, I thought it was a girl. The person had long blond hair that fell to their shoulders, but when they spoke and I realized that it was a young man in his late teens or early 20s. He said thanks for stopping, but we were both equally clued out as to how to fix his car. He said it was his clutch and that he needed brake oil. I’m not sure if that’s what he needed, but I drove to the gas station to get the oil. For those of you who are a bit panicked right now, relax, I didn’t take him in the car with me, he was still a stranger. I took his number and called him when I got to the gas station to confirm that I picked up the right oil. I brought the oil back to where his car was stopped and gave it to him. He asked me how much the oil cost, and I told him to ‘pay it forward’. To which he responded, ‘I do that too’. For a split second, we both smiled, faith in humanity restored, and I walked back to my car. As I drove down the road to turn my car around, I thought, ‘what if that’s not what he needs, and I just left him?’. Fortunately, by the time I drove past him, another man, from a line of 30 cars had pulled over to help him and I was genuinely happy that another individual stopped to offer a helping hand, it gave me a bit of hope.

With this experience, I could feel that hole inside me fill a little. I left the interaction feeling a little more healed. Not fully healed, but enough to help me genuinely smile for the first time in over a week.

In that moment, we didn’t see each other’s backgrounds, economic status or level of education. We saw each other as people, helping each other.

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Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

Christmas is only 19 days away and the grass is still green. I know many people would be excited by this, but not me. I love winter and all that comes with it. Yes, even the part where I have to wear 50 pairs of socks to keep my feet warm. Winter is my favorite season.

Vancouver has been receiving snow. Yes VAN-COU-VER! Let that sink in.

Is it old age? Are you having a moment? They never get snow. I think you are getting your coasts mixed up, and I’m not a happy camper. When are we going to get snow? I know I should probably be patient, but yesterday you tricked me. I woke up and there was snow on the ground. I got to wipe the snow off my windows, it was so exhilarating! But when I left work later that day, nothing! Not a single centimeter of snow anywhere. It was so warm that I could have gone outside in my hoody! A HOODY..in December?

I don’t know, maybe you are doing me a favour. Sure, I’ve gained a couple of pounds over the past year (no I’m not pregnant, just fat!) and I can’t zip up my jacket, but I promise I can handle the cold weather. I’ll wear my husbands winter jacket if that means I get snow!

You have 19 days, and then I’m really hoping for a white Christmas. I HAVE HIGH HOPES!

Thanks for hearing me out!

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Out of Town Visitors

This past weekend my uncle and aunt came to visit. It was great seeing them, they’d both had a very tough year. My uncle survived multiple heart attacks, strokes and ultimately a heart transplant. It was a miracle that he could make the journey to come visit us. Though they only came for a short visit, their ‘trial’ run as they called it, it was difficult to say goodbye to them as they left to head home.

The last time I had seen my aunt and uncle was at my wedding, almost 6 years prior. Both of them were vibrant and so full of life. The thought of not seeing them again never crossed my mind. I don’t think it crossed any of our minds.

It’s crazy how we sometimes take those closest to us for granted. We naively assume that they will be around forever. We fail to think of a time when the annual birthday phone calls will stop, or not hearing someone’s voice again. But life is a fickle thing, and it is unrealistic for us to expect anything from life.

Life is short and we need to relish in every interaction that we have with loved ones. Not waste time on petty arguments or disagreements. We need to focus on the bigger picture, and in this case, the bigger picture being the underlying love.

My aunt and uncle asked both my sister and I repeatedly why we didn’t come to visit them. My answer was unclear. Why didn’t we go to see them? Yes I have had unfavorable interactions with people who live close to them, but that didn’t deter me from visiting my aunt and uncle. The thought of visiting them crossed my mind on more than one occasion, but I never bought my flight ticket. Instead I opted to visit warmer climates, seeing monuments that weren’t of any significance in my life. I should have prioritized seeing them.

What if I was too late? What’s the point of taking the time to attend someone’s funeral if you failed to make the effort to see them while they were alive. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to see them again. To converse with them and create memories. To prioritize what is important in my life. I am grateful for having the opportunity.

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Choosing Not To be Offended

In life, people are going to do things that hurt or offend you. Whether their actions are intentional or not, as recipients we are often left with a choice. Are we going to be offended by their actions or no? Personally, I often opt for the latter. I proactively make the decision to give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to understand their perspective.

Recently, I engaged in a discussion on Facebook regarding racism, and whether the actions of a group of university students was racist.

Perhaps I should take a step back and explain the situation. A group of university students attended an “around the world” themed party, whereby they dressed as people from different cultures, mainly from the Asian subcontinent. As expected at a university party, the students indulged in alcohol, and their actions may/may not have been respectful to the countries that they were representing.

Personally, I don’t believe their actions were racist. I think their actions were in poor taste. But I also believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they weren’t educated on the customs of the countries they were representing, but I don’t think they tried to go out of their way to offend people.

They are students. I vividly remember the growing pains of being one. Mentally, I grew into a very different person in university. It was where I started finding my way on this crazy place we call earth. And I don’t support using harsh words for a group of students who made an error in judgement.

Being called a racist isn’t a something one would forget. Yes they offended people, but to call them a name that puts them on the same platform as members of the KKK, in my opinion is not acceptable.

I don’t know the students personally, but I don’t think they actively went out to cause harm. Perhaps as grown adults, we can use this as a teaching opportunity. What are the university leaders doing to teach culture diversity, and educate their students? What are we doing as a society to be inclusive and learn about our neighbors backgrounds?

We don’t grow as a society by isolating a group of people by calling them names. We grow by helping them understand why their actions were offensive to a group of people.

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Thanksgiving Envy!

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. It is officially the only day of the year where I wish I was an American. Not because I think the US is the greatest country on the planet, because I don’t. But because Americans get two paid days of vacation. It’s the only time of the year where you can walk up to your manager and say “sorry boss man, I have to legally take today and tomorrow off, the government is making me”.

Yes its true that I don’t agree with the holiday itself. I don’t support how the Native Indian population was treated, but I support an overworked population getting two days off to breathe and spend time with loved ones. We as a society, unless your brown (we travel in packs), don’t spend enough time with loves ones, creating lasting memories. The majority of the US population is too overworked and underpaid to spend time with the people they are breaking their bones to provide for. When you think about it, It’s a pretty sad reality! Working 12 hour shifts to provide for a family that you barely get to see. The only connection being that the same blood travels through your veins. Thanksgiving is an important holiday where people are afforded the opportunity to spend time together and share in stomach cramping laughter!

I could do with two days off to connect with family and friends! Recently, I’ve been working very long hours. By the time I reach home in the evenings I am exhausted and want to sit in silence. I log in to my brothers Netflix account (because I’m cheap) and put on the first thing I see.

To my American neighbours, enjoy this holiday for the envious green monster north of the border.

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Love

Today I had an eye-opening conversation with a colleague of mine regarding love, and  what it means to truly love. He talked about not understanding the meaning of true love until having his first born child. He was so overwhelmed with the indescribable emotions. He couldn’t find the words to explain the emotion but you could see it on his face and in his expression. It looked like bliss.

Standing there watching him, I couldn’t help but question who I am as a person. Do I love anyone that much in my life? Do I even love myself that much? I questioned if I am a broken person. Not having children myself, I couldn’t relate to what he was talking about. I was filled with self-doubt and convinced that I lack the ability to be completely selfless.

I have a deep-rooted fear of being completely vulnerable to another individual, and have platinum walls up at all times. I question people’s motivations, and don’t always believe peoples sincerity. I know I’m a cynic and take ownership of that. I have a handful of people who I believe love me unconditionally. But I question if I have the same loyalty towards them. Maybe I do and am judging myself harshly, but I don’t know if I can name a single person who I love unconditionally.

I’m envious of people who can so easily express their love to another person. It comes second nature to them. My husband says that I express love in other ways. Clearly he sees something that I don’t!

When people tell me they love me, I have a hard time saying it back. My 3 year old nephew tells me he loves me all the time. However, when I say it back it feels forced. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I almost feel like I’m exposing an area of weakness, that I want to keep hidden. I don’t want people to know how deeply I care because then they can use it against me.

Maybe that’s why I have the wall up, for fear of being hurt. Maybe my husband is right and I do love, I love so deep that if I let people see, they can use it as ammo to hurt me.

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Truth Be Told

When I got sick last year, it changed me as a person. It made me a cynical person. I am, was, a person who would go out of her way to help people. I found joy in it, and I genuinely wanted to make the lives of the people I cared about easier. Now, that person feels like a lifetime away, and if I am being honest, if I saw her today I would call her a naive fool.

Throughout the duration of my illness, I felt very lonely. I was fighting a battle, and no one co20150426_234045278_iOSuld help me. It was me against this thing that was attacking me from the inside. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I had people visit me daily to inquire a out my health and to keep me company. But I can count these people on one hand. For someone, such as myself who has a large circle, it was truly disheartening.  I became skeptical of the people in my life. It was my rude awakening.
I spent a year trying to run away from my negative thoughts. I took up hair and make up lessons and became a certified artist. If I looked good on the outside, surely that would translate into me becoming a happier person on the inside. That was a lie. I only felt
more empty and alone. I took up a project management class, and tried to cross a few more items off of my bucket list, but that only made me feel more sad. Who did I have to share these great milestones with? People who weren’t there for me when I was at my lowest point?

I was sad, I am sad and I don’t know how to overcome this deep disappointment. This may be a terrible example, but you know when you’ve finished making a lavish meal and the kitchen is a disaster. You’re exhausted after cooking, but you have to clean up your mess, its frustrating, but you get through it. All you have left are these great memories of the exceptional tasting meal that you’ve created. I have the exact opposite of that feeling. I went through this horrid experience that taught me how strong I can be, but all I remember is who wasn’t there for me.
Its a sad feeling, and i’m hoping that with time, I learn how to overcome it.
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Disconnected

Recently, I’ve found it difficult to connect with people on a human level. I can’t remember the last time I had a genuinely honest conversation with someone, and i’m growing tired of the superficial conversations I have with people. You know, the ones where we instinctively start to discuss whose life is more difficult. It’s like we’re in a rat race, constantly trying to outdo the next person. When the truth is, we are all just going through the motions of life and the growing pains that come along with it.

If I am being completely honest, I have a great life. I work on my flaws and improve on my weaknesses. I work really hard on growing myself into the person I want to be. However, I feel ashamed to let the world know how happy I am. Why? Because people become jealous and envious that you seem so “put together”. They don’t see the behind the scenes hard work I’ve put into the person I am evolving into. They only find reason to be resentful.

I have a very positive outlook on my life. I focus on the positives, and understand that the problem areas can be worked on. I know that nothing in life is constant and I am okay with that. But I don’t spend each day feeling angry about the pain points in my life. I accept them and roll with the punches, and that works for me. It allows me to stay focused and evolve into the person I want to become.

However, I constantly live in a fear that if I let people know how happy I am that they will find me un-relatable. When the truth is, the only difference between us is the outlook we have on life. I don’t see the grey areas in my life as problems. I see them as opportunities to grow. My approach to the grey areas is to accept them and look for a solution, if there isn’t one, I will sit on the problem until I can find one. When I advise people on how to solve problems in their lives, they find my approach too harsh, or they will give me a list of 100 reasons why the solution won’t work. They make the choice to stay pessimistic, and I can feel myself being sucked into the vacuum that is their negativity. And my outlook on life isn’t negative, so I can’t relate. And in turn there is a disconnect between my world and me.

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Hate Me Not

Sometimes I like to take some time for myself and be alone with my thoughts. On those days, I find myself silently laying on an empty patch of grass listening to the sound of water traveling south in the river close to my home. I fully engross in the feeling of oneness with nature, and enjoy the way the sun peers through the trees and falls on my face. In those moments I feel completely content with my existence in the world. I don’t feel rushed to be somewhere. I am able to simply exist.

However, a few days ago, as I lay in a zen state, my thoughts were interrupted by a group of teenagers traveling downstream in their water tubes. They were laughing and having a good time. I found their laughter refreshing and couldn’t help but smile. But my positive vibes were rudely interrupted by a group of guys, who I can only describe as Neanderthals.

See, one of the people in the tubes who was enjoying his day was gay, and that wasn’t to the liking of these Neanderthals. I could hear the boys say things like “let’s beat that fag up” as they tried to swim towards the group drifting on their tubes. Fortunately, they were too slow to catch up to them.

At this point, I was sitting upright and trying to see who these idiots were. I discovered that the guys spewing negativity were of African-American descent and this angered me even further. As decedents of people who experienced cruelty at the hands of others, simply for being whom they were, these boys should have known better. As colored people we should know not to mistreat people for being who they are. I am not African-American, but I am colored, and I remember being called vile names because I am colored. People who are close to me have been attacked for being colored. Being colored is not choice. Just like being gay isn’t a choice. The thought of attacking people for being who they are angers me to the core, and I was tempted to start a heavily heated discussion with these ignorant people when I suddenly became aware of my surroundings.

I was alone in a park, and I didn’t know how large their group was. I became frustrated with my inability to speak up and vocalize my thoughts. Instead I picked up my things, got in my car and drove home like a coward. I’m not sure what angered me more; listening to these Neanderthals spew their venom, or feeling helpless and not standing up for what I believe in. Maybe I wasted an opportunity to teach these boys to see the world through different lenses.

I will never know how the conversation would have gone, but what I know for certain is there are too many people in the world who judge without reason and hate where hatred is not needed.

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