Return of the Mack

Well hello there…it’s been quite a time, hasn’t it?

Friend, I’ve been through quite the shit storm. I went to a place inside of myself that I didn’t even know existed-it scared the lace panties right off my Dorito-lovin’ ass! Believe me when I say that self-growth is not for the faint of heart, or stomach. But somehow, I made it through. I’d like to say it’s the christmas season that brought joy back in to my heart, but that’s not a whole truth. I’d also like to say that I “saw the light” or that my creator spoke to me personally and pulled me up by my suspenders, but that’s also not it. The truth is that my lesson to be learned this time was acceptance, and I accepted that I needed time to grieve and process an ended love affair-and I didn’t need anybody telling me how to do it, or what kind of time it would consume, or what cockamamie remedies to take-because for the first time in my life I insisted on allowing the process to unfold as it needed to.

So i tucked myself in to my turtle shell and said goodbye to the world and it’s hustle and bustle, I politely avoided conversation when I felt it may be too painful to open up…and I mourned. My pillows were salt-crusted and my eyes told a story that most were hesitant to ask about. My bed was my solace, my comforter the arms that held me, and my own voice was the one who was telling me that I really was going to be ok, and that I am consistently taking confident steps in the right direction and that eating a tub of Haagen-Dazs is actually uber healthy compared to the alternative (of which I am not allowed to make mention of for legal purposes)

And that nutshell is what brought me to today-writing again. And i did it myyyyy waaaaaay!

This is how I know that I REALLY AM “ok”, and that my life is moving in the direction that I want it to go for a change. And eating a pack of Twizzlers and guzzling “dessert wine” while blasting Bjork is like, the Indie version of a $5000/night retreat at some hoity toity country club-and i don’t even have to put on pants. My favourite part.

So here’s to self-discovery, self-acceptance, and a whole lotta L.O.V.E.-I’ll throw it out there like glitter out of a Unicorn’s ass. Maybe it’ll put a spell on you and we can vacuum up glitter together, in our undies. You know, what normal people do.

 

Paying it forward

Hello, from my heart to yours. 

I’d like to share a video of an important work of mine.

Last year this time I was presented with a most life-changing and surprising opportunity-to publicly express an idea that had been growing in my very veins for the longest time. 

To say this is a labour of love is not sufficient; my life is just a grand reflection of a dream of acceptance, peace and merging two unlikely notions.

My wish is that you, Dear Reader, are able to take away one thing of value that will illuminate a desire, maybe just about to rise up from the ashes. Because according to my calculations, that time is right now. But that’s only my Humble opinion. 

Love, light and blessings in abundance…

Justina 

Relay racing

I’ll start this off by stating that the furthest I’ve ever gone in the sports world is last in long distance track running. That describes my level of physical ability. What I’ve discovered, however, is that I can rock relay racing when I’ve been blessed with such an incredible team of racers to run with.

I’m lucky, I recognize that. I have a significant amount of short comings as well, and i honour that in myself. But the best part about my journey is you. And all the lengths you go to be there with me. I couldn’t ask for more. (But you know I will because the further we get on the track, the more aware I become of those less fortunate pals who have not been given a fair chance)

(This next paragraph should be read in the voice of scooby Doo)

When I ask for more, it is not for me. It is for those who have no legs for running, or whose wings have been clipped, or whose Wanky criminalS who swear their swords on their rarms but are incapable of wielding it. They should be under Judge Judy’s leathered, stinky feet. They deserve nothing less than house arrest-do not pass go, do not collect 500, straight to jail from whenst ye blubbering arseholes came from. 

(The next sentence should be read by an East Indian British, openly gay, two-spirited, pansexual non-binary femme. Just a heads up)

goddamit now I’m craving jalapeño poppers !!! And chocolate ganache cake for dessert with homemaED strawberry topping. Ok i DO stress eat. Meh. Atleast I can handle my liquor. 

I chew chew choose U

Hellooooo..

It’s been quite a while since I’ve put “pen to paper”; life has presented some remarkable situations in which I am forced to challenge my own identity and beliefs. Oh who the fuck am I sugar-coating this for?!? Sigh. The after-effects of political correctedness. 

I am aware that I am a very privileged and spoiled individual, and although the shit that I wade through at times may seem endless, it is not. It’s all like a flash in the pan, like those two little sausages-one goes ‘pop’ and the other goes ‘bam’.

I often wish I had some sort of logical explanation for the unexplainables of my existence; for now I just go through the (e)motions as they swell up, knowing that somehow the end result will be a bigger, badasser version of “Me”.

I choose to change my life and to mold it in to what I really want it to look like. That means a lot has shifted and will continue to do so, both in and ex-ternally.  {Sing for the lion and lamb.} I took a bbq lighter to a 13-year relationship because I choose not to be silent about abuse in all its ibs-infested manifestations. That was a mouthful. Cheque please.

Kids, don’t Try this at home.

I am also done with apologizing for mistakes I haven’t made, or for even making mistakes. Period. I mess up, All. The. Time. It’s part of growth, it’s part of the human experience. The road to self actualization and all that jazz. Meh. Or it could be a big scam. Who really knows? All I know is that choosing change is essentially choosing self-love. And love is contagious- so put that in your cedar pipe and smoke it.

In the end it’s all chicken nuggets, no matter where you eat, so you may as well throw some honey garlic sauce on this mother effin’ thing we call life and dig in like a wild boar. I’ll take mine with a lifetime supply of sriracha, please and thank you.

Yours in good faith,,,

A letter to Myself

Dear Friend,

It’s been a while since I’ve heard from you-how are you? I thought I’d Let you know that things have been Overly busy and Very Exhausting over here but I believe this Year is an Opportunity to Unfold a new lotus, petal by petal.

I tend to get stuck in my head and don’t do very great at the whole relationship thing; I am often a royal brat, plain and simple. It’s one of my charms, really : )

The past few months have given me a whole new view on big life events, the change in seasons and how they’re so closely tied together. So much is to be said about nature and human emotions, but who has the brain space for all of that?!

I really hope you’re doing well; I’d like to send you flowers but they’d wilt by the time they got to you by plane. It’s a shame we live so far apart (you being in one corner of my brain and me being in the other corner, with the rest of the space being filled by noodles)…I can honestly say that I’ve missed you, on more than one occasion, and often resort to reliving old memories to try to smile and have some laughs. I’m only slightly concerned that my social interactions have turned in to a one-person show where I’m snorting at my own punch lines. After the second glass of wine I get more confident and don’t even need the microphone anymore. (Microphone being a set of old chopsticks and a stale sweet and sour chicken ball that I find randomly underneath the bed) 

It’d be totally rad if you dropped me a line or two, just to ease my mind.

With unwavering affection and a prescription for sarcasm at 100 mg/day,

Your Friend 

Floating downstream

Yesterday I was reminded of something very important-the necessity of FEELING. Sure, it’s easy and welcomed when those feelings come in the form of “good”, such as laughter, joy, love, etc. But what about when the feelings are deemed “bad”, such as tears, heartache, loss, etc.? I think that illuminates the first point-that we label the feelings in those categories and therefore will do almost anything to avoid the “darker” emotions. More often than not, though, the greatest transformations are born from entering, experiencing and then emerging from those darker places. Nobody makes the “hero” list without first enduring some type of struggle(s) and living to tell the tale. It’s certainly not pretty while it’s happening, though. Actually it’s quite ugly and can be confusing and there will be many, many moments when you’re just about to give up. And then always at the “right” moment you’ll get a message from the strangest of places (the back of a cereal box, a funny-shaped cloud, a random meme on social media) that releases just the tiniest reminder of what the bigger goal is. That glimmer may only last a few hours, a few days, but it can be the light that pushes you a little more forward. The hurdles will always be there, and it would be unrealistic to pretend that they don’t exist-but if we could just somehow wrap our minds around the concept of “accepting what is” in that moment, and more importantly, accepting the messiness that may accompany it, may just help ease the moment a little. Maybe. That and treating ONE another with kindness, starting with ONEself.

The more we learn, the less we know, which is so very exciting! It means that we will never run out of things to do or experiences to have. Tastes change, interests change, life evolves. We will most likely know what to do or not do in any particular moment by listening to our bodies and trusting that little inner voice that says “eat some chocolate and take a nap.” Or whatever your little voice says, mine can only speak for itself. And as far as being concerned about how things will turn out? Meh. Nobody really knows, so just do IT, whatever “IT” is, and have no regrets. There’s no tallying, and there’s definitely glory in the “trying”. Some people were born to be the rocks and some people were born to be the rivers, and the twain always meet.

Jenny from the block

In the midst of change we can often forget about who we are, what we want, and the whole point of initiating the change in the first place. 2016 has brought forth a significant development in my own character and life path; everything that I thought “was” has transformed in to something so incredible and exciting that I almost peed my pants. Twice. For those who have lived fairly constant lives may find it hard to relate, and that’s ok. Polar opposites are important, it’s what keeps balance.

I am fortunate to have friends from varied backgrounds, from different ethnicities, faiths, socio-economic statuses, sexual orientation, etc. I value their opinions and know that whatever they share with me comes from the best intentions; I am reminded though, that most people will give advice according to their own belief system, moral compass and life experience, whatever that may be. While I have a deep and sincere appreciation for every human on this planet, how I choose to live my life is a matter of CHOICE. And that is fluid, like water, ya catch my drift? For as long as I can remember my “self”, I have been experimental by nature, and quite happily so. It’s fun, period. And while there are “toils” to life, I DO believe it is meant to be enjoyed to it’s full potential, and there is actually no “right” or “wrong” choice (in my opinion) except for assholyness. I guess it can happen accidentally, but I choose not to be an asshole. Other than that, I am very much in Camp Choice. I don’t feel the need to “pick a side”, because “sides” have been created by us, which means they can just disappear when we wish them to. The lines we draw in the sand can be the very lines that keep us from rediscovering our Oneness.

As I coyly ferment, my circle of humans I spend time with has changed and grown smaller and more intentional. The choices I make are not “against” anything but rather “for” my own path, which is vast and mostly undiscovered. With every small change or decision I release some build up of whatever was holding me back from taking that step in the first place. Each lesson has broadened my perspective and has stretched boundaries that were only imaginary. Just the thought of the immense possibilities that are out there for all of us gives me the tingles in all the right places.

As I regroup and adjust to my new life I dig my heels in deeper on certain topics and allow everything else to simply float; we are all free, free to live the lives we desire-free, autonomous beings. All we can do is make our best effort and be honest about whether the choices we made yesterday are still suitable for the people we are today. The best advice I’ve ever been given is “whatsoever you do, do it with conviction. And when you change your mind, change it with conviction.”

Beyond…

alas, it’s time to approach the dreaded subject of…love. I’ve been on a quest to understand it, describe it, obtain it, tame it, shape it, wrap it up and place it under the tree to excitedly tear open one holiday morning. I’ve wondered if there is something beyond love, something less fickle and more steady. Love can be given or taken away depending on our emotional state, it is, in fact (in my very humble opinion) a choice. Whatever is beyond holds a magnetic power that perhaps cannot be explained; it is what keeps us holding on once the bells and whistles are gone, once the goosebumps and feelies and butterflies have faded in to the background and what has remained is an unshakeable commitment that requires no words. Where does this surety come from? (shrugs shoulders and takes another swig of coffee) All I know is that the grand universe is mysterious and there will probably never be descriptions sufficient enough to describe how it works or how things that were once “apart” (I use quotations because there really is no separation, is there?) can be brought back together in the oddest of ways.

Because humans often base decisions on a feeling, such as love, we can often misconstrue the “ending” of that love as just that-an end. Here’s what I propose-rather than viewing it as an end, how about we view it as a transformation in to something different? I’ll give a real-life example because I am, as we speak, sitting in the metaphorical fire of the divorce process from a person that I’ve spent the last 13 years of my life with. We even spawned. 3 times. It was pretty serious. I do not hate him, in fact, my feelings for him have morphed in to something more authentic and respectful; rather than being based on the ups and downs of “in love, not in love”, now it is much healthier. We can focus on our friendship and the strength of our parenting rather than being concerned about how to please the other. Because that was just a lost battle, thus the separation. Of course I can only speak from my own perspective, perhaps he has made a voodoo doll in my image and that’s why I’m getting adult acne. Either way, I feel strongly that we (the collective we of society in North America) have entered a new era where choosing to leave a partner is no longer viewed as something negative but rather a mature decision to reshape that relationship; from there something more wholesome and suitable can “be” according to the changes that each person has experienced over the course of said relationship.

These experiences are instrumental in our own growth processes as people; that’s not to say that there won’t be tears, and raw, unfiltered feelings of “Oh my god I’m not even going to make it through”-but we DO make it through, the difference being what we choose to learn and take from it and how it can better (not bitter) us, moving forward.

Does love exist? Of course it does, and it feels euphoric when it is present. Do I believe it is the be all and end all of everything? YES, if it is given unconditionally. I believe that the awareness of Unity is what holds us and guides us through the valleys and shadows. But what do I know? I’m just a girl, sitting in front of a coffee, asking it to just get her through the day.

Right here, right now

today is Christmas Day, and it is different. Unlike my usual habits I will not flower it up with any adjectives or descriptions, only that it is “different”. Different because I am a different person than I was a year ago (even different from yesterday), different because I see things from a different angle. Different because.

from the moment I opened my eyes this morning (and thank god I did otherwise I would’ve missed the chocolate-caramel pancakes) I have been thinking a lot about how conditioned we have become to “if I have this, then I will be ____________ (fill in blank) it’s no wonder we often feel like hamsters on a treadmill, running after imaginary happiness while the good stuff is directly at our feet. The “dangling carrots” can come in the form of the hyperbole of holidays, the need to acquire “stuff”, subtle or not so subtle suggestions that how we are is “not good enough”, and the reward/punishment system. I’ll be the first to point myself out that I’ve fallen in to every. Single. One. Of. Those traps. And then I have moments where I shake my head and wonder why I feel the way I feel or why I do the things I do. The blessing and curse of striving to be more self aware and live simply is that with each small change comes an uncovering of several other layers of growth. 

One huge topic that my day has highlighted is “failing”. Ouch. I know, I just cringed too. Until I remember how if I had never failed, I would be a 34 year old baby in diapers, crawling around on the floor because I didn’t take the chance to try to walk. Perspective. Word. These days whenever I have a task in front of me that requires even the smallest amount of risk (just enough to increase my heart rate and cause some stomach discomfort) I ask myself “what is the worst thing that could happen if this doesn’t work out?” Usually the answer is “the answer will be no”, or, “I’ll be laughed at/make a fool of myself”, or “I’ll melt in to a puddle of green goo on candid camera”. Then I breathe a sigh of relief. I can handle the word “no”. It may sting and I may throw a few punches at my pillow afterwards, but I’ll be fine. As for making a fool of myself, well there is little I haven’t done in the fool’s department so I haven’t got much to lose there either. The only thing I’m working on changing about that is my self talk AFTERWARDS. I’m constantly surprised at how hallmark-card encouraging I can be to others (very sincerely, never lip service) but how harsh I am on my own self. Although just recognizing it makes me feel better already. Self love and people pleasing will be the next things to work on; today I will just be my regular, sticky, messy self on the couch. 

solstice approaches and I am reminded of the luxurious comfort that darkness can bring; new beginnings coming from other beginning’s ends, and the whimsical bliss of a chinook wind blowing into the city. 

The initial intent of this blog was to, well, just write, unapologetically. And thus I begin again. And again. And again until the ache of necessary change lessens and is replaced by sweet relief, however that presents itself.

Today I pondered on the concept of wanting “more” or “different”-is it a design, a fault, a random fluke, fate, luck? Is at all of these or none? I suppose there’s no definite answer as we all attempt our way through this life, blindfolded on a tightrope with no safety net. Maybe that’s just it, the thrill of it all, and the fact that none of it comes without some level of risk-taking. 

Letting go of what we “thought” our life would turn out to be or what we “planned” can be the most beautifully painful part of reaching for something new or different; often these “in-between” periods have the humbling ability to highlight our hidden faults or weaknesses. This of course provides opportunities for improvement, however small or odd they may seem. From each of these trials and errors we rise a little higher (or sometimes sink a little and then rise up), and our perspective changes-whether it’s a.m. Or p.m. It’s still a day that we can call our own.

and here is a raw, unfiltered photo of my glassy-eyed self-in all my messy glory