Tag Archives: dreams

List it

Last year I made a list of things I wanted to do in 2013. Funny how few of them have any relevance now. I think there’s value in setting forth intentions, however, so in no particular order, I’ll take a crack at a list for 2014:

1. Take one long deep breath before I react.

2. Let go of self-consciousness, playing small to accommodate, minimization of self.

3. Methodically increase my skills that will better match up the stories I tell to the stories I imagine.

4. Take a train to Montreal.

5. Honour the early hour, ignore the discomfort, and take the body to the gym.

6. Unplug and run away–into story, into the forest, into friendship–one day per week.

7. Attend a meaningful storytelling conference or commune–doesn’t matter–where I can really dweeb out with my fellow story hounds.

8. Attend to shoring up healthy boundaries.

9. Finish. The. Damn. Novel.

10. Let go of sugar and carbs that are fair-weather friends at best.

I think I’ll stop at 10. Seems kind of manageable but knowing me, I’ll likely add to it until it topples over like a Jenga game but for now, it seems orderly and so, I commence my intentions for the new year. Please share yours too, maybe we can keep each other on track?

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Filed under Non-fiction

Dreams come true, just not how you ordered them

For years I worked towards being an entrepreneur. I called it ‘entrepreneur’ because in my mind, it looked like nothing that I was doing all day as a job. Then I became an entrepreneur–for the third time in my life–and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I was supposed to be creating digital stories and working on new forms of storytelling when in fact, I was just looking at other people’s tweets all day. I wanted to bang my head against a wall some days after spending 16 hours looking at 1800 streams of Facebook posts, Pinterest pins, Tweets, Infographics, Foursquare check-ins, and links, links, links. I guess I learned a lot. I did bang my head. I also realized that the one thing I wasn’t doing anymore was story. Which is death for a writer.

Then along came the perfect job, at one of my favourite places in the world, and a gorgeous place to live as well. And just like that (insert snap), I had a new life. I’m still shaking my head at how it all happened overnight but I’m clicking my heels that it did. I’m writing. Getting paid for it. Creating stories. Getting paid for it. And teaching. Getting paid for it. Oh, and hopefully, I’ll invent some new story forms while I’m at it. Here’s a few pics (from my iPhone, sorry for the grain) of my first few weeks of my new chapter.

Just today, I could clearly see I got what I had wanted all those years ago, it just wasn’t in the form I thought it was going to be. Life is weird like that, eh?

(If you click on a picture you can scroll through the larger slideshow.)

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In a chapter you did not write

Life sometimes feels like a story you did not imagine. You never dreamed about it. You didn’t lie on a cool grassy knoll and predict it with a breezy whim. The people in it–you don’t know them; they’re strangers to you. And yet, because it feels so unfamiliar it is also euphoric because you have no expectations. It is already wonderful. There is nothing to change. Not a single hair.

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I am going to record this ‘chapter’ of my life by taking an Instagram from the same spot for 52 weeks. I chose this spot because even in winter I will know to frame the picture between these two trees. So pardon the chain link fence but it has to be done.

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written. The whole ship (aka my life) had to be turned around and go in another direction. Lots of waves.

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A Slow Flame to Victory

A year ago I was getting ready to go to Paris by myself. I had a broken heart. I was cupping my hands around it like it was the top of a newborn’s head. I was praying I could protect it long enough for it to grow back together. I wanted to escape on a plane, far, far away from the dreams I had been certain were plans waiting to be realized. Part of me was also hoping the person I loved, who lived in Germany, would show up at my hotel room and hold me in his arms.

But our hearts never really grow back to what they were before they were broken. They heal, but the broken bits are in there, like shards of glass, still fragile, still shatterable, but our skin has thickened and wizened and regenerated over top.

It was a long road to May of this year. It had a lot of forks. It took me down a lot of valleys, chasms, and then an abyss. I tried to light hope but it was a thin flame without much heat. And yet, somehow, here is May, in all its glorious flirtation and I am alive. I could regret things that happened or, I could be delighted I have a chance to live the life I want to live, on my own terms.

Desire has a funny way of bringing you face to face with choice. In the end, happiness isn’t in your heart’s desire but in the choice you made when you found it.

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Winged Victory of Samothrace, taken at the Louvre, Paris, May 2012. By moi of course.

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Filed under Relationships

New Year lessons, champagne and your secret dreams

Some years are more momentous than others. On New Year’s, as it gets closer to midnight, you will already know that it is one of those years. Seminal. Momentous. Stormy. Love-filled. Career transforming. Heart-wrenching. Joy inducing. Great loss, gift of bigger insights, karma repaid triple-fold.

It was that kind of year for me. Only you know what it means to you though. No matter who you may be kissing.

There’s been maybe three such years in my whole life, where you see the line in the sand and can clearly say, that year changed everything.

I didn’t want to see it at the time, but I clearly see now that I had to have such a year to get it. Get all of it. All I was supposed to learn up to this point.

So, I’m feeling pretty (unexpectedly) poised for goodness of all kinds. But first, when a race is finished, when you’ve got over the top of the mountain, and you’re strolling down it, the birds are singing, and there’s an ease after the toil–take the time to realize that although what you were chasing didn’t bring you exactly what you wanted but rather what you needed, say thank you at midnight. Just once. But do it sincerely.

I am thankful for the blessing of my many lessons of 2012 but more importantly, that I learned them. I don’t most years. But this year I did so it’s kind of big. I’m going to go pour some champagne and savour the moment. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be done.

To you and yours, all the very best for 2013. May your secret dreams begin to see the light.

M.xo

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Filed under Non-fiction

Ahead, open water?

I’ve been too busy to write too busy to think too busy to love too busy to shop too busy to change the kitty litter too busy to fix the bottom bit of carpet that we both keep tripping on too busy to buy a new bulb for the fridge so we scour around looking for broccoli or is it bok choy? too busy to make appointments that are really important that I am depended on to make too busy to take more than a glance at the largest moon I’ve ever seen sitting like a poet’s dream on the midnight horizon too busy to soak in the fact I am in love and be properly grateful too busy to call friends nevermind have a long drink over a long talk about men and weight and perimenopause and how mental our lives are too busy to savour the Greek yogourt I bought because it was healthier for me now I don’t care as long as I even get breakfast is a miracle too busy to buy new gloves even as my fingers poke out of my 99 cent Shopper’s Drug Mart special too busy to send Christmas presents oh there’s just no point now too busy to dream to breathe to architect the life I am so busy building.

Too busy to blog. Now that is a sin. Forgive me, I am swimming upstream these days. Ahead, I’m hoping is open water.

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Air-born in 2012

It isn’t easy to escape your life I thought to myself as I pulled the covers over my head yesterday and tried to hide. Then I realized it wasn’t my life I wanted to escape. I actually wanted to step into my life more fully. What I was doing was shedding an old skin that no longer fit me.

Vulnerable.

That’s what you are with brand new skin and no hide.

Vulnerability. The very thing I’d worked tirelessly to avoid being.

Now. Deep, deep breaths. Wind in my hair. A little vertigo as I look down. My toes on the edge of a 40 story building about to swan dive from my old life. The phrase ‘on a hope and a prayer’ comes to mind.

What choice do you have when your old life, your old skin, no longer serves you but holds you back, tied like apron strings to a way of being in the world you no longer recognize as ‘you’?

Cut them.

Soar.

Send me lots of your prayers for 2012. I know they’ll help me fly.

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Filed under Non-fiction