Tag Archives: self realization

Unplug and burn it to the ground

An excerpt near the end of my fiction novel about a woman named Sam who is in her late 20’s and a techno-crazed mess who gets herself in all kinds of crazy trouble on a grand scale, tentatively titled ‘Based on True Tweets’. Some of you may remember her and posts on this blog from that piece. I’m threading it together in my head, albeit in tiny slices of moments in a workday when I’m not deluged with minutiae of tasks but she’s still there, trying to work her way through me!


She unplugged herself. She pulled the power bar out, yanking in an abrupt, angry pull so everything went black all at once.  Then she picked up her iPhone and deleted her Twitter account. “Are you sure?” Yes. I’m fucking sure.

She sat in the silence that followed. She heard a small dog bark repeat itself like an apartment minuet and she realized she’d never heard the dog that lived above her before. Tweets had obfuscated her ability to be aware of her surroundings. Digital noise had filled her mind with clutter and in her hampster-wheel life, she’d mistaken the noise for a kind of promise. She had dulled the sharp points of her judgement with replies, retweets, and a kind of sharing that had led her as far away from her self as an information highway possibly could.

In that moment, Sam realized she had to move. Everything about her apartment reeked of desperation. She would have liked to burn it to the ground and stand in the ashes so her feet smelled of smoke and effort and survival. She’d have to settle for a storage locker and a suitcase. Slightly less dramatic, but she would at least know there were ashes where they should be: in her heart, snuffing out the danger that had lit her world on fire in the first place.

She shook her head in disbelief. It all seemed so simple in this moment. At what point had she woken up? She found it hard to believe she could have been so asleep, so utterly unaware of her own destruction. She had to acknowledge she alone had chosen to walk that road to find love, that she had led herself into those places,  kissed men not to find love but to prove it didn’t exist. She only wished she could run down that road now and pull her self back, tug on the coat sleeve of her misjudgment and prevent the inevitable moment when her illusion had turned on her, revealing its true dysmorphic disorder in all its glory. She wanted to whisper to that self: This isn’t what you think it is.  It never will be.

She stood still in the middle of her apartment unwillingly turning back to the past one last time for a look at his face.

Over. Get on with it. Stand up. Move. Pack. Burn it all down. Get your shoes on for chrissakes said an instructive voice in her head suddenly. For some reason, it sounded like Holly Hunter and it was kicking her ass. She left her laptop on the table, her iPhone still plugged into it and wrapped a scarf around her neck absently as she fumbled for her keys in the glass bowl. She’d waited for this moment, when she finally stepped in and saved herself. It felt like tap-dance happy. It felt like salvation. It tasted like a communion wafer that never melted. She wondered, as she closed the door, what her father would think then realized she didn’t care anymore.


Filed under Fiction

Follow the mother ship

I can’t remember what year it is, maybe 2004? and my life was sort of falling apart on me at the time and I saw an Oprah clip where she said, ‘you know, you have to imagine that your destiny is like the mother ship and while you may be in a dinghy on stormy waters, just keep looking ahead for the mother ship and paddle like mad towards it.’ For some reason, that analogy has always stuck with me and I’ve been paddling pretty hard every since.

But last night, in a moonlit room at 2 am, I realized with no small degree of excitement, that the mother ship is right in front of me now. Right there. A rope’s throw away. Wow. All that paddling has paid off I guess. I didn’t sleep much but it doesn’t matter.

When you can equate months to reaching your ship versus years, that is something to jump around your living room about. I guess it’s what they say alignment is, that feeling where what you have always wanted to do meets your skills and the opportunity to make it happen.

Stay tuned.

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Filed under Memoir

Hot Self

I have a fear of hot yoga also known as ‘Bikram’ yoga. If I really think about why, I believe it is linked to my low tolerance for closed spaces and the heat from a lot of people jammed into that closed space. Add intense heat and there you have a scenario that I wouldn’t willingly put myself in.

I like to be able to, at all times, exit things quickly without a lot of ta-do and there’s something terrifying to me about not being able to.

However, I have decided it is a year for facing any and all of my fears. Last year was the year of saying ‘yes’ and this year it’s about seeking out new lands, new horizons, new people–the year of exploration!

My friend Don, who is also my fab hairdresser (Hive), goes to Moksha yoga and was telling me how great he feels and I thought, c’mon Doyle, here’s an experience nudging you to take it on so when he suggested I come along as a ‘free’ pass because I was new, I took him up on it.

Standing in the foyer of the studio, I began to feel a panic, starting somewhere in the bottom of my tailbone then traveling up and into my jaw which clenched lightly in fear. I had the sensation to bolt back out onto Fort St. but realized I would, forever-more, look insane to my friend Don so I stayed rooted. We waited outside of class and I nervously made chit-chat, hoping to quell my nerves enough to try to enjoy this wonderful ‘experience’.

When I walked into the room the heat encased me in a kind of mummification that I can only describe as a hyper-claustrophobic tunnel of sheer panic. I looked out the window, imagining the cool evening breeze, the open street, running down the hard pavement, escaping. Instead, I was pushing myself forward, rolling out my mat, ignoring my fear, as big as a grizzly bear on my back now, placing my towel down and water beside my mat.

Everyone lay down and the most surreal, gorgeous music was playing. I looked up at the top of the window, not ready to close my eyes, and saw the brick of the building, the blue sky, and suddenly I released into it. The grizzly turned smaller and I sank into the mat. The year seemed to float past me, and the future, all in the same moment.

The instructor began and it was a type of class where they played music throughout and not yogi-type music but cool music the instructor chose and I instantly loved where my mind went through the poses which I thought I wouldn’t be able to do but managed quite well. The heat was intense and when I felt panic start to rise up, I just breathed deeper and deeper.

I also don’t like to sweat profusely in public and yet, here I was, streaming in it: sweat trickling into my mouth, rolling down my neck, pooling in my underwear, dripping off my hands and soaking the towel below me. And it felt good. Really good.

There was a girl in a bikini a few rows over and I was in awe of her body–maybe this hot yoga was how she got there, her long, lean limbs, not muscled and bulky but elegant and strong.

We lay down at the end, soaked and shaking and some more gorgeous, meditative music played and the instructor encouraged us to think about ‘our practice’. I felt immense. I recognized I’d not been here before. I met my self in a way my regular, digitally overloaded world never allowed and I felt silent, centered, hot and happy.

Fear conquered.


Filed under Memoir