Weddings and Funerals

The people fill the stores like herds of sheep. Consumers, needers, wanters, abusers of products and things. Let them, if you will, spend their hard earned money contributing to the never-ending landfill that has become the world. Landfills and lakes and oceans full of waste and forgotten objects. But trash is not all we are comprised of, no, trash is just what we create. Trash is not what creates us.

The preachers stand on soapboxes and shout about God, Jesus, Satan, and anyone else. They speak in tongues and in microphones and go ignored by pedestrians passing by to work, to spend, to find something. Anything. Will they ever find God at this crosswalk?

In a single moment, one act brings an entire existence to genesis. An existence that will go on to do great or horrible or mediocre things. An existence that may be short or long or somewhere in between. Remembered forever or forgotten too soon.

Isn’t it divine that despite all the bullshit and terror and sorrow,  love still flourishes where you water it?

The people carry on with their plans and their sorrows. They love and destroy one another in all the little ways they can.

We hold hands with our loved ones and express our gratitude. To each other we promise to provide and fulfil, to make this strange thing we do worth every sadness and heartbreak.

Weddings and funerals bring us together.

You’ll never know what someone else is thinking. People talk to you like you’re stupid, or they give you too much credit.

Isn’t it sad? Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it magical? It feels like cherry blossoms and cinnamon. Like a headache and a late bill. It feels like panic and serenity.

I walk under the sun, then again under lights. All I can think is that it’s bizarre this life we live every day, but all I can know is that I’m blessed to be living it.

The people fill the world and they will never stop filling it- with people and trash and memories. Day after day.




Doing Time in Toronto

Vancouver I love you, but I’m still doing my time.

It’s been nearly three years since I left. As I was leaving, I never questioned whether I made the right decision. There was no doubt in my mind that I was done with the city of Vancouver. A city so beautiful, so serene, so manicured, and so full of humans that I love. It’s full of memories of my youth and my early adulthood and it’s the city that saw me through.

I never had it easy, but I still lived in the Vancouver bubble. This bubble drove me to places that I didn’t want to be in, and there was a moment in 2015 where I realized that I would never evolve if I didn’t move. I wasn’t satisfied with who I was, so I bought a one-way ticket without any real plan and announced it to my family.

I arrived on January 8th at 11 pm and I promised myself that I would get through anything. It hasn’t been an easy road by any means, but it’s been the most fulfilling part of my journey through life so far.

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve had successes and failures, I’ve found a soulmate, lifelong friends, I’ve felt the pain of being away from my loved ones, and life has come at me like I’m wearing a target on my back – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’ve learned more about myself than I ever could have, had I not put myself in the most uncomfortable scenario possible. The yin and the yang; the shit I had to work out but never really did; my weaknesses and my strengths; my resilience; my ability to love; the necessity of learning healthy coping habits; my ability to move forward. Everything has been tested.

Lost. Jobless. Reckless. Without my support system next to me. That’s who I was when I moved here. I had dreams, but more than dreams I had a desire to feel something real, without the aid of a substance or the dependency on the people I was surrounded by. I wanted to feel life. I wanted to feel what life felt like without the crutches.

I still fall down sometimes, but I always get up. Despite the hardships, I’ve felt unparalleled happiness- something that continues to grow in me every day. Despite the setbacks, I’ve learned to get up stronger. I’ve learned that life will never be perfect, or easy, or even simple. Life is complicated and it’s hard. It hurts sometimes, but it’s also the only thing we have. A soul. An existence. A glance into this bizarre world. This is it.

Being home this summer gave me tranquillity. Yet, with every lovely moment I experienced, I remembered that I still have work to do. I’m not done learning. And while the city I spend my life in now smells like hot garbage, and people are edgy, and sometimes it drives me crazy, this is home now. This is where I grow.

Bless This Cursed Year

It’s been a year since I moved away from comfort. I decided to jump onto a plane and seclude myself away from everything I was familiar with. It’s been a bumpy, uncomfortable, spectacular journey. I had no idea what I was in for, but I learned quickly. Toronto is tough, I can be relaxed to a fault. I definitely got a little chewed up by this city, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t ask for it.

I didn’t leave Vancouver because I don’t love what I have there, I just wasn’t growing anymore. It was too easy. I needed adrenaline. I needed a high that wasn’t chemical. I did it for my career, for the story, for the hell of it.

Life was ready to teach me a lesson or forty, but also to show me how lucky I am.

I got off the plane and moved in with two charming fellas in The Village. It was only fitting. I had a lot of fun. Too much fun. Just enough fun.

I found a long lost sister in Sara, and we decided to live together. We moved everything by foot, by ourselves down 5 city blocks because we were too spent to get a u-haul or to ask for help. We lived without wifi for 2 weeks. Chaos can bring people really close together.

I dated enough to live out my Sex and The City fantasy. And then when I was least expecting it, I found a man that altered my view on love.

I became an undeniable cliche; a struggling writer working as a waitress, a sales girl, a barista. I learned to swallow my pride because being an adult is expensive. Only after that was I commissioned to write a feature script.  Funny how that works out.

I lost too many members of my family and a friend. I was put face to face with what death does to the living. I went through a heavy heartbreak.

I learned that nothing worth having comes easily, but you can laugh the whole time if you keep your perspective in check. Sometimes you have to grab a tight hold of it.  Sometimes it gets away from you, you can still get it back.

Not everything works out the way you want it to. Not everyone is who you think they are, or who you want them to be.  No one has your back more than you do. And that’s all okay.

I discovered that unwavering support from people you love doesn’t fade because of distance. I learned how to live without my mom’s cooking, or getting to hug her all the time. Free therapy from my sister came via text rather than from her couch. I learned to be without my perfect friends and family for the first time in my life. I also figured out that people love an excuse to get out of Vancouver. I was grateful to be that excuse.

No one from back home is replaceable, but they don’t need to be replaced. They hold their own place. People everywhere have soul. There’s love in any corner you look, as long as you’re willing to see it. Sometimes you have to do some weeding, but you’ll find it.

I learned how to be happy when everything seemed to be wrong, strong when I felt my weakest.

I learned that despite all the shit we have to go through on a daily basis, life is so beautiful it hurts.

And now I’m at the airport on my way home for the first time since I left, but I’m ready to do it all again in two weeks.

This was the hardest year of my life, it was for a lot of people around me. But I wouldn’t change a thing. A perfect storm. Even though the world seems like it’s falling apart, even though sometimes people are painfully confusing. Nothing matters except how we go on. You get up and show up.

Here’s to this beautiful, sad, difficult, learning year. To being torn down, beat up, getting up, standing tall, and doing it better. This time stronger, this time more focused, this time with all the lessons we’ve learned.

Enjoy your life. Enjoy being here today. Enjoy being around the people you’re surrounded by. Enjoy being you. This life is a blessing, it’s just that sometimes it comes disguised.

Merry Christmas x

You got the light, count it all joy.

Runaway Bridesmaid

When my sister told me she was getting married, I was overjoyed. When she asked me to be her maid of honour, I said yes without a doubt in my mind. I knew she wasn’t going to get married on the beach at sunset with daisies in her hair. It would be a go-big-or-go-home kind of wedding, complete with an itinerary, centrepieces, a seating chart, Pinterest inspirations and stress. Oh, there would be stress. I was promised this the day I was given my responsibilities. Okay, I told myself; I can deal with stress. I assumed my sister and her groom were over-exaggerating so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.

They weren’t.

The pressure of planning a perfect day is intense, to say the least. You need the perfect venue, you have to invite everyone you possibly can within a budget, hire the right photographer, videographer and DJ. You have to make sure the food and alcohol situation is as good as it can be. You have to find the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, the perfect veil, the perfect bouquet, the perfect tux. The perfect… Perfect. It all has to be perfect.

After learning first hand what wedding planning took, I decided against having one of my own. This one would be enough for me. I didn’t get it. Why do this to yourself? Why spend all this money and time just to freak out that the flower arrangements were wrong? It dawned on me that the entire idea of a wedding was a big conspiracy. I began theorizing while sitting at my desk for the third hour surfing Nordstrom’s like an Internet zombie, trying to find the right bridesmaids dresses. Suddenly I had this big epiphany that weddings are total and complete bullshit.

Two weeks before the day, my stress was visible: I found three gray hairs and started drinking espresso. I was constantly texting or calling someone to make sure everything for the bridal shower was flawless, that everything was running smoothly. Do everyone’s dresses fit? Are these cupcakes the right colour? There was a checklist going off in my head, and I wasn’t even the one doing the actual planning. Why were my sister and her fiancé, two otherwise very intelligent and level-headed people, doing this to themselves?

Finally. The bachelorette party was done, the bridal shower was done, and it was Friday, the eve of the wedding. Everything was ready to go — a year’s worth of planning complete and set up for the next day. And suddenly it happened. The stress left my body that night and was replaced by an excitement I’ve never felt before — an excitement that had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the love I have for my sister. The big day was here and the minute she put her dress on I started to cry. Just a day ago I had decided weddings were total bullshit, and now there were tears of joy running down my face.

This transformation carried on throughout the day. No matter what happened, it happened perfectly. Our limo driver almost ran someone over, we were late for the ceremony, my hair looked terrible — but everything was tranquil.  At the end of the night I stopped for a minute and saw an entire dance floor full of people, people who were all there to celebrate love, dancing together — happy, drunk and letting loose. I realized that this wedding had brought happiness to them all. On what other occasion would I witness this? The joy I felt that day was something I’ve never felt before in my life. Looking at the couple and seeing how in love they were on their night… all the stress, the gray hairs, the yelling — it was all worth it in the end.

I learned something valuable that day: never get caught up in superficialities, but also don’t deny yourself of what you want. This wedding had everything a traditional wedding has, including stress, but the magic in the room was louder than everything that went into making the night. You can plan and plan, and try your hardest to make your dream wedding come true, but never let that get in the way of the reason you’re there to begin with. TV shows and magazines have turned weddings into a business; planning a wedding can be enough to break a couple up or make them go broke. It’s important to remember why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for. Your wedding night should be everything you want it to be, but what you want should be by your standards, not by those of some reality show on TLC. Do it for you and your loved ones and nothing else. After all, there is no price-tag on true love; it will shine through no matter what.