All posts by shadibozorg

Graced in a Bad Condition

Being a woman, you are faced with a constant barrage of obstacles that you have to process and deal with throughout your life. From growing pains, to being sexually harassed or assaulted, being constrained by sexism, or just the general hurdles of life; a woman’s life is never a simple one.

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Becoming buried in life’s stresses happens before you realize it. I found out the hard way that your main priority must always be your health. Before other people, before work, before money, before achieving your dreams, before absolutely everything else. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you aren’t really surviving.

Last year I discovered I had multiple autoimmune issues, and a number of complications came up because of it. One of them was losing my hair to alopecia. It was until my hair fell out in clumps that it hit me – I had put myself on the back burner for too long and my body was screaming for help. I wasn’t okay, and it unravelled from there.

I went to the doctor, then multiple doctors, I took tests, and the bad news was overwhelming. I spent four months taking medications that made me uncontrollably gain weight, and still didn’t cure me. I often felt depressed and out of control. My self confidence wavered day to day, and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to get better and be normal again. I just wanted to feel like myself. With the love of my partner, family and friends I got through my darker days, but I knew I would never be complete until I had myself back. The connection that I had just recently in life built with myself was being tested. I felt isolated from myself.

Simultaneously,  I discovered a deeper meaning and appreciation of existing and of my loved ones. I felt lost, but I was still somehow certain I would find my way again. Good people save lives, and teach you how to save yourself. For that, I have to be grateful.

On Monday I go in for a procedure that will hopefully put an end to a year’s worth of suffering. I’m nervous as hell, but I’m also counting my blessings – for my loved ones, and to live in Canada and receive free health care, to be able to trust my doctors.

Unlike the beginning of last year, this year I reassure myself without fear. My fear has been replaced with determination that I will never put myself on the back burner again. I will always find my way to health, until it kills me. I will take all the time I need to mend my connection with myself, and remain grateful for the power love has.

I have learned this lesson for the rest of my life: you cannot take your body for granted. You cannot ignore your signs. You deserve to be taken care of, and you deserve to know what’s going on.  People will carry you, but you are the only person that can save you. There’s always a fight in you. As long as you’re here, you are here.

It’s okay to not be okay – to admit that to yourself and to others. It’s okay to get help, and it’s vital you help yourself. Only then can every step be forward.  

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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 my soulmate, 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 drink or a drug 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.

Saving The Disposable

I’ve had six months of writer’s block. I put the voice inside my head on mute.

It’s a universal truth that everything you think you know is up for debate, but the debates I’ve been encountering lately have been consistently less enlightening and more segregating. Social media justice is more of a one-up contest than it is an attempt to heal the injustices we face in real life. We get lost in our fight for betterment. We lose sight of what we’re actually supposed to be doing. We lose our battles while we’re having petty arguments in comment sections with each other.

Sometimes I forget what the point of doing this is.

Will anyone ever change anyone’s mind?

Lately, I haven’t been willing to sit in front of this screen and vent. Lately, this screen has been more of a dejected place than it has the outlet it once was. I used to love it here. This place used to be where I figured it out. Now, this place is where I come to realize I’m just as lost as the rest of the world.

I feel burdened when I come here. I feel like I need to get away from this place in order to keep my sanity in tact. So I do. I left this place a blank page for six months because I was too disillusioned to look at it.

I’ve spent six months questioning my passion in life. When I was a little girl I wanted to save the world. I used to speak up when no one else would. I used to get in trouble or made fun of for having an outspoken opinion. I didn’t care. I knew it was what I was meant to do. I knew if I kept going someone out there would learn how to be a better person. I was self-righteous. I thought I knew better. Now, I don’t know that I actually know anything. I look outside instead, but something is still missing.

There are times when I stop speaking during a conversation because I’m not sure if what I’m about to say is acceptable. I worry that I might cross a line, and I worry that the line I’m crossing won’t be met with guidance on the other side, but solely judgement.

Isn’t it ironic that in our fight to defend everyone, people become so disposable?

I wanted to see myself as just human, but I’m an immigrant woman of colour. My label defines my experience and therefore defines what I’m allowed to feel or know. What I can say is reliant on this label. Do I have the right titles to back up my passion for this world?

This isn’t new. My label has always defined how people experience me. My skin makes everyone assume my religion. My face forces me off the sidewalk so a group of older white people can push by.  My name makes employers throw out my resume.

My words were supposed to be what saved me. Yet, words are fleeting. They come and they go, and these words that used to free me have become a prison of doubt.

I was taught not to give up, and so even though it feels like salt on the wound, I can say this. I fill a blank page with desolation.

In spite of that, today, I felt a flicker of hope. I came here despite my reluctance. Maybe I’ll find love here again. Seasons change, wind blows, I grow and so will everything else.