Monday, September 27, 2010

Just my opinion*

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ~Bertrand Russell

Recently I find myself reading the newspaper and coming across stories that just don’t make any sense. Sometimes the stories are so ridiculous I would swear it’s out of a movie. I’ve sometimes thought of writing into a paper and letting them know what I think of their poor coverage of a story or their clearly biased point of view. But I never have. I worry that my opinion will offend people.

Even in everyday life I feel like I may be too opinionated and I wonder if I’m too confrontational, if I should let things go more often. Today I was watching “What Would You Do?”– a hidden camera show that uses actors to set up strange but realistic scenarios and watches how bystanders react. It’s a psychology experiment/reality show and as with many psychology experiments it’s appalling and sometimes shocking how people react to the scenarios (for other examples of such results see Bystander Effectand The Stanford Prison Experiment).

And it reaffirms my need to express my opinions. I share only in the hopes of sharing what little I may know and I am always open to dialogue and an exchange of opinions. I have never been one to shy away from a discussion and have often spent hours talking to friends about politics, religion, philosophy etc. I have many friends with different experiences and therefore different perspectives. Whether you agree with me or not, I enjoy hearing what others have to say. Acknowledging that I don’t know everything helps me keep an open mind so that I’m able to try and understand as many points of view as possible. I find it easy to play the Devil’s Advocate – in fact it’s hard for me not to. Some people may think it’s best to keep their opinion to themselves and avoid potential confrontation. Me, I would rather question things too often rather than not enough. And on those occasions when I have witnessed injustices like the ones set up by “What Would You Do?” I have often interfered where others may have just walked away. Some people think it’s best to mind your own business. I think sometimes it’s necessary not to. But, that’s just my opinion.

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Written September 4th, but I didn't get around to posting it.

Time is an Illusion

“When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.” ~John Wesley

Everything happens for a reason. It's such a simple thought but something that I didn't understand for the first 27 years or so of my life. Every moment, every thought, every breath, every person, every THING in my life has a reason for existing. There are times when I forget this and when things begin to get complicated again.

But I remind myself that the universe has a plan, God has a plan and I'm too small to see even a portion of that plan. I remind myself that the past doesn't exist - it's over, it's not anywhere except in my mind, in our memories. I remind myself that the future doesn't exist - at any given time there are infinite futures and until the present moment and all it's choices are over, no future is even guaranteed. So the only thing that exists is now. The moment that we are living is the only thing that actually exists.

I want to enjoy the moment. I want to BE IN the moment. So I remind myself to feel it, to breathe (in for 5, hold for 5, out for 5), to BE the moment. And even as I remind myself I see the other me watching - the me that is outside the moment, always thinking, always worrying, always planning, always, always, always.

I hope one day I won't have to remind myself. That I will learn to forget that anything other than now has ever been.

“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Making a list....

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C.S. Lewis

I forgot how much I love making lists. I used to make lists of everything: grocery list, back-to-school shopping list, what to pack for a trip, what to wear to a wedding, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, books to read, movies to watch, classes to take, people to call...if I list all the things that I've listed, the list would be endless! 

But one list I haven't made before (at least not properly) is a list of all my goals. So today I started. I sat down and just started writing out everything that I want to have at some point in my life. Not just the big ones like buy a house, but all of the small things that I want to do and haven't found the time to do yet. Things like finish reading Moby Dick - inspired by my sister's own list, I've decided to try and get past page 3.

It's actually quite fun to sit and list out everything that I want in my life. And in fact just creating this list is bringing the very things I want closer (basic quantum physics - if you put it out into the universe you will see it come to be in your life). And, of course, putting things in a list in writing helps me organize my thoughts. So I can focus on making the decisions and getting things done...once things are in a list all that's left to do is pick one and get to work.

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” ~Jimmy Dean

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some days require...Facebook?

I ran into my cousin yesterday at Afrofest (which incidentally was amazing - loved the Congolese singer!). My cousin is one of the few people I know who is not on Facebook - he has reasons. We can all think of reasons not to be on it, right? Privacy concerns not the least of them. But, I think it's too late for me. I find it hard not to log in at least once a day. Even if it's for a few minutes I have to get on and check my home's where I go to see what my friends are up to, catch up day's biggest news story or sports event (congratulations Spain!) and even make plans or find out what's going on in the city that night.

Today I realized another reason that I love Facebook. Of course I check up on friends, sometimes living vicarioulsy through their photo albums (we can't all be hanging out by the Eiffel Tower or drinking Fanta and gin on a beach in Barcelona or packing up and heading to Addis for 7 months!!!). But more importantly, even when I haven't seen a friend for a while or even talked to him/her for days, weeks, months, (and sometimes) years, social networking allows something more. There are people that I wish I could see more of, whose energy is so positive and pure that to be in their company enlifts my soul. And sometimes, as they say 'life gets in the way'. And so I venture online and do some "Facebook stalking"* and through status updates, profile picture updates, likes and wall posts (even if they're not to me) I can recapture the very essence of anyone I want. Whether it's my best friend whose infectious laugh always cheers me up, or my boo whose shenanigans and Americanisms keep me entertained, or my godmother and her funny Tigrenglish (Tigrinia/English) - whoever I happen to be needing in my life - it allows me to connect, to feel enlifted and peaceful as only a good friend can. :)

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” ~Kahlil Gibran


Friday, July 9, 2010

Some days require Courage

"Courage allows those that fail to try again." ~Arthur Tugman

I've always been a social person. As far back as I can remember and, according to my mom, even further back. When I was a child I had lots of friends and the only time I got in trouble at school was because I spent too much time helping my friends finish their work instead of doing my own :) I talked to everyone, passersby on the street, teachers, classmates, my parents, my siblings, anyone and everyone about any and many random things. And as I grew older I always had a large circle of friends and kept my evenings and weekends filled with meetings, clubs and social things. Whether it was sleepovers in elementary school, church groups and school clubs through high school or work, dancing and volunteering in university, I managed to keep myself busy. It wasn't until recently that I discovered the true worth of spending time alone.

Alone. It's a scary word. Being ALONE...truly alone. No distractions from myself. No one else to pay attention to. It's the only time that I can really think. Think about things that I don't want to admit to myself, or things that I don't know how to solve, questions that I can't answer, decisions that I'd rather not have to make.

But the truth is that to avoid the questions that scare me most is to avoid growing. To stop moving forward and spin on one spot. And the one thing I can't do is sit still. Literally and metaphorically. I can't sit in the same spot, doing the same thing over and over. I crave change even though (as I explained yesterday) I am also a bit scared of change. The problem is I get bored if I'm not being challenged so change is necessary. And sometimes I start to feel antsy. I can keep the feeling at bay for a while by doing things that break up my everyday routine. A vacation, an interesting course, a new project, something that I can look forward to, something to keep me occupied and distract me from the mundane.

Today is different. Today those things won't work. These decisions need to be made soon and in fact I'm looking forward to deciding. Once I make up my mind I don't usually change it. (I'm pretty stubborn). I guess that's why it takes me a bit of time to decide...and why I worry that if I'm left alone today I may have to make a change that I'm not ready for.

So I sit here alone. And I pray for courage. I have made my decision, the rest is out of my hands.

"God, grant us the serenity to accept things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference." ~Reinhold Niebuhr

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some days require Faith

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, And are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~Patrick Overton

Some days it feels like everything is falling apart. Every aspect of my life is either at a crossroads or about to change drastically. Change is one thing that makes me nervous. Not small things but big, HUGE life changes. Not knowing scares me. And on days like today it sometimes feel like the decisions are endless and the future is just a big question mark.

Being home sick in this stifling heat for almost a week, with no air conditioning and a fever makes for very long lazy days. There's not much to do since my headache makes it hard to read and there's only so much tv I can take in a day. So instead I think...which is to say my mind races in circles over the same things over and over again.

But, like usual, just as I start to worry that the worrying will never end something happens, something small, inconsequential in the grand scheme of things...perhaps a facebook message from a friend or a familiar face on the subway. And all of a sudden that small thing, that reminder, that sign from God? brings me back. Reminds me that things are never hopeless. 

So I realize what I have to do and I'm forced to do something drastic...something I wouldn't normally do...I call my mom. Yes, I call my mom and talk to her for over an hour, crying for part of the conversation, yelling for others (sorry Mama) until finally I am completely honest with her and she understands why I am having a nervous  breakdown. And through the arguing and bickering I calm down enough to realize that what she is telling me is right (like always). That some things are in my control, others aren't and I just need to remember the difference. When I hang up the phone I am still stressed out but I start to realize that I have to let some things go...that some things are impossible to foresee and everyone has to take a chance...some things have to be left with God.

"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see." ~Corrie ten Boom

Friday, June 18, 2010

I am not my hair

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war.” ~Haile Selassie I (Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War )

Last week my sister cut her hair. It may not sound like a big deal, but for some black women a decision to "go natural" is the almost the equivalent of a man deciding to have a vasectomy.  Deciding to cut off something precious that we have spent many hours and a LOT of money to nurture is not one to be made quickly. Like many black women I grew up relaxing my hair, straightening it, blowdrying it in curlers and anything else to get it as straight and shiny as possible. In fact, when I was really young I wanted blond hair like my German best friend (of course she wanted curly hair like I had...)! About 3 years ago I decided that I no longer wanted to spend so much time and money on my hair so I began thinking about cutting my hair. It was also my attempt to reclaim my identity - I wasn't interested in being defined by my hair, I wanted a hair cut that made me feel good! I cut my hair and have loved my natural curls ever since! It wasn't until I started looking up different natural hair styles that I realized that "going natural" was such a big deal for many black women. And it wasn't until then that I started to realize just how sheltered I had been growing up in multiculural Toronto.

I spent most of my childhood surrounded by white people. Most of the schools I went to were not very multicultural - there were 3 black girls in my entire grade in high school. But I was lucky. I rarely experienced outright racism or faced discrimination from my teachers and classmates. In fact, for most of my childhood I didn't really think about my race. I knew I was black, and that my parents are Ethiopian immigrants, but I never felt that my race affected me in one way or another. My race was neither a negative or a positive, it was just a part of life.

Recently there was quite a bit of controversy in Toronto about the opening of public Afrocentric elementary schools. Looking back at my education in the Ottawa and Toronto public school systems, I can see why people feel excluded and disconnected from the school curriculum. There was very little African-American or world history in my schools other than the cursory unit on Ancient Egypt or Greek Mythology. In fact the best source of African-American history in my childhood was 'The Cosby Show'. Various episodes covered topics such as the Million Man march, the history of Jazz and Black colleges in the US. The Cosby Show presented a side of African-American history that was rarely seen elsewhere. They promoted artists like Dizzy Gilespie and Michael Jackson, while discussing controversial topics like Apartheid in South Africa and American civil rights, and they did it in such an entertaining, hilarious way that you didn't realize that you were learning so much! In a city like Toronto, where every culture and race is represented, the school curriculum needs to represent the diversity of the students in the classrooms. It's not enough to be aware of and sensitive to each others differences. Every child needs to be proud of their history because where we are from helps to define where we are headed.

I hope that one day we will have found a way to incorporate different histories and cultures into the public school curriculum making it unnecessary to have separate Afrocentric schools. Only through education and awareness will children start to appreciate the things that make them unique, whether it is their hair, their skin, or their accent. I look forward to a day when kids can enjoy learning about each other's cultures and where our differences are celebrated. I look forward to the day when other women will embrace their uniqueness and the beauty that is African-American hair!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Past, present, future...

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” ~Wayne Dyer

“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” ~Jan Glidewell quotes

Have you ever gotten caught up in the past? Not like a flashback, but a moment (however long) where you thought about the past and the emotions of the past felt as real now as they had then?

Yesterday, I was out with 2 of my closest friends celebrating my friend's birthday (Happy Birthday K!). Since we have known each other for more than half our lives, and had been drinking martinis, it's no surprise that we began reminiscing, talking about our teenage years, university days and everything since. Funny memories, sad memories, happy memories...16 years of memories.

I don't have a very good memory. I have friends with photographic memories. That's not me. I remember major events and people, but I don't remember details. This is why I take lots of pictures! Yet, though I don't have a great memory, I do think about the past a lot. Sometimes I get caught up thinking about things that have happened or choices I've made that I (at one point or another) have wanted to undo. There are a few things in particular that I tended to dwell on. Choices made that forever altered my reality...Toronto or Ottawa? U of T or Waterloo? Work or travel? Travel or work? Study or write? Right or left? Yes or no? I have sat for hours thinking about each detail, wishing I could go back, even pleading with God for just one do-over LOL

But, as we sat talking yesterday with 2 of my closest friends and our significant others, I realized just how far we truly have come, how much we've changed, how quickly we've grown. And with this realization came another thought. That it was the choices we made then, in high school, in the past that had gotten us this far. That even though there are things that we sometimes wish we could undo, every moment of our lives is a life-altering decision. There are no small decisions. Everything happens for a higher reason beyond our comprehension. Every thing in this universe is connected. How arrogant to think that a decision I make could have a "life-altering" decision. There are no big decisions. Life will happen the way it is meant to and ultimately it's up to me to remember the good times and make do with the rest. In spite of life's challenges and heartache there are blessings to off-set each. Blessings come in many forms...every day is a blessing. And there's no need for do-overs :)

“What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.” ~Anonymous

Friday, April 30, 2010

“May the dreams of your past be the reality of your future." ~Anonymous

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

I had a dream last night. One of those dreams that are so real that you wake up disoriented, trying to remember where you were and what you were doing, so real that for a second you feel like the dream was real and the real world is just a dream.

I dreamt that I went back in time and met myself as a child - very young, old enough to talk but too young to know it was strange to meet your future self. She (I?) was walking around in the dark, looking for something or someone, I'm not sure...I didn't ask. I knew that this was my chance to tell her all of the things I wish I had known when I was her age, the things that could have helped me through the hard times.

My first instinct was to tell her all of the things about the world that are wrong. I wanted to warn her about how dangerous the world really is. About rainy days and dark nights. I thought of telling her about strangers with candy, mean classmates and bullies, people with hidden agendas, of broken hearts and broken promises. I considered warning her about things I knew she would go through - of the impending divorce, the moves, the new schools, leaving behind friends, leaving behind family, growing up and growing apart of the accident that would cause her to lose 3 of her teeth leaving her with a fear and dislike of dentists, of the haircut that would leave her looking like a boy and would cause the kids at school to make fun of her, of hiding in the library to avoid the bullies, of people who would hurt her, people she would hurt and everything in between. I wanted to warn her that her heart would be broken many times - not only by boys but also by friends, and in fact that the friends would hurt her more than any boy ever could. I thought of telling her about the dangers that lurk around every unknown corner and in every dark room - even her own.  I thought about telling her all of this, I considered it and the words almost came pouring out of my mouth.

But as I prepared to tell her these things I thought about what I was about to do. And I realized that if I told her all of these things she would spend every waking moment worried and scared, expecting disappointment and heartache and sadness and anger, fearful and hurt, terrified of everything and everyone. And I knew then what I had to do.

I pulled her close to me and wrapped my arms around her. I looked her in the eyes. I smiled. And I started talking. I told her the things that I wish I had known when I was her age. Things that even now I sometimes forgot. I told her about the wonder and beauty of life. I told her about jumping in puddles and rainbows, about days at the beach and nights by the campfire. I told her about Almighty God watching over her and keeping her safe. I told her about teachers who would inspire her, challenge her and push her to work her hardest. I told her about friends who would stand by her and hold her hand when she was afraid. I told her about books that she would read that would open her eyes to worlds beyond imagination. I told her about days spent outside playing with her little brother and baby sister. About bike rides and walks in the valley. Of walking for hours and singing for days. Of dancing at clubs and dancing on stage. I told her about first love and first kisses. And of second love and second chances. I told her about all of the good times she would have growing up - all of the fun and laughter, the happiness and joy, the adventures and scavenger hunts that would fill most of her days. I told her about the many people who love her and who she loves. I told her about her mother, her father, her uncle, her brother and sister, her baby twin. I told her about all of the wonderful friends she would have throughout her life, of all the wise people she would meet who would guide her and teach her to be a better, stronger, kinder person. I told her how blessed she is and would be all the days of her life. And when I looked down she (I?) had fallen asleep in my arms, a smile on her face, comforted by dreams of family and friends and the happy days ahead.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another day, another lesson...

“Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” ~Winston Churchill

Lessons are everywhere...we just have to see them.

Last night, like most other nights, my BF and I had a late night craving for a French Vanilla. I am fortunate to live in an area where everything you want is available within a few blocks...including a Tim Hortons at the bottom of my building (right next to my gym - but for some reason I rarely have late night cravings for a run on the treadmill)!

Now when I say "most other nights" I'm not exaggerating. We stop by this Timmies about 5-6 times a week, always in the evening. I have had a few "unpleasant encounters" with the day staff and actually boycotted this location for a while...before realizing the nearest Iced Cap fix is a subway station away!

Well the evening staff know us well and we always stop to chat. We have never had a problem with them. Until yesterday. 

We waited in line for a bit and then stepped up to give our order. The conversation went as follows:

Lady serving us (not a regular evening staff member): "Next!"
BF: "Hi, how are you tonight?"
Lady: "What's your order? There's a line."

Now, yes there was a line of people behind us...about 3 people were waiting. But not one of them seemed like they were about to drop dead of starvation or at the very least she could have offered us a perfunctory "Fine."...but instead she decides to give us ATTITUDE?!?! I was livid and ready to give this woman a piece of mind about what customer service means and the fact that we were paying customers just like everyone else in line, and maybe if she was a bit friendlier with her customers people wouldn't be so frustrated at having to wait in line and that it is her JOB to serve us and ensure that our experience is a pleasant one! I worked in customer service for years and would never DARE to talk to a customer like that! I know everyone has bad days and it's hard to be pleasant all the time...but I also know that it's part of the job and if you can't handle it it's time to brush up the resume and find a job somewhere in a cave where you don't have to interact with other human beings. I would have finished up with a request to speak to the manager and told her that she had better straighten up her act or I would see to it that she never worked in this city again! And then I would have placed my order, paid my money, had my French Vanilla and been too angry to enjoy it.

But instead this is what happened:

Lady serving us: "Next!"
BF: "Hi, how are you tonight?"
Lady: "What's your order? There's a line."
BF (taking his time): "Hm. I would like to order from that lady instead." (Turns away and goes to the other woman working).

BF: "Hi, how are you tonight?"
2nd Lady: "I'm good! How are you guys? Your hair looks different today!"
BF: "You like?"
2nd Lady: "Yes, it's nice! (turns to a 3rd woman) Do you like his hair like this?"

We chatted briefly, placed our order and left with smiles on our faces. The 2 women who served us also had smiles when we left and even the first woman tried (unsuccessfully) to get in on our conversation when she saw us all laughing.

It wasn't until we left that I realized what had just happened. BF had quickly avoided a bad situation without getting angry or worked up. The rude woman was left feeling ashamed and slightly stupid while everyone else was able to go on enjoying their day! Most importantly I was able to enjoy my French Vanilla without any anger or frustration getting in the way.

Lesson learned: Even though many people in customer service don't seem to understand that part of their job is to ensure the customer leaves smiling, maybe there are better ways to deal with rude service people then to retaliate with my own dose of rude. So the next time I am in a store or restaurant (or even on the TTC) and am faced with terrible customer-service I won't yell or lecture or even ask for the manager. I will smile...and just walk away knowing that karma's a b#&%* so I don't have to be!

Friday, April 23, 2010

cum hoc ergo propter hoc

fal·la·cy   /ˈfæləsi/

1.a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.: That the world is flat was at one time a popular fallacy.
2.a misleading or unsound argument.
3.deceptive, misleading, or false nature; erroneousness.
4.Logic. any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound.
5.Obsolete. deception.

Most of the things I learned in high school seemed like a waste of time and many have long-since disappeared from my overloaded mind. Ask me to name the elements on the periodic table or how to calculate derivatives or what ecozones Canada is made up of and you will get a blank stare every time! But one topic I remember, because even as a 16 year-old I saw how applicable it was to everyday life. The day our English teacher told us we would be discussing fallacies and logic I was probably just as confused as the rest of the class. But, once I realized that learning this would allow me to poke holes in other people's arguments thereby helping me WIN every argument I was hooked! Ever since high school I have enjoyed pointing out to people -usually right in the middle of a heated discussion- the fundamental logical flaws on which the premise of their argument is based.
Well imagine my excitement and joy when I opened the paper yesterday and read an article about an Iranian cleric who has boldy claimed that the cause of earthquakes is "women who do not dress modestly". I am used to religious fanatics (among others) who find ways to blame the ills of society on women- such as myself- who for some (CRAZY) reason think that we have the same rights as our male counterparts. But this is new. Now, not only is it our fault that men cheat but this in turn leads to natural disasters!?!
I was excited to rip this argument to shreds...just because two things happen simultaneously it doesn't mean one of those things caused the other (cum hoc ergo propter hoc). But, while causality had not been established I realized that my argument was illogical too. Just because no one has shown that women dressing provocatively causes earthquakes doesn't mean it's not true. How could I argue this point when nothing had ever been done to prove that women dressing provocatively DOES NOT cause earthquakes?!?
Luckily, US student Jennifer McCreight must have thought the same thing. Jennifer (jokingly) challenged the cleric's statement and declared that on Monday April 26th she would "wear the most cleavage-showing shirt" she owns and has asked women around the world to join her in testing this new theory. On her blog Jennifer mentions that this started as a joke and is not to be some sort of feminist demonstration. Well, I (and over 30, 000 other women who have signed up via facebook and twitter) will be joining Jennifer by dressing "immodestly" on Monday. I plan to look as immodest as possible :)
Feminist demonstartion or not, on Monday we will do our best to prove that women are not to blame for earthquakes. And hey, if the cleric IS right all that immodesty will surely lead to the early demise of our planet...and we might as well look our best for the end of the world, right?
Check out "Boobquake" for details :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Time to get moving (literally)

Sometimes I'm very impulsive. Not often. And not usually recklessly. But sometimes I have a decision to make and knowing that I tend to overanalyze things I just decide without thinking things through completely.

Yesterday I impulsively agreed to run the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. So not only do I have to begin training for my longest run ever, but I have to do it outside. It's for a great cause and having lost an aunt to breast cancer 2 years ago, I thought this would be a nice way to honour her. But...I agreed to run 5K!

And today it hit me that not only have I never run 5K in my life, but I haven't run outside since those horrible high school gym classes when they forced us to run up the hill behind my school and I would try to get out of it by claiming to have menstrual cramps (to which the teacher responded that running is good for cramps. Damn.). I stopped taking phys. ed. as soon as it became optional - grade 11, I think.

It's not that I don't like working out. I go to the gym every once in a while (not as consistently as I would like, but a couple times a week...unless of course other things come up LOL). But I DO NOT like to run. I especially don't like to run outside where the weather is unpredictable. When I run outside I have trouble breathing and I get stomach cramps every 10 seconds or so. Which is why I don't run.

I really should have thought this out better.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I am grateful for so many things



1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful: I am grateful to you for your help.
2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.
3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing: a grateful breeze.

I am grateful for so many things in my life. I am grateful for the wonderful family that I was blessed with, the amazing friends that I have been lucky to meet and connect with through the years, and the beautiful man that I was fortunate enough to meet and fall in love with. I am grateful for the many opportunities that have led me to this point in my life. I am grateful for a job that not only pays the bills but also is a stepping stone to a great career. I am grateful for my apartment, my sanctuary from the world, my home and the one place that I feel most at ease. I am grateful for my healthy, strong body and my healthy, strong mind. I am grateful that I live in a place where I am treated with respect and dignity, and where I have the right to make my own decisions about my life.

The only thing is….sometimes I want more. Sometimes I feel restless and I think of something that is missing and I want it. Sometimes I have an overwhelming desire to travel, to see the rest of the world. Those times it gets to me that I don’t have the money to just pick up and take off, to go on an adventure. But then, I remember all the things that I dislike about travelling, I remember all the places I’ve been that didn’t even compare to my city and I remember that in many of those places there are people who have never even been on a plane. And then I’m grateful that I ever had the chance to travel at all.

Sometimes I wish I had a job that was more exciting or that paid better. But then, I remember that a lot of people have to work overtime for no pay, some people get paid much less than I do and some people commute for hours to get to a job that they hate. And then I’m grateful for a job that is so flexible, so close to home and that pays so well.

Sometimes I wish I was thinner, or that my thighs were smaller. But then, I remember that some people are thin because they have no food, some people do not have both of their legs and some people would kill for my figure. And then I’m grateful for all the working parts of my body and all the parts that I do like (my eyes, my waist, my boobs).

Sometimes I wish I had a man who would shower me with compliments, cover me in kisses and tell me every day how much he wants to be with me. But then, I remember that some people do not have any one, some people have someone who treats them terribly but they can’t leave and some people have had their perfect love and lost them. And then I’m grateful for the intelligent, brilliant man that I have ended up with and for his patience and understanding, for the respect and consideration he shows me, for all of the ways he can make me laugh when I’m miserable, for the time he takes to try and understand the confusing workings of my mind, for the days that I have been given with him and for the many more that I hope will come.

I am grateful for so many things in my life...but most of all I am grateful for life, the chance to live and learn, to make mistakes, to right my wrongs and to appreciate all of the wonderful things and people with which God has blessed me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Random thoughts from the mind of Eden

Having completely succumbed to my social networking addictions (yes, I now spend more time talking to my friends on Facebook than actually TALKING to my friends), I thought it was time to begin my own blog. Committment is scary but I hereby commit myself to this blog and to you, the reader. I promise to do my best to keep this updated on a somewhat-consistent basis and to inundate you with all the random thoughts that flitter through my head! I'm excited to begin this journey and thank you for coming along for the ride :)