Planning

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Life happens while you’re busy making plans.

Hey,

Sometimes I get the feeling that you feel bad about taking me away from some of the things I enjoy doing (the things which make me, me).

You shouldn’t. You didn’t disrupt any of this.

My plan when relocating from Toronto was to leave and never return, or at least not return any time soon. I was going to head to the island and spend the summer settling in. My initial thoughts were to rent a small bachelor’s apartment and throw a mattress on the floor, get a motorcycle and sign up for a gym. I was then going to spend my weekends at the Library reading and writing, and that’s about it. Sounds more like self-imposed exile the more I think about it, but really I just wanted to give myself some space to acclimatize to the new environment and focus on some writing before deciding on what to do next.

Once I’d reached the end of summer I was going to buy some new camera equipment and start photography again – there are lots of places I used to play in as a kid which would make great shots – I have a complete shot list in my head for when I’m ready to pick this up.

I also wanted to do some travelling after the summer and when my probation period was over. Berlin intrigues me for some reason – perhaps its the growing artist community, and there is also something about the city which appeals to my photography side – I think it would be wonderful to just roam Berlin taking photos of city life (just like I used to do in Toronto). The other place which interests me is Scotland, Edinburgh in particular. It’s The Motherland which I haven’t visited since I was 11 years old to spend time with my Grandparents and I feel the need to see it again.

But things changed.

Sourcing a new bachelor’s apartment from TO to coincide with my arrival date was a bit more challenging than expected. The other problem was that I had become accustomed to the lifestyle in Yorkville and was having a hard time right sizing my expectations. Looking at these really basic apartments was less than appealing, so when my tenant at SIX decided to let the lease lapse around the same time I was due to relocate, I decided that it would be easier to just move into the place and if I decided to source a new (smaller) place later, I could do that while on the island. I would then rent out the unit at SIX.

Life happens while you’re busy making plans.

We met and things progressed. My plans have shifted slightly, but not that much. I knew that it was going to take some time for me to settle back into island life, so thought that the first month was going to be a write off. But you were here for that, you were here for me, and I can’t thank you enough. I could have made the transition on my own, but it was a hell of a lot easier with you, and I really appreciated the support you gave me through the transition.

I love you with all my heart for doing that for me.

There have been times when I’ve missed the alone time I used to have for daydreaming and writing. But these have been few and far between. I’ve just been enjoying spending time with you more than I have enjoyed being alone. This will change. I feel the pull to do something creative, to do some writing, which is cathartic for me. I find that it helps to process my thoughts which in turn centres me.

That’s the point that I was trying to articulate on Saturday night; obviously I did a pretty poor job of that. As time goes on and we progress, I may need to isolate myself for a few hours at a time so I can do this.

But I’ll always come back to you.

From the beginning you’ve been supportive of me doing things like this and I love you for it. And I think that’s really the point of this long soliloquy, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for all of the support you’ve given me. It shows me how much you care, and that really means the world to me.

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Random Thoughts

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15 June 2019

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

All of my previous relationships were fast starts – actually they were immediate starts. A first date and then straight to the relationship. Fast forward a few weeks and I was regretting the fast start, regretting that I hadn’t taken the time to get to know her first before deciding if I really wanted to be in a relationship. At that moment I remember feeling trapped and thinking that maybe I should just make the best of it because staying was the easy choice and I wasn’t sure if I’d meet someone else who was able to handle me and my idiosyncrasies (which is a silly thought in hindsight). Looking back I’m not sure I actually even loved them, I think I just got used to them being in my personal space.

This time it’s a little different. It wasn’t immediate, but it did ramp up quickly into something that’s quite intense. Way more intense than past relationships. I honestly can’t tell if that’s a good or bad thing. Trying to gauge if this intensity is sustainable has been exhausting and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m focusing on the wrong thing. There is no doubt in my mind that I do love her, and that’s different from the past where I was unsure about my feelings. I also don’t feel trapped like I have in the past – we started slowly enough so I was able to get to know her (we were able to get to know each other) before this evolved into what it has become. And having her in my personal space has been very easy, much easier than in the past.

(I don’t need to overthink this – I think my energy is best spent focusing on being present in the moments we are together rather than just analyzing every little thing.)

Arrangement vs Relationship.

This evolved in such an unexpected way; I was expecting this to just be a few casual dates and then I would leave Toronto, never to return. But life happened while I was busy making plans. This grew way past our original intentions; it became something which is much more fulfilling and meaningful. To the point that when we refer to it as an arrangement it cheapens the experience and makes it less than what it’s become, and that makes me uncomfortable. It’s more than that now.

Anxiety.

This past weekend something changed for me. The week we spent together made me realise that I have something to lose – someone that I cherish dearly. As a kid I learned how to detach myself emotionally from most people and places relatively easily so that I couldn’t get hurt, and that’s a self preservation technique I’ve used as an adult, but I’m realizing that I won’t be able to do that this time around. I no longer have access to the defense mechanism I’ve used in the past to protect myself and that’s left me feeling vulnerable, exposed.

This manifested itself in an anxiety attack on Tuesday evening, which lasted into Wednesday. I think there is another aspect to this which is making me uncomfortable, but I’m not sure what it is or how to articulate it. In the meantime, I want to share these feelings with her. I don’t want to suffer in silence because that will lead to resentment. I’m mildly concerned that I’ll come across as being needy or insecure, but we’ve shared so much with each other that I don’t feel the need to hold back with this. I also don’t completely understand it because she has always been very good at letting me know how she feels about me and about this, so why the anxiety?

I know the right approach here – admit that I’m feeling vulnerable and trust (trust her) that everything is going to be okay.

Trust.

And I think that is the real issue here: trust. There is something which happens to a kid when a parent breaks that trust (bond) with a child which carries into adulthood. The kid learns that people are not to be trusted. This kind of behaviour – not trusting people as a way to protect myself – prevents me from letting people get close and will stand in the way of me having a healthy relationship. Logically I know this. Putting it into practice – learning to trust again and letting people get close to me – being self aware enough to know when I am doing it and to cultivate new behaviours is much more challenging.

( I need to dig out the notes from one of the sessions with my therapist, I know I’ve covered this before.)

Writing.

That’s one of the things that I’ve really enjoyed about journaling on this blog: it’s a place where I can be completely honest, a place to explore thoughts and feelings without judgement. She has always given that to me; she’s always allowed me to be fully honest and then accepted me unconditionally. She has given me something that I don’t get from this journal, and that’s unconditional acceptance.

Which brings me to the question: She accepts me unconditionally, but do I accept myself in the same way?

 

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Monday Morning

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Status: tired. Was up at 3am, but forced myself to stay in bed until 5am. Not sure why I was up so early. Other than that, I feel good given the lack of sleep. Suspect that I will fade down the stretch, but that’s to be expected.

Anxiety levels: High. Last week my production was not as high as I would have liked. I mean, I’m still in the honeymoon period, but no need to tear the arse out of it. Need to be more productive this week. Feel like I need to be a bit more visible. That should alleviate the anxiety a little. That and meditation.

Writing.

Suspect that if I want to continue on with this then I’ll need to get up early to devote an hour to it first thing in the morning, and then carve out some space on the weekends. I’m too tired late at night – after work and the gym – to be able to focus effectively. Goal is still three blog posts per week, but I may have to sacrifice this amount so that I can focus on the short stories.

I’m reverting to an old format this morning because it is easier; I only have enough mental energy for word vomit this morning. Yesterday’s post took time (and I still wasn’t completely happy with it, I think it would have been better to let it sit for a day or two and then revisit it for editing); thinking through my particular pathology when it comes to relationships and how this one is different took quite a bit out of me, and I didn’t even put everything into the post that I wanted to include or sufficiently expand on the points I made. Still, glad that I did it (finally). It’s nice to know (it’s nice that she knows) how I feel about this relationship.

THC Edibles

Entered my cousin’s kitchen on Sunday and was greeted by the six month old Great Dane puppy Odin, and also a very familiar smell from days long past. Apparently he has taken to medical marijuana as a sleep aid and because he doesn’t smoke, or have any intention of smoking (it), he has processed it into a kind of butter which he spreads on a rice cake before going to sleep.

That was unexpected to say the least. I don’t know that this is a great idea because it is still very illegal here, and I’m also aware that it prevents REM sleep which you need for proper brain function. In any case, it’s his call and not something I really want to participate in.

I can honestly say that this hasn’t been a great Monday. Lack of sleep did me in; it’s left me feeling very unfocused, to the point that I’m splitting my attention across multiple priorities and doing a poor job at all of them. Suspect it’s time to call it a day and move onto the gym and such………

 

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Sunday (Part Two)

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Hey,

I’m glad you were here with me to help settle in after the move.

I could have done it on my own; I’ve done much more challenging things on my own. Certainly I’ve become very self reliant and typically don’t allow people to help, preferring to do things myself, which is the result of trust issues, for sure. I had to fend for myself as a kid, and that stuck; I basically learned not to rely on other people. And as a result my approach has always been: why trust someone to be reliable and then experience the pain of disappointment when they let you down?

I’ll be honest with you. I avoid relying on people because if they let me down then it feels like rejection to me, and that cuts like a knife right through the center of my being. It takes me right back to that dark time in my childhood when I was feeling abandoned, alone and scared. I avoid relying on people because I never want to feel like that again.

But there you were, spontaneously flying here on Thursday (after I’d only been here for three days) so that we could be together. I didn’t need anyone to take care of me, I still don’t, but you showed up. You were there for me. You were showing me that you are reliable and that I can trust you to be there when I need you. You gave me something which I haven’t had a lot of over the years, something I really needed as a kid, and that is someone I can rely on.

I couldn’t have loved you more in that moment.

I never feel alone when I am by myself. I sometimes feel alone when I am with people. I have felt alone in relationships. Maybe that’s partly my fault; choosing the wrong person to be with, being with someone I can’t (or won’t) open up to, being with someone I don’t fully trust, being with someone who helps me recreate a facsimile of my childhood – I mean that really seems to be a common theme throughout my life. Creating an environment for myself where I feel isolated and abandoned.

I’m choosing to be with women who are unavailable, who will help me create that kind of environment. I’m recreating the relationship dynamic that I had with my parents as a child. I can’t tell you how empty that makes me feel when I’m in those kinds of relationships. It’s perverse that I do that to myself; subconsciously seeking out something that’s going to hurt me.

I’ve never felt that with you. You’ve always been available and present. You’ve always been so open and honest with me. You’ve always been really kind and patient. You listen to me. You dried my tears and didn’t judge me when I was vulnerable. You’re the only person I’ve trusted enough to be vulnerable around. You’ve been understanding with my funny little idiosyncrasies. You’ve given me space when I needed it, and held me close when I needed that too.

You’ve given me unconditional love.

I’ve never really felt like I was worthy of that kind of love. I’ve always tried to earn it by attempting to be perfect and focusing intensely on the other person’s needs. I was raised to believe that love is conditional. But, you’ve shown me otherwise. I’m not afraid to be myself around you. I’ve shown you more of my true self than I’ve shown anyone else, and I don’t feel ashamed about doing that. You’ve accepted me as I am and shown me that I am worthy of being loved. That I deserve more than I was accepting (in past relationships).

I feel fortunate and grateful that we met. You’ve given me so much that saying the words ‘I Love You’ pale in comparison. All I can do is show you how much you mean to me, how much this means to me, by giving you the love and respect you deserve.

I love you with all my heart, M.

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May 12th and Letters from M

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Hey,

It just made sense to me to sandwich this letter in between these two posts because I’ll be writing a response to it, of sorts.

I love this letter and read it often. I think you’re a better writer than me; its honest and from the heart, as all good writing should be……..

I love you.

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Dear A, 

We accept the love we think we deserve. 

I was mulling over our conversations from this past weekend and decided to do a little reflecting on the plane. I have also decided to share my thoughts with you, it’s nothing I haven’t already said, but only seems fair now that I’ve infiltrated your blog. 

I am sure you are busy getting ready for work tomorrow. So no need to read it now. I have to look up my phone plan and see if I can text you for free, I believe I can. In the meantime, I am going to go home and find some food on the way. It’s raining and dark here, quite the contrast to this weekend. 

Xo

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The other day you asked me how my ex made me feel, and I struggled to answer. Which made me realize, that I need to do a lot more reflecting on how you make me feel, while I’m feeling it. The truth is, there might never be another person that makes me feel the way you do. In three words, I feel whole. 

I feel like all of me, the good, the bad, the ugly, is out in the open for you to feel the weight of, and beneath it you were not crushed. Instead, it was as if my truth were as light as a feather, something you could turn over in your hands and admire. It is because of this, that when I am with you, I don’t feel like you are trying to complete me, or fix me. As a matter of fact, I don’t feel broken at all. I feel accepted. Which is something I have never felt before because I have never told anyone everything about me. I fear being vulnerable as much as you do, so I date people who will never leave me, who don’t challenge me, who don’t know me. I know there is always some part of me that these people cannot accept, so I shelter them from it, I shelter myself from the possible rejection. I have spent my life learning to accept myself, assuming I was the only one who could accept everything about me. I do have one friend, who I can tell anything to, and who I have shared just about everything I have shared with you. However, she is a friend, not a lover, and at times she still meets with me judgement. You on the other hand, have accepted everything up until now, including an area of my life that I never knew a lover could accept. This makes me feel like I can have what I want without judgement, guilt, or suffering. And this makes me feel loved. When someone can accept something so complex and difficult, and it doesn’t change their opinion about the person, that is love. 

I had talked to my counselor about having a relationship in the future which wouldn’t follow the path of my previous relationships. I was not, and am still not sure what I am looking for, but I find it curious that the universe has decided that now is the time for me to start figuring it out. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I believe in fate. Not that we are all on predetermined paths that we can’t change, but that life will give us well timed lessons along the way. You must be a well timed lesson. I could have been born years later. I could have dated my boyfriend for another two months. You could have left Toronto one month earlier. I could have met you once and moved on. You could have met me once and moved on. But none of these things happened. Instead, a million big and little things had to happen over the span of our lives to put us where we are now. I refuse to believe this is a coincidence. I also know this is only the beginning, and that you have many more things to teach me, but what I have learned up until now is that someone can love me, all of me, and that I don’t need to give up on things I want in order to receive love. If we parted ways today, this would be a lesson I would never forget. 

Finally, you make me feel passion. I believe this came out the other night when we fought. I doubt it will be the last time, but maybe we are meant to challenge one another. We might not be end game, but maybe we have been stuck in our patterns so long that we needed someone to help us see that. I am lucky the person who has helped me see this is you. And maybe as time goes on we will help each other create new patterns, better patterns. 

So, the date is May 12th, and this is how you make me feel right now. 

I love you. 

M.

 

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Street Photography

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My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Status: grotty. awake at 3:30am. couldn’t get back to sleep, so got up around 4:30am. sitting here in a pool of fever induced clammy sweat agonising over photos and accompanying captions. Should I just take the day off so I can rest up and get better? Yes. Am I actually going to do that? Nope. I have stuff to do; actually I have a full day and want to squeeze in some writing and photo editing on top of that. I have zero interest in sitting around feeling ill; I’d rather just prop myself up with some aspirin and then get on with It.

Photography.

I’ve had a few good days; actually I was able to take pictures every day over the weekend – Friday to Sunday. Now spending time on the pictures from the 31st, with the 5th, 6th and 7th to follow. Cognisant that time is growing short and I need to consider timing around disposing of the entry level kit before I leave; prefer not to take it back with me, but will keep that option open as a last resort.

The models that I booked for this week have flaked on me, and I think I’ve lost interest in ticking that box. May work on organising that for next week, but I think I’ll be okay with it if I can’t get it done before I leave. I’ll have another bite at that particular apple at some point in the future, but right now I’m enjoying the street photography, so maybe it’s best to stick with that, especially since the weather is getting better.

Date.

M and I are getting together again tomorrow evening for dinner and festivities (or is it me and M? Remember being taught the former in school, but I’ve been seeing people use the latter?). Looking forward to seeing her, but not interested in the partying that will ensue. Don’t get me wrong, I love a debaucherous evening, but not all the time and I’m at that stage of the week when I’m mostly interested in working on my creative projects. Plus I’m clearly sick, so there’s that…….

Writing.

Not much to say on this front other than the photography has taken over. I don’t even have enough energy at the moment to self-flagellate over the lack of writing, which is not a bad thing. As long as I’m being productive with the photography and am not wasting my free time with YT videos and other such time wasters, I’m okay. Will need to revisit this goal because clearly it’s not holding my attention…….

Ok, let’s get on with it.

Nikon D3400
1/200 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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Late Start

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

Status: overslept this morning. I don’t feel bad, just a little disappointed that I got such a late start. My OCD is obviously poking at me, “this isn’t how it’s meant to be; you didn’t stick to the schedule and therefore the world has been thrown into chaos, so we have no choice but to throw this day in the bin and try again tomorrow when we can do it properly”. Yeah okay, hold on there……….(I need to give this aspect of myself a name….I think I’ll call it Chuck)….Yeah okay, hold on there CHUCK, you’re being a drama queen. Yes, we got a late start. So what? We were still able to tick the box on one To Do and am now sitting in Balzac’s drinking tea and writing, which is something we always wanted to do. I mean the sitting in Balzac’s doing some writing part, not the drinking tea part. We drink tea all the time……

(Pause)

Ummm, okay that’s a little weird (referring to myself in plural), but I’m still going to call my OCD Chuck (while picturing Jocko Willink and then hesitantly throwing a little Holy Water in his direction, “I anoint thee…”).

Career.

My new boss reached out to me via email yesterday looking to see if I can get an early start on the new job. Specifically, meeting a few people and starting the process of getting up to speed. I still have a month and a half before I start. He’s definitely a Type A personality, which is to be expected given the industry. I need to be prepared that he’ll likely be reaching out to me day and night because his work and life are integrated, there’s no separation therefore there is nothing to balance. Will need to manage this carefully as I have no intention of following suit and plan to utilise my spare time outside of work on writing and photography.

Date.

Reached out to The Tardy One yesterday to tell her I’m leaving Toronto. It only seemed fair to let her know up front that this was happening before she invested any more time in this. We talked about looking for an exclusive long term relationship up front, and I’m okay with that, but if that what she wants then better to let her go and find someone that can provide that locally versus over a distance (and on that note, long distance relationships are bullshit). In any case, she’s game, so we’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Alright, let’s stop there and move onto The Next Thing….

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/14
18mm
ISO 100

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