The Reasons Why I am Returning Home

images3IS1KWFD

I have decided to return home – home being Calgary. This has been a very tough decision and one not come upon lightly. I am going to touch on the reasons why it was difficult first.

My Toronto friends. You all know who you are. You and you alone are the reasons that I had such a hard time leaving. You have all seen me through the good and the bad and kept by me throughout. Thank you. I will be forever grateful and I will be back to visit, I promise.

Now, to reflect on why I am leaving (and a brief history of Dallas in her thirties). A few years back…say 2006? I met a girl. When I say we met, I mean we chatted online, MSN Messenger to be exact! I had just come out and was really getting along with her. In fact, I was falling hard. Here I am in the throes of my new found identity.

1933759_22598545176_9660_n

That particular romance did not last, however a spark in me did. I needed to get out of Vancouver and broaden my horizons. I figured that Calgary would be a good place to start. So I gathered my buddy Erin and my two cats to move with me and recruited two other friends to help us load up the UHaul and drive with us to Calgary.

225082_22598715176_2831_n

227247_22598670176_6607_n

Once I arrived it didn’t take me long to flourish. I joined everything, I volunteered, I made amazing friends. I discovered I wanted to write. I felt at home. I met this weirdo.

1930158_56871345176_1284_n

I had never been in a space where I felt pretty fantastic. This was my home. This was my Calgary. And than I met a girl.

I fell in love, and I fell hard. I wanted to be her everything and I became someone I was not to try and be that everything to her. I lost myself in the process. This was not her fault. It was how I chose to do things. She wanted me to follow her to Toronto. I did.

In the back of my mind I was telling myself no, don’t go. But my stubborn mind was made up. I went. Our relationship did not work out, but I do not regret going. These are some of the reasons why.

10494705_10201997576175105_1770293960116116605_n

10649584_10154564096945177_8418838107188806980_n

10417635_10100162807210324_3642508917466952879_n

After we split up, my mom got sick so I came to Vancouver. Before she passed away she told me that I always seemed so happy in Calgary. I was happy, she was right.

I decided to return to Toronto in September with full intentions to make a go at it on my own. I found a great place with great roommates, I reconnected with friends, I went to yoga religiously, and I went back to school for creative writing. I even began working on my mental health by going to groups. But something was missing.

My mental health was at an all time low. I was alone. I was away from heart and soul – my home. I was starting to rediscover myself and with this I realized that I needed to return.

So here I am. Two weeks from my departure. I want to thank Toronto for taking me in, for bashing me around, and for helping me rediscover myself.

I also want to thank Calgary for always being there, even when I left you. Thank you for letting me back.

 

The Reasons Why I am Returning Home

Part Time Jobs, Crazy Classes, a Flu/Cold, and memories of Tofino

20140817_152143

I chose this page today because I think that it really portrays how I am feeling today. A little psychotic, thrilled because I have a coffee, a little dishevelled, and holding a napkin to wipe up my mess.

This photos was taken this summer on Long Beach in Tofino, BC. Sam (my best friend) and I took a road trip around Vancouver Island. We stopped here at my urging. I came here when I was a kid with my family. I remember the soft, sweat, squishy sand in my pudgy little toes. I remember my dog Susie running through the waves. I had to go back and relive what I remembered.

As soon as I heard the ocean I felt at peace. I ran through the sand and than waited to see Sam’s reaction at the entirety of it. It was a good reaction. Here are some photos, however they do not at all capture the immense beauty of it all.

20140817_113218

20140817_11460220140817_11460620140817_115516

I guess these photos make feel good because this place and space and feeling exists. I am happy in nature. I am happy surrounded by those that know me inside and out. This is when I am at my best.

So, in order to find this place and feeling without being in Tofino 24/7 needs to be sought.

Is It A Cold Or The Flu

For the past couple of days I have been fighting a cold/flu. My ears hurt, all I want to do is sleep, I sweat profusely and than freeze, and my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton. It is difficult for me to tell if I am sick. I only know if I have the voice of a baritone and the nose of sandpaper. It is hard for me to tell if I am in fact sick or if it is just my brain telling me not get up because there is no point. With this being said, when I do succumb to sickness I don’t rest. I cant rest because I feel guilty about me doing absolutely nothing. That is almost worse than being sick.

My_Crazy_Class_XD_by_3Peoples

“How about when you sleep in until noon. You wake up and get angry at yourself for sleeping in. Everything you wanted to do today is not going to happen.”

This was said yesterday by the lead of my new Crazy Class. It is actually named the Depression and Anxiety Group held at CAMH. I was referred to this group by a psychiatrist at CAMH who I was referred to by my doctor. It has taken almost a year to come to fruition (free healthcare everyone!).

Anyways, during orientation yesterday my group lead said this. It was like she was talking to me. She wasn’t. She was talking to depression. My group is interesting. Lots of folks who I would definitely categorize as worse of than me (or I hide it better) and a lot of folks that look better than me (or they hide it better).

This is a long program that I have to attend once a week for  many weeks. I am not sure what to expect, but I am looking forward to it. It runs a few hours before my crazy group so Monday’s should be interesting.

26102

I got a part-time job. Not just for money sakes (although it does help). but also for my sanity, and some structure. For the past few months I have not worked. I have kept busy, which I am thankful for because I was afraid I would allow myself to rot in front of the t.v. But I have not had that structure. I don’t do well with not structure.

I am the kind of person that makes lists of my week, What I will do each day, and what times I will do it. I can not wake up without some kind of plan or I lose my shit.

10157128_542795325826321_69413326874304602_n

So I got a job. I am working part-time (seasonally) at Indigo in this massive upscale mall called Yorkdale. It really is a beautiful store, and it is surrounded by every overpriced thing that I love. I get a discount. This could be dangerous.

I have worked at Indigo before. When I first moved to Toronto a couple of years ago I worked at the Mt. Sinai location. I really did enjoy it as it was so different from ‘retail’. I saw little babies, the elderly, the sick, the grieving. Hell, I even saw Brian Mulroney and his wife (not sure how awesome that is).

This time around I had reservations about working at Indigo. For some reason I thought I deserved a better job, a job with some clout. Why I thought that I don’t know. A job is a job. I would be surrounded by books, my favorite thing ever! There was even a Starbucks there.. like come on!

3020959-poster-starbucks

I think I think that because I have endured numerous amount of hours in school, volunteering, and work I deserve more. For some reason, I believe that my dream jobs should always be open to me. That I, of course, deserve the job before anyone else.

A counsellor once told me ‘you know you are not the centre of the world.’ I know that sounds harsh but she was right. I was constantly feeling guilty for letting people down. I was feeling sad and desolate because I was never getting what I want.

By understanding that in fact, I am not the centre of the world, the guilt, anger, and desolation subsided.

So I have a job. The fact that I am able to carry a job right now is tremendous. It is only part time, and that is what I want. I want to enjoy my days. I want to go to yoga, walk, eat well, and write. I want to learn how to write well. I want a bit of structure. This is where Indigo comes in. Tonight I work a graveyard tasking shift. Wish me luck..

10399628_124271140176_9912_n

Part Time Jobs, Crazy Classes, a Flu/Cold, and memories of Tofino

Yoga and the art of being broken

6344778584_99540767f6_z

So, here I am doing a kick-ass handstand. I am really good at it. Kidding… this is by no means me. In fact handstands don’t even happen in my dreams. I have been able to do them though. I think I was about ten and my brother and I used to whip ourselves into handstands in the basement against my Dad’s workshop door. I can’t imagine that they were graceful, but I do remember them being fun.
Truth is, I have been frequenting yoga for some time now. I did it a bit in Vancouver, but I was more concerned with losing weight and figuring out why I hated boys than I was about the phenomenal and life changing internal benefits.
While here in Toronto, I have been going to Kula Yoga in the Annex. Wow, I can not even tell you what a welcoming place it is. First of all, they offer classes that are only $8.00. Yoga is expensive, and this break in the wallet is welcomed by me and I am sure that multitude of students that live close to here.
Then, as soon as you walk in the door  there is a sign that says something along these lines. “We aim to be a welcoming space and welcome all sizes and shapes. We aim to be Fat-Positive, Trans and Queer Positive, and welcome folks with all abilities.”

+space-w-borders-620x290
I try not to do the hard classes like Power and Hot Yoga. I feel I may resent yoga if I do. Instead I try to do Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Queer Yoga…. Yes that is right there is a yoga for us queer folk (not like the others aren’t welcoming, but this one is our own).
Today I went to Gentle Yoga. As always I felt great. My sciatica screamed in pain, but it was the kind of pain that hurt so good. I still don’t say Namaste because I feel it is culturally not mine, but the rest is great.
What was remarkable about today was the end. I can’t remember what the actual pose name is, but in English it is called the corpse pose. You are basically lying on the ground, breathing well, and trying to tap in to the inner soul we all have.

Yoga-Poses-The-Corpse

I felt good, relaxed, more relaxed than I have for a very long time. My mind started to drift off. I thought about random things. I turned my head to the side and immediately it reminded me of my mom. It reminded me of when I sat with her as she lay dying. I watched her breathe for 10 hours with the help of a machine. Near the end I noticed that her breath was slowing. Everyone that was there with me had left the room about 5 minutes before this. She looked peaceful. I grabbed her hand and told her that it was ok. We would all be ok. She stopped breathing. Her head tilted to the right, just like mine did. Her colour drained from her face but her hands were still warm. She looked like my mom, but she was gone. I knew that she knew that I was there. She opened her eyes about two hours before that and stared at me. I said hi. She closed her eyes soon after that. She would never open them again.
This memory made me start crying while I was in corpse pose (strange irony I know). It was a sad cry, but it was also a cry of release. I felt ok. I felt a bit like my mom was now telling me that it would all be ok.
I continued to think about why I was crying. Why this practice of yoga was doing this to me. This practice of yoga was in fact healing me. I barely cried when my mom died. I stayed strong. I grieved, but I didn’t let go. Today I was letting go. Yoga was breaking me open. It was allowing all the bad to leave. It was opening to allow me to heal again. All the shit (and I mean shit) that had happened this year is finally leaving. I am allowing myself to heal. I am raw, and sad, and hopeful. I have been gaining clarity. Things are really starting to make sense. Thank you yoga for allowing me to do that.

10330443_10154167191565177_4350403167687579883_n

Yoga and the art of being broken