Mean Girls

Ever seen the movie Mean Girls? Makes me laugh so hard every time. Yes, it is lame and cheesy and Lindsay Lohan was already old news by then, but there is still something about that movie that is so realistic. Maybe it’s the fact that a ton of the cast are from Mad TV/SNL so they are all about improv and know how to act from life experiences, but they speak the truth: Girls. Are. Mean.

Sometimes I love being one. A girl, that is. I love what we can get away with. I have been pulled over by the police 7 times in the last 9 years. I have NEVER been ticketed. Lol, don’t try and tell me that has nothing to do with the fact that I am a girl. And if you are reading this and I drive your little children around, don’t worry. They weren’t bad offences—just lame ones. I have a funny story about getting pulled over by a cop named Trent in San Francisco in 2004. : )

I love pink. I love sparkles. I love Maya Angelou and Deanna Carter and Ace of Base. I like wearing dresses and I love being able to be open and honest about my emotions and feelings, things that are widely acceptable in our society.

Speaking of being open and honest, sometimes that it is really bad thing. I can’t say much about the reason I am writing this post, but I will just say that I am feeling really frustrated that in one area of my life there is an overload of negativity and cruelty from girls, and it makes me not want to be one. It makes me realize that girls are terrible towards each other and as hard as I have tried to curb this in my life, it just keeps coming up. Gossip, back-stabbing, senseless talking about other people. It’s funny, because when you are a part of it, it seems okay somehow to engage in it, but when you are hearing it as an outsider, it is like razors.

It’s made me think lately. A lot. I almost titled this post, “To Know or Not to Know”. Because I have been thinking a lot about the things people say about ME behind my back. It would be totally naive to think that it doesn’t happen. It does. This is life. It sucks, but it’s true.

If I had the opportunity to overhear what those (most likely) girls were saying about me, would I want to know? Would you? Would you really want to hear people say mean things about you?

Myranda and I were talking about this a few weeks ago, and I actually toyed with the idea that I just might like to. As you all know from this blog, I am constantly on the search for self-discovery and self-improvement. Could I look at that gossip as an opportunity for growth? Am I mature enough to swallow my pride and look past the meanness?

I wish I could say that right now I would be stable enough to overhear a mean conversation taking place about me, but in actuality I don’t think I could. Not right now. Not when I am working with such fervour to rebuild myself; who I am and what I believe and what I know I deserve. And it breaks my heart to think that someone out there would say terrible things about me when I am so broken.

I’ve done a lot of thinking. I try very, very hard to have pure conversations with people about people, but I am going to make even greater strides now to have compassion for those around me. Because you just never know what they are going through. Right?

It’s not like me to care about what other people think about me, and I am not gonna start now. Yes, there are a few people in my life who are not very nice, but that doesn’t mean I am not going to show them love. My co-teacher always says we need to “kill em’ with kindness”. Don’t you think that makes a lot of sense? That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. I want to be a nice girl. Not a mean one.

Anyways, we may still be wearing winter coats around here in BC, but I do hope you all have enjoyed your last weekend in May, as chilly as it was.

~C

Advertisements

The Shirt On My Back

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you are in the exact place you KNOW you are meant to be in at the exact moment you are supposed to be there?

That happened to me on Saturday.

But I will get to that later…..

8 years ago my friend Renee asked me to move with her to Abbotsford. We met at Camp Qwanoes and I had only known her for 2 months, but I said yes anyways. I had absolutely no idea that that split-second decision would lead me to where I am today. Renee and I moved into a super tiny basement suite in East Abby with another friend of ours, and our 3 personalities were like static electricity—we clashed. But we also had a lot of fun, and we learned so much from each other and watched waaayyy too many Friends re-runs. The fall that we all moved in together, I joined a rec league volleyball team and met Diana. She was on the opposing team, but somehow we got to talking and a legendary friendship was born. She is older than me, and even though our friendship is very balanced I have always looked up to her like an older sister.

4 years after Diana and I met, I packed my life up and moved to South Africa to live with Diana’s mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law, and their young kids. While I was in South Africa, Diana moved away with her family from Abbotsford to London, Ontario. Saying goodbye before I left Canada, knowing she would not be there when I got back was torture. I remember we sat on the couch and sobbed like babies, and she kept telling me we would still see each other. It took 4 years for her to come back, but she finally did, and she waltzed back into my life like a tiny dancer and invaded my heart and time once again. We spent the last 3 weeks together while she was visiting BC and honest to goodness, the timing could not have possibly been better.

Lately I have been feeling really convicted about my sense of entitlement to things. In other words, I feel really selfish lately. Because of the fact that I am going through a lot of emotional crap, people have been amazing to me and I am starting to feel like I have not been giving even close to as much as I have been given…whether that be time or otherwise. The joy of being selfless and generous has been a distant memory lately. So thankfully I had the wonderful influence of Diana to remind me again of how I want to live my life.

When we woke up on Saturday morning we decided we wanted to hike Teapot Hill right by Cultus Lake. We were in the kitchen sitting at the table folding laundry, and Diana held up this super soft white nightshirt, brought it to her face and slowly inhaled the wonderful smell of fabric softener. She showed me the nightshirt—it is a lion cub sleeping. It reminds me of Africa. Our Africa. She told me it was her favourite shirt in the whole world. She looked at it in her hands, brought it once more to her face, and promptly placed it in my hands.

“It’s yours.”

“No, no, no”, I replied. I couldn’t take her shirt. Her favourite African shirt.

But there is no arguing with Diana. She is raising 4 kids. She knows how to stand her ground. I wanted to cry. She gave me her favourite shirt, and I know I am maybe making a big deal out of nothing in your eyes, but to me that is such a big deal.

How often do I do that? Just give something away that is my favourite? I have no issues giving away things that I don’t care about, but my favourite?? Never. It scared me because I realized how much I have changed since my Africa days. I feel like it used to come much more naturally to me to live with close to nothing. I miss feeling passionate about giving to others. I miss me

We set off on our hike, driving through the countryside commenting on tulips and how the sky just might clear up for us, and when we got to the base of the mountain my heart was pounding. It’s a story for another time, but let’s just say that I have been putting off hiking Teapot for a long time because of something that happened last summer. So this was super important. When we got to the top I had a similar feeling to the one I felt when I crossed the finish line in April. I knew I had conquered something I never thought I could. And it felt good. We kept hiking after we reached Teapot point for about another 5K and then I just got the urge to run. I can’t explain it. I disconnected from my body and my legs took over and I just left Diana in the woods and I ran away. I ran until I found this amazing look-out point and I collapsed, exhausted, on a log. It was raining perfectly, just enough to cool me down but not enough to drench me, and I started crying (big surprise, hey?), and the rain mixed with my tears, and by the time Diana came to sit next to me I was just in awe of what I was seeing in front of me, the most amazing view mixed with the presence of a beautiful and loyal friend, and I KNEW so deeply in my heart that none of this was a mistake: I was meant to be brokenhearted at this time in my life, and I was meant to be in that exact place at that exact time. I felt like all these parts of me just snapped into place and I wanted to dance.

This girl is thankful.

Diana didn’t bring a jacket with a hood, and I just happened to pack my favourite blue hooded shirt that day which I told her to wear so her head wouldn’t get too cold. It looked really good on her. We were heading back down the mountain and I started to get this super nagging feeling, and I knew it was saying to give her my shirt.

“But it’s my favourite”, the Christina in me who loves that shirt said.

“But you know what you need to do”, the Christina in me who loves my friend more than that shirt said.

She apologized for getting my shirt all wet. I told her she didn’t need to say sorry to me because it was her shirt now. She started crying and she hugged me and threw a little tantrum about how we just found each other again and would have to say goodbye. Life is hard that way.

It feels good to be writing again. It feels good to be giving again, even if it is only a blue shirt with a heart on it. It feels good to feel sunlight on my face and it feels good to know that summer is on it’s way.

Have a great week, friends. : )

~C

Post-Op

Mere weeks ago I sat in the office of my dear friend and supervisor who took great care to be kind and gentle with this broken heart. I was already back to work full time, but after a long morning of tending to the many needs of my little ones, I needed a time-out for grown ups in a bad way. I burst into her office, slammed the door shut, and cried as hard as a 7 year-old would after getting uninvited to their bff’s birthday party. It turns out this beautiful woman who received my dramatic entrance into her office with grace is not only a friend and supervisor, she is also an angel.

We talked a lot in the 20 minutes I was in there, and as we went over some details of my pain, a picture came to me. A really clear, really obvious picture.

I saw myself lying (laying?) in a hospital bed, barely conscious. I was pale and had a huge scar on my chest right over my heart. Part of my heart had been removed. There were machines all around me and I was thirsty but didn’t know how to ask for water. I was waiting desperately for someone to come to me and explain what had happened, why I was here, and how to make the pain go away. It was dark.

The next thing I saw was a nurse coming into my room. She switched on a soft light, sat beside me, and said with such confidence, “Everything is going to be just fine”. I believed her. We talked about the surgery, what exactly had been removed and how it was healing, and she gave me a clean bill of health. “It’ll grow back, Chris”, she said with the most genuine, sweet smiles I have ever seen.

My heart is growing back. My angel told me so.

That makes me smile.

As I sat in that office, wiping my tears on my sleeve because we couldn’t find any Kleenex, it dawned on me that the comforting words of that nurse were an accumulation of everything YOU GUYS have been telling me all this time. And suddenly your faces were coming to mind…I could see your smiles and your tears as you wept with me, and I realized you are ALL my angels. Every single one of you.

I owe you the world.

On another note, my girl and I were watching the Royal Wedding the other day and eating nachos. I got up to go to the bathroom and she randomly asked me, “You’re not going to throw up, are you?” Now, to be fair we were discussing some hard things and I was a little teary, but it still totally caught me off guard. In a good way, though. First of all, I SO appreciated her asking me, and it occurred to me that other friends might be thinking the same thing; that I have been throwing up again or thinking about it. That’s completely the farthest thing from the truth, though. I haven’t thought about it once. It scares me to think about how much more complicated this would be if I were. And I am so close to my 2 year mark now that I don’t dare go back. I have come way too far.

Mom and I went to see Sarah McLachlan last night, and I can honestly say it was a dream come true. Even though she lives in Vancouver and even though my mom works with a guy who knows her, and even though I have been in love with her since 1988 (yeah, I know I was only 4 years old), it was my first time seeing her live. I have every single song she has ever, ever recorded, and yet no song of her’s haunts me like Angel. I wish I could upload the video I took of her singing it last night; it would give you chills as well. But I am learning it on the piano so maybe one of these days I will have to put that on my blog. It would be nice to share it with you, even though I am nowhere near as amazing as Sarah.

I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

Post-Op sucks sometimes. But I am so happy to be free, to be healing, to be secure again. And although there are many more bumps in the road yet to come, I can say with certain confidence that this may be the last post-break-up writing I do here on this blog. Things are looking up, and I am taking you guys up with them.

.

Let me be empty, oh and weightless and maybe I’ll find some peace tonight…

I hope each of you finds yourselves in the arms of your angels tonight.

May you find some comfort there.

~C