Like Wildflowers: Of All the People We Are

like-wildflowers-of-all-people-we-are

“Somedays
I am the flower.
Somedays,
I am the rain.”

– Pavana

As you can probably tell, I changed the look of this blog a little the other day. I wanted it to have the feel of a coffee shop that not a lot of people know about. The coffee shop that hides in plain sight and when you walk into it, it feels like home. I’ve been to my fair share of those and so when I was working on my logo and the theme, I wanted it to have that feeling attached to it. I don’t think I did such a bad job!

I went snowshoeing a few days ago and it was a pretty magical, and emotional experience. It was the first time I went back to the mountain where a past partner and I had memories climbing. The only difference was the season and how this time, I was going with someone new. I think that being aware of all my emotions during the hike up and why they were being brought up was crucial to how I got past them. I knew that this moment was reminiscent. It was a fragrance you wore years ago that when worn again, brought you back to a very specific point in your life.

Today will be spent learning how to ice skate, enjoying what remains of this winter before it’s time to move on completely. With that, I find that the weather changing has brought a lot of people back to life. The sun’s warmth, a reminder that it’ll always come back. That even when you forget, it’ll be there again. In that sense, the weather fluctuates but seasons hold on to this sort of consistency.

I guess we’re all like that: consistent and fluctuating. Growing whilst holding on to a sense of who we are and who we always were. I think that’s why I’ve always been interested in learning about people, why I took psychology in school, why I continue to research and communicate with people, listen and write about them. Human beings are so fascinating to me.

I feel as though I’ve stepped into yet another version of myself. That each version is getting closer to the person I’ve always been. That each discovery is bringing me back home. And with that comes a sense of freedom. Spring is coming and I believe it’s time again for all of us to take the lessons of winter and bloom once again.

It’s often said that every next level of your life will demand a different you, but every one of those people is closer to the person you were always meant to become.

something to look forward to

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I don’t pay attention to the
world ending.
it has ended for me
many times
and began again in the morning.

– Nayyirah Waheed

It would be easy for me to say that things are going well, but I think it’s more truthful to say that I worked towards making them better. These past couple of months felt like they were testing me. Each day, a new battle for me to learn how to conquer. Everything felt like a challenge. Everything felt uneasy, breakable, and anything I felt I had, disposable. It was only until I took a trip back home a few weeks ago that I came back to my sense of gratitude. I guess literally looking at the life you left behind can do that for you sometimes.

We forget, a lot of times, our progress because it tends gets diminished by our day to day routines, just like we can’t notice the changes in our physical appearance until we look back at photos of what we used to look like. In that same sense, we can forget our spiritual, emotional, and intellectual progress. The changes are so slight each day that it’s only when we take a trip down memory lane that we realize we wouldn’t make the same decisions if we went back. That our mindset, our perspective, our outlook is just different. That we, as a whole, are new.

A friend told me something in passing and I don’t think her intention was to completely change the way that I think, because it never really is. But that’s exactly what it did. When telling her about my trip back to Toronto when I had initially booked it in spontaneous fashion, her response was, “That’s really good! It’s always nice to have something to look forward to.” Something about that struck a chord with me. It was like knowing something all along but finally clueing into what it actually means.

It’s always nice to have something to look forward to.

That was it. That was the answer I was looking for without even realizing the question that was hidden in my subconscious the whole time. The times in my life when I was happiest was when I had something to look forward to. And it didn’t always have to be big. It could be looking forward to going home and taking a nice, long bubble bath and reading. It could be writing. It could be trying out a new class which I’ve been doing a lot lately. It could be spending one-on-one time with a friend. It could be booking a trip or taking a long walk in the snowfall. But it’s always nice to have something to look forward to. More than that, it gives you a boost of energy, excitement, and enthusiasm when you have something to look forward to. It puts a beat to your step. It makes you dance awkwardly alone in your bedroom in the morning. It gives you hope. It gives you meaning and purpose.

I think a lot of times, at least speaking for myself, I tried (and still sometimes find myself trying) to create purpose and meaning in my life through accomplishments that are viewed as societally successful. But the truth is, the meaning of it all is to remember that all of this could be taken away from you at any moment. The meaning is that you get to make this time whatever you want it to be. The meaning is happiness and joy. To find it within yourself and then spread it like wildfire.

I’ve been really intentional about making it a point to have something to look forward to each week. I booked a trip to Hong Kong and then Thailand. I’m spending more time with friends that I have a strong meaningful connection with. I’m actively putting myself out there, taking dance classes, going to kickboxing, trying out different yoga studios and barre classes. I’m walking around in the snow I feel followed me here to Vancouver. I’m reading new books that are giving me life. I purposefully move myself to the other side of the street so that the sun can touch my face and I can rest in its warmth. I’m writing on this blog again. All of which are things I get to look forward to, each week and each day.

So you can say that things are going well, but the truth is, I am actively working on making them better. And it all starts with having something to look forward to.

When the Mirror Doesn’t Match: A Travel Back Into Time

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I like to think that the snow followed me here to Vancouver. While people walk with their sneakers and umbrellas in the air, not knowing how to deal with such weather, my eyes glisten wider than before. It feels like an opening. This sense of familiarity that traveled here solely for my own comfort.

I’m looking at life differently. I’m looking at it in a way where all my dreams can come to life. My own little heaven, a fantasy that lived in the depths of my mind for so long now feels like it can become plausible in reality, too.

For so long I felt accustomed to bitterness. “This is the way it is and therefore, this is the way it will always be,” I remember was once my mantra. My life challenged that thought, but not without resistance. My stubbornness tried so hard to get in the way. Like it preferred misery only because it meant I would be right.

That was years ago, but those memories don’t go away so easily. It would be simplistic for me to say they haunt me, but that would also mean that I am still under their control. The truth is, I’m not. Sometimes I worry I might become under it, but I think that for the most part, these memories hold me accountable. They remind me of a life that once was, that I now get the pleasure of comparing with, a life that now is.

I always felt like I got tested far more than the ordinary person. That sometimes life unfolded in a way that most would presume only to be acceptable on their screens. But once the show was over, they could close their laptops or televisions and get on with the rest of their day. I didn’t always have that luxury. But it’s egotistical of me to assume that I’m the only one facing this dilemma.

I’ve played the role of both the victim and the hero, back and forth. Both had their benefits, but both were also very fixated on holding me inside a box I didn’t always fit in to. That’s the problem with roles. They keep you stuck, trapped. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized this was the case. That the reason why my life seemed to be running in a constant loop was because I was caging myself into roles that encompassed parts of me but never told the whole story.

I found that I knew all too much about the people around me, but next to nothing about myself. There are points in all of our lives that are meant to grow us, or at least they give us the opportunity to. It’s up to you whether you want to take it or remain as you are.

It took me a while to even see that opportunity for what it was. To be honest, when it presented itself, it wasn’t exactly the way I’d imagined. It looked warped, crooked and imperfect. Nothing like I’d fantasized about. It didn’t appear like an opportunity, but rather it felt like an evacuation.

Sometimes, more often than not, I guess we need that push. We need the evacuation out of our current lives to get us to look at what else is even out there.

The good news is, I’m still looking and I don’t intend to stop.

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