May 21/2017

Dear A,

1.Hello. I have returned from the island. I saw some theatre, saw some old friends. Petted goats at a petting zoo. Ate lots of good food. Felt taken care of. It was nice. The ferry ride is beautiful as well.

2. My funds are dwindling but I have interviews. I have hope. I think I could teach really well if I was in a structured environment and not plagued by fear of failure and inadequacy.

3. I feel capable of handling stress. I feel capable of learning to deal with big emotions. I feel like I might be able to handle my own heart. This is new. This is good.

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May 12/2017

Dear A,

1.the days I live in reality are so much harder than when I don’t. This week was an off week. I applied to jobs and had interviews and lined up more and thought about practical things and I dislike that. I like the days when I live in a fantasy world and don’t think about money or how-to-pay-my-bills or things like that. How can I do both?

2.I got the job I interviewed for and am going to turn it down. Inside I was just screaming noooooooooooo, no more teaching! At least not in the same type of places. If I’m going to teach again I want it to be the next level. And it wasn’t a serious interview. They basically just gave me the job. I don’t respect places that don’t do serious interviews.

3.They surprised me with a sample of the SAT which I had to take, and did rather poorly on the writing section, which involved selecting which phrase had the best grammar. Seriously. Standardized testing is ridiculous. I also do not know the specifics of a lot of grammar rules, so that may have something to do with it… I will master grammar.

4. I was eating chocolate this morning because I felt sad and I did not want to eat chocolate, but I did it because that’s what I do when I feel sad, so I went and spat it out. I don’t want to keep these patterns of being slave to emotions. So what if you’re sad? Keep living life. And it was just that I noticed how distinctly I had no desire to eat anything, but I was doing it out of my understanding that food makes the pain less. I do not want that life anymore. It was not about chocolate or calories or fat. It was not about guilt for enjoying something. I was not enjoying it. I was doing something I did not enjoy. So I stopped it.

5.Masters of None season 2 is available! I stopped watching the first episode because I can’t watch romance anymore. Right now. Uh.

6. Joan Didion is amazing. The Year of Magical Thinking is spectacular. Ah. It’s waking me up. Which I resent. I want to forget writing and art all together. I want to forget these things. I cannot. I cannot forget myself.

7. I am bitter and want to be loved. Like in a movie. I am useless to the world unless I kill my self-pity.

8. Write. That is the answer. I… I want to feel connected. I want to be a point of contact. I want to get hit in the face. I wonder if that’s why I’m bad at defense. I just want to be touched.

 

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May 11/2017

Dear A,

1.I keep hurting myself in boxing, but in small ways. Twice I have not made a full fist when hitting and smashed a finger while smashing my hand into someone’s ribs. Today I hurt my thumb. No serious damage (I think) but still, annoying. Small moments of being uncommitted screw me over.

2. Boxing this week was odd. I was mentally unfocused and felt awkward again. I have been emotionally distracted this week. I was thinking of the Northrup article you sent me. My body is cleansing. Getting ready to expel.

3. I want to end certain relationships that no longer serve me. No longer make sense. I am scared. I am scared of how it will look. But it’s just being human. Things end. It’s just life.

4. I have an interview for a teaching position tomorrow. It’s looks like a great company, a surprising find for craigslist, though craigslist is a normal place to post for jobs, not just creep land.

5. Adbusters has an opening, first time in a few years. Last time I was too scared to apply. I’m still scared and feel like I’m not good enough, but I’m going to apply. Who knows.

6. Boxing. I wish I could just box. Everything felt so good when I spent the whole day thinking about boxing and then got to the club and boxed. Life felt good.

7. I’m listening to Adele. So good.

8. I had a salad with olives today. So good.

9. I’m icing my thumb. So good.

10. I am definitely considering moving to L.A. in January. We will see. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I’ve ruled out Berlin. Or just staying here.

11. My 16 year old child prodigy friend is tutoring calculus for $100/h. Amazing.

12. There is something so important in sport. So beautiful. Gah.

13. I’m reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. Incredible. One of the reviews on the back says “I can’t imagine dying without this book.” What a beautiful thing to say. To have said about ones work. Mmmm.

14.

Everybody tells me it’s ’bout time that I moved on
And I need to learn to lighten up and learn how to be young
But my heart is a valley, it’s so shallow and man made
I’m scared to death if I let you in that you’ll see I’m just a fake
Sometimes I feel lonely in the arms of your touch
But I know that’s just me, ’cause nothing ever is enough
When I was a child I grew up by the River Lea
There was something in the water, now that something’s in me
Oh I can’t go back, but the reeds are growing out of my fingertips
I can’t go back to the river

14. It’s amazing how when one thing is damaged (the thumb) you can feel how connected it is to everything else (the fingers, the wrist). Typing with an injury, however mild, is teaching me a lot. We do not respect the value of pain. The lessons pain can give. We medicate those who feel pain. We do not listen. We do not want to feel our inherent connections.

15. I think a literature degree would be far more useful for writers than a creative writing degree. I’ve learned more from fifty pages of Joan Didion than I did in almost those entire two years of study. Study, can I call it that? Of enduring others. Yes.

16. The guy I like is still beautiful and perfect and not single. Damn it, A!

17. I wonder how long it would take after potentially moving to L.A. to get over him.

18. I have never found anyone so beautiful. Even when I was in love with people. It was never this. He’s like War and Peace, something you marvel at with whatever you know about it, before you’ve even read it. You just know it’s worth marveling at.

19. I want a hamster. Last night I couldn’t sleep and read the Wikipedia article on hamsters. According to it, the first pair of breeding hamsters from which currently domesticated hamsters are descended from were from Aleppo, Syria. Hmm.

20. It takes so much strength to live. When did I become so weak, or the forces against me so strong? Or maybe because I am strong, those forces are getting stronger?

21. Don’t let someone hit you without hitting back. Boxing. It’s true.

22. I have grown unaccustomed to writing the way I did. Well. Easily. Honestly. Now I am caked with fear. I must scrub myself clean. I must be brave. Even if I don’t know why, and I doubt the value of words. Something small, at the very least, says write.

 

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May 08/2017

Dear A,

1. Only one of my three pairs of workout pants fit. It’s been hard to find clothes that fit properly so I’ve always settled for what fits best out of a variety of imperfect options (like democracy?). Unlike voting, however, I could just spend more time digging through stores to find the perfect fit. But it’s annoying and embarrassing. I was saying yesterday that I should just learn how to sew one pattern of dress, one that looks great, and just make dresses in that pattern. I should do that with pants too. Clothes in general. Learn how to sew one dress, one pair of pants, and one top. Tops are easier to find, so that’s okay. Hmm… I’m terrible at sewing. I could learn. Improve. Imagine making your own clothes! What a skill. I could get whatever fabrics I like. I could recycle old clothes. It’d be great.

2. My hair looks ridiculous. I haven’t washed it yet, so it’s a porcupine inspired bedhead.

3. I’m scared of my own power to make and keep myself miserable. I’m so good at it. Need to strengthen my other skills. Joy, peace, focus, optimism. I’m good at those too. Just. Ah.

4. I won a $100 giftcard to Opus yesterday, at their Outdoor Painting Challenge. What to buy…

5. I ate a good breakfast. Scrambled eggs, salad, toast.

6. What do I do, A? I want to stop asking that question. I know what to do.

7. I’m tired of wanting to be liked. I like myself. I want that to be enough.

8. I get so bogged down with how long change will take and then I don’t take the steps to create the outcomes I want. I want to solve problems, not simply take them apart and analyze them. That can be a part of problem solving but it ends up being an end in itself which isn’t useful to improve situations.

9. I saw some cute dogs yesterday. And some nice apartments in the West End. I would like to live there, eventually.

10. I’m trying to plant the right seeds in life. To listen to myself and my instincts and what I want. Create what feels impossible. I have had two glasses of water today. Water is so important. This area is so loud. Constant noise.

11. It’s important to say what you feel to people. We can’t escape it. It will come back over and over again, emotional boomerangs. It sucks.

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May 06/2017

Dear A,

1.The one view on this blog today was from Poland, which made me laugh. I tried to take a screenshot but the laptop is not responding.

2.It seems in just twenty-six years I have cultivated enough anger to last the rest of my life. When I get my head out of the clouds and into, well, I guess it’s just another set of clouds, I just want to scream. Or maybe it’s more like no matter what there’s this constant screaming deep inside of me.

3. My friend Dana and I made an excellent salad today. Let’s see, it had lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumber, yellow bell peppers, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and some tangy soy-ranch type dressing. It was great. As we sat in her apartment eating, Peruvian flute playing from her boyfriends Mac, I realized how I never feel relaxed at home. The relief of when my mother goes for a walk is so immense, the feeling of being alone. I can hear the water running in her shower as we speak. I need a space of my own. It is so important. An actual home, cultivated to reflect your own desires.

4. I have never been at such odds with my desires. It was always so clear. Act, I just wanted to act. I would go to theatre school and finish and be an actor. I feel so stupid for thinking life would so simple. So easy. I am so afraid of becoming the kind of person I’ve always disdained: cynical, unwilling to take risks, to move forward, afraid. My mother. She’s not cynical, but apathetic to her own well being. Oblivious to her own well being. I have become cautious. Tentative. Who is this person? What am I becoming? A degree of caution is good, however. Just have to use it correctly. I love being distracted. I also love being focused. When I’m distracted I’m hyper focused. I guess by distracted I mean I love focusing on goals and dreams and being propelled by them, instead of being rooted to the practicalities of life. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with being in the clouds. I need a foot on earth, at least. How do I do this? I’m so fucking spoiled. All this introspection. What the hell.

5. I bought a copy of Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine. This issue has Misty Copland on the cover, amazing woman. The body. Movement. Women need to be strong. We’ve been through too much.

6. I just want to scream. Oh, the value of screaming. To see someone scream. It’s an important act. We don’t scream enough. Screaming sends a message. A true, deep, scream. We can learn a lot from screaming. We can also hurt our vocal cords, which I don’t suggest. But a genuine scream. It’s freeing.

7. I’m so fucking lazy! But I’m also not. But I am. I don’t know, I am a terrible judge of self. The worst.

8. I love being obsessed. I love being obsessed with something. A person, a thing, an act. I love devotion and focus. Focus and distraction. Themes. Hmm.

9. How can I make value out of my life? Oh it’d be so easy to be religious. Just believe I’m doing it all for the Lord. Oh it’s tempting. The utter simplicity.

10. I had that with art. Now I’ve lost faith and I think it’s kind of bullshit. I’m so fickle. I don’t know why. Do I need to know why? Again, it’s a luxury to ask these questions. People seem to think writing is meaningful. Moving. Vital. Important. I feel nothing.

11. I miss acting. I miss theatre. Theatre had such obvious value to me. It still does, the theatre I dream of. Just do it. I am slowly doing it.

12. I’m spending tomorrow painting outside in Vancouver. It’s an event Opus is doing. Going with my high school drama teacher. I’m taking her to Cartems! Let life be. It’s so fucking easy to sound deep. Draw any three words together. Take camels home. Buy no glue. Visit your mother. Pee into air. I would love to make inspiration style posters and cards with nonsense on them. Oh great, another project, just what I need.

13. There’s something inside that just laughs at me. Everything I want and believe in. And I feel so small and weak. I feel so pathetic. I watched a lovely Japanese anime film the other night, called Your Name. It’s about two teenagers, one in Tokyo, one in a (fictional?) small town, who switch lives with each other in their sleep, a classic body-swap story, but with various other elements and twists. Beautifully done, and very funny too.

14. I quit Opus to try to replicate last summer. Work, boxing, writing. It’s all I did. It was a beautiful summer. Hmm…

15. Hi Jordan!

16. Hi to all the people I don’t know in real life! I hope you’re well, whoever, wherever you are.

17. OH! I went to Safeway before coming back home and they had these Apple Cinnamon pitas that I used to buy all the time in Toronto, but completely forgot about. I saw them and my heart froze. I ate them every morning for months, probably over a year. I think I stopped buying them when I moved to Etobicoke. During such a strange and painful time in my life. It was like seeing an old prison mate or something. Or the exact curtains from your childhood bedroom that you hadn’t thought about in decades but brought you back exactly to those moments of laying on your belly playing with toy cars. I brought a package to my nose and sniffed. I wanted to cry. The cranberry orange ones were beside them. I’d bought those a few times as well, but only if the apple cinnamon ones were out. That time. I was so alone. So utterly alone. Those pitas knew it. I wish… I wish I could change the past.

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May 02/2017

Dear A,

1.I miss you! Uh. September is a long ways away.

2. I have decided to stop applying to jobs and start my own tutoring business. I should probably set up a WordPress for that too.

3. I had a tarot reading done, around finances and career. I liked it, I wish I could get once done once a week. Maybe once a month I’ll go. I don’t know how to write about it. Not because it was so mystical or profound per se. I’ll do a separate post perhaps.

4. I need structure to my life. I’m obsessed with structure. I think too much. I hate thinking too much. It doesn’t help get things done and it makes me feel alone.

5. Writing is frustrating. I wish I could just cut myself open and smear my guts onto a wall. It would be far more to the point. But it’d be sloppy. That’s why writing is good. We can be raw and refined. Precise.

6. I’m not sure what to have for lunch. I really want that mung bean pasta we had. It was very filling but at the same time not too heavy. I think I’ll make tzatziki…

7. I feel sad and alone, but not crippled by it like in the past. It’s just there. I’m trying to feel less ashamed. Of everything that happened. I feel guilty, or something like it, for coming back to Vancouver. I’m glad I came back. It has worked in my favour. But it was such a defeat, to move back home. I never thought I’d be here again. Isn’t that the way it goes? Living with my parents. Who fully expect I’ll get married and be a housewife within a year or two, it seems. Very odd. That my job will be to take care of my husband. Lovely… Moving out feels impossible, but everything I’ve done has felt impossible. Finishing school. Working full time. Working out daily. Sparring. Sleeping normally. It’s just another possible thing. I just hate that they’ll be mad. Another good thing for which they will have disdain. I have to accept it. I cannot be mad at them for being who they are. It hurts me too much. It’s not worth it.

8. I really want nachos but I know they’ll be too heavy. Look at me, being so mature.

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April 29/17

Dear A,

1. Sometimes I look at my face and don’t like it. Then I put on eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow, and I feel so fucking pretty. Some people will call that empowering, and refuse to ask the real question of what was so wrong with your bare face? Of course you know this. And don’t wear make-up, which I noticed early on and rather admired. I do think make-up can be innocent and fun at times, but ultimately, it’s such a shackle to what women are supposed to be.

2. Weight. I’ve lost weight. It’s good. I want to lose more. Is that bad? It can be. I don’t know. Some of it is the fake social power of thinness. Some of it is wanting to be crazy strong and do wonderful athletic feats. That’s fine. That’s good. It’s genuinely empowering. But I’ve never believed I could be happy or loved without a flat stomach, or close to. That’s not good.

3. I feel so shitty about writing. I am a whiner.

4. I need to stop expecting more from my parents than they can give. They wanted a child who was easy to understand. Predictable. Safe. Sane. I am none of those. Thank goodness…

5. I got knocked in the head super hard yesterday in boxing. It hurt well into this morning. We are such delicate beings. And power that can be concentrated in a punch is so immense. It’s fascinating, what we are physically capable of. That alone seems to give life meaning.

6. I got a Tim Hortons bagel today. Not very good. The chive flavour was very fake. They did however have Nutella croissants, which I believed to be discontinued but it appears that was only at the one location near my old work.

7. This was Week Three without a job. My mom was watching Oprah videos on YouTube yesterday, who was talking about being young and confused and finding her way. I have always believed in getting lost and being challenged and taking the road less travelled (yes, internet, I know that’s not what he means in the poem, but the misinterpretation has become more powerful than the intended, which is interesting) but in doing so it feels stupid, and I feel so afraid of being a complete and utter failure. Which is odd. I’m not. I want the end of the story, where I *make it* to be now. But what I really want is to enjoy now. Which I am doing and am good at doing until fear creeps in and then I doubt my faith and I’m doing well by listening to my intuition and just seeing what happens.

8. I’m afraid that hope sounds trite. That I sound trite. I’m always afraid of being laughed at. What can I do with my shitty self that’s valuable? How can I create something valuable? What is valuable about writing? That used to be a no-brainer for me. Now it’s a vacant plain, gentle sand dunes being blown about. Value. Why can writing matter? What is the writing I believe in? Why do I care anymore? Why did I ever?

9. Blah blah blah, me me me. How is Warsaw? I want pictures of all the food I will have one day.

10. I hope my tax return comes soon. I need the money.

11. I want to tear the throats out of everyone I know. I want to slaughter the world. Eyes are the feet of the head. Kick down the world with your vision. One of a series of fake Proverbs I wrote last summer. Don’t throw bread at your mother. Only salt can do that. A favourite nonsensical one. They were all nonsensical.

12. I have not written much. I am not trying. I usually feel feeble and pathetic but then everyone tells me I’m doing fine, if not well. Which is strange. What do I trust?

13. Those workshops at UBC were truly horrible. I can hear the ghosts of those voices challenging the legitimacy of everything I can conceive of portraying. Those students. They felt so entitled to comment on worlds they knew nothing about. I know if they had read our stories under the impression that were published stories by esteemed writers they wouldn’t have had much to say in terms of criticism. They would have danced around the things they were ignorant of, instead of riding in valiantly on their presumptions and estimations. I wish I could explain these settings better to outsiders, i.e. anyone else reading this blog. Basically, most university students are as entitled and self-centered as you may already believe. A few really aren’t. The few who’ve ever had to work for anything in their lives. Ever had been crushed by the necessity of self-reliance and has respect for the kindness of others. The time and work that others give. Surprise, surprise, valuing other people makes you less of an asshole. My whole time at university felt like when in Titanic Jack has dinner with Rose and her society. UBC was Billy Zane. Vancouver is Billy Zane.

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