Uh huh

I stood in line, browsing the menu at the university restaurant I frequent. I’m not sure why I bother reading it; perhaps it’s to trick myself into ordering a new dish, but I know by the time I reach the cashier, the huevos rancheros will once again have won my heart.

As I glanced around, taking in the sights and sounds of a busy new semester, my eyes fell upon two people engaged in what appeared to be a spirited debate. Since my curiosity knows few limitations in public spaces, I studied them for a minute, wondering what topic they could be discussing with such passion at 10:30 on a Monday morning.

I admire when people are passionate in conversation. When it is evident that there is emotion behind their words, and they are not speaking just for the sake of speaking, but rather to be heard.

It made me think of the last time I truly had an engaging conversation, without thoughts dancing in the back of my mind, or the distraction of that little glowing electronic thing that I can never seem to rid myself of.

I am especially guilty of it with those I’m most comfortable with. Perhaps it is a habit that we’re all getting a little too used to, but more and more I catch myself scrolling through Instagram as I mutter out “uh huh”, while a family member attempts the now outdated act of speaking to someone’s face.

Isn’t it a shame? Technology, with all of it’s powers, seems to be simultaneously connecting us and tearing us apart. While I’m more than delighted to accept a friend request from someone I haven’t seen or spoken with in ten years (alright, maybe delighted is a bit strong of a word), I also appear to deem it more important to see what they had for lunch today than look directly at my mother while she tells me about her day.

So the next time another human attempts the ancient art of eye contact, I will put down my phone, silence the back of my mind, and be ever present in the conversation.

Have a wonderful week,

Diane

 

Fast, fast awake

My eyes shot open to the roaring sound of a lawnmower. I closed them again, briefly, just long enough to silently curse my neighbours. As I stumbled out of bed, attempting to walk a path that couldn’t have been anything farther from a straight line, I reached for the handle to close my bedroom window.

“Come on man!”, I shouted through the screen. “Is that necessary?! My God, it’s only…..”, I glanced at the clock, “eleven thirty.”

Oh. Whoopsie.

I mean, in my defence, it was before noon.

I have never been a morning person. All my life, less the years I was employed at 9-5 jobs, I have stayed up impossibly late. Truly a display of being my father’s daughter, even in my teenage years it was normal for us to say goodnight to each other around 2 a.m., far past the time the rest of the household would retire. There was, and still is, something I love about being wide awake when the rest of the city is fast asleep.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy mornings. In fact, I love them. If I wake up early enough to get things done and accomplish a to-do list before 10 a.m., I feel that I still have the entire day ahead of me. I’ve embarked on many of these days, and it always seems like an absolutely novel idea to continue the pattern of a regular sleep cycle. That is, until I try to visit dreamland.

My mind races at approximately one thousand miles per hour.

Short of being shot with a tranquilizer gun, I have tried everything to get to a place where I wasn’t staring at the ceiling, wondering at midnight if I could correctly remember how the very last episode of “Friends” ended.

No electronics an hour before bed? Check. Meditation? Check. Chamomile tea? Probably drank too much of it. A somewhat unnecessary body pillow? Check. Adjusting the thermostat so it’s not too hot, not too cold, and apparently just the right temperature in case Goldie Locks makes an impromptu visit? Check.

Lately, and especially with the schedule of a university student, I find myself staring at the clock later and later into the night. “Well, it’s only midnight, I’ll make sure I’m asleep by one, and then I can still get in a solid seven hours.”

Four hours and several google searches on the entire personal and professional life of George Clooney later, I finally begrudgingly close my eyes, mentally adding up how much money I’ll be spending on coffee the following day.

So, does anyone have any sleep advice? A few of you have sent messages, which I love reading, so any comments on how you mellow out for those precious sleep hours we’re all supposed to get would be great.

Even as I type this, the clock reads 1:34 a.m., and I can’t help but wonder…

Was George Clooney on every season of “E.R.”?

Sleep well,

Diane

People Being People

It’s one thirty in the morning, and while I should be fast asleep, visiting dreamland before a busy day tomorrow, my mind is racing, and I am reminded of the challenges that can arise simply from being human.

Sometimes, people come into your life, and make it so much better. Time seems to slow down because of them, and you want them to surround you, if only to bask in the glow of their positive energy.

Other times, inevitably, individuals enter your life and leave you feeling drained. Maybe they do something for the worse, maybe they hurt you on purpose, maybe they hurt you by accident.

We cannot change what others do. We don’t decide someone’s actions, how other people react to them, and ultimately, the consequences they bear. Sometimes these actions are harmful to us, and can linger through time, slowly fading into the background, but never quite disappearing. People have their own reasons for doing what they do, and we’ll never know if their actions spring from a place where they themselves were hurt.

But something that took many years to realize, and will always be a work in progress, is that we get to choose how we react. Will you then, let something gnaw at you? Will you hold it close to you, carrying it with you, while allowing it to take up more space in your life, after it has already taken enough?

Or will you let it go? Will you set yourself free from the actions of others, from the hurt and pain it caused? Will you allow yourself to wake up every morning, a new day, and let whatever happened yesterday melt away?

Your burdens, whatever they may be, can be as heavy as the world on your chest, or as light as a feather. The more you feed it, the more power and energy you give to it, causing it to grow.

So let it go. Let it shrink so small that it becomes that tiny feather, and with one breath of air from your lips, let the breeze carry it.

Far, far away, behind you.

 

Goodnight,

D

 

What do you write about?

I was on my third day of classes, and eagerly introducing myself to another student when a common question popped up:

“So what do you write about?”

“Um, well, kind of everything. Wait, not everything. I mean, there’s no fiction. Well sometimes I change names and locations, obviously. Okay, it’s about my life. But, not ALL about my life. I mean I write about things I experience, but I try to say more than just what happened. Really, I try to keep it interesting, even funny sometimes, although this summer I just could not write anything with any amount of humour.”

It’s around this point that the nice smile on their face gives way to a puzzled expression.

“You know what, it’s non-fiction, let’s leave it at that.”

I should really come up with a more straightforward answer.

After having this exact conversion with probably the tenth person, I realized I needed an explanation that would not only explain my writing, but also entice them to visit the blog.

“It’s about my life,” doesn’t seem particularly mesmerizing, unless I happened to be jumping through hoops of fire and juggling a set of steak knives while I shout that carefully thought up slogan at them.

As I thought back to blogs I had read in the past, I realized what kept drawing me back to them; I was truly interested to peer into a small window of their life.

The same can be said for why the world is so fascinated with reality T.V. While the content may be nothing spectacular or short of ordinary, we as humans are curious by nature, the same reason that many people can’t stop themselves from listening in on juicy gossip.

Reading about, or watching someone else’s life, mundane as it may be, may allow us to temporarily disengage from our own lives, and see what it’s like to step in someone else’s shoes, if only for a moment.

And it was with that thought that I knew what I would say the next time someone inquired as to what I wrote about.

“It’s about my life, really, and it’s mildly entertaining when you’ve ran out of absolutely everything else to do on the internet.”

Enjoy your week,

Diane

 

 

New post, every Wednesday

I skipped down the halls of the university, feeling a wonderful mix of excitement and nerves on my first day in the Social Work program.

“Morning, Peter!” I smiled cheerfully at the man I had seen almost every weekday morning the semester before, while trading a few coins for a hot cup of coffee.

As I stirred in my sugar and cream, we exchanged stories of our summer, and it felt nice to interact with someone I was familiar with. I told him orientation for Social Work began in twenty minutes, and that’s when the nerves overtook the excitement.

I swear, I am an outgoing person. I worked a job all summer where I approached people and chatted with them. This, however, felt different. Perhaps because I know I will have the same classes with the same group of people all year, I wanted to make the best first impression possible.

The doors opened to a large room with several round tables. While there were empty tables, I made myself take a seat at one that was almost full, so as to not purposefully isolate myself within the first five minutes. Most everyone had their heads down, staring at their phones, but it wasn’t before long that I glanced at the itinerary laid out in front of me, and noticed the words “icebreaker.”

Ugh. Okay, okay. Just be yourself. Just be cool, don’t say anything weird, and don’t do that thing where you ramble on about something else when someone asks you a question. And don’t, for the love of God, start with the fact that you just turned 30. Compared to the rest of the group, you look like a bus is going to pick you up when this is done and return you to the old folks home.

The girl to my right suddenly turned to me.

“HELLO I AM DIANE AND I’M THIRTY.”

Smooth.

Thankfully, she chuckled, and I pretended for a moment that my awkwardness was enduring.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch, and left me even more excited for classes to begin tomorrow.

While on my way home, however, I pondered this blog. It’s such a wonderful resource to me. Not only does it allow me the therapeutic action of placing my thoughts into words, but I have also been able to connect with people through it. That’s why I seriously need to get some consistency going, and now that classes are back in full swing, it seems like perfect timing to make sure a blog post gets out every Wednesday.

So, I will see you every Wednesday, and maybe on random days in-between, if the writing bug strikes me.

Have a lovely week,

Diane