Category Archives: Complicated

Just goes to show, you never can tell.

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You never can tell.

There are times I feel like a crazy person. Times I feel ostracized, outed, unsure, uncertain and just straight up envious of others. And you know what, I have wondered, do you think anybody ever feels jealous of me?

I guess I believed that as a kid they might. They just might. Over sports…or my house…certainly not my parents’ parenting or my ginger looks. And I guess I believed they just might when I picked up and moved across the world, littering Facebook with my uber amazing couply travel photos. And I guess I believed it when my beotchy coworker said “Sorry I’m not as perfect as you” immediately after she was reprimanded. And I guess I believed it when I accidentally lost a bunch of weight and suddenly looked good in a bikini and could rock a small.

But, those are all one-offs right? That coworker actually ended up crazy wealthy and on TV. Those sports skills? Well, they created these multi-surgeried, excessively scarred 70 year old knees. And those looks? Well, I’m still a ginger. And that weight? Well, I gained it back…and then some.

So, why would anybody envy me, lil old me, right?

Wrong. That perfect-post, quick to commit, new dog, skinny bod, wildest dreams come true girl you envy? Well, for reasons you may not know, for reasons you would never know from the shiny, bright, outside Instagram perspective…they envy you. They envy your nature, your honesty, your jokes, your ability to understand, they envy what you’ve learned, or the love they think you have. But, who knew?

And there is life summed up as a girl. We all want to believe somebody else’s life is better, purer, prettier, surer than ours. Nobody feels how we feel, nobody doubts how we doubt, nobody envies how we envy, nobody cries how we cry. But, here’s a secret…they do.

“If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we should find.”  – John Churton Collins

The Ginga Ninja

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Fears on my Pillow

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11939673_508650149289788_540609435_nThere’s a lot of fear in letting yourself go. Well, in whatever. Go headfirst into a school, country, career and most importantly love. You know, it’s easy to fall in love, not as easy to stay in it. So, let’s hope you break your ankle, because then you can’t get up (get it – because you have fallen? Hardy har har)

Anytime you find yourself in a meaningful relationship, you realize how quickly you dissolve into the other person. You have to start to give up your alone time, plans with friends and family and make the hard choices of where to be on the weekend, when to push for equal rights, when to back off for individualism. How to handle the I’m sorries as easily as the I love you’s and how to vehementaly watch the back of another, while still trying to watch your own. It’s a precious little balancing act, some that only few get right, and sometimes only right for awhile.

Maybe even harder is when you do think you have it all together, that right person, that ying to your yang, that white picket fence, is the eventual evolution of giving up your things, your space, your identity, yourself. Everybody says you won’t, and you can’t even be fully with somebody unless you know your boundaries, but you do, there is no ifs ands or buts around it, and if you want a future, you begin to let go of the past. And this my friend, is probably the scariest feeling of all. Letting yourself go, in trust, in faith, in paperwork, in finances, in asylums to another – it’s easy to second guess and it’s extremely easy to falter, but eventually you need to move forward.

Before long you dissolve into the relationship. First you give up your place, then you give up your taste. Compromising on furniture, clothes, where you eat and then one day you are just an appendage to someone else – no thoughts or no life of your own. I feel like without a space that’s just mine, I’ll disappear. – Larissa, the Carrie Diaries

The Ginga Ninja

This is my Journey, This is My Song…

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accept-brown-cry-feelings-red-Favim.com-229253Every now and again amongst all the family functions, friends, social media updates, weather changes, mundane cleaning, laundry, garbage and the inevitable mandatories of life…somewhere in all of that is me. I know that I am not the most important, or correction even an important person in the scheme of the world, but I’m me and I’m all I got. All these feelings, emotions, up days, down days, flirtations, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of pride…they seem to have nowhere to go. There are days where I know my trials, inner workings, needs and wants are no more important than anybody else’s and really my story is not one that the world needs to know to be a better place.

Yet, I have….feelings. Feelings about being happy in the moment, sadness at times, uneasiness, uncertainty, confusion…and I constantly try to shut these down. I try to bury all the bad and decide they are simply moments and they don’t make my overall, but I think, as human as we are, we need to relish in them too. Sure, I’m not that special, but do I have the right to confusion or controversy, the right to wallow in self-pity or get pissed off because I don’t understand an outcome? Sure do. Maybe I feel things a little too deep or think things a little too much, but that’s just me. Maybe I try to predict the outcome long before the tale has been told and maybe I need to organize things into rational boxes in order to stay a rational person, but reality is, right or wrong I’m not you and you aren’t me. And emotions aren’t rational.

As I get older I have learned that acceptance of your good and bad traits is necessary for survival. Nobody is perfect 17602003-Sympathy-Word-Cloud-Concept-in-Red-Caps-with-great-terms-such-as-sorrow-feelings-loss-support-prayer-Stock-Photoand the more we strive to be so, the more we let everyone (including ourselves) down. And here’s the scary truth, we aren’t letting anybody down. This is a common misconception placed on us as kids – be good, be helpful, be honest, be hardworking, be all you can be…but really, be who you can live with. And more importantly, realize that you will have good days and bad. Moments where you write to clear your head, moments where you sing to clear your lungs and moments where you cry to clear your soul.

A new favourite song of mine is “The Long Haul” by Sean Rowe. It honestly brings me to tears everytime I hear it. At first I felt a bit of shame in my unleashed emotions, but now I think I’m starting to think it’s gonna be okay. If you have a song, a movie, a person or a memory that can bring you to your knees – go ahead and kneel down, what’s a scrape or two if it makes you stronger?

And I never hit the Spring so hard
A new born song on an old guitar
And I know what it means to be alive

You drive me crazy in all kinds of ways
Love kicked my head and took down my name
Oh, what happened?

I feel so light and I move like a bird
Hard as a rose sharp as a word
Oh, I’m happy

When I die
Where I go I don’t know
Through the sky maybe down low
Whichever is for real

Ginga Ninja

One Step Forward

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87ef4bb5285651aac583cf360568816fThe other day I was feeling intense panic. Panic, anxiousness, nervousness, stress…whatever word you want to put to it, but the reality is that I was prepping for a big weekend of hosting and starting to run out of hours in the day. The need to go to the pet store, liquor store, grocery store and Asian veggie vendor was suddenly intensely, ridiculously, unnecessarily necessary and the seconds were ticking down on that old mental clock of mine.

The thing is, I realized that a lot of this was pressure I put on myself. When family visits does your place need to be perfect? And by whose standards is perfect measured?

This little scaredy-cat approach was handed to me by my social anxiety momma. Her heart is in the right place, but maybe not always her head. The need to do every little last thing humanly possible before guests arrive seems to be one that I was inherently taught and inherently think is a real thing.  Truly, they are there for you, not your food, not your clean sheets, not your vacuumed rug or newly trimmed cat. It’s nice to be cleanly, but it’s cleaner to be nice…at least for your brain. (Sure, let’s pretend that one was witty).

I decided in that moment, the intensely asthmatic moment… as I was getting into my car after my final errand, knowing that I may leave myself short on time and scrambling amuck… that I was going to take a step back, lock the car, cross the street and go to a yard sale. A plain, simple, off-the-beaten-path yard sale was enough to bring me back to my youth, to a simpler time, a time where I bought things used, bought them cheap, relished in haggling off 50 cents and simply enjoyed the moment, the weather and the promise of the future. While there, I met a la75489809dy who realized I was having an off day and what she said to me was “one step forward” little girl. There are no steps back.

That’s an interesting take on things. Maybe it isn’t two steps forward and one back, just smaller steps forward. What if there were no such thing as steps back? Would it change your outlook on the world? Either way, it sent me away with a sweet little message, a reassurance that nobody is alone, that we keep trying and no matter what, you need to keep walking ahead…no matter how detoured, shaky or limping that walk may be….

The Ginga Ninja

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Lose Your Phone

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Did you know that the internet and cellphones, these wonderful, amazing, technological advances have actually added to people’s general unhappiness with what they have? We have all the information we ever wanted at our fingertips, a way to not lose somebody at the mall and a way to keep in touch with all the pen pals we ever met. Yet, often we feel empty…unfulfilled and unloved, why?

Well, the thing is…once upon a time, if you were out for dinner with your friends, you were only out for dinner with your friends. If you were unhappy with your job, your spouse knew it…if you were unhappy with your house, well, frankly, only your close friends, neighbours and family might know. Nobody cared what you ate for dinner, how many geraniums you planted, or how angry the old lady at the crosswalk made you. Nobody cared whether you threw a crappy birthday party, and lord knows, nobody wanted to sit through your boring vacation photos.

Photos were limited and carefully chosen. Ads were a novelty, correspondence a gift, houses were probably cleaner and more time was spent on passionate hobbies. When we broke up, we might have heard a rumour or two or bumped into them and their wonderful new girlfriend 5 years later, but we didn’t get the never-ending barrage of new haircuts, trips, weddings, birthday parties and flavours of the month like we do now. No, now we are all glued to our devices to one up another, see who is thinking about us, what’s going on, and to have 24/7 validation for the meaningless life we really lead.

Social media is a very dangerous tool. A tool that makes mothers feel bad about the birthday parties they didn’t throw, the cakes they didn’t bake, the vacations they can’t afford and the divorces they lived through. A tool that makes children feel less popular if they aren’t on it and pressured to do things when they are. A tool that makes single people sit through never-ending baby photos, stare into the eyes of happy couples and families and constantly be reminded of the ruins they didn’t visit or condo they can’t afford.

With so many more things than we ever had…and so much more access to friends, family and information than ever before…why have we created a society that is more discontent than ever?  Well, life is now just a big, public game of keeping up with the Joneses. Except the Joneses are now your elementary, highschool and university friends, co-workers, exes, some guy you met on vacation, some neighbour you haven’t seen in 10 years and some girl you talked to twice online. The pool of people to compare from is larger than it ever was and the access we have into people’s lives is overwhelming.

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/facebook-can-make-you-unhappy-130814.htm

And I’ve had this very conversation with a loved one. A successful, but incredibly frustrated loved one.  Very seldom do people post photos of their children telling them they hate them, the moment they sign the divorce papers, the visit to the ER, the funeral of their father, or the day they were handed their pink slip. She made sure to tell me that behind many of these beautiful family pictures and smiling photos are bad marriages, financial woes and a general feeling of despair. But, would you show that publicly? Of course not, because that wouldn’t get you many “likes” now would it? And that would be too real.

No, we now live in a world of trying to convince everyone how great our life is, when in reality the people sitting on their front porches reading a book without an instagram account are most likely the happiest there are. They are living in the present, in their own life and don’t give a damn what anybody else is doing. They are the ones who despite being called dinosaurs are indifferent to Bobby’s barbecued ribs, Sonja’s newest marathon, Alex’s latest trip to Japan, or Tommy’s favourite beer. They don’t give a damn that they have less quote-on-quote “friends” and they don’t give a damn if their selfie was unliked or their slippers are uncool. No, on a Saturday, all they want to do is turn up the music, clean their house and remember what it was like to be a kid…and maybe, just maybe…pick up that cellphone…and call their mom.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

The Ginga Ninja

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And Your Number’s Up.

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Why is 11:11 haunting me and what does it mean?

When you were a kid, did you make a wish every time you saw 11:11 on a clock?  I sure did.  The very simple phrase, “11:11, make a wish” has come out of my mouth for a good 30 years.  But, like a jinxsies, it wasn’t all that often and was just a cute little stop sign in your altogether busy today to take a minute and enjoy the moment with whoever you were with…or wish you were with.  Aha.

But lately….lllaaattteeely…this is more than a once in a blue moon occurrence.  This is more than a here and there, once every 6 months, or in the company of other’s kind of occurrence.  It is a weekly, if not daily, if not twice daily happening that is frankly starting to creep me out.  It is eerie and abnormal and in some ways I want it to stop, but in other ways I’m not sure it should.

You see, the thing is, 11:11 is a global phenomenon.  Ancient philosophers and the Bible alike put importance on this number, as do new age spiritual followers and even psychics.  I never thought much of it, until a friend mentioned to me that it had been following her around.  She realized that it meant something more than meets the eye and knowing I’m a bit of an open-minded soul, directed it my way.  Well, she seemed to have opened some sort of cosmic Pandora’s box, because whatever was on her shoulder has most definitely moved on to mine.

I joke that it’s the same old personal perception phenomenon that we all experience now and again.  Buy a new car, everyone has the same car.  Visit a city, and suddenly the city is in every TV show and song you hear. Try a new restaurant and everyone else has too.  It is the mere fact that something happened in your life and therefore you notice what you never noticed before. I told her that I would start looking for the number 9:08 and since then have not seen it even once, but 11:11? Don’t even get me started. This is different, this is constant, this is unplanned and this is unnatural.  I keep thinking that if I plan to try to see it, then I will twice a day every day, but I don’t.  I’m starting to think this isn’t my plan at all.

Apparently seeing 11:11 can be life’s little way of telling you to open your eyes.  Spiritual guardians have a watch on you and a change is coming. Some believe it is a divine opening, or a snapshot in life; a rift in time and space where all is suspended and in that moment you can insert an alternate reality into your future.  I already live in unreality half the time, so for me and my good friend…well, this means a whole hell of a lot of time not living in the real world.

More seriously though, after months of this, a major change did come for her.  And sadly, not necessarily a good one, but it most definitely caused her to open her eyes and evaluate her life.  I have also had a change recently, I started a new job, but in some ways it is counter-productive to the bigger personal journey I had already begun. I have been in transition and have come to realize that the person I am and the person I thought I was meant to be aren’t necessarily one and the same. What is still coming, only time will tell.  Something tells me I’m into something strange.  But, something also tells me I’m not alone.  And that in itself is strange, even if only for that one minute.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11:11_(numerology)

http://www.examiner.com/article/number-11-and-its-meaning-the-bible

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/29/what-is-the-significance-of-1111/

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-11-11-phenomenon-not-just-another-internet-meme

Time is only an illusion. – Albert Einstein

The Ginga Ninja

Show Me the Money

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rmoneyWhen it comes to finances and life; is there a right way and a wrong way to handle money?  I used to think so.  I don’t think so much anymore.

I always came from the school of thought that you work your ass off, save as much as you can, minimize debt, try to squeeze as much fun as you can out of every last dime and always save for a rainy day.  In more recent years, despite the fact that I still have loads of debt, I also have more liquidity.  If I were smart I would be squirreling away what I do have and making some sort of investment, yet I find myself throwing caution (and money) to the wind in an effort to get back all those wasted years of worrying about money all the time.

This is not to say I never worry about money anymore.  I do, everyone does.  Even my brother who makes the value of his house every year in wages worries about money, but I must admit I don’t worry the same.  On a recent drunken escapade I mentioned to a friend that if it’s $60 and under I no longer worry, I just buy.  The stupidity of that theory is spend $60 too many times and it adds up.  At one point in my 20’s I actually had to count my takeout coffees to decide whether or not I could hit up the bar on the weekend, or afford that new 50% off coat.  How quickly we forget where we came from.

But, when are finances black and white?  We all know people who spend like there is no tomorrow and can’t help but tsk them in the back corner, but we also know people who are cheap bastards and ask for money to pitch into meat.  There has to be a happy medium.

And what happens to your finances when you are suddenly single? All those fantastic savings plans, RRFPs, mortgages, and education bonds sort of fly right out the window.  Does the heart become more important than the head when it comes to money?  Well, I think this area has shades of grey as well.

A good friend of mine did the decent thing in a breakup and walked away with nothing.  He gave up the house, the savings and all earthly belongings just to have a clean break.  Now, a year or two later, he finds himself in a financial pickle.  The head has caught up to the heart and clarity reigns once more.  However, I have another friend who was so intent on getting return from his investment, he attempted to stay in the mortgage with his ex for the long haul, inevitably tying them together for years to come.  So, when do you cut your losses?

I think I can say there isn’t a real right or wrong when it comes to finances…or feelings.  Everybody will have opinions, many will be wrong and somewhere deep in the middle is the fine line we are all searching for.  All I can say is that the last two years have rocked me financially and yet I am more loosey goosey with my funds then ever before.  Call it carefree, call it crazy, but I know I can call it life right now.  And my friend, since I don’t know where that is heading, all I can do is pray for my next keeper to be a multi-billion dollar investment banker living off the coast of Costa Rica in his beachfront home with a yacht parked out front…kidding, sort of.piggybank-red

“When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in the world.  Now that I am older, I know it is.”  – Oscar Wilde

The Ginga Ninja