Category Archives: Positivity

Allergic to Life

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I’m sitting here sniffling. Well sniffling and snotting and sweating and itching and spitting up things I shouldn’t. Kleenex ain’t got nothing on me brother. Sounds like a head cold right? Holy hell no!

The bullshit of life is us pale, freckly, pigment-limited folk are basically allergic to life. I know there are terms for it now – mass cell disorder, pregnenolone deficient, histamine intolerant, genetic inflammatory condition cursed, but whatever you want to call it…it sucks.

Basically too much dust, dander, sun, food, alcohol, seasonal temperature or foliage shifts = itchy, red, stuffy, sore, insomniac days. Ya, it’s bullshit I tell ya. Benadryl is my best friend and explanations to people get fewer and farther between as my fucks given are less and less.

“Well my dear it’s not a real anaphylactic allergy,  but basically too much stimuli makes your system react the same way.” Gee thanks Mother Nature. Or my Maker. Let’s meet. It’s hard to admit, but basically the gist is I’m allergic to life.

And sadly (for them) more and more people around me are starting to see similar trends as they age. Maybe this makes me lucky as I navigated the trials a decade or so ago, and have worked out a daily coping strategy, but screw you Batman – I spent my teens and twenties having no damn idea why I was sick all the time. I was a relatively-healthy drinking, eating, adjusted athlete who just seemed to be damned. Those gingers I tell ya. 

However, misery loves company, so not so sadly (for me), the rest of my generation, guys and girls alike, seem to be catching up. My bf has mystery redness, my boss has pressure-induced stiff neck, her boss is stuffed and calamined, my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law had an unknown attack and here I am counselling and educating those poor unfortunate souls (cue evil Ursula laugh). And handing out migraine and allergy pills like they are candy. It’s not really good or bad, but it’s life. And you know what? I’m still standing. Maybe not pointing and laughing, but certainly thinking that maybe something good came out of all of this lifelong cursed crap. Maybe stretch marks from pregnancy won’t be my undoing, maybe navigating how to work alongside migraines and nerve damage won’t devastatingly derail my career, or even learning how to eat at restaurants and home without totally offending the cook...maybe that’s my silver lining, maybe that’s my happy place, or more appropriately, maybe that’s my ginger lining in life.

“You know, I’m still standing better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid. And I’m still standing after all this time. I’m still standing….”  – Elton John

The Ginga Ninja

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There’s no crying in adulthood…no wait, that’s baseball

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blood_red_thunderstorm_by_mystical_designs-d5622onWhen’s the last time you had a good therapeutic cry?  I don’t mean a little tear rolling down your check during “Step Up 3” or the commercial with the broken Ikea lamp, but I mean a leave it all on the floor, nervous breakdown, bawl to the point your lungs hurt cry?  If are a child, probably yesterday, but let’s be honest…how many adults have these emotional outbursts nowadays…and how many have them in public?

When you were a kid you were allowed to act however you felt at the time. Tired, grumpy, angry, sad, frightened, silly and to a point…well, you were actually allowed to. The world of rules, of disappointment, of fear and of limitations was new to you. Each and every time you had these emotions you were beginning to navigate your way into adulthood. But, as an adult…well, you are supposed to have your shit together. If you saw a woman bawling hysterically in the subway, I doubt you would think, “hmm…I bet she just had a tough day and really needed to get some angst out”, no, you would think, “Suck it up buttercup, get offa my platform because I’ve had a bad day too and you don’t see me crying about it…”

Our empathy gets pretty sparce as we get older and whether we mean to or not, we compare that sad person’s situation against our own. We think that they should be tougher, they should see more silver linings and frankly they should keep their crazies private. But, do you think we might actually have a more balanced society if everybody got to react the way they actually wanted to when they wanted to, better yet, when they needed to?  Would we have a lot more level-headed, sane people out there because they were allowed to have the emotions they were allowed to have when they were allowed to have them?

I know that I for one have had many years of “chin up, there are starving people out there, crying is for weaklings” and a million and one other “isms” told to me. I was told it as a child, I was told it as a teenager and I was told it as an adult. I was raised like a boy and somewhere along the way I created a walled demeanour like a boy…where I looked down on people’s emotional outbursts. However, I can say with possible pride, between the ages of 22 and 28 my opinions completely changed about what everybody was and was not allowed to be sad about. We don’t live eachother’s lives so we don’t get to make eachother’s rules, nor the hell should we.

So, when I found myself huddled on the floor bawling hysterically  for no good reason other than a piling up of life’s little problems and a shaking-level of frustration mounting, I just had to let it happen. I rarely break down in tears.  No matter how bad things get, I tend to try to rationalize them (even when my feelings aren’t rational) or hold those tears in. I rarely actually say or act out my crazy the way I would love to (if my sanity wouldn’t be questioned) and continually try to take the higher road because I’d rather not cross karma’s vindictive little path one time too often.  But, what I can say is following this…well, let’s just call it a therapeutic meltdown… was nothing short of clarity, relief, calmess and peace. Not to push this lesson too far, but I can honestly say that after I cried unapologetically and uncontrollably….the clouds outside actually parted and the sun came out. I want to say metaphorically, but even, literally the rain stopped and the sun shone bright.when_tears_turn_red__by_raynehale-d3knw0b

So, in every life a little rain must fall and after the storm comes the calm – not just metaphorically, but sometimes literally. Have your storm. Yell in your car, write angry letters to nobody and cry. If you can cry whenever you want to, well, be my guest, but if like me you can only cry when your body physically can no longer hold it in…well, then do that too. Trust me, the world would rather you have a downpour of tears than bullets.

The Ginga Ninja

Still Tastes Sweet

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il_340x270.298542240Dear god it’s crazy what only a few hours can do. One moment you are convinced all is okay in your world and only a few short hours later you are looking up strays online to prepare yourself for the crazy cat ladyhood that is bound to come your way.

Dating is frustrating. And tiring. And there are just so many ups and downs. Every single time I think I have wrapped my head around it, and around me in it…a new twist turns up. (Get it? Twists and Turns). You get it.

But, I don’t. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because for every 40 losers we try, there might be 2 with actual chances of survival and even those have slim odds nowadays. I guess we do it for the glimmer in our eye (or ache in our loins), the Rom Coms we love so much, the elderly couple holding hands and the tear shed on a wedding day. Even if that wedding didn’t last so long, the emotions of the day will live on forever. On our iPhones.

Seriously though – why does dating need to be so exhausting? Don’t hate the player, hate the game so they say.

I know the answer. I know that it’s the payoff every now again that makes it worthwhile. It’s the partnership, sharing, intimacy and desire to validate the meaning of our life with another living soul. But, somehow I feel there has to be an easier way. Like ice cream. Or for us hypoglycemics out there some horrible sugar-free alternative. Maybe that’s what we need. A sugar-free alternative to love.

The Ginga Ninja

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Missing your spoon or shovel?

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red-buddha (1)I’ve always been the first to believe in signs. To believe in signs, larger meanings, karmic justice…you name it, I’ve thought it. I can list off a finite number of times I received karmic justice, but not always. No, not always.

Well, today I find myself sitting here thinking there is no deeper meaning or destiny. It is all chance and the actions of individuals. Their risks, their kindness, their anger, their selfishness. Go out and be all that you can be, but don’t believe you are destined to be it. Go out and risk and take challenges not because those will bring you where you are meant to go, but maybe because they will bring you where you never intended to.

I’m tired. I’m tired of waiting for some bigger thing to evolve. It’s not going to happen. This is just the way it is. And I’m so tired of people telling you to keep dating and keep waiting for that all-hallowed match. Don’t settle. Don’t be scared. Don’t be shy. Know what I think? Be whatever you want to be. Do whatever you want to do. If you want to settle – settle! If you don’t want to settle, be prepared for a life potentially alone. Because to be completely honest and completely bitter…the ride on the way to meeting somebody great is a soul-sucking, exhausting, anti-adventure that only the foolish will follow.

Okay, okay. I realize this is all a little pessimistic for my newfound enlightenment, but today I am mad. I am mad because I managed to reconnect with somebody to only have 2 weeks and 3 failed date attempts later him decide the universe didn’t want us together. The universe? You bailed because you were tired, grumpy and ditched me for better plans. So, in the end he wanted to cut our losses while we were ahead (Ahem..our) because though he wanted to go out, he just didn’t believe it was meant to be. Let’s be honest about why, because the universe is intervening or your selfish nature is? Either way, in the end he said he wanted to end with no hard feelings and on good terms – smiley face. My answer? I think good terms may be a bit of an overstatement.

Sure, I’m as rational as the rest of them and have realized holding out for something to work out is like waiting for a third limb to grow out of my ass, but don’t try to feed me bullshit and tell me it tastes good. You get out of life the effort you put into it…or so they say. That in itself may not even be true. Just realize you will have good days and bad and sometimes life just ain’t fair. People ain’t fair. Timing ain’t fair. Circumstance ain’t fair. Maybe there is no bigger meaning to it all. Just surviving can be your indicator for success, well that and maybe managing to leave some ice cream in the damn container.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. – Albert Einstein

The Ginga Ninja

 

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Time for a Wake up Call

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Dreams-come-true-Quotes-She-turned-her-cant-into-cans-and-her-dreams-into-plansIs it normal to hear the song “You Make My Dreams Come True” by the great Hall & Oates TWICE in one day?  Somehow, I think not.  In fact, is it normal to hear this catchy 80’s diddy, 6 times in a month?  I know not.  Is the universe trying to tell me something?

I recently had a job where every manager seemed to get pregnant shortly after starting the job.  I was warned to be careful, or I may be next.  I gave a little giggle because to get pregnant there’s a little secret (shhh)….to get pregnant, you have to be having sex.

As a woman who is up to her ears in rehab, consultation projects, cleaning her own apartment, interviewing, visiting friends and family, back at the gym and caring for pets…well, boys haven’t really been given a ton of time until recently. And you know what?  They seem to be a pretty big waste of it if I’m honest.

But, are all of these warnings and the crazy sign of hearing “You Make My Dreams Come True” trying to tell me something?  Should I be preparing for a life change, or….should I decide that the plain and simple message of that song is simply about me this time.  Maybe I make my dreams come true.  Plain and simple, isn’t that really the only person who can do that for you anyways?

For a long time…a really long time…I didn’t get that.  I didn’t understand that it wasn’t just a matter of being okay single or feeling confident when alone, but being okay alone.  For real.  Whether there is another person in your future or not, you have to stop envisioning one where another person exists and just try to be happy in yourself no matter where, when, or who that may be with.  Stop feeling like you have a void to fill and get ready for a much better problem – trying to actually make time in your busy and fulfilled life for another someone.

In a nutshell, “I make my dreams come true”…and if you are reading this, well, right now YOU are the only other one making my dreams come true because dammit, I kind of really like this writing thing.  So, go out and drink, dance, sing, cry, laugh, ponder, shake, fear, love and risk all the things that make you happy, but do it with the awareness that the outcome may not change your tomorrow.  It is the comfort, the acceptance, the challenge and the knowledge of these things, these pieces of you, that make life worthwhile.

Charlotte honey, did you ever stop to think that maybe we’re the white nights and we have to save ourselves? – Carrie, Sex and the City

The Ginga Ninja

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The Book of Morons

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Recently I went to see The Book of Mormon.  I knew it was a comedy, a parody, a satire, but Lord knows that I had no idea it was from the Creators of South Park. Pretty quickly I learned that it was by faaarr more irreverent than even I realized.

The funny thing is, despite how over the top ridiculous the plot was – there is a real message deep within.

So, before we get to that message, let’s talk a little about the actual Book of Mormon.  As I watched the musical I assumed that much of this must have been exaggerated and dramatized for the plot and humour.  But no, The Church of Latter Day Saints was really started by a man in the 1800’s who had a vision from God, a visit from an angel, supposedly found hidden golden plates and believed that reformed Egyptians moved to the Americas and were introduced to Jesus shortly after his resurrection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon

For educated folk, it sounds farcical and nonsensical, but then again – doesn’t all religion?  I mean, Scientology was begun by a Science Fiction writer in 1952 and believes that we are immortal beings who have forgotten our roots and must pay massive sums to remember them, and let’s not forget, (aliens live in caves).

Deep down, when you think long and hard and learn the origin stories of all religions – do any of them really make any sense? I have had the very rare pleasure (or curse) of learning both sides.  Growing up Dutch Christian reformed, I was a blink away from Mennonite and had many of those “spooky hell dreams” as the creators of South Park so humoursly put it.  I believed in fire and brimstone, I believed in the afterlife and I believed in always doing your best and being your best.  However, after spending years trying to accept others – me and my family were rejected by our church.  Go figure – the term Christianity actually means “to be a decent and generous human being following in the ways of Christ” and my Christian teachers ostracized my family for being too different.  I guess like Baby’s father in Dirty Dancing, they only meant certain people, people like them.

You told me everyone was alike and deserved a fair break. But you meant everyone who was like you.

I decided to take a very different stance on things as I aged, in University I minored in Classical Civilizations.  One of the classes that forever left its mark was Ancient religions…a very in-depth and eye-opening look at the origins of religion.  Believe it or not, many pagan religions came first; many female-based, withcraft-based and poligod religions existed long before we had ever heard of Jesus Christ.  He was most likely a real person, a martyr, a crusader, but all along – man has had some say in how this all played out.  Government wanted to control the masses, only educated men could read or translate the Bible and why do you think so many versions exist?  Because each ruler wanted their own version of the word of God. Might as well be called “the word of the King”.  And know what?  People bought it.  The question is why…or maybe more appropriately, why not?

Deep down…people want something to follow. Why do you think we have so many Parrotheads, Deadheads, Beliebers, Hell’s Angels or Hulkamaniacs?  People want to be part of something bigger; a deeper meaning, a larger idea, a better future, or a meaningful past.  Believe something hard enough and sure enough, somebody will believe it with you.

Does this make it all bad?  No, no it doesn’t.  It doesn’t make it all true either.  It’s up to each and every one of us to decide how much we are willing to think for ourselves and how much we are willing to believe as gospel.  There is a morsel of truth in most stories, but there is a mountain of ego too.  Even though the characters in my musical realized that in the end there is no difference between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Arnold; what they also realized is that people are searching for an idea.  So many things in life are a metaphor and if people have a common belief, they have a common purpose.  Like Elder Price said, “No, No, No…it doesn’t matter if the stories are true or not! That’s not the point!”  People became harmonized, happy and hopeful.  Isn’t that the point?  For a girl whose religion is pretty much Disney world…it was almost like…Orlando….

“For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.” ― Albert Einstein

The Ginga Ninja

Swimming in the Shallow End of the Pond

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stock-footage-loop-features-colorful-submerged-autumn-leaves-in-a-shallow-pond-with-tree-branches-reflected-uponHave you ever been called shallow?  It’s a term I haven’t received a ton in my life, but recently…well, not too long ago, I was picky.  My version of hot and somebody else’s version of hot don’t always align even on the best of days, but for a few months there they definitely did not.  I can pick out my friend’s types based on looks and interests and I hope they could do the same for me.  But, is it fair to say that there should be equal parts attraction and compatibility?

You can be incredibly attracted to somebody and they can be a wrong match.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I’ve spent years with them.  You can also become very attracted to somebody based on their personality.  When you are really hitting it off, you can’t keep your eyes off of them….but, when their unreliable true colours come out…well, suddenly not so hot anymore.

So, in this world of online dating where it’s like shopping in a catalogue – is choosing to speak to somebody that seems cute AND interesting a crime?  The world works different in reality.  You meet somebody and you have a spark.  You don’t always pick it, it isn’t necessarily because of looks and you can’t really choose what their career will be.  I’ve been attracted to still-students and people the same height as me; co-workers, neighbours and even a former boss. Sometimes the guy you hate later becomes your boyfriend (cue 15 year old me) and somebody who was the hottest thing since sliced bread in University gradually becomes repulsive to you (cue 21 year old me).  But, what happens when dating is now like flipping through a magazine…does being picky make you shallow?

I don’t know.  I know that if I stumbled across somebody and things happened naturally it’s a whole new ballgame.  But I’m back in the field and just seem to keep getting grounders. I’ll be the first to admit that looks aren’t everything, but my god, they are something.

“There’s nothing wrong with being shallow as long as you are insightful about it.” – Dennis Miller

The Ginga Ninja