# A Poet’s Piece#

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The brilliant Nayyirah Waheed brings it home again.

Straight to the heart.

 

 

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#The English Garden Project#

This summer I spent a lot of time in my garden. I still dream of transforming my backyard into the Traditional English Garden-which essentially translates into flowers flowers everywhere; however, I know that achieving that picture perfect landscape takes time, years in fact. So I’m tackling this project slowly, one side at a time.

I finished about 75% of the back fence and plan to tackle the west fence next year, but here are the initial results. I’m pretty happy and proud of them, not only has it been a really fun cardio workout, but I’ve been able to transform my small piece of land into my own little dream haven where I can sit back, put my feet up and relax with a glass of wine, family, friends or just me and my puppy. It’s rather great…

Cheers!

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#The Book In My Purse#

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I love books. So much so that I keep a book in my purse at all times. I pull it out when there’s a long line at the bank,  if I’m waiting for my friend for lunch, I even pulled out my book in Starbucks while waiting for a blind date to show up. Books are literally and figuratively a part of me, they’re my dreamworld come to life.

While my entire being feels beaten down by the fact that my other passion, being a Family Physician, has yet to be fulfilled  ( I am a Canadian IMG waiting for a Family Medicine Residency), I have to admit that my heart loves being at the bookstore. For a few days a week I can escape my daily struggles of becoming a Family Physician and spend a few hours surrounded by thousands of books! In between customers, I browse the aisles, checking out what’s new, what’s old, what’s making a come-back, what needs a thorough re-read because the last time I read it, it sucked. I get to test out the new releases, I have dibs on the last copy available, and I love love love helping kids find the right book for them. I am thrilled when both parents and kids come back and tell me I was right on the money and to recommend more stuff to them. It’s fantastic really.

I think my passion for books started when I was 2 years old. My mother used to buy me those read-along Disney paperbacks, you know where the cassette goes ding and you turn the page? From that moment on, books were my world, not real life. Even today, books are my thing. I play out their stories according to my own imagination and emotions, like a movie running through my head, perfectly directed by the author for me.

Books are also fabulous teachers. I grew up very sheltered and protected and despite being in my 3os, I feel like I’m still 22-clueless about the real world and real life. Books teach me things. Other peoples’ experiences, opinions, thought processes, choice of words-they all teach me things. And when those lessons collide with a life experience of my own, an explosion of understanding and awareness sets off in me, and I can see and feel things in a different way.

In short, books are amazing and I hope to share my reviews of the current book in my purse right here with you. They are one of the most enjoyable ways to relax and learn,seriously. But the best thing I love about books is that, no matter what you read or how many hours you devote to it, you always come back to real life just a little bit different. You are not the same you before you opened that cover and read that story. That book generates a spark and changes you; and most times, its for the better.

LoveUntitled @_@

#Depression-It’s Ok# -Depression In the Moment

I was on Facebook today and I came across this blog post by the Humans of New York website which I really wanted to share. While Depression and Mental Illness are slowly coming out into the sphere of public discussion as genuine medical conditions, I feel that sometimes it is very difficult for patients to put into words the exact feelings of Depression in that very dark moment; And as a result, it’s harder for sick people to talk about it, and even harder for healthy people to understand and take seriously.

Before I even knew I was depressed, I was labelled everything from being “too sensitive” to “lazy” to “procrastinating” to “always having a problem”, “PMS-ing” or “arrogant and self-absorbed”. While there have been moments in my life where I have been all of those things, they do not define Depression. Even today, I find it hard to talk to family and friends about it mainly because I don’t know how to describe it without it sounding superficial or whiny or tempermental.

So when I saw this blog post, I instantly felt connected to this woman. She knows what I mean to say, she has constructed in words exactly what I feel on those bad days. And she shared her story with Humans of New York in a very real, beautiful, matter-of-fact way. I’m truly grateful for this post and I hope Humans of New York will continue to post more stories like this. Afterall, it’s given me a way to explain my own symptoms during my darkest  moments and, to be honest, to be able to do that and help others understand this disease, well that’s half the battle won already.

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HUMANS OF NEW YORK BLOG POST

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“When I was depressed, it felt like I was walking through mud all the time. My head was filled with thoughts like, ‘If my friends knew who I really was, they wouldn’t love me.’ And, ‘What right do I have to exist?’ And, eventually, ‘Why do any of us have the right to exist?’ If people were being kind to me, I wasn’t able to access that kindness. It wouldn’t produce a feeling in me. If a child smiled at me from a stroller, it might lift me up for a millisecond, but then I’d fall back into darkness. Before I was depressed, I could find joy in things so easily. I worked as a gardener, and I learned the calls of the birds so I could tell where they were just by listening. I loved to show new plants and insects to children, and see how excited they’d get. I made a 50th birthday card for my sister, and got strangers from all over the world to write ‘Happy Birthday’ in their language. But during my depression, I couldn’t access any of that joy. I’d try reminding myself that other people had bigger problems. I’d try telling myself to quit being weak, and to snap out of it. But nothing worked.”

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“I’m trying to come back to work after a period of depression. I’ve battled it off-and-on my whole life, but two years ago the wheels just completely came off. I’d just had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my friends, and I went to sleep in a good mood, but then the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. I was still in bed four days later when my boss started calling. The next two years were a battle. I lost my job. I was hospitalized three times. I filled a giant binder with information about depression, where to find programs, and how to appeal your insurance company. I felt like I was fighting for my life. I’d call a hospital that specialized in a certain type of therapy, and they’d tell me they didn’t take my insurance. I’d say: ‘Please help me. I’m dying.”

#Think About It#

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This is one of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou, a poet that I am really into these days. i just finished reading one of her books entitled “Letters to My Daughter and the one thing that struck me is how deliberate she was. In every piece of her work, each word is significant, carefully chosen, alone or in combination, to create an impression. Her words paint pictures for me, not flashes or bursts of clarity, but slow and progressive thoughts, that become understood  and absorbed with time.

If you cannot read the above quote properly, let me write it out for you.

“Stand up straight and realize who You are. That You tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight”

Any time I begin to feel down or ashamed about my circumstances,  I think about these words. Slowly, steadily, sort of like building a wall, they re-inforce me. Brick by brick, little by little, my foundations of self-confidance, self-respect and self-love return and I become stronger and happier and more mindful of the life around me.

And the best part about these words is that the feeling it creates in you, isn’t just a fleeting thing-it establishes roots. It stays with you and grows until eventually it changes you. You become strong and resilient, attuned and steadfast. And you realize that you are a person of significance, a person meant to last.

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My Love Song to Toronto

This is an amazing photo gallery of Toronto, I’m just blown away by these photographs. Even the title of this post is beautiful! Not only are these photographs spectacular, but they really capture the various moods of Toronto–exciting, sophisticated, tranquil, open, whirlwind etc; the emotions–that’s what really caught me at first sight. Thank you for the post!

Feel free to check out Ryan’s blog and website for more of his work 🙂

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Ryan Bolton.

Toronto is my muse.

Here are some of my favourite shots of this great city as of late. Go explore.

Humber Bridge Toronto By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ryan Bolton. All rights reserved. Photo by Ryan Bolton. All rights reserved.

Flatiron Toronto Gooderham By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

IMG_7810 By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Toronto's flatiron the Gooderham Building. (Photo by Ryan Bolton) By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Toronto at night | Photo by Ryan Bolton By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

IMG_1733 By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Toronto at Night Photo By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Purple & Blue CN Tower By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Humber Bridge Toronto Night By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Toronto Flatiron Night Photo By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

Boy and the Tower (Photo by Ryan Bolton) By Ryan Bolton. All Rights Reserved.

To see more of my photography, go here. If you’d like to use or purchase any of my work, contact me here.

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