Rudesheim, Germany- Photo by Tio Ceho on the Fivehundredpx/Jose Plaza Photography
Paris has always been an elusive city to me, a sort of beautiful dream. It was enchanting, alluring, romantic and captivating-but somehow, always a little out of reach for me and my bookseller/medical extern/research assistant budget.
But all that changed last fall, when my mother gave me the gift of a lifetime. I was going with her to Paris. Paris! The city of my dreams! I had talked up this fantasy with everyone for YEARS!; so much so that my name had become synonymous with Paris in my little circle of friends.
‘Paris? Oh! That must be for S.’
‘France? It’s definitely S you want to talk to. Go find her, she’ll tell you all about it’.
‘Geez! Can’t she just shut up about Paris already?!’ (lol)
Needless to say, it was a journey of a lifetime-and the complete opposite of what I had envisioned in my mind. The fairytale and the reality meshed together, creating a memory so humbling, soulful, eye-opening and utterly lovely that I don’t think I will ever recover from it.
And nor do I ever want to.
Stay tuned for my hilarious mother-daughter adventures in France, see you soon! x
Hello Friends! I recently started another blog devoted entirely to my obsession with books. It is a love affair that has spanned decades, with each and every book leaving it’s imprint on my life and my perspective of the world. I posted my first official post today, I hope you check it out!
Every year, after the holiday has come and gone, I like to take a moment to just sit by my Christmas tree and reflect on how the season played out. Overall it was a nice Christmas and New Year-with moments of warm cheer, generosity and spirit, but also moments of loneliness, worry and solitude.
The holidays tend to be advertised as “the most wonderful time of the year”, but just like everyday life, it is an emotional rollercoaster, with its beautiful highs and lows amidst the softly falling snow.
While pondering these thoughts by the tree, the following book came to mind. “A Boy Called Christmas” by Matt Haig was gifted to me by the lovely Harper Collins Canada this season and it was wonderful, it completely mirrored my own Christmas spirit. Whenever those polarizing emotions took over me, this book read like a favourite Aunt; empathizing with me…
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My friends and I were having a conversation the other day, and we realized that 2016 was coming to a close. A mere 10 days left of yet another year gone too quickly. I can’t say that 2016 was an extreme year for me; there were some great highs and some intense lows. But overall, it was a good year.
So we began to go around the table, stating resolutions and promises for the new year to come, and when it came to me I said, “None of that..but One”.
“What?” they exclaimed. “You the eternal optimist? The resolution maker? The goal achiever? What does that even mean?”
“It means” I said “That this year, I am having none of that, but for One thing. And that thing is, I’m going to choose Me”.
This was met with a varied chorus of ‘Good-for-yous’ and ‘Whatevers’-but to me, that was the only thing that popped into my head. For the first time in my life, when I think of the New Year-I see nothing. No goals, no plans, no resolutions, no outlines. Just a blank, white space.
And I realized, it’s because I made the decision to put myself first and I know NOTHING about myself. I am so used to putting others before me, to living and thinking and being another’s version of myself, that when I actually think about Me objectively-It’s just a blank white space.
This year, I am choosing to get to know Me. And it’s pretty damn exciting!
For the first time in my life, the spotlight is on Me. I get to focus entirely on myself first. I get to meet myself, befriend myself, learn about how I work, what makes me tick, what are my weak spots, how my brain runs, how my heart beats. Its pretty cool and I encourage you to try it.
For 2017, Choose You. Take time for You. Look at You. Meet You. Discover You. Be with You. Learn about You. Like You. Share You. Protect You. Speak Up for You. Respect You. Love You.
This is not a selfish act. It is a generous act, because when you love and take care of You, you can love and take care of Others properly. It’s a ripple effect. Everyone wins.
So hears to the coming of a wonderful New Year! May 2017 be filled with all the love, happiness, health, wealth, success, safety and magic in the world for you.
Take care and talk soon.
The brilliant Nayyirah Waheed brings it home again.
Straight to the heart.
Eight years ago, I fell in love with my friend. I didn’t realize it till much later, and then I was too scared to say anything, for fear of ruining our friendship. Time passed, we grew apart, but still kept in touch. On a trip to Paris however, everything changed. I confessed my present love, He confessed his past love, and we realized we were too late. We had lost our chance. The moments were gone and all I am left with now is the ‘what if’-which, to me is the most heart-breaking thing of all.
We’re caught in a Loveship. Neither love, nor friendship-but the something in between. In order to get over my heartbreak, I wrote down every memory I have of Him in my journal. It made me smile and cry. He is a wonderful man and I want to celebrate His moments in my life, celebrate Him so much that eventually I can let Him go with a smile-and genuinely mean it.
As a result, I thought I’d share my story here. With You. I chose art by illustrator Pascal Campion (www.pascalcampion.com/shop) to complement each post because I just love his work. To me, his illustrations personify Love in all it’s forms and I think, in this case at least, he captures my “Loveship” perfectly.
Wish me luck..
Poetry by Nayirah Waheed
I sent this piece to a friend today, a budding Poet who’s love for words rival my own, and her reaction was just lovely.
Here’s what she texted me…
“Honest to goodness gracious. These words are exactly what I need right now. Thank you sooooo much! xx”
That’s the beauty of the words of Nayyirah Waheed-there is always a verse to move your soul to peace. For me, she generates hope. And at the end of the day, hope is where my faith lies.
Sacre-Coeur in the starlight, Montmontre , Paris France.
The cherry blossoms in Yoshino, Japan captured by Paul Hillier.
It’s that time again-spring is around the corner and the cherry blossoms are about to arrive. In fact, they’ve already hit the west coast of Canada, bursting into bloom in Victoria, British Columbia.
As lovely as they are here in Canada, one day I would like to travel to Japan just to see the Sakura come to life. Like this photograph, it must be breath-taking!
One day, one day….
February has always been a special month for me-it’s my birthday month, it’s Valentine’s Day, the Winterlicious Festival starts, winter begins to thaw and, in my humble opinion, it was the most unique month of thus far due to Leap Year, that extra day tacked on every 4 years.
This year however, February was extra special for me because two of my best friends of 15+ years got married, and I was honoured to be a bridesmaid to them both.
There is something very special when you’re close friends get married. I’ve been to a few weddings- some family some acquaintances, but attending my best friends’ weddings was something else altogether. It hit me right in the heart. I was touched from beginning to end. Every little thing about the day was felt so keenly. Helping the bride dress up, standing by the couple to take photos, watching her Dad give her away, seeing her tear up when hugging her mother-each moment was so special. The hustle, bustle and utter madness of the day couldn’t take away from the pure joy, love and delight you feel seeing your girl marry the man of her dreams.
I laughed, cried, froze my ass off during the photoshoot and made a total fool of myself dancing my way into the reception, but it was all worth it to see the bride and groom so incredibly happy.
The day was grand and the night even grander. We ate, drank and danced till we literally could not walk. In my book, popping a Tylenol for my sore and swollen feet the next day is always a mark of a night to remember–and these two weddings were no exception.
Here’s to my two lovely girls, and to their even lovelier husbands…thank you for allowing me to be apart of your special day, I look forward to being by your side for the rest of life’s milestones ahead of you.