No one tells you how challenging it will be to eat your food while it's still hot, nonetheless juggle friendships, marriage and a career that you love. No one tells you that you'll be able to love another human being so much and want to bury them in the backyard all at the same time. No one tells you how hard it is to be a decent human being when you haven't had enough sleep and no one tells you how precious stain remover becomes. No one tells you any of these things before you become a parent. Even if they did...would you have believed them anyways? But no one ever tells you either that you might wake up one Mother’s Day and spend it visiting a cemetery. No one ever tells you where to buy a card when you’re in the darkest years of your relationship with the woman who gave you life. No one ever tells you that you might spend Mother’s Day in bed crying because you wonder if the only thing harder than being a Mother…is not being one. Because the truest parts about Mother’s Day aren't written in a book. But something will happen one day; maybe you'll be up in the night with a sick baby or wake up one morning on the flip side of toddler-hood. Maybe you'll just see a photo of your own mother or catch a glimpse of yourself in her eyes. Maybe you'll be in a room full of other women who are listening to you cry or maybe you'll be the one reaching out your hand to someone in the darkness. And you'll suddenly realize that you know... You know that for every bouquet of flowers being handed out over brunch, there’s another bouquet being placed alongside a gravestone. For every handmade card and macaroni necklace, there’s a mother and her child struggling to get past the hurt. For everyone waking up today for the first time as a mother, there is someone else waking up for the first time as a grieving one. You know that not all Mother’s Days are created equal. (continued below...)
My friend Matt and I met when we both worked on Parliament Hill. Political life was a universe entirely its own and is built in a way that can encompass your entire being; physically, mentally, socially. Matt and I were having lunch one day when he expressed some frustration towards his dating life. “I don’t want to date people that I work with anymore…but it’s just so hard to meet people other than those that I already work with” he told me. He was right. Our lives basically covered a four block radius of downtown Ottawa and we had very little time to step out of the world we had thrown ourselves into. “I saw an ad recently for a website called ‘Lavalife’” I told him. “It’s a dating site, you should try that!” “What? Internet dating? Are you serious??” He was clearly appalled! “Sure! Why not? It will give you the chance to meet people off the Hill without actually having to GO off the Hill!! Do you have a better idea?!?!” He paused for a minute to consider my argument. “I can’t. What if I met someone and things worked out? How would I ever explain that to my grandmother?!?!” Me: stares at him while look of exasperation spreads across my face. “Don’t look at me like that,” he responds “if you think it’s so great, then why don’t YOU do it?” “Because I’m not the one looking for a date! I tell him. “You totally think it’s crazy too, don’t you??” He retaliates. “No…not at all actually!” I say. “Fine. Then you do it first. You join this Lavalife site and put yourself out there. And if you go on three different dates, without losing all hope in humanity, then I promise to do the same.” Me: rolls eyes “Do we have a deal?” He asked me. A silence lingered between us as we carefully considered the stakes. Moments later, we shook hands on the spot and I marched away from the table determined to make my friend step up to the plate. Exactly sixteen years ago today, I went on that third date. And two years later, Matt attended our wedding!! Moral of the story: be careful what you challenge your friends to do...some of them might be secret overachievers!!! ❤️ #fromwhereistand #storytellers #portraitcollective #lovestory
When I was in my mid-twenties, I met a guy. He was tall and handsome and kind, and given that I had come out of a devastating breakup less than a year earlier, I was absolutely convinced he would break my heart again in all the same places. We spent a fair bit of time together over the course of a couple of months. He was very clear about his feelings and his desire to move forward. I was very clear about my feelings and my desire to stand still. So, there we were. Friends. Neither here nor there, but nonetheless, somewhere. We continued like this for a while and things seemed fine. Until he met someone else. And I proceeded to lose my ever-loving mind. Apparently, when I said that I didn’t want to pursue a relationship with him, what I also meant was that I didn’t want him to pursue a relationship with anyone else either. Seems totally fair... 🙄 But something happened to me as I watched him fall for this new girl in his life; a storm brewed, a tension built, a cloud darkened. I became angry and bitter and jealous. And ultimately, I hurt him. This person who wanted to be with me and experience life with me and care about me; I hurt him. It was so awful. But with nearly twenty-years having gone by now (and a very sincere apology), I can honestly say one thing… I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was trying to protect myself. It doesn’t mean what I did to him was right. It simply means what I was going through was human. I was scared of loving another person again. I was scared to trust someone again. I was scared of being seen again. So I built a wall around myself that I wanted him to patiently stand beside. I was content to let him adore me as long as I had something to hide behind while it happened. When he finally asked me to step away from the bricks and I said no, he did what any reasonable person would do; he opened himself up to someone who wouldn’t keep their heart hidden away behind a tower of fear. That’s the thing about pushing people away; if you do it often enough, they will--eventually--leave you alone. I’m not proud of what I did or who I was or how I treated this person. (continue below...)
Old Montreal. #wanderlust #blackandwhite #architecture #travelphotography
Sometimes I feel really afraid by the sheer force that comes with being human. The potential pain, the exquisite joy, the breathless wonder. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the absolute beauty that exists in the universe. The way the light falls across a surface, the sound of a certain song, words spread across a page. Sometimes I meet people and feel like I’ve known them my whole life. And a life before that. And another life before that. Sometimes love scares me so much that I wonder how we survive it all. Sometimes I think that art is the only thing left that makes sense in the world. Sometimes I think that strangers are God's best kept secret. Sometimes crying is the only thing that makes me feel better. Sometimes the ocean whispers my name. Sometimes my soul aches. Sometimes my spirit soars. Sometimes my heart breaks. But most of the time, the only thing I fear more than falling apart...is never shattering at all.