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Gut-punch

Had a chance to check-in with a friend. Haven't seen or interacted with this person in a while. Their struggles have been similar as of late to mine. Came to a few thoughts...

As I shared in my previous post, the job has been going well. The self-reflection and candidness around myself hasn't been as good. As if from a daze, I'm trying to reconcile with:

  • my self confidence: not sure where this disappeared to, but its very weird to look at myself and see myself stumble at even basic interactions with other people. This is not so much to do with my ability or skill, but rather my confidence and belief in myself.

  • my physical appearance: its quite strange to look at a mirror, day-in and day-out and now come to a point where I don't even recognize the other person in the reflection, or in a photo. I can fluctuate a significant amount of weight in a few weeks time and my body-shape is all out of whack

  • my spiritual self: as if I have repressed it for a long period of time, it yearns for flight, light, and enlightenment. It seems to soak my open wounds in rays of sunlight and energy that I find myself constantly trying to find a way to recharge

  • my social network: the ties that bind and the glue that once held together is no longer there. I don't make the energy or effort as I still struggle with the spotlight and attention of the changes that I have made recently. The pain seems easier to sink into, as its something that's been a constant companion now, and happiness is but a stranger or distant relative.

  • emotional connectivity: trying to tune myself back to my emotional self isn't as simple as picking a tuning fork. I find myself exploring some of the sappy and emotive moments of reality tv like X-Factor or SYTYCD to try to unlock and peel away the layers of hardened and rotten buildup.



The reality is that I've been hearing this advice and feedback for years, but I've been lost for a long time. Not ready, stubborn, avoidist, etc.But at some point, the status-quo no longer holds, what once only bent now breaks, and then that's when change happens. But as they say, without the rain, you cannot see the rainbow...

  • my self confidence: working on this. moving action into habits, habits into skills. Need to forgive myself as this takes time.

  • my physical appearance: i am who i am. While its easy to be invisible when you are fat, its about momentum and moving forward. In addition to the fitbit, and trying to do some basic calorie tracking, trying to get back into spin class more regularly. Biking, the one activity I didn't really get into this year felt like a big disconnect. In some ways, I wonder if I enjoyed (or associated) it more as a coping strategy than an activity. Still reconciling this.

  • my spiritual self: forgiveness and meditation and acceptance. Deep breathing exercises. The ebbs and flows of a day make this feel a bit more of a challenge, but i think I'm starting to understand...

  • my social network: everything has a place.. people as well... the only constant is change...

  • emotional connectivity: i am probably going to have a lot more bad days for a little while, and just gotta be okay with that.. On the flip side, I've got a lot more vacation time ahead now...



I am moving forward.. and that's the most important part. A bit more than yesterday and a bit more than the day before.

Decisions...

Started a new job about a few months ago. Its been an interesting ride. Been a chance to open my eyes and see the world with the blinds open a bit more.

Job has been great. Forced me to actually find a bit more of life-balance. That's been very interesting. The best way to describe it is detox. Trying to figure out what that might look like. Been stripping away to see what is left and bare. Its a bit shocking to see where my health and confidence level are at. Lots of things just don't connect or fit anymore. Sometimes its just a matter of figure things out from the ground up. I am really blessed in this economic climate to have a job and a chance to grow and move forward.

I find people and their stories fascinating and interesting, and I think I'm going to start writing them down here so I can remember..

One of older colleague (HS) used to work at a company, and was seconded to work at a non-profit. He did this two years in a row. Second year, after returning to the company, and even having the flexibility for a promotion, transfer or change, decided that it wasn't a fit. He called the non-profit to see what opportunities were available and how he could help.

Another colleague (KC) used to work at a pharmaceutical startup. Before that she was working front-line helping and assisting women who were on the street. From there, it sounds like she's worked a diverse number of experiences, from nursing to finishing her MBA, and running marketing campaigns for alcohol companies.She mentioned to me that she worked hard and every position she worked, she wanted to grow and learn how to do business better. She said that every step forward she wanted to know how to run a business and how to take that expertise and skill to move forward.

There's another one (MG), who although enjoys fishing a lot has moved across the world to give his children a better education and move away from apartheid. Its really interesting to hear it from a perspective as a white South African. Over the last few months, I've learned that South African's apartheid program has some roots from the horrific residential school program that the Indigenous people living on Canadian lands had to suffer from. To hear it was a very conscious and deliberate choice that moving away was the right decision for his family was eyeopening. To hear his perspective that those who initially benefited from being ignorant and 'righteous' but didn't choose to move forward and sit within their own ignorance and racism was comforting.

Tags:

Rut...

Feeling like crap right now... hit a rut. Everyone is discovering happiness around them, and I feel like a toxic element that can't help but touch and taint that which is around me.. I know what I have to do.. Its just going to take some time to fix and get there....

I can't help but think that my life is amusement for others. Friends call and count on me when shit hits the fan. Even friends that I haven't heard from in a long time, its hearing them out or helping them fix a problem. One friend today mentioned at work today that when she described me to her bf, that I have a lot of friends, and a lot of 'other friends'... being various roles in their lives.. but not fulfilling my needs.

The smartest of my friends have cut me off... not just from the crap that goes on in their life, but all the other stuff too. I need to Do the same as well...

Still .. when I calm down, I come to the realization what I am doing is right. I sleep at night, and I am a pretty good person. I don't own a house, a car or make a lot of money, but that doesn't take away from who I am. I will lose more people in my life this year, and probably even next year. I am thankful and grateful of those who still continue to stick by me. I am not who I am without them...

Calgary Flood 2013



By now, the worst of the Flood is over. I've experienced rainfall and a few floods, but nothing on this scale. I count myself extremely fortunate as our family is located far from the river and up on higher ground.

The tsunami of water that continues to flow quickly down the river is so extreme that it wasn't far off from the flows of the Niagara Falls, except it the color was a turbid brown full of who knows what.

This whole experience has been so surreal. Friday it continued to rain, but the intensity just didn't let up. The City began to share evacuation notices around lunch time and strongly advised everyone in affected areas to leave work and go home and pack. From there, it only got more and more intense. News reports upstream showing the devastation of High River and Canmore just reinforced how insane this flood was going to be. I kept hearing stories of friends being evacuated.

But then something else happened. I heard of other friends, and even complete strangers opening up their homes and hearts. Friends boarding other friends. Completely strangers opening up their homes to people they didn't even know. And it kept going and going. I think these stories are what make the Calgary Flood just so amazing. The flood of love and hope that has spread has just been an amazing phenomenon. It has not restored my faith and love in humanity, but re-energized it too.

Stories keep flowing, people keep sharing and as a community, I know that Calgary, and Alberta will be better for it. Still, I think the best is yet to come.

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2013 Calgary Flood

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2013 Calgary Flood, a set on Flickr.

Walking around downtown Calgary on Day 3 of the Calgary Flood of 2013. Calgary is still under a local state of emergency and downtown for all intents and purposes shut down and closed off.

Bad Day

Pissed her off. At least I am pretty sure. Having a really rough day. One of those days where I just want to go and quit my job and take off somewhere. Of course running away always solves problems.

Working through my emails this morning just wanted to throw up. Yah. It's just not good enough.

I still wonder if I know what I am doing and the decisions I am making are the right ones. Or maybe it's a little late...

I have a tendency to put my heart in things that I know don't work out. Trying to decide between going to skating tonight or gambling. I want a redo of today....

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Detox...

Sometimes you need to cut things off, for good reason. Can't sleep tonight, and while its been a busy weekend, sometimes you can't have a new beginning without letting certain things go.

Its not time yet, but soon. All good things come to an end, and so this will too. What that looks like remains to be seen...

Vancouver - Day 0

Didn't get much sleep, as I went to bed late. Went to bed at 2am, and ended up waking someone up at 5am. Went into work with my luggage all packed up. Just crazy busy day at work with new job function. Its a bit challenging as I cannot share certain information, but other information I must share. The way that some of this reorganization hasn't been handled well, and its a bit disappointing... Still, spent the more in meetings and running back and forth for different things. Weather wasn't great either..

At lunch time met up with Winnie. Its been a while since our first lunch encounter. Timing and scheduling... She ended up bringing a friend, and we weren't able get a table at Bumpys Cafe. Seeing as they only have a few seats, it was kind of expected. Met her coworker Connie. We spent lunch time conversing mostly about their work and accounting stuff, but it was a nice break to get out of the office. Soon after another meeting with my new manager, I ended up heading off to the airport. Was going to take the shuttle, but a taxi flagged me down, and I got a ride to the airport. I suppose I could have saved a few $ this way, but just wanted to get to the airport. The yucky snowfall isn't much fun either, and so it was nice to be able to get away from that.... though its been reported to rain this weekend.

There was a bit of miscommunication between Holly and I, and she had thought I left her and had already checked in. Ummm .. no. But after clearing screen, we did end up managing to get to Vancouver. Flight was delayed for 45 minutes. I don't think I've ever seen the WestJet area filled up with so many people. I guess this is what backlogged flights look like. On the flight, spent most of the time trying to help Holly edit some documents, but its a quick flight from Calgary over to Van. Retrieved our baggage, and then headed down to Bev's place. Being a long evening, we took an expensive cab ride over to her place instead of dealing with the SkyTrain. Still, once we arrived, Bev was awesome and warm and welcoming as always. Her place is pretty awesome and cozy. The only thing that isn't so great is that its in Surrey.

Both Bev and Holly went to the same high school as one point, so it seemed that both of them recognized each other. It was exciting to hear stories of Bev's adventures in her industry. Her sharing her hard work and success, and her passion, was definitely infectious. After a bit, we said good night to Bev, and helped her pack her car. Back in the apartment, both Holly and I were pretty hungry so we started scouring for places to eat. Pizza was off the table for a number of reasons, I had it a few days ago at work, and someone else doesn't like it. So we ended up finding this Chinese restaurant that would deliver after hours. The website was quite ghettto but ended up ordering the following...

Bright Point Fusion Foods

- Shrimp Dumplings
- Scallop Dumplings
- Pork Dumplings
- Spareribs
- Quail for $5
- BBQ Lamb Skewers
- BBQ Chicken Skewers
- Chicken Wings
- BBQ Squid x 2
- Lots of Spicy Oil + Hot Sauce
- Beef Chow Fun (Gon Chow Gnow Hor)

Quail was quite small, even by our standards and a bit pricey. The dumplings were pretty good and standard fair. Skewers were a bit small, but tasty and spicy. When ordering food, he asked how spicy and Holly yelled out really spicy. Extra hot sauce was requested and delivered. It was quite hot. Price was quite reasonable for what we ordered, but that's usually how Chinese food here is. Most of it was standard fare, but it was a better option than pizza. Owner/Delivery guy was impressed that "my wife" could handle such spice, and invited us back to have spicy hot pot. We'll probably pass, but if its late, and in Surrey and want to have something other than pizza, might do this again.

Todays adventures are going to be a bit crazier once we start getting up for the day. Going to have amazing waffles at Medina's. Going to also head over to JapaDog (original one on Burrard), and then hopefully we can get tickets for a movie premiere of a movie that Bev has been working on and really proud of. We'll also be going downtown to have Guu (Garlic) afterwards. There's probably a few more things going on, but will update tomorrow's blog entry.

Winding Down...

Trying to wind down people's crises. There's still quite a bit going on, and I'm need to spend more time with me. There is a natural progression, and this is what I see. I think this is some of the loneliness that people talk about.

My strategy of keeping myself busy with other things so I don't have to think about it, doesn't work anymore. Two major events happened for a few friends over the last few days. One, a friend lost their job due to a round of layoffs. Going through something similar over a decade ago, I do understand the torn feelings of betrayal and anger. Though, I do believe they will rebound quickly after a nice trip to Vancouver. That, and maybe a pet, or another addition to the family will help too... *wink.

My other friend has called off her engagement. I've been consoling her as a friend and trying to support her, but also challenge her as well. Relationships fail for many reasons, and there's more than enough blame to go around. It doesn't take away that they both might be great people, but just not meant for each other... If there's something there in the future, then it is what it is... Was able to convince her to take a brief trip to NYC for a few days to unwind and check-in.

My buddy morpheus_23 is in town, and we haven't had a chance to catch up. His daughter isn't feeling well, and been bouncing around from hospital to clinic. They fly out tomorrow, so will have to make arrangements to see him next time around, or fly out there. Still trying to add up all my vacation days left for the year.. I am torn to take a trip, as the economics aren't there for me, but it would a good break as well....

Weekend...

Weekend is a bit of a bust... Was waiting for my buddy to show up, and his little girl got sick. Trying to meet up with him and the newest member of the family. Understandably, shit happens, and bad timing...

Parents are starting to ween themselves into retirement... so far only poking and prodding into the life of my siblings and leaving me unscathed so far..

My brother got busted tonight for liking a girl. Pretty easy for mom to catch. You know, when she shows up and picks him up. He shaves for the first time in weeks, and showers and goes out and looks presentable. Hah! One day, he's just gotta ask her out. Otherwise he's going to lose her, and not like being that guy who wasn't there...

Pushed a friend to do some last minute traveling over the weekend. They were struggling with a few things in their personal life, and things just came to ahead. I think they are over the hump now, but I also think they have a bit more strength and resolve to move forward, whatever that future looks like... Been so used to text messaging them quite a bit over the last few months, I've realized I need to disconnect...

Had the most amazing sushi on Friday evening with silvenwolf. Just doesn't summarize it. She's already spoken up that I host a birthday party event there. Should be quite interesting. There's also a few other events that she has invited herself too. Usually I'm the one dragging people to things, so this is a bit different, though I sense a lot of fun.

Met up with a co-worker for lunch on Thursday. She called me on a few things. She was having an off day, but I've just been off completely for a while. It was uncomfortable, but I did need to hear the feedback. I don't want to hide things, but I do need to be selective about the information I share. I have no issues with sharing it with her, but others who I work with, I don't have that luxury or feeling. The battle lines are being drawn and I have to know where I stand. More importantly, I need to be prepared to defend, or to walk away, or both...

I have a few weeks of vacation remaining for the year. Trying to not kill too much time off, so I am curious as to what to do. I am starting to find that I hate traveling alone, and the destinations don't interest me. Perhaps maybe its more about the stories and people. Might have an opportunity to leave a bit further for vacation, but not sure how I feel about that...

Two big news items this week were Lance and Neil Armstrong. Despite all this efforts generating publicity and money to the cancer research and making the world a better place, he still cheated, and hasn't taken responsibility. The fact that he's given up, just tells me that the truth is probably more likely not what he's saying... We may never know what that is, but I have little respect for him. Neil on the other hand, a legend, a pioneer. While he never bathed in the spotlight, I have huge admiration for the way he lived life. On his terms. Probably one of humanity's best ambassadors. RIP Neil Armstrong.

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