Handy person?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Canadian holidays, we just celebrated Victoria Day, or “May 2-4.” It’s the first long weekend of the summer season, and usually marks the beginning of summer festivals locally. A lot of people go camping, others party, and still others use it as an opportunity to start gardens or plant fields and the like. I, on the other hand, used this long weekend to build a long-awaited headboard for my bedroom. 

With the help of my dad, we built a headboard from scratch. From buying the raw materials (wood, stain, screws, etc.) to cutting, sanding and finishing the wood, all the way to assembly and installation. It was fun and exciting, but also exhausting and much more physical work than I have been used to. I am only just getting back to semi-normal energy levels, so it still took a whole  lot out of me. I am, however, very happy that it’s done. I can assure that the cats are happy about it as well. They are finally starting to relax again and so am I. 

See the journey in photographs from end to start below! 

Superhero Weekend 2017

This past weekend was what I like to call “Superhero Weekend.” Not only does the latest big superhero movie usually open on this weekend every year, but it is also Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. Hooray for the first weekend in May being so awesome! And now, to chronicle it: 

It all started on Friday night after work, from which Jen (super awesome nerd-friend!) and I left a bit earlier than usual. We went to pick up her daughter and another friend before we picked her husband up from work and headed off to dinner. 

We had dinner at Under the Volcano, a local Mexican restaurant that makes some pretty delicious food. Because we had the movie to make, we called ahead and had a table reserved for us so we could get in and out quickly, which we did. Service was excellent, and the server was even jealous of what were up to that night. 

From Under the Volcano we headed straight to the theatre for our opening night viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We settled into our comfy reclining seats with our awesome movie theatre popcorn and drinks, for the one of the most anticipated movies this year. 

The movie was fantastic. Very enjoyable, especially with Baby Groot stealing the show! I won’t go into detail, because spoilers. 

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The next day was Free Comic Book Day, however, the weather was less than ideal, and Jen’s husband was unwell. Nevertheless, we three women took on The day ourselves. We did get off to a late start, but that was okay. We did things backwards from what we normally do and it worked in our favour. We avoided a few lines in Old East at Neo Tokyo and The Comic Collector, and stood in a shorter line at Worlds Away – we were in line for a half hour tops. Things went rather smoothly. 

Just as we were about to get into Worlds Away, my dad called, and we ended up meeting for lunch once we were done at the shop. Jen and Jose took the opportunity to go home and check in there to make sure all was well. 

We met back up downtown, where I got a “Joker” frappucino while I waited for them to join me in line at Heroes. It was delicious, and I hadn’t been in line long before they found me! The dreary weather worked in our favour again here, in the longest line also. Short wait times were the only reason I think we were able to complete the whole Comic Book Crossover! After finishing at Heroes (where I won a prize!), we made our way down the street to visit a friend at Über Cool Stuff and then around the corner and down the street to LA Mood. There was no lineup here, so we were in and out quickly, and were able to make our way to the last stop: the library. 

Unfortunately, we missed all of the activities at the library, but we were able to get our final stamps and submit our ballot for the prize draw. From there, we made a quick pit stop for a fun purchase and headed home. Despite the weather, it made for an excellent day. 

Hooray for Superhero Weekend  2017!

I think I need to try harder…

Wow. I am really not delivering on my goal to publish at least twice a month… At least I have an excuse this time, I guess? Sorta?

Most of the month of April involved dealing with some (what I originally though were) minor health concerns: fatigue, lethargy, semi-unusual aches and pains, etc.  They were causing me enough problems to affect my daily life, so I figured I should probably get checked out just in case. What I expected to be a simple, by the books doctor appointment ended with me having to go for testing for several conditions, including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. My doctor even booked my follow up appointment for me before I even left the exam room. This in combination with his urgency that I go get the blood work done as soon as possible, had me freaked right out. I went for my blood work the following morning and settled in to wait the LONG week before my follow up appointment. During that week, after researching (THANKS, ANXIETY), I almost had myself convinced I had lupus! It was good news, however, when I walked into my doctor appointment the following week. As it turns out, I am quite anemic. Who knew an iron deficiency could actually have serious effects on your life! Since then, I have been on some heavy duty iron supplements, and I am finally starting to notice improvements. I don’t think I have ever been so relieved as I was on that day. Knowing that I am dealing with something that can be fixed with a supplement is a huge stress release.

Before the doctor scared the poopers out of me, I actually made some minor upgrades around home. A new dresser, a bookcase replaced, a new vacuum cleaner… things of that nature. It has felt really good to make these changes around my home and update it a bit. I’ll have lived here for two years come July, and it was time for some little changes to be made. I also have plans to build a new headboard for my bed sometime this summer. I think it is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to have things exactly how I want them!

Along with these minor upgrades, the cats received some extra goodies as well. They now finally have a cat tree to climb and play on! Tobi loves it, and I’ve yet to really see Huxley use it, but I am sure he will in time.

Huxley has turned out to be an absolutely wonderful addition to my little family. He and Tobi play so well together, and he has taken to me as his human as I could have only hoped he would. He is very much a part of the family, and I love to my two babies as much as if he was always here. He has started snuggling in bed with my at bedtime each night, and it makes me so happy. As I always seem to be telling him, he is the best decision I have made in the past two years. He is very comfortable here and he knows he is loved.

Tobi went to the vet this month as well, she was overdue for vaccinations and I felt she needed a proper check up as well. We tried a different one this time, a new veterinary clinic that has opened up a short two minute drive from home. They took to her right away, and were impressed with how chill she was. She was given a clean bill of health, aside from her usual issues, and she got her shots as well. The highlight, however, was her weigh in. She weighed in at 6.6 kg, which is approximately 14.5 lbs. This is the lightest she has been since she was about a year old! After several years, she has finally attained a healthy weight. This new vet had absolutely no concerns about her weight because “she is clearly a large cat.” It felt so nice to have someone else understand that there was NO WAY Tobi could possibly weigh 10 lbs and still be considered healthy. We left the appointment that day with Tobi feeling sufficiently traumatized and me feeling completely satisfied with the service we received. It seemed just the news we needed to gear up for Tobi’s 9th birthday this past Tuesday. I bought the kitties a Meowbox to celebrate her birthday this year. It was enjoyed by all.

Tobi: “Is this all for me?!”

I am home from work today, not feeling well at all. I am taking this opportunity to practice a bit of self care, which included some blog activity, because I do miss it when I don’t write for it. It gets some feelings out there, and it helps me feel more social, being an introvert and all. HOPEFULLY I do a better job of staying on top of things in the future.

In the meantime, I will keep on playing World of Warcraft and reading up a storm. Since I finally  finished the train wreck that was The Goldfinch after a year and a half, I have been reading up a storm and it feels great.

31…

Two weeks ago on Monday… I turned 31. What a lame/boring age to turn. No milestones, nothing. I DID, however, have a GREAT weekend leading up to my birthday. I was able to spend some quality time with a lot of special people, and wouldn’t you know it? I took maybe two photos the entire weekend… SO out of character for me, I KNOW.

I hosted a game night on Saturday night (February 24), which turned into a great way to catch up with people I don’t see nearly enough. We played Cards Against Humanity, and my new game Bang!, which was a birthday gift. We ate nachos and those of us who didn’t have to drive drank. We were all merry. My friend Steph, took me out to buy birthday party supplies earlier in the day as her birthday gift to me, and it really made the day and night great. We played games and joked and laughed into the wee hours.

On Sunday, I planned a birthday dinner with some of my closest friends. Sadly, one was unable to make it due to work, but I saw her the very next day for our weekly movie night on my actual birthday. I invited my dad, my sister and her boyfriend, my super awesome friend Jen from work, along with her husband and daughter, as well as Wes and Ash and their cute kids. The food was awesome, and the atmosphere was pretty great too. It was so nice to be able to celebrate with a dinner surrounded by some of the people I care about the most. It was a really enjoyable evening. I went home that night very happy.

After an awesome (and exhausting) weekend leading up to my birthday, my actual birthday was very run-of-the-mill. I went to work, I ate free pizza from a local pizza place that offers a free birthday slice, I went home, I napped, I went to my friend Alice’s for our weekly movie night, and then I went home to bed. It was a good day, but very normal.

Overall, it was a great a 31st birthday, and it was awesome to celebrate it with as many people as I did.

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Since then, I’ve been working through some other things. I have been really tired and lethargic and sleeping poorly for weeks. I figured out that my B12 was low again (which was the cause last time it happened) and had to go back on my B12 supplement. I think it is safe to say that I have to keep taking it and can’t stop again; not if I want to function at least semi-normally. I’ve been on it for just about a couple of weeks now, and I am noticing improvements progressively as the days pass. I have started sleeping better incrementally, and I am able to come home and complete tasks that were falling to the wayside previously.

I am also working extra hard to get on track financially. I have a long road of breaking bad habits ahead of me, but I recently listened to an audiobook that is poised to change my life in big ways in terms of money management and savings and the future. I am excited about getting on track for real, for the first time. In the past I always dreaded having to deal with money, and I feel like I am finally not afraid to deal with it anymore. It feels pretty great. As a result, I am feeling more positive about other aspects of my daily life as well. I am getting more physically active again, slowly but surely. In no time, I think I will be working out and doing more healthy things in general.

I find it really interesting how making sense of one very important aspect of your life can make a difference in a multitude of ways, including translating into other seemingly unrelated parts of your life. I am already taking much better care of myself mentally – practicing self-care on a semi-regular basis as compared to barely ever before. And I have been much kinder to myself in general.

Things are also coming together for the two trips I have planned this year. The first is in June, to attend a family wedding, and the second will be a trip to visit my best friend who moved away last October. The flights and accommodations are book for the trip in June, and I will be planning for the second trip happening later this year just as soon as flight schedules come available.

Huxley, or The New Guy as I like to call him from time to time, has made himself very comfortable and is already friends with my friends who have met him. It’s funny how quickly it feels like they have always been here. I can’t imagine my home without him now, and it has only been 5 weeks. I’m not complaining whatsoever! He has been a great addition to my little family here and Tobi has accepted him also, which makes me feel happy inside.

I have an exam coming up in less than a month, and I spent my day today getting caught up on all of my reading. After 4 hours, I finally got there! Next step will be going through the study guide, which will start tomorrow. I am determined to do better than my previous two courses, where I ended up with C’s. I am thankful to have a study buddy, that’s for sure! I am also thankful for my bullet journal, which has done wonders to keep me on track especially during the toughest days. Maybe one day I will do a blog post about that. It’s not as creative and fancy as some of the others out there, but it works great for me.

This post kind of became a jumble of overall updating, which was not my original intent. It’s not very often that I have so much to say as I did today. Hopefully the next one will be more coherent!

A New Addition to the Family

It has been two weeks since I wrote about my frustrations over cat rescues and adoptions. It is truly amazing how much can change over two weeks!

Long story short, I have had my newly adopted cat, Huxley, for a week as of today. He has been such a joy. He is so handsome and chill and purry. He really is a great fit for my little household here. So far, it has also been the smoothest transition for a new cat I have ever seen! Tobi and Huxley have only swatted at each other once. It feels like he was truly meant to be a part of our family.

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Huxley 

Huxley was the black cat I applied to adopt through A.R.F. Ontario after the adoption of the kittens from Toronto didn’t pan out. He was the one I had basically given  up on hearing back from the rescue because it had been over a week and I hadn’t even received an email confirming my application had been received even though I should have received it within 72 hours. On the day I finally gave up hope, a week ago Thursday, that was the day I finally received a phone call from the coordinator for the rescue. She left a message for me around midday that day, and I was unable to answer the phone because I was away from the office with my team visiting some of our brokers. I called her back as soon as I got home that night.

She apologized up and down for not getting in contact with me sooner. As it turns out, her entire adoption team was out sick with an illness in one form or another. She herself was dealing with the very same cold I am STILL dealing with. She conducted the phone interview with me on the spot, and told me at the end that she thought I would be a good fit for Schwarz (now Huxley). She sent my information to his foster mom who was in touch with me within a couple of hours to make arrangements to meet him on Sunday last week. I went prepared with my carrier and the adoption fee, and after I met him, we sealed the deal. I signed the contract and brought him home. He took to my bedroom for the most part, and was unsure of Tobi. Even with dealing with new surroundings and a new cat, he was lovey and purry and made himself at home under the bed to start with. As much as Tobi was unsure of him in the beginning as well, she has done wonderfully. She is acting exactly as she was before he arrived, if not even happier. I’m sure that even though they aren’t quite buddies yet, she is enjoying not being alone all day when I am at work.

A week later, Huxley is moving around the apartment with no issues. He seems to know its home! He is eating great, and found the litter box right away. He has even accepted me as his new human! We are working on cuddling and snuggling right now, but he is still more comfortable beside me than he is on me. Tobi took time to adopt her snuggly lap-cat ways as well after we moved here on our own. He is a wonderful boy and he is making us so happy. I am so glad that the coordinator at A.R.F. Ontario ended up getting in touch with me. Huxley has even met a few of my friends, and they fell in love with him too!

I love my new house panther!

 

 

On More Cats and (Still) Being Sick

It has been a bit of a roller coaster over the past couple of weeks, both in regard to my health and my emotions.

I have been struggling with this nasty lingering cold for the past month. Last week, I thought I’d kicked it, but nope. A nasty cough has no reared its ugly head and I’m now back to not sleeping at all well during the night. It has been a very frustrating experience overall, especially since I am so infrequently ill. I just want to be health again. It’s been over a month now! I’ve been trying to take it easy, but I am still trying to do some things, because not having a life just sucks. This weekend though, I ended up missing something I really wanted to go to, and that was disappointing. I would be very happy if that didn’t happen again. I’ve spent a lot of time playing World of Warcraft, when it doesn’t give me a headache.

The personal emotional roller coaster of the past few weeks has been intense, but not necessarily a bad experience. It has been an interesting one at the very least! A bit over two weeks ago now, a friend of mine tagged me in a photo of the cutest kitten that was up for adoption at a rescue a couple of hours away in Toronto. I investigated further and learned that he had a brother as well, and the rescue wanted to see them adopted together. Naturally, I fell in love from their photos, being the cat lover that I am. On a whim, I filled out an application to adopt them.

Over a week later, I finally got a message on Facebook asking me to call them, and I promptly returned the call and left a message as there was no answer. I called again around noon the next day and found out they had not chosen me, sadly. Because I live two hours away and it would take time for me to get there, I was declined. But it made sense to me, and I did my best to consider that possibility logically. I was disappointed, but it is what it is. It solidified my plan to adopt a second cat, but I opted to wait a little while – until the spring. In the spring, the shelters seen to have an influx of cats that need adopting, so it seems like a prime time to actively look. Funny enough, early mid last week I found another cat with potential, this time locally. I applied for him and am waiting for a response as of this post. I am hopeful, but I am not getting my hopes up too high. I will hopefully hear back about a phone interview this week sometime.

It’s Sunday night now, and I have a massive headache thanks to this cough, and I didn’t have hot water for the better part of the day. After I finish the cup of tea I have on the go, I am going to take a much-needed shower and then curl up to read for a while before bed. I am hoping that this week will be the end of this cold and cough and I can really start working on getting things back to normal.

The Ups and Downs of 2016 – The Year in Review

2016 was…a year. It was harder than some others were. It was a year of growth for me. It’s early in 2017 and I am feeling optimistic so far. It’s early days, and I though it would be fitting to review what happened to me in 2016. The year had its fair share of ups and downs. There were many things learned and a lot of positive change.

Let’s start with the “ups”:

  • I truly enjoyed celebrating my birthday this year with the impromptu plans that came about. It was great to be surrounded by awesome people.
  • I didn’t increase my debt-load.
  • I reconnected with some old friends.
  • I started a new job and it is the first job I’ve had where I truly feel respected and appreciated.
  • I made an amazing new friend as a result of starting the new job. I can’t imagine not having her as a friend.
  • I learned to love living alone. I’m not so sure I could live with someone again unless they’re REALLY special!
  • I became a lot more comfortable with who I am as my own person.
  • Tobi is a happy kitty and is well on her way to being a healthy weight.
  • I saved up for and built my new computer. (Built with the help of said amazing friend and her husband!)

And now for the “downs”:

  • My best friend moved across the country – This is kind of bittersweet because it was an amazing move for her personal happiness, but I miss the shit out of her.
  • I didn’t pay down any significant amount of my debt.
  • I didn’t manage to save any money that stayed saved. (see “ups” above)
  • Some pretty influential celebrities in my life died. Carrie Fisher was the hardest for me because she is such a strong advocate for mental health. She was a bit of a hero, and not just because of Star Wars.
  • Tobi had a health scare. We caught it in time, but it is looking more and more like the issue will crop up again. It’s almost time for another visit to the vet to avoid the scare again in the future…

I created a few goals for myself at the beginning of 2016 and they included getting healthier and being kinder to myself. I think I am definitely better at being kind to myself than I was. Getting healthier is still a work in progress, but I feel like I will make some serious headway with that one in 2017.

A lot of changes were affected in 2016, including these:

  • I went on antidepressant medication. I was in a really terrible place when I finally went to my doctor to ask about this. He was more than happy to talk about it with me and suggest some options. I stand by this as quite possibly the smartest decision I made in 2016. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t done it.
  • I am finally started doing a better job of looking after myself and working on finding the work-life balance that works for me. I also starting improving at practicing regular self-care.
  • I came to terms with a lot of things and I feel like I finally started to heal. This is especially true in the last half of 2016.

Because of these changes that took place in 2016, I also noticed small things about my habits:

  • I started listening to music again.
  • I started wanting to read again.
  • I was more present in my life than I ever was in the past.
  • My weight started to finally go in the right direction (DOWN instead of UP!)
  • I was able to manage my spending well enough to make the new computer happen and get back into playing PC games again.
  • I finished my big blanket project that I started in the summer of 2015. (I finally finished it in the summer of 2016.)

I started a few projects, however, that were not so successful. I won’t beat myself up over these because being kind to myself is so much more important. The kind of things that I am listing below used to cause me a lot stress and upset, but no longer.

  • Life Reboot and Life Reboot 2.0 were almost complete failures in terms of accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. HOWEVER, the items I listed in these projects have slowly become incorporated into my daily life and continue to become easier as time goes on.  This is why I refuse to call my “life reboot” a complete failure.
  • I got rid of my gym membership that I was so excited to have at the beginning of 2016. Frustrations and bad experience with the gym over and over again prompted me to bite the bullet and cancel my membership early. I have found that home workouts and yoga are a much better fit for me. This isn’t so much a failure or not a success because it was something that I learned about myself.

In 2017, I will continue to be kinder to myself, and focus on getting healthier. In addition to this, financially I am determined to pay down a chunk of my debt and start saving for a house. I also have a reading goal of 25 books and want to pick up my camera again. I miss taking photos. The only times I picked it up in 2016 were for Mason’s and Sloane’s birthday parties. I want to get the creative juices flowing this year. Because I am in a much better place mentally, I think these will be easy to manage. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year around here.

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I had more fun in 2016 than I’d had in years!

 

Keeping Busy

I’ve had my new computer up and running for just over two weeks now and I must say that it has made a world of difference in my life. It is wonderful to have a computer that is fully capable of doing all the things I need it to do. Programs are opening within seconds and not taking close to a minute like they used to on my old MacBook Pro. I understand it was 7 years old, and its age was catching up to it, but it doesn’t make those kinds of things any less frustrating. I just have a few things left to transfer from my MacBook to the computer, but I need to get my hands on a flash drive, as I seem to have misplaced both of mine. I have started playing my games again though, and it feels fantastic to be back at it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started playing again!

I was back in World of Warcraft within days of getting things all set up, and I admit, I was quite surprised at how much the game has changed, meanwhile at the same time having not changed at all. Talents and specializations are completely different now, but the overall gameplay and the quest grind is the same as it ever was. I started a new Horde toon on a new server because that’s where my friend who is still playing the game is now playing. No one else I used to play with is left! That’s okay though, as long as there is someone! Because of the changes though, rather than use the Level 90-character boost for my first new toon, I am leveling it from the beginning to become familiar with the game again. Two weeks in and I am at Level 38. Not too shabby for working full-time, and doing school part-time as well! I created an undead Warlock and I am playing it in the Destruction spec. I love me my warlocks and I also love playing the Destro spec. It’s just so darn much fun! I haven’t run through any dungeons yet, but that is up next on my list of things to do in-game.

I’ve also downloaded Path of Exile, so I can play with Jen and possibly Wayne as well. I haven’t started on that one yet, but hopefully we will get to once our final exam is done. That’s happening next Wednesday morning, and we will get about a month break before our next class starts. Hopefully we can get some game play in during that time. It looks like an interesting game; I am excited to try it out.

Next step will be to get Steam going so I can try out a few other games I’ve been keeping my eye on! Looking forward to doing that hopefully early in the new year.

Tobi seems to have taken a liking to the new computer as well. She is always laying near it, probably because it’s a bit warm. I’ve also caught her licking it a few times, which was just kind of funny to me. I imagine the novelty will wear off soon. I will just have to wait and see. She’s a kitty after my heart, though. Even for all her oddities, she’s still my baby and I can’t imagine my life without her. We have been together since she was just a tiny kitten – over 8 years, and I hope we have many more years together ahead of us. Sorry. Always the cat-ramble. I just love her so much I can’t help it.

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Things are starting to look up for me these days. I mean, sure, I am super broke now, but after this month, everything will finally fall into place. And here’s the best part: starting early in the new year, I will start saving for a down payment on a house! This is a very exciting thing for me, because I never thought it was something that would happen. I honestly thought I would end up renting for the rest of my life. It just goes to show how far I really have come in the past year. My goal is to have a minimum 20% down payment when I start looking. It will probably take me a couple of years to get to that point, but it will totally be worth the wait. Now some may ask, “But what if you’re in a serious relationship before then?” Well, on that, I’m not actively looking for a relationship these days, and I’m going to make plans for myself as things are now. If things change somewhere down the road, I will change my plans accordingly. It’s as simple as that!

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Final exam for my course is in less than a week, and I’ve now been studying for it for about a week. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed about it. I am hoping all goes well, and I pass, but these courses are like nothing I have ever taken before. They are NOTHING like the courses I took in university! I have taken an extra-long weekend off this weekend to study and catch up on things, and I can only hope that it helps me out in the end. I will just have to keep preparing and then hope for the best when the time comes. My goal is to pass the course. I don’t want to have to rewrite the exam!

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The busy Christmas season is about to begin for me. My work Christmas party is next week, and then I am babysitting for some friends that weekend while they attend a work Christmas party as well. Then comes the family Christmases. I still must figure out how I’m getting to them all, but I have time to figure that out. I am hosting a Christmas dinner of my own on Boxing Day and I am kind of excited about it. I’ve already started planning dinner! I never plan things this far in advance… Usually not more than a week before for something like that usually. Probably better that I am planning now though. Things are pretty busy for the next month!

Happy Happy Happy

A beautiful thing happened the weekend before last. Something that has kept me waiting for quite some time. I know I have mentioned it a few times in the blog (mostly in passing), but I’ve never gone into too much detail… All because it came down to money, and I needed to save up enough to accomplish said beautiful thing. I am thankful to some awesome friends for helping me make this happen.

The time has come to share my new baby. I finally have my new computer! The best part was I came in under budget! WITH A VIDEO CARD UPGRADE!!!!!!!

The only things missing from it are a few files that I have backed up on an external drive and I’m not overly worried about those making it on. It would be a backup of a backup of a backup at that point, and that’s kind of redundant even for me. I have my first couple of games installed (World of Warcraft and Hearthstone) and am planning to install more soon. I can’t wait to really get things going! The fact that the gaming possibilities are almost endless now makes me SO happy. I’ve been nerding hard since I brought this big piece of joy home.

I started playing World of Warcraft again last week and started a new character on a new server. She made it to level 20 on Friday. I haven’t been able to play much since because of my class, but once that settles down I will be back at it! It will be a nice way to pass the time on the chilly winter nights.

I am so happy this has finally happened! I’ve been waiting for a long time.

 

Shining The Light

I was volunteering tonight, and on my walk home, I saw something beautiful and felt compelled to take a photo. Upon completing this action, I started thinking about it. I had forgotten until that very moment.

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The photo I felt compelled to take.

It’s November, and that means the Shine the Light on Women’s Abuse Campaign is happening. In our city, part of this campaign means that the municipal buildings are lit up purple to raise awareness. Trees and lights in the park downtown are purple as well and many commercial buildings take part, all to raise awareness of woman abuse. The thing I felt compelled to take a photo of was the Tree of Hope lit up purple in Victoria Park. Realizing what this meant started me thinking. It made me realize how important this is to me.

I was…am an abused woman. I am still recovering from my own personal experiences. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was emotionally abused for several years. My actions were dictated to me, and I was made to feel like I was less than. I was yelled at for making minor mistakes, and was called a liar and accused of betrayal when I became afraid to own up to those mistakes because I knew what reaction to expect. If I didn’t do things a certain way, I was punished by various means. The means were never physical, but it took its toll on me. I was left with severe social and generalized anxiety, and a struggle with the worst depressive episodes of my life. I tried to talk about these things many times, and I was shut down every time. I was made to feel like my feelings didn’t matter, like what I needed didn’t matter. I’m not sure he even realized he was doing it. I’m not angry at him, but leaving was the best thing I could have done for myself. I am still recovering from my experiences, and over a year later, I am still afraid to date. I know logically that it isn’t the case, but I fear that the next person I date will be exactly the same and I will just end up in another relationship like the last. I’m not okay with that. I am healing slowly, but this is the nature of the beast. It leaves scars.

I hadn’t thought about it until now, but this has become something near and dear to my heart. Awareness needs to be raised about men’s violence against women, and I appreciate the things my city does to try to do so.  The reason the colour purple was chosen is it stands for courage, honour, and survival. It has become a symbol of the fight to end woman abuse. If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, you can visit the following links:

London Abused Women’s Centre

London Free Press Article October 14, 2016

Halton Women’s Place

Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women

Shine the Light on Women’s Abuse is an Ontario-based campaign, but it is something that should be happening worldwide. It’s an important issue and there can never be enough awareness raised.

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Buildings lit up purple in Downtown London (rear left – London Life office, front right – London City Hall) with the Tree of Hope in the Background.