# We Have What We Need(Part 2)…..

Last year I watched a few documentaries regarding the crisis in Venezuela. I was aware of what was going on over there, but seeing it was another story. Watching footage of the grocery stores empty, a low toilet paper supply was a big wake up call. Some of the people stated, They never expected that it would come to this” they were not expecting to have to leave their home, and live on the streets with their children. They didn’t expect to only have enough to feed their toddler once a day. Their access to the basics changed, items like milk, eggs and bread no longer available. Their environment became chaotic, and unlivable. At this point in time, for many, obtaining basic needs rules their daily existence.

We’ve all been guilty of taking our daily bread for granted. I grew up and have only lived in Toronto and the”GTA” so I am accustomed to certain standard of living. Whether you are penny pinching or thriving in this economy, you expect to wake up and be able to purchase the basics from your neighborhood corner store.

I am relieved every time I step out of the shower after a long day. My stress and troubles are eased away in addition to being clean. I couldn’t imagine not having that luxury, and I do not take it for granted. If tomorrow you woke up without access to clean running water, you would think about yesterday when you had that water. If you didn’t mop your floor or wash your dishes, you would be yearning for that water to flow from your faucet.

We have what we need to live, life is simpler once you realize that. We have what we need to live, so use what you have now to do what you’re supposed to do.

Have a safe and productive Saturday:)

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# We Have What We Need…..

Why can’t people simply put their garbage down the garbage chute, instead of leaving it on the floor???I take a big breath and give myself ten seconds, to help prevent me from becoming angry. I am easily triggered by unnecessary mess, especially when it’s in a common, public space that everyone needs to use. I’m very disgusted and disappointed each and every time I see it. We are a “civilized” society with a very advanced waste disposal system. Even with all of the building notices, and hand written notices by tenants and superintendent warnings posted, folks still don’t do what is required of them. We don’t have much work to do expect bagging and putting out the garbage, according to basic guidelines. It never seizes to amaze me, that regardless of the “type” of building, I see the same laziness. The chute is very easy to use, and very convenient, even a four year old can use it with ease. My four year old nephew loves to help me throw the garbage down the chute. I don’t want him to turn the handle by himself, but he always goes on ahead and tries to do it on his own. He finds it fun, as little children find learning to do chores fun. So I allow him to help, because it encourages good habits he’ll need when he’s older. Even he understands that there should not be any bags of garbage on the floor, and helps me push them down the chute without hesitation. I laugh at his enthusiasm and innocence, because he takes it very seriously as though it was his job. Four year olds are awesome, but I digress….

So, as a civilization, we have what we need to live, so it baffles me that the more advanced we become, the lazier we allow ourselves to become. Maybe I’m wrong, this is just an observation, and the garbage chute is only one example. Have you ever seen trash thrown on the ground outside, literally ONE foot away from the trash can? Or trash thrown directly beside the trash can?? I find that absolutely ridiculous, unless the wind blew it there, how come they didn’t simply drop it in? Here in Toronto, we even have trash cans that have a valve that you can step on, to avoid touching the flap with your hands. Very, very convenient! I just noticed that the other day, now I use that valve all of the time. I have more to say on this topic, to be continued…

Rest well and have a good night,

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Under The Weather…..

I was under the weather for a week or so, and I lost my voice due to the very harsh wind and cold. I’ve never had laryngitis in my life, and it came at the worst time ever. I had to postpone a few things, including singing, which was sad. I’m preparing to record but my vocals chords couldn’t do it. This was a sign that my body needed rest, and I need to preserve what was left, I barely had a whisper.

I was trying not to write about weather, but the state of the weather is very relevant, especially lately. It has been up and down on a daily basis, extreme highs and lows. What used to be 10 degrees, the start of spring, a relief from the long winter season, now feels equivalent to -10 degrees. No weather report can prepare you for the unpredictable and powerful winds. This weather truly blows my mind, and if you reside in Toronto Canada, you know exactly what I’m talking about…

It started to rain on my way home from the grocery store today, and on my way there it was a lot warmer than expected. I wanted to take off my jacket, but I was worried the wind would get me. I feared that l would catch a cold again, or something even worse. So much thought put out into a simple walk to the store. There was absolutely no sign of rain to come, and I’m usually in tune with the weather.

Whether or not the weather (no pun intended) is natural or influenced by man, we still are at it’s mercy. There is only so much that we can do to bear with it. I’m less interested in all the theories/conspiracy theories that I used to ponder regarding the weather and “Who” controls it. If pollution and our abuse of this planet has contributed to damaging our weather pattern, we really can’t complain.

In my opinion the weather represents the fact that we truly are under it, the weather RULES. If it happens to snow “out of the blue” again I will not be surprised, nor will I be angry at the weather.

Rest well and have a good night

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# (Continued)It’s Bigger Than Teeth…..

I felt ashamed for needing my mother at this point in my life, I felt extremely vulnerable….My tooth pain brought me back to a different place. As I tossed and turned trying my best to fall asleep. I tried to bear the sensation that I can best describe as knives stabbing me repeatedly. I reluctantly took an advil, and tried to distract myself by listening to a program, then I felt to call out for my mother for help. At that moment I felt that I needed to hear her voice, to have her reassure me that the pain was only temporary. I felt she was the only person who could understand.

I remember after I moved out on my own, one night I slept over at the mom’s house and wasn’t feeling well. I was coming down with the early stages of a cold, coughing, curled up on the couch with a blanket. I fell asleep, and as I awoke, my mother was standing in front of me with a glass of fresh orange juice mixed with garlic. This was her amazing, quick fix remedy to cure a cold, and I was very happy to drink it. It warmed my heart that she took the time to do that because although that was her way, I forgot about the benefits of coming back home. I would usually have to get up and make my own concoction for a cold, and it was very nice having it done for me.

So the night I felt I truly needed her, I actually felt guilty for needing her, because she already gave so much of herself while she was here. She took care of me, of us, and didn’t hesitate to go the extra mile. She literally put my pain, her children’s pain ahead of hers all the time, one hundred percent. When she passed away, I felt and thought that she deserves a rest, a break from this earth plane. I replayed all the times that I was sick, it hurt or needed her to assist me with treating an illness. I thought about how much she did for me multiplayed time six, plus the other children she helped who were not hers. My gratitude and appreciation has grown more for her the older I grow. I am flattered when I am compared to her, but also saddened when reminded of her leaving…..

It’s difficult for me to witness so much lack of appreciation and willingness to carry on what the “good” people do when they are here. That is why I chose to share these thoughts. It’s bigger than teeth.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# It’s Bigger Than Teeth…..

I’ve been meaning to post since my last blog, but have been distracted, because I am in pain. I’ve been enduring tooth pain for the past weeks due to an issue with a wisdom tooth that hasn’t grown out, but is right beneath the surface wreaking havoc on the tooth beside it. It’s starting to worsen, which unfortunately is affecting my daily life, and I’ve even had to miss work.

Growing up I experienced a lot of pain due to my crooked front teeth. My mother had to bring me for x-rays often. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I constantly had headaches and pain due to my jaw alignment. My mother didn’t promote unnatural medicine, but there wasn’t much else she could do but give me aspirin to relieve it. I hated taking it. I avoided these type of medicines because of this.

Over the years I had many dentist and orthodontic appointments because of my teeth issues, and I actually enjoyed going to those appointments with my mother. It was time that I rarely got to spend with her alone, attention that I needed. I enjoyed the bus ride and going to the store without a bunch of other kids around. My mother always made sure that I was comfortable and aware of what my appointment would entail. She warned me of the possible pain I would have to endure and I appreciated that.

By looking at me know you’d never know that I wore a head-gear and braces for years. I often receive compliments for my teeth and smile. People don’t believe that I actually used to get made fun of for my severely crooked front teeth, which I will talk about in another blog.

I’ve taken the best care of my teeth as I can, even spent hundreds and hundreds due to having no dental insurance. I made sure to get those yearly check ups and keep my oral health in tact. My mother’s influence set that example. When she passed away, I thought about how much time, effort, and money that she specifically put into my teeth. She helped grow my self-esteem, a beautiful smile can go a long way in life. She invested in my teeth as a single mother struggling at times to ensure our basic needs were met.

The other night I found myself wanting to cry out for my mother. I was tossing and turning in my bed, trying to fall asleep and block out the excruciating pain I was in. I haven’t had that feeling since I was a child, and I wasn’t the type of child who cried for my mom when I was in pain. I didn’t want to stress her out, I didn’t want her to worry about me.

I felt ashamed for needing my mother at this point in my life, I felt extremely vulnerable….My tooth pain brought me back to a different place.

I will continue in my next blog, it’s bigger than teeth.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# So…..WHY Do We Do This???

I thought it was a rumor, I didn’t look long enough to confirm if it was. I googled his name and nothing significant came up, so I left my computer and went about my business. As I walked up the stairs to leave, my aunt yelled to me, that he had been shot AND killed…

The internet is odd to me when it comes to violent acts, people lying and making up stories for attention is a norm nowadays. I don’t believe everything I hear, so I didn’t believe that anything really happened to this young man until it was confirmed. I was very upset and and felt drained at that moment. I felt sorrow, disappointment, and anger. The first thought that came to my mind was, he is so young, and didn’t get to finish his course, and what are the people going to do without him?!! What are his children and woman going to do without him?? More children left without a father, who was ACTUALLY taking care of them, AND his community. Who else has the strength and courage to build and help others the way he did???

The reason I originally started following him and taking in his music, was because of his attitude and build- it-on- your own mentality. As I received text messages about it, I couldn’t express how annoyed I was. Although I do not know him, and know he was not perfect, I still felt he deserved to at least live until forty. Who knows how much more he could’ve done and learned…

There’s something else I need to add, that’s been bothering me RE death and the internet’s manner of dealing with it. Celebrity or not, if we claim to love and admire this person so much, why would you post such a gruesome scene of their last living moments??? Do you think that HE would post the same of you if the roles were reversed??! If your relative died in violent manner caught on camera, would you want to see a video of them layed out on the ground, fighting for their life??? Of course not!!! Getting over the initial shock of them dying is difficult enough, so is a visual necessary??? Do we need to see everything?!! NO. OF COURSE NOT!

But I guess that comes along with the price of fame, everything is open for the public. I feel as though we the people, need not want to see all the details, it’s unnecessary. Famous or not, we can help with “well wishes and prayers” or just do the fair thing, that you’d want done for you or your family if you were in that tragic situation.

I don’t feel the need to post the name of who I’m talking about, I’m sure the majority of you figured it out.

I hope you get the rest you need, you accomplished much in your thirty-three years. I appreciate your lessons and encouragement and of course, your quality music.

Good Night.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

What did I expect??? Have I set the bar too high???, Why is this even bothering me?? I thought I was passed this, I know how he can be…..What is going on here???

I was disappointed in myself for expecting so much out of him, even though this wasn’t much to expect. It was what I had grown accustomed to, and that was embarrassing to me. I was ashamed and embarrassed, almost felt like a child. The feeling didn’t last for long though. Within seconds I decided that I wouldn’t even warrant his message with a response, a response was not needed. I received my answer and this marked a new chapter in our relationship, and in my life. I understood so much more who he really is, and that he is much more broken than I knew. My natural intuition did not pick up on this, because I was still getting to know the “older” version of him and from a distance. The checking in texts and short phone calls could only go so far, and to top it off, I am one of six. My efforts at times are over-shadowed by whatever’s going on with them. It seems we are going backwards, and the more he punishes himself, the further he’s pushing me away. I don’t think he’s aware of it. Very sad, and is a waste of time, because we had come so far, so I thought…

The expectations I have in life, especially with men in relationships, and even friends and family, have been influenced heavily by my expectations of my father. I’m still checking myself on it. I am aware that I hope for the best, yet subconsciously expect whatever to happen, which is not cool. This situation was significant, because it reminded me that I can not expect others to grow as fast as I expect, regardless of how much I do on my part….

There’s more to share, but I gotta go to bed now, stay tuned for my next blog. Have a Good Night 🙂

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

In twenty-one seconds, I told him exactly how I felt about him not openly acknowledging my birthday, to ME. I felt foolish and stupid as I sat at my cubicle staring at my phone, trying to make sense of his response…..I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t hurt, I was just embarrased. It was Nov 20th and I was at work taking calls, but I didn’t forget that it was his birthday, and I wanted him to know that I didn’t forget. My expectations of him, come from what he’s always done. He always sent a letter, post card, tele-gram or called, even when he was in prison. So, our long distance relationship since I was seven years old, was partially built on these little birthday messages. It has been one of the only consistent things he’s ever done.

I actually went to work like a regular day on my birthday, I didn’t feel the need to celebrate, but I did acknowledge that I was a year older. I was happy that I was able to video chat with one of my dear friends, who has a very busy schedule. I was happy for the people who took the time to greet me. Upon returning home, my fam gave me gift bag full of goodies, and a sincere birthday card which made me smile. I felt blessed to have made it through another year in one piece.

Before I got up from by chair I thought, Damn, even an emoji would’ve sufficed….Why are YOU so uncomfortable with me??? Texting something is more difficult than what I’ve endured??? Considering the tumultuous childhood I had due YOUR decisions, considering I made it through to this age without turning into something that would’ve been considered a “disappointment”, considering the way in which I arrived to this earth plane, a story you’ve told ME a thousand times. “I’m a miracle and wasn’t supposed to make it”, (I’ll save that story for another blog.) Sending me a message was something you decided NOT to do???

I felt overwhelmed with annoyance, so I abruptly pulled off my headphones, put my computer on “short break”, and scurried off to the stairwell for privacy. I pressed the record button and started speaking from my soul….

In twenty-one seconds, I told him exactly how I felt about him not openly acknowledging my birthday, to ME. After sitting back at my desk, thoughts spun in my mind….What did I expect??? Have I set the bar too high???, Why is this even bothering me?? I thought I was passed this, I know how he can be…..What is going on here???

I’ll continue in my next blog.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Slipping and Falling……

Today was said to have been an ice storm that started early in the morning and ended in the evening. I must confess, that I slipped and fell on the ground! But it was okay, I broke my fall by landing with both my hands behind me, before I hit the cold icy ground. I Thank my mother (RIP) for putting me in skating lessons, because I learned different techniques on how to fall. Those instincts always kick in when you most need it, and as I almost hit the ground many thoughts ran through my mind….I haven’t fell outside in winter in years, why did I wear my Airwalk boots instead of my winter soldier survival boots!??, If somebody saw me, Oh Well! I’m glad I’m not hurt. I had no idea how bad the weather was going to be, and I’m always sure to check the weather report before I leave. It didn’t mention that an intense hailstorm was coming. I was unprepared, but had to continue walking on the snowy, thick icy ground to catch my GoBus, hoping I didn’t get caught up by the black ice. I had to walk slooooow, and I usually walk fast, because I like to be early as possible to prevent myself from being late.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# I Quit! My Quest for Closure…..

I just woke up from a weird dream, forgot where I was. It took me a few seconds to realize where I am, and what I dreamt. I was in my old house, the house I spent most of my life growing up in as a child. After mom passed, I would dream this house every so often, I haven’t dreamt the house in a while. In my dream the door bell continued to ring, and of course, I was the only one available to answer it. I was the only one in the house, and the energy was dark and off. There was also a large animal in the kitchen, but I haven’t looked up what that means yet. I ignored the animal in the dream, and now when I think about it, it could simply mean, “The elephant in the room” that others wouldn’t allow me to address.

I asked myself upon waking up, where is the house??? What happened to it??Where are we supposed to go??? The house is gone, it’s been gone for years. I know why I had that dream….I’m still on that quest for closure.

I remember a time I used to have more faith in people, in general. I didn’t expect the worst, I didn’t expect to be let down, or disappointed. I was younger and obviously more naive, but I wasn’t stupid. I was very aware that that the worst may happen, but I should hope for the best. I began to view people as a liability because of the behaviour and betrayal from the ones closest to me. I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs, but out of respect for them I chose not to go into detail. After mom’s passing and the aftermath that was handled very poorly, I felt I lost a piece of myself. Losing her didn’t bring this on, I was settled in my soul about her departure. The lack of comradery and fair team play in handling the messy stuff, the guilt ridden attacks on me, ripped my heart in half. I have not been the same since then. Many people have pointed this out to me as well.

Because my tears, my sadness wasn’t allowed to be displayed in front of certain people, I maintained my composure for years. Many have said I handled the situation with grace, but inside I was slowly crumbling.

Time is precious and there’s no price you can put on it. I confess I wasted so much time in my twenties, focusing on what and why certain “important” things were not being done. This year I vowed to completely let go.

While necessary arrangements are being made to deal with what still needs to be done, Re mommy’s ashes (which you’ve heard me speak on already) I finally give up on my quest for closure.

I throw the towel in, I’ve done enough, I’ve never felt so proud to say, I QUIT!

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Helplessness(Continued)…..

I didn’t intend on talking about the weather again, but yesterday evening I found myself caught up in the #Toronto terrible winter storm. I left work 10 minutes early and rushed to the subway to avoid missing the one GoBus that goes to my part of the city. Although I knew I’d be okay, I had NO idea when I’d get home or even close to the area my family resides. Ironically, the one GoBus that didn’t come was mine, and I didn’t know why. It only runs twice a day, so if you miss it, you’re screwed. When the weather is this serious, no more phone calls can be made to ask where or why. You simply have to wait it out until further notice. I thought damn, this is not the place to be and this is definitely NOT the weather! I couldn’t take a taxi, I couldn’t call family or friends, I couldn’t go back to work. I was left with no options. Stranded on the other side of the city in an area that I am not familiar with, Uh Oh….

I met three ladies while waiting for the same “ghost” bus, and struck up a conversation regarding the commute confusion. As we stood in the waiting area patiently, I became a part of their group. They made sure to give me updates because they knew somebody who had an inside link to the bus company. We waited 3 hours, but nothing. Many cars and buses were stopped up due to the heavy snowfall, the whole road was stopped up. It was rush hour at a very busy intersection, TOTAL chaos! Tow-trucks, people pushing cars, etc….Nobody could move. The snow continued to blow and come down, I was beginning to feel pins and needles in my hands.

Finally, a kind driver decided to allow all of the people left behind to load his bus and take us to nearest mall. He was also ensuring we would at least be warm while we waited. Unfortunately after an approx 1 hour wait, we weren’t able to move, so we had to reverse and go right back into the station. I thought, welp, I guess I’ll have to go back downstairs to the delayed train??? I don’t know what to do…Then I was approached by one of the group, she told me that they were taking the train, aaaall the way to the mall that is supposed to have a bus waiting for us that will bring us home. It was almost midnight and I had nothing to lose at this point. I appreciated the fact they actually cared that I arrived home that night.

I was worried that this supposed bus wasn’t going to arrive, so I told the ladies that I was planning on taking my usual route home, the way I know. Regardless of how long it takes, or the delays, at least I know where I’m going. They reassured me that their way would bring us home, and I didn’t need to worry.

So, I decided to trust these kind strangers and let them lead the way, which was hard for me to do, it felt like a test. It made me feel more helpless than ever! I guess putting my safety and well-being fully in another’s hands, a stranger’s hands, may help me to accept it’s okay be helpless and accept help?

I graciously Thanked those kind ladies before exiting the bus. I arrived home in one piece, after trudging through knee-high snow, and unplowed sidewalks. My family said they were relieved that I made it home safe and sound, but I was even more Thankful for what I learned in those 6 hours.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Helplessness(Part One)…..

I meant to post this thought last week on one of the coldest days I’ve ever experienced in my life!!!

Today was -16 degrees but weather reports say that it “feels” like -28. The temperature actually dropped lower than that, it went close to -30 plus. I only went outside because I had to, that weather is lethal. I felt as though I was going to pass out soon as I walked outside. The wind was intense and powerful, and I was afraid that I was going to fall or faint because I was already sick. I haven’t felt worried about my safety and out of control because of the weather in a very long time. I felt weak and helpless, but turning around and trying to walk back inside would’ve been a struggle, it literally felt like walking through ice. I stuck it out and stayed outside, I couldn’t let the weather change my day and my goals. I hate to feel helpless, I realized that was a stupid to stay outside. Something triggered me, I realized that being helpless is one of my biggest fears, and I actually consider it a “character flaw” which I know is wrong. I feel completely out of control and even more ashamed for that, and I know that is wrong too.

I’ve blamed myself for life occurences that I had absolutely no control over. Where did this feeling start? At what point in my life? The Truth is, it started from a very young age, at an age when I couldn’t do or say anything to stop the wrong I was feeling. There’s more to the story, but I’ll continue in another blog.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Most People Wouldn’t…..

If you were standing behind somebody in public and they dropped money on the ground, but didn’t notice, would you tell them? Or would you wait until they walked away, and pick up the money to keep???

Well apparently “most” people wouldn’t, that’s what a lady said to me after I alerted her that she dropped $100 dollar bill. We were standing in line at the register the.. only two people in line, and in the store, ironically. While she was about to pay, rummaging through her wallet, a$100 bill dropped to her side. So I said, ” Excuse me Mrs” and pointed to it. Her face looked shocked, as she yelled out, “Oh my goodness!!! Thank you SO much!!! Most people wouldn’t….” She looked me in the eye with a shocked look on her face. I responded, “It’s okay, no problem! I understand…..You’d go home and be like OMG….” I wouldn’t wish that feeling upon a stranger. As the lady continued to Thank me, I noticed the cashier looking at me, in an admirable way. The woman paid for her items, and turned around and said to me, Thank you again. So I decided to tell her that I’ve lost my wallet\left my wallet places, and had somebody pick it up and I got it back with NOTHING taken. I also have found a wallet and searched the ID and mailed the wallet back to the owner…I do for people, what I would hope they’d do for me. I told her God Bless You…

Now, I felt the need to share those examples with a stranger, because I’d like the “norm” to be that we as a people care enough about one another, to automatically put ourself in their shoes. For one, that money was NOT mine, I know for a fact, it was hers so, she deserves to keep her money! I also thought, that money could’ve been for anything, everybody is dealing with the ridiculous inflation and cost of living in Toronto. Don’t let appearances fool you. I could use an extra hundred bucks, but who couldn’t!

I do believe in karma, or whatever people call it. If we give eachother a break, and really care, in our daily interactions, we’d enjoy life on this planet more.

I told my friend, about this and he said, Sorry, just being honest, I would’ve took it!…and I laughed, and felt disappointed at the same time:(…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# It’s a New Year! I’m back…..

My favourite place to be on New Year’s Eve is at home safe and sound. I’m satisfied simply watching a movie, surrounded by loved ones, or by myself. Happy to have got through another year, I’m in one piece, and as healthy as I can be. A year ago today, I was recovering from an accident that left my face battered, cut, swollen, and scrapped. I had a broken nose to boot, and all I could do is apply ice to my face, rest and hope for the best…..

Hi! Happy Belated New Year, I hope that your year is off to a productive start. I have neglected my blog which I feel guilty about, but I’m ALWAYS writing and creating. There’s another side to my writing that I have not mentioned on my blog before, my music. I’m a singer, always been, but haven’t shared my work online with the public because it wasn’t the time. Now I’m ready to open up and share more of me. I’ve been writing, re-writing, composing with a pianist, and trying to keep my vocals warm in this chilly weather. It feels good to work on what I’m truly passionate about.

Last year ended on a good note, and I had to accept that, instead of focusing on the”bad” things that happened. It didn’t tarnish all that I accomplished in 2018. I was and am still trying to find my place here in Toronto, literally and figuratively, but I had to change my approach. I was inspired through a conversation with a tipsy co-worker at an office Christmas dinner. With a sober ear, he told me not to worry about finding a place in the city, as he was in the same predicament. He said to simply keep an eye out, but don’t worry about it, something will come along. I took his advice, I decided to stop sweating it.

A new job, new commute, office relocation, and major unexpected negative changes to my living environment put me to the test. I didn’t expect life to throw me so many positive and negative changes all at once. Improving at adjusting and adapting to curve balls and changes without worry, pretty much sums up 2018. I think I’m off to pretty good start, and I hope you are too!

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# My Calm Within The Chaos (Part 1)…..

Listening to Jazz on my commute to work, always calms my nerves and helps me cope with crowds, that are sometimes unforgiving. Having the back of your heels stepped on repeatedly, and I don’t mean “high heels” I mean, your heel. It ends up coming out of the back of your shoe, twice in the morning, and twice on the way home! I choose not to turn around and see who did it, and if they’ll apologize. People usually do, but who has the time?? I know it is not deliberate, and people don’t even realize they did it, so I treat it like a brush of my shoulder. If I didn’t I’d hold a lot of anger inside, which turns into stress…..

My Sony headphones didn’t even last a year, because I throw them on and off at least twenty times during my travels. The wire is broken and the sound is distorted, so I hold the wire, twist and turn it to hear that lovely jazz…Until I can afford new ones!

Anything to stay calm, and block out the chaos!

Stay tuned for Part Two:)

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# The Worst Customers(Labour Day)…..

How did you spend your Labour Day?

I didn’t do much today but clean, chill out and write. Most places are closed anyways, and I’m happy for the day off. I don’t usually go out because I just don’t feel the need to. I’ll spend time with family if they have the time, if not, I spend time alone and relax. Another reason I don’t go out, is that holidays/long weekends can bring out the worst in people, and Toronto is no exception. There were a few shootings unfortunately, my cousin was a witness to one, and suffered a minor injury. This shooting was major, but I didn’t ask about the details. I was annoyed even to hear about it. Going to a party, concert or gathering is a major risk on this holiday. I’m embarrassed to say that. Staying safe and sound is the goal…..

I had to run to store at dark, the only convenience store open around here. As I cashed out the young man at the register, who’s family runs the store, said something that I found extremely ironic. As I asked my total, he was quickly serving another customer, who quickly dashed out of the store. He apologized for not paying me proper attention, and said that people out there are the worst! Then he told me that this holiday brings out the WORST in people. I told him that I understand, and people think you owe them something. Because of the type of store this is, the expect you to do everything for them. In actuality, we NEED this store, and should Respect the folks who run it.

He asked me where I was from, and said that I was “different” and had Respect and manners. I said good night and thought to myself, hmmm….isn’t Labour Day meant to honour workers??? Why treat our fellow worker that way on this holiday??? SMH

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

Mom loved people and she loved life. I saw it in the way she took care of us, and her care for others.

She treated others children as if they were her own, and treated those children equal to her own. Over the years other children stayed with us, and mom’s care for them was consistent.

When my cousins stayed with us, they told me how much they appreciated her, and the way she took care of them. I thought that was very cool.

She appreciated nature and the environment. I saw it in the way she took care of plants and her garden. She taught me that growing your own food is possible, as long as you nurture your soil.

She would cook your favourites upon request, if you asked politely. I used to bring apple crisp and peanut brittle to school for my class mates. They loved it, and told me I was lucky, but it was an everyday thing to me. I appreciated this more after I moved out.

Regardless of how much money we had, mom made sure we ate a cooked meal every night. She always made something out of nothing. Mom could stretch the littlest ingredients to last through the week, I used to think she was a magician.

She would wake up early, even on weekdays to make breakfast for us. I used to wonder how and when she had the energy to get through the day.

I admired her natural beauty, the way she french braided her hair, and still glowed with zero make up. I appreciated the way she took care of my hair, braiding my hair, which taught me to love my natural self…..

I’m sitting here alone in a small, dimly lit contemporary office, high in the sky. Looking down at the busy toronto midtown street that we used to frequent with her. I visioned her walking with a bunch of children around her, pushing a stroller through the crowd. Folks stopping her to ask, “Are they ALL YOURS?!!” and her calmly responding. She never acted rude to strangers who were nosey or curious. She was a married woman, had us in her twenties, and we all share the same father, but folks couldn’t help but assume…Her youthful appearance attracted positive and negative attention. I once asked her, “Doesn’t that get annoying mom???” and she said, “I know their going to do it anyway, so I don’t allow it to get to me….”

My appreciation for her, some of my fondest memories, what I miss about her, and her lessons are ingrained in my soul. I hope she’s resting in peace.

Thanks Mom.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Care For The Fragile…..

I had strange dream last night. The dream felt real. I was conscious of my thoughts and actions. Touch felt real. If you follow my blog, then you know how important dreams are to me. I don’t remember them every night, but when I do, it’s for a reason. I haven’t had a nightmare in while, and this shook me to the core…..

I saw a newborn baby laying on a bench, and nobody was around. It was a ghost town not a person in sight. As I approached, he began to fall though the cracks of the bench! I was horrified! I quickly slipped my hand under the baby’s back, attempting to stabilize him. I was concerned I might hurt him because he was fragile, a preemie. He squirmed in my hand and began to cry. I was relieved because he was responsive, but distraught because I couldn’t hold him. I couldn’t pat his back or gently rock him…I stared down at him in despair. Where were the parents???Why didn’t they care???

I couldn’t find a solution to the problem at hand. I felt I failed him, felt like a failure, very sorry for this child…..

As I awoke the dream stayed with me. I reminded myself that it wasn’t real, but the baby’s image was in my eyes. He was weak and fragile and needed protection, but was abandon. He was given up on, left to fend for himself. I guess he was too much of a burden? Maybe I couldn’t save him, but it was worth a try.

I realized what the dream meant after hearing tragic news about a loved one. This dream to me, represented the fragile and delicate, of mind. The people who suffer from mental issues, anxiety, depression, etc. They may need a little support to get by. Doing what you can, and not casting them off could help prevent them from falling through the cracks…
I have more to say on this topic, but I’ll save it for another blog.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# All The Time In The World…..

I was in a rush, on my way to an important appointment. I needed to renew my health card, I procrastinated long enough. I left on time, but was trying to be as early as possible. As I walked out of the building corridor, an elderly woman in a wheelchair stopped me. She politely asked if I could do her a favour, and within seconds all of these thoughts crossed my mind:

– I hope this isn’t going to take long!

– I hope it isn’t a complicated favour…..

-I hope I don’t miss my bus!

-I hope this doesn’t make me late!

– This is a government appointment, pre-booked online, there’s no excuse to be late!

– If I’m late, they’ll never let me pre-book another

– I’ve never been to this place, and I’m travelling by ttc, better to be early in case I have difficulty finding it!

– I can’t tell this sweet old lady “No” Look how polite she asked!

– If I’m late, then I’m late. I guess I’ll have to take a number…..

She asked if I could remove her bag from off the back of her chair, and place it in her lap. Quick and simple! I was relieved.

If I was granted all the time in the world, I would still feel there’s not enough. I couldn’t have walked pass that lady in good conscience. I’m still learning to trust in time, instead of sweating it.

By the way, I ended up being on time to my destination.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

A tweet by a friend caught my eye about being “unfriended” on social media. It said something to the tune of, “If a person unfriends you, it means they REALLY don’t “f#\$&” with you” and this got me to thinking…..

First off, if we have contact with people in the real world, then social media should only be a SECOND means of communication. Unfortunately social media has become the new medium for socializing, in our daily lives, replacing phone calls and even texting. I’m still not on board with that.

Back in the day when social media was still a new thing, my peers pressured me into getting a Facebook account. They were so excited to reunite with former classmates. I finally gave in and joined, with little enthusiasm, until I started using it. I thought it was pretty cool! But had my reservations. It was weird that people who were not my friend, in high school were sending me repeat friend requests. I treated it as I would in real life, I ignored their request. I didn’t think much of it, it was cyberspace to me, those people couldn’t have cared that much right?

These platforms were fun to use, exciting at the beginning. Social media politics, and “friending” politics were not an issue to me. I didn’t take “unfriending” someone seriously when I first started using social media. Many of my “friends” were people whom I’ve never met, and I’m sure they wouldn’t have noticed if I unfriended them. I thought the purpose of unfriending, was to stop seeing posts on your timeline, that you’d rather not see. With all the random people, unknowns and possible trolls, I considered it asinine. Unfriending, Profiles, and Posts are not people! My friends and loved ones don’t even have to follow me if they didn’t want to. As long as our real life relationship is in tact, I’m okay.

Think twice about the value you place on others, especially friends and family RE social media. Equating your Real relationship, to your social media “likes” from them will never balance out.

Love&Respect,

# Red Light? Green Light? No?!(Impatience)….

Remember in kindergarten learning “Look both ways before you cross the street!”? Those words will never leave me, they are permanently embedded in my subconscious. One of life’s safety lessons that are most important for survival. I loved kindergarten for that reason. I couldn’t wait to get out in the world and cross the street on own, that beautiful feeling of independence.

A child’s mind is so precious, I actually thought all the cars would abide by the rules, ALL of the time. Red means STOP, Yellow means WAIT and green means GO! Simple as that. I loved looking out the car window anticipating them changing. The rules seemed fun, but I understood that rules were rules, meant to be followed. Our safety is always MOST important. Unfortunately you grow up, and receive a rude awakening. The first time I saw a car run a red light I was shocked! I could not understand why they would do that, it’s dangerous!!!

So I guess following the rules or the law is an option? My innocent mind equated it to that. Adults do not follow basic rules and regulations. Nowadays crossing the road almost feels like a death wish. People are so impatient! If you live in the city you may be able to relate. I find myself rushing across the road on a green light, because a car is moving up on me. I feel as though I’m in the way! It’s ready to turn and coming full speed, it feels as though we are racing! I could ignore it and walk slow, but my instincts tell me to move quick! I do not trust that my fellow motorist will not hit me. I know too many people who’ve been hit this way, simply because of IMPATIENCE. Nothing more or less. We’ve changed the rules to, “It’s all about MY time”.

I raise my hand to Thank drivers who wait for me to cross. I appreciate that they value my life enough to wait ten seconds. It’s sad to say that a little patience means that much to me.

Love&Respect,

# (It’s a Wrap!)Workplace Shenanigans Story/Rant….

My first experience in the “corporate world” left a bad impression on me, it reminded me of Jr High, immature games and competitions. In order to maintain my sanity, I would blast my music in my headphones on break, I created a “safe space” until the clock hit nine.
I couldn’t picture myself walking into that environment everyday, regardless of the money. I felt as though I was going backwards, watching adults steal leads from one another, competing for crumbs. The supervisor reminded me of a third grade teacher, he didn’t seem to mind the so-called “friendly competition” which was FAAAR from friendly. As long we reached our daily quota, he was happy, and “team morale” was NOT a priority. It’s all about the MONEY, until we didn’t receive our commission money on time, as a matter of fact, it was MONTHS late, then it was WAR!
The air became thicker, and thicker by the week, and when we had team meetings, I’d be sure NOT to contribute a word. When I was called upon by the Supervisor, I’d shake my head, NO and give the “I’m GOOOOD” face. I waited patiently for the meeting to be over, and hoped the commission drama would end without a strike. By the time we received our monies owed, I was 100 percent sure it was time to go!
On my last day. I silently left, with no announcement. I didn’t need the goodbye party from a bunch of fake people who hate each other. Folks usually aren’t happy for you when you  move on to something better, they tend to be jealous, but hide it under a fake smile…I did meet a few people who are dear friends to me to this day. I considered that the best I got out of my experience.
As I walked out the front doors I thought to myself, “It’s a WRAP!” and I felt as light as a feather. I knew in my heart I was ready for a better way, working from home, building my own home office. It was time for a  big change, the toxic office set me on new path, it was the encouragement I needed. I probably wouldn’t have explored my options had I not went though all of that. Regardless of  what you do to make a living, your energy is priceless, know when it’s time to go!

Love&Respect,

# (There’s More)Workplace Shenanigans Story/Rant….

I told myself I would never stay at a job where I wasn’t respected, but I guess that was easy to say because I was a teen, still under my mother’s care. Maybe if I was in her shoes, I would tolerate that type of behaviour, maybe I would put feeding my family above all. I always thought to myself, how much BS could I tolerate for money??? As I gained more experience, I learned my tolerance level and boundaries in the workplace, and they were the same as my boundaries outside of work. I attribute that to my upbringing, the values that my parents instilled in me. I haven’t and couldn’t bring myself to bend them, regardless of how much money I was making. No wage was worth my soul. In a worst case scenario, if I was having a serious problem, I’d ask my mother for advice before making a move. I’d ignore the BS, until I was able to sit down with the a supervisor or management. I would only take my concerns to HR if it were absolutely necessary. I prided myself on never having to go to HR, for any drama-related reasons, but of course, someone had to try me and ruin my clean record!

I remember my first week starting a new position at the head office of a very large company. The office was huge, with a call centre, the largest I’d ever worked in. At first it was overwhelming with all the people crammed into one space separated only by “dividers”. I sat at my cubicle with my trainer trying to concentrate on what he was teaching me, I was super focused, blanking out the noise and movement around me. Learning many new computer applications, was challenging, but I was very excited to be catching on quickly. My trainer and I were bonding, and having fun, and I was doing amazing with my calls. Out of the blue, a coworker who I did not know, approached us and started ranting. She was saying that we were making too much noise, and our “joking” would get us in trouble with management. We actually were not loud at all, so I was confused as to what provoked her to get up and talk to us in that tone. She seemed annoyed, and she was also neglecting her job by getting up to interrupt us. I was bewildered, so I asked my trainer, “What is she talking about??!” he looked at me puzzled. I could tell he was trying not to aggravate the situation. I was annoyed and I didn’t want to cause a scene, considering I was new. Low and behold our supervisor walks up and asks her to come with him, and I thought to myself, HERE WE GO! I couldn’t just get through my first week without something stupid happening. Drawing negative attention to myself was NOT my intention, I didn’t even know what the hell was going on. My trainer told me not to worry, he said the woman was wrong for approaching us, and that I did nothing wrong. I was upset and confused, I didn’t want to go upstairs and speak to HR. I was focused on learning, that’s all!

Call me naive, but the thought of a grown ass woman being jealous of my success never crossed my mind…It took my trainer and others to explain to me that my success in gaining “sign ups”, was the motivation for her actions. I was truly hurt, and my guard went up like a coat of armour from that day forward. Some consider me “sensitive” for taking that  very seriously, but I don’t. There was no need for this woman to bother me, especially during my training. Although I didn’t get in trouble, I made it VERY clear while speaking to HR that I want them to keep that trouble making woman away from me. I saw the petty, jealous, foolish behaviour exuded in an environment that was supposed to be “professional” and my first impression was a lasting one…Stay tuned for my next blog.

Love&Respect,

# (Con’td)Workplace Shenanigans Story/Rant…..

Picking up from where I left off…

Dealing with tension/conflict with co-workers in the office, almost feels the same as dealing with family. Not everyone in a family gets along, or sees eye to eye, but since you are related, you are obligated to get along with them regardless of how unreasonable they may be. This also applies to dealing with your co-workers, and you may spend MORE time with them than with your own family. If there are any unresolved issues, it can put a major damper on the working environment, which affects the whole team. I always considered myself to be team player, being that I am a twin from a family of six, however I do believe one bad apple can spoil a bunch. All it takes is ONE unbearable person who brings their home problems to work, to make an eight hour shift can feel like it’s never going to end. What really baffles me, is people who go out of their way to bother and harass their fellow co-workers. The stories I’ve heard from others regarding work place drama and shenanigans, always sounded like something out of a TV show, but they are as true as can be.

With all the problems in the world, and all the problems that we all deal with at home, why make life harder than it has to be??? It doesn’t make sense to purposely give your colleague a hard time at work, or attempt to sabotage them, when you are all pretty much on the same playing field. Petty High school jealousy games are played the most in the work environment. I never expected that when I first started working at a grocery store at the age of fifteen, there were so many weird conflicts and I felt very uncomfortable witnessing it. One of my co-workers, a grown woman, old enough to be my mother was being mistreated by teenagers who were my age. She also had a son around my age who worked with us as well, which made it even more awkward and strange to me. I come from a culture and era, where we  respected our elders. I had no idea what she could have done to warrant that type of treatment, so I sat back and observed…..One day my co-worker started venting to me in the back room, as we cleaned the bar-b-que equipment. She told me that most of our team didn’t respect her, and their energy was very negative. She continued to tell me that I was different than the rest, because I treated everyone with respect. She was crying, and I wasn’t sure what to say, because I didn’t really know her. She seemed like a very tough person based off of what I saw, I was shocked to see her cry over these people. Then I realized that this was her Full Time job, and her son was around, so she had to protect him. I thought quitting would be my first choice. I couldn’t fathom dealing with the type of bulls*** every single day, but I was just a teen, this job was her main source of income. Leaving would obviously NOT be her first option.

I truly sympathized with her,  and based off of that experience, I told myself I would NEVER stay at a job where I wasn’t respected…There’s more to come on this topic, stay tuned.

Love&Respect,

# Workplace Shenanigans Story/Rant…..

I’ve never been one for “workplace drama” and I feel silly sharing this story, because I thought I was at a point in my life where I wouldn’t have to deal with petty workplace shenanigans and jealousy.  I was completely shocked and blind-sighted, but the beauty is,  it taught me an important lesson when it comes to the value of my time and what it TRULY means to make a living…

I recall going into a tedious job, chill and in a great mood, but others would actually ask, “Why are you so happy?!” I consider that a very rude question. Am I not supposed to smile and be happy at work, because you are miserable??? My laid back, stay to myself demeanor, always attracted the wrong attention. Some of my fellow co-workers shared with me, that they felt I didn’t “like” them, simply because I chose to sit and eat my lunch by myself. I hate talking when I’m eating! My break is for ME, why do I have to sit with you and socialize??? I was sitting at my cubicle beside you for hours already!

I’ve never felt the need to tear down a co-worker, in order to make myself look better to the higher ups. I always dressed, talked and walked like myself at the office. The “peer pressure” in the corporate world couldn’t change me. I never felt the need to suck up to the boss in order to be elevated to a better position. I’ve heard people say, “Oh that’s just the way it is in the office” and I think, well if that’s the way it is, then I choose to NOT participate. The water-cooler talk never interested me either. I chose to work from home for YEARS because I couldn’t swallow the cut- throat nature of the corporate world. People used to ask me if I ever got lonely working from home on my own, and my response was NO! I loved the peace and quiet, it’s way easier to focus on work without gossip and chatter an ear shot away. I considered it torture trying to focus, while hearing my co-worker whine and complain about her boyfriend’s mother. It was even worse when I tried my best to pretend I didn’t hear a thing, and she’d try to pull me into the conversation. Then I had to answer WHY I didn’t feel like talking, which hurt her feelings, or made her  dislike or resent me, when my intentions were purely to do my job! Dealing with tension in the office  is very annoying, because you KNOW you’re going to have to face these people the next day. It’s as though  they are family you are forced to deal with:(….. There’s more, stay tuned for my next post.

Love&Respect,

# Reassuring Silence…..

Please forgive me for posting this blog late. #HappyMothersDay to all the mothers out there and RIP momma, I’m missing you today.

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been writing, and I’ve been meaning to share. Since the time I told my father why I don’t trust him and after I posted my blog, I didn’t hear from him for a few months. That is the reason I was reluctant to post my blog. I thought maybe I was exposing too much, although I didn’t say anything disparaging about him. I actually felt “guilty”……By the time I posted, I decided to delete it, because I felt as though I was betraying my father. Fortunately one of my loyal subscribers noticed, and asked me why I did that. I felt embarrassed because I didn’t think anybody read it. She left me a heart-felt comment, commending me on my honesty and transparency. She told me that my blog is important, and it may help others. I came to my senses and re-posted, her comment helped me realize that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for sharing my story. Many people have broken relationships with their parents for various reasons. I’ve come across many people who don’t talk to their father, who lives in close proximity to them. It’s difficult trying to build a solid foundation with a parent who hasn’t parented you for the majority of your life. The scattered memories may be all you have to remember them by, and as you grow older, many of those memories may be repressed, or dissolved. It’s almost as though you have to create a foundation to re-start from, and hope you both can come to a mutual understanding. Establishing a common ground that you’re both comfortable moving forward on, and communicate as much as possible. I’ve had to get used to speaking my mind with no filter, and letting my guard down when I feel it coming back up.

The last conversation I had with my father was liberating. I told him that he was a priority to me, and this time, the silence was not awkward, but reassuring. He was truly listening to me! Not just to my voice, but to my heart and soul.

Something has changed, and I’m not worried about whether or not it will go away, I’m more focused on nurturing it, and watching it grow.

Love&Respect,

# And THIS is Why I Don’t Trust…..

“Dad, I know you would never do anything to hurt me, and I’m not afraid of you…I don’t know if you  remember, but when we were little, you put us in dangerous situations, and it was scary….I  was scared.” The words flowed out of my mouth like melted butter, “And THIS is why I don’t trust you…or anyone….” I FINALLY allowed myself to be honest with my father and tell the truth. He needed to hear the truth, regardless of his guilt and pain…..I looked up to my father when I was a little girl,  I admired him. When he sat me down and taught me about the “bad” ways of the world, I held onto his every word. We always shared a special bond, he made me feel special. When he spoke to me about serious topics I was very attentive, although I was too young  to fully  comprehend the significance of what he was saying. My conscience understood everything he was saying, and I wouldn’t run a way to go play until he was finished. I registered and filed all of it in my mind. I made it a point to abide by all of his lessons as I grew, even though he wasn’t around. “Always be kind to those less fortunate than you…..” He taught me, and wrote it in  EVERY post card and letter. I saved every postcard, telegram and letter he sent in my old shoe box. I held my onto my father’s  morals and values, and our mother reinforced them, she never spoke ill of him. I was taught to RESPECT and honor my father, regardless of his actions. I always felt the need  to protect him, as though I was the parent and HE the child….

I’ve been putting off visiting him because I doubt that he’s changed, and I can not fix that. His efforts mean a lot to me, but I can not rewrite my past, or fix this overnight. I don’t know how this will all pan out between my father and I, but I trust that I did the right thing. I appreciate my father for what he taught me, and maybe I can teach HIM a thing or too…..

# You KNOW Better, So Do Better!

“Dad! People are Soooo Rude!” A young boy yelled out on the bus, after being abruptly brushed by a many passengers who were in a rush to get off the bus during rush hour. I haven’t taken the( TTC ) bus in over a decade and this area was vastly different compared to where I used to live. I  was appalled as I watched them COMPLETELY disregard the child, none of them even said excuse me….. I found this shocking, considering us “Torontonians” are known for our courtesy and manners, in public….His father explained to him that it was rush hour, and people are agitated, tired, and just want to go home. He reassured him that they’d be home very soon, and that he’d make him anything to eat that he wanted, which I found cute. The father did his best to comfort his child, but the fact that he chose NOT to say anything negative about the poor manners of the passengers, intrigued me….Perhaps he didn’t want to “call them out”, or he didn’t want to plant negative seeds in his son’s mind about public transportation. I thought to myself, this child may grow up thinking that this is just the “way” people are on the bus, when these adults are supposed to know BETTER. They are wrong and there is no excuse for it, and hearing a little boy become so upset and annoyed that he yelled, touched my conscience…..When I’m having a tough day and it’s almost coming to an end, I can be triggered by the smallest act of rudeness by a stranger. I don’t always address them, it’s not even worth it, but it does disrupt my peace temporarily. I realized what really gets to me, is the lack of effort to show a fellow human basic manners and respect. Saying Please/Thank You/Excuse Me only takes 2-3 seconds tops, and it can make a world of difference…..

I have hope, and believe that if those who KNOW better, simply DO better, we can set a better example for the generations after us. They won’t think twice to do better, because it will come naturally, once they learn. It’s baby steps that grown folks need to take, so our babies will follow suit…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# It Could Happen To You…..

I tried to avoid the news online about the flooding in Houston, because the sight of flooding gives me anxiety….The photos I saw on my twitter feed were shocking, it pained me to see. I had a flash back of my apartment flooding last year, watching helplessly as water quickly spread thorough out the place….I didn’t know the water was THAT high! I pictured being in those people’s shoes, wading alongside my belongings as I leave my home and say goodbye to everything I own…

I have never experienced a hurricane, being that I’ve only lived in Ontario, Canada, watching hurricanes on the news looked unreal to me, like a movie. I remember learning about hurricanes in school, and the science behind them. The “eye” of the storm being calm, is a fact that I found interesting and disturbing. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be in one. I was terrified based off of what I saw in the news coverage from other countries around the world. It looked as though the land would never be dry again, and re-building would take centuries…..

I’ve heard some say on social media and youtube, that the victims of the flood “knew” that  this could happen because of their location. I find it funny people say that, because we all live in places that are just as prone to natural disaster, i.e. a snow storm, ice storm, earthquake, or possibly a windstorm….Even if we live in areas that are considered “high-risk”, we don’t expect the WORST will happen. There are very beautiful condos by the waterfront  in Toronto that I’ve always dreamed of living in, flooding is the FURTHEST thought from my mind when I imagine living there…..

Regardless of how prepared you are, when the worst of the worst  does happen, it’s a slap in the face and a wake up call that it can happen to you too.

#PrayforHouston

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# PT 2, August&My Summer Sadness…..

Picking up from where I left off:

Before August ends I will bring myself to be at peace again with it, I will conquer my demons, finally…..

There are belongings of my mother’s that are very sentimental to me but I know mean much more to others. I’ve reached out to certain relatives who were very close to her, that shared common interests with her, to give them items like books and music. She had such a vast music and book collection that I always admired, and I remember asking her to borrow albums especially older music, classic albums from artists that my generation wasn’t familiar with. She didn’t mind, she was kind that way, I really loved that about her. She was a music lover to the tee, and had a very eclectic taste that was culturally diverse. I cherished her music collection, and I learned to love and appreciate music from all over the world because of her…..Going through and sharing her collection, hearing memories attached to a particular song makes me happy. It was fun reminiscing with my Auntie about the way she danced so well, or her favourite songs she’s play on repeat. I’m happy to give them away.

I also found peace and closure in another place, a very surprising and unexpected place, or I should say person…my father. I’ve grown closer to my father since my mother’s passing, although we’ve only talked on the phone. I hear my mother’s phrases, lessons, diction when he’s giving me advice…It’s quite astounding to me, I forgot how much alike they are. It’s comforting, and I feel actually feel protected…The way I used to feel after speaking with mom…..

Since my last blog post, things have been looking up, and I decided to focus on what I do have control over, what I’m able to do in the meantime.  I’ve had a few relatives reach out to me that I wish I felt comfortable speaking to, but I think it’s best not to speak until the correct actions are DONE regarding the unfinished business of mommy’s passing…..

As the month comes to an end, I enjoy the beautiful sunsets and brisk nights. My mother’s passing anniversary is approaching, and it means something different this year. Those demons, I ran away and I’m proud to say, I’m now at peace with August.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

I can’t believe it’s August already. My mother’s passing anniversary is fast approaching and that “feeling” is starting to come over me, the feeling that August brings, every year…..The overcast masks the sun, it doesn’t look or feel like summer most days, but it’s beautiful nonetheless, especially at midday… I can’t help but stop and stare at the sky from the balcony everyday, the  view is lovely. I get lost in the large pond surrounded by greenery that accents it perfectly….I look at it everyday…..it helps to distract me from my sadness, I forget my problems, whatever’s weighing on my mind…

It’s still difficult for me to allow myself to feel sad, to first off, accept that I am sad, and allow myself to go through the emotion, instead of denying or suppressing it. I sometimes weep without cause, and I still have trouble admitting to myself that I have a problem with this. When August arrives, I’m forced to deal with it, I can’t escape the summer sadness….Not having closure regarding the aftermath of my mothers death has made August represent a negative time of the year, when it used to represent my favourite summer month. August used to mean the end of summer camp, time to go home to my warm bed, and prepare for back to school….it used to mean the summer month with the best weather, the most fun activities, it used to mean my mother’s birthday month, instead of the day her passing….August is not the cause of my sadness, it’s just a month in the year, but I’m still on my quest for closure, and before August ends I will bring myself to be at peace again with it, I will conquer my demons, finally.

To be continued…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Respect the Pigeons!…..

Respect the pigeons! and I mean the REAL birds, not the “slang” term, I hope that title didn’t throw you off lol.

Since I’ve been staying in Toronto with my family, I’ve taken notice of the beauty of this side of the city, and I appreciate it so much more now. On my daily walk, I can’t help but stop and take a pic of nature and the  lovely scenery, before I even think of a taking a selfie. I’ve seen many different types of birds on a daily basis, ducks, seagulls, robins, blue jays, eagles, sparrows and last but not least, the infamous PIGEONS!…..

I forgot about pigeons, because there weren’t any where I used to live, and I’m NOT fond of them, for obvious reasons. There are MANY of them in this area, SO many that I don’t go on the balcony, I avoid them. I find pigeons to be messy, aggressive and a nuisance, plus they’re known to attack humans…..

There’s a handful of pigeons that frequent the balcony that are actually a family, I learned by way of my younger cousin. She told me that the two “thinner” pigeons who stick together, are siblings that grew “fast” from the two laid eggs that were previously in the corner. This surprised me because I didn’t know pigeons grew up so fast. I began observing the pigeons everyday and gained an interest and understanding of their world, but still stayed OFF the balcony. My aunt informed me that there was going to be repairs  being done to the balcony starting in the morning, and the balcony would have to be cleared off. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, didn’t want to go out there, but I finally mustered up the courage to do so. I have to admit, I was genuinely intimidated by of the gangs of pigeons lined up above me, glaring at me. I noticed a fluffier, chubbier, prettier, looking pigeon sitting in the corner of the balcony. Her eyes didn’t leave me as I cautiously moved around. A few pigeons flew fast and swiftly by, startling me, I yelped out trying not to be loud, feeling silly lol. I was relieved as I slowly dragged the last bag, that was near the staring pigeon. I was pleasantly surprised when she suddenly stepped up, revealing two small eggs, it was protecting it’s babies! That’s why it was sitting there, staring directly at me the whole time,  I had a feeling…..

I successfully completed the task, and the pigeons did not trouble me,  I understood they were simply protecting their turf, and I did my best to show them that I respected their turf…..I shared my pigeon story with my cousin, and told her that I conquered my fear and “faced the pigeons”, she laughed. She explained that the “chubby” pigeon sitting on the eggs was indeed a male, and the father protects the eggs too, which I didn’t know. That was the most fascinating lesson I learned…Plus I gained a new found respect for most notoriously “hated” birds in the city.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…..

I haven’t posted a blog in a few months…..I could have posted one last week, or even yesterday, but I was preoccupied dealing with my problems and worrying…Trying to come up with solutions to my problems, and contemplating how I allowed myself to get to this point…..I couldn’t post because I wasn’t in my writing vibe, I didn’t feel like “myself”……I couldn’t put a positive spin on how I felt, so kept it to myself…I didn’t want to be a “Debbie Downer”, otherwise, I would’ve wrote…..

I feel guilty for neglecting my blog, and all of my excuses haven’t helped me feel any better. The Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s, are a distraction, they  NEVER help…They almost feel like an addiction. I eventually woke myself up from their trance, and I feel refreshed and renewed. I realized what I was doing to myself, what I’ve been doing to myself, looking back, instead of looking forward to what I CAN do…..

I can’t get back the time I wasted, or undue what’s already been done, I can’t go back and refuse the help that I chose to receive, but ended up putting me in a WORSE position….I was not in control of the unfortunate circumstance that ended up putting me out of my home, the place I thought I was going to build my business…..If you keep up with my blog, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m working on conquering my vices the older I get, but I stumble sometimes and my fears creep up and I don’t always shoo them away…..Blaming myself for what I Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda did is a symptom of my fears and admitting that to myself was harder than sharing this blog with you.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Control Freaks & Giving Up Control…..

It’s almost 5:00am and I’m glad tobe back in my writing groove, I haven’t posted in a month, and  I’ve been adding pieces to the draft of this blog for a week. I’m going through some stressful life stuff, relating to the aftermath of the flood last year. Family and friends have been supportive, sending me words of encouragement, which has helped a lot. I feel as though last year was a looong test that I passed, but there’s more to learn and apply and I’m at the new start of a new chapter of my life. I’d like to share this with you…..

I’ve come to grips with the fact I just might be a “Control Freak”  to an extent, and that’s not easy for me to admit, because I’ve never considered myself one. I’ve been exposed to many self-proclaimed Control Freaks during the course of my life, and I understood their need to have things “their way.” I found myself effortlessly adhering to their demands, making sure I put EVERYTHING in the EXACT correct place, following directions to their satisfaction…..I felt that their “Control Freak” ways, were simply a part of their personality,  so I shouldn’t be bothered by it, but Control Freaks can be difficult to satisfy, and they may NEVER be satisfied no matter how much you care to appease them…I’ve never encountered a “chill”  control freak, they always seem to be on edge, which is not cool and wearisome to deal with……I realized that when I allow my mentality to become controlling over what is supposed to happen, that I’m essentially  blocking The Most High/ blocking my blessings, hence blocking my own path….Getting in my own way.

Since the start of the year I feel like I’m coming into a fresh new part of my adult life, but it’s coming together in a manner which I never could’ve anticipated. After my accident in January, I vowed that I would take it easy, not rush, and try to go with the flow. Unfortunately the events  that took place late last year have put me in a position that has backed up my initial plans for 2016/2017 and my mind hasn’t been in “zen” mode, but in rush mode…..

I caught myself though, and since I’ve given up control, this tough time feels like a walk in the park, and I’m focusing on what I can do, which is all I can do.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

# Valentine’s Day, Through a Child’s Eyes…..

I remember dreading Valentine’s Day in primary school, because I didn’t want to have to ask my mother to purchase Valentine’s cards, that students were EXPECTED to hand out. I knew she couldn’t afford these extra expenses, and since there was a handful of us in primary school, I felt shameful to ask knowing we all would…..I thought it wasn’t an important holiday to recognize among  us  children, we were just children…We didn’t have romantic feelings,  for one another,  the most would be a “crush”  here and there…..I loved the chocolate and candies though, that was my favourite part. I looked forward to sharing candy with my classmates, that was fun, or when the teacher allowed us to have a party, where we all brought snacks, and shared……I felt we were forced to had out cards to each other, when the majority of us didn’t even like each other, we tolerated each other, being classmates. It was weird picking out the “appropriate” card for the kid in my class who was rude, a jerk, and would tease others daily…..I didn’t want to give them a card period, and I most definitely did want them to feel they had to give ME one…If they did, I politely Thanked them, but thought to myself, “You only did that because you HAD to…..” it was very insincere, fake, and it went against my ethics. Even as a child, I had a code of ethics that I tried to follow, regardless of my peers actions. I made sure to give a Valentine’s Card, a “nice” one, to that loner kid,  the boy who was constantly bullied, teased, or ignored. That was the one good deed that I could do to make this day better for another, but I felt the whole tradition was silly to promote to us…Children.

I hope my blog didn’t sour your Valentine’s Day! lol

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# Appreciating “Bad” Dreams Part 2…..

Continuing from where I left off…..

The  discomfort my bad dreams cause me, pushes me to get to the root of the reason I had that dream, and why it affected me. I’ve starting off my morning replaying the scene from my dream over and over again, reminding myself that the dream wasn’t REAL. I try not to allow it to ruin my day, but I end up distracted and preoccupied with it…The only solution is tapping into those dreams, and reading up  on unusual symbols that may have a deeper meaning. Whatever it is that my subconscious has brought to the surface, I confront head on, and research like a project….

I had an incredibly frustrating dream the other night, it wasn’t a scary dream, but bad nonetheless:

There was a very large ostrich that I was taking care of, and I didn’t know what to do with it, it was ENORMOUS and very difficult to control. The ostrich was not mine, it belonged to my siblings, and we were living back at the house  we grew up in. I took responsibility of the ostrich, I don’t know why, ( I guess in the dream he was being neglected) but I was stressed out and at my wits end. I was attempting to transport the ostrich downstairs, so I could feed him and tend to his needs, but he was rambunctious, and I couldn’t handle him. There wasn’t anybody around to ask for help,so I had to figure out myself…..Eventually I made my way downstairs with the ostrich in a tub with a cover over it, worrying that he would suffocate. I finally reached my destination,  and saw a few of my siblings gathered in the kitchen, so I abruptly yelled, “Can you PLEASE help me??!!! I need to feed him too! He’s going to run all over!” but they ignored my plea. I took the cover off of the tub, and was horrified to see the ostrich had shrunk! He was skinny and looked very malnourished…I felt awful, that was exactly what I was trying to prevent, he looked as though he was clinging to life! I screamed, “SEE? Look what happened!!!!”…..

I woke up annoyed, frustrated and a little upset, and as I went about my regular morning routine, the dream popped into my head. My family’s house, my siblings  and the ostrich. I quickly wrote down what I could remember, and the first symbol I looked into was the ostrich, surprisingly it came up quick in the dream dictionary. Much to my surprise, the ostrich has a very powerful meaning, I never would have guessed! It’s a symbol of “Truth and Justice” and that explains why I was very protective over it in the dream. It related to how I’ve felt  in my family. Me having to take on a big  family related responsibility, a crucial responsibility, without support or cooperation…Not being listened to, and a terrible outcome as a result, which I’ve spoke about in my other blogs…..

I hope my sharing this odd dream helps you in some way. This is one of MANY odd “bad”dreams that I’ve had in the last few months due to the unfortunate chain of events. I do appreciate those dreams though, and I’m always fascinated with what I discover about myself. I feel better in the end too.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# Appreciating “Bad” Dreams PT 1…..

I’ve  grown to love my dreams, and appreciate my nightmares. I’m sure to look into my dreams and nightmares regardless of how they make me feel. Being that I’m a writer, I sleep with my notepad by my head, so I can grab for it if I ever have any thoughts to jot down. Sometimes when I’m extremely tired, stressed out, or had a scary  dream, I forget my dream upon waking up. This frustrates me and I close my eyes and try to focus to remember what I saw in my dream, then tell myself, if it was that important, I’d remember what it was…..

My worst dreams, the ones that have me waking up in a tizzy, hoping that it WAS just a dream, have the most significance and meaning to my life. I treat those dreams with high priority, they help me to better understand myself, improve, get past challenges that are holding me back from moving forward. As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed I have fewer dreams that I consider “bad” because I view them in a different light. I tap into those dreams , recalling “who” or what I saw that bothered me…The discomfort I feel, I use as a driving force to  encourage myself to fully acknowledge/analyze WHY  I had that dream, and the reason I feel the way I do…I’ll continue in my next blog.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# What’s the Rush??? Conclusion…..

Continuing…..

I felt terrible and embarrassed, I felt that I ruined my neighbour’s night. I was in pain, in shock, and I was tired. I felt as though I had woke up from a dream, as I looked in the mirror at my face. I immediately noticed my nose looked crooked! I took a closer look thinking, What did I do to myself??? I didn’t look like myself. My bridge was swollen along with the bruises under my eyes. The cut above  my left eyebrow was bleeding down my face, both cuts were deep and open. My face was sore from the scrapes and abrasions, that were unsightly and  very painful…..I felt like going to lay down and curl up in a ball and go to sleep, but of course I couldn’t. I knew I may have a concussion, or have broken/fractured bones, so I had to go to the  emergency room…I grabbed a few items, and tried to straightened myself up as the taxi arrived. My neighbour lead the way, quietly supporting me. I felt blessed to have her with me, she was super calm like me, and this would’ve been very difficult if she wasn’t. I know the emergency waiting room would be packed and hectic, I anticipated that the wait would be very long, and it was…..

As we waited, I felt weak and was trying to stay awake. The registration clerk commented that I looked “pale”, I felt like I was floating as I gave her my information. While we were sitting, I engaged in conversation with my neighbour to help me stay awake, while people looked on. They were staring, but trying not to stare, and I could feel that they were wondering, What happened to her??? I felt they assumed I was assaulted in a domestic dispute. I hate to be stared at, and I was self-conscious about my open bleeding wounds, my battered look drew attention, but I was cool-as-a -cucumber…..

After my name was called for the next waiting room, I prepared for the awkward series of check ups, and hospital gown. I was relieved that I made it through the first 2 hours, waiting, hoping, and praying in my mind helped a lot. I received responses and support from the few family and friends that I told, I didn’t tell the majority because I knew they’d freak out. Of course, they  were extremely worried and concerned. My  cousin told me that she told her co-worker that I’m  “really into my looks” that “I care about my skin  etc.” so this must be devastating for me…I thought, Damn, do I come off vain???…..I do care about my looks…..

My neighbour waited peacefully and patiently with the other patients as I returned from the first tests. She told me I looked a lot better, I’d gained the colour back in my face. I told her I felt better, knowing that I didn’t have any life threatening injuries, and my faith re-energized me. I felt a rush of energy, I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but I felt stronger. My neighbour’s peaceful demeanor was reassuring, she had a piece of clay that she’d been molding to help her pass the time. She is a professional Artist, I’ve seen her work before, and it’s exquisite, but watching her create was astounding. The carving was of a man’s face, she’d been working on it since we arrived, and it looked amazing. Others looked on as I joked with her about the fact that she was able to use this trying time to create a masterpiece. I couldn’t believe she was able create a carving with such fine details with her bare hands, and in such a chaotic environment!

The night lasted into the wee hours of the morning, I waited and waited, as I listened to the commotion all around me. Finally  the doctor came into see me, she asked me what happened in a concerned tone. She assessed that I was coherent, with no neurological issues, needed stitches, and x-rays for nose. She told me not to worry, that I’d be okay. My neighbour had to leave, she stayed for approx seven hours, and I Thanked her graciously. She told me she’d be sure to give me her completed carving, as a memento of the nights events. I collect art, I thought that was cool 🙂 . I waited and waited and finally got my x-rays and last the stitches. My cousin was on her way to pick me up, I Thanked the doctor, and prepared to go home, FINALLY. Whew!

It’s been a month, and I’m healed up, but handling other business/drama regarding the flood. My neighbour was kind enough to check in with me a few times, but she hadn’t seen me. We met up to chat, and she was ecstatic about the results of my healed face, the fact that I only have a scar above my eyebrow. She told me she had a gift for me, it was the finished carving. She explained that the carving was very symbolic for another reason, the face happened to have a nick, a mark, in the exact same place as my scar. She told me she couldn’t get rid of it, it was baked into the carving…We chuckled at the irony…..

I chose to share this story because it was a lesson that I can not forget, because I have a scar on my face to remind me. The scar may lighten up more, but it will be visible, and I know that’s for a reason…..Whenever I feel the urge to rush, I remember the the looong ordeal, from the flood to my accident that followed. I will also remember the kindness and selflessness of my upstairs neighbour and her husband. But most importantly, the pain I endured inside and out…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# What’s the Rush??? Part 2…..

Continuing …..

First off, Happy New Year 🙂 it’s the second week of 2017, and I’m happy to be alive. I’m almost completely healed up. I rested as much as possible, in order to heal up as quickly as possible, but I wasn’t rushing ;). I didn’t know that a part of the “proper” healing process for bruising specifically, is allowing the  body to rest, so I complied…..

I was reluctant to explain how and why I fell because I felt a tad embarrassed, and disappointed in myself. I felt I could’ve prevented it. I’ve played the last moments before I fell in my head over and over again…I reflected on what I should’ve done, I shouldn’t have tried to walk when I was feeling light-headed, I should’ve crouched down or sat because I wasn’t feeling right, I shouldn’t have been rushing…..I had a long day, was up early packing, it was the start of X-mas holidays, after finally returned home after three months, I was preparing to get my life back to normal and feel settled. I was rushing to settle in which I know, doesn’t make sense…..

I don’t remember falling because I blacked out, I woke up at the bottom of the stairs, feeling like I had a peaceful short dream. My neighbour was lightly shaking my arm asking me if I was okay, she witnessed the entire fall down the full flight of stairs. I immediately got up, shocked and embarrassed, feeling terrible for traumatizing my neighbour. I told her, I can’t believe I did that in front of you! She was very calm and understanding, and was making sure I was okay. I was in pain, and after looking in the mirror, I was horrified at the damage that was done to my face. My nose bridge looked clearly crooked, the deep cuts were bleeding down my face , I had several abrasions and bruises under my eyes. I didn’t even pay attention to the soreness of my legs. I was in shock, I had never seen my face look that way before, I knew I had to go to the emergency room. I REALLY didn’t want to go, I don’t like hospitals, I avoid them at all cost. My neighbour called a taxi,as her husband came rushing down the stairs to see what had happened. I felt awful for including her in this, she was coming with me. I didn’t want her to feel obligated to help me, and I thought to myself,”This is the holidays! This is NOT the time for this! Now I’m burdening my neighbour! Why did I do this to myself???.”……….

As I said in my last blog, I learned my most VALUABLE lesson of the year before 2016 ended, and it’s one I will never forget. I’ll conclude the story in my next blog, stay tuned…

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# What’s the Rush??? Part 1…..

I was in the grocery store waiting in the checkout line close to closing time, when a young man with one item stepped in line (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme lol). I had a lot more items than him, so I told him that he could go in front of me, he was surprised and asked me if I was sure. Before he stepped ahead the cashier was in the process of completing a transaction, a return or exchange which was taking a while, a looong while ….I waited patiently, then I began to think about leaving the store, walking home, and what I was going to make for dinner…I thought about how much time was going by, although I wasn’t exactly in a rush. Since I’ve been staying in this new town, I’ve noticed the slow, laid-back pace and became accustomed to it…My mind drifted more and more, I noticed the young man becoming restless, we didn’t anticipate the wait would be this long. When I invited him to step in front of me, I was trying to save him time ironically…Then this thought came to mind, What’s the rush??? Why in our society are we always in a rush?…..

I remember back in high school days working at the Deli counter, and having to diffuse and mediate arguments between customers claiming they were next in line. I found it ironic that the argument lasted longer than the amount of time it took actually serve BOTH customers! Absolutely ridiculous, the customers wasted more time trying to be first and also wasted my energy…..Smh…..I find it absurd when folks become agitated over long lines/slow moving lines, it’s something you have no control over in life, so why let it get to you??? I’ve used this premise to remind myself NOT to rush for rushing’s sake. Rushing causes more problems than waiting out the wait. I’ve had a few minor accidents and silly mishaps as a result of rushing. I remember poking myself in the eye with a tweezers, and having to go to a job interview with a blood-shot eye as a result of rushing. I felt stupid, and it wasn’t because of the way I “looked” either…..

I recently had a MAJOR  accident, the first one I’ve ever had in my life. I fell down a flight of stairs, and literally fell on my face. I went to the “emergency room” for the first time in my life.  I didn’t suffer any life threatening injuries, however I did severely hurt my nose, cut and bruise my face and legs. I received stitches and the throbbing pain I endured from my face lasted longer than a week. Lacerations and heavy swelling due to my black eyes, is something I’ve never experienced. The physical pain was nothing compared to the mark it put on my spirit…..As my cuts and bruises heal up, I await to see the doctor regarding the status of my nose injury. My injuries have practically disappeared to the eye, even my pre-scars aren’t that bad…..

I fell due to the fact that I was RUSHING, and didn’t fall due to “clumsiness”, but pushing myself waaay too hard…..I blacked-out before my fall…I don’t even remember falling….

I learned my most VALUABLE lesson of the year before 2016 ended, it’s one I will never forget as long as I have my memory. Stay tuned for part 2, and “Happy” New Year 🙂

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# Parents/No Parents…..

My friend brought a question to me the other day that had me contemplating the cards that I’ve been dealt in my life…….She had a very intense fight with her parents which left her feeling abandoned. She needed help, after a very traumatic event took place at her home, and they felt her request for support was too much too handle…. This wasn’t the first time that they reacted this way, but it was a wake up call, because she was terrified and her fears were treated as an inconvenience. The natural reaction would be to go to your parents, Right???  That’s what she said to me. I agreed. I would’ve did the same, if mine were available. That’s the truth.  After telling me all of this, she asked me, “What’s better, having NO parents, or parents that treat you like THIS???” I paused and pondered what she said…It truly touched me…..

I used to  imagine what life would’ve been like had my father been a consistent presence as a parent in our household. I wondered what life would’ve been like for all of us, had he made different choices back when we all resided in the same household…..My father was still alive, but he hadn’t been around since I was a little girl for reasons I’ve explained in previous blogs…After mom passed away, I felt parentless for the first time in my life…..

My friend’s question was a very valid one, because it forced me to look at how blessed I truly am at this point in my life. I made it to my adult years with at least one that always was there for me, regardless of the magnitude of the problem. Loyal to the tee, through all of her problems too…..I miss that. I miss her…..

I’m certain that I’d prefer NOT to have parents that are there, but aren’t there for me when I truly need them, as opposed to having none at all…..The grass is greener, she thinks I have it easier, but I always thought she had it easier.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# My Pre/Post Birthday Thoughts…..

As my birthday approaches, I’m reflecting on the year so far,  good and bad, ups and downs. I can honestly say that there’s been more UP’S and I’m happy to share that. I use birthdays as a measure of time for the year, instead of the “New Year” because it means surviving a full year of life and with the stresses of living in this society, I consider that an accomplishment in itself…..

It’s a few days since my birthday, and my birthday was especially different this year. I’ve never spent a birthday away from home, my place is still being repaired, and I’m far away from friends and family. I’m literally a block away from cows and farmland…..I have what I need, and enough to get by, yet I’m without my usual belongings. I couldn’t and didn’t take a fancy dress with me when I left, it wasn’t even a thought, or a priority. In case I was going out, I would’ve  liked to have had one…I tried to plan for my birthday, but I didn’t need to overthink or disappoint myself with high expectations, or have a bratty attitude. A couple of my relatives came to visit, it’s a long drive, and I appreciated that. I didn’t have a party-it-up birthday that is expected once you hit this age…..My father did his traditional phone call, and sent me a short “dad-like” message that was metaphorical, regarding my age  and “youthful” look…He was trying lol…..

Set-backs, like the flood, I now consider an inconvenience, instead a negative instance…..I’ve come a looooong way. Being placed in a few new/different environments so quickly, from a situation that was an still is out of my hands, has introduced me to a better way of life. What I thought was home, I see in a different light, and there was nothing wrong with that place, I adored it…..

I’ve been introduced to an improved environment, a town that’s alluring and calm, it’s helped to  inspire me and look forward. I’m anticipating what’s going to happen next, whenever the place is habitable again…Everything is going to be different, I have A LOT to catch up on…..My fears aren’t interrupting my peace, the way I used to let them, when an out of my hands situation happened in the past…..I’m Happy I made it to this Birthday, but I won’t tell you how old I am…lol…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# Memories of Remembrance Day…..

Back in primary school/junior high, Remembrance Day was treated with high importance and incorporated into the curriculum, and I’m Thankful for that. I asked questions  and participated in class discussions…I enjoyed learning about what the day represents and it put my mind in a different era a place and time. Had I been born in this skin, in that time, life would’ve been different of course, but I found a way to relate. That was my favourite part of learning in history class. Imagining what life would’ve been like, and watching the black and white footage documentary videos…My favourite era…It was distressing to find out the reason for the War… The soldiers and their families experiences hit close to home, and I couldn’t believe how young they were.I found it shocking that men that young were sent off to fight, leaving their families behind…..

For a class project, I created a mock diary written from the point of view of a young soldier. It required research and facts to be included and I put my all into it. Receiving a high grade wasn’t my only goal, I wanted to impress my teacher…I made sure it looked “vintage” with a “sepia” finish, I was satisfied with the finished product. I ended up getting a grade close to what I truly wanted, which was disappointing, however I loved my work. My teacher praised the quality. I took that diary very seriously, the character felt real to me…..That project was a pleasure to do.

I didn’t  wear a poppy every year, but as I grew into my adult years, I began to stop off when I see the veterans in the mall and stores. I stop off and donate, get my poppy, and make sure to Thank them. I feel it’s necessary to tell them that my generation learned about them in school…I have to tell them my age range, so they understand lol, and they show their appreciation by sharing with me their age too. I had a nice chat with a veteran at the gas station a few days a go, and he told me that there’s not that much of them left. People walking by were looking at us chatting, I could feel their curious gaze…I assume they were probably wondering, what are they discussing…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# It’s Okay if you Don’t Get It…..

Compromise and Understanding are important components of a healthy relationship, there’s no way to get around that. A small argument or disagreement is not worth dwelling on, and driving a wedge between people. I’ve talked about this topic before in other blogs, because it’s a topic that comes up a lot in my life. Because of my passionate, stubborn nature, I had to get to know myself, a different side of myself to figure out why it was so easy to walk away from people, especially those I love and care for. Ignore,  give the cold-shoulder, dismiss, give the silent treatment, used to be my coping mechanism for dealing with a person who just doesn’t “get it”. I felt as though I was doing the other person a favour, by simply leaving them alone…Why would I continue trying to force you to understand me, when clearly you don’t. That’s how I used to feel….

My friend told me she felt as though I was avoiding her, because I didn’t talk on the phone as much as I usually do in the week. We had a disagreement again recently regarding “parties” and “having fun” and I told her my priorities are different now, and I focus on what’s most important at this time. Certain things are not as important to me, and I’d rather not discuss it…..I’ve said it bluntly, explained it thoroughly, shown it though my actions, there’s nothing more I can do…..I may stay in my zone, and not say much, or as much as usual, but please don’t take it personally…..I’ve told her time and time again, it’s not a big deal to me to miss parties and gatherings. I can’t “hang out” with people, just to pass time, if we can’t relate on a basic human level….I do see life different since the flood situation, and I’m happy about the fact my priorities have changed again but for the better and that’s good enough for me….I don’t think she quite gets it, but she was trying to help, but I get it, and I Thanked her.

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# That “Home” Feeling (Conclusion)…..

(Continuing……….)

From that point on we were homeless. We ended up moving  around from place to place, hotels, motels, and shelters for a looong time….It became normal and I forgot how life used to be. Being that my mother was always a quiet, poker-faced woman who rarely complained or talked a lot, I had no idea how serious our situation was, being young and innocent too…..

I have vivid memories about each place we stayed, schools I attended, fascinating/broken  people I met, and being exposed to shady characters, and the”dark side” of life….At one point, we were literally “on the run” with our father, and stayed at a beach side motels in Toronto…It was just life. I didn’t feel in danger, or afraid…I felt protected and safe. I was happy being with my mother, father and siblings…..I felt at home throughout those times and I have a warm feeling in my heart when I reminisce…..Those are the stories I used to love to talk with my siblings about…We had fun most of the time, and we found ways to entertain ourselves and made it a group effort. That was the beauty of it all…..

Those times are more precious than gold to me. I learned  and saw a lot, good and bad, but I can honestly say that I felt more at home then, than I do now in my current situation. The beauty of this town, the suburban comfort, the beauty and unique design of my surroundings, can not replace or fill the void of  feeling at home. I know for a fact that material items, a pretty picture, doesn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t understand how valuable it is to build a home for yourself, the physical and spiritual aspects of it all, if I didn’t have to grow these experiences….

We eventually left the last women’s shelter with our mother and my mother was able to move us into a townhouse in a town in the GTA. We moved into a house again, and I remember running around the fresh, new, carpeted place thinking…Okay this is HOME! Plus I had my own bedroom that I was going to be sharing with my twin sister…I felt a deep sense of pride…..We resided there from then on, no more homelessness…..

So now as my birthday approaches and I’m waiting patiently to find out the status of my place, living day to day out of rubbermaid bins, and luggage, I tell myself that I will be home soon…..I’ve seen the worst it could be, and I’ve fortunately never had to live on the streets. I’m warm and safe, and focusing on what I DO have but I can not fake the fact that I don’t feel at home in this large, lovely, vacant space…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# That “Home” Feeling (Continued)…..

…..After our house was raided I knew that life was never going to be the same, the scene I witnessed is ingrained in my memory as if it happened yesterday, but I’m going to save that story for another blog. The raid marked a turning point in my life…..I distinctly remember fleeing our home with my mother and siblings wondering, What’s going to happen next??? I was shaken up and shocked, yet calm and quiet. I was only five years old, too young to fathom what was supposed to happen next but I knew life as I knew it was NEVER going to be the same again…..

We ended up at my Auntie’s apartment, where we waited and waited…..I didn’t ask my mother anything…I glanced at the television and the evening news was on, then I saw my HOUSE! I saw my house and our neighbours house and front yard, to my dismay, I was speechless…..I just stared at the screen as the reporter spoke, words I understood, but didn’t know what it all meant….I thought to myself, I’m NEVER going to live there again, things are never going to be the same again…And I was right.

My toys, my bed, my room, I had to leave behind with no explanation…That’s just the way it was. I went with the flow, along with my  siblings. I wondered WHERE and HOW we were going to live. In a matter of a few hours my perception of home had changed.

From that point on we were homeless. We ended up moving  around from place to place, hotels, motels, and shelters for a long time….There’s waaaay more to the story, but I’ll continue in another blog….Stay tuned…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# That “Home” Feeling (Part 1)…..

I’ve been  away from home for over a few weeks now, due to the immense flood damage but it already feels as long as a month. I am very grateful and blessed to have a roof over my head, and everything I need. I was meaning to post a blog last week, I wrote then stopped, over and over again…..I just couldn’t get into my writing groove…..Being uprooted affected me more that I expected. After finally sleeping a decent amount, I jotted down my thoughts:

This place has everything my apartment had, with a few extras…..I don’t own a large flat screen tv, I don’t have need for one, but it’s cool that I’m able to watch one now. I’m not too far from home, I’m about 20 minutes up the road, yet I feel so far away…..The leather couch is very comfy and I fall asleep at a drop of a dime, the view is beautiful, overlooking the central part of the city, and the extravagant mall that I rarely shop at…..The decor is stylish, very spiffy…..There’s security and a doorman which I’ve dreamed of having for as long as I can remember, folks can’t just walk in like in my other building….I bet the people who live here feel safe, everyday…..I haven’t seen a police cruiser anywhere near these condos…..I’d never expect to be staying in a place like THIS at this point in my life, especially under these circumstances….. Wow….Life is a trip…..

The fact that after only nine months I managed to make my new place feel like home, gave me a sense of pride, I’m proud of myself…..Now leaving has stirred up all types of emotions in me that I had to come to grips with. I felt as though I was in a stage of mourning. I went back to pick up some items and saw the place is torn up from the floors to the walls…I thought to myself, “Damn…MY place!!!,” but it wasn’t exactly the apartment itself being damaged that was really getting to me. It was the comfort and feeling that I created for myself, that “safe” place that I’d yearned for so long…..Now I have to start all over again…..Smh…..

Memories came back from my childhood of  being homeless, living in shelters, and having to leave home over and over again….That was the way life was after our nice house was raided by the police…..I’m going to get more into this in my next blog…Stay tuned…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# Asking for Help, Part 2…..

(Continuing)

…..I know it’s unwarranted that I feel ashamed to ask for help when I really need it, and that familiar fear of being judged creeps up and then I’m back to that place, sinking into quick sand…..

I plan ahead waaaaay too much, because I want to make sure that I’ll never be in a position where I’ll have to ask for help…..I know that’s illogical, but it’s the easiest way for me to feel I have control, which of course I don’t…..If I prepare myself as much as possible for NOTHING to go wrong, nothing will, right? That is what I tell myself but when life happens, I’m brought back to reality very quickly, that I do NOT have control over everything around me, things WILL happen…..

I was rudely awakened by a flood in my apartment a few days ago. It was midnight when I felt a pool of water under my feet as I sat down in my living room. I was alarmed when  more and more water was spilling out quickly from an unknown place…..I discovered where it was coming from and phoned my landlord to report the problem. The water heater had a leak or something, we weren’t 100 percent sure, but I followed instructions, shut off whatever valve etc. I was  calm, cool and collected as I watched the water flood out into my living room and beyond…..There wasn’t much more I could do than attempt to soak it up with whatever I had…There wasn’t much we could do until morning, business hours…I wasn’t going to panic and make the situation any worse for my landlord as well, and she thanked me for that. I tend to be calmer than usual through emergency situations…In my mind I was picturing people who’ve suffered flooding, the aftermath of  hurricanes…But I was relieved the water was somewhat contained….Ironically my father called me from Jamaica and informed me that he was preparing for hurricane, so it was on heart….I thought WOW, this really sucks, but it could be WORSE…..

I barely slept and by the wee hours of morning around 5am, the water had reached further throughout my apartment, creeping underneath my bedroom door. It was very bad, and I decided to inform my upstairs neighbours by text, telling them what about the flooding/water heater issue. I felt they had the right to know, since it will affect them too, but  I didn’t want to burden them or make them worry about a problem that they couldn’t solve. They came downstairs ASAP to assist me with trying to contain the water, and we worked tirelessly for 3 hours with all types of supplies to soak up/drain as much water as we could until technicians arrived. We had a great conversation about life situations, and the irony that it happened to be their day off , and they had other plans, but their top priority was to help me…..We worked as a team, harmoniously and managed to clean up ALL of the water which looked like a MIRACLE!

I  expressed to my neighbours, while I thanked them, that I was very apprehensive to ask for help when I initially saw the flooding. They said they’d feel the same way if they were in my shoes. They appreciated the fact that I promptly  informed them of the problem, especially for safety reasons…..I felt extra blessed  that I received the help I needed, and didn’t expect, in one of the WORST predicaments I’ve ever been in by myself…..

At this point, I’m dealing with the aftermath of the flood which is taxing, but I feel that I’m almost over my fear of asking for help….I’m still working on it 😉

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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# The Warmth in the Bitter Cold…..

I meant to share these thoughts last week….

I was supposed to go downtown this evening to meet up with a friend from out of town, but unfortunately we are having a major windstorm in Toronto. I was forced to postpone my outing due to the dangerous weather. An extreme weather safety alert had been issued, and considering the weather we’ve been having lately, I swear by the weather warnings. I avoid putting myself in a position where I’ll be stranded or possibly may get injured. This morning, I was literally being pushed by the wind, and I had to run in the direction of wind to keep it from pushing me! I felt silly, and slightly self conscious that people were watching, but it worked! I was able to fight the wind and climb on my GoBus safely! I was releived!

Once again the unruly weather has triggered me, and got me to thinking….

I never know when I’m going to have a flash back of my childhood. I remember walking with my siblings along with my mother on the busy street in the dead of winter. She always made sure we had proper winter gear, and she made us hot chocolate or tea when we arrived home. My mother made winter feel pleasant to me. I looked forward to tobogganing, ice skating and playing in the snow because she never scorned winter. That was cool, considering she was born and raised in Jamaica. Some of my fondest memories of her are from winter. Constantly commuting all around the city has put me back in places that I haven’t been since I was a little girl. As the seasons change I notice the difference in my feelings on the road. Even with the pushy congested traffic and people, I feel at peace daydreaming looking out the window. I spend a lot of time on the road, more than I would like, but it has an upside. Every morning on my commute to work, I gaze out of the window and this feeling comes over me. I pass by one of the largest most popular malls in the city, on the street we used to live. I feel safe when I see that mall, every time the bus turns into the terminal….

I realized the other day even in -20 degree weather those warm thought can take me to a safe place, temporarily, and I appreciate that.

RIP Annette, Miss you mommy.

Have a good night, and good sleep:)

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely