Fell asleep while watching some video, and had one of those black out slumbers that provide me with a random, meaningful, detailed dream. I dreamt that me and a bunch of other people who I don’t know, were deep under water in some water world. We were all in human form, and able to breathe with no equipment. For some reason, we were in a classroom setting being instructed by a teacher. We were attentively listening as strict instructions were being dictated RE “swimming style rules”. Yes, swimming style rules. The teacher was telling us that we are NOT allowed to swim by using certain motions, and that we must only use motions that are unassuming, light, and inconspicuous. I was absolutely floored! I didn’t say a word, and continued to listen waiting to hear the logic in these strict instructions. I was confused, and thought to myself, “What the hell?!?! What difference does it make how we swim??? it’s our body!!!” I continued to listen puzzled asf, and heard someone from above yell out in protest, but I couldn’t see them. I then I awoke to a random video playing on my laptop, and thought ooooh! I gotta stop falling a sleep with videos playing. I knew however, that my dream was not because of that. These “uncertain times” have taken a toll on my subconscious, regardless of how well that I’ve navigated it all thus far. Believe it or not, this was actually one of my most “normal” dreams that I’ve had in the past two years. It was the underwater world that theme that I had me questioning myself though. I did not check a dream dictionary out of curiosity, there was no need in this case. We are in this world, but quickly being pushed into a New World that makes any other world seem normal…That was the first water world dream I’ve ever had. I hope you enjoyed!
It’s been a month since I posted, but I’m always writing nonetheless. There’s been so much on my mind and heart, much I was processing, so I decided to take a break from the topic of closure. So much to keep up with, as we continue to navigate our new norm. Summer is almost out the door, and a sunny day over twenty degrees is cherished, good as gold. It was becoming slightly chilly, but then surprisingly warmed up, now it’s back to chilly. It seems as though Summer is officially over and my beloved fall is here. Autumn the most beautiful season, my favourite season, as I’ve shared before. I love autumn, and I don’t mind the sun kissed brisk weather. I’m ready for the change in wardrobe light jackets, and hoodies, pashminas over a top, rustic colors and cute Fall boots. I can’t get enough of the fallen crunchy leaves, such beautiful colors, beautifying the simple sidewalk. Autumn can do no harm in my eyes, and I’m doing my best to enjoy it, regardless of these trying times.
There’s no way to explain the “social climate” at this point in time, I’m just observing and trying to maintain my energy, with every passing day. I stay mentally prepared, yet in awe of the constant announcements, and “discoveries” from the mainstream news. We are being constantly bombarded with new information that is imperative to our daily survival, yet confusing asf. Simplifying life as much as possible has been, and will continue to be the goal. I’m pretty sure you are keeping up with the local news, independent news, and so on. It seems as though we are all in the sameboat, and at the same time, not. The rules apply to all, and some, do not, which seems to be causing friction and dissension amongst friends and family. I find this to be very unfortunate, and counterproductive because all we have is us. It doesn’t make sense to go against one another at this point in time, as it will notelevate us to the level of the decision makers. Life may throw you a curve ball at any moment, and you could easily end up in the exact same position as your peer.
It seems as though we are going backwards, in many ways, which is very sad and disappointing. I have more to say, but will continue in my next post.
I had a little break down in the evening on August 28th, as I got home from the road. The severe thunderstorm started as I turned the corner to my place. I felt an eerie vibe, a touch of fear and panic that I have NOT felt before. I thought to myself, WOW. Her life, her legacy, overshadowed, and marred by others mistakes. I started to feel ashamed and disappointed. I thought the rain was representative of tears, and the thunder, anger. I have never been afraid of thunder or lightening, I’ve always found it quite beautiful and fascinating. This thunder sounded different this time, for the first time, it actually scared me, and moved me on the inside. As the rain began to fall harder, I quickened my steps and my heart beat sped up. I felt shame and sorrow, thoughts of her ashes scattered in water, hit me. Thoughts of her family, her sisters, her grand auntie & uncle that raised her, her mother, my father, her friends, the people who knew her before I did. It was done, permanent, no turning back. Although I was relieved, and didn’t want to dwell on it, I felt off about it. I called my cousin frantic, and cried as I explained what I was feeling. She allowed me to release, listened, and shared words of support. She told me by the way that I sounded when she answered the phone, she thought something had happened to me. She told me it was okay, and it’s understandable why I felt this way. The people who knew and loved her, who asked about her for years, were not able to be a part of it. I tried not to engage in those thoughts, but they sat on my conscience. For years I felt as though she had been dehumanized, even in life, and this was literally about her humanity. She deserved for this to only be about her, and the people who truly loved her. The energy and love she gave to us, to be reciprocated in this important ceremony. There’s nothing that I could do to change it, I could only share the good news with her loved ones. I called as many of them as I could, my Auntie’s her sisters who adored her. They were VERY HAPPY. I even told her mother, (grandma), who is 82 years old and still has her senses. I texted my father, and he called me immediately. He was VERY THANKFUL that I told him. Their happiness helped me feel actual trueclosure. The were shocked and elated, and relieved to have a place to go to honour her.
I felt light as a feather on that day. I made sure to get adequate rest, and be up early. I truly felt light, and airy, like a feather floating down the sidewalk. I felt free, untouchable, relaxed and zen. The weather was great, sunny and hot but not humid, as the previous days, which was refreshing! The weather definitely reflected my mood. I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my body. I felt balanced, and fair, my energy was quitely positive. Mom’s memory wasn’t being interrupted by guilt and regret. Mom’s day felt good now, she was given some dignity, while she rests. Those recent very short dreams of her sending me messages, probably will end.
There is more to my quest for closure, that involves forgiveness and releasing anger and rage. The soap opera drama created by others, as a distraction to avoid giving Mom her place, has changed me forever. I will continue in another blog.
Aug 30th marked the 10th anniversary of my Mother’s passing. I wanted to post about it, but I was consumed by a slew of emotions, mixedemotions at that. I didn’t feel to write, I didn’t feel to post on social media. I was going through it, and I wanted to feel it all, good and bad. I understand that allowing myself to go through it, would help bring me closer to achieving the closure I need. I’m blessed to have relatives that lend me their ear. They understand my journey, my hurt and pain regarding the situation. They loved my Mother dearly, and supported me as much as they could through the years.
There was so much going on in my mind, and my heart, on her birthday Aug 28th. It was confirmed a few days prior, that her burial site was finally complete. After all of these years, she finally has a place to commemorate her life at a cemetery. A memorial plaque by the water and beautiful nature, and her ashes were going be scattered in the water. A few of our relatives are buried there as well, my Uncle(her bestie/brother) and Grandpa( aka Daddy). I’m glad she has a spot there with them, she was very close with both of them, and they loved her dearly.
I had to take a few days to relax and reflect, on the whole ordeal. A decade of years of unnecessary drama surrounding Mom’s passing, has been an emotionally and spiritually draining experience. I was mentally prepared to lose her, but in no way could I prepare for a decade of battle and struggle surrounding her life. I came close to losing my life, as a result of the stress and pressure from it. That accident that I had back in 2017, that I shared with you, was partially due to the years of accumulated stress, guilt and pressure. I continued to dream her every so often, she was trying to tell me what I already knew. She wished to be settled, and for the group she gave life to, to release her.
My conscience, my soul could not stand to go through another anniversary knowing she didn’t have a place. She deserved so much more, and much sooner. I had a little break down in the evening on August 28th, as I got home from the road. The severe thunderstorm started as I turned the corner to my place. I felt an eerie vibe, a touch of fear and panic that I have NOT felt before. I thought to myself, WOW. Her life, her legacy, overshadowed, and marred by others mistakes. I started to feel ashamed and disappointed. I thought the rain was representative of tears, the thunder was anger…
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the weather was close to perfect. I decided to hop on the streetcar and do a long walk, to a shop that I’d been meaning to go to pre-shutdown. I hadn’t visited this intersection in a year, and the last time I’d been round the corner I was a child. There was a restaurant that I wanted to go to, I was craving a bean burrito. I decided to walk down the people filled street, with restrictions lifted, it looked chaotic.
As I walked down the street, I was shocked at how busy it was! There were three times as many people, as the vacant street that I had walked down. There were pockets of homeless people, on both sides of the streets. I was taken aback, because I don’t remember this street being this way. My first instinct was to turn right back around and hop on the first bus back towards home. I felt overwhelmed, for a few seconds, very uneasy, uncomfortable, and I wasn’t sure why. I took a breath, and shook it off. I realized that I was allowing myself to let fear take over me. I was afraid to face the confusion of my childhood trauma, the feeling unsettled from constantly moving around. The places I had faint but yet strangely familiar memories of, walking with my Mother and all of us kids. I had no reason to let fear guide me now, and I wanted to see this strangely familiar street. This street resonated with my soul, as many streets in Toronto do. I decided to continue walking, and walk strong, as my mother always said to me.
I started to feel a sense of nostalgia, as I approached the local Toronto public library. I immediately wanted to pull out my phone to take a pic, but somebody was sitting on the grass in front, taking selfies. I didn’t want to disturb them, by pointing my phone towards them, as that may make them uncomfortable. I try to exercise good phone photo etiquette while in public, so I decided not to take the pic. I told myself that while the weather is good, I will be sure to return and take a photo.
As I waited for my food at a chill classic authentic Mexican restaurant, I felt a sense of relief. I was happy that I continued walking and exploring the block. I felt a sense of pride, and closure. I walked to the bus stop with the heaviest burrito I had ever bought in my life, and headed home.
I’ve always felt as though I was battling time, or racing against it. In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt ten years behind. No matter how much I accomplished, I felt that I still didn’t do enough. I felt as though I was starting a race 100 steps behind everyone else. Not competing with anyone, but only with myself, and time. I know that father time always wins and time does not stop for anybody. I may as well settle this now, and not waste anymore time.
I decided recently that I would stop, I will quit sweating time, and not worry about it. I will not view time as my enemy, or feel that I have to compete with it. I’ve put a lot of stress on myself, trying to figure out what more I could’ve done to move forward, faster. Nothing I did ever felt good enough. I always felt ten steps behind of myself, and everyone else. I finally accept that I can not make up for lost time, on my terms. I don’t have the power to recreate all of the experiences that I feel I missed out on.
On numerous nights, I’ve lost sleep, wondering, worrying, recreating the ideal situation that I wish would’ve happened. At one point, I contemplated what having amnesia would feel like, I thought it would be a solution to my trauma. If I could not remember what happened then it would no longer bother me. I would no longer have the memory as a point of reference to my pain.
Feeling guilty for situations that were beyond my control, feeling that I was responsible for fixing any and everything that went wrong. Guilt would creep up on me, shame and fear. These demons would reappear time and time again. I felt as though I couldn’t escape them. They say time heals all wounds, and I agree with that, to a degree….
I recently received good news regarding my Mother’s burial (RIP) which brought me happiness, relief, along with immense sadness. It’s finally being worked on, and will be ready for people to attend soon. Haunting thoughts of whydid this have to take so long???? Accompanied with shame and embarrassement came over me, hence why I decided to share with you my battle with time.
I have more to share on this topic, I’ll continue in my next post.
The new norm has been bittersweet for me from the start, but it’s come with many blessings in disguise. For one, I was able to take a break from long commutes to work, and work from home again. I was over and done with commuting in packed subway stations. I was relieved, and ecstatic about the government enforced “social distancing” rule applied to the GTA transit system. It was the perfect rule to enforce, for many reasons. For one, some subway stations are over crowded to a point where it’s not safe, when walking through. Secondly, when buses are over crowded, drivers continue taking more people in, or they drive right past you. You may be waiting for a bus for thirty minutes, and it passes you by. Without before warning, you may be late for work or an appointment. On top it, your fare may expire and you’ll have to pay again, so annoying!
The first time I took the TTC after almost a year, and hopped on a bus, I felt as though I was in a dream. The yellow social distance signs all over the seats…. Folks are literally NOT ALLOWED to sit directly beside you??!!Wow! You mean, I don’t have to deal with a stranger falling asleep on my shoulder? Sounds good to me! I don’t have to anticipate, how to politely ask a stranger, for some “space” to squeeze by them from the window seat. My personal space feels protected, the way that it should in public. I feel much more relaxed and enjoy the ride.The seat beside me will be free for my bags, and I have all the space that I need. Traveling on the TTC has been a pleasure, since these rules have been enforced. It’s one change for our new norm that I did not need to adapt to. I’m definitelyused to it!
Hey good day:) I hope your day is going good so far. I intended on posting this months ago, forgive me, as the opening of this blog was written months ago. I wrote it at the end of winter, as winter was ending going into spring.
The “mandatory” power outage last month, lasted for two hours, and I was thankful that I was given a heads up. I hoped it would not be any longer than two hours, and I hoped that it wouldn’t become super chilly down here. It’s a little chilly down here already. It helped that I was prepared for it, but I was still inconvenienced because my cell phone died! Usually this wouldn’t be a big deal, but because it wasn’t properly charged, my alarm for work didn’t go off! I was already showered and ready for work, but fell asleep for a bit, wrapped in a blanket. I was waiting for the power outage to be over! I was super annoyed that I woke up late! I’m always on time for shift, I’ve never been late! My manger texted me, asking if I was okay, she even texted that she was worried about me, and that I’m NEVER late! This is the first time I missed my alarm, and my manager was very understanding. It wasn’t a big deal, yet I was still bothered. Having no electricity really sucks, and we take it for granted.
So, we had yet another “mandatory” power outage, and had it lasted for twice as long, it may have interrupted work. That would not be good! I don’t think anybody in Toronto would be prepared for that. We’ve been blessed that they usually don’t last for a full day. We haven’t been left in the dark. We recently started getting severe weather, but nowhere near what has happened in Texas. Some folks say it’s “unnatural” weather, and I agree. I was watching folks down there, posting videos showing their firsthand account of the affects of the power grid going down. The flooding videos sparked anxiety in me, but I forced myself to watch them. The worst one, was a cell phone video taken by a mother with children. She was forced to sleep in her car with her children for warmth. There was no telling when she would be able to enter her home again. I could feel the chill in my bones, the discomfort, as though I was in her shoes. I reminded myself that it could be worse up here in Canada.
Fast forward to May: The double-down restrictions have just been announced, meaning many products are off limits, again. I was shocked to see that CANDLES, and LIGHTERS were included in this list. So candles are not considered essential???? Aren’t they the main go to when there is a BLACK OUT???? What the hell is going on here???? My friend and I had a discussion about this, as I exited the Dollarama in the evening. She couldn’t believe what I was telling her. Yup, candles are forbidden. The price of candles can be quite expensive, regardless of your budget. Fortunately, stores like Dollarama offer an amazing assortment of all types of quality candles, at low prices. I never thought that I would live to see the day that candles were considered “illegal” to purchase. I never thought I would see yellow tape sectioning off DO NOT ENTER ZONES on items like candles and candle holders.
So, we’re near the end of May, candles and lighters that were outlawed for almost a month, are FINALLY legal to purchase! During the law enforced restrictions, folks in the GTA questioned and protested against this ridiculous rule placed upon these essential items! Up to a week ago, the ban was lifted, but only on these items. I accidentally picked up a candle holder that was not covered with yellow emergency tape, and an emergency signal went off at the self check out! A cashier had to come and help me, to authorize me so I could continue checking out my stuff. I apologized to her, as she explained that the item was on the, “DO NOT BUY LIST”. I proceeded to tell her that it was an accident, and the item and section of shelf, was completely open, and NOT covered by yellow tape. I added that I try to avoid putting them in an awkward position! We both chuckled. I’ve been in every Customer Service reps position before, but this new world of outside rules, is on another level! I am sure to commend them and Thank them for their service on every shopping trip.
Please be sure to continue to stock up and candles, lighters, matches, portable lamps etc. There’s no telling if or when the yellow tape will go back up…I’m not kidding!
Sorry for the delay! I’m continuing from where I left off, and I also have something else to say:
Coupled with shutdown and virus fears, I’ve become even more understanding. I’ve had customers attempt to go to battle with me over the phone, before I explain the refund or freebies I’m about to give them. It feels like folks have more pent up energy to battle over nothing, due to-quadruple-shutdown fatigue. My patience has been tested on a daily basis by defensive customers. Their worry and fear causes them to act up, when they have received a promo deal late, or they think they’ve missed a potential deal. They panic and fret over the money they think they’ve lost, or money they hoped they would not have to spend. I totally understand, and am very empathetic towards them. The problem is, they act as though it’s a conspiracy against them! It can be very difficult to communicate when they are all riled up. I remind myself, that this maybe their biggest problem of the week. I always keep in mind that everybody’s problems are different, and the pandemic has introduced many brand new problems to many folks. Problems that they never could imagine having to deal with. We all have our problems they say, and I try not to judge who has it the worst, but I find myself doing so. Every time I walk past a homeless person, who’s crouched down with a mug in hand hoping for change, I know that I don’t have it the worst…
As I exited with her bread, she Thanked me again, and continued to chat. I was actually ready to walk away, and go about my business, but she continued asking questions. She was curious about where I came from, and where I lived before moving here. I assumed she was curious because our short convo earlier. My perspective on this neighbourhood was pretty solid, and I told her that it was “different” when I was younger. She proceeded to explain the differences from her day on to now. I spoke freely about my family being one of the only black families on our block, but we were very comfortable. She shared with me that there was only a few on her street, back in the day. I could tell she was trying to choose her words wisely, which I found amusing. She told me that she’s been living in this neighbourhood for forty years, and that she was seventy years old! I never would have guessed that, she looked amazing for her age! She had a lot of spunk and spirit. I thought it was super cool that she cared to hear my opinion, and have a genuine conversation. As we walked towards our destination, she Thanked me again for getting her bread. I said, You’re Welcome, and it was nice speaking with you, feel free to say Hi if you see me around. She responded the same.
Although the bakery battle didnot result in a verbal or physical altercation, it still had an affect on me. The last thing she said to me was in reference to that same rude lady, “I guess it’s the type of customers that frequent that place…..” I found that very interesting for a few reasons. One, she wasn’t talking about colour, race or creed. She was talking about BAD MANNERS ATTITUDE, and SNOBBERY!
I nodded with my masked face. I told her that I understand, that’s why I stand faaar back and confirm who is next. She was very upset and annoyed, and I knew there was a valid reason why. As the circle-line of customers began to grow, everybody joined the conversation. I was the odd woman out in this one, as usual. I’m not the main demographic of the neighbourhood, by any means. This elderly woman surprised me with her gumption, she had a lot to say regarding respect. She continued, telling the group that people are really “acting out” due to their frustrations with the shutdown. She added that she does not expect to see THAT type of behaviour around here. She proceeded to call out that particular Customer’s rude behaviour, pointing directly at her through through the window glass. She said, “Well THAT ONE is a problem!…” I’m not quite sure what she mumbled after that. Another customer tried to interrupt, and correct her, as though her speaking out was wrong. She remained solid in her stance, and would not allow anybody to minimize her opinion. I however, was very comfortable with the subject matter. I was glad that she was calling it out and telling the crowd that it is unacceptable. Manners are very important to me, especially in public. Manners, basic respect for your fellow man, keeps us civil on the most basic level.
I took it that she has a certain expectation from folks around here. My expectations are different. I hope for the best, but expect the worst from every, and anybody.
I started to walk away as the group grew larger, I didn’t have a lot of time left to wait. I also wasn’t in the mood to figure out who was next. I avoid crowds in general. As I was in the midst of saying, “Bye, have a nice day! The line will be a little shorter now”, I was told that I was actually next in line. I thought, Oh! Okay, I guess I’ll buy that cookie then. I decided to enter the bakery. As I walked inside, the lady asked me if I could do her the favor. She asked if I could please tell one of the staff that Helen, is outside waiting for her order. I said, “Sure! No worries.” She said Thank you. Through her masked face, I could see in her eyes that she was surprised at my enthusiastic response. If only she knew how many frustrated, impatient, confused, entitled, sarcastic, customers I deal with everyday. Coupled with shutdown and virus fears, I’ve become even more understanding. I’ve had customers attempt to go to battle with me, over the phone, before I explain the refund or freebies that I’m about to give them. It feels like folks have more pent up energy to battle over nothing, due to-quadruple- shutdown fatigue.
I’ll continue in another blog, I’m trying to go to sleep earlier tonight. Good night and Good sleep.