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 (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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Sugar & Bad Habits…..

Sweets are my  weakness, always have been. I have a sweet tooth and I’m a choc-o-holic. Some of my fondest childhood memories are going to the store with my siblings and carefully choosing an assortment of candies that we would share. Sometimes we’d even make a list and the trip took long lol, it was very fun. We didn’t have sugary snacks in our reach, my mother made sure of it. She would hide them away from us in her room and sometimes we’d sneak into her room and take them out. One time we all woke up  in the middle of the night and snuck into the kitchen, climbed up on chairs, and  ate bags and bags of marshmallows…..I ended up falling off the chair, chipping a tooth, having a bad stomach ache, and receiving punishment, but still this is one of my siblings and I’s favourite memories. I associate that memory with a feeling of safety and comfort, because my parents were together at that time and we lived in a nice comfortable house and a positive environment…..

Gaining  an understanding of my “bad habits” and where they come from, is a part of maintaining good health, and I’ve curbed my sweet tooth a lot….Candy brings me comfort, because it reminds me of a nice time from my childhood. I realized the other day while eating a bag of peanut M&M’s, that I only buy them when I’m feeling uncertain about something, or stressed out. I thought to myself, I’m already tired of these…Why am I eating them??? 

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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Computers/Virtual Reality/Reality

I remember the first time I used a computer….Do you remember in elementary school using the “ICON” computer with the roller ball for a mouse??? If you don’t, then you are waaay younger than me lol it changed my outlook on the world forever. I viewed  the computer as another outlet that I could use to express my creativity, explore and learn. I loved using the keyboard, typing on the screen, and using the drawing programs. Then there was the internet, the “world wide web” I think the first time I used it was at school to research for a project. I viewed it as a tool for learning, and I loooved goggle. I couldn’t believe a “two letter” search could bring up any information in the world that I wanted to know…..I was amazed. When I grew a little older I was introduced to email and “chat rooms” I remember hearing that automated voice, “You’ve Got Mail!” lol I thought it was weird, because it made receiving an email sound “exciting” I found it funny. The first time I talked in a chat room I LMAO chat rooms were different back then though, there were no “rules.” I observed a pattern though, after greeting a person they would automatically describe their appearance, and EVERYONE seemed to describe themselves to be what society perceives as attractive. There was also a lot of nonsense chatter and weird stuff being said that I couldn’t get into….. It wasn’t real to me, and considering I couldn’t see them and couldn’t prove who I was talking to, how could I take them seriously? I separated reality from this virtual world, and I understood the dangers of taking it too seriously…..

We live in a society that your “virtual life” is equal, if not more important than your real life. Online habits can make or break relationships, which I find crazy.  I would’ve never thought computers would end up being a main source of communication as they are now, not in my wildest dreams. Many misconceptions can happen when posting your life online. It has it’s upside and downside, unfortunately the downside is what seems to be more prevalent. To see a loved one post a life changing announcement on social media, before telling the family first, can ruin that relationship for good…..Is it worth it?

I guess it’s all about priorities. How much importance do you base what the cyber world thinks and “knows” about you versus the people you consider to be loved ones? 

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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