Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Everybody's cup of tea...

It's hard to find the logic sometimes in why people do or say certain things. I've also concluded that there are few things as insulting as having your integrity questioned when protecting it is something you both work hard at and pride yourself in.

Anyhow, given that I've spent a night seething on petty comments, I figure Kacey Musgraves probably summed it up best:

Maybe your jacket is a hand-me-down
Maybe you slept with half of your hometown
In a world of squares, maybe you're just round

You can't be everybody's cup of tea
Some like the bitter, some the sweet
Nobody's everybody's favorite
So you might as well just make it how you please
Cause you can't be everybody's cup of tea

Maybe you're working in a hotel bar
Maybe you're still driving your high school car
Maybe you still don't know just who you are

You can't be everybody's cup of tea
Some like the bitter, some the sweet
Nobody's everybody's favorite
So you might as well just make it how you please

Maybe you married the wrong person first
Maybe your hair's way too long
Your sister's in jail or maybe you failed
Out of college, but hey, life goes on
We've all got the right to be wrong

Cause you can't be everybody's cup of tea
Some like it black, some like it green
Nobody's everybody's favorite
So you might as well just make it how you please

Cause you can't be everybody's cup of tea
Why would you want to be?

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's alright.

I have been trying to write a follow-up post to last week's for a few days now. Nothing I wrote ever really seemed appropriate. I don't do pity parties and I will not hold one. Everything I wrote came out that way.

I also don't like to talk. The words never come together the way I want them to. I write instead, so trying to talk to me will usually only cause walls to go up. Remember?

Paint over the holes and make the exterior look tougher...


I'm glad I held off.

It's nice when things open up a bit and the pressure seems to ease, even if there is always the hovering feeling of impending doom and the crash that comes when things start to feel too positive.

Never let anyone underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with good, like-minded people. For all the bad in the world there are always friends who will go for beers, laugh until your stomach hurts, give you hope, talk it out, vent, give advice, take advice, sweat it out on the ice, or just generally make you feel like, for even just that moment, you're doing alright.

This week I have done a lot of thinking and self reflection, even if the self reflection was often shrouded in the wet blanket the brain sometimes likes to throw on when it tries to convince you that you are worth far less than you would like to believe. Shut up, brain.

Good people, good conversations, good times, getting back on the ice and a good focus on training have all been a part of the equation of things looking up.

The world is still going to hell, McGregor lost and the Pens signed Jay McClement to a PTO and all of that sucks - but I digress.

As I drove home one day I found myself thinking:

We don't really have control of much. Sometimes we think we do - that everything that happens is somehow a product of our actions.

But, that's not right. Sometimes things happen no matter how hard you try to think you are consciously shaping the outcome, and maybe you just need to ride it out, accepting whichever way things go.

Wait and see.

As a now-retired coworker of mine would say, "Carry on as if you was normal!"

You can only try to make the decisions that will better your own lot and hope everything else follows suit. There's no rush.

C'est la vie.

After the Paradise Triathlon this Sunday, a friend of mine pulled in my driveway for a chat. We were catching up and, after saying how I never understand why the more stressed I am the faster I get and the better I race, he shrugged and gave me a piece of advice I have adopted as my new motto:

"Screw feelings, Dwan. Stats are forever."


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hey there, Mr. Tin Man.

Every time I say I am going to resurrect a blog, I fail. I use the excuse of not having the time, getting consumed with other activities, writing too much each day for writing to be therapeutic, etc.

But maybe I need to make it a therapeutic space.
Maybe I need an outlet.
Maybe I just need another space of air to yell into in an attempt to hit a release valve.

So, this is an attempt at exactly that.

Just the other day, sitting in a room full of hundreds of union brothers and sisters, listening to stories of torment and struggle, hardship and heartache, pleas for solidarity and help, I found myself bottoming out.

Stories of violence, hatred, systemic barriers and racism, people beaten down and written off by the selfishness of others.
Talking to a friend at home who was being gutted by the selfishness of someone he loves.
Heartache, loss.
Issues much larger than the shit swirling in my own head but a space had opened just small enough to throw a magnifying glass on my own world and just enough have the pain hit me like a ton of bricks to the chest.

The week had begun with so much hope, happiness and positivity.

Now, my heart hurt, my head felt like a pressure cooker and my throat and lungs felt like I was drowning.

I walked back alone.
I went to the bar.
I drank wine.
I opened Twitter.
I opened Facebook.
I saw a friend had gotten married...while in palliative care as he was dying at 39.
I drank more wine.
I am thankful for the company of a good friend who knew something was wrong.
He walked with me in near silence to the monument at the Forks for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
I stood there.
I cried there in a circle of medicine pouches.
We walked back and for a while things were hopeful, good.

And the next day my friend died.
In the arms of his new wife.
I wouldn't make it to his funeral.
A guest speaker could not make it because she was assisting in the recovery of the body of a 17 year old indigenous youth.
A friend had his heart broken once again.

But I spent more time with good, strong people. We all talked, laughed, had fun, explored, shared stories.
I had hope that somehow, some way things would work out and things could be...just good.
That through our own strength and fight we could channel what it takes to kick the bullshit in the face.

Isn't it funny how life is a bit of an asshole sometimes? How it makes you just delusional enough to convince yourself things are going to be okay? That there is hope, happiness and maybe, just maybe, there is some good and a path to make a difference?

It's fucking hard.
Up, down, up, down, up, up, up, DOWN.
It's hard when things crash.
It's hard to see any hope when we look at the hurt, the systemic violence, the racism, the misogyny, the hatred, the broken hearts that surround us all on a daily basis.
The feeling of running in cement toward something that is never going to be attainable - happiness, hope, peace, the endless pursuit of answers and solutions - is, for lack of a better word, bullshit.

I'm tired. Actually, I'm emotionally and physically exhausted. Gutted. My heart feels empty. I feel cold. And I still don't have an inkling as to what the solution is. This isn't meant to be philosophical. It isn't meant to be anything, really, other than trying any way possible to let something out.

I've been told that I have a tough exterior, and maybe I do. But there are some things that penetrate the exterior, and when they get in it's hard to flick a switch and say, "Away with you." Sometimes things make their mark, kick a hole and it's hard to make repairs. Maybe the damage is irreparable. Who knows? Out, out, damn spot.

Maybe all we do in this life is find ways to patch holes and paint over the damage to make the exterior look tougher.

I'll be okay. It will be okay. It will have to be.

"By the way there, Mr. Tin Man
If you don't mind the scars
You give me your armour
You can have my heart."