Thursday, September 4, 2014

5 Years.

Five years ago today I moved to Québec.

What my life is like now is nothing like what I thought it would be on that day I crossed the border and moved to Canada. I came here to be with the person I loved, and once I left my country, he became my home. It wasn't a conscious decision; it just happened in my heart when I displaced myself for him and we got married.

When that exploded and the ground beneath me finally stopped shaking, I realized that I would need to gently dust myself off and redefine "home" for myself. I had to figure out a path forward.

As I slowly and achingly made my way through the loss, I discovered another, broader home waiting for me. A more spacious home. It appeared quietly at some point during the long expanse of stillness following the explosion. I don't know if I built it, or if it was there all along and I just didn't realize it. Perhaps both. Or perhaps it was a gift.

It's funny; somehow the pain of loss contained within it lessons in spaciousness. Experiencing loss and failure has paradoxically given me more of a sense of freedom. Surviving the loss of what was most important to me has made me more willing to risk, because what do I have left to fear anyway? I have had to start over and face the wide-open horizon, to move forward into the unknowing.

These days I am more willing to speak my mind and less afraid of what people will think. I figure if someone can't handle what I think and who I am, then it's better to know sooner than later. Life is short, and you never know what tomorrow will bring. So I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I am chosing to say yes. I am moving forward into my new life, and I am determined.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Because sometimes you have to throw your own parties.

I threw myself a birthday party. I knew the first part of this month might not be easy for me, so I planned ways to intentionally take care of myself. I wanted to feel surrounded by loved ones and welcome in a new year, and a birthday is a perfectly normal reason to have a party. (Unfortunately a I-survived-the-depths-of-hell party is a little less socially acceptable.) And since I didn't have someone to throw me a party, I decided to throw one for myself. This probably broke some etiquette rules, especially because I made it a potluck party, but I don't even care. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


A year ago yesterday, my life was suddenly blown apart with one incredibly brief sentence. Tomorrow is a year from the day my now-ex-husband walked out of our home to be with his girlfriend.

If you had asked me then to imagine what my life would look like now, I would have been completely incapable of it. At that point, I could not begin to imagine my life without my ex. My mind couldn't even process what had just happened, let alone my heart. In the beginning, each morning I woke up from a few hours of sleep to re-remember what had happened, after having forgotten while sleeping. Eventually I began to wake up remembering. It took time to accept that things weren't ever going to go back to how they were before, and I don't think I will ever fully understand what happened because it was all so dissonant to absolutely everything I had believed.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


This morning I watched this video about a goat that made me cry. The concern and commitment of the caregivers was moving, but it was seeing the little goat's determination that left me with tears running off my face and dropping onto my sternum. The goat kept going, despite adversity, with an attitude that I interpret as thankfulness. And not happiness, but joy. I was taught from an early age that joy is different than happiness because it is independent of external circumstances.

The other day I saw that a library in my town had added the word "résilience," written in huge silver capital letters, all across one side of the building. It's much larger than a billboard, and I took it as a message of encouragement from the universe to keep going. It is a reminder that that we can bounce back from adversity, that the human spirit is strong.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A slow train to spring.

Crocuses are late
Only snowdrops have arrived
A slow train to spring
Kim Philipps, 48, Bronxville, NY. 

I thought spring would come with Easter

It was gorgeous outside this afternoon on my walk home from work. I enjoyed the sun and thought about how I felt at home in my town. Recently, I spent too much time online looking for the (seemingly nonexistent) perfect pair of gladiator sandals in Canada. Despite this, I still feel like I am somehow in between winter and spring.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Death and resurrection.

Where I grew up, Easter Sunday was important. There was usually a new Easter dress and sometimes there were hats, but there was always an abundance of pastel-clad people. And green plastic tinsel grass inside bright cheery-colored Easter baskets with chocolate, Paas-dyed eggs and jelly beans.

Until this year, I didn't really have much experience with death. And it turns out, resurrection feels pastel-colored only if you don't know what it's like to go through some sort of death.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


As I sit here in my sunny living room, the sound of chirping birds just outside the window reminds me that spring is technically here. Nevermind the incongruous detail that we had a snowstorm on the first day of spring and another small one two days later. It still looks like winter, but there are whispers of spring. Those tenacious birds confirm that winter will not last forever.

I probably should be working on one of the many projects I am in the middle of right now. I am getting ready to enter week four of a very busy four-week period. But I saw this article ("This is what 80 Looks Like") on Gloria Steinem and wanted to share it. So here I am.