It’s my birthday and i’ll cry if I want to.

My birthday sucked this year. There, I said it.

While I had numerous well wishes that day from people I love and adore, all of them wishing me the best day ever, something I myself do when I wish someone a happy birthday; it was anything but.

I look at a persons birthday as the one day where they have carte blanche to be as self indulgent as they want. After all, it’s the day you were born and that’s pretty special.

This year was different. It’s been a full year since I lost my dad. Fathers day is also right around the corner, it follows the Sunday after my birthday. It’s been hitting me extra hard this year.

Because I actually feel it.

Things are different when you’re lost in the cluster-fuck of funerals, asshole family members, memorial services and countless other things.

So I cried. I was walking to the metro after a particularly trying day at work and I just couldn’t keep it together, so I stopped trying.

The worst part of my birthday this year though?


I was kind of in the dark about it because we had gotten up early and headed off to my favorite place for brunch-something I am always down for.

When I finally caught up with the news, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m a straight ally, which means something and nothing at the same time. Something because the majority of the world *is* heterosexual and we have the power to collectively change things. Nothing because I don’t understand. I am blissfully ignorant (okay maybe not blissful but ignorant none the less) about what it’s like to be anything but a hetero/cis female.

I know how crippling hate can be. I have been tormented and bullied, judged and more by society for a number of reasons. Yet none of them were a result of my sexual preferences.

Some of the most awesome people I know are everything but straight. Their sexual identify means nothing to me, I love them anyway and that’s why this hurts me to the very core.

I know all too well what it’s like to loose someone you love. I’ve said goodbye to far too many people who mean something to me including friends who were much too young. To loose someone you love to hate?


I still can’t fathom these senseless deaths and I can’t help but think about all the what if’s? What if that was one of my friends who are basically family to me? What if someone totally lost their shit because they were gay/trans? I’m still having a hard time trying to put my feelings into perspective but I can and will say this; you’re all so brave and I admire you so much.  After the Orlando shooting so many of my friends came forth and opened up to the entire world who they truly are. I love them and admire them even more.

In a world full of hate, love needs to win. 

tattoo design

It’s more than a noun.

Before I moved to Montreal, my whole inability to speak French was something that constantly weighed on my mind. In fact, it stressed me right the fuck out. Everyone would assure me that everything would be fine and I would get by and for arguments sake I have.

Although, not being able to speak the language coherently has it’s pitfalls of course. I’m really not gifted when it comes to languages. My grade nine French teacher can attest to that. In fact I’m pretty sure I only got the grade that I did just so that she wouldn’t have to deal with me again. Adult me can understand her frustration, teachers work hard and having a student who clearly didn’t give a shit obviously didn’t help. Needless to say, life was much different when I was 14.

Never, ever in a million years did I think that I would end up here.

It would have been much easier to take a course when I first moved here, except I ended up getting a job right away and well when you work in a kitchen; your schedule is so erratic that anything that requires you to have a set schedule is pretty much impossible most of the time.

So after my ex and I split and I started doing my own thing, I started to partake in a conversational French course that was offered at a local un-employment center in the neighbouring borough. It was a great course while I was actively participating in it, then I got sick with a hellish lung infection and ended up missing so many classes, I decided that there was no real point in going back for the time being.

Then just for the hell of it, I started taking a beginner class at a local college here. Except that’s not entirely cost effective at best (it was $250.00 per class and there’s 5 levels)–and- for it to be effective at all in a learning sense, you need to be consistent and keep at it. So last winter before my father passed away, I enrolled into the same class that was offered at the center that I had taken before. It was cost effective and I had the time. Then I lost my dad and trying to tackle a French course two weeks after loosing your dad is foolish at best. Yet, I thought that it was worth a shot. So I went to a few classes while struggling to deal with the loss of my dad and the ton of drama that came along with it.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

When you suffer from depression like I do, your short term memory is gone. You team that up with anxiety and just trying to keep it together for the couple of hours that you have for class. There were only a dozen of us in this class and participation is required. I hate being put on the spot and I struggled but I tried. I get very anxious and overwhelmed when I don’t understand something, which quickly turns to frustration and my mind becomes a giant cluster fuck. Than I feel really stupid. I’ve learned to recognize these signs and I try to offset them with internal rationale. It’s not so much that i’m a bad student, I just don’t do well at things I have to do, vs things I want to do.

Anyway- I got called out in class for something. I needed to figure out a noun for part of the conversation.

Imagine my horror when I could not for the life of me remember what a noun was.

The two guys sitting behind me were laughing, the teacher was looking at me with the most (understandably) incredulous look on his face. I felt like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights and my face burned bright and hot with the shame and embarrassment of my failure.

My mind was completely blank, I couldn’t formulate a thought to save my life and I don’t think I have ever been more mortified or anxious.

I was so ashamed and so embarrassed that I never went back.

Yes, I know that’s really over the top and extreme to some. However when you just lost your dad, you’re dealing with depression along with anxiety and a whole host of other things, it’s just a little too much. Even if you don’t fancy yourself to be much of a drama queen (I don’t). I felt stupid and worse yet I was (and still am) terrified that I would never get my mind back.

Depression robs you of so many things, your memory, your dignity and more. It’s defined as a mental illness; it does not just affect your mind. Depression eats at you on all levels, mind body and soul.

So I sacrificed my going back to school for computer graphics to take a level one French course (again). This class is full time for three months. I am terrified. That last incident is much too fresh in my memory and being that I cry a lot these days more often than not, I truly hope that I not only learn something and garner a much needed grasp on the language, but I also hope that I don’t have an anxiety induced meltdown and embarrass myself again.

I’m not one of those people who are OK with having public meltdowns. I am a very private person and I get very overwhelmed and shut down when I feel that people are invading my perceived personal space. I don’t care for pity and I don’t care to play the victim either, because I’m not. I’m just a person who has a whole lot of walls and I only plan to add windows when I’m good and ready to. It’s one of my biggest flaws; however I have always been this way. I wish people would accept that.

It’s not you; I can give you complete reassurance that it’s me and my very messy mind.

Knowing is half the battle.

I’m not really what most people would consider to be a sensitive person. Being a Chef all these years, you learn to develop a pretty thick skin.

I’m the kind of person who let’s most comments go, unless they are legitimately hurtful the first time around.  Most of the time they don’t get to me at first and I say nothing. Which is my downfall because the minute I become fed up about something or someone (usually several someone’s’) saying the same thing over and over again I get fed up and fast.It’s usually only then that I say something and someone somewhere will always take offense to it somehow even if it has nothing to do with them. This is a whole other situation unto itself.   I am a person too, I also have feelings and just because someone doesn’t agree with my way of thinking doesn’t give them the right to trash talk me either.

So where do you draw the line? Do you speak up the first time when it’s not a big deal and appear to be someone who complains/the person who cries wolf and come across as a victim?  Or do you wait and see and eventually become so fed up that you can’t take it anymore? Are you one of those people who comments on everything and people call you a ‘know it all’ behind your back?

I’ve noticed that there is an increase of both on some of the online forums I frequent in the past 36 hours.

There are a lot of things that get said, lots of phrases and idioms’ that target certain demographics, races, religions, genders, diseases, mental health issues and more. Most things we say without thinking about consequences to another person or party. I am not a fan of censorship. I just had a long conversation with my fiance about this, whereupon I basically said that I can’t be responsible for someone else getting hurt/upset or offended if I am making vague and blanket statements. If they want to somehow attribute it to them or make it about them without proof that it is in fact directly at them specifically, there really is nothing I can do.

I almost never make blanket statements about people in general. There very well may have been one person that was ‘the tipping point’ whereupon I become so enraged that I need to say something (in a general sense) and while I know that I am being petty and most likely and asshole, I generally also don’t think that people would assume that it was about them. This is happening more and more… It’s really starting to get on my nerves.

For example, I was having a one on one conversation about someone and it was pretty heavy and personal. We got around to the sensitive subject of the way this person looks. They had said that there was nothing that could be done to change it, whereupon I had said well surgery was an option, are you not interested in doing that anymore? I had only mentioned it because at one point, it was ‘on the table’ as an option but it was something that I never mentioned because I figured that it should happen, I would be privy to it. I didn’t say it to imply that I thought that this person actually needed the surgery (I still don’t feel that they do). It was not perceived that way and a whole lot of ugliness ensued in a very public way.

All because someone thought (rather incorrectly) that I thought that something was wrong with them and they needed to fix it. I felt like shit for that because I know all too well what it’s like to be treated differently because you don’t fit in or look like the majority. That particular incident really hit me to the core and broke my heart. The mere thought of thinking that I was capable of being a bully and making someone feel that way made me feel really, really small.

However when I say things like: “Spread it likes its herpes’/herpes is the glitter of the craft world, I’m a grammar Nazi, this makes me OCD flare up, or when I say something along the lines of I try really hard to respect and/or accommodate other people’s religion, traditions, opinions, (I really do!) however sometimes I can not accommodate them. My failure to do so does NOT mean I am being disrespectful intentionally and if you/anyone feels that way (about me), you can kiss my ass.”

Those aren’t directed at anyone. They’re just things that I say. I’m not a hateful person.  

The whole herpes thing came up today in a group that I belong to. It’s used as a punch line quite a bit. Then someone pointed out that they themselves have herpes (the STD version), which was contacted as a result of assault. So at first they let the comments roll off, however today it was enough and something was finally said. It forced me to look at things I say a little differently.

Same thing when someone mentioned that they were dyslexic and were hurt by the amount of people that said that they wouldn’t date someone who had terrible grammar or can’t spell. It made them feel embarrassed and ashamed because they couldn’t read properly as an adult and that was their secret shame.

Well damn.

That never, ever crossed my mind since dyslexia isn’t something that often get’s talked about. They made me think though and I promptly felt like an asshole because I totally take it for granted that I can read fluidly and used to devour books.

As for OCD- I have OCD and humor for me is something that I use as a coping mechanism. OCD can be so very crippling and unless you truly know what it feels like to have it, then no, you don’t have the right to joke around about it.

Religion is something that I rarely, if ever discuss with anyone. I have gotten ‘condemned’ because I am tattooed, I shoot woman in ‘provocative’ ways (I shoot boudoir) and several other things. I have gotten my share of nasty messages about this. Hence forth my status message that one time. I had had enough that day. Its one thing for someone I know to say something like that (which, for the record does NOT make it OK), it’s just that much more insulting/irritating/annoying to have strangers comment on it because they know nothing about me.

Traditions/superstitions fascinate me. I’m partially Irish and they are notoriously known for being superstitious. My father was a very, very superstitious man, to the point that it was almost embarrassing (sorry dad!).  My fiance and I were talking about that the other day because he’s Italian and they have their share as well. I referred to them as traditions and he said it wasn’t so much that, but superstitions. This makes a lot of sense to the Irish person in me.

Traditions I can take them or leave them personally, as in I am mostly indifferent. Sometimes I find them to be charming (they usually are) and sometimes I feel that they’re a little dated and not necessarily applicable to the here and now or they don’t apply to me or my life or the vision I have set forth. Which I feel does not make me a bad person. I am who I am and I have my own set of beliefs so it’s a little unrealistic to expect anyone to accommodate every single one of them because someone might get upset. After all, you can’t please everyone all of them time. However saying that I’m disrespectful for feeling this way is really not OK. It’s not a deliberate intention and if someone get’s hurt about it, then yeah I might feel bad about it because I don’t set out to hurt people but that doesn’t make me a bad person either.

The same thing applies with depression/mental illness. I have depression and an anxiety disorder. Some days it’s crippling. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to make a phone call but the mere thought of doing so paralyzes you with a completely unprecedented fear? To wake up in the morning and feel so hollow and empty that you would rather be dead than get out of bed and try and face the day? Yet the term depression get’s tossed around a lot. Usually it’s not a matter of said person being depressed, they’re usually just sad. Anxiety is usually just nervousness of feeling anxious for the moment. Anxiety disorders are nothing like that.

So while I will not censor myself or the things that I say, I will think twice about being a little more sensitive to the people who usually bear the brunt of social stigmas.

A very wise person once said:”We can’t know things until we know them. We have so much to learn from on another. Why not take those things and help them shape us into even better versions of ourselves?” -Good point




These dreams.

The whole process of dreaming fascinates me a little. Not enough to want to invest any real time in investigating them on say a scientific level; just enough that I will often find myself dissecting what happened that month/week/day that infiltrated my subconscious.

I often describe my dreams as if everything I had said/done/seen was tossed into a blender and rearranged in some way.

So last night, I went out for a walk with the love of my life. It was a nice night, crisp and snowing a little. My father loved the snow and every time it snows, I am often reminded of him. My dad has been weighing heavily on my mind as of late, the one year anniversary of his death has just passed and it’s usually this time of year that I miss my family. The craziness of the holidays usually means chaos and I don’t get to see everyone as much as I like, nor for any extended period of time. It’s also my nephews’ birthday and he and his sister are my rays of sunshine.

I had also caught up with a friend of mine who is also getting married this year. So inevitably, we talked about our weddings. I had mentioned that we were holding out for our honeymoon because we wanted to go to Alaska on a cruise and bring my dad’s ashes along. My dad had mentioned to me the summer before he died that if he could do it over again, he would have went to Alaska while he still had the chance. So going there to honor my dad was my love’s idea, which I thought was really sweet. Needless to say, with the wedding coming up and everything else going on, my dad has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately in a lot of different ways.

So fast forward to today, I had a dream about my dad. A dream so clear, vivid and concise that I was almost shocked when I woke up to the realization that it wasn’t actually true. I’m usually a lucid dreamer, so I can usually rationalize and recognize a dream for what it is.

Not today though.

I dreamt that I was at my parent’s old house, except it looked like it did when I was much younger. I was standing in the living room talking to my mom drinking my breakfast smoothie. It was a beautiful day outside; the living room was filled with vibrant, natural light. I was feeling peaceful, content and happy.

I can’t remember the last time I felt that good and at peace.

There was a loud knock at the door and my mom gestured for me to go answer it.

*Random side note- No one ever knocked and waited at my parents’ house, unless you were a stranger. I grew up in a home that had an open door policy, anyone was welcome.*

I walked down the hall and I couldn’t see who was standing there through the window, it was so bright and vibrant. Imagine my shock and surprise to see my dad standing there, alive and well. He looked at me and smiled and laughed. I said to him, “what are you doing alive?” My mom said something about a mix up or something and the whole time I’m standing there and I’m thinking to myself did the morgue notice you were still alive? You were cremated, but I don’t have any of your ashes yet because I keep forgetting to take some. I do remember holding the box that they were in and thinking about how heavy it was. And just lots of confusion. There was so much light, it was like he was glowing. You know the clichéd eternal light that’s usually associated with the deceased and angels? I had SO many questions and no one was answering them, they (my parents) just keep looking at me sheepishly and smiling. I wasn’t angry, just very, very confused.

Even more so when he went somewhere and came back with two small children. A boy and a girl neither one any older than the age of 4. I didn’t recognize these children so I don’t know how they’re relevant to my dream but among my confusion, my father looked at me and winked as he was tossing the little girl over his shoulder and disappeared into the kitchen.

That’s when I kind of woke up and the realization that my father was still dead and that was a dream. I closed my eyes and started to cry. Dream visits are emotionally draining. I had a lot of dream visits right after my father died. I literally asked him to stop because it would leave me in a depressed state for days after. So it’s been a while since he’s come to visit me. I like to think that he knows he’s been on my mind a lot lately and that I’m hurting really bad because he’s going to miss my wedding and everything else. I figure that he wanted to let me know that he’s OK and that maybe, just maybe I’m going to be OK too.