004. Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

As my night shift is slowly coming to an end, I realize that I forgot to post something today! I know that most bloggers don’t post daily, but I really want to make the effort. I think if I push myself to do it everyday, blogging will eventually become second nature and I will always find a way to squeeze it into my days.

Quick disclaimer; just because I want to “train” (lack of a better term) my mind to remember to blog each day does NOT mean this is a chore. I WANT to blog and I find joy in doing so. I guess my motive is really to stick to something that will allow me to have a voice and use it. I’ve found this to be an outlet where I can speak freely. The views or follower count do not matter to me, although I do STRONGLY appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my words. I have always found that blogging (previously done on my tumblr page) was a great way for me to express myself. I have never really had a talent or found my calling. I tried playing guitar (acoustic AND electric), signing, dancing (AWFUL), making videos, drawing, painting. You name it, I have probably tried it, even sports. Nothing has ever really stuck. The only thing that I have ever really considered myself to like enough to keep doing.

It wasn’t all blogging though. I was actually telling this story to my coworkers earlier today. When I was in grade 8, I remember starting a diary. Now, it wasn’t your traditional diary, you know, the kind that all the girls kept under their beds with one of those little heart shaped locks and they would wear the key around their necks, kind of Zoey 101 style. I had tried for a long time to keep a “traditional” diary, but somehow my mom always seemed to find it and laugh at all my entries. I decided I needed to try something else. So one day I opened a Word document and began writing. The first chapter I wrote was titled “Vanilla Cupcake Swirl”, which was actually a perfume I had bought a few days ago from Walmart. I remember writing about all the gossip from that day; the new couple that starting dating in 3rd period, the boy who finally asked his long term crush out and got REJECTED, my crush finally talking to me (they asked for a pen), and so on. Of course, I changed everyone’s names and exaggerated some things, but at the end of the entry I was so proud. I was so excited about what I just created that everyday I would write another chapter.

It wasn’t until I had about 4 chapters written that I had accidentally brought the pages to school in my 5 star binder. I’m not entirely sure how, but one of the boys in my class got a hold of it and began reading it. I overheard him call his friends over for them to start reading them. The lunch bell rang, and as I was gathering my things the group of 4 boys came over and asked me about what I had written. I told them it was just something I was doing for fun. They ended up liking it so much and sharing it with so many other kids that I actually had people waiting for the new chapters, day after day.

Something you need to understand was that I have never been a very popular kid. I only had a handful of friends, and the numbers got lower as I got older. I was the tallest girl, also the chubbiest, and was just dorky. So for at least 20 kids to want to even speak to me on the daily was such a big deal for me. And it lasted all year. Of course, like all good things, that came to an end by the time high school hit, and everyone found out that I was writing about them. Oh well!

Basically, this little anecdote was to give you some perspective as to how much I enjoy writing. The beginning was the above mentioned diary, and then came tumblr, then came poems and them came this. I guess I am just so happy that these kind of platforms exist for people like me to express themselves and do something they enjoy. And as an added bonus, I can come back to this in a few years and look back at the life I had at 23.

Well, I am now off to bed, to sleep for at least 12 hours. Night shifts are hard!

If you’ve made it this far without falling asleep, I like you and I appreciate you.
-Dani

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004. Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

003. Best Foot Forward

Image result for tumblr quotes

It is currently 1 am and I am working a night shift. While trying to stay away, I Googled “tumblr pics” to see if I could find some cool things to share on the blog. As I was scrolling through the images, the picture I have inserted caught my eye. The quote triggered emotion in me, which is how I knew I had to share.

About a week ago, I received an email from my local RCMP recruitment office saying that I have been selected to come in for testing for a Telecommunications job (I had applied for this about 6 months ago). At first, I was in shock. I really had no idea what to think. An opportunity like this seems to be a dime a dozen, and I was ecstatic that I was given the opportunity.

Of course, once the hype was over, I was left in a panic. I know, I know; why would a proficiency testing for a potential new career (that would almost double my salary btw) scare the day lights out of me? I was no stranger to the local RCMP. Without too much detail, back in 2011 I was a victim to sexual assault. Long story short (that I will blog about, at some point), the years following this event have been internally traumatic.

Let me give you a little break down. Since the trauma occurred, many of my decisions were based on how anxious the situation would make me. For example, when I was deciding on where I wanted to go for college/what courses I wanted to take, the first thing I thought of was how likely it would be for me to run into That Individual (this is how I will refer to the abuser). I also though about what careers would make me more accessible; what environment I would work in, what field I would work in, what kind of people would I most likely run into, etc. My dream had ALWAYS been to be a Marine Biologist. I have such a passion for marine life and for the beauty of the sea and its conservation. Due to the fact that I did so poorly in school (seriously kids, listen to your parents and DON’T be a heathen), I was basically forced into a new career path. After much thought, I soon decided that Medical Administration would be a good fit for me, and the guidance counselors at my high school agreed. I had all the pamphlets and information on the job that I needed. All that was left was for me to make a choice when I was ready.

Fast forward to 2013 when I was finally ready to take the next step in life; apply for college. Going back to the above mentioned emotions I was going through, I somehow came to the conclusion that beauty school (Medical Aesthetics) would be the best fit for me. Keep in mind, this was NOT a passion of mine. This was a safety net. I had concluded that I would be in a school full of woman (therefore That Individual would not be there), most of the clients that come into the school for services would be female, and my clientele would likely be female as well. To make matters worse, at this time in my life, I was dating this woman who was incredibly controlling, and mentally abusive (again, another post, another day). We both ended up enrolling in this school and for the next year it was hell. Towards the end of my term, we had broken up, so not only was I studying to be something I did not want to be, I was forced to see my ex day in and day out and have to put on a pretty face because “Look’s are Everything” in the beauty industry, according to our dean anyway.

Fast forward to now, I am currently a Telecommunications Clerk at my local hospital. I am so incredibly fortunate to wake up everyday and go to work at a job I adore. The best thing, I managed to persevere through to pain and anxiety of working in such a public place. Most of the time I am down in the main lobby manning the front desk, so I am very much in the public. With a lot – A LOT – of therapy and counselling I have managed to work hard to achieve something I love. And now that I am given another opportunity to try something new, that anxiety and that memory pain came flooding back.

Moral of this story, no matter your struggle, it is valid and it is REAL. Believe me when I say, just as the picture above says, a small act of courage will get you so very far. I have never believe myself to be brave or courageous, I simply think of myself as a woman – a human – who has been dealt some pretty shitty cards. I also see myself as a woman who has worked her ass off to keep herself sane enough to get by, day after day. If I can do it, BELIEVE ME, so can you. It won’t be easy; it will be the hardest up hill battle. But I promise you, the view from the top is SO worth it.

I’m still not where I want to be, but I know I’m headed there.

And if you’re still reading this, I like you, I appreciate you.

-Dani

003. Best Foot Forward

002. Girls, Girls, Girls

Todays topic stems from a YouTube channel I stumbled upon the other day.

The Next Family is a lifestyle blog based on the life of a lesbian couple, Brandy and Susan, and their 3 adorable children. They touch on some pretty hard-hitting topics and give you raw and honest answers. This channel is such an amazing resource for LGBTQ+ families looking for guidance with anything from keeping the spark alive in your marriage/relationship to how to find the perfect LGBTQ+ friendly schools near you.

I suppose you may be wondering how in the hell I managed to come across a channel with such a powerful message. Truth be told, I am a 23-year-old lesbian trying to plan a future. Although I don’t want to get too far into detail with this (most because it is still new and nothing is quite set in stone, and I want to make a separate blog post about this) I wanted to touch on a few things that encompass this topic.

First off, I want to say thank you for reading this far. If you have, whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ family like myself, a family member/friend to someone just like me, or even if you’re here looking for ammunition to load your hate guns, thank you for being open-minded enough to read this.

Stigma; a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
I remember the very first time I witnessed the stigma involving (in my case) lesbian couples. It was grade 9 or 10 (brain fart..) when 2 girls from my classes decided to start a relationship together. This was, as far as we knew, the first time in many years (if ever) that an openly gay/lesbian couple was known at our school. When I first heard the new, I was immediately filled with hope. At this point, I was still closeted and was trying to find the courage to “come out”.It soon became very clear that I would not be able to do so for a long time..

Not long after the 2 girls began dating, they made a terrible name for themselves. They never left much to the imagination; always talking about their sex life far too openly, tonsil hockey in the cafeteria, even sex in the bathrooms at school. They were so far in everyone’s face that it was hard not to think negatively about the situation.

Here’s the thing. I have ALWAYS made it very clear that I will always except someone elses views on things. I would be naive to believe that everyone on this planet should think like I do. The reality of the situation is that yes, I am an openly lesbian woman and I am proud of that. Do I shout it from the rooftops and expect everyone to accept me? NO. The problem with these girls from my highschool was that because they were the first openly lesbian couple, I feel as though they felt that they needed to make a point. That it was a normal things and that everyone needs to respect it. Although this is a great message to spread, they went about it the wrong way. Every single chance they got, they were making out in front of people who found lesbianism strange, they were talking about their sex life to people who thought lesbianism was a sin, and even giving school faculty hell for giving them detention for being caught “doing it” in the public washroom.

Because of all the mayhem, people had awful things to say about anything LGBTQ+. Even the Gay/Straight Alliance we had at school slowly fell apart. I hid my sexuality for almost 5 years after that. The point is, when I was watching the above mentioned YouTube channel, I became to inspired by the confidence they radiated. They were confident in themselves and their relationship and they were giving advice not only to LGBTQ+ families, but to straight families aswell. They are educating a nation far bigger then I think they imagine. My life has most been about suppressing feelings and thoughts, and even though now I am no longer lying to myself and everyone else, I still find myself deflecting questions that could potentially “out me” to new people I meet. I still find myself waiting a very long time to even mention to people about my sexuality, and even delay talking about my amazing partner.

I am left heartbroken thinking that the stigma is still very real. It shatters me that I still feel as though I can not live a truly open life as potential bad situations play out in my head. I hope that one day I can be as open as Brandy and Susan. Their happiness has truly inspired me.

 

I know this post is probably all jumbled, but that’s the beauty of running a life blog; nothing has to make sense to anyone but you!

& as always, if you’re still reading this, I like you, I appreciate you.

-Dani

002. Girls, Girls, Girls

001. Day One On The Alien Planet

“This is going to be great!”  
“I can’t wait to put all my ideas into one cute little blog space!”
“I hope to trigger conversations to better educate myself on pertinent topics!”

In case you were wondering, the above quotes were pulled directly from this noggin of mine preblog. In the months leading up to me actually sitting down and creating this blog, I was swarmed with ideas, hopes, aspirations; you name it. While theses are all still very current, it seems as though the moment when it finally came time to create my first post (after about an hour customizing this page to the best of my abilities), I found myself to have writers block. This situation was silly to me as I had actually written down so many ideas for topics I wanted to blog about, yet aside from the fact that my cat seemed to have eaten the paper, I wasn’t sure on where to even begin.

I find writing to be extremely intimidating. It blows my mind to see people put their thoughts and emotions onto paper(or web pages in this case) as if it were second nature. The words seem to flow so effortlessly and come together to create such a poetic piece. Now, I am not naive enough to believe that even the most gifted author faces no challenges. I realize there is much to the process of writing. Yet I still find myself faced with an incredible amount of anxiety thinking that I need to have 3 dictionaries, 4 thesauruses and 15 encyclopedias with me at all times to ensure I am providing the best content possible. I then remember that if I am able to access the internet to post on here then by default I have access to google on any device I own, which is A LOT easier to lug around (funny joke? no? I tried.)

Anyway, the point to this incredibly long introduction is that I have finally come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what topic I start with or how smarticle I sound explaining it. There will always be someone out there that stumbles upon this blog and will find something they dislike about it. Therefor, I strongly believe the best course of action for me is to write from the heart, right from the start! I am hoping to keep the swearing to a minimum and strive to sound at least as smart as a 5th grader. This I do solemnly swear.

I hope you, who ever you are, where ever you may be, will come along on this journey with me. May we laugh, cry, smile and frown all together.

If you’ve made it this far, I like you, I appreciate you. See you soon.

-Dani

001. Day One On The Alien Planet