Honestly, this is me

Hearing criticism about myself is probably one of the hardest things for me to take. To be honest, it's actually because I know some of what is said is true. I hate feeling inadequate and feeling like I've failed at something. And I hate even more when people can see that I've made those mistakes and when they point them out. It's for that reason that it's difficult for me to improve myself. I don't like being criticisized, even constructively so, when I already know it myself. Even moreso, I don't like being critisized about things that are difficult for me to change.

I can be judgemental and a gossip. Those are my two vices. Those are the things that are difficult for me to hear and, harder still, for me to change. When I actually think about it, I know it's because of my own insecurities. I want the attention to be reverted to something or someone else other than myself, but I'm only putting a magnifying glass in front of my face, screaming, "Look at me!" Or I'm judging something I hate in someone else that I hate in myself. And the ironic thing is, I hate it when people are judgemental. And I hate it when people gossip.

I hate being wrong. It makes me feel really stupid. I know that's childish and trivial because I can learn from my mistakes, but I feel like all eyes are on me, judging what I've done or said. This is why I rarely raise my hand in class. I feel unsure of myself and my intelligence and I don't want people to know. On some occasions when I have mustered the courage to contribute to class discussions, my answer is wrong or is received unresponsively. This has actually happend on very few occasions, but when it does, I feel like everyone is watching me and judging what stupid thing I've said when in reality everyone has forgotten by the time someone else speaks.

I want help from people when I don't know what to do in a situation but I'm afraid to ask for it. It could be pride, but for the most part, it's my own fear of feeling inadequate. I don't want the person I'm asking for help from to think I'm weak. I know it's wrong, but a part of me thinks that weakness is equated with asking for help. I feel like I'm strong when I can do things on my own. It's like when I'm driving, I hate when Jeremy tells me directions even when I have no idea where I'm going. I feel like I've somehow failed at finding our destination if I can't do it myself. The worst thing is, I know this all sounds so frivolous and petty and yet, I still think this way sometimes.

Something I know I really need to do is consciously make the effort to change the things I see in myself that I don't like. And more importantly, I need to make that effort to change the things in myself that God doesn't like.

Crunch Time

The coffee's brewing, post-it's are scribbled with little facts, and my notes are decorated with flourescent colours. Yes, it appears to be that time of year again. I'm growing fond of the wee hours of the morning and the... motivation... of a looming due date. But I won't be in the doldrums when I see this time pass. Especially as this will be one the last "crunch times" I'll have the pleasure of enduring. Freedom is around the corner. The corner certainly seems to be quite large, but it's around the corner nontheless.

When I reach this coveted reverse side of the corner, I'm not really sure what I'll be doing, but it will not, without question, involve dangerous amounts of coffee consumption. As much as I like office supplies (yes, I have a fondness for Staples Business Depot), I really don't want to see another highlighter for a long time (unless, of course, it involves doodling mindlessly).

Actually, I do have an idea of what I would like to do for the summer after I graduate. It just seems to be a really ...weird situation right now. I won't go into details or anything. It just seems that something I've loved for so long is slipping away and I'm not really sure why. I understand that things change and people change and things go in different directions sometimes. I just don't understand why I may not be a part of that change. I think this paragraph is more for me than for the few readers who stop by here...

Tony and the Hour


Recently Tony Campolo was on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos.
To view the interview go to: http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?id=1401

The conversation was quite interesting and I love the way Tony Campolo is very frank with his faith and beliefs, "Get to the red letters. Jesus said, 'You have heard of an eye for an eye but I give you a new commandment.' And I don't want to be nasty, by when Jesus says 'I give you a new commandment,' I think he means it's a new commandment."

Some of the conversation revolved around how some Christians are distracted by contraversy such as abortion and homosexuality, and they aren't getting to the heart of what Christianity is all about; they're missing the point. Jesus said, "I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me" (Matthew 25:42-43). I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to hear those words when I die. And don't we all miss the point sometimes? We get so distracted by contraversy like teen pregnancy and gay marriage, but what does it accomplish by heaping insults and judgement on them? Are we accomplishing Jesus' goal? No where in the red letters does it say, 'reject the unwed mother,' or 'kill abortionists.' Jesus clearly calls us to love, and we would be hypocrites not to stand by that commandment if we claim to be followers of Christ.

No Room for Subltety in the Media


Didn't God say, "do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"?

The world has just given up on subltety and decided to go the more direct route.

Strep Throat

My Life Writing class has a discussion board where we are required to post in response to questions for participation marks. I guess it's a good way to gain some free marks for those that aren't comfortable speaking in class. Anyway, one of the topics to answer to was to discuss our own personal "illness narrative." We've been reading some autobiographies which include the writer's personal struggle with some kind of illness.

In comparison with others, I don't exactly have a significant "illness narrative" and from what I can remember, the last time I was sick was almost a year ago when I had a bad case of strep throat in May. I had many sleepless nights. Not only did it hurt to swallow, it just hurt, period. I had to brace myself everytime I needed to swallow and, most of the time, I would just spit instead. I would keep an empty water bottle next to my bed. Yes, disgusting, but it was better than getting up every 5 minutes.

I'm not exactly a fan of hospital visits, but after I was sick for a week or so, I decided I should pay the Doc a visit. I think the last time I actually saw this particular doctor was when I was 11 or 12. The visit was pretty standard. He stuck a stick in my mouth, I said 'ah,' he gave me a slip of paper with somewhat legible writing, and I was off on my merry way to the pharmacist. Once I was on the medication, I began to feel better, but as soon as my magic little pink pills were gone, the strep throat came back with a vengence.

At this point, it was 3 weeks until my wedding day. I was afraid that after all the planning and patient waiting... who am I kidding? ... impatient waiting, that I would be sick and uncomfortable for the most important day of my life (too cliche?).

So off I went to the doctor. Again. My not-so-favourite place. This time I got a bottle of huge brown pills. Interesting dilemma. My throat was inflamed and puffy, therefore, smaller than usual. And now I had huge pills. Let's just say that before meals 3 times a day were not a time I looked forward to.

Anyway, the story ends happily with the restored normalcy of my throat and a big party to celebrate. Ok, the party was to celebrate the marriage, but I also celebrated the fact that I didn't have to spit in a bottle anymore.

Photo-Op

When I have due dates fast-approaching, I tend to style my hair, put on a little make-up and show the camera some love.

These first 2 were taken before I brought the scissors in contact with my lovely locks.

I don't know what it is about making funny faces, but it is extremely entertainting. I think everyone should take pictures of themself making funny faces, just to entertain themselves and have a laugh. Laughing's important.

And I don't know what it is about hair that just screams, "cut me! style me! make me cool!" But it did scream nontheless and I listened. So here I am after the hair fell to the floor:

Plain Eccentricity


Downtown Toronto attracts Eccentrics like a flame attracts moths.
Going downtown never ceases to surprise me. I will always be intrigued by the fashion choices (fuchsia legwarmers anyone?), the variety of cuisine selection (street meat vs. street fish?), and, interestingly, beverage choice (a guy on the subway was non-chalantly chugging back a can of beer). And let's not forget the scruffy old men who hit on young women on the subway.

Everytime I go downtown (which actually isn't that often), I feel like a tourist.
I get lost easily, so of course, I need to consult a map. I'm wearing my sensible shoes and there isn't a hint of fuchsia on me. There is nothing eccentric about me and so I stand out like a banana in a bowl of grapes. So does that make me eccentric? Funny how I need to be eccentric to blend in. My plainness stands out amongst street performers, sharply dressed professionals, and fashionable students. Maybe next time I venture downtown I should bring a trumpet and wear a sombrero. Maybe I'll even bring a martini.

Sickness.

In Life Writing yesterday, we were asked to write for 10 minutes on a time when we ourselves were sick, or a close friend or family member. This task came at a very appropriate time, as sickness seems to be everywhere lately.

A couple weeks ago, my mom had a really bad flu and was out of work for about a week. Not really that tragic, but if you were the one sick, you'd probably think it was. The funny thing about being sick is, when you are sick all you can think about is being healthy. And when you are healthy, being sick doesn't even cross your mind. Mom's better now.

A few days ago, my Grandma told me that Grandpa was going to the doctor to check his heart. A few nights ago, I found out Grandpa has to get an angiogram on Friday. The result of the test could be as little as medication or as serious as open-heart surgery. We won't know until Friday.

On Thursday, I found out that one of the most loving and generous women I know has been diagnosed with lung cancer. And although she is one of the most loving women I know, she is also one of the sickest. She has gone though so many illnesses, that it is a miracle she is with us now.

I am so angry at her doctor. She has been having trouble breathing for some time and the doctor just told her to take her puffers and she'll be fine. She finally went to a respirologist who immediately rushed her to the hospital where she was quickly diagnosed with lung cancer in its most advanced stages. The chemo she's receiving just seems to be a vain attempt to bide more time, hoping to meet her first grandchild in a few short months. I am so angry at her doctor.

Cancellations and Ski Days


Cancellations from snowstorms scroll on the bottom of the screen:

All TDSB extra-curriculars cancelled March 1.
City programs cancelled March 1.
"X" School's Ski Day cancelled March 2.

So, there's too much snow for skiing?