Chillin like a Villain

A pregnant woman got on the bus. I did not give her my seat. What happens next will absolutely shock you!

747495-pregnant-on-train

Sidebar: Aren’t you sick of viral articles that begin like this?

Anyway…

I’m a conscientious transit rider and I really believe that there is a special circle in hell for people who don’t move to the back of the bus. Typically, even if there is a seat by the front, I end up moving back anyway because if someone who really needs it enters (expectant mother, elderly, etc.), I would just give it up.

Shout out to my parents who taught me this.

Yesterday, I boarded the bus and absent-mindedly sat down on one of those single seats near the front. It was mid-day and while the bus was full, everyone was still pretty comfortable. I sat and stared out the window, completely lost in my own world, and then a loud British accent started shouting all up in my ear:

“Excuse me! Are you okay? Are you alright?”

“Whaaaa…?”

“Are you okay, sir? Are you injured? Are you hurt?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure what…”

She points to a pregnant woman nearby: “See her? She’s pregnant, yeah? She needs that seat, and you didn’t even get up”

“Oh man, I wasn’t even thinking..”

“And nothin’s wrong with you, yeah? She needs help.”

First of all, I was trapped in my own thoughts, probably thinking about what vegetables I can put into my new Vitamix. Secondly, other people were occupying other seats. I get that I look strong, able-bodied and funky-fresh-dressed-to-impress-ready-to-party, but that’s no reason to ignore the others and single me out. Finally, what was up with this loudmouthed bitch? What is she, an Avenger?

So I sheepishly looked at the expectant mother and mouthed an apology. She shook her head kindly and smiled while the insufferable jerk woman kept talking.

“Go on, then. Take a seat darlin’”.

I really wanted to give this woman a verbal smackdown but we had caused a big enough scene. She however, was doing that thing where you feel benevolent and vindicated, so you all of sudden talk super loud with a puffed up chest to no one in particular.

“I’m from Manchester. In England, yeah? Been in Canada for 2 years. You would never see that happen back ‘ome”.

Maybe it was my sensitivity and paranoia, but it felt like everyone on the bus was giving me a dirty look. I heard some people kissing their teeth, and some were making disappointed cluck-cluck noises with their throat and I’m positive that I heard someone say, “He ain’t right”. I kept my composure and though I wanted to scream, “NONE OF YOU BITCHES GOT UP EITHER!” I decided against it because I’ve seen enough episodes of The Real Housewives of Anywhere to know that you simply can not argue with angry and irrational people.

It’s funny how we’re so quick to villainize one another. This guy won’t give up his seat to a pregnant woman so he must be a terrible person. This guy is eating his lunch by himself in a park playground so he must be a pedophile (that happened to me last summer. I’ll tell you that story at another time). Kim Kardashian poses naked in a magazine so she must be the devil incarnate (that one is true though).

What is it that makes us lash out at one another in this way? Is it the world we live in? Is it these iModern times? Is it “society”?

Or is it internal? Are we walking around with so much of our own hurt and bruising that we’re quick to inflict any sort of pain on someone else?

Or is it projection? “Anyone else but me”? If I put the spotlight on how someone else is fucking up, no one’s going to notice my own flaws. Not even me.

I have no answers. It was just a very confusing moment in time. And I have no hard feelings for that loud British woman or anyone else on the 25 Don Mills bus. I’m sure that I too, have projected my own flaws, pain and insecurity on others. The only difference is that I have the decency to do it behind their backs and blog about it. Cause this bitch got some class.

Unknown-1

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Person who wants to speak to the manager.

Dear person who wants to speak to the manager:

I get it. At somepoint in your life, you were lead to believe that if you yell at someone loud enough, make thinly veiled threats, and cause a scene in public, you will get what you want. Maybe you learned it from your parents when they relented and let you eat all your Halloween candy in one night. Maybe you misunderstood it when Oprah told you to “speak your truth”. The person you’re yelling at is not your parent, nor your sister, or even your friend. So what makes you think that it’s okay to treat them so horribly?

QGHM3P0WXKD5F777-l

Dear person who wants to speak to the manager:

Maybe it’s different. Maybe some idiot author from the 80s told you that behaving like this is an effective way to get what you want. Heads up: “the customer is always right” is a a pretty antiquated way of thinking. Just as consumers are getting savvier (what up, internet!), businesses are too. Most of them actually have a lot of ways to help someone out while protecting their brand, and most of their customer service staff is happy to help within legally specified parameters. Of course mistakes can happen, but if you’re spitting venom and cursing me out, what makes you think that I would want to take on extra steps to help you?

500full

Dear person who wants to speak to the manager:

This happens a lot, doesn’t it? The restaurant, the phone company, the retail store, the yoga studio, the gym – none of them can seem to get it right! Those morons are always screwing you over! These businesses that have no relation to one another are all conspiring against you! Every single staff member wakes up daily, rubs their hands in evil glee and thinks of a number of ways to piss you off! If everyone around you is giving you bad customer service, have you ever stopped to think that maybe you’re just a bad customer?

0

Dear person who wants to speak to the manager:

Let’s step away from the situation for a minute and examine this. A seemingly rational and mature human being is screaming at a stranger. They are screaming LOUD, veins are POPPING, their voice is getting HOARSE, and there is smoke eminating from their ears with the same heat and intensity as the farts of Satan himself! RAWWWRR! And the receipient of this tirade is some 16 year old minimum wage punk, probably on their first paying job, and still trying to figure out the ways of the world. If that 16 year old was your kid or someone else you cared about, how would you feel? And sidebar: which one of you looks like the asshole?

aviva-drescher-leg-467

Dear person who wants to speak to the manager:

Let me just say it. This isn’t about your experience. It’s not about customer service. It’s about you having a shitty day, or a shitty week, or hell, a shitty life. And the only way you can make yourself feel better is to make someone else feel even shittier. So go ahead and scream and and vent and release and make a general ass out of yourself. After that, you can go back to your shittiness and we can all go on back to work.

I Don't Want Your Life varsity Blues

Posted in Customer Service, Love yourself, Work | Leave a comment

I have one thing to say…

YOU BETTER WORK!

YOU BETTER WORK!

There are three song lyrics that I have always held close to my heart:

1) All you need is love.
2) You can’t always get what you want.
3) I don’t want no scrub.

And I’d like to formally add another:

4) You better work, bitch.

My momma told me:  you can be a dominatrix when you grow up.  Just be THE BEST dominatrix!

My momma told me: you can be a dominatrix when you grow up. Just be THE BEST dominatrix!

Apparently, I am too hard on my co-workers and expect too much from them. The thing is, I don’t expect anything from anyone that I would not put in myself. I’m a classic Capricorn in this sense because I value hard work and am completely present when in the workplace. What people consider “expecting too much”, I simply consider the basic elements of earning your damn money. After my years on this planet and after many jobs in vastly different fields, I humbly put forth this list of how not to be annoying in the workplace.

A) SHUT UP AND WORK. Do you have a co-worker that can’t seem to stop talking about how busy they are? “I have to do Project A, and Project B, and Project X, Y, Z. I have a business meeting, and a business lunch, and I have to get on the phone to do some business. I have a strategy to plan and a plan to strategize…” and the soliloquy just goes on from there. Look, I get it. I love my job and there have been times when there was too much on my plate. It can be stressful, and focusing on how stressed you are won’t make it go away. The journey of a thousand emails begins with one reply, so instead of talking about how much work you have to do, you should just do the work you have to do, and maybe the work that you have to do will actually get done. Just a thought.

I don't care home many times you have to put your thang down, flip it and reverse it!

I don’t care home many times you have to put your thang down, flip it and reverse it!

B) FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. Everyone fucks up. And the worse thing to do when someone fucks up is waste time talking about whose fault it is. Let’s stop pointing fingers, let’s stop shifting blame, and let’s keep it moving! By all means, hold each other accountable to job duties, but if your contribution to a problem is “nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah”, then you need to go Starbucks, grab a PSL, and come back to the office when the grown folk are finished. Remember: one day, you’re gonna mess up and you’re going to need people on your side to help you too.

C) STOP THE GOSSIP. Hey, you know that person that you LOVE to hang out with at work? You have lunch together, talk about who’s dating who, how someone got a promotion, share some sassy commentary, laugh at someone’s outfit, and pick apart their personal lives? Yeah, that person! Just a heads up: they’re talking shit about you too.

XOXO, no one likes you.

XOXO, no one likes you.

D) DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL. This one is tough because some of us work really long hours and we see our co-workers more than our actual friends. I do support a camaraderie within a team, though there should always be a base-level professionalism in the workplace. I dunno, maybe I’m the crazy one.

E) YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THERE. OK, here’s a story. At one point in time, I was in charge of a group of people in a new job that I was so excited about. I was ready to handle business, make some money, and create a culture of success. Upon meeting my team members, I ended up being faced with stuff like:

– “well this person hates this person and this other person hates this other person”.
– “well this person can’t do their job well because their personal life is in shambles”
– “well I can’t do my job because this person is on the team”
– “well this person used to be cool until they got demoted”
– “one time: this person wore army pants and flip flops. So then I wore army pants and flip flops”

And after un-bundling everyone’s little stories, I came to the conclusion that most of these people were not particularly happy to be there. So I called a meeting, laid out some snacks, and I set up a slide show with a slide that said:

“IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY HERE, THEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE HERE!”

*crickets*

Apparently, that’s not a thing you can say out loud in a slide show presentation because I got into a lot of shit for that. In my defence, I meant it in a loving way. If I was noticibly unhappy, I would someone to point it out to me so that I could move on in a positive direction. But I guess people don’t actually want that. As a boss figure I’m supposed to tell people that they are special and they are snowflakes, and please suckle this milk from my healthy bosom until your bellies are full, because taking ownership of your personal growth and development as a grown-ass person? What even is that?

10540412_10152569874298890_6755290631797977649_n

I stand by my original slide show. And it’s coming from a place of love. Because I, gentle reader, am not perfect (shock o’ shocks!), and have been all of the co-worker types that I’m grousin’ about above.

You spend a lot of time at work and if you’re unhappy there, that is way too much time to be miserable. It’s unhealthy for others, and more importantly for you. Look: #FirstWorldProblems aside, I’m fully aware that life can be tough and that changing yours is much easier said than done. I don’t have solutions for anyone, and I’m not here to belittle anyone’s journey. Rather, I’m just planting some seeds. If you’re truly and disgustingly unhappy, why don’t you change that? Why don’t you take a healthy risk? Why don’t you just forgive yourself? Why don’t you jump in and start something new? Why don’t you learn something and develop an exit strategy? Like the pop music philosophers say, “WHY DON’T YOU DO, SOMETHIN’?”

Ooh, that should be number 5!

Gotta go. I took home some work and wrote this blog as a way to procrastinate. Byeeeee!

Posted in Lead Without A Title, Love yourself | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Can’t fight the moonlight.

I’m getting to be of a certain age so these days, the cool thing to say is, “I would much prefer to lounge around the house on a Saturday night, while eating noodles and watching netflix”. And yes, that is so true for me (shout out to Orange is the New Black!), but last Saturday I went out all night and I was LIVING MY LIFE!

Where my girls at?  From the front to back, well is you feelin that?

Where my girls at? From the front to back, well is you feelin that?

There’s something about a hole-in-the-wall bar that serves drinks in mason jars and bumps Biggie Smalls on the speakers that feels so comfortable. I’m not trying to throw shade, but I can’t stand those places where people go just to be seen – with the bottle service, and VIP booth, and all of that madness. I like someplace where I can just dip it and do it until I’m sweatier than Ariana Grande when you take a picture of the right side of her face, youknowwhatI’msayin?

So last Saturday, my cousin and I happened upon a place that seemed cool enough. The idea was to have one drink and do some body rolls for a song or two. But then they served our whiskey sours in mason jars, and the DJ started playing the Fugees so 3 drinks and 2 shots, and 3-6 Mafia and 2 Chainz later, we were getting down with our bad selves! The music was great, the crowd looked fly (although I do have a fashion tip for all my ladies: if you’re walking like a newborn giraffe in your heels, maybe you should try flats, or a sensible wedge, or just stay at home tonight), and we felt like two steel town girls on a Saturday night, dancing like we’ve never danced before.

Put one hand up, can you repeat that?

Put one hand up, can you repeat that?

The following morning, I woke up to a very comforting presence. I felt a sweet breath on my neck. And though my ears were ringing, I heard a familiar voice that was full of loving intention. It was my boyfriend and he was whispering: “Hey, can you get up and make some breakfast?”. So I did because:

a) I was still drunk and therefore easily influenced to do things that I didn’t want to do.
b) I knew that if I didn’t get up to make breakfast, buddy-boy would end up eating a can of Redbull

As I prepared the meal, it hit me that I am over thirty-fucking-years old because it was a complete disaster! I dropped the eggs, I couldn’t open the oil, and I touched the hot pan and didn’t feel anything. Finally, when I couldn’t gather the energy and coordination to bring the plates to the table, I just gave up and sobbed: “I can’t do this anymore! LIFE! WHY ARE YOU HERE?!”.

The whole day was a waste, and though I had a list of responsibilities to responsibilitize, I really couldn’t do much more than move from the couch to the bed to the couch to the bed to the bathroom floor. I felt like Dante’s Inferno, when he was going through that circle of hell that was reserved for thirty year olds, trying to throw down like they were still twenty. Or something. I don’t actually know that story and am simply referencing it to sound smarter.

Having said all of this, if given the chance, I would do it all over again! I’m a glutton for punishment, I love the nightlife, I love to boogie on a disco high. If you see a sixty year old dude doing the butterfly on a crowded dance floor to an Elephant Man remix, please come say hello to me! It’s like the lesson I learned from watching the classic American movie, Coyote Ugly: always stay true to yourself. Because “you can try to resist, try to hide from my kiss, but you know, yeah you know that you can’t, CAN’T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT!”.

Tryin to take my man, see I don't need that, so don't play yourself.

Tryin to take my man, see I don’t need that, so don’t play yourself.

Posted in Love yourself, Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Treat Yo’ Self?

I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and soul-searching because I’m trying to figure out how committed I am to squeezing back into a pair of size 31 jeans. Right now, I exercise regularly, I vary my workouts, I dance, I lift heavy shit and etc, etc. However, there was that two-week stint when I ate ice cream for breakfast. And once, when I was craving a Nutella sandwich only to discover that there was none in the cupboard, I substituted the Nutella with chocolate frosting that was in the fridge. Let me be clear: I ate a chocolate frosting sandwich.

In my younger days I was – how shall I put it? uhm.. gifted, all natural and bursting the seams – so it’s a slippery dulce de leche flavoured slope to fall back into old eating habits.

Words can't bring me down.

Words can’t bring me down.

And while I was steadily getting disappointed that sweat pants became a staple wardrobe choice, the things that bothered me the most ran deeper. I was sluggish, my quality of sleep was terrible, I drank way too much coffee to get me through the day, I injured something new during every dance class, and I was a straight up uber-bitch to everyone around me.

Far from my best and brightest self, I deemed that a change needed to brew.

Choosing to begin with my diet because it was something that was relatively easy to control, I was hopeful that this would lead to getting all the other parts magically fixed. So I threw away the frosting and decided to eat food that was designed to look and taste like other types of food. For example:

– cauliflower that was made to be like rice
– almond butter that was made to be like pancakes
– avocados that were made to be like chocolate pudding
– various twigs, berries and dust fashioned to be like a deluxe black forest cheesecake

Sidebar: I really don’t care what anyone else eats, and I refuse to become one of those “Does this bone marrow soup have the same ph balance as the ones consumed by our Paleolithic ancestors? Because if it doesn’t, then I can’t eat it” types. Balanced nutrition will be different for everybody, and it’s cool if you choose to become one of those people who can’t seem to stop talking about what they eat. Good luck getting invited to parties is all I’m saying.

Anyway, I’ve been at it for a month. The Levi’s still sit atop my closet shelf beside my Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs, and to be honest, they can stay there and collect more dust. Because it’s less about dem jeans and more about feeling damn good.

A list of positive changes thus far:

– quality of sleep. A steady six or seven hours and waking up feeling well rested
– a positive mental attitude. I’m not making my co-workers cry with this sharp tongue of mine anymore!
– more productive workdays. Time management is better, conflict resolution skills are on point, and this bitch is on fire!
– and this is happening:

perfect-poops

Who even knows how long this will last? It’s just what I need right now. In fact, last week, I ran into a woman who works at a cupcake shop that I used to frequent (shout out to Prairie Girl Cupcakes!) and this happened:

Woman: Hey. I haven’t seen you in a while!
Me: Yeah, I know.
Woman: When are you coming by the shop again?
Me: I will see you in the next lifetime… when we are both cats.

I held back the tears and swallowed the lump in my throat because even as the words escaped my lips, I knew that they were hollow. And she looked at me, terrified, as she walked quickly to get as far away from me as possible.

The End.

Posted in Fitness, Food, Love yourself | Leave a comment

Namaste, bitch.

**DISCLAIMER: The following blog is about yoga instructors that I have personally encountered, and does not depict all existing yoga instructors in the world. You can’t judge an entire group of people based on the actions and words of a few bad eggs. That’s what they do in Russia.**

Having said that….. yoga instructors. *eye roll* *tooth suck*. What is their childhood trauma? Before I get all finger pointy on this soapbox of mine, let me just say that though I don’t practice yoga as often as I would like, I still have a very healthy respect for it. I have experienced its physical benefits, and I am a massive fan of the spiritual aspects and intangible lessons that can be learned in a yoga class. I actually believe in most of these lessons and was very happy to be surrounded by people who seemed to believe it too. For years, it was even my job to recruit, audition, hire, and work with yoga instructors, and I have seen quite the cross-section of these so-called spiritual gangstas.

But damn. Some yoga instructors that I’ve personally encountered: *eye roll* *tooth suck* Sheeeiit! Have a look:

1) The yoga instructor who is just waaay more yoga than you.

Again, I am not an expert. However, one of the lessons I’ve gleaned from yoga is that it’s a personal journey. The poses, the breathing patterns and the flexibility all come with time, and it’s supposed to take however long it takes. In a class environment these instructors preach non-judgement, but as soon as those studio doors open, they’re just so much fucking better than you at life.

– “Your diet should consist of these items because I AM MORE YOGA THAN YOU!!”
– “This is how I feel about parenting and you should listen because I AM MORE YOGA THAN YOU!!”
– “This is how you should feel because I AM MORE YOGA THAN YOU!!”

Bro, do you even yoga, bro?  #Broga

Bro, do you even yoga, bro? #Broga

During a performance review, I once had a yoga instructor tell me: “Remember TJ, I am older than you, so you have more to learn from me than I do from you”.

Well. I know how to not act like a stupid bitch. Can you learn that from me?

2) The yoga instructor who puts on the yoooooggggga voice.

Outside the studio, these ones speak with a regular vocal tonality – very pleasant, bright, etc. As soon as class begins, they all of a sudden sound like Toni Braxton singing He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me.

They speak on a lower register, they get breathy, and all their words seem to blend into one hour-long sigh.

“Hey guys, my name is Eloise, and I will guide your practice today. I also want to remind everyone that the studio will be closed next week due to the holidays. Now let’s begin… So brrrreeeaaaatthhhhheeeeeeeee…. open your chhhhaaaaaakkkkkrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…. exhale through your mmmmooooouuuuuuuutttthhhhhhhhhhhh…. set you intennnnnttttiiioooonnnnnnsssssssssssssssssss…..”

And then eventually it just turns into random words and breaths:

“Thhiiiiirrdddd eeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee……. unnnniiiivvveeerrrssseeeeeee…… brrrrooooccolllliii…. iinnnnttteeerrnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttt *cough* *sputter* *gag*.

What happened here, Eloise? Where did your voice go?

3) The yoga instructor who gets flakey because their chi is off-balance.

This is totally a specific incident, but I once got a voicemail from an instructor: “Hi TJ, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m calling to let you know that I can’t teach my class today. I just feel like I’m off-balance, and my emotions and head space are a little cloudy. So I don’t think I’m in a position to lead the practice. Oh, and it’s supposed to start in 20 minutes so can you please find someone to sub it for me?”

*blink* yeah *blink-blink*

4) The yoga instructor who loves themselves. But like, really, really loves themselves.

You know who I’m talking about: their outfits are on point, a perpetual wind is billowing a coloured scarf around them, they have all these fucking beads all over their bodies, and all their pictures are just straight up yoga porn.

Yoga is SO much better on a mountain top.  People say they can't tell the difference, but I can.

Yoga is SO much better on a mountain top. People say they can’t tell the difference, but I can.

The ones that I know personally are also the ones that can’t stop talking about how amazing they are, and how many class students they amass. And they all talk a good spiritual game about how humbled and honoured they are to be able to share such a beautiful practice. As soon as things don’t go their way, like when one of their classes gets cancelled for example, they completely lose their shit: “What? Why is my class cancelled? How does she have more classes than me? I’m a great yoga instructor! I am wearing a coloured scarf for Chrissakes!”

To counter all this hate and vitriol, please allow me to share a story about a yoga instructor whom I loved! Let’s call her Odi, and upon meeting, her beauty automatically struck me. And it wasn’t her great skin, or shiny teeth that did it. She was bursting with inner beauty, and her positivity, her laughter and her light were what made her so physically gorgeous. I could tell that yoga had done a world of wonders for this woman and she wash genuine about her desire to share it with others.

The interview was amazing and what sealed the deal for me was when, unprompted, she said something like: “TJ I understand that my yoga style may not be what your establishment needs. I’m just excited to see if this is a good fit and if we can work cohesively. And if I don’t get this job, it will still have been a good learning experience. I will be able to find a place to work, and you’ll find the teacher that you need because yoga is happening everywhere”. And it wasn’t pretentious, sycophantic, or pompous. It was genuinely what she was feeling at that very moment.

The thing is in every sub-culture, there are always going to be a group of people who have to boast about how awesome they are:

– “I am more sports than you!”
– “I am more dance than you!”
– “I am more crossfit than you!”
– “I am more paleo than you!”
– “I am more science than you!”
– “I am more business than you!”
– “I am more hipster than you!”

So let me say that it’s just not yoga instructors who act like this. They just happen to be pissing in my coconut water right now.

Personally, I’m a product of today’s age, and I’m as narcissistic as the next guy who has a blog and social media outlet, but I have honestly never felt like I was better than anyone else for simply existing. I have a lot of empathy, I don’t judge others, I continually put myself in other people’s Converse sneakers, I work with a common goal in mind, and I am innately aware of everyone’s uphill battle. So with all due spiritual respect to the yoga instructors that I’m grousin’ about… I AM MORE YOGA THAN YOU!!

Posted in Fitness, Lead Without A Title, Love, Love yourself | Leave a comment

N-Word

I used to have a best friend in elementary school and for the sake of protecting the innocent, let’s call her Cammy (hey girl!). She was a beautiful Nigerian goddess with a brilliant smile, she could run faster than all the boys in the class, she had great taste in music, and she could make me laugh like no one else could.

My first memory of Cammy was a stupid fight in the schoolyard during the fifth grade. I can’t remember the details, and I can only recall that we were shouting names at each other:

“You’re so stupid!”

“Your clothes are ugly!”

“No one likes you!”

“You’re fat!”

And then, hastily, without any thought, these words shat out of my mouth:

“You’re a black nigger!”

“….”

“….”

“I’m telling Miss you said that.”

In my defence, I had no idea what I was saying. I was an eight year old kid and childhood was truly naive back then. I had been in Canada for a little over nine months, and I was ignorant to everything associated with that word. All I knew was that it would inexplicably hurt her. Even as I type this, there’s a cold dread in my body because I remember thinking, “I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but I am in so much trouble right now.

Of course there was punishment. There were detentions, essays, and a meeting between my parents and Mrs. Spitznagle. My parents grounded me and it was the best grounding ever because they were immigrants and had no idea what grounding meant, so I could still watch TV and play outside. The entire fifth grade of Holy Name Elementary School also had to endure 2 weeks of multiculturalism lessons because of my verbal pooping.

The details of my melting pot epiphany are fuzzy, yet I can clearly remember that I was wrong. Even though I didn’t know why that word would hurt Cammy, I recognized that I shouldn’t have used it. We all know now that words are powerful. Some of them can uplift, and some just give you that visceral, gut-wrenching feeling that you can’t really explain and all you know is that it hurts like hell.

That’s why I cannot get on board when people tell me that it’s “just words”, and we should take them back and feel empowered and show those who would oppress us that we will not be enslaved! And that’s why I can’t get onboard when idiot celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Azaleia Banks and Madonna think it’s okay to use certain “terms of endearment” and act shocked when people get upset.

No. Some words are terrible we shouldn’t take them back. We should be moving toward eradicating them from our lexicon altogether.

Anyway, back to Cammy. In grade eight, after we’d been very good friends for years, this little chick named Janice Wong tried to get all up in our vibe and asked:

“How did you guys get to be best friends?”

“I dunno. We got into a fight and I called her the N-Word”.

“*gasp* NO WAY! YOU DIDN’T SAY THAT!”

“Yeah, he did. Let’s go get some fries”.

images

Posted in Love | Leave a comment

13th Floor/Growing Old

I’m getting to be of a certain age and in all honesty, I like getting older. I cannot wait until I’m really old for 2 reasons:

1) I can say whatever is on my mind without fear and people can’t be mad at me because I’ll be old.
2) I am definitely going to be that old man sitting on the porch that all the neighbourhood kids whisper about. “That’s cranky old man Borile,” they’ll say. And whenever they’re playing on the street and their iBaseball lands in my yard, I will pick it up, shake my fist at them and say, “I KEEP THIS! I KEEP THIS!”

It’s also really nice because I find myself not giving a shit about the small things – at least not as much as I used to. There are two things that spring to mind:

Body-image
I’ve always worked in some sort of field – theatre, entertainment, dance, and fitness – where there is a massive importance placed in how you look. Add that to the fact that a vain Filipino mother raised me and you have yourself a disastrous recipe for a really messed up psyche, where body image is concerned. I used to be overweight and I was unhappy. I used to be really skinny and I was unhappy. I was muscular, I was flabby, I had no ass, I had a great ass, etc and etc and etc. And every single step of the way, there was always some damn fool who thought that how I looked was any of their business.

“You looked so good when you were more muscular”
“I liked you better when you were skinny”
“If only you gained/lost/maintained your weight/shape/mass/ass”

Lawd, I hope that I'm not developing a Britney complex.

Lawd, I hope that I’m not developing a Britney complex.

It drove me crazy and I had to learn to give myself permission to be whoever I’m going to be at any point in time. Sometimes my belly will look like a pregnant hippo’s. Sometimes, my biceps are going to look like anacondas that just swallowed a baby. Even though I still regret eating that plate of nachos whenever Usher instagrams a shirtless picture of himself, I’ve learned to be more comfortable with whatever my body has to go through. None of that will change the caring, funny, cheeky, hood rat that I am.

Love
I’m currently in a relationship (aw…) and things are GOOD! Part of the reason is because I walked into it feeling like a whole person and I’m not clinging to someone else for fulfillment. With all due respect to my boo (and I’ve said this to him out loud, so I don’t feel bad sharing it with you all), I feel like if things go south and the relationship ends, I know that I’ll be okay. I’ve picked up the pieces; I have made it through the rain and all that Mariah Carey crap.

I like that we have a healthy respect for each other’s personal growth. He takes cooking lessons, and I get drunk with my homegirls. He learns a new language, and I get drunk with my homeboys. He picks up a new fitness regiment, and I get drunk in the living room and yell at the TV while watching re-runs of Dawson’s Creek.

One time, as we were having a lazy morning, and luxuriating in the living room, a song came on the radio and I noticed a change in him. All of a sudden he became still, quiet, distant, and completely lost in his own world. I have no idea what he was thinking about and it reminded me that this guy has lived a full life without me. At one point in time, this would have freaked me out (WHY ARE YOU QUIET? WHO ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?! IS HE PRETTIER THAN ME?!? I KILL YOU, SCUM!). But these days, I like that he’s a whole person. I like that he’s complete because everything we do together feels purposeful and more valuable.

Anyway, getting older rocks, however let’s re-visit this topic when my kneecaps start filling up with liquid whenever I bend down. But really, as long as I can keep dancing around for a bit and as long as I can eat cheesecake on the lanai, I will be very content.

I'll say it thrice.

I’ll say it thrice.

Posted in Great mems, Love, Love yourself | Leave a comment

Keep on… till the world ends

Since my workdays are generally comprised of sitting in an office and waiting to die, my mind, on occassion, has a tendency to wander.  Last week one of my co-workers asked: 

“If you knew that the world was going to end in an hour, what would you do?”

Everyone chimed in with thoughts of gathering their entire family, or making passionate love with their spouse,  or even going up to that one person who has been getting on their nerves, punching them in the face and saying, “Bitch, you ain’t right”.  As for this Boy with the Care Bear Tattoo, I think I would just go someplace quiet so that I can sit and breathe. 

Reason being:  I hate feeling rushed, and everything listed above would entail a massive sense of urgency that I can’t be bothered to put in.  Think about the effort it would take to gather everyone you know, or find that person you want to love/punch.  And what if those people have things that they want to do?  It’s their apocalypse too!

I’d like to think that I’ve done a good enough job with the letting the people I love know how I feel, and hopefully  there would be no need for a last minute scramble.  I would of course, call my close and personals – my parents, my brother, my boo – just to say a heartfelt goodbye.  I might send a couple of texts to those people who have walked this path with me.  If I’m being truly honest, I would also Instagram a selfie of waiting for the world to end (#Apocalypse2013, #ApocalypseOfInstagram).  Maybe I’ll dance a bit, or eat an orange, or take a nap. If the world comes to an abrupt end, I’d like to sit and luxuriate, while waiting for the zombies to come and kill me. 

Happy Holidays, y’all!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dear misery: No one wants your company. Love, everyone.

On more than one occasion, someone has told me that they’re sick and tired of my positivity.  And on more than one occasion, I’ve smiled and politely ignored it because I’ve been raised to believe that you should respond to people with kindness.  I’ve learned to see that responding negatively would only breed more negativity, and that there is not enough darkness in all the world to extinguish the light of one candle.  We all go round and round in the circle game and all that Joni Mitchell crap.

Once in every seven moons, I will struggle with this, and people who are much wiser than me have dished out some very good advice:

  • If someone makes you angry, look at them as young children, and speak to them in kind.  This will help you maintain a positive energy as you deal with each other.
  • Understand that everyone, including yourself, speaks from a place of hurt and wounding.  After that, you can help each other rise above all the hurt.
  • Choose your words and actions carefully and ask yourself if what you’re saying and doing will lead to the desired outcome.  It is known (It is known… it is known…).

it-is-known-moon-is-no-egg-khaleesi-320656

And I get that.  I prescribe to it.  I dig it.  But there are some people out there who just need a big, fat bitchslap across their disgusting little face.  You know who I’m talking about because we’ve all met them.  It’s the person who is so miserable that they want others to be miserable too.  If you’re reading this and thinking “I don’t know any of these people”, then wake up sweetie, because it’s probably you.  No one likes you.

Believe me, I get it.  You have to rise above it.  You have breathe, and meditate, and send energetic and unconditional love.  You have to be the change that you want to see in the world.  But I feel like it’s not enough sometimes.  I feel like you can’t just sit back and be  passive anymore.  You actually have to stand up and DEFEND positivity and actively shoot these negative idiots down!  That’s so messed up.

I’m not even talking about the rah-rah-sis-boom-bah/”hooray for everything” kind of intense optimism.  Happiness can be very realistic.  Yes there are hurricanes, yes there is disease, yes there are corrupt politicians, but there are 24 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in each hour, and you can’t find anything to smile about?  Go to hell.

Honestly, this doesn’t even feel good.  And it’s doing more damage to me than it is to them.  Maybe it’s totally counterproductive, and I don’t even care.  There are more mature ways to deal with this but I’ve tried it, and like that old woman from the movie Soul Food said, “My soul is tired”.  I’m just so fucking done.

I’m done with people who have to put others down just to make themselves feel better about their disgusting little lives.

I’m done with turning cheeks.

I’m done with people who mock others for being in happy relationships, because theirs spiralling down the shitter.

I’m done with people who can’t be happy for someone else’s success without question because their success has nothing to do with you.

I’m done with polite smiles and sweeping someone else’s baggage under the rug.

I’m done with people who attain a position of power and abuse it because, what?  They had no friends when they were kids?  Just spank your inner moppet and move the fuck on!

I’m done with bullies who have never actually grown up.

I’m done with people who give me shit for being a fitness instructor, when they can’t even run for the bus without coughing up blood into their lungs and then taking a bath in a tub of Bengay.

I’m done with people taking their insecurities out on everybody else and acting like it’s okay.

And I’m done with bitching and complaining about these people.

The next time someone gives me shit for trying to be a positive individual, I will just straight up tell them where they need to go:

Thanks to my girl Cindy J for the joke and the visual.

Thanks to my girl Cindy J for the joke and the visual.

Just crawl up in there.  Suffocate.  There’s lots of room for all.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment