Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

My American Boy Came To Canada August 19, 2012

My American Boy, Elliot.

I’ve not blogged again in a week or so, life has just been crazeeee. Work crap, Cancer crap, Separation crap. There’s not been a lot of good in the last few weeks.

I’m missing Elliot like there’s no tomorrow.

I don’t want this blog post to turn into a public school essay on ‘How I Spent My Summer Holiday’, I’m sorry if it does.

My vacation planning started way back in March, and really, it was kind of a joke for a while. Elliot and I would talk about him coming here to visit the Great White North, and we would laugh because he actually lives north of me.

Over time, the joke turned into a ‘what if’, what if he came here, what if I didn’t go visit Shaughn’s family, what if I had a ‘staycation’ and did things around here. Eventually the what ifs turned into full-out vacation planning in southern Ontario for Elliot and myself

This was the first vacation in 12 years that I was able to do what I wanted to do, go where I wanted to go, see what I wanted to see, and not feel like I was disappointing anyone if I wanted to do something different.

I’m beginning to see what my life will be like when I’m actually alone, Shaughn moves out in a few days, and I won’t have to consider him and what his needs and wants are anymore. I can live my life the way I want to live it. I can go the places I want, see who I want to see, and spend my time how I want and need to spend it.

I digress.

This vacation was so much more than just a typical holiday, it was Elliot’s first time to visit me, to see my space, meet some of my friends and family. I was so very excited that a bunch of my friends from a local LGBTQ group were getting together, so that he would be able to meet some of the wonderful people who have accepted me into their community as an ally. We attended our local Pride festivities and marched with PFLAG in the parade. It was amazing.

We were visiting Toronto and Niagara Falls, and were doing it with a plan, but it was flexible, we could change and alter it if we needed. We were free to wander for hours after a huge storm, and see night fall on the big city. In Niagara we were able to see the first full moon of the month rise over the falls in a $500 hotel room that we paid a mere $139 for!!!! (Always ask for the upgrade!!)

We spent days with Paisley, and nights around the campfire; sharing conversation, laughter, and tears. Still we didn’t run out of things to talk about.

For the first time in years, I finally felt like myself. I didn’t feel I had to censor my thoughts, feelings, or words. I was able to be silly, I was able to be me. I was so happy. I didn’t think about work, or cancer, or separation. I didn’t think about my life falling apart, I thought about how wonderful it was to live this life, even with all of it falling down, I was still living it, I was able to enjoy it. I knew at some point on that vacation that everything was going to be ok. I was going to be ok.

I know I’m in for an uphill climb, I know that life is going to be far from easy in the coming months. I also am realising that I am tough enough, I’m realising that I can ask for help and it’s not a sign of weakness but of  strength, I’m realising that my family and friends are the best I could ever imagine, and I don’t know where I would be if they weren’t part of my life.

And so my American Boy came to Canada, he cheered me up, lifted my spirits, let me cry, made me laugh, gave me some tough love but followed it up with a hug.

I came back to work, feeling renewed, I came back with a sense of purpose, and a determination to make the next super hard months ok. I’m determined to find myself again, to find out what makes me happy, and to figure out how to achieve my dreams. (See my ‘Someday’ blog post)

Thank you Elliot for sharing 12 days with us, thank you for all that you do.

His and Hers. They mean completely different things to each of us, but will always remind us, that out there in the world is someone who has the same tattoo. Someone who will listen to the other, someone who will not judge, but will be honest even when it hurts. Someone to make the other laugh on the hard days, and will share in the joys and triumphs that we will both have.

 

 

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Someday… August 6, 2012

Waiting for my someday….

I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, I’ve not blogged, but have been able to spend some time reflecting on what I need and want for my future.

At this point in my life everything is so up in the air, I feel very out of control, and overwhelmed with the changes that are fast approaching. Shaughn is moving in less than a month, my surgery fu for the end of September, we are talking more about Paisley and school, and I am missing friends and family who are far away.

I guess the following is just really my own little pipe dream, and if bits and pieces of it come true than fantastic, until then…I’ll keep waiting for my Someday.

SOMEDAY, I want to have my perfect life. I don’t mean like white picket fences, or lots of money. I just want a partner who loves me and Paisley. I want to be comfortable, I don’t want to have to worry about money or bills, and I want to have enough saved up that I can take a vacation, or go someplace neat on a rainy day. I want Paisley to grow up knowing that even though Shaughn and I couldn’t make it work, that we still love her, and that we will always have her back. I want her to know that she can have a fairy tale ending even though I didn’t.

SOMEDAY, I want to have a job I love and that I feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives. In most respects, I have that now. I do love my job, I love the kids, the chaos, and the joy I feel when I am with them. I generally feel like I am making a difference. But, my hours are long, I live at work, and sometimes I feel under appreciated. I’m not sure what I want to do, a big part of me wants to work with LGBTQ youth, or to work in the school system teaching teachers and staff about the many issues LGBTQ youth face at home, with friends and family, in the community and at school. I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know if there is a need (I really think there is though), I don’t know what kind of education I would need, or if it is something that I would be satisfied with in the end.

SOMEDAY, I want another child. I want to give a child in the system a forever home. I can’t have any more of my own, and I don’t really want a baby (ugh, I’m sooo not a baby person) but I would love to adopt an older child, someone who needs a family to love them, and to celebrate them.

SOMEDAY, I want to fall head over heels in love. I want to go to bed wrapped up in love, and wake up the same way. I want to be smart about it next time. I want to value myself, and treat myself properly. I have to be ok with being alone first, knowing I can do it on my own, before letting someone new in. I can’t let the fear of being alone cloud my judgment in the future. If I end up alone, I have to be ok with that, but if I find a new partner, I need to make sure that they are the right person for me. I can’t do this again; not to myself or to Paisley. Separating and divorce sucks rocks. The End.

SOMEDAY, I want to be able to look back on my marriage to Shaughn and not feel anger, guilt, or sadness. I want to be able to be open-minded to all the good things that happened despite the breakdown. I want to be able to see all the good things that came out of it, and not just see the bad stuff. I want to be able to share silly stories with Paisley about what her daddy was like, and the crazy things we did when we were young. I want to look back and feel a sense of happiness. It hasn’t all been bad, it’s just hard to see the good some days.

SOMEDAY, I want a cure for cancer, all cancers, not just mine. I don’t want any other families to go through the same shit I am going through, and that my family has gone through in the last 10 years. It’s heartbreaking.

Lastly,

SOMEDAY, I want to wake up and know that everything is ok in my world. I want to smile, and embrace my life. I want to feel happy, I want to feel safe; and I want to feel that I can take on any challenge thrown at me because I am strong enough, smart enough, and good enough to take it on.

I can’t wait for SOMEDAY.

 

 

‘Hi, My Name Is Christa…And My World Is Falling Apart’ July 19, 2012

Support Me…

“Hi Christa”….

It’s always interesting to me that support comes from places you would least expect it to come from.

That person you haven’t talked to in a year, an old ‘frenemy’ who heard-through-the-grapevine-and-just-had-to-call, or your neighbour from when you were 5.

This week I attended my local, monthly PFLAG meeting. For those of you unfamiliar with PFLAG (Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays, although the door is WIDE open for anyone involved in the LGBTQQ community) it is a monthly support group that I attend to support someone close to me. It is a wonderful, open, caring, and safe space that basically you can talk about whatever you are dealing with. I normally don’t share much. Just the usual, ‘Hi, my name is Christa, I am an Ally, my friend____________ is ______________ and I am here to help support them’ I then usually go into our relationship a bit and yadda yadda yadda. PFLAG in a short time has become something that I feel quite passionate about. The sense of love, compassion, care, and openness within the group always leaves me feeling that all is well with the world, even if it is just for 2 hours on a Monday night once a month.

This meeting was a little different. It was quite large, at least 20 or so people, there were a number of very unfortunate issues happening with some of our group, and there were some lovely new faces. One Ally attended from as far away as Texas. I was one of the last people to speak, and had planned on just doing my usual routine, but the leader (who is also a friend) encouraged me to open up and ‘spill it’ (Ohhhh Lori, I do so Love you!). So yes, everything just kinda came tumbling out, I felt like I couldn’t stop…the words just kept coming, separation, parenting, friends, sadness, Cancer, anger, surgery, scared, gaaaaah. It was strange and surreal. Here I was baring my soul to a room full of strangers for the most part. Very disconcerting. And yet I talked. It was odd being the one who needed support vs. being the supporter. But there everyone was with horrified looks on their faces, the ‘OHMIGOD’ expression as I like to call it. I’m getting used to that look, it’s funny, I can picture people’s faces on the phone when I tell them…

So other than absolute shameless promotion of PFLAG (which is an AMAZING organisation, and I highly recommend anyone who has ties to the LGBTQQ community check them out. They are world-wide, free, and a wealth of knowledge, support, and love.) I guess I am using this post to say, I’m finding support in the oddest of places.  I am continually surprised when someone calls or emails me to let me know they are thinking of me.

Onwards and Upwards, Oncology on Monday (totally freaking out but Ohhhh Welll)`

PFLAG (main site) http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=194

PFLAG Canada http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/index-e.php

 

Courage And Bravery March 7, 2012

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Says a lot, doesn't it?

In the last 4 years, I have spent a lot of time learning about courage and bravery. I have witnessed it first hand, and I continue to see it daily.

Bravery is defined as: Having or showing courage.

Courage is defined as: Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

With these definitions in place we can apply both to the smallest things in our lives, and to some of the biggest obstacles we will ever overcome. A child’s first steps, a fight to beat Cancer, revealing our sexual orientation, living an authentic life.

I have been a part of all of these life experiences in the last four years, I have witnessed the fear, the pain, and the desire to take these challenges head on. I cannot imagine the strength and fortitude it took for each of these people to take on life events, and to come out on top.

Many people don’t come out unscathed, many people give up on their journeys, does that make them less brave? I don’t think so, I believe it just means that they aren’t ready yet, and when the time is right they will resume their fight, and will eventually come out on top. They are brave for starting it in the first place.

I am not brave, I am not courageous. I fight my demons on the inside afraid of judgement. I keep them locked in, waiting for the day when I am brave enough to deal with them head on. I can’t imagine being free of the pain, yet, the pain of unacceptance seems that much greater.

How do we decide who is brave and who isn’t? Is a soldier brave, or the woman begging for money? Yes, that’s right, her. The one who swallowed her pride to beg for money to feed her children. She is brave in my book. Is bravery something that should always be rewarded? Perhaps we should be handing out more medals, what about the transman who takes his life in his hands every time he leaves the house afraid that he will be persecuted because he is living his life as himself. What about the child who is disabled, and endures taunts and jeers from classmates daily, should we not afford both of these people medals for bravery?

Bravery is a scary thing, being courageous is scary, I admire people who are both, and pray one day that I can count myself among their ranks.

 

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Get Famous? May 16, 2011

'I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford'

Does the world need another blogger? Really?

Am I that narcissistic to think that I am so cool, so well written and spoken that people will actually want to read what I have to write?

So why blog? What is my goal?

Honestly, I am inspired to write by the numerous blogs I regularly follow. See below for a list.

While researching about how to blog, one of the sections was titled ‘Get Famous’. Well, I don’t need or necessarily want to be famous, I think this blog will be ever evolving,  I am hoping for a dash of humour mixed in with some sarcasm and wit. I hope it will also be informative and interesting.

So, a little about myself.

I am a 34-year-old, married Canadian Mummy. My beautiful daughter (Paisley, more commonly known as Pants) is three, and my partner of erm…13 years is Shaughn. We live in an average city, in an average house. We have a dog and cat, and 4 daycare children (beasts) that come daily for care.

I went to school for Early Childhood Education, graduating in ’99, after which I moved to the Arctic to work for 6 long cold months. It was then that I realised that I was meant to spend my life where restaurants didn’t serve seal meat, and blizzards lasted for hours not days. It was then that I also realised that I was meant to spend my life with Shaughn, wherever that may be.  After my contract was finished, I moved back to the south, and worked in centre based care for the next 10 years.

In 2008 I became a Mummy, and knew I could never go back to the childcare centre I had worked at. I needed a change, and home childcare was a better option for our little family. It’s been my passion since I opened my doors on Jan. 5, 2009.

I have a special interest in the LGBTQ community and how it relates to parenting, childcare, and the growth and development of children. I am also very interested in gender issues, women’s studies, and Canadian politics.

So will any of this make me famous?

Nah, probably not, but I’m cool with that.

*Blogs I Follow:

Uppercase Woman – Cecily Kellogg http://www.uppercasewoman.com/

Aiming Low – Various Contributors http://aiminglow.com/

Mamadojo – Various Contributors http://www.mamadojo.com/

Finding Summer – Summer Minor http://findingsummer.com/

 

 
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