Summer’s End

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I know summer doesn’t technically end until late September.

Going back to school, and the changing weather makes it feel that way, though. I’m excited, because autumn is my favourite time of year. The air is crisper, the colours more vibrant, it suits my wardrobe better, and of course: cozy foods. I do very much love summer, so it’s bittersweet when it ends. This year stings just a little bit more.

This summer was absolutely packed.

I haven’t written a lot as a result. I seemingly haven’t found any time to sit down and get anything done. I don’t know if the school year will make it any easier. All said, it’s not a bad thing. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a “go go go” summer, and it’s been nice to experience the sights, sounds, and of course people that this year has brought. I’d love to sit down and detail it, I really would. The reality is, it would take up at least 3-4 normal posts, and I don’t want to get caught in a loop of not updating. So here’s a summarized list of highlights/observations from this summer:

Walking > All other modes of transpo.
Vancouver is a stunning city. (Despite questionable inhabitants)
#butts
Feeding the propaganda machine that is, and will continue to be: Operation Dogface to Vancouver.
Beach days. Lots of lazy beach days.
Brunch for days…so many bennies.
Days at the ballpark, and subsequent hotdogs will never get old.
Major reconnection with the outdoors
Cabin. No mobile service = best.

There’s a lot more, too. I’m still coming down from being away from “civilization” this long weekend, so it’s hard to reminisce about the entirety of the last 3 months. However, I’d be remiss if I left out on major point:

People

It’s been the thing I’ve struggled the most with since moving to Vancouver. I’ve come to find that most people I’ve met, follow a pretty specific set of patterns and personalities.. It’s made it difficult to make too many lasting connections. One benefit to this, is that it makes the connections I have made, stronger. This summer has been full of people. I’ve met a bunch of new ones, continued to form bonds with old ones, and let some others go their own way.

We’ve watched movies together, bummed on the beach, gone on picnics in the park, watched the city get sleepy on top of mountains, and squeezed every last drop out of summer we could. If it weren’t for the people I’ve met and known over the course of this summer, there’s no way it could have been such a rousing success. You people are the best.

Now let’s fall in love with autumn.

-DFP-

 

 

Daisy Chains

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The year is quickly approaching its halfway mark.

I had big ambitions set in motion for 2014. It’s not to say that it’s too late to achieve them. It’s just that things got thrown on their side, leaving a less clear roadmap. There are still many days left on the calendar, most importantly: Summer Days.

I’m guilty of measuring the success of a year, by how much I enjoyed the summer. I think it stems from the expectations the weather builds. In the winter, you’re given a built in excuse to be a hermit. Most people won’t blame you for wanting to curl up indoors, with a nice book or cheesy movie. There are no excuses in the summer. How can you NOT want to go out and explore?

Last summer was, ok. I can’t really speak to any big events, big discoveries, or any exciting adventures. The closest was when Casey visited. He came in the Spring time however, so while it gave 2013 a decidedly sweet taste, it didn’t contribute to an awesome summer. Cue 2014.

Summer 2014 is all about re-connecting.

With nature:
I’ve been guilty of wasting opportunities to convene with the great outdoors. I live in a beautiful city that is surrounded by nature and wonder. School played an early part in this disconnection; excuses are so 2011 though. Hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, are all on the menu for this year. There’s also the promise of finally learning how to bike. (I may no longer have to be the only living boy in Vancouver, who can’t bike!)

With music:
I wouldn’t say I’ve detached from it. What would be more accurate, is that I’ve not immersed myself as wholly in it as in the past. Summer is great for music in Vancouver, and you can bet your boots I’ll be taking full advantage. There’s also Take #3 on a music blog. New blog, new vision, new collaborator. Someone who has the same creative excitement for this project as I do. Check it out if you fancy: Mellon Collie and The Infinite Playlist.

With writing:
Returning to this blog is hopefully the catalyst. I haven’t written consistently since high school. When I was battling the usual teenage angst and confusion, writing helped a lot. It’s soothing, relaxing, and can really help remove the clutter. This summer, even though I have no designs on being a published author, it’s time to re-connect pen to paper.

That leave the most important one for last:

People.

I don’t mean it in the literal sense of re-connecting old relationships. People come and go in your life, and while it’s hard to cope with at times, it’s just a part of being human. Re-connecting with people this summer means re-learning to make connections. This last year I’ve been a bit more reclusive; I’ve been far more closed-off to others. There are a number of reasons why, and it’s left my soul hungry for close human bonds. It can be very difficult to become transparent with others; I’m not usually one to show vulnerabilities. The thing is, when you are constantly surrounded with such amazing, loving, beautiful people, it becomes really difficult to keep your guard up. Why should I in any case? When you’re blessed enough to have great people in your life, you should only want to let them in.

One by one, I’ll find myself back in love with the things and people that fill my heart. One link at a time, until there’s a perfect crown of chains fit for a prince.

2014 is all about re-connecting.

It’s all about…

Grand things.

-DFP-

Fresh

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I’m sleeping on clean sheets tonight.

That is, if I manage to find sleep.

I haven’t blogged in a considerable amount of time. There are varying reasons, lack of topics being at the forefront. I had this vision of what I wanted to do with this blog when I started it. Simply, that there would be no vision, no structure, no purpose other than being an outlet to write. Posting would come when the mood struck. I felt at first that it was going well. Then it would tail off. I’d come back to the blogosphere, only to recently dive completely off the radar. I’ve been more forward and open emotionally than not, though I’ve managed to sneak the odd aloof post in. The problem is, I’m a critical thinker.

Critical in the sense that, I’m critical of the things I think about. Critical of the things I think I want to post about. There have been all kinds of things running through my brain, yet none of them seem to want to come out.

My heart’s been empty.
Sinking deep into despair, disbelief, impossibly lost and sad.

My heart’s been full.
Right to the brim. With love, happiness, laughter, delirious in the joy of that those around me have a knack of causing.

Because of those highs and lows, I’ve stayed away from the keyboard. Perhaps worried that I was too emotionally charged, or drained, to share anything…significant or otherwise. The spark to talk to the online world is back. For how long I don’t know.

Clean sheets, clean slate.

I can’t make any promises.

-DFP-

Beyond the Point of No Return

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I’ve never had a hard time letting go of friendships.

My motives have always varied over the years. Before 2013, I’d say that more often than not, it had to do with shifting social circles. I’ve moved a lot over the course of the last 10 years. Naturally, this leads to a lot of long-distance friendships and acquaintances. It’s pretty telling how strong or valuable a relationship with someone is, by how long it takes to drift in this scenario. Even in this age of technology, where getting a hold of someone is a simple text away, I’ve found it difficult to maintain connections. Whether that has to do with my inability to truly assess a friendship accurately, or just the fact that I don’t make a lot of meaningful bonds, is something I’ve thought a lot about over the years.

2013 was a year of big change.

My social circle, for the most part was completely turned on it’s head. I started deconstructing my relationships, to see where their true value resided. Things were not going particularly well, it took a series of fruitless endeavours to realize I may not be hanging out with the right people. Just because you spend a lot of time with individuals, having “fun”, doesn’t mean they contribute to a healthy, or positive friendship. The monotony of everything was catching up with me fast. There’s only so much personal growth, excitement, and self-worth, you can gain from constantly being drunk around a gaggle of people. This lead to many ties being dissolved.

I was talking to one of my best friends last night. Talking about life, struggles, anxieties; I brought this up. How sometimes, the best change you can make, is being honest with how healthy your friendships are. Which got me to thinking: at one point does that switch flip for me? When does a relationship go from being something I invest time, love, effort in, to being a shell?

I’m guilty of holding on to bad friendships too long in the past. By no means am I trying to make these people out to be villains, they just stopped being beneficial to both parties. The trouble is, often times after making such intense emotional investments in people, I’m blinded to the fact that they are the ones that have moved on. Or at least that ends up being my presumption. I’m not overly confrontational when it comes to my friends, I save that for strangers. I’m not going to sit there and beg you to be my friend. As a result, perhaps I’ve let some friendships disintegrate without giving them a fair chance. Communication after all, is key to maintaining strong bonds.

I’m stubborn though. I often feed my own ego with the idea that, I’m not the one that needs to take that first step. Unless I’ve done something grievous to hurt, or push someone away, I let things fall into disrepair. My own self-righteousness often gets in the way, creating long periods of non-communication, resulting in relationships falling beyond the point of no return.

It’s not that I stopped loving, or caring for these people.

Sometime bonds need to be broken, so that you don’t make the same mistakes in future relationships.

-DFP-

Family

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I’ve moved around a lot.

Different cities, houses, flats. I’ve met a lot of people throughout my travels and housing arrangements. Some have been less than desirable. Whether it be the particular roof that’s been over my head, or just the disagreeable nature that humans encounter in closed quarters…I’ve had my share of iffy (oh how I’m being generous in that terminology) situations.

Of course, I’ve had some wonderful ones.

The common trend in those situations has been the sense of family that comes from the household. I’ve been away from my “blood” family for over 10 years now (with a brief reunion in between), so it’s always nice to be surrounded by people who create the same type of loving environment.

I have that right now.

My grandma passed away at around 7am EST Dec 8th. She hung on about a week longer than we had been expecting. Just 1 month and 11 days before the 10 year anniversary of my Grandpa’s passing. Both had cancer. Both had very long and hard final days. Both passed on a day I had plans.

Typical.

I know that seems black. It’s a classic trait in my family (dad’s side). I couldn’t help but think of that when I heard the news.

My roommate’s birthday was earlier in the week, and this Saturday was a day devoted to him. Brunch at the house with a group of his and his wife’s good friends, then us guys were to go on a brewery tour. I made an early rash decision to withdraw from these plans; quite intent on wrapping myself up in blankets and watch sad movies. Then the idea of family hit me.

I couldn’t be there for mine. They couldn’t be there for me.

Since the day I moved in with Paul and Tara, I have felt welcome. I’d say they try really hard to create a warm welcoming environment in our home…but it’s just something that comes so naturally to them. I got that sense from them the first time we met, and it was a big reason why living with them felt like such an obvious choice. They also have a fantastic group of friends that I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last year. It adds to that sense of home.

Spending the day eating Tara’s delicious cooking, laughing, joking, and overall great conversation with equally great people, was the right way to celebrate my grandma. (Oh and beer. There was delicious, delicious, craft beer of course!)  It also helped that as a group we were celebrating Paul. Considering my Grandma’s nature as a nurturer, a giver, and a selfless woman, it was perfect. In spirit I was commemorating her by celebrating a good friend of mine.

My mum put it best later in the afternoon when I finally was able to get a hold of them:

“It’s good that you have those type of people around you. Grandma wouldn’t want you to spend the day sad. She tried very hard to always make sure that everyone was happy and comfortable.”

That’s when I finally had my first cry of the day. In the end, I felt like I was there for my family and they for me.

One in actuality; one in spirit.

RIP my beautiful Grandma.
Je t’aime pour toujours.

-DFP