It’s okay to not know what to say.

I’ve spent a lot of time listening this week. I’ve been listening to those with really important things to say and I’ve been listening to those who bring nothing to the table but noise.

I believe it’s important to listen, especially in a time like this.

I also believe it’s important to know that everyone deals with crises differently. Trying to shame someone into publicly taking a stance is not fair and not helpful. We’re living in a world where half the population is saying ‘shut up and listen’ whilst the other half of the population is saying ‘silence is violence’. And honestly, both stances have merit.

We all saw the same horrific video of a black man being murdered in broad daylight by a white police officer with no remorse or care for the terror and brutality he was committing and the life that he was taking.

This horrific video, while it affected us all, is something we each deal with in different ways.

Some take to social media/blogs. Some take to the streets. Some take to their phones. Some write letters to the mayors, the governors and anyone they think might have the power to evoke change. Some donate. Some educate themselves, their parents, siblings, friends and strangers. Others, well others have officially registered to vote. Finally. This will be their year. And some people have chosen to do all of the above.

There are so many routes to change and ALL of these things are good. One or all of these things could end up being integral to the shaking of the foundation of American culture as we know it. And, quite frankly, could create a ripple effect within all of our cultures. Because racism is a people problem whether you live in Minneapolis, Fez or Auckland. It might not be as rampant where you live, but it’s there, I promise you that.

Trying to shame someone into taking a ‘public’ stance on social media or elsewhere is not right and not helpful. Some people have a way with words, a super power that evokes passion from those who read their work, whether it through social media, email or other. But that’s not everyone. Some people have a fearless nature that calls them to the streets, a super power that tells them no matter what happens, they can handle it. Come rubber bullets, tear gas, hell or high water, they will not move until they are heard. I admire the hell outta that.

I could go on and on here, but the truth is, there are people with far more important things to say right now. People who are waking up our world to the injustice they’ve felt and experienced since the day they were born.

I just wanted to say that change looks different for everyone. There is no correct reaction to what we’ve seen and what we’re feeling. The very fact that you’re feeling is a good sign. And, it’s okay if you don’t know what to say. Those that do, they’ll say it for you.

So listen. Be empathetic. Evoke change how you can. And please don’t shame anyone because their change doesn’t look the way that you want it to.

Here I am, talking way too much still. I need to shut up.

One more thing, though. I just wanted to share this quote from an old commercial. It is one that was not about racial injustice when made, but when I heard it today it sent shivers down my spine.

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Change is coming. I can feel it in my bones.

Racism is ruining us

Watching the video of George Floyd being murdered in broad daylight, by police officers, made me sick to my stomach.

I cried.

Watching the video of Amy Cooper borderline strangling her dog as she weaponized Christian Cooper’s race during a 911 call that she worked herself into a literal frenzy as a means to blatantly lie to dispatchers because she was asked to put her dog on a leash really pissed me off. She knew exactly what she was doing when she made that fucking phone call. What she was hoping for in making that call? I don’t know. But she knew the moment the words ‘African American Male’ came from her mouth, the law was ‘on her side’ so to speak.

That is white privilege.

That is deeply rooted, systemic racism that exists and is rampant in our society today.

What happened to George Floyd could have very well happened to Christian Cooper all because he was out watching birds and he wanted a woman to put her dog on a leash.

Lately, I find myself getting more and more angry with the human race. We’ve become so accustomed to hearing stories like Ahmaud Arbery being murdered while out for a jog because, and I cannot make this shit up, ‘he looked like a thief’, that people are becoming immune to caring. They’re becoming immune to giving a damn.

Breonna Taylor was an EMT who was shot eight times in her own fucking apartment by police officers. She was at home. At home. Home is supposed to be where you’re supposed to be safe.

So much has happened this year. So much has happened this week alone that it’s becoming so easy for people to just let this information go in one ear and out the other. And it’s easy for people to quickly forget. Because next week, there’ll be another story. There’ll be another Stephon Clark, Botham Jean and Trayvon Martin next week, next month, next…

It sounds fucking awful when I say it, but it’s true.

I’m a Caucasian female who is fully aware of the privileges that the colour of my skin has awarded me in this life. I’m also fucking sick of this culture built around racism. I’m fucking sick of white people teaching white people to fear anyone of a different race. I’m sick of white people teaching white people that anyone who is not a white person is not worthy of basic human decency.

Stephon Clark was not holding a weapon, he was holding a cell phone when he was gunned down by police in his grandmother’s back yard. George Floyd was not resisting arrest, he was not holding a weapon he did nothing to warrant four police officers pinning him to the ground. Trayvon Martin’s crime? There wasn’t one.

I know that people don’t like it when I complain about Donald Trump but I need to add in a point here that the fish stinks from the head. The United States of America has had deeply rooted issues with racism for decades, I am aware of this. But Donald Trump, he emboldens racists. He gives them platforms for which to believe their behaviour is acceptable, just and moral, when it is not.

Last month we watched hundreds of people storm the capitol building of various states across the United States protesting stay at home orders that were established to keep those very people protesting safe and healthy. Did they do it with signs and sit-ins in a peaceful protest? No, the brought their assault rifles and bullet proof armour putting each of their own lives, and the lives of every essential work at risk. Donald Trump touted them as very fine people who wanted to go back to work.

This month people are protesting the murder of a man in broad daylight by a police officer and Donald Trump is touting them as ‘thugs’ and threatening to send in the National Guard. I’m not excusing the behaviour that is going on in Minneapolis right now. I’m not saying that burning buildings is correct. But I am saying that I understand it. And I am saying they’re not thugs. Justice is not on their side. Justice is not on the side of an unarmed black man who was not resisting arrest and just needed the fucking police to not be crushing his wind pipe.

The underlying difference between these two months and the protests ensuing? The demographic of protestors.

Why does being black make you a thug? Why does being black make you become someone that the world should fear? Why are people teaching that the colour of your skin determines your value in this world? And why are there so many fucking people avoiding the subject?

My heart breaks for George Floyd’s family. My heart breaks for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clark, and every innocent life that has been lost due to deep, systemic racism rooted in a society that values your life based on the colour of your skin.

We shouldn’t be this society. We should be so much better than this. We need to educate one another and instill better values in one another. We cannot continue to tolerate this as a society. No one race is superior to another.

This is unrelated to what’s going on in the United States right now, but there’s been a sharp spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent here in Canada in recent months. When I say a sharp spike, I mean it’s one of the top stories on the news each and every night. Property vandalized, people bullied, assaulted or worse, racial slurs popping up what feels like everywhere. It’s alarming. It’s alarming because it’s such a slippery slope. We sat at the dinner table tonight and my mom naively said ‘that’ll never happen here because we’re not American’, to which I replied ‘Racism is racism, regardless of the scale to which it’s being executed, and you should be careful what you say because it’s a very slippery slope from someone assaulting a 91 year old Vietnamese man out for a walk around the block, to what the United States is presently dealing with’.

Dinner was abruptly ended.

Am I sorry for what I said to her? No.

Difficult discussions need to be had. People need to realize that sweeping generalizations are crushing our society and sending us into a deeper spiral of racism, vitriol, hatred and violence.

I’m angry at the news lately. I’m angry because of the people causing the news lately. I’m angry that a woman damn well knows that if she works herself into a frenzy on the phone with 911 and uses the term ‘African American Man’ then the law will be on her side.

I’m just angry with it all.

I haven’t wanted to talk about it because I don’t want to argue with people. But at the same time, part of me feels as though discussions are more important than sweeping it aside and waiting for the next occurrence to happen. Because lately, it seems like it’s day by day, sometimes hour by hour, that these things are coming to light.

And I’m so fucking thankful that people are filming these incidents now.

As hard as it is to watch, I think that’s important for our world to see just how bad it’s gotten, just how low we are. I think it’s important for it to be on record, for the footage to be right in front of our eyes.

As much as I know so many people will just let it go in one ear and out the other, I really hope that these types of videos serve as a wake-up call.

Be kind to one another, please

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell each and every one of you to please be kind to one another. This is a tough time for the world over and the last thing we need to do is turn on each other.

Show compassion, empathy and care. Ask someone how their day was and genuinely listen for the answer. Call your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa just to tell them you love them. If you’re financially able, buy the next person in line their morning coffee. Kindness goes a long way in this world and we desperately need more of it. So give kindness. Spread love, not hate. And please, please, please do it from a safe social distance.

Remember: you cannot do all of the good that this world needs but this world needs all of the good that you’re able to do.

I got a job!

The tectonic plates have shifted and I got a job. A really good job. Dare I say… a great job!

I just finished my first day of work. I am working remotely until COVID calms down.

I am the Marketing/Digital Marketing Coordinator for a tech company. I’m going to start their blog, ramp up their social media profiles and take control of branding and graphic design.

I’ll be looking to move in the nearish future. Once COVID calms down, I’ll join them at the office (their office is closed now and all employees are working remotely for the time being). Then, once travel is safe again, I’ll be joining their sales team as they travel around the continent so that I can help them ‘do their thing’ with professional presentations and my charming personality. Okay, I might not be serious about that personality part.

I am really excited about this job. So… here’s to new beginnings.

Quarantine day: I’ve lost count

I dyed my hair today. It looks absolutely terrible. That’s okay though. We’re trying to accept change for what it is and move forward, even if the top of our head resembles that of a fire hydrant. Yes, we’re referring to ourself in third person now. Ourselves?

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was considering cutting my hair myself. Well, I never really gathered the guts to do that, so I decided that dying it was a much better idea instead.

Perhaps I’ll dye it again? I’m good at a lot of things in this life but logic is definitely one of my strong suits.

It’s been an eventful week. The tectonic plates beneath my feet have shifted and life will no longer be the same. As I stare at the chaos around me, waiting for the dust to settle, I realize that I have a choice to make. Do I live in the wreckage and pretend that it’s the home I remember, or do I crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild elsewhere? I’ll have to get back to you on that one because I really don’t have any answers. At least not right now. That seems to be par for the course in my life, though.

I’m beating up on myself tonight. I don’t want to be, it’s just the mood that I’m in. I was in this exact same room ten years ago today. Ten years ago. It’s crazy to me that, as much as has changed over the past ten years, nothing has seemingly changed. Did I really accomplish anything at all? Not likely. Time plays tricks on us. It really does. One minute your whole life is in front of you and the next minute it’s ten years later and you’re in the exact same place. Sure people have grown, some have even gone grey. But, for the most part, nothing has really changed. Everyone’s still the same they’ve always been. I guess I shouldn’t really judge. I’m not exactly the poster child of accomplishment. I always just assumed I was meant for so much more.

Perhaps it’s the quarantine talking… whatever it is, though, maybe it’s time I start adjusting to the world and stop waiting for it to adjust to what I desire. Because if the past is any indication of the future, I’m definitely not going to get what I want and hard-work plays absolutely zero factor in that.

Rainy days and Sundays

I’ve sat down to write this a few times this weekend. Each time I’m hit with a ‘you can’t talk about that’ frame of mind. So, I end up deleting it and closing my computer. Alas, here we are. I’m still not sure what I’m gong to say.

Things are changing swiftly around here. So swiftly that I am having a hard time keeping up. I genuinely was hoping that people would be more excited than they have been. But hey, I guess it’s my life, not their’s. So, what matters most is finding my own happiness. After all, we’re the only one’s responsible for our own lives.

To anyone who remembers my posting that I was going to give the website Medium a try, I have just over six in earnings so far. Not too bad, really. That’s six more dollars than I expected to make. Consider me pleasantly surprised.

I’ve noticed a distinct difference between Medium and WordPress. WordPress is the kind of place where I, and many others, dump out their thoughts. There are no rules, it’s more like the Wild West of writing platforms. Medium is very structured and very in-tune with rules. If you’re not going to follow the guidelines, you might as well not even hit publish.

That being said, I do believe that everyone is welcome on Medium. Don’t let the paywall intimidate you. If you want to write there, you’re welcome to write there.

In other news, I’ve been suffering from what I would consider to be extreme exhaustion as of late. I’m struggling to function, my headaches are such that it’s hard to be in a room with the lights on and my body aches. My body aches so badly.

The last time that I was dealing with these extreme of symptoms, I had some blood work done and that’s what started my journey towards discovering that I have celiac disease, a plethora of allergies to different foods and, extreme levels of malabsorption. I truly believe that I’m dealing with malabsorption right now and that it’s wreaking havoc on my body. Unfortunately, it sucks to deal with. That being said, it’s not exactly something pressing that needs to take up space at the doctor’s office. Doctor’s are inundated enough already with things that are far more pressing than mine.

Once things calm down and health care services are running normally again, that’s when I’ll seek out to see if I can get some blood work done. Until then, I’ll continue to take my supplements and eat the right foods in hopes that it gets better.

Speaking of getting better, British Columbia has started it’s ‘reopening’ process this weekend. Slowly but surely businesses that have been closed since late February are turning their lights back on, or will be soon.

I think it’ll be a while… at least a few weeks or more, before I venture into any place that I don’t deem absolutely necessary for me to be at. I’m still a little weary about being around people right now. B.C.’s provincial health officer is still urging people to proceed with caution. I’m really, really hoping that people will listen to her and won’t just crowd themselves into the closest bar, or restaurant or nail salon they can find. The last thing I want to see is a ‘wave two’ striking this province.

Tomorrow is Victoria Day here in Canada. If you’re celebrating the long weekend (silly suggestion, I know… every day is a long weekend right now) I hope that you’re doing it from six feet apart.

Stay sane, stay healthy and stay safe, please.

When people suck.

Why do people have to fight when someone passes away? Why can’t they just get along, remember the person in the way which they deserve and fulfill their final wishes? Why does it always have to be about money?

‘Well I bet you’re happy about the giant pay day you’re about to come into!’ Someone who knows my parents says to me today and laughs while they execute the ‘making it rain’ gesture with their hands. Mature, I know.

Why kind of a heartless person says/does stuff like this?

No. I’m not excited. I’d rather still have my uncle around and I’m damn fucking sure that my parents and all of my brothers would say the same thing. His estate could be worth $10 or 10 billion dollars, it doesn’t fucking matter. No amount of money is worth the loss to our family and the fact that all of my Uncles, Aunts and Cousins are fighting with one another.

No one ever asks to lose a loved one. This money isn’t something we’re celebrating. The estate won’t even be settled for at least two years. But hey, apparently people think we’re laughing all the way to the bank… Why do people always make it about money?

We still haven’t even been issued a death certificate due to backup because of COVID-19.