Wednesday Things

Good Morning World,

Here’s a mish mash of thoughts for the day.

Equality will not happen in this world until we, as a collective society, agree that inequality is our present reality and has been for a long time. If you’re marching, if you’re writing letters, if you’re making phone calls, if you’re having awkward conversations, keep going. It’s a worthwhile battle to fight. And in the end, we should all want to be better. Also, we should all treat each other fairly and equally. Be an ally. Keep the fight going. Make change.

I reckon that there are some wealthy elites who will be knocked down a few pegs in the coming months/years. With the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell by the FBI, there are likely a lot of very powerful people who are scrambling to cover their tracks and hide their heinous crimes and friendship with Geoffrey Epstein right now. The skeletons were hidden so long as she was in hiding… now that she’s in custody, I could be years of unfolding the horror and indecency that Epstein and his powerful friends thrust on the world. Human trafficking, sex trafficking, sexual assault of underaged victims, oh the list is a lengthy one and I bet the public doesn’t even know the half of it. You know shit’s going to go down when even the Royal Family of one of the oldest monarchies on earth is doing damage control.

Canadian actor and extremely talented Broadway star, Nick Cordero, has passed away from complications brought on by Corona Virus. At just 41 years old, he leaves behind a wife and a son (who turned one and learned to walk whilst he was in the hospital). Over the past three months that he was in hospital, he’s suffered from strokes, been in a coma, had his leg amputated, dealt with serious blood clots and, at one point in time he was even going to be put on the transplant list. 41 years old and this virus left him in hospital for three months fighting for his life until he eventually succumbed to it. His wife is now a widow and his son will never know, or remember, his dad. It’s something I say a lot to everyone in my life, but if you’re not wearing a mask… please put one on. You really do not know who you could infect with this virus. Whomever it was that infected Nick Cordero… well it lead to his death. Even if you’re healthy, even if you ‘don’t go around that many people’, please just put on a damn mask. Don’t be responsible for someone else contracting a deadly virus… because honestly, you don’t know whether or not it’ll kill them. Corona Virus is not gone. Nor is this ‘the second wave’… we’re still in the first wave, ladies and gentlemen.

Alright, it’s pouring rain and I’ve got to make myself some breakfast before my next meeting. Working from home is convenient in that sense.

Make smart choices today. And also, have a good day.

That’s all for now.

New life, who dis?

I woke up this morning at peace… with myself, with the universe, with life. It seems like things might actually be turning around for me. (Knocks on wood) It seems like maybe what I’ve wanted for so long might actually be attainable. It seems like things are good, for a change. (Again, knocking on wood)

It feels a bit like I’ve won the lottery in a sense. I’ve never needed a lot to make me happy and now that I feel like I might actually get all of it, I don’t know how to accept it. Is that weird? I feel like I don’t deserve it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful. I’m counting my lucky stars. I’m so, so, so grateful. I’m just worried the other shoe is going to drop.

For now, though… I’m just going to enjoy it, appreciate it and soak it all in. Loving my life and the people who are in it.

Feels like a Monday

I recently found out that I have a savings account that was opened in 2009 that has been sitting dormant since 2009… because I genuinely did not set it up and did not know it existed. There is $111.13 in the account.

Can I close the account (since I haven’t used it in 11 years because I didn’t know it existed) and take the money out of it?

Nope. Apparently the bank puts rules on savings accounts. That’s fine. I plan on switching banks next month anyway, so I guess they can keep this mysterious $111.

Its 9:10 am and I’m on my third cup of coffee. I’ve also done two video interviews and spent forty minutes waiting on hold with the city. Man oh man, I seriously hate when someone asks you to call them and they then proceed to make you wait on hold. “Just call whenever” would be so much easier if they could provide a time where they’d be near their phone and willing to answer.

Oh and two of my coworkers tested positive for Corona Virus on Friday. So… I’m in no rush to get to that office.

Why is it that Friday is so far away from Monday but Monday is so close to Friday?

I found a house

I found a house to move into.

I filled out a rental application and I was accepted.

I’m moving.

It’s surreal to say that. I’ve wanted this for what feels like a lifetime. Now that it’s finally happening, part of me is waiting for the shoe to drop. Part of me thinks it’s too good to be true and something has to go wrong.

I’m trying not to jinx it. But, big news… I FOUND A HOUSE! It’s a beautiful house in a really nice neighbourhood. It has air conditioning! (If anyone who’s reading this is from a country where air conditioning is normal, it’s really more of a luxury and a rarity in homes in Canada) It also has a really beautiful kitchen that’ll allow me to reclaim my love of cooking. And, something I’ve never had before in my life, it has a walk in closet. A walk in closet! I’ll have felt like I’ve officially arrived when I have a closet so large that I can change in my closet each day.

Could it be true? Could things be really falling into place? Could I really luck out and get everything I’ve ever seen for my future? My office is in the city, in a skyscraper, on the 20th floor. Now I’ve got a perfect place just outside of downtown and it’s gorgeous and it’s close enough to the office that I won’t get stuck in traffic, but far enough from downtown that rent is fucking amazing.

How did I get this lucky?

For so long now I’ve been really down-and-out, so to speak. I’ve felt as though there’s nothing left for me, there’s nowhere to go and I’d be stuck in mediocrity and hell for the rest of my days. It’s weird to have hope again. This isn’t a familiar feeling to me. Finding a job during a global pandemic? Four leaf clovers… Finding a gorgeous new build home with rent the same as any apartment and older home in the city? Freaking pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it feels like.

Now I just need to pack.

AND PLAN.

For a new life in a new city.

I’m trying to do things right this time… take things slow… savour the victories. Since you can’t get these moments back, I want to remember the feeling I felt when things finally started turning around for me.

I’m beyond excited to move into this home and start making it mine. I’m also looking forward to what comes through this road ahead. I’m hoping it breeds a lot of contentment. Perhaps, if I’m really lucky, a little adventure.

Time to pack my bags…

Breaking the cycle.

No one is born racist.

Racism is taught.

I think it’s important to remember, though, that just because someone tries to teach you these behaviours and actions are okay, doesn’t mean that you’re required to accept it.

You can stand up to unacceptable behaviour, actions and words. You can say that you’re not going to be that person. You can acknowledge that racist behaviour is not acceptable and should not be tolerated, and that while it may be deeply ingrained in our past, it does not need to be a part of our future. You can stop the cycle.

Don’t allow yourself to think that you cannot make change. You can. It sounds cliche and I know I’ve said it before, but the saying rings true: you cannot do all of the good the world needs but the world needs all of the good that you can do.

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.

House Hunting

10 years ago, fresh out of University, I accepted a job in a city that I’d never been to and was told I needed to be moved in and ready to start in two weeks.

Scrambling to find a place to live, I settled on one of the first apartment buildings to get back to me because it was near my office and the rent was… decent. I had no one warn me about the neighbourhood, I had no one help me find a place and I made a quick decision to ensure I’d have a roof over my head in time to start work.

That apartment ended up being a nightmare. About six months after I moved in, the apartment building was actually raided by swat. Apparently, one of the tenants living at the other end of the third floor I was on was quite the drug kingpin.

I should’ve taken it as a sign to get the hell out of that apartment. But, I was only six months out of University, I was working for practical pennies and I didn’t really have the resources to move. So I stayed.

Did I mention the apartment was horrible? Because it was. It was built in the 60’s, so a lot of the structure was aging. The heating system sounded like it was going to explode each time it turned on (it was a broiler-based heating system). The upstairs neighbour lived his best life between the hours of midnight and six in the morning. One night I actually had to call 911 on him because he was beating up his girlfriend in the middle of the night and I woke up to her screaming ‘Help me, he’s going to kill me!’

I called 911. I gave a statement. She ended up being okay, from what I was told. After this fateful night, I wanted to move. Still being paid practical pennies for the work I was doing, I didn’t have the resources to move. I was barely paying my bills each month and I was worried that the psycho who lived above me knew that it was me who called the cops on him and that he’d be coming for me next.

Three weeks later, I received a summons from the Crown Prosecutor to be a witness in court at his assault trial that was scheduled for six months down the road.

I was terrified.

My upstairs neighbour didn’t know I was the one who called 911. If I had to stand up in court and say that it was me, could he come for me next? I needed to move. But I couldn’t afford it.

I remember how low I felt the day I called the Crown Prosecutor to beg him to not make me take the witness stand. He didn’t really seem to care about my fears. Apparently, he believed I was being over-dramatic about it.

I needed to move.

I ended up spending a few weeks sleeping in the basement of one of my coworkers. About two weeks after I called the Crown Prosecutor, he called me to let me know that he had a change of hard, that he was able to prosecute my upstairs neighbour without my being a witness and that he was being a bully in forcing me to be a witness when he knew that I felt it could put me at risk. Whilst he didn’t think this man would come after me, he understood that I was a single-white-female who lived alone and he would know what door to knock on the moment he saw me.

So, I didn’t have to take the witness stand and I decided to put off moving.

The man upstairs ended up getting evicted after prolonged absence from the building do to his being locked up on a drug charge.

A few months later, I got a raise at work. I thought it was an incredible moment for me because I was going to have a few hundred extra dollars each month and if I put them aside for three months then I could move.

A few days after I got my raise, the apartment building raised my rent due to ‘increased demand in the city for rental units and the prime location of our building’. I was crushed. Here I was thinking I was going to be able to save money to move an the apartment building had just given me a big ‘fuck you, sucker’.

I could go on and on about the stories that plagued me whilst in that apartment. Or other apartments I’ve lived in (I always seem to make horrible decisions with respect to living situations… refer to stories of roommate Derek from 2019 if you’re curious), The bottom line is, it wasn’t a happy place for me to go home to each night. And now that I’m looking to move and find myself an oasis in the city, I would really like to make sure that I don’t just accept the first thing that comes along because it came along.

I want to do this right.

I want to find a place that I’m happy to come home to each night.

I want to find a home that, if COVID 19 strikes in a second wave, I am content with spending a lot of time in.

I’m counting my lucky stars right now that I’ve landed a job that I am able to work from home due to this pandemic, but I would still like to move sooner, rather than later. For my sanity. For tax purposes. Because I want to be a city girl. Because this past year and a half has been really hard on my mental health and well being, and I’d really like to move onto a new chapter.

I’m loving my job, by the way. It’s been amazing so far. I know I’m still new to it, but it’s different from anything I’ve ever done before so it’s all exciting and there’s so much to learn and so many new ways to grow and get better.

The trouble with house hunting is… finding a place during a pandemic. Most places aren’t booking walk-throughs. Which I completely understand. But many places have really shitty pictures, or misleading pictures, online. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across at least three scams already. And I’ve also come across a lot of places that are really, really overpriced for what they are.

I thought I’d found a really incredible place for a really reasonable price but the landlord just does not respond. So that’s kind of a bummer. But I’m not going to let it stop me.

I’m going to do this right.

I want a place to call home. My home. A place to feel safe and welcome and like I belong. I’m not going to settle this time around.

I’m going to do this right.

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.