UPDATES

UPDATES
My Year Without Sex would love to hear your comments and opinions - let me know what you think or how you relate.
Also, please let others know about this blog - share on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, email to your grandma - let's spread the word.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Friday, 4 January 2019

MONTH #66 - THE LONG EXHALE

It has been a while since I last posted. I even missed my anniversary post this year; the first time since starting this blog in 2013. I thought about it, watched the date come and go, yet still wrote nothing. I didn't write in 2018, period.  For quite some time, I was worried about my lack or writing and spent many evenings beating myself up over it.  Not noticably, but quietly, in the back of my mind: I was failing myself.

Over the last two years, along with my writing, my self-care routines have disappeared. I watched all those things that gave me grounding during my therapy process fall away. I got angry with myself. In November, at breakfast with a dear friend, I finally put words to my feelings and soothed those voices in my head.

What was causing this great scism in my life so soon after putting all the pieces back together? 
A relationship. 

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

BELL LET'S TALK - MOMMY, DEAREST...

Growing up, my mother would often tell me the story of her pregnancy.   She would say that every time she went to the doctor, he would tell her it wasn't too late to get an abortion, but she would tell him that she desperately wanted this baby (even though she was newly divorced and going to be a single parent of three).  She wanted to keep this baby.  This was a sign of my mother's love. Even though other people were encouraging her to get rid of me, she wouldn't listen.  Thinking about that story today, my response is very clear: You should have listened.

This response may come as a shock to many.  I currently have an amazing life; a good education, thriving career, nice home in the city, with a man and cat whom I adore.  Why would I say that my mother should have aborted me?

It is simple: I am the exception, not the statistic.  Most of the kids who grew up in my situation got caught in oppressive cycle of poverty, addiction, and mental illness.  I was never supposed to make out.  I still don't know how I did.  My therapist says it was hard work and will, on my part.  I say there was also a lot of luck.  I grew up dreaming of being rich enough to see the poverty line in a home with a mentally unsound mother who was abusive and negligent.  This is not a recipe for success.  By some twist of fate, I beat the odds.  I have a life that makes me happy.  So extremely happy, that it is terrifying.  After years of therapy, I am not crippled by this happiness, but that too has been a lot of work.

It is from this happy place, that I can look back objectively and say, despite being able to create an incredible life for myself, I don't think my mother should have given birth to me.  The suffering I had to endure to get here was more than any child should experience.  And remember, I am one of the rare cases that has a happy ending.  Objectively, I am statistical anomaly.  An outlier.  This is why I feel it is important to look back and say: no, given the circumstances, I should not have been born. As the unaborted fetus, I say, it was not in the best interest of the child to give it life.  And I am one of the lucky ones...

My intention is not for this to be a pro-abortion piece.  It is merely to give you perspective.  My purpose is to address another taboo subject matter: parental debt.  The idea that we owe our parents for our lives and therefore are indebted to them when they age and need our support.  This introduction is to shed light on my question: what do you owe a person who gave you a life you didn't want?

Saturday, 29 July 2017

YEAR #4 - WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

I’m losing track of time.  My Facebook reminded me today that it was time to celebrate the anniversary of My Year Without Sex.  I can hardly remember when it started.  My life is as polar opposite as it possibly could be… in all the best ways.  It has now been four years since I started this whole journey.  Back then, I felt as broken and lost as any person could.  Now, I’m whole, confident and happy.  I have a sense of where I’m sailing, but more than anything, I’m just happy to be on the water at the helm of my own ship.  I’m at peace.

Two pretty big events have occurred recently.  Firstly, I finished the initial draft of my first novel.  The biggest struggle was overcoming the voices in my head that told me I can’t.  It took me nearly six months to tackle the final fifteen thousand words and three months to do the first eighty-five thousand.  There was a block.  I couldn’t do it.  Finally, I gave myself a drop dead date of the July 31st.  If I didn’t finish by then, I was never going to do it.  That set the stage for the final battle with myself.  Did I give up on myself?  Did I give in to the voice saying it was just a pipe dream?  Fortunately, I wasn’t ready to lay down and die just yet and I pumped out the last fifteen thousand in four days, like I was possessed.  I came through for me.  That was the lesson that became really clear this week – I can always count on me.  That’s nice to know.  It’s hard to know.

The second major event, is that I have a boyfriend.  For real!!  For purposes of this blog, I will call him Angus.  He is wonderful.  And everything happened at the right time and everything has been really simple… for the most part – battling personal demons aside, but I will get into those in another post.  I’m so unbelievably happy that it is almost too much to bear… almost…

Which brings me to last night, when I had the strangest dream…

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

MONTH #45 - RAINY DAYS AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN

It is my day off and I find myself sitting in the window of a cafe on Yonge St in Toronto feeling very contemplative.  Maybe it's the rain.  Maybe it is the paino lesson that was frustrating but good.  Maybe it's the young couple that ducked into the bus stop to make out right in front of me.  Maybe it's the rain.

It has been quite some time since I last posted here.  It has been a busy and fulfilling time, full of excitement and adventure, but less about quiet reflection.  It is nice to steal a few minutes away from the world to check in.

On December 12, 2016, I had my last session with my therapist.  It has been nearly six months since I last had any contact with her.  It is strange.  Therapy was so much of my life for the last four years, and now... well, it's a new world.  Our last session was a beautiful trip down memory lane.  We laughed, we cried, we exchanged gifts.  We held a little ceremony where we smudged with sage and I went on my way into the world at large, ready to take my place in it.  That first step out her door was surreal.  After four very intense years, I was captain of my own ship, as I never had been before.

I went out on New Year's Eve for the first time since 2012.  I wanted to celebrate, despite the fatigue I felt from working two contracts.  It marked the end of one journey and the start of another.

During autumn of 2016, I came to a realization that my life was barely half over.  I had spent so much time lamenting all the things I had missed out on doing because I hadn't done them when I was younger.  Then, in October, I did the math.  If I relived every single day of my life I would be nearly sixty-nine years old - four years after normal retirement age.  Barely a senior.  After that, barring any calamity, I could still reasonably expect to live another fifteen to twenty years.  I wasn't even half way through life and already mourning the things that would never be.  I still had time to redo everything I had done up until that day, and then some.

I look back over the past ten years and am dumbfounded at the number of things that have happened.  I don't even feel like the same person.  I can hardly fathom what the next thirty-five will hold.  Though time does seem to fly by these days, seventy has always felt closer to thrity-five than twenty.  It wasn't until I actually counted it out, that I was able to realize I have a lot of years left and that nothing had been missed.  I was, as I typically do, just following my own path.  That was when I decided to fill the time I spent in therapy with piano lessons.  In ten years, I want to be a pianist.

On my first day, my teacher asked if I could find middle C on the piano.  I couldn't.  Turns out, it is the key in the middle of the keyboard.  Aptly named.  A few weeks ago, I was playing Ode to Joy, quite proficiently, may I add.  I had come a long way in a matter of months.  Today, I was back to feeling like everything I played sounded similar to a cat walking across a keyboard, but my teacher was encouraging and wouldn't let me sit in my defeat.  She urged me on and sure enough, things began to sound like some form of music again.  I just need to practice.

This has become my motivational motto these days: It just takes practice.  I apply it to everything I do.  Dealing with conflict: practice.  Playing the piano: practice.  Writing: practice.  I'm writing my practice novel.  I've never written a novel, so I decided to try.  Just to go through the motions.  The first draft is almost complete.  I'm not sure what will happen with it, but at least I know how to go about doing it.  That's what this motto is about.  It is not about the success or failure of an endeavour, it is about the learning that comes with trying something.  Sometimes things work, but, as I've learned from playing the piano, when you first get started, most often they fail, but each time, it gets a little easier.  And you often see pay off in places you wouldn't expect.  I was shocked how much the three months of piano lessons were already paying off at work.

When you're starting a journey up a mountain, you can walk for hours and feel like you have not made any progress towards the summit.  It's not until you look back and see how far the ground seems that you really see how far you've come.  I think I've been spending too much time looking up the mountiain and not enough looking back on where I was, just a short time ago.  It feels especially disheartening when you've just summited one mountain and now find yourself at the bottom of a new peak.  I guess life is just a series of mountains.  We can choose to climb or we can be content circling the base.  I've always been a climber.

Monday, 24 April 2017

1000 DAYS

So, I've been away writing a novel for the past few months and have not checked in here with updates about how I'm doing.  After chatting with a friend I recently reconnected with this evening, I decided to check out where I last left reader on this blog.  I read "Get Over It" and then noticed my counter along the side that said today is 1000 days since the end of My Year Without Sex.  I just wanted to say in the three minutes before midnight, that life grand and all is well.  Updates to come soon! xoxoxo

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

MONTH #39 - GET OVER IT

My ex got engaged.  This is the last axe that needed to fall to sever all attachment.  It’s strange, because he has been in my dreams lately, which I know signifies a release or letting go of attachment.  I must have felt this coming, so I was already in a state of release when this news hit.

Some people might say, “It’s been six years, how are you still not over this.”  But that is the thing with emotions and relationships, you don’t just “get over them.”  Sometimes emotions coming flooding back unexpectedly, and you need to process them, otherwise there is no release and they will lie in the shadows waiting to strike at any time.  There is no statute of limitations on how long it take to process emotion.  You just have to let it run its course.

I read the news on Facebook last night and it struck me.  It took a while to process what I was feeling.  I went into shock.  I felt numb and electric all at the same time.  My first response was to email my therapist.  I needed to be witnessed in this.  It was late and I knew she wouldn’t receive it until the morning, but I needed to send out a white flag – I need extra support and my therapist tends to be my first responder.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

MONTH #38 - ALL ABOARD AT THE MANIFEST-STATION!

Everything is good right now.  Really good.  I am really working hard right now on staying focused in the present and manifesting positive energy.  That sounds so wrong coming from me.  I can hear past versions of myself laughing at the hippie nonsense I’m spewing, but I’m on the manifesting ship!  Toot! Toot!

And I don’t mean only thinking positive.  I mean taking away the negative self-doubt that often leads to self-sabotage before you even try.  I am spending a lot of time on self-care and prioritizing self-care.  Eating right, meditating, ritual, writing, exercising.  Who am I?!  A big part of self-care is looking out for all aspects of self: mind, body, heart, & soul.  It takes a lot of time.  Making time for it seems hard at first.  In fact, I failed a lot.  It has taken me nearly a year to actually realize the importance of making these things a priority.  Yet, it seems to yield positive results.  Life has been pretty sweet and everything is on an upswing.

This makes me nervous.  When life gets too good, I get anxious, as if I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.  My big focus now is to steer the conversation in my head away from that part that catastrophizes every scenario, especially my love life.  When I feel myself start up that spiral, I need to exercise particular care.  I need to concentrate on grounding all the other aspects of myself to bring my mind back in check.  When there is balance, there is clarity… and peace. 

I’ll use this time to ground my meditation and writing practices.  To organize my time so that my self-care times become sacred.  We have lost the importance of honouring rituals.  We pay them no mind because they don’t fit well into our busy lives, but they are the things that hold us on this Earth.  Without them, we drift away.  Making those few moments sacred to yourself, gives you worth.  When you see your own worth, others can’t ignore it.  It ripples through the world. 

This is what I mean by manifesting positive energy.  You are a mirror and reflect whatever you give.  Therefore, when you make yourself important to you, you become important to others.  What I have learned repeatedly through my therapy process is that the path that you can see, is rarely the one that leads you to the outcome you desire.  As the fox says, “One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” (Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry)