Thoughts

You’re not in my darkest thoughts, but you’re definitely in my dirtiest.

Sheets tangled around our legs,

Your whisper in my ear,

My tight grip in your hair,

The feel of your tongue on my —

 

You don’t consume me, just appear when I’m lonely.

When someone asks me about you,

When the holidays come and I want someone,

When the throwbacks remind me how close we were,

When the realization hits me that we could have been something if I had just —

 

I’m happy for you, until I’m not.

I was too quiet, then too casual, then too late,

She’s adorable and I’m really happy you two are together,

I think about you to torture my soul,

I wish I had taken the chance when —

 

No.

You’re not there all the time,

But you’re there enough.

I think you’re my new favourite what if.

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Addressing the anxious spiral all my facebook friends witnessed

I went home for a month over Christmas.

In that time I got too comfortable being home and not being in classes; too comfortable being close to the friends I’ve known and cared for for years; too comfortable with having a car and public transportation that can take me pretty much anywhere in the city, neighbouring cities, and the Southern part of the province. I got too comfortable with my parents taking care of me; too comfortable with all the animals that fill my house (and make it next to impossible for me to breathe).

I got too comfortable with the easy and comfortable. With what I have known my whole life.

When I first moved across the country it was because I wanted to challenge myself, take risks, and because I was raised on the motto “go big or go home.” I took a huge leap and it was hard, but (I think) it (eventually) got easier.

Then I went home, and came back and shit hit the fan.

I was not adjusting very well to being back. Today is actually the first day in a week that I haven’t sobbed while eating breakfast.

I was uncomfortable in my apartment, and constantly felt anxious. This is not great when you’re a home body and seek comfort from home. I was (and still am) incredibly homesick.

I had spent all of December bashing this very small city. I was coming down hard on things that could improve (seriously I just want to be able to actually go more than a few blocks on public transportation), and pointing out all the differences. I’m from a fairly big and developing city a few hours outside of Toronto. I travel to Toronto and cities in the States frequently. I am used to a gogogo and convenient lifestyle. The island that I live on now forces me to slow down. And when I slow down, my brain kicks into overdrive and I hate it. That’s not the point of this post though. I want to tell you about my favourite part of this place – something I only truly realized after leaving and coming back.

The main reason I love the city I’m living in now (and I really do love it about 85% of the time) is because of how safe I feel.

Back home, I hate walking anywhere. I hate walking in my city, in the Universities’ city, and I loathe walking around in Toronto. I refuse to walk by myself in any of these places. I hated walking to my night classes on campus. I hated walking with earbuds in because I didn’t trust my surroundings. I learned to constantly check my surroundings when young women were being pulled of the side of the street a few years ago. I learned to live with the anxiety of walking around these places. I learned to walk with my hands clutching my keys. I learned to get off the bus and call someone for a ride when this really creepy dude who would never leave me alone got on. I took kickboxing classes for a year partly because I wanted to be able to defend myself.

Here, I walk around with complete ease. I have to walk pretty much everywhere and I always go alone. I’m still cautious (can’t take the paranoid city girl out of me), but I’ve learned to smile at strangers or listen to music. I can walk to all my night classes without wanting to scream at the slightest noise. I walk downtown and don’t glare at people who pass me. I walk to the grocery store and cut through an alley to get to the next plaza over. I come back to my apartment and don’t dread the fact that I’m now living without a 100lb. guard dog or alarm system. I don’t worry nearly as much about dying every time I leave my house (a fear I’ve had for well over a decade). Honestly, it’s nice to have one less thing to be anxious about.

I feel unbelievably safe here, and for that I am so grateful to call this place home.

-Red Hot

My favourite place on the island

My favourite place on the island is somewhere I’ve only been once.

A place we stumbled across on my birthday. It absolutely reeked of fish, but the red rocks more than made up for it.

A place where seagulls dropped the claws of crabs they had gnawed on for lunch. My brother picking them up and chasing us around.

A place where a beautiful ruby floated among the sea of sapphires. We were only a running leap away.

My favourite place on the island is one I haven’t found again.

A place just off the highway, away from the popular beaches and past a “no trespassing” sign. I’ve driven along the highway; I can’t find it.

A place where you can walk up to the edge of the cliff – but that’s not it. You have to jump over the rope marking danger, teeter along the edge of the cliff, and look back to see if your mom is following her children.

A place where it was quiet. There was no one else around.

My favourite place on the island is the best kept secret.

A place of treasure buried so well even the map doesn’t help. Google searches and calls to my mother led me to the wrong place.

A place where I have great memories. Of laughter and spreading the red clay over my hands.

A place that I cannot find again. I tried to bring my new friends there, ended up lost, and smiled to myself because keeping the place to myself it what makes it my favourite.

My favourite place on the island is forever remembered as the place where I fell in love with my new home with just my family beside me.

faveplaceonisland

-Red Hot

Don’t Let Me Marry Someone Who Paints Pumpkins

Don’t Let Me Marry Someone Who Paints Pumpkins

Anyone who knows me knows that Halloween is my favourite holiday.

Yes, I realize I’m a few days late on this post – bite me.

As I sit here finishing off all my roasted pumpkin seeds and feeling a little sad that I’ll have to wait another year before I can make the tasty snack again, I realized something. I cannot, under any circumstances, marry into a family that paints pumpkins instead of carving.

I just can’t do it.

One of my favourite things about Halloween is carving pumpkins and making jack-o-laterns.

“But painting your pumpkins is less messy,” you say.

Okay well sure, but so what? Yes carving pumpkins is messy and I turn it into a day-long affair, but at the end of it I get a glowing pumpkin and tons of pumpkin seeds (and honestly that’s the best part about pumpkins). What do you get? A pretty, yet sad, pumpkin sitting there waiting for you to carve it so it can be like all the other pumpkins. Oh, and no seeds.

I’m actually friends with a few people who paint instead of carve, and I’ll be honest, I don’t get it but I’ve also mostly ignored it.

Until I realized they don’t get pumpkin seeds! Why even bother?

What can I say? I come from a carving family and I’m stubborn as hell.

Maybe this is all just a way for me to rant and still feel like I’ve contributed the bare minimum to this blog (remember, grad school is hard y’all).

Or maybe I’ve just finally found my ultimate deal-breaker.

Painting pumpkins – *shudders*

-Red Hot

 

I am a writer.

Fall in love with a writer.

You’ll be preserved for forever.

Every little thing you do – the things you don’t even think about – will be written down for everyone to read. How you duck your chin into your neck when you feel shy; how your laugh sounds like little bells chiming together; how the sunlight caught your eyelashes just right that one late Sunday morning.

A writer will take the little things and show the world – and you – your beauty.

Fall in love with a writer.

They hide behind their words, but once you speak the language, my god.

You’ll be introduced into a world of emotions deeper than you could ever imagine. You’ll see right into their core, their heart, their soul. Once you speak the language, nothing is hidden.

Fall in love with a writer.

And watch them cut themeselves open to bleed for you.

Words on a page are not just words on a page. These are the deepest secrets, truths, and thoughts of your writer. This is pure blood, raw emotion. It’s overwhelming and intimidating and oh so real.

Fall in love with a writer and you’ll never be the same again.

Don’t fall in love with a writer.

Everything is a fantasy.

Even their written down version of you. It is not you, but the you they wish you could be. You will never live up to their version; you will never follow their script.

Don’t fall in love with a writer.

They’re experts at manipulating words. You’ll find yourself tangled in webs of emotions that they made you feel just with a few well chosen words and points of emphasis. There are lies and exaggerations down every hall, and a laughing writer around every corner.

Don’t fall in love with a writer.

Especially if you don’t plan on staying.

You’ll be preserved forever. In between the pages of their book. Everyone will know it’s you because writers don’t forget, and writers like chaos.

Fall in love with a writer and you’ll never be the same again.

I am a writer.

I mince words. I am a fan of manipulation.

I tell lies.

I will make you feel things.

I will make you hate me and yourself.

I create your wildest fantasies and can tear them all down with a few lines.

I am a writer.

I will love you more than anyone else.

I will bleed.

I will hide my feelings in subtext. I will show everyone you’re beautiful.

I will notice the things no one else does and will treasure them for always.

I will make you love yourself and me.

I am a writer.

Fear me.

Love me.

Wonder

I wonder if anyone thinks about me; I wonder who thinks about me.

I wonder who thinks about me slinging a leg over their hips, pressing down, hands flat against their chest, my hair falling over bare shoulders.

Do they think I’m loud? Head thrown back, cries and moans falling out of my open mouth?

Do they think I’m quiet? Breaths and gasps whispering past my lips?

(I don’t know who wonders, but I know who’s right.)

Do they picture me like that? Raw and exposed? Soft and wanting?

Do they picture me like this? Fiery and demanding. Fucking in charge.

What do they think about? When they hear my name, my voice? When they see my lips, my eyes (my shoulders that I constantly bare)?

I wonder who thinks about me?

Do you wonder about me?

Like I do you?

 

Live with it

The worst part about living with anxiety is that you’re living with anxiety.

It doesn’t go away.

No matter how many exercises I do, or how well I progressed in therapy; no matter how many friends tell me not to worry about things, anxiety doesn’t go away.

I can learn to manage. I can learn to accept all of my anxieties, but it’s still there.

My anxiety is a part of me that I am slowly learning to live with. I’m even getting better at it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where it flares up.

I’m writing this while on an airplane – only my third flight, and my first flight I’ve done on my own. I’m proud of myself because I lived through another anxiety attack.

I struggled and wanted to cry and my tips and tricks could only do so much, but I lived through it.

As I calmly sit through some turbulence, I’ve realized my anxiety isn’t with flying. I actually kinda like flying – it reminds me of rollercoasters, and surprisingly, my claustrophobia has yet to act up on a plane. My real anxiety comes with waiting to board.

I could not tell you why. I don’t understand it myself, but waiting to board the plane sends me into a paralyzed fear.

I worried for days about my taxi coming, checking in, going through security, and the possibility of a lengthy delay. I brought books, snacks and music. I was prepared as I could be. I made it through. Everything was easy, quick and painless (thank you smaller airports!) I was nervous, of course, but it was easy to ignore.

Then I sat down in the lounge, opened my book and promptly felt like vomiting.

I had a panic attack.

Silently and by myself.

My face felt numb and itchy. My whole body was hot. When I experience panic attacks I immediately need to seek out fresh air. Not really an ideal situation for an airport.

My point is, anxiety is hard. It doesn’t go away just because I’m prepared. It doesn’t go away just because I know logically there is nothing to worry about.

Anxiety is always there. It sucks. It’s hard. It’s made me very sick, it’s made me cry. I get shaky and every instinct in my body tells me to run.

But we manage.

We live with it. Because we have to.

-Red Hot