Analog

I’ve reluctantly succumb to using an eReader due to ease and practicality. I’m an avid book collector, but when you’re hopping from one province to the next, it’s not exactly convenient to pack boxes upon boxes of books. As much as I love the weight, texture, smell and very act of reading an actual book, my eReader holds thousands of stories and perfectly suits my current lifestyle.

I’m saddened by the sight of eyes looking down towards phones that are smarter than us. Remember the days when people looked forwards when walking somewhere? Or sitting on the bus- left to your own thoughts while waiting to arrive at your destination? Maybe, if you were prepared, you packed a book or newspaper to pass the time? Last week I watched a busy looking businessman walk straight into a pole while looking at his phone. I laughed, but I’m not innocent. I’ve blindly walked for blocks staring down into the abyss of cyberspace without so much as a glance upwards.

Even writing- I used to prefer putting pen to paper over fingers to keyboard. Lately when I feel inspired I flip open my laptop>open Google Chrome> type in wordpress.com>click the “create a new post” button. I used to grab the closest piece of paper and writing tool available and frantically write to keep up with my racing thoughts. Now I type faster than I can handwrite.

While these advances make my life easier, they don’t necessarily make it better. Often I feel as though my phone is a burden, simply providing me with information overload. I miss the therapeutic release of writing things on paper.

When I’m exhausted of the digital, I resort once more to analog. I leave my phone and eReader behind, grab a pen and notebook and descend into nature. Rather than getting lost in my news feed I lose myself in the serenity of the trees and mountains. When my mind quiets is when words flow from pen to paper with effortless ease. To simply be without your phone is like a mini vacation. Though it may feel stressful at first, as though you’re cut off from your connection to the outside world, take a moment to be present with your surroundings. No status updates, Instagram posts, celebrity gossip, tragic news reports, vlogs, tweets. It’s just you. When your mind isn’t busy with the lives of others, you will truly find your art, and your self.


Inspired by the Daily Post’s weekly Discover Challenge prompt, Analog.

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Simplicity

The simplicity of your happiness reigns over my darkest days,

And while I’ve taught you to sit and stay, you’ve taught me of unconditional love.

I question whether man is worthy of such a companion,

When we are sad about yesterday and worried about tomorrow,

You find the joy in today.

Thank you, Marley, for teaching me to be present.

marley
In Action, photo credit: Trhippie

Inspired by the Daily Post’s daily prompt, simplicity.

The Reality of Dreaming

I was sitting on the couch by your side when the ground began shaking. A surge of panic rushed through me as I jumped to my feet, and when I turned to look your way, you were gone. The ground began rumbling again, only this time louder and more intense.

As I studied my surroundings I realized they were foreign to me. This isn’t my home, where am I?! The details of the apartment were minimal, defined only by its stark white walls and concrete floors. It was cold and unwelcoming and we needed to get out of here. Suddenly a loud CCCRAACK ripped through the walls of our faux-home, and I began screaming your name.

Except whenever I tried screaming your name, nothing came out.

I ran through the hole-in-the-wall to find myself in the middle of downtown Vancouver. I knew it to be Vancouver but I was lost amidst the chaos of people. I didn’t understand what was going on but one thing was evident: they were all running in the same direction. When I turned to look behind me, large groups of tornadoes were obliterating everything in their paths. The city around me is being ripped apart and I just need to find you.

I see you in the distance but you’re walking away from me. I began shoving everyone to the side as I ran towards you, and that’s when I noticed Marley’s tail wagging next to you. I need to just reach you both, I need to feel safe again. Our world is crumbling around us and I’m not even with you. Please just turn around and hold me until it’s over. I collapse to the ground and squeeze my eyes shut until it all ends. I can’t bear the weight of this alone.


When I opened my eyes I found myself in my bed in a cold sweat. The tornadoes were gone but the loneliness lingered. My head ached from clenching my jaw and my heart hurt as though I had just lost everything.

Whether or not you believe in analyzing dreams, I believe dreams of this magnitude don’t simply occur without cause.

It’s not the tornadoes themselves that I fear, it’s what they materialized out of.

Inner anguish, stress, confusion?

Why was it tearing apart my life so rapidly and leaving me alone to endure its wrath?

I take it as a subconscious cry for help.

The next day, I faced my inner demons. No longer will I endure pain of that magnitude, both in my dreams and reality.

 

Inspired by The Daily Post’s daily word prompt, Dream. 

Feature image of Vancouver at night by my talented partner, TrHippie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Apology

Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action. -Stella Young

What are the two words you should never utter when you are involved in a car accident?

I’m sorry

“I’m sorry” is an automatic admission and acceptance of guilt. After all, why would you apologize without cause?

I think we should implement the same level of caution when using the words “I’m sorry” in our daily lives. These words are equally as incriminating in your relationships as they are in a court of law. When used too much, these powerful words lose their credibility. Rare usage is often the result of hard-headedness, an inability to hold oneself accountable for his or her mistakes. These are both extremes on the “I’m sorry” spectrum. One must find a happy medium and know when it’s appropriate to say I’m sorry, and when it’s better to just shut your mouth.

Unfortunately, I fall on the former end of the spectrum. My use of the words “I’m sorry” would have me convicted for crimes I never even committed. I’ve never known someone to say I’m sorry for every single thing, but for some reason, I do. I guess sometimes it’s easier just to back down and accept defeat rather than stand up for yourself.

My Struggle with I’m Sorry

Some of my most cherished and favourite people in my life have the strongest sense of self I have ever witnessed. They do not back down when faced with conflict. If they are reading this, they know exactly who they are. Some are my family and some are my friends. Confidence truly reflects through ones ability to stand up for oneself. If you don’t respect yourself enough to defend your own beliefs, actions or emotions, why would you expect anyone else to treat you with respect? I talk a big game but really, I’ve let “I’m sorry” run the course of my life for far too long.

I’m taking back the power of these words.

I’m taking back my sense of self.

From a young age I learned not to talk back. I never witnessed proper conflict resolution. Living paycheque -to- paycheque was cause for biweekly emotional explosions. On Thursday nights after school I would go straight to my room and hold the pillow over my head until the yelling stopped. It was always just my dad yelling. The few times my mom did say something, he would hurl horribly hurtful words right back at her. I would scream into my pillow hoping it would stop soon. This is where it must have began. This is when I learned never to talk back.

The few times I did talk back ended badly. Doors slammed so loudly the entire house would shake. Things were smashed and thrown. Our household was a war zone and all over what, money? Sometimes the emotional pain was so strong the only relief was to inflict harm on myself.

“I’m sorry” has become my get out of jail free card.

The Grey Area

I used to think being the first to apologize made me the bigger person no matter what. And in some cases it’s admirable and a sign of character to wave the white flag and call for a truce. When arguments become futile, I believe it’s best to abort mission, shake hands and move on.

As much as I try to avoid arguing, it is an inevitable aspect of all relationships. You can’t always be in complete agreement with others. Sometimes things get heated, opinions clash, and insecurities arise out of thin air. I urge you to do as I say and not as I do, do not apologize for how you feel in during these highly emotional times. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, or if something rubs you the wrong way, don’t bottle it up. I’ve done this too many times, suppressing my anger or frustration and suddenly it boils over making a complete mess of a fixable situation. You should never apologize for defending your own honour. The moment you doubt your intuition and say those incriminating words, the argument is over. You lose. You’re not just losing bragging rights either. Every hasty utterance of I’m sorry chips away at your self-worth until you’re left questioning the validity of your thoughts and feelings.

I urge you, take time to think about the power of the words I’m sorry before you blurt them out. Don’t cower in the presence of conflict and haphazardly start apologizing for ruffling someone’s feathers. Speak up, don’t let others make you feel guilty for standing up for yourself. Your sorry’s will gain much more validity when you really are sorry. Those who are respected most don’t hide from conflict, they defend their honour until the end.


Inspired by The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge prompt, Apology