Friday, October 4, 2013

a placeholder



um, you'll have to excuse my unplanned 5+ month hiatus. i generally write a rambling post once per month, rarely with any direction, just an unloading of all of the silly things in my head. then, this summer happened. and, ohboywasiteverasummer. it was the best summer of our lives and it passed in the blink of an eye. looking back, it feels like we were racing through time in some sort of sci-fi warp speed. there was endless laughter, dancing, spinning, silly adventures, travel and just so much love this summer. and somewhere during all of that, i stopped writing.

then september came, and it was like a slap in the face. september 2013: you will be forever remembered as a month of sadness, agonizing challenges and altogethertoomuchbullshitatonce. i am glad that you are gone and hope never to see you again. but you were also a month of strength that we didn't know we possessed, and a solid reminder that we are tremendously lucky to have such amazing people in our lives. i keep whispering this to myself in dark moments: meg: stop and breathe. you are lucky. but these mantras, they do so little when you really need them. they do no more than feed the insecurity and helplessness and mania that one feels when everyone around her is falling apart. it was in these moments that i wished i had found the energy to write again. but i didn't. instead, i sought the company of wine, insomnia and pasta for breakfast. as such, my jeans stopped fitting, my face broke out and i had no patience for anyone or anything. i became the version of meg that i hate.

then, thankfully, almost like clockwork, the minute that september left and october came racing in, that stupid door leading to heartbreak and frustration closed swiftly and another, much gentler door opened. almost a moment too late: i had just about run out of ways to say i'm sorry to the people i love.

it is here, in this slower-paced dreamy Fall October state, that i am convinced the next adventure will begin. late last night, i was named the new executive director of the tiny non-profit that i work at. (me. the boss. of people. it's... too much to really process yet). After all of september's distress, i am going to take this incredible opportunity and build something amazing.

as such, this post really serves as a sort of placeholder to something more concrete. i will be back soon, i am ready to write again.


* listening to: atlas genius ~ trojans

Monday, April 15, 2013

untitled #4



I must have sat down to write this blog post about 100 times. I volleyed back and forth between a sarcastic "oh, hey there Spring. way to take your fucking time getting here", and something all profound, perhaps a little floral and romantic and shit because today marks my eleventh anniversary with The Boy.

You'll have to excuse me for nixing both openings. This is not to say that I'm not ecstatic that Spring finally got her shit together and showed up for work. Tardy, much? This Spring, especially, is shaping up to be the best yet. I'm off to NYC for some serious girl time in a couple of weeks, a trip that I couldn't possibly be more excited for. Then, we open up the cottage for another fantastic summer. In early June, we are gathering all of our closest friends together at the cottage for a big weekend party to properly celebrate The Boy's birthday. Then we're off on a road trip to see the National play (twice in 24 hours, YES). We're in the process of purchasing a 7-seater SUV so that we can properly christen this summer the "Summer of the Road Trip". We have so many little plans in the works with various amazing people and I can't wait to get started.

This is also not to say that I'm not excited/surprised/relieved to have made it eleven years with The Boy.  I/we are profoundly lucky. This relationship has really become a lesson in dichotomies. Every year gets both harder and easier. Quieter and more passionate. Softer and so much harsher. It's both saved me and broken me to the core. And I know that I can't/won't live any other way. There's no life for me that doesn't involve me standing by his side. I won't cross these streets until he holds my hand.

But, unfortunately, these thoughts have taken a backseat in my mind. There's something much more frantic and pressing on my mind as of late and it's accompanied by a quiet, growing rage. I'm trying to pull all of my thoughts and emotions into a proper essay on this subject, but I think that that may take some time, so I will open up the discussion with myself in this blog post and hope that this shames me into getting my thoughts down on paper.

If you've been out for drinks with me lately, you will have noticed my one-track mind, preoccupied with the growing number of stories about the very public rape of teenaged girls (let's be clear: if these things could be measured, which they can't, documenting the rape and cowardly sharing it electronically with everyone in the community is even worse than committing the assault in the middle of the street), the refusal of the justice system to act (especially in the face of a significant amount of evidence), the inevitable slut-shaming and bullying that follows, and the too-often tragic consequence of the victim taking her own life (or becoming otherwise destroyed emotionally). There are five high profile cases in North America that I'm keeping track of, including one that I'm helping with, which keeps me awake at night and in a daze most of the day.

What's been most disturbing to me has been the response of so-called liberal, well-educated, thoughtful people, some of whom are my friends or acquaintances (since social media is one of my sources of society's responses to this new twist on rape).  It's really been in the backdrop of the actions of Anonymous (which I wholly support) that I've started questioning the assumptions of so many. I guess I thought (naively) that feminism had come further, that more people thought critically about how sexist this entire set-up is. People who realized that this is only being touted as a "careful" balancing act between privacy interests and the rights of victims because this is a crime in which the majority of victims are women. This isn't an issue that *often* adversely affects men. It's clear in the way that the accused are being described, in the way that the victims are being portrayed, in the words being used to effectively shut down discussion of this subject*, in the almost complete lack of critical analysis of society's response to these crimes, that people just aren't getting that it is our lack of a genuine response to this violence that makes the effects of these crimes so devastating.




listening to: the national ~ don't swallow the cap



Sunday, March 3, 2013

the weekend ritual



i have a fabulous life. it's hard to remember that sometimes, especially in the moments of madness that make up modern life, but i do. it's the most clear to me on sunday evenings, as i'm curled up on david on the couch, smiling as I recall all of the fun we had over the weekend.

our weekends are absolutely sacred to me - our ritual perfectly rehearsed. as soon as i wake up on friday mornings, i find the anticipation of 5 o'clock almost unbearable. the moment that david gets home from work, we open a bottle of wine and make dinner for the girls, all four of us crammed into the kitchen talking excitedly about our week. we pile on to the couch and watch a movie while the girls eat dinner. after we put violet to bed, i find my shortest black dress and my highest black heels, and we hop on our bikes for a late dinner at our favourite restaurant (our ideal dinner time is 10 pm, impossible on weekdays with babies). we have a long, leisurely dinner, imbibe in much more wine, debrief about our week, gossip about our lives, and make wild plans for the future. around midnight, like clockwork, we race off into the night to meet up with various friends for late drinks.

saturday morning, david braves the early morning montreal bagel run, then we climb back into bed with coffee and bagels covered with mustard, cheese, tomatoes and arugula (me), butter and cheese (him), and discuss our day's plans. we spend the afternoon slowly running errands, never making a proper dent in our to-do list, instead wandering the city, fortifying ourselves with coffee and silliness. we return home, tidy the house, make dinner, open a bottle of wine as the sun goes down, have a seemingly impromptu family dance party in the living room, put violet to bed and meet up with friends. Saturday, no matter how healthy and responsible our intentions are, we always seem to stay up far too late.

sunday, we sleep and sleep and sleep, then drown ourselves in coffee and bagels in bed. we watch old episodes of whatever show we're mainlining at the time (currently: mad men), while we discuss the previous night's adventures. in the afternoon, david goes to basketball, while the girls and I tidy, grab groceries and eagerly await his return. once he gets home, we open a bottle of wine, cook a long, far too involved dinner, flop on the couch, exhausted, and try to stretch out the remaining few hours as long as possible. these last hours seem to go by at super human speed, faster each week, and a feeling of desperation and panic reminiscent of the end of summer always starts to creep in. i try to stay in the moment, calmly curled up with the boy, but i almost always find myself starting the silent countdown to next friday, when we can run away in adventure again, becoming blissfully lost even if only for a few moments.

* listening to: rolling stones ~ love in vain 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

i'm an accident, i was driving way too fast...

Violet, early morning version.

gosh, it's been a while. but, in my defence, december and january left much to be desired. those two months were filled with so much stress, craziness and drama, that I really don't know how we survived. we were sick approximately 19,031 times. we dealt with what seemed to be daily tragedy, turmoil and nonsense in our personal and work lives. we sort of turned on each other and ended up bickering, crying and feeling sorry for ourselves for much of time. we tried to run away to mexico and.... let's just say that we returned home with the realization that we needed a vacation to recover from the "vacation". and then, to top it all off, there was a pregnancy scare. well, not really a scare, per se. we are eagerly looking forward to a new baby in the next 18 months, but were really hoping to start properly looking forward to it in the fall. we have several fairly exciting trips planned this year which i plan to properly enjoy. and by "properly enjoy", i mean with a glass of wine in my hand. 

the upside of all of the crazy and drama and heart-wrenching stress is that, at some point, you just have to fucking give in and go with it. after 104 things have gone wrong in a day, and it's not even dinner yet, and of course you're out of wine again, and the 105th thing decides to go wrong epically? well, you have two choices. you can dissolve into a puddle of tears and pound your fists against the ground screaming that "it's just not fair!!!", or you can start laughing like a crazy person does mere moments before the police show up to take her to the psych ward. i can happily report that, with terribly bruised fists from so much time already spent on the floor in december and january, we decided to start laughing about it all. And, while it's fairly early to be raising our arms in victory, things kind of just started falling into place and it's like the sun came out again and the world became almost implausibly nicer. granted, our standards for happiness are currently pretty low, but we're okay with that. now, we high-five each other if there's still coffee in the pot or one of us finds a non-crappy movie to watch. the other day, the girls and i had an impromptu dance party because i found a particularly good parking spot at the grocery store. yesterday, it literally made my day when i found matching mittens.

so, in the haziness of my newfound Blissful Attitude based on Lowered Expectations, here is our recent life in pictures and a 10-track playlist guaranteed to get one through the dark days left in this silly winter. nothing too "up" or energetic. instead, let's ease back into real life slowly with the assistance of indie rock and bearded hipster boys. it's funny, as i look back through our pictures from the past 2 months, despite all of the ludicrous bad luck that we seemed to have, we actually had some pretty amazing times. i think that, more often than not, we were actually having fun. we just couldn't see it through the Storm of Daily Bedlam and Emotional Ruin that was December/January.



 













* listening to:
  • built to spill ~ some
  • tiger waves ~ funeral march
  • ride ~ vapour trail
  • elliott smith ~ waltz #2
  • william fitzsimmons ~ you still hurt me (feat. Great Neck South High School Choir)
  • youth lagoon ~ montana
  • first aid kit ~ in the hearts of men
  • smashing pumpkins ~ mayonaise
  • the national ~ the geese of beverly road
  • neil young ~ i'm the ocean




Saturday, December 29, 2012

resolve.




i'm not big on resolutions. i have this habit of coming up with grand plans of saving the world or becoming overnight that amazingly witty, beautiful, lovely girl that you see across the room and just have to know. these are not resolutions that can be achieved within a year. or, even within a lifetime, as i am learning. so i try not to enter the new year with any real checklist. it's the easiest route to feeling like a grand loser come early february, when all you've achieved in the stupid month of january is a few extra pounds; the feeling that you may, in fact, be an alcoholic; a growing hatred for winter; and an insatiable yearning for daylight after 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

but i am big on reflecting on the previous year. and 2012 (surprisingly) proved to be the most significant year in my life, thus far. put simply, it was the year i stopped expecting. expecting things to turn out the way i felt they should. expecting people to be the friends and family that i felt they should be. expecting the world to give me what i felt i deserved. i learned to stop blaming others for the way i felt in situations, i stopped expecting people to be exactly who i needed, and i started to slowly (re)learn to rely on myself. there are battles that i will need to fight, that is for sure. but these battles are mine alone. i hadn't realized until it was almost too late how long i had allowed myself to be almost entirely reliant on other people, and especially dependent on what they thought of me. letting go of the notion that i can entirely control my life and my interactions with the world has been intensely freeing. it seems trite, i am sure, but i've finally realized that i can only control who i am in this world, and that if i move through it thoughtfully, purposefully and respectfully, then i will find the peace and happiness that i've so desperately sought.

so, on the heels of this new found wisdom, I can say with utter certainty that 2013 is going to be magical. i've never been so quietly sure that i'm finally, finally, getting things a little bit right. this is not going to be the year of more responsible pursuits like working like a crazy person, keeping on top of silly housework, saving for a rainy day, etc. instead, i hope that it will be a year of quality indulgences: much travel, lazily spending more time with the people we adore, more late nights, slower mornings, and, our biggest plan in six years: getting started on that third baby (it will likely take most of this year to talk myself into doing that whole pregnancy thing one more time). 

happy new year, people. i just know that we are going to have the best one yet.

* listening to: youth lagoon ~ montana

Friday, December 14, 2012

love/sick


we've been sicker than a group of... really sick people? this past week. we've all had both the exorcist-re-enacting stomach flu and now the chest-cold from hell. unfortunately, it's december, and there have been things to do! people to see! yummy food to eat! far too many glasses of wine to drink! so, there's basically been very little downtime, where we can just lie on the floor of the bathroom, with our head in the toilet like all normal people (thank you, bridget jones. you make the holidays better... always.)

instead, i've had to get out there and see friends for the holidays (every other night) and network for the new job (every day and every other night) and it's kind of been killing me. our house looks like we've been robbed and i feel like the walking dead. i've been killing myself to work out each day (I will not allow the holidays to ruin my progress), i've been (sort of) keeping to my weekly cleanse, and i've been studying, studying, studying, and dreaming, dreaming, dreaming. i think it's working? i was at a holiday party last night, chatting away to a bunch of judges, fortified by wine + nyquil, and, if I do say so myself, actually said some pretty good things. or that may just be the nyquil talking.

through this past week, the boy has been by my side, taking care of me, bringing me zinc lozenges, burgers, apple cider and being my chauffeur because this girl finally got too sick to bike. even though he's also been sick. and even though we've been going through one of the toughest times in our relationship to date.

we're in that phase of our relationship where, almost 11 years in, the things we used to rely on to get us through the tough times are no longer working. we're now facing the cold hard decision of deciding: is this something we can work through or have we run our course? i never really thought about it until recently, but we got together and married YOUNG: 22 for him, 24 for me. we didn't know what we were getting into. we just fell madly in love and decided to make a life together. unlike almost all of our peers who are now making this decision, we didn't have the life experience/ selfishness of our 30s to dictate career aspirations and a certain standard of living. we just knew we fucking loved each other and couldn't imagine a life apart.

that's the beauty of one's early 20s. it's all passion. there's little rational thought. i would have lived in a box on the street with him if it meant i could have him forever. i still would. i guess that's the difference between us and people who got together when society dictates they should. we didn't find each other based on a checklist of similar interests and expected compatibility. no one gives a fig about that in their early 20s. which, i guess, is why most relationships don't last past then.

i still don't know how or why ours did. but it did for some crazy reason. and that's why i can't accept that things will ever get too hard to just give up on. things are hard, yes, and no one in our family seems to support us or care at all about what we're going through, but that's kind of what life has always been like for us. we didn't get together out of the panic of mid-late 30s and ticking biological clocks. our parents and siblings weren't happy for us solely because we finally got engaged and were ready to move on to the "grown-up" portion of our lives. we bucked all of that tradition. we didn't settle. we found each other when we had our whole lives ahead of ourselves. which, unfortunately, meant growing up together. which leads to these awful phases where one of us is growing at a different rate than the other. which is what i must believe is what we are going through now. i must also believe that it will pass, that we will find that smooth phase again where it's only about how amazing our life is together.

on that note, we're off to the woods this weekend to celebrate a very good friend's birthday. i'm very much looking forward to this time away without the kids (thank you a million times over, annie!!!) to spend some time with just him, and not our jobs or kids or mortgage or families or the impending stressful christmas holidays (can it be beach time already?).  here's to hoping we can let all that go for a couple of days.

* listening to: neil young ~ i'm the ocean

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

it's been a while.

gloomy queen street


ohh, it's been a while. but there have been reasons. really, really good reasons. 

i've been wandering an awful lot lately. i left my job exactly a week ago, and, for the first time since i was 13 and hauling ice cream for dairy queen, i am neither employed nor am i a student. nope, i'm just a terribly neurotic girl with a ridiculous dream of a career who is unsure of how to make it into a reality. hence the wandering: road-trippin', staying out late, sleeping in, dancing, running, singing, laughing... basically, surrounding myself with the most excellent people. just putting myself out there in the world to hopefully find my way back into it. preferably as a lawyer again. one who isn't a fuck-up. one who gets it right this time. a human rights lawyer running her own gig and hopefully changing the world a little. that's not too much to ask, is it?

i won't bore you with the mundane, yet kind of exciting, details of business card and website design, insurance and accounting, legal aid panels and advertising. i was offered a great office space for cheap today at the human rights organization that i volunteer at, so i'm actually going to have a chair and a window and office supplies. it's all kind of becoming real, but, at the same time... sort of remains this crazy ridiculous dream world where i'm all grown up and, dare i say, competent. the only thing pushing this anywhere near reality is the ridiculous amount of support i have in my life. i know i say this a lot, but i have the greatest Urban Family that a girl could ask for. they blindly support me, bring me to the wine, make me laugh until i cry, dance crazy in the streets, listen to all of my neuroses in the middle of the night and still love me in the morning. i am able to dream this big because of my brilliant friends.

so, to kind of get ready for this whole runningmyownlawpracticething, [until that notion gets significantly less scary, it will continue to be one big, run-on word], in the past couple of months, I've taken on a couple of pro bono cases - they are significant cases, ones that should make a mark on the law, and that will hopefully change my clients' lives for the better. i'm back in court, i'm forcing myself to network several times a week, i'm volunteering with different groups and organizations, i'm putting myself out there at every chance i get. again, hence the wandering. this isn't the megan we all know and hopefully love. i've needed some time to figure out how to incorporate heel-wearing, well-spoken, non-anxious adult-megan into my world, because she's just... different than what i'm accustomed too. but i'm learning to like her. i hope you will too.

* talking heads ~ road to nowhere