i'll be a thorn in your side for always

I am so utterly, wholeheartedly, and genuinely exhausted. 2014 has done everything Georgia Nichols promised it would be a multi-year window of flux + change. How much of it is either existential breakdown, mental health/anxiety, or just being exhausted and unsure I do not know. But it's even more exhausting. Why can't I just be one of the normals who's ok with mediocrity? Mediocrity rules, right? It's like I'm so tired that I consider this my "year-end" and I have two more months left, ugh. 

I considered this blog as good as dead. I mean I have time for nothing. I *should* be lying on my back on my yoga mat willing my pinched shoulder to loosen itself up. I'm always running day-to-day thriving + surviving hardly having/making time for taking care of myself or processing. It's like people who start urban gardening or a new workout regime or have to see a nutritionist or want to heal some resurfacing trauma, you make a journal of all the things you're learning of the things you're doing different, but what if you don't even have time to find a fucking notebook to write in? I can't even make time to find a notebook to write this shit down in! And, I'm learning so much, I want to meaningfully document some of it. You're welcome in advance. This shit is good as gold.

1. Same old bullshit: take care of your physical health. And I don't mean in some fucking white background health blog sort of way. Who has time for that, really? First step is sleeping more, drinking water, listening to my body, sleeping (I've started taking melatonin to force it and kill the anxiety and praise the baby jesus it works), addressing health problems one-by-one (rather than all of them together). I put "get exercise" in this one. Today I cut 20 cabbages in half. That's my exercise for the day. No pressure. No expectations. Get through the day feeling better than the day before. I got to this point where I was taking so many supplements + vitamins + prescription drugs (for things) that I got sick of taking pills! It's kind of what happens when the natural remedy is diet change + more than a dozen vitamins a day. So just get better so I don't have to take so many pills. Makes sense, right? We'll see. I've been so ill for so long I sometimes don't know what will make me feel better, you know? (Except yoga, the answer is always yoga).

2. Take care of your mental health: If I can't make up my mind or think I have to make a decision about something or have a feeling about something that I can't reconcile my go to answer is "go to sleep". My new go-to is "take rescue remedy" (new to me!). After that, "make a decision tomorrow". "let it go to voice mail". Say no to pretty much everything + stick to the basics. Have a bath in tears + epson salts. Nothing is more important than taking care of myself so I can be in the world without anxiety + stress. I heard an interview with Gloria Steinem where she said women were depressed because they aren't angry enough. So get angry + do something about it.

3. Feminism (is the answer): Having a frame to understand how systemically fucked up the world is is so handy. Being able to make life + business decisions BECAUSE OF FEMINISM is the best. We say no to things all the time. We see the complicity and the complexity and we refuse to back down. My job is hard + exhausting + challenging but feminism gives me the tools to do it well and with intention. #thankyoufeminism!!!

4. Men who brew beer in the north are the fucking best. The beer family sees itself every so often and they are so kind + welcoming. Having events that include or are about beer are the best. Any idea + beer will be successful. I promise. 

5. No one gets any piece of the pie. This is a lesson to learn the hard way. Get excited about bringing other people in and realize that the relationship building needs to take way more time (not just a few meetings or lunches or emails). After that relationship is built, move forward in a good way, but take the fucking time to do it. What you have built and own and run is not worth the headache of some douche canoe taking advantage.

6. There are so many beautiful + supportive activists and feminists on the internet and they congregate on Twitter and often they are white men who are tired of other white men's bullshit and they take less space and women and POC rightfully take that space. It's a world where white feminism is seen as shitty + land rights are the most important. I'm grateful for this community to spread the messages of decentralizing and deconstructing the system.

7. Do things other than the internet. Please.



It's a classic case of "I don't know where it went"....

On Tuesday I'm participating in Pechakucha and presenting about food/my relationship with food/poverty/decolonization etc all under ten minutes. It's really important for me that when I do picture-based presentations (or any presentation) that I use my own pictures rather than take things off the internet. So I literally just spent the last hour going through my boxes of photos from high school, from uni, from japan, from terrace, from PG searching for gems or at least pictures of Terrace. I have a tonne of pictures from my flickr and have scanned a number of old favourites and uploaded them but stumbled across this beauty.

I've spent the past year and a half tearing my life apart and myself down to get to the root of why I've been so sick (mentally and physically). I'm starting to feel better and "find happiness" (aka white bullshit) etc., but seeing this picture..it kind of just hit me. This is the last time I honestly remember being happy. This was March 2003. So much of my life then mimics my life today. I know where things went sour and how I just let that manifest inside me for a decade. It's gross and sad and relieving all in the same thought. Most of it is tied to stress and anxiety and depression and bad health/eating disorder. I made bad choices that enabled that behaviour in myself and held on to traumatic shit for way too long. Blah.

ETA: I'm happy now! The past 10 years have been interesting that's for sure.


Tripping through the door...

I'm genuinely the luckiest person in the world. I am constantly giving thanks for the splendid, wonderful, and full life I have right now. Constantly pinching myself. Repeatedly being ok with how things are going where I'm going who I'm going with. 

Exactly a year ago I was in the worst place. My marriage was officially over. I was in love with someone who said I was crazy and fabricated the whole thing. I was extremely poor and running out of the food I had stored. The house I lived in was infested with mold. And I hated myself through and through. There was a point where I was TWO DAYS from giving notice on my place and moving back to the island to live with my family. I honestly thought things wouldn't get better, that no one would love me, that I was the worst parent ever, and that I would never love myself and even if I did, what the fuck would it matter. The store wouldn't ever open. I wouldn't be able to deal with my debt. That all the shit I taught myself about myself via my shitty marriage, fat shame most of my life, the self-harm, the codependency, the anxiety/stress, the depression, it was who I was and nothing would ever change. Ever.

I wish I could say magic happened. Or that the universe FINALLY listened and gave me what I deserved + what I was working for. Or that I worked so hard good things happened. But all of that is bullshit. I really don't know what I'm doing (specifically). I really don't know what I did (exactly). And I really don't know where I'm going (probably). Before 2012 I had spent the past 20 years of my life lying to myself that everything was ok. That I was ok. If I just kept going and pretended nothing was wrong then nothing WAS wrong and I would be OK. There are major parts of my life I have blacked out on. Who really knows what happened or how I handled things if I even had the agency to do so. And how much of that has been a driver in all the mental health shit I've slogged through since 2012, really. 

What 2012 to now (and the last year in particular) has taught me are a handful of life lessons that I will carry forward with me as I navigate situations, build and maintain relationships, and make good decisions about my life + my kid's life. Most importantly, I learned them by looking into myself, letting my guard down and opening up to my friends, and seeking professional help. Lots of feedback, lots of support, lots of different outlooks on who I was as a person and who I needed to be (and how to get there). I learned that I'm not an island and that I need my family ("real" and created) to heal, survive, and be stronger. My decision to come back to PG and be with my PG family and "follow my dreams" was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 

This calendar year it has been my intention to be vulnerable. To go out of my comfort zone. To take risks. To do things that scare me. To choose a different path. To be my own person and figure out who that is. My overall hope is healing from the past shit and move into the future with new skills for coping. Over the past few weeks I've had a number of dreams where the lesson has been about me trying my old coping mechanisms and them failing and having to try new ones (which work). Cheesy I know, but one of them was a zombie apocalypse dream--fun!!--and they were telling. It's time to do new things and figure out new ways of being. The future is good. The present is wonderful. Keep going.

All of this is actually preamble for the big reveal of this blog post: I'm not applying for a PhD program + I'm not leaving PG anytime soon. (BOOM). Inside me for a long time has been this desire to feed the nerd beast inside me. I LOVE SCHOOL. I love research. I love writing. I love DISCOURSE. We all know my MA ended in shit (fuuuuck) and when I told people I wanted to pursue a PhD, lots of people were like, "but you said you would never!" But I was excited! I wanted to do the work (I still want to do the work) and I wanted to support communities to build food sovereignty! So this past semester I took two classes, maintained an A- GPA, and even published a paper. But I hated it. I skipped classes. I disdained everyone. Repeatedly I said I couldn't wait for it to be over. I struggled to make it a priority. And I learned my lesson: I can't "do everything" and if I want to do school I have to JUST do school. I'm good at it. I should give it my all. But I don't want to give it my all. Fuck the system, really. The industrial academic complex is too much for me and I see it as something that needs lots of work. I don't want to feel like I always have to fix it and I'm not prepared to spend all that time and energy on something that I can't change. And I'm not willing to change ME to fit. sorrynotsorry. 

Part of my story is that I am always afraid to put down roots and I'm never willing to really be myself in a place. In this moment I really feel like I can be myself and Prince George is my place. I'm falling in love with the most amazing woman I've met in my entire life. I am building a business and community with the bestest friend a lady can ask for. I am taking better care of myself. I am being active. I am making good choices for myself. I'm having so much fun. I still don't know if I want to put down roots here and my swan song of "I will only live there for a year" will turn into at least a few more. I still want to be a farmer with my sisters and have land and baby animals to love and vegetables to grow. My decision to stay in PG means the long term projects I've wanted to work on here can and will happen, which is exciting. In the words of my sister, "the roots go down and the life comes up." I know it's cliche whatever, but I'm ready to put down some roots and grow my life in this place and with these people.