Breathe Again

My anger gets misplaced at times towards my partner. Receiving an email from my ex-husband these past few days makes me realize whom I meant to be directing this to.

Love isn’t easy. It doesn’t need to be complicated either. It is simple. Love me while I am here, not to cherish me when I’m gone. I realize now some if not many love the idea of a relationship, but very few commit to the hard work and forgiveness it entails.

Making a life together means building on yourself. At times, transitions aren’t easy. These reformations within ourselves, these revelations of our truths we have kept hidden. Those scars of hurt, those badges of anger. It can become hard to let go what is familiar but no longer serves us.

Each day we live our truth as we choose to see it. Not everyone is ready and so you must take it upon yourself to be open. To allow yourself to see the change within you, to shed the skins that no longer belong to you. It is raw, and very real, to live your authentic truth, little make up and all.

And while our lives might not look how we expected, and we may be criticized internally for being different, one voice speaks silently above them all: you are more beautiful than perfect, and your perfect is beautiful.

“Scars to Your Beautiful”, Alessia Cara

This entry was posted on June 27, 2017. 5 Comments

Bullies and Creepers in the Workplace

There are moments in your life when you’re not proud of how anger got the better of you, and yet it is necessary to fuel change in your life.

Being bullied and creeped on at work has reached its limits. Having to work nearly over 30 hours a week without being granted full time hours and benefits takes a toll on your mental health in dealing with colleagues who have just been in retail too long. Ones who take every minute detail way too seriously and feel they can speak to you in a condescending manner as their years of service equate to an over inflated sense of importance and superiority. Its insane.

Yesterday I was shaking in anger at yet again being targeted with her natterings which many others have stated, she’s basically very difficult to work with.

While I tell myself better exists one day, a part of me is just plain tired. It seems that no matter how good you are and how hard you work, it really comes down to politics of who likes you and what happens if they don’t. It becomes frustrating when good work and all this other positive attitude stuff just doesn’t matter in the face of bullies and smart creepers who can get away with touching you with their eyes. Shudder.

But I must try. For the sake of peace not only at home but in my mind too. When minimum wage takes a toll on your maximum health, it’s time to check out.

Success.

Ameen.

500 Days of  😊 😅 😢 😥 😂

In about four days, we will learn of what the Universe has in store for us next: my partner’s payroll has been delayed for three months now and our landlord’s patience is even shorter.

When every opportunity to advance comes to a standstill, where is there left to go. 

It’s been a roller coaster since last June and it’s easy to start questioning ourselves if this journey is worth fighting for. How do you know if these tests are to strengthen you two as a couple or if it’s signs that you’re better off apart. 

Life as a Pink Ninja isn’t easy. You have to believe that love is worth holding onto. Being with someone is beyond Hollywood romance movies, it takes recommitment and lots of forgiveness for the inevitable human traits we all possess in moments of hardship. The difference is how you two come back together, stronger than ever, determined to push through to the next stage in your relationship. Just like a video game. Without zombies.

There are moments where I have questioned what this is all for, this seemingly backwards spiral into my life. It is easy to look at my life the way others would look at it. But my dear friend reminds me, we must look at ourselves the way God sees us. 

To God we belong, and to Him we return.

Prayers to all those going through struggles that we never hear about, as they bravely smile thru it all.

Success.

Ameen.

Lucky To Be Alive

Trudging through the storm in a white mini van, we ride in disbelief that highways such as this one were not shut down. White out conditions with bare visibility makes blowing snow warnings laughable as we headed from Winnipeg to return home West.

Leaving Brandon, Manitoba at 3:30am since our 9pm long but steady drive, we knew this regular six hour journey would require patience. But what we didn’t expect were three foot drifts and lack of ploughs on Christmas day. 

Getting stuck ditch after ditch, we braved the elements with socks for mittens and snow brushes for shovels. Our lack of winter gear didn’t help but even more disparaging was being told by CAA Manitoba at 4:30am that there were no tow trucks and maybe RCMP heading out our way in eight to ten hours. Basically, good luck. 

As pick up trucks, Greyhound and tractor trailers drove past us, the lack of humanity on Christmas hit harder than the snowstorm of 30-40cm. We will never forget the one white pick up who stopped, asked what’s wrong, and said, “see you later!”. He had shovels and obviously a few bad elves who could have helped.

Being stuck on the shoulder also posed a safety risk with a tractor trailer missing us by a few feet before he almost landed in the ditch. We slept in the car after my many snow shinobi attempts to try to break the snow in jeans and sneakers, and were awoken three hours later by yet another request from someone for us to get out of their way. 

They dug and push us out only to have us stuck on our third drift which they gleefully passed us by, all three pickup trucks and tractor trailer. This drift in the middle of the road was even worse and with our three quarter tank of gas, we started to worry if help would ever come as CAA Manitoba yet again told us to sit tight to CAA Saskatchewan’s horror.

Another white pickup drives by for an emergency snow call locally, and stops to listen but refuses to help us even with a push. We were sent angels though, and had one black SUV help give us a push, but it wasn’t until Darwin Drake entered the scene that we truly felt it was a Christmas miracle.

Darwin stood tall and strong as he offered to pull us out with his black pick up truck but our mini van lacked towing points. Lo and behold, he informed us ploughs were coming and sure enough ten minutes later at finally 11am were they clearing the 1 West highway from hazardous snowfall since yesterday. He wanted to get out of their way and mentioned he might return to check on us and we thanked him for his presence.

Unfortunately, the ploughs didn’t help as they shoveled more snow onto the passenger side of our vehicle which made it even tougher to dig out of. We worked as a team and were patient and hopeful that we would be saved. Sure enough, Darwin returns with a massive blue shovel borrowed from a local farm and start to dig us out effortlessly the many feet of snow. With great pushes by me and him, we were on our way. He drove by us again to make sure we were alright and we thanked him repeatedly for being our saviour.

As we arrived in Virden, the highways finally closed, we napped and reacquainted with the black SUV who gave us a push. As 4pm arrived and we were on our way out with highways reopened, we received yet another call from CAA Manitoba that they did not have any contractors who could come help us. I’m guessing Boxing Day shopping was more important.

As we safely drove along clear roads and felt blessed to be back in Saskatchewan where their CAA would be a million times better than Manitoba, we felt closer than ever and learned just how ridiculous one of my employers could be in asking that I still try to make it on Boxing Day even though I was texting her I was in a ditch with no help for hours. My second retail employer is professionally distant but immediately relieved me of my shift the next day so that I wouldn’t be rushed to return to the city which I wished the first employer had done.

Who knows why things happen the way they do. All I know is as our muscles ached from surviving the wild, and our minds exhausted from the dangers of human behavior, we felt loved and blessed by God for His angels who were the true miracle this Christmas.

Ameen.

This entry was posted on December 27, 2016. 2 Comments

It’s Weird to Feel Normal

As I battle a sore throat from the dust and warmth of our new place, I feel strange to not have to struggle. 

Since living in our car as of July 31, it’s hard to believe we endured the roughest and funnest times since then. Our new home is beautiful, spacious, and surreal since being here for a week now and realizing how much we condensed to a 5X10 trailer which spreads thin in a two bedroom home.

It’s definitely not cheap and while the vacancy rates are high, rental prices definitely have not come down. Having just landed a second part time retail job myself, we are blessed that his career is more fruitful.

As I hibernate here in one of many rooms, my anti social nature has sprung as the frigid temperatures make it hard for me to venture away from our furnished space. I miss knitting at the library, breakfasts at Tim Hortons and friendly faces at the gym.

On the other hand, I don’t miss the judgement from not having an address, dealing with hygiene inconveniences, or the insurmountable stress as the weather darkens to freezing temperatures. 

As we cried because we saw other trailers replace us in the Walmart parking lot in how we empathize with the struggles others go through, we thank God for the blessings and prayers of what hardships He and all of your kind wishes has saved us from.

May this season bring much cheer, warmth, and blessings to you and your families as well.

Ameen.

A time to heal

It’s been quite the journey these past six months since June and we are hopeful that with his new opportunity starting next week that we will find the steady path we have been looking for to build together.

It’s been far from easy. Absolutely grueling with the most intense and lose your sanity moments from the financial crisis that has hit us and still plagues us until he gets paid end of this month hopefully.

What plagues us isn’t necessarily the killer virus that we battled a few weeks ago with sinuses running endlessly in the car; but the judgment from some of the closest people to us including being told that the one or two meals at maybe $30 a day for both of us as well as laundry of $30 a week is too much and therefore cause for my own family to not help for this last financial stretch. Or even those who offered to help if I just asked and in my recent hint for help, it was ignored.

But if we have learned anything from recent events, it’s that you just can’t predict what is gonna happen next. So you take things in stride, try not to kill each other, and remember to have fun with it.

If Ellen could eat out of a can of soup each day when she was first starting out and not worry about money, then we too can put our prayers together and focus on the chef boyardee of life. 

We might not have it all, and ironically will have two cars but no house thanks to a company vehicle; we are thankful to all those who have been there for us and shown such incredible support. 

Your prayers are appreciated as we aim to build a new home!

Ameen.

brighter skies: tips for living in your car

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When we are in our storms, it may become hard to see. We become blinded by our need for life to turn out a certain way.

Living in our Durango for close to two months has taught us a lot:

1. People will judge you, so its better not to mention you live in your car ie librarians, employers, anyone who requires an address. Better to have a mailing address or even an old one locally to refer to. If you can afford a PO box at a local storage facility, its much cheaper usually than Canada Post.

2. Friends and family may also judge you, so be prepared. You may need to explain yourself over and over again. Well, not so much to the ones who don’t require explanations.

3. Gyms with 24 hours access make it convenient for showering and keeping up exercise. Who says you can’t be buff.

4. Storage facilities help keep your stuff organized and your new mobile home free of clutter. 24 hour access also great, bonus if they have washrooms.

5. McDonald’s for breakfast, Costco for dinner. Gas station restaurants with WiFi and washrooms 24/7 make life easier, especially if they welcome car dwellers like us.

6. Keeping a case of bottled water handy makes it easier for brushing teeth or access to water when we need it.

7. Stay hydrated. Gatorade at Walmart has been best price so far.

8. Walmart parking lots are vehicular homeless havens, unless you come across the Alberta ones that have bright neon obnoxious signs for no overnight parking in big capital letters. Some casinos also welcome us travellers. Gas station restaurant types may too. You can easily tell when driving in if others like yourself are parking lot campers.

9. Be clean. Don’t litter. It only ruins it for others. Live in style I say.

10. Plan ahead. Money saved from not renting can definitely be put towards bills in advance, budgeting for food and gas, alleviates stress.

11. Have fun! Beach trips once a week! Enjoying this long term road trip.

12. Laundromats, we visit twice weekly to keep our bedsheet for the backseat where I sleep fresh. Keep hangers to ensure shirts don’t wrinkle as you can still rock the threads for work. Keep towels to cushion down wind seeping in from doors. Hygiene maintenance will make you feel human.

13. Be romantic. These terribly stressful times may find relief in positive attitudes. Things do get better as we found employment eventually comes our way hopefully, which would help with Winter months.

14. For cold nights, you can leave the car running, doors locked, and slight window gap to avoid exhaust building up in car possibly.

15. Keep blankets and pillows handy for comfort. Makes it more cozy.

16. Eye mask works wonders for bright parking lot lights. Dollarama rocks!

17. Laundry baskets keeps things organized. For instance, laundry pile versus new clothing pile. Keeping a few days to a week’s worth of clothes makes life easier for cleanliness in between laundry loads.

18. Plants can thrive in the trunk, much like a sunroom effect. Just remember to water them.

19. Wipes are your best friend. Walmart has best deal with Great Value brand, especially for germophobes like me.

20. Washing your car, vacuum interior, clean out garbage twice a week. Smaller space can make even light storage challenging so keeping up the home makes for clarity of thought too.

21. Organizers that can be hung behind passenger seat etc makes keeping things tidy a lot easier. Dollar store had a jewelry organizer with tons of pockets that I strapped together with two bungee cords from Canadian tire for $5. Much cheaper than other ones selling for four times as much.

22. Makeup wipes help when you can’t go to washroom as well as travel sized everything for toiletry bag.

23. Wearing glasses instead of contacts saves lots of money and reduces worry of where to send next box that runs out soon as well as how to take them out at night.

24. Shifting your perspective from “I’m homeless” to “We are gypsies” or “We have freedom!” really helps.

25. Mini trailers are always an option once money is saved. We saw a Sportsman 15 foot trailer and loved how cute and compact everything was.

26. You might need to add more data to your cellphone plan, yet its still cheaper than paying for WiFi at home we found. Go figure. Saskatchewan definitely has the best rate plans of like $70 for 8 to 12 GB of data. Keep up your cellphone payments. My partner didn’t realize upgrading his phone with Rogers meant contract changes and therefore treated as a new customer with no history and so even after he called about payment delay, they still cancelled his contract and sent him to collections. Telus for me on the other hand was quite understanding as I have been with them for years, but I also refuse to miss payments.

27. Pay your bills. If you can’t, call them. But try super hard to keep on top of this. I definitely don’t wanna miss my consumer proposal payments as my $77k debt would come back. Bills only snowball so do your best to be a month ahead of them if you can in terms of savings.

28. And on that note, this city totally rocks, and we love it here. People are super friendly, and makes previous cities seem like the twilight zone… Definitely feeling human again though its quite slow job market wise but still good opportunities and great vibes here. Except for gym creepers and many creepy guys here in general.

And lastly, the true measure of our relationship not only with ourselves and our partner but also with God is tested during these dark and stressful times. There are nights that I have cried in despair because it seems hopeless. Many moments that I have wondered why am I alive, what have I done to deserve this.

But when you look up, and see next to you someone with pillows and blankets blocking all the windows in their car, vibes of distraught and defeat welled up inside, you realize, this does not define you. Societal expectations and markers of success do not determine your worth. And above all, to God and His universe we belong, and to Him we return. Ease. Success.

Ameen.