Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"I have a dream"

50 years later, this phrase ignites passion of injustice, indifference and inspiration. 50 years ago tomorrow, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC infront of over 250, 000 people declaring to all that would listen about his vision for an equal and just America.

If you have never actually listened to it, it is amazing - even 50 years later. Click here to watch it: I have a Dream speech. I remember studying this speech in a Rhetoric class a mere 10 years ago in University (eek) and being stunned by it's continued relevance in our world.

How many places in this world are still ripe with inequality. Look at Syria, Egypt, Sudan - they are still killing each other over mere differences in understanding. Look at Russia that bans gay and lesbian people from living their lives openly. Take a look at the news and find, on any given day, someone filled with hatred for another human being because of their differences.

The more I read, live, and understand about the world, the more I see how we must cloak each other in utter kindness. We must be true, honest, genuine vessels of compassion. I am often shocked when people comment on my optimism and notice that I often seem to find the silver lining in things. Believe me... some days I don't feel like there is a silver lining. Some days I just want to punch someone in the face. This, however, is ultimately against what I believe. I believe that tomorrow is a different day with no mistakes in it. We have the chance to be inspiring and create change every day. The change may be small, it may not matter to anyone, but if you face your day with optimism, kindness and joy, good things come. I believe this with every fiber of my being, and I believe that Dr. King did too.

I realize that this sounds trite. Dr. King said "The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open." Walk around the world with your eyes open, see the world. Not just the beauty and magic that it is filled with, but the gruesome, scary, unkind stuff too. Without seeing the bad, you can't appreciate the good. Nor can you help with the bad. Even if you just smile to the poor man on the street and make eye contact with him, or let the pregnant lady with the 2 screaming kids in front of you in line, or adopt a kid in Africa, it is the little things that inspire change. Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". I say that you should be the change, walk with your eyes open, inspire and be inspired.

On Lincoln Memorial
I stood on the spot this speech was delivered 50 years ago. I felt the hair on my arms stand. I looked out on the Mall and imagined what it would be like to have 250, 000 people there, believing what I believe, fighting for what I was fighting for. I was inspired. I was awe-filled. I was silent. It is magical to stand on a place of such significance and I am so thankful that I live in a place where I can afford such luxury.

On this anniversary of such a passionate and inspiring speech, I encourage you to find your inspiration, find your way to deliver that justice, look for a way to be a kinder, more accepting, gentler person. But don't do it for Dr. King - although he would be honored - do it for yourself.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bruce Lee

The legendary Bruce Lee had some inspiring things to say... take the following for an example:

"I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude."

"Life is best to be lived and not conceptualized" - WOW... I am so glad that I am taking the opportunity to do this. To live life and not let opportunities pass me by because of fear, uncertainty and doubt. I don't want to look back and say "I should have..." I want to look back and say "This is what I did..."

"I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added to my bank of fortitude." - I always say that I don't regret any of the decisions that I have made, it has helped shape who I am and the person I have become. I find that I give myself over, 100% to who ever it is that I love. There is no half way with me, it is all or none. It is how I have always been and I doubt that will ever change - and I'm ok with that. I have accepted this is who I am.

As the day of my departure grows closer, I find that I am more anxious about this adventure than scared. I worry that it won't be the awesome experience that I want it to be. I worry that it's going to be really, really hard and I will want to come home. I worry that I will be incredibly lonely and sad the whole time. If you know me, you are reading all of these things thinking that it is ridiculous and I shouldn't be silly - but if you really know me, you know that I worry about stupid shit like this all the time and when the day comes for me to suck it up and get on the plane, I will be excited and bouncing and ready to make the most out of this adventure. Until then, I play ping pong with my emotions trying to decide how this experience will shape me before it actually happens - which is ludicrous, but it's how I roll.

Alas, tomorrow is a different day, tomorrow the pit that sits in my stomach will be gone and thoughts about Verona and Dante and Bologna and Italian will fill my head and I will be excited, not anxious, once again. Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Music sings to my soul!

Music has been such a soul healer for me this month. I have found a number of new bands that I love, and songs that I adore. I have become addicted to Grooveshark.com which allows me to listen to bands I have never heard of and learn about some of the music I love (and hate). I have found bands like "The Gaslight Anthem" and "Said The Whale" as well as rekindled my love with "Mathew Good Band" and "Hayden".

Here is one song that I fell in love with because of it's hauntingly delicate sound and the amazing lyrics. There is something about the story that makes me sad and I can relate somehow. "Who are you without your sadness? Who am I without my shame?" - WOW... just WOW!!

Birds of Belfast - Kris Delmhorst
The field grew wild all that buzzing summer
We dozed a while, woke a little younger
Hung your clothes, waited on the weather
Thorn and rose twine and grow together

When did all the birds of Belfast learn to sing your name?
When did all those silver ashes breathe into flame?
Who are you without your sadness? Who am I without my shame?
When did all the birds of Belfast learn to sing your name?

Which was right, the fight or the surrender?
You my light, my solitary mender
Still the sun will rise on every weeper’s mourning
Tear stained eyes, pearly light adorning

When did all the birds of Belfast learn to sing your name?
When did all those silver ashes breathe into flame?
Who are you without your sadness? Who am I without my shame?
When did all the birds of Belfast learn?
Who am I to sing a love song? Who are you to do the same?
With our weary little hearts full of broken little claims?
Will they even recognize us? Should I give you a new name?
And then all the birds of Belfast would sing it just the same.

Additionally - check out my new favorite poet... Shane Koyczan. He is absolutely incredible (and Canadian to boot) and has inspired me to pick up a pen again. I love what he says and how he speaks so plainly yet so definitively! LOVE, LOVE his stuff! I think I have mentioned him before, but I simply can't get enough of his writing! Check him out if you get a chance!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stuck in my head

I'm really not sure why, but this song has been stuck in my head for a week... perhaps it is the story of how I view my past... perhaps it is because I always settle... perhaps it's just because it is catchy! I adore this song right now... perhaps because I feel that I have stopped rolling over. Maybe it's because I have left and am trying to find a better man. Maybe it's because I feel the black cloud lifting finally and I can listen to songs like this and be thankful I didn't end up this way. Regardless, I love this song. :)

Better Man - Pearl Jam

Waitin', watchin' the clock, it's four o'clock, it's got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over...
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

Talkin' to herself, there's no one else who needs to know...
She tells herself, oh...
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along...
Swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
She lies and says she still loves him, can't find a better man...
She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can't find a better man...
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

She loved him, yeah... she don't want to leave this way
She feeds him, yeah... that's why she'll be back again

Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better... man...

Siena Time

Hey everyone,

I found this handy-dandy clock so that you know what time it is in Siena based on where you are in the world. :) I like to refer to it as Siena time!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


As I prep for this amazing journey I will be on in a number of weeks, I find that I am slowly checking out and wanting time to move at lightening speed. :) Luckily, I have people reminding me that time is a gift, and we need to make sure that we use it wisely (Thanks Mom).

She sent me this quote after our conversation last night where I told her it is getting difficult to keep focused and come to work and contribute each day.

"It isn't the monumental highlights that make a saint. It's daily life. The sacrifices we make for our loved ones, the discipline we exercise in doing our jobs even when we don't feel like it - These are the actions that transform our souls. These are the actions that can change ordinary life from a daily grind to a heavenly experience"

I hope to make these remaining weeks a heavenly experience... even when it's hard and I have so much to look forward to!

As I have learned the hard way - Mom is right! :)

Thursday, August 08, 2013


For those who know me, know that I adore quotes. I search for them, have them on my bedroom walls, scribble them in books, blog about them... I just love the wisdom that they hold and the lessons you can learn from others who have felt the same way you have. LOVE quotes.

So, when I found this one, I just had to share it's wisdom. This is going to be the epitome for my moving forward and finding a true, honest, and mutually loving relationship. It is something that I should have been living years ago - not only because it is true, but because I am an imperfect person searching for perfection that doesn't exist...

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But, if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote you poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there’s love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” - Bob Marley

Who knew that good ol' Bob would have such insight... thanks Mr. Marley for the lesson (one that I should have learned years ago). I will stop searching for perfection and stop analyzing. I will stop expecting the poetry and start showing the true emotion that I feel. I will acknowledge that perfect guys don't exist and that I am not perfect either. Well said Bob, well said!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

July? Where did you go?

The Thrid Eye Blind (3eb) concert was all that I imagined and more... they played all my favorite songs, were energetic and completely awesome! I hung out with Kristin, one of my favorite people and a couple buddies from baseball - Patrick and I found a new appreciation for each other as we sang along to all the amazing songs... now, I just can't get enough of 3eb!! Definatly was a concert like no other and one I will always remember.

The day after the concert, it was up super early to get on the road to Hay River. One stop in Edmonton to see Coreen and buy a bridesmaid dress, have a quick visit and I was on the road. I think the trip took a total of 13 hours of driving, but leaving at 6:30 and getting in at 10:30 after a night of partying at a concert tested my abilities to do the whole drive in one shot... thank God for the new Red Bull - I tried all 3 and they are a BIG improvement from the original! :) After the drive, spent the whole week hanging with Mom, Dad and Lily, Jen and Kathryn and also met up with the Wallingtons - it was so great to hang out and relax and drink some wine, talk through thoughts with my parents and just be - I really love just chilling with them! The drive home was a 13.5 hour adventure with Lily the 7 year old in tow - as she said, "The whole trip in one day - That's how my Aunty rolls!" :)

Upon getting home, I had my brand shiny new Parchment waiting for me... I have a certificate now in what I do for a living - and it only took me a year. :) I was elated and celebrated with a beer.... mmmm!

The big project that was due at the end of July was delivered on time, hopefully with some wow and awe (first of all that we could get it done so quickly, second because it was filled with amazing content!). I am sure there will be residual work on it, but I am glad to be free from it's grip... however I doubt that I will be working towards a new project in my 7 weeks left here. I think that only time will tell! :)

The day we presented the big project, I was up and out of town by 2pm to Camrose for BVJ - Big Valley Jamboree to those not in the know. It is a giant Country Music festival where you camp and listen to music and drink all day. It was absolutely epic... and just thinking back to it, I can't believe the people, the music, the drinking... it was awesome and tiring and made me realize that I am not 20 anymore! Coreen and I had a great time reminiscing about the good ol' days when we would go to Essies and dance the night away with all the guys lined up at the bar... man we used to dance our feet off!
Brina, Me and Coreen - Day 1
So, what now? The Blues Festival trip has been cancelled due to Debbie not being able to go. So, I am going to hang out with my friends, figure out what to bring to Italy, and let the next 7 weeks speed by. I am looking forward to Mike and Elisa's wedding at the beginning of September, but that is the only thing that is planned thus far! To be honest, I am a bit glad... I am not sure I could handle another 3 day festival! Does that mean I am getting old?

So, that is the update of this month... I hope this finds you all well... until I write again, here's a quote from the Great One, Commemorating the 25 year anniversary of him being traded to the Kings...

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky -

Go out there, explore the world, take chances and risks, be safe, but be adventurous. You never know where the turn will take you, just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Peace out!