Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose

Photo: Seminomad on Flickr

It has been said that "the heart has reasons, which reason knows nothing of..." I think that's true. When you feel it, it's there. You can't choose love, love chooses you. Your heart decides how it feels, often without consulting your head first. The key, I believe, is being open to love. That's the tricky part.

An old friend of mine used to always say, "Don't let your emotions cloud your judgment." In my life, emotions are always clouding everything up. When it comes to love, I'm pretty sure that my emotions have kept my judgment murky for my entire life. I fall for the wrong guys, I probably blow off most of the right ones. Am I just impossible to please? You see, I can name at least five boys I have crushes on right this minute, but would I actually want to date any of them seriously? Not really. So often, the bartender of love serves up a foamy mug of lust. In the past, I've been okay with that. I've always loved my peanut gallery, and to be honest, getting serious with someone was not really at the top of my priorities at one time. I much preferred light hearted convo and casual encounters. As I get older, I can't help beginning to think in terms of permanence. I can't fight the desire inside me to settle down, without settling.

I had my heart stomped on until it was black and blue by someone I had been sure was my soul mate. Love came at me like a truckload of pudding, careening off a sugary highway; however, what initially seemed sweet, left me broken hearted and with a gut ache. I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that part of me is afraid of that happening again, so I have kept myself guarded to some degree. I believe that trust is the most important thing in a relationship; however, trust can be painfully difficult to give once you've been taken advantage of. What I'm starting to realize though, is that I will never find love again if I don't allow myself to be open to the possibility. I've decided that it may be best to abandon my Penny Lane theory, which is, "never take it seriously, 'cause if you never take it seriously then you never get hurt and if you never get hurt then you always have fun." I bought into that for a long time. I really thought that Bob Dylan had it all figured out, "if you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose." Guess's bullshit, because most often, whether you define something or not, the feelings are still there. At the end of the day, whether you've lost anything or not, with that attitude, you still have nothing. It's pretty easy to get stuck in a rut, become unable to move forward, even when you are painstakingly aware that you're not getting what you deserve out of a situation.

So I'm opening myself up once again to the idea that I could fall in love and more importantly, that it may work out. I'm not going to live my life being too afraid to love someone for fear that they might not love me back. I can't allow the fear that it might turn out like it did before hold me back from experiencing what there is or what there could be in this world.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bring on the sunshine

Today is the first day in weeks that I've sounded less like Tom Waits and Kathleen Turner's love child and more like myself. Between the wretched head cold and the now infamous Saskatoon food poisoning incident, it's been a touchy couple of weeks in the health and general "feeling good" department. It rained and rained yesterday, so much so that I couldn't even see across the street at my North Shore office at times. While I do enjoy the odd day of rain pounding hard on the roof incessantly, it would be lovely if the person who is stepping on spiders could please stop now, because I definitely liked that sunshine we had on the weekend better. That, and I'm ready to break out the flip flops.
Visions of summer have been dancing in my head for a few weeks now and the more ideas that are discussed and plans that are made, the more excited I become about the upcoming season. I wish that I could start living in sundresses right now. Warm, sunny days at the beach, long walks on the sea wall and the bronze, glowing skin that results from a summer day outside are all things to look forward to.
Chatting with Keira today got my mind wrapped up in fantasies about flowing summer dresses and perfect, pedicure exposing footwear. Being the procrastinating creature that I am (even at deadline time)- I spent a few moments googling shoes this afternoon. You better believe that these babies by Marc Jacobs are going on my wish list (along with several other more affordable pairs).

Photo: Marc Jacobs

The soles of your shoes are all worn down

Photo: madebackwards on Flickr

There is an urgency; a need for something to really feel like it’s ended, or begun-in these last few weeks.

I’ve spent time bouncing from place to place.
I've spent time trying to hold on to something I believe in.

It is now time to let some slack come between me and the boat I’ve been tied to.
Finding a new boat on a new shore.
Or an old boat on a new shore. Both.

Why do I keep thinking of shores, and waves?
I keep thinking of coming home to something.
Or something coming home to me.

My arms are open in front of me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pretty Things

Photo: Sass A Frass

Yesterday I mentioned, once again, a band that I've been loving since the first listen: Le Rev. The front woman for this band is also the blogger behind Sass A Frass and the face of the new Quiksilver Women's line. C.C. Sheffield is my latest girl crush and fashion muse. She's both carefree and totally put together. I adore her willingness to experiment with her style. Punk, hippy, classic, tomboy; she can pull off any style without even trying. Plus, she's got love for my boy Rob Dyrdek.

I was initially exposed to Le Rev because one of their songs is featured in the Quik Women's vibe video. I loved the song Je t'aime immediately and was determined to track down more tunes by this Los Angeles band. C.C. Sheffield can downshift from whisper to scream in a drumbeat, alternately channeling personas as varied as a French chanteuse, larger-than-life diva and little girl lost to belt out emotionally-charged stories. Le Rev is the creation of Sheffield and guitarist Nico Chiotellis, who wrote all the songs together and created an incredible and unique sound.

If you haven't checked out the blog and sound of this young lady, may I please suggest that you do.

Photos: csheffield52 on Flickr and Le Rev on Myspace

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Friday!

I feel like I've been quite the whiny, little Negative Nelly over the last couple of weeks. So today, I'm going to pull a Meg and shout out some love with my very own Friday love list.

Looking on the bright side (it's been a while, I know...) here's what I love right now:

  • that I get to fly home to my own cozy apartment tomorrow
  • my growing OZ dvd collection (and the awesome chica who got me hooked!)
  • giant cups of green tea
  • perfect ballet flats
  • the fact that this hotel has a snack bar that's open 24/7 with a full fridge of beverages and a neverending supply of Snickers
  • Le Rev
  • good hair days
  • that I still have a sense of humour after a couple of the most stressful weeks of my life
  • that I have the most amazing co-worker to travel with who somehow makes the hardest parts seem easier to handle (and manages to keep me laughing through it all)
  • Habs playoff hockey
  • comfy hoodies
  • big hugs
  • Advil liqui-gels
  • this new Gap ad featuring the divine Ms. Hepburn: (courtesy of YouTube)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not the best week of my life...

Life on the road has been less than fabulous this time around. I'll be honest...we've been punched in the face with a whole lot of bad luck on this trip. The worst of which, found me huddled beside the toilet for most of yesterday. What I thought was a touch of the flu, turned out to be a gut wrenching case of food poisoning. I was literally vomiting between showings. It was awful. To be honest, it was the most horrible that I can ever remember feeling in my entire life. There's not much worse than being sick like that when you're away from home, either. I was writhing around on the bed in my hotel room for hours in pain. Not fun. Thankfully, it seems to have passed through my system now. Despite feeling weak and tired, the worst of it seems to be over. Only two more days to go until I get to go home to my own, comfy bed.

Having the opportunity to lay around last night, I finally got the chance to watch a movie that the lovely Shando has been on my case to see for eons. What better to do when you're ailing than watch a no brainer flick? She kindly lent me her copy of 'Because I Said So'. She warned me that Diane Keaton would be pretty irritating and that although it's a rather cheesy romantic comedy, Mandy Moore plus her hair and wardrobe in the film would be cute enough to make up for it. I have to agree.

I have long loved Mandy Moore and this movie made me smile, even on the grumpiest and ickiest of days; so that's saying something. In addition to the beautiful clothes, the set designs were also fantastic. Mandy Moore's character in particular, lives in a gorgeously decorated loft. She has a rich velvet couch and warm coloured walls, lamp shades, lanterns, carpets and furniture. She also has the most amazing set of open-concept kitchen shelves I've ever seen! I must admit, I feel inspired to redecorate my apartment, curl my hair, put on a dress and do some baking after watching this movie.
Photos: Universal

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's just that simple

I spent one night in Vancouver last night but otherwise, it's been all awkward sleeps and crazy dreams. I'm not really here, it seems. Nothing is happening to bring me back to earth.

The last week has taken me from this:

to this:

New people.
I'm learning so much right now.

I miss my old friends.
I even miss my new friends...

I'm getting to know people, being open and laughing about our thoughts, our misfortunes,
and our futures. Talking about how thankful we are for people like us...
helpful, giving, gracious, funny, smart...

For the first time in quite some time,
I'm looking forward to the summer,
this new chapter.

All the disillusionment is gone.
I can, for once, answer Why. Where. Who...

So I will try my best to keep all the thoughts straight.
I will try my best to keep my head above water,
to keep everyone content (so hard sometimes!)
to keep phones ringing with good news,
to involve myself.
make room.

I will not take anything for granted-
especially spending time with amazing
and way too special people.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Well hockey fans, the NHL playoffs are upon us and if you've watched any of the action recently, you know that playoff hockey is of an entirely different calibre than anything we see during the regular season. This time of year, it's all heart, passion, blood, sweat and tears in the hunt for the prized Stanley Cup. Every goal is precious, every power play makes your breathing shallow, every spectacular save can alter sports history. It is non-stop, one thousand percent adrenaline.

Photo: Jimmy Lin on Flickr

Anybody who has known me since I was a kid knows that although I love our Canucks (and I support the home team 'til the cows come home), at heart, I am a Habs fan. It's true, I bleed bleu, blanc and rouge.

It all started back in grade four when my class did a unit on the history of hockey. As I learned all about the 'Original Six' and the wonder that was Maurice Richard...a love for the game, and a team was born. At that time, the starting goaltender for the Montréal Canadiens was Patrick Roy. This was the man who really made me jump to my feet. I was completely taken by him and instantly became a super fan. Posters of my beloved Patrick covered my bedroom walls, hockey cards filled books on my shelves, and believe it or not, I had a full wardrobe of Montréal Canadiens apparel. Embarrassing as it may be, at that time, I could regularly be seen dressed head to toe in Habs gear. And I actually mean head to toe- I even owned a hair scrunchie and a sweet pair of shoes with logos on them. I had earrings and necklaces to go with my hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, pants and socks. Then there were those famous Habs boxer shorts that I wore underneath my basketball uniform, with just the fringe showing, to add some personal flair. That big "C" with the "H" in the middle appeared on everything that I did- test papers, assignments, after my signature. It was even on my birthday cake. I was obsessed. The boys in my class were evenly split in terms of the teams that they supported. Half of them were die hard Flames fans, and the rest were hardcore Bruins boys. The Flames guys never gave me too much trouble...but every year when the Habs came up against Boston in the playoffs (...and choked, as in those days they did quite often)...I would come into class after game four to find brooms adorning my desk, (courtesy of the boys) because my Habs had been swept.

Photo: Taken from here

Granted, the old red-white-and-blue have had their share of ups and downs this season, but in the pantheon of hockey lore, the club’s legendary status is unflappable. Why cheer for the Habs this year, you ask? First, they still hold the record for most Stanley Cups won (24 as of 1993) and most consecutive championship victories (five). Also, no other NHL team can hold a candle to the Canadiens when it comes to hockey drama. Québec fans expect a lot from their team, so famous dust-ups; notably Patrick Roy’s famous walk-off in 1995—often make the front page news. Then there's that 'Original Six' factor. Along with Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and New York, Montréal was one of the first cities in North America to adopt professional hockey, so know that when you watch them play, you’re watching hockey history in action. This is also a team that doesn't f around with their uniforms. They've had the same logo from day one (unlike other, uh, more local teams, who change their whole colour scheme and logo on a regular basis). Finally, it doesn't hurt at all that Carey Price is a total babe. (Ok, maybe I have a thing for goaltenders?)

Yes, it's true that the Habs haven't had much reason to stay off the golf course this time of year in recent seasons; however, this year, for the first time in ages, the Montréal Canadiens' immense playoff expectations have whipped the city into a frenzy as fans dream of a Stanley Cup run that will raise another banner to the Bell Centre rafters.
I've been cheering my little heart out tonight. The Habs just pulled off a 1-0 win over Boston to put them up 3-1 in the series...going back to Montréal for game 5. My neighbours can probably hear me cheering: "GO HABS GO!" Hopefully they'll be able to hear me through the walls for at least a couple more series. The drive to 25 is on!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fresh air, new friendships, love is all around

The last week has been a tough one for me on many levels. It was clear that I needed to find a way to re-centre myself and put some balance and self love back into my life. On Saturday morning, I awoke under my comfy down duvet and took a deep breath of the spring air trickling in through my window along with the sunlight. I got up to go meet two incredible ladies, Keira-Anne and Phaedra, for a Hidden Language yoga class. It has been difficult for me to put into words just how profound this experience was for me. In the past, I had always had trouble allowing myself to get into a true meditative state. My busy mind has always had a tendency to wander. Yesterday, for the first time, I was able to shut everything else off and completely focus. I'm quite certain that it was the cocoon of love I felt around me in that room, which allowed me to be comfortable and relaxed enough to really connect with myself.

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Thoughts and epiphanies were coming at me like wildfire. At moments, I felt waves of intense emotion. At one point, I almost completely broke down in tears.

It occurred to me that sometimes when we close one book in our lives, it allows us the strength and courage to open another. There is freedom in choice. I want to be able to say that I've lived a life rich in experience. I want to be able to say I've done the things I've dreamed of doing. I want to try lots of things out, test the waters, find out who I am and what is going to make me happy. It dawned on me that thinking myself into a sad, sad place will not help me get out of there. I have to be the change I want to see.

I'm becoming more and more myself all the time. I've often said I believe that's what grace is; the refinement of your soul through time. I have a responsibility not to be afraid of who I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I do. Although I stand on my own two feet, I have such gratitude for the passionate people who have supported me, touched my heart and impacted my life in such a profound way. People really do come into our lives for a reason. I have realized that you have to be careful of your heart always missing someone or someplace or something. I don't want to spend forever trying to get back to some imaginary somewhere. That's how life becomes one long longing. If one lesson has really jumped out at me, it is the importance of living and loving in the moment. Live. Laugh. Love. These are the important things to me right now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A gentle confidence

"I believe that reality is a sublime comedy staged for my education and amusement, and that there is a benevolent conspiracy to liberate me from my ignorance and help transform me into the unique masterpiece I was born to be."

That's what my horoscope said that I should repeat over and over again.

Photo: rayvensmoon on Flickr

I've had a few pretty terrible days lately. Delicate emotional hurricanes have been plaguing me this week...
Today was the worst of it. I finally errupted this evening and the result was a sea of tears that felt like they would never end.

It's finishing all the crucial stuff- all the critical stuff that I need to do before I go on the road. Stress. Pressure. Trying to protect my heart and my spirit.
And the time is passing so quickly.
I find myself being scared and anxious and lonely-
and with no one to share the other side of this with-
the nervous excitement and the tingling I feel in my fingertips.

I'm entering into this one with a gentle confidence.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Now who inspires you?

When I was a little girl, I would spend hours and hours going through magazines, clipping out photos and stashing them in boxes. I collected photos of, among other things, cute boys, interesting places, cool designs, stylish outfits, beautiful women, favourite celebrities, photos from movies I loved, or of hairstyles and makeup that I imagined trying to emulate. Every once in a while, when I'd collected a fair number of photos, I would make what I called "inspiration books." I'd pull out the glue sticks and fasten all of the photos that inspired me onto the pages of scrapbooks. To this day, I collect random images that I come across, which (thanks to the miracle that is the internet) I can now store in folders on my computer rather than boxes in my bedroom. I save them for essentially the same purpose that I did when I was young. In many ways, this whole blog is an extension of that- I share all of the things, books, quotes, people, places and photos that inspire me on a regular basis here. But for the sake of tradition, because I was feeling nostalgic of that old practice, I present to you today, a modern, digital version of something I've been doing my whole life. This is the first installment of a new section that I'm going to call "inspiration posts."

**Photos are not all property of Work In Progress. All images in this post have been taken from various websites and stockpiled in the archives. If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hold onto yourself

Incessant phone calls beginning at 2am the other night from "the past" really shook me up. I felt like screaming, crying and punching a wall, all at the same time. A welter of tidily buried feelings were brought back to raw, vivid life instantly, and it got me thinking...

Photo: Cure on Flickr

When you share genuine love with someone, even in its dark moments, it is beautiful. The joy, laughter, pain and the tears are all part of the experience. But what if you have feelings for someone who is wrong for you? If this person disrespects you, doesn't consider you, or takes advantage of your vulnerability? When all thought and reason tell you to be strong and toss the jackass out, you instead succumb to your emotions and allow yourself to be treated in a way that does not empower you. This person who at one time made you smile now makes you cry, so why do you let it continue? Perhaps you are attached because the way the person treats you reaffirms some negative emotion you have about yourself. That person may bring to surface the insecurities or negative emotions that you are already familiar with, so it's strangely comforting. Maybe you just really believe that time will change things. Perhaps it's a self esteem issue.

Photo: La Salsera on Flickr

I have found that many women are so empowered and strong in their careers and in so many aspects in their life, but when it comes to a man, they crumble. I admit that I, myself have taken disrespect and have compromised myself, making excuses for the other person's behavior, trying to convince myself of the lie that I'm living, in order to hold on to hope. We know our worth in our careers, in our friendships, but why do we sometimes forget our worth when it comes to relationships? There will be people in your life that you will fall for who will not see your worth in their self cherishing ways and will bruise your heart. It is very possible that these people have never had real love and care, and therefore, do not have the ability to appreciate it, even when it's right in front of them. I try to think of these people as blessings, because they teach you so much about yourself. Unfortunately, the process of learning about yourself and revealing the insecurities that you never even knew existed can be a painful and hard one, but they only make you stronger and wiser in the end. This is why I can't regret the decisions that I have made, or what I have been through. As much as I would like to delete the pain associated with the past, I must recognize that I had to go through it all to become who I am today. And I wouldn't trade that.

At some point, you hit a proverbial wall when you realize,"hey, I've had enough" and subsequently, you raise your self esteem and remember your worth. I've come to many realizations recently about myself and I'm thankful to the supportive people in my life who have shared their wisdom with me and given me a shoulder to cry on. Feeling insecure, rejected, attached, and vulnerable is part of being human. It's okay to feel sad and it's okay to cry. But what you do with those feelings and whether you let them consume you or if you turn it into a strengthening and learning experience is your decision. Know your worth, don't ever forget how special you are. And if someone makes you doubt your value or makes you compromise yourself or your integrity, they don't deserve your tears.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hot, hot, hot, hot, cooler than I've ever been

Last night, the girls and I got all glammed up for a night on the town. We enjoyed some divine food and wine down in the cellar at Salt before dashing off to the Chinese Cultural Centre on the last day of BC Fashion Week. The spotlight was on the new Quiksilver Women's line. I was stoked to support my friend Perry, who is heading up the line for Canada. She did an absolutely incredible job of putting together a fashion show which truly captured the essence of the Quiksilver woman- carefree, hip, laid back and stylish.

We sipped wine courtesy of Barefoot before the show began and then were ushered in to take our seats. Despite being in a media seat in the front row, I wasn't able to capture many good photos (much to my dismay...) Music from Quik catalogue model C.C. Sheffield's band Le Rev played as the models walked the runway to show off the versatile collection. The vibe was absolutely perfect. I highly recommend that you check out Le Rev if you haven't. I have recently become completely addicted to their unique sound.
As for the clothes...the collection looked incredible in the show. I can't wait to get my butt into some QSW. This collection just has so many fantastic staples and amazing accent pieces that will undoubtedly add to your wardrobe, no matter what your style is. After the show, it was off to The Alibi Room, where my buddy Mark was spinning some funky beats. I feel so fortunate to work with such an outstanding team of people. When my head finally hit the pillow, I fell asleep (far too late) with a big smile across my face last night. I am so proud of all of my friends who were involved in making the show a huge success.
UPDATE: Photographer extraordinaire Kris Krug has posted some photos from the show on Flickr- click here to check them out.

Breathing Underwater

Photo: Mark and Marina on Flickr

I'm seeing a different world for an hour a day
the freedom it allows my mind,
and the stiffness it dissolves.

I have been doing so much thinking.
I have been doing so much grieving.
I resolved to communicate.
I resolved to let loved ones know
where they had places in my heart,
and how they changed me.

Things I have realized about myself:

  • Sometimes I can ignore the ache.
  • I cry in movies even easier than I used to.
  • When I pick up a pen to write, I think about Grandma.
  • I miss my best friend more than ever.
  • I spend lots of time in my head, but that's okay.
  • I am a complicated creature.

As long as I keep breathing underwater, I will feel strength in me. A friend told me I am being too hard on myself- that I have to give it time. I know.