Category Archives: Creative writing

Do You Accept The Offer?

Yesterday, I received the phone call that I had really wanted and not wanted to have.   The company in London, England had made their offer and the recruiting company wanted to discuss it with me. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had never been in a position to really decide what I wanted to make as a social worker.

So at 9am(my time) and 2:00pm(London time), I was on the phone with a nice sounding British man who told me that his father is originally from Ontario, only an hour away from where I live.  He was pleasant and asked about the weather and told me that it was a bit chilly in London that day.

Then we got to the meat of the conversation…what was this company willing to pay me to relocate to London. So, the base salary is more than I make now. hallelujah! It seems that I can pay my rent.  Also, there are some great incentives such as money when I arrive, money for every year I stay with the company and then an additional market supplement.  Amen! I can travel Europe.

On top of all that awesome money, is the fact I get reimbursed for all expenses incurred to move there. It’s hard to pass up an opportunity like this.

I have been disillusioned by the Canadian system for quite some time.  Tonight I received an email from a company I applied to, telling me that after reviewing my resume they have decided that I don’t qualify for the position I applied for.  I kind of smiled to myself and thought, they never met me and gave me a fair chance to market myself, but they have already decided I did not meet their criteria. However, how polite of them to send me an email rejecting me.

Oh well, off to England I go! At least there my four-year degree and my experience seems to be respected and needed.  I going to become part of a team who will develop a new program of working with children and families.  I am pretty excited to get going with this move and start putting my skills and knowledge to work.

 

london-bridge copy

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You guessed it….OMG! I am going to England

On Friday I interviewed for a job in London, England.  Yesterday, my recruitment agency told me that they want to give me the job offer and are working on the final details

What a roller coaster of emotions.  One minute I can’t wait to escape my life here and have a fresh start and the next minute I am so afraid to leave the life I know. It’s been a back and forth of should I shouldn’t I. What are the good and bad points of leaving for England?  And what are the good and bad points of staying in Canada?   It’s really a tough decision, because you can’t really know what leaving will be like until you leave.

London is very expensive to live, the cost of renting is ridiculously high.  I think I can afford only a 2 bedroom apartment, give the kids the rooms and have a pull out futon for myself.  I guess I won’t be having any adult sleepovers at my place in England.

Apparently, everything is expensive in London and it takes only 6-12 months for one to adjust to the standard of living. You learn to live within your means. I just can’t picture this so called adjustment as of yet, but if I go over there, I will have no choice but to adjust…quickly.

It’s not expensive to ship my items to the UK.  I won’t be taking any furniture or appliances, just the basics- books, pictures, things that can’t be replaced.  I received two quotes and they seem reasonable.

OMG, I may be going to England!

I mean, I want to go to England because it would be great for my career advancement.  I appreciate the fact that my degree means something abroad and it makes me sad that in my home country, my degree is more or less toilet paper.

But with all that career advancement aside, I will be 5.5 hours away from Paris, a place that I believed was only in my dreams.  But as I sit here and write this out, it no longer seems impossible.  So, I want to jump on a plane with my two little kids and go work with vulnerable children, travel Europe with my kids, learn about a new culture and have life experiences I will never forget.

I have been obsessed with knowing everything I can about living in London and how to make this transition easy for myself and my children.  I joined a bunch of groups on Facebook and have been chatting with a few ladies who are expat’s.  One lady is going to take pictures of the borough I will be working in, so that I can see what it looks like.  She has even offered for me to stay at her house if I have time to make a quick visit to London, before I actually move there….community already.

I already know which areas to stay away from as crime is a problem….apparently social workers are needed in the United Kingdom.  I still have to grasp the importance of where you live as it your child’s education depends on it.

OMG I am going to England??!!!

As for now, await the details of my job offer…I picked up three passport applications today.

OMG, I am going to England!!

I will keep you updated with how my relocation goes.

Cheers!

I won’t give up

After 15 months I am still grieving the loss of my relationship.  It sucks!

I was told by someone who said that  it will take me eight more years to get over my relationship. Eight more years of thinking about what would have been.  Eight more years of having memories just snoop in and take control.  Eight more years of looking back, analyzing, criticizing and reliving every moment like it was yesterday.  Eight more of this torture?  I can live without that.

I have lost so much through this separation. I have lost family members, sister in-laws, nieces, aunts and parents. I have lost the opportunity to attend weddings, family reunions and showers.  I haven’t just lost my ex, but I have lost every other person that he was connected to by blood or otherwise.

I don’t think we are ever prepared to lose people we love.  Furthermore, we are never prepared to lose the people who have tagged along into our lives alongside this person.  When someone we love dies, we can grieve that loss, say good-bye and try to function as best as we can. We have to go on because we know that this what this person would have wanted from us.

But, when you lose someone through a divorce or separation, the grieving process seems to never end.  You may have to see this person when you exchange your children, or in court or in the mall.  It seems that everywhere you go, there are memories that you must deal with.  Are they now taking their new beau to the same restaurant they took you to? The constant fear of running into them looms behind you as you don’t know the separated person’s etiquette yet.

At times you wish that they would drop off the face of the earth.  No, I am not talking about anything illegal.  It just would seem easier if only one of you still existed separately because learning to transition as a sole person when you were a couple for decades is so difficult.

It just seems unfair that you must go through the process of learning to let go of someone who let go of you before you even realized. You are playing catch up and you are in dead last and this person is already at the finish line. You just wonder, how did this person get so far ahead of you?

When you see them, they seem so happy and you can’t understand how they can look so happy when inside you are falling apart.  How is it that they can get out of bed every day, or how is it that they can smile and move on, when you are clinging to yesterday.

You want to smash them upside the head and yell “How can you be so happy at this devastation that is our life?”  You want to take them by the shoulders and shake them and yell at them and make them listen to you. But you don’t say anything because if you even open your mouth you know that you will fall to pieces.

I often imagine what it would be like if my ex asked to come back home.  How will I respond in that moment?  Will I trust him if he came back? Will we act the same towards each other?  I can’t even imagine that day because it seems so far out of reach.  I don’t know what it would feel like to have him home. I don’t even think he wants to come home and that is the saddest part.

I am not sure if I still love him or is it what he represented that I love so much. Most days, I am not sure how I feel at all. What I do know is that I want my children to be raised by both parents. I am not sure at what costs this would happen.

Everyone tells me that once a cheater always a cheater. That a leopard never changes his spots and that I am better off never entertaining the idea of returning to a relationship with my ex. All, this is great advice and I listen to what I am told. I respect other people’s opinion on this matter because sometimes we make foolish decisions when only our hearts are thinking.

I am no way near going back to my ex. We currently do not like each other. This is what I tell him, so that he does not catch on to how much I do miss him. I lie to him because I do not trust him to not manipulate me to get his way in court or out of child support. He is after all the devil.

Maybe at the end of the day, it’s in my best interest to entirely let go and move forward. But how do you do that when once upon a time, you found the next best thing?

Third Time’s A Charm

Is this my voice?

Did you hear the news?  Yeah, they are saying that awesome festival, the one that I love to go to, will be cancelled. You know, the one that generates the most tourism, the ones the kids love and the one that parents can afford to pay for? Yeah….gone!

I think it’s all bullshit.  I like how they take money away from shit that people actually love and put it towards stuff that will be useless. Who thinks about these things? Who makes the big decisions?

This city is run by a bunch of clowns.  This city is so backwards!  That was the best festival that I had been to.  Not even sure what they were thinking with that bright idea.  This is so annoying I just don’t understand how people think that this is a good idea for our city.

I just can’t wait to move from here.   I just don’t get it.  Yeah, let’s take money from the arts, something that will inspire kids and let’s invest it in adding more flags to a run down bridge.  Yeah makes sense.

 

 

 

We Should have been Eighty

I met my ex when I was twenty five years old through a mutual friend who thought that we would be the perfect couple. I don’t know if we were the perfect couple, but we were perfect for each other for the time we shared.

From the moment we met we were inseparable. We grew up together and most of our life experiences and mistakes were a team effort. I always knew that no matter what was happening outside the walls of our home, there was always a soft place I could fall back on.

I remember the first day I met him. I had just picked my two children up from daycare and had been waiting by the entrance of the school doors for my friend, Janet and her boyfriend John to give us a drive home.

I noticed him right away, as he stood there facing me. We made eye contact but neither of us said anything. He slowly slid down the wall, into a stooping position. He was cute and his eyes were intriguing.

My youngest son has always been a very sociable child from the moment he was born. I used to worry constantly about someone kidnapping him because he would go up to strangers and become their best friend. My son walked slowly over to this man that was standing there, and plopped himself on his lap. He began to touch his face and began a conversation.

I watched the exchange between the two new found friends and both seemed to disappear into their own world. This stranger and I exchanged a few friendly glances at each other.

Janet and John pulled up in the car outside. I told my son to say good bye to his friend and I grabbed both of my children’s hands and pushed the door open and headed to the car. As I looked back I saw this stranger following us to the car.

John got out of the car and he and the man, began to talk as me and the kids piled into the vehicle.  This stranger had been waiting for Janet and John to give him a ride home.

As the kids and I got out of the vehicle and said bye to everyone, I would never had imagined that I would fall in love with this man and spend the next sixteen years with him.

My friend Janet went to work on arranging a date for us the very next day.  She began to tell me about the man I had sat next to in the car the night before. He was an ex fire fighter and was new to town.  Finally, I told Janet that he was cute and that “he could put my fire out anytime.”

At break time, Janet went outside and I sat at my desk trying to catch up on my work since she had talked my ear off for about an hour. Janet returned from her break and plopped herself down next to me with a grin on her face.

She had told him what I had said to her earlier and I could hear the excitement in her voice. I turned to face her, with a twinge of irritation. I demanded to know why she would go tell him what I said. I told her I told her that as a joke and felt embarrassed.

Janet then told me that, “he thinks your cute too!” I looked at her for what seemed like hours and turned back to the computer I had been busy looking at. I thought about what she had just said to me with a little bit of relief, but still humiliated that I may have to run into him one day. I had no real dating experience or strong relationships with any man I had ever met. My children’s father was the only real boyfriend I had and I was twenty-five years old.

A week later I sat across the man I had met in the hallway of school waiting for a ride home.  We both looked at each other and said a silent hello.  He ate his fries and I sipped my pop.  We never knew that our journey would take us over close to two decades.

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The Perfect Cut

She won!

She could not believe her luck.

She had worked so hard to get to this point

But she had given up, she did not have the strength to go on

It was just taking too much from her

All the paperwork, the anticipation and the dread of losing

Had taken a huge toll on her

She had just given up and wanted to move on

But today her family won

They had finally called her and told her

That they had won the most perfect cut of half side beef

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Jane Street and Woolner Ave

I grew up in Toronto, Ontario Canada. For those who don’t know where Toronto is, it is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. It is the most multicultural city in Canada.  It is the provincial capital of Ontario. It’s where everything happens.

This is the place that I immigrated to at the age of 5 and left at the age of 29. It is the city that I am trying to desperately move back to.  My current community is not home anymore.

I grew up at Jane Street and Woolner Ave in a high-rise building. We lived on the fourteenth floor. As a child, I thought my street was the safety place in the world. The kids I hung out with and grew up with had tons of freedom. We would leave our apartments in the morning and not return until dinner time.  We got in tons of trouble.

The illusion that my street was safe changed when I was 12. The year I was raped by two men on my way home from the corner store. As soon as I could get away, I did. I never looked back.

As an adult, I found out that my street was a well-known area for dealing drugs. I was shocked because I never saw that part of my community. Now when I do look back at my childhood, I do recall things that were a bit….odd.

There were always guys hanging out at this one store, they were there everyday.  All day long. They never left to go to work or to go anywhere else.

Also, I recall coming home from vacation one summer to hear about a man who lived in my building who had killed himself, his wife and his child. He left another child alone in the apartment with the dead bodies. He jumped in front of a train. I am not sure if this was true or not.  But that was the rumour.

So, as I write this I am interested to know if anything has changed about my childhood community.  I haven’t been back since I was 18 and now I am in my forties.  I found out that:

“Jane and Woolner is home to many new immigrants from various backgrounds, this area was once ruled by drug and gang activity, but now is slowly emerging from its troubled past. The main gang inhabiting the area are the South Side Gatorz as well as their subset the Junior Gatorz, but members of transnational Hispanic gangs such as the Latin Kings as well as MS-13 have been known to frequent the Woolner Apartments as well.”  If you want to read more, click here.

I am shocked that there was gang activity. It’s funny how your world is so small when you’re a child, and you see what you want to see and nothing else.  Jane Street.  Woolner Ave.  I don’t think I will be going back there anytime soon.

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Insert Swear Word Here

So, they want us to write about our favourite childhood meal!  I am not sure why they think everyone has wonderful memories from their stupid childhood.  My mother was an abusive bitch and my father was emotionally unavailable.

There is nothing in my childhood that makes me happy.  The only good memories that I have as a child is  it’s over!

I guess everyone assumes because their childhood was great that everyone else had the same experience.  All I remember about food is that my mother would force me to eat shit that I never wanted to eat.  She got it in her head for some reason that I should fucking eat celery and peanut butter.

All I remember is being forced to sit at that damn table and eat that shit.  All I remember is the fucking tears running down my face as this crazy shit ass woman, was in my face telling me to eat this celery and peanut butter crap!

She must have seen this shit on television or something.  Some brilliant idea that I must feed this to my unsuspecting child and if she don’t like it, fuck her, she will sit there till the cows come home.

You know what mom? I don’t buy that shit in my house. I don’t freaking buy peanut butter or freaking celery! And I don’t force my innocent children to eat shit they don’t want to. Hell, I don’t remember seeing you cobble down celery and peanut butter.

So there!

celerypb

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It’s All About Perspectives

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Perspective 1

The old woman watches as the couple walk  by as the man cries, pulling his hand away and covering his face.  The woman doesn’t say anything, but continues to walk as if nothing is happening.

The old woman sits and watches the couple in a distance.

The man stops walking and says something to the woman.  The woman looks at him and shakes her head.  She continues to walk but the man stops her by putting his hand on her shoulder.

The old woman doesn’t want to stare, so she pretends to knit her sweater.  The old woman watches the couple for a few minutes. The man is talking to the woman and crying and the woman is just staring at him and not saying anything.

The old woman shakes her head at the couple and wishes that she had brought her hearing aid with her so she would be able to hear what they were arguing about.  It seemed that these young people these days, were always arguing about something.

Perspective 2

I yank my hand away from Sara’s. I don’t understand how she can act like nothing is wrong with this whole situation.  She has always been like that.  Calm in the storm.

We continue walking and I know that old lady on the bench is probably watching us now, but I am so angry that I don’t even care to make a scene.  I glance over at Sara and her expression hasn’t changed.

The woman has just told me the most horrible news and she is acting like she just told me she got some milk from the grocery store.

I stop walking and I stop her in her tracks by touching her shoulder.  Sara stops walking and looks at me.  “Are you not afraid? Are you not upset? Are you not mad at the universe?”

Sara looks at me, there is a tear that has fallen on her cheeks.  She shakes her head, “What good would that do me?”

“I don’t know,  Sara.  Maybe it would show me you care!”  I say to her under my breath.

Perspective 3

Stan and I just passed the old lady on the bench.  She gave me a little wink and I couldn’t help but smile back.  It was a bit awkward to smile while your husband was crying,  but there was no reason to be angry anymore.

I just told Stan what has been going on for the last few months.  I was hoping that when I told him the truth, it would be with us being thankful that it was all behind us.

My doctor told me that I had to tell Stan myself or he was going to.   Stan let go of my hand and continued to cry.  I couldn’t feel anything, it was his time to grieve.  I had already done that.

“How much time?”  Stan asked me.

“A few months….” I began but trailed off. “I don’t want to focus on that, I have so much I want to do.”

Stan stopped me gently by placing his hand on my shoulder.  He always does that when he wants my undivided attention.  He looked so crushed, so small and so alone.  I couldn’t bear to look at him.

“Are you not afraid? Are you not upset? Are you not mad at the universe?” Stan asked me.

I wasn’t even sure what to say.  I was all of those things.  I was afraid to die.  I was afraid of the cancer in my breast.  I was upset. I was angry! I was mad at God.  But none of those things changed the fact that I had cancer and that I was dying.

I was more sad for my husband, who was standing in front of me crying because he valued my life and me so much.   I know how lucky I was to have  a man who loved me for so many years of my life.

I continued walking and took hold of my husband’s hand in mine.  It was so beautiful out today that I wanted to enjoy it with Stan before it was too late.

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breast-cancer-october_o

Box Up Your Dreams And Wait For A Miracle

Over the course of the past two years, I have gained many lessons on love, life and relationships.

It’s been over a year since I officially became a single mother.  The first year that I separated from my ex, we parented our children together.  My cheating asshole ex provided financially for his children and never complained about doing it.  He also would help me with things that I couldn’t do on my own.  We still remained partners and parents.

We would try our best to make amends in our relationship, but for some reason we couldn’t get past all the ways that we had hurt each other over the years. We tried to remain friends, after all we were each other’s best friend for 16 years. We couldn’t stop pointing fingers at each other.

In year two of our separation, my cheating asshole ex met the woman he is now dating.  A woman who has slung racist comments towards me.   A woman who accuses me of being “greedy” and wanting child support.  A woman who sat in family court and winked at me, believing the break up of my family and the ongoing battle between my ex and I were some joke.

My ex is now verbally abusive and intimidating.  He also got lost in a world of booze and drugs and no longer cares about anything else. My ex has lost a job making $100 grand annually, to being unemployed.

My ex has moments of regret where he would apologize to me for all the mistakes he made.  These lucid moments do not last very long and when his new girlfriend is around his mean streak is over powering.

It was in this year that I became a single mother and where I mark our separation.  It was no longer a team effort on our part, but rather me a single person left to raise two other human beings.

I guess nothing lasts forever and I still struggle with the idea that my family is broken and will never be the same.  I feel anger because I want my children to be raised in a two parent home, but I know that this will never happen and I am left to sort out all these emotions on my own.

I do miss my ex, because he represented what I thought a family should be.  I miss that I knew or I thought I knew what the next few years would look like.  I thought it would be him and I against the world.

I have been struggling with the idea that my relationship is over.  Maybe it’s because our anniversary of breaking up has come and passed.  Maybe its the one year mark, since I had to drag my once caring, supportive, loving partner and father into a courtroom to pay child support.

Maybe it’s because I was going in front of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and I felt so damn alone and wanted him there. Maybe it’s because he should be there and he has chosen not to be.

I usually get tired of dealing with so many emotions on my own. So I put them on the doorstep of my friend.  I didn’t have to go on and explain to her the relationship ending or how lonely I was feeling.  She gets it.

My friend told me that he probably does not have any insight into the depth of the impact his leaving has on me and our family.  She went on to tell me that I was probably a reminder of his own shortcomings, he  knew he wasn’t good enough for me and when he looked at me, he was reminded that he was flawed and that I was  so much more together than he was.  Finally, she said that he found somebody who could look up to him and make him feel better about himself.

What my friend had to say about our relationship, made me feel more alone but at the same time, I understood.  It does make a bit of sense, because he was always telling me that I deserved better or I was better off.  If only this man knew that having a broken family and a broken heart, is not better off.

I don’t know if I could fall in love with another man.  There is trouble on the horizon with the man I am currently dating.  I don’t know if I could fall passionately in love with him as I loved my ex.  Maybe the fact that I am pulling away from my boyfriend is that I may be totally falling hard for him and it scares me.  Or maybe I am fearful I am settling because I was want so badly to be in love.

I don’t know.  I still believe in love. I still want to fall in love, be loved and stay in love.

I think I still am in love, but it is not with the man I am dating. I feel horrible about this fact.

Relationships are like fruit, once it goes bad you have to throw it out.  Can it be salvaged? You could eat a rotten apple or swishy orange but it just won’t taste the same.

At the end of the day, you have to throw out the old fruit and replace it with new fruit.  I guess the same can be said for relationships.

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