I had a great day today.
One of the best I've had yet. Yet, tucked into today, I also had one of the worst.
I choose to see it as the best day I've had here, because that's my outlook.
And I'll fight to maintain that for life.
The glass is half full, and always about to be filled.
Let me explain.
For anyone following this, it's no secret that I'm finding parts of this to be tough. I have highs and lows. There are a number of factors. But the underlying one is this: my whole life I've danced with depression. I'm not ashamed of it. I didn't do it. It's nothing to be uncomfortable about. I broke my arm once. Same thing.
But others could see when my arm was broken. Doors got held open, sometimes people offered to carry things, and when I simply wasn't at my best, it was evident why. Nobody sees when your heart, or brain, or soul is broken. And telling them isn't always the clearest, or most useful thing to do. And it can be hard to talk about. It sucks, because you don't always know what's 'doing' it. Or if anything is. It just is. It's a state. You're in it. And you fight to get out. You fight to leave the cave, to do groceries (failed that one again today), to see people. And sometimes fresh air helps - often. And sometimes familiar faces helps - often. And sometimes, they don't.
Yesterday was a mix. I did everything I should. I saw my cousin, went for a car ride, played with her dog, did some banking. And for not a single second was I okay. And I knew it, and she knew it. But I was trying to participate in my own solution. I even got to spend time on the phone with a dear friend going though tough times as well and be a shoulder, and be a beacon of light, and be a voice of reason. I offered a chance to Lay IT On Me.
And I went back home, because the storm was brewing, and I know that when the clouds roll in I need to take shelter. I found comfort on the bathroom floor, as I have on other bad days, while my body pushed out the worst of my feelings through tears and heaves and silence and shame. Because I don't want to be like this. But, it's real, so why pretend, right?
And see, I had plans.
I was meant to see my old friend Christopher Fowler who was in town playing Flanneur while his boyfriend was at a conference. I almost cancelled. Almost. I wanted to go out, and have fun, and catch up. But I also couldn't stop crying and was so full of shame that the world might see my broken arm. I said I'm not ashamed of it. And I'm not, retroactively. But in the moment, shame is the blanket that coddles me. I texted him and told him I had a minor case of the sads, and he said, don't be sad, come visit me. In that moment, that offer was everything. I wasn't 'better', I was just willing to take my cloud with me and weather the storm if it hit again publicly.
I'm glad I did.
I had the best day I've had here yet.
I biked there listening to Counting Crows's album August and Everything After, and truly heard it anew, as every song spoke to the state I was in and somehow helped to mend me.
I met him at the Century Plaza, drank some wine and ate from a brilliant spread of meats and cheeses. Then we decided to go out and seek out a cocktail. As both A-type types, we would normally google something and map it out. But instead he asked, do you know any roof top type places with a view? I did. Well, no view, but a nice rooftop run by a close friend. I didn't know where it was, but I said, let's just walk and talk, and veer outside of our comfort zone, and simply find it. Okay. Okay, that's actually big. So we did just that until we found the Georgia Hotel.
We didn't know if my friend would be there, but that didn't matter. We knew we'd be welcome. And lo and behold, Anthony was there! So I got to catch up with him, while he treated us to a pair of Manhattan's. Delicious and amazing. Heard all about how his kids are doing, and how he's liking his new job at this sweet spot, and talked bout the good ol' days.
Then, in walks Jackie Ellis.
Now, I don't really know people here. Not like I like to. But Jackie reached out to me after meeting at one of the restaurants I work at, and we bonded over my not really feeling connected to the city or its people. I also eat everything at her Bakery (Beaucoup) which has been featured in past blogs, instagrams, and my mouth.
Jackie is something special. She truly is, I can't even really put a finger on it. Warm, generous, and honest, she invited me to be friends and see the city she loves. And when she's around, I do love her city, because she paints it with beautiful colors.
o in walks Jackie with two friends, Shingo and Talia. Mister Christopher Fowler, as lovely and charming as he is naturally, immediately connects with them, and the night is set. We re-locate and join them. And I'm so glad we did.
Jackie's friend Talia speaks my language. Originally from Windsor, attended Camp Northland (Thornhill connection), works in the mental health and addiction sector, and runs an awesome cocktail blog called Two For The Bar. We spoke all night. Totally taken by her. A real person. Raw. Honest. I'm a fan. I spent less time talking to Shingo - simply out of where I was sitting and where conversations went, but I have no doubt he's a great guy as well.
Chris and I parted ways with this dream team to pursue a last call drink (at 1130, lol) and again, went map free. We hustled into Gastown and passed Chill Winston, where Adam my cousin (in-law) works. I'd heard a lot about the place, they were still serving both food and drinks, so we thought, why not. And again, lo and behold, Adam was there. Finished his shift and about to leave. So we forced him to sit with us while we laughed our way through some great food, wine, and pop culture references that made us feel old.
Mr. Mike LeSage graced us with his presence towards the end, a welcome addition to absolutely any table!
After I dropped them off at their hotel, I biked home, singing the same Counting Crows songs at the top of my lungs. Even when I passed other cyclists, and cars.
I had a great night. As Chris says, he will tell the story of this night for years. THAT much fun.
A real high. And a real low. Within hours of each other.
I'm not 'better'. I woke up the next day and it was just as hard. But I woke up. I can look back on Tuesday as proof that I can get up, get out, and make the most of who I am, where I am, and what I want, even when the clouds are blocking my path.