Awake

The nights I lay awake in bed, I wonder if I’m in your head. Do you miss me or even care? These are the thoughts I cannot bare. I hate to think you gave up on me, but now I know what I did not see.

There are days when I miss you so, but I understand friends come and go. We cannot help if we do not change, so I’m walking away no longer afraid. My past is draped in sadness and despair, but I refuse to say it’s not fair. We all have struggles that’s a fact, just remember you can always bounce back.

The nights I lay awake in bed, I’ll always remember what you said. I hope you’re happy, I hope you’re well when I think of you now my heart swells. Friendships come and friendships go, I hope you know I still love you so. I’m not angry or even sad I’m thankful for the times we had.

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I love you. I miss you.

You would be so fucking proud of me. So proud. For speaking up. For taking my voice back. For finally fucking writing and not being afraid. I love you dearly because I know now that you said you were doing me a favour because you did not want to hurt me. Because we love each other dearly.

We are not equipped to love people. We are not equipped to share feelings without breaking down and we fear showing someone a side of us that in turn they won’t want to deal with. We hate to burden in fear of someone throwing in the towel. 

Our feelings are a carbon copy of how we feel inside and we feel everything the same way. I know this because I did the same thing to you. I prompted a conversation knowing it would push you away because I love you and didn’t want you to give up on me. You think you’re doing me less harm by staying away and in turn protecting yourself but know that we’re both hurting immensely.  

Unconditional love is knowing that you can and will do wrong because nobody is perfect. But love is about working through the bull shit. Trudging through those awful times to come out on top and celebrate the triumphs together.

I love you. I miss you. You gave me this strength. We aren’t friends but you told me I had a voice and you told me I could do anything, just like I tell you. Because we believe in each other. 

 So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the person you are. We are perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I hope you’re well. I hope you find this strength and courage on your darkest of hours knowing I’m still in your corner and always will be. I miss you more than anything.  This is for you. For me. For all of us.

Happiness is all you see

Down down the hole I go where I am nobody knows.  Am I ignoring you or at an all time low?

Up up smiling again trudging through the week ahead. Happiness is all you see but know it’s pain inside of me.

The opressor

As we sat at my dining room table I watched silently while the sadness and frustration took over his mind. I stared into his big brown eyes and saw a broken man who just wanted to be treated as an equal. That day my heart sank to depths I’ll never be able to explain. Not only was I staring at a broken man, I began to see fractions of the 16-year-old boy I once knew and loved. The one that told me his deepest darkest secrets. The one that showed me true love before he was hardened by the world. The one that I share and treasure a lifetime of memories with. The same boy that told me he wanted to grow up as a black man until the age of 18 and then do it all over again as a white man just to see how different life is. Because he knew. He knew even then that he was treated different from others. Stereotyped. A boy who at 16 knew he was more likely to be referred to as the black boy rather than his name. Who would be stopped by police because of the colour of his skin. Who people wouldn’t like based on the colour of his skin rather than how kind and loving he is.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering what had caused his distress on this day. You see he had just finished explaining to me how his day was. At this point we were 23 and 24 years old just trying to find our footing in the world. We both landed jobs in the heart of downtown Toronto in the financial district. Canada’s Wall street. Men and women dressed in suits with heels as high as their ego canvasing the area daily. While our lives couldn’t have been more different we ended up being just as successful as one and other. We were fish out of water but we’ll be damned if we didn’t try and swim. If you can do it, so can we.

He began to tell me how he was having a cigarette just as he was finishing his lunch and another man approached him.

“Hey, do you know where I can get some coke?” Completely baffled he quipped “Uh.. sorry?? This is the Financial District. It’s all business people here you’re in the wrong area. Try the Entertainment District.” He said more than a little confused. The man gave my friend a quick glance up and down “Well… you don’t look like you’re in the right area either… help me out.”

How my friend kept his composure I’ll never know. Maybe he was used to it. Maybe he knew he was better than that. Maybe he was concerned about the backlash he was bound to receive as a black man in a white mans world. He quickly interjected and ripped his swipe card from work off his button down and showed him. He repeated “this is the financial district. I’m going back to work.”

I sit here to this day thinking of that story. Angry. Heart broken. He worked so hard to get to where he was. He had struggles and more setbacks in his short lifetime that you’ll never endure in your entire life. He worked so hard and still he was just looked at as a black man. Stereotyped as a drug dealer. People wonder why so many of our brothers and sisters, because that is what they are at the end of the day, our brothers and sisters. People wonder why they’re angry. Why they’re fed up. Why they’re upset. Why they feel as if they have no voice. This here? A perfect example. Because even though he busted his ass to get to where he wanted to be, even though he had all the qualifications his worth was still based on the colour of his skin.

What happened to acceptance? What happened to loving one and other based on their actions rather than how they look. What happened to speaking up for something that’s wrong? White privilege is real and so many of us choose to ignore it. You are privileged and you need to help those who aren’t. Those who need help. We all do. Because if you are not the oppressed, you are the oppressor.

You have a voice. Fucking use it.

 

How did we get here

Silence is our biggest enemy. We fear it more than anything because that’s when we fall into the oblivion of our mind.

Maybe that’s why we were so good with each other. Maybe we just made it work to ease our minds for awhile. Maybe we were just there as a voice to drown out the suffocating thoughts. Maybe we treated each other as a means to a personal end. Maybe we didn’t care for each other at all. Maybe we just didn’t want to be alone with the thoughts inside our own head. Maybe we were true friends who were just too broken. Maybe we cared about each other too much.

 Or maybe, just maybe, I loved you and all of your broken pieces and you just didn’t love me and all of mine. 

What if I told you I’m overweight?

What if I told you I’m 20lbs overweight. Would you believe me?

According to Canada’s Body Mass Index calculator I am not in the weight range I should be for my height. The healthy range for a woman of my stature (5′) is between.. wait for it.. 98-128lbs. How much do I weigh? 147lbs. And two years ago I was 208lbs. 

Does this bother me? Yes. Am I healthy? Yes. Am I happy? You can bet your ass I am.

 Throughout my weight loss journey I was asked a wide array of questions but the number one question I received was:

“What’s your goal weight?”

In my mind 120lbs sounded like the perfect number but I never did share this with anyone. I would respond with I don’t know. Because I really didn’t. You see overtime my weight loss journey changed my whole perception on life. I’m not concerned about the number I see on the scale, I’m concerned about my wellbeing. My happiness. 

People tend to assume a weighloss transformation is purely based on physical abilities or lack thereof. Sure it takes physical strength but even more so it requires emotional strength. I used to think once I was thin I would be happy. My life would be perfect and all of my problems would disappear. What’s worse? I’m not the only one to feel that way. 

Problems don’t go away when you one day achieve a certain weight on the scale and happiness doesn’t suddenly appear. Guys, I spent so much time thinking I would be happier if I was thin. I would be well-liked if I was pretty etc.. the irony? This way of thinking is what held me back for so long. Look at it like this: if I want to be happy I should be fuckin happy. I won’t be happy if I’m thin. I’ll be happy because I am. Because I look at the brighter side of life. Because the sun is shining. Because life is short and it only seems long. It sounds fuckin cheesy, I know. But what good has overthinking done anyone? Nothing. What’s achieved when you learn to enjoy your life in the moment? Happiness. 

So now when I’m asked what my goal weight is I respond with one word: happiness 

I know, I know. You’re shaking your head thinking “But Lindsay, How we do attach a number to that?” I’ll tell you. We don’t. We measure it by how we feel, what we wear and how we start to carry ourselves. Call it an epiphany, a shift in mindset, whatever you like. 



It saved my life. 

When you spend most of your life overweight your perception on reality becomes blurred. You believe all the awful things said about you. You believe the media when they say you’re not attractive and each negative comment left scars you cannot see. Men and women treated me as if I wasn’t good enough and only now, after all these years, have I stopped listening to them.

All I wanted growing up was to be beautiful. To have someone tell me I’m pretty and give me a little attention and affection. Seeking it became an addiction because it seemed so unattainable. So I grabbed it whenever I could. There’s truth in the saying “we accept the love we think we deserve”. This is what society lead me to believe I deserved. Second best. Whatever I can get. And I better be happy with it because I’m lucky to get even that. 

If I told you I was overweight you wouldn’t believe me and you’d tell me not to say that. But dare I tell you I’m intelligent, beautiful, kind hearted, thin, honest, confident and hilarious. You’d focus on the fact that I said I’m thin and think to yourself “Well she’s not that thin.”