I always thought that blogging was just another form of writing in a journal or diary. For some, like here, this is so.

For others, though, it becomes a community effort, whereby one person writes about experiences that others can empathize with. In this instance, as found here, people gather around the not so private life of the blogger to learn and to share.

In other instances, it becomes a way to pass information (note the use of the word information, not journalistic, expository news). And in this way, as seen here, it can also become a source of income, a way of life, and a career (second note for the paragraph: this blog also makes enough money to support a household. I know, it's not fair she's so talented).

The newest blogging style I've come across is found here and here - the blogging style of taking a huge life step and turning it into a global adventure.

I don't quite think I would have the audacity nor the bravery to attempt the public-adventure style blogging, but kudos to the man with the house, and maybe in the future, the man with the wife.

For me, I'll continue writing about thoughts, about inspiration, about finding me. I probably won't make money off of my blog and I probably will never have hundreds of thousands of readers, but I will have a place that is mine. In a newly married world, with oodles of family and obligations, I need that space.



My eyes are tired this morning...they want to close in the worst way possible, but of course, this will not happen until sometime tonight, when they are allowed.

My work is going slowly. I have one task today and it's not that big of one. Right now I'm stuck on fonts, but that isn't the problem -- I'm just lacking in motivation. I need someone to come along and pick me up and carry me through.

My sister recently lost a friend of hers in a car accident - he passed away at the tender age of 17. His death rocked the little church community we inhabit and she has been mourning fairly steadily since then.

Just this past week, she broke up with her boyfriend (she was the dumper and is upset and guilty and worried). These feelings of hurt have lead her to have vivid dreams, like she did when her friend passed away. A few nights ago she dreamed that it wasn't her friend that passed away, but her now ex-boyfriend. She was so upset, sobbing and dying inside, and then her friend, the one who in actuality passed away, came over to her, picked her up in his arms and cradled her, saying over and over again, "It's going to be okay." She said the peace and comfort she felt from that dream was unbelievable.

I remember having a similar dream about an ex-boyfriend. In our relationship, he was the dumper and I was the broken-hearted soul who couldn't take it gracefully (I was the person who was unable to make it through a day without crying). In my dream I was wandering around, bawling my eyes out (imagine!) and all of a sudden he was there. He wrapped his arms around me and hugged me. The comfort of that moment, of having contact, was unreal. It filled me with such peace and it was as if I was given the strength to heal, to move on, to find myself.

I wish that that would happen now. I'm torn inside by my husband's unemployment, by the trouble I'm experiencing at work, and I wish that someone would come up to me, wrap their arms around me and tell me, "It's going to be okay," because the peace of that moment will take me through to the other side. Will make it all better.

And until I'm on the other side, I can't tell you, void, what it is that hurts so much, because I've read here that that is a bad idea. When I officially move on, though, I will tell you that I made it, that I lived, and most importantly, that I'm smarter than the average run-down employee.

I promise. Until then, could you send someone with really strong arms?


Wanted: Peace

I'm sitting in the middle of chaos and I want out.

I'm in chaos with my job. I feel like I'm useless and stupid when I know that I'm smart and able.

I'm in chaos at church. I fight so hard and work so hard to fit and be fitted, but in the end I'm still placeless.

I'm in chaos with my life. I'm so tired and so drained from everything else, that I want to sleep, but in truth, I really want to stay awake forever to live.

And there is this unreasonably loud banging going on in my work area and my head hurts. Right now that is the chaos I'd like to escape the most.



For the first time in my life, when asked what nationality I was, I said Canadian.

My sisters and I were raised to say that our nationality was Portuguese, regardless of the fact that we were only half Portuguese and that my mom was French-Canadian, a valid nationality to claim. Even now, when my sister is not speaking to my father, her bio on her work's website says that she has a large "Portuguese" family. No mention of our mom, who she calls daily.

Today, though, in an act of complete and utter rebellion, I said..."I'm Canadian." It didn't seem natural and in fact the statement stumbled off my tongue.

I feel naughty, like I'm going to get into trouble for stating the truth - I was born in Canada, I've lived in Canada my whole life, and my citizenship states I'm Canadian. For once, I chose my own nationality rather than the one I was given as a child or even my mother's.

It's actually kind of freeing.

Maybe this is how my mom felt when she announced to a room full of my father's relatives that she never changed her last name legally to my dad's, and therefore wasn't truly part of the family.

She survived that...I'm sure I won't get shot for being "Canadian" for the first time ever.



I'm not sure at what point I'm allowed to write about marriage. I've only been married for five months (loved ALL of them) and I'm not really an expert. More of an experimenter. I always say that we are still "new and shiny!" to people who talk about how little time we've been married.

My newness, though, I take as a blessing. We're still "in love" with each other. We still like spending time together. We still believe and exercise our right for PDAs. We say "I love you" dozens of times a day. We still get caught up talking to each other, at the detriment of other appointments. We are still new and shiny.

My best friend, though, has been married for a year. Her newness is a little bit further along than mine, and by all rights it should be starting to wane, but not completely disappeared. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Her newness recently got ripped away from her and her relationship is now in need of TLC, as is she.

I'm so scared that this kind of thing will happen to me. That we'll lose our newness. I'm told that eventually things happen that make you stop floating so much, and start dealing instead of enjoying. I understand that with kids and life the newness gets scratched, maybe even tarnished. But ripped away is the fear. The fear that we'll have such a big event that we'll be all banged up and will have to go get things fixed, instead of enjoying, floating, and loving out loud.

I keep my husband close to my heart, deep in my soul. I pray for him constantly. I worry over him and us and our relationship. I'm not smothering, but I'm certainly not turning my back.

We've earned our scratches in the past five months (unemployment and family trouble will do that to you), but we haven't been banged up yet. I just hope that with all my worrying and attention and care that the damage won't be irreparable, but actually manageable. Enough to get back to enjoying, floating, and loving out loud.



I wonder what you would say if someone asked, "What was the biggest mistake you have ever made?"

I wonder if you would actually admit it. I'm positive you would think about it, but would you let it come out? Would you let it be acknowledged?

I made a whopper of a mistake at work and I had to admit it. Was forced to (when it comes to food labels, one must say, that was me). And now I'm in the midst of damage control - a situation that I am not enjoying because all I feel is shame.

I was told by someone much more experienced that these things happen and they suck, but they are not THE END OF THE WORLD. And it's funny. Because I could have been fired for this mistake. And I could have been seriously reprimanded for this mistake. And I was blamed outright for this mistake by management.

But she's right. The world didn't end.

It just felt like it was ending.


Wishful thinking

I'm brand new in the working world.

Freshly graduated, I've just started my real job and so far finding it more difficult than school and co-op (basically, internships) have taught me. Which is fine. I depend on the fact that the institution that I paid oodles of money to would ineveitably lie to me, no matter how many oodles I gave them.

But as I sit at my desk - my *dream* desk, I'm told - I realize that I wish I had the money or the guts (because guts, I'm learning, can take the place of money if followed and employed right), to quit the desk, give up the lie that I've learned to embrace, and be daring. Go to Europe. Spend a year learning how to be a photographer with only landscapes and inanimate objects and unsuspecting subjects to be my guide. Find a cafe in a small, unknown place, and write until I have no words left in me. To abandon the community responsibilities and family responsibilities, and all of the "this is right, so do it" my life is filled with.

Just give it all up and find myself.

That, I think, would be a much more interesting and more real invention of myself. Because then I wouldn't be able to hide behind the comforting thought, this is where I'm supposed to be. This is who I'm supposed to be. This is what I need to do.

All I would have is me. And my guts. And my no money.

Then I'd be real.


Still sifting through photos

Looking at pancake photos, I've discovered that people who are "making breakfast" always have a phone tucked between their ear and shoulder, while whipping up a batch of pancakes. We are an uber busy bunch, aren't we?


Fast food nation

After spending a few days looking for pictures of potatoes on a stock photo site, I've discovered that we are a truly fast food nation.

There are no pictures of potatoes...just french fries.

Does no one but me need potatoes as they are, unaltered and simple?

What a sad, sad world when one can not even find a potato.



Today I received an email telling me that I didn't get the position that I applied for at a local company. Although I know that God will take care of everything, and that I'll have a job, and my fiance will have a job, I can't help but feel hopeless.

In our faith, we are taught to believe that no matter what happens, God is there for us and with us, working things out, and creating bigger and better opportunities. I teach my Religious Instruction kids this, telling them stories of bible greats who fell to the mighty power of doubt and hopelessness. But in their defence, who can blame them for giving up? For not fighting harder? For not getting stronger in the face of greater and greater adversity?

Thinking about men like Moses, John the Baptist, and Apostle Peter, I am struck by the incredible things they did - and how much we think about their weaknesses, held up as examples for how we must not be.

Moses lead people through the desert for forty years, listening to them grumble and complain, trying to understand why they had to take the long way, and watching people around him die, be born, grow, and die again. Can you imagine how hopeless of a situation that would be? One can say that they had everything provided for them - they never knew want in regards to food and shelter, and God was always with them, even talking to Moses in the form of burning bushes and the like. But after forty years, how faithful and hopeful could one human being possibly be? I would smash a rock for water if I were Moses, regardless of God's providence. In his position, I would.

John the Baptist was a prophet, heralding the coming of Jesus and baptising people. In the end, he ended up in jail and beheaded, because he was doing what he was told. Sitting in jail with Jesus alive and working miracles outside, John lost his faith, saying that maybe another was supposed to come because Jesus didn't break him out of jail. And one could say, it doesn't work that way - you don't just get everything you want because you've done good. You get what you need and should have because God knows that you should. But, how faithful and hopeful could one human being be if they did everything they should and still ended up in jail? In his position I'd rethink things too. I would.

Apostle Peter was the foundation of the first church that Jesus established. Although Peter denied his involvement with Jesus, Jesus still kept faith in him, and Peter in Jesus. But in the end, one can relate to Peter's denial. How faithful can one man be in the midst of a mobbing crowd of people who want to kill Jesus and anyone related? In his position, I'd at the very least be thinking about denying Jesus. I'll admit it. I would.

But that's what growth is for and what services are for - to become stronger and more hopeful. Going to church is a renewal of hope and of strength, so that in the face of greater adversity, one can stand up and ask God for water, sit in jail and think of how great Jesus is, and in the crowd of angry, murderous people, say proudly: "I know this Man. He is the Son of God, and I love Him."

And after this Wednesday's service I'll be able to say, in my unemployed, engaged to an unemployed man, state: "I will have a job, my fiance will have a job and God is great because He is the great Provider."

After this Wednesday's service. For now, I'm going to have to hold back the tears and the feeling of dread, and work on being stronger and more hopeful.


To invite or not to invite

When I was four years old my uncle sexually assaulted me. It wasn't rape and it wasn't invasive, but it was hurtful and confusing - mostly on the basis of lost trust and relationship with my uncle, and a weakened trust in men (mostly because of my dad's response (or lack thereof) to the event, which involved his brother).

Now my wedding is coming, and the question is, do we invite him? The man that still makes my stomach squirm and my skin crawl. The man who hurt me.

The man who made a mistake.

Should I be considering the event as the above - merely a mistake? Something that after almost twenty years I should be able to forget about?

My grandparents (his parents) don't understand why I wouldn't want him at my wedding, and although his name wasn't on the invitation we sent them, they still included his name on the reply card. My father says that he probably won't come, or if he does, he won't stay, so what's all the fuss?

And my fiance...my gorgeous fiance, says it's up to me, but we had already discussed it and we had decided that he's not coming.

And my mom? She says she'll take on my grandmother at any point. Just tell her when.

So what do I do?

Do I invite him, deal with him minimally, and ignore the fact that he is there?

Or not invite him, forever wonder about the hurt I'm causing him, and have to deal with my grandmother's confused, hurt face for the whole day?

I wish someone would just tell me what to do. This whole being an adult thing really sucks somedays.



Wedding invitations are a study in quantifying your relationships. All of a sudden you need to either come up with or pare down to a specific number of loved ones that you want to share your day with. And this is no easy feat.

There are those that are in your life today. You talk to them, love them, go out with them, see them, live with them, share your life with them - current best friends, university friends, church members, family friends. And you plan on continuing these relationships for an interminable time to come - therefore, they are invited.

Then there are those who you know you should invite - relatives from afar, people you might have met once or never in your life time that your parents insist must come, people who helped you become who you are, your boss (maybe), your eighth cousin. You don't see these people regularly, but you know that if you don't invite them, you will never hear the end of it. EVER. So, these people are invited.

Then there are those from your past lives. For me, this was looking at elementary school and high school friends, searching my heart for teachers and church members that watched me grow, people I loved and cherished in my more youthful days (I know I'm only 23, but there are a lot of people in my past!). And these people are fondly invited.

Then there are the relateds. I know that's not a real word, but as an English major, I'm taking the liberty of meeting my quota for made up words. The relateds are a group of people that are related to the people above. People you are inviting because the aforementioned people are invited - present love interests/partners/live-ins/fiances/fiancees/husbands/randoms. You don't know these people, but they come with the people you want to invite, and therefore your guest list has just doubled. Terrific. Fine. They are also invited.

And then there is the least desireable list - the list of people you aren't speaking to right this moment, but have a feeling if you don't include them in your day, then you will regret it, painfully, in the future. And I don't mean that they will hunt you down, tie you up, and demand why they weren't invited. I mean, when you become reconciled in the future, and you realize that your petty fight (which it usually turns out to be) prevented them from sharing your day with you, and all you can think about is how awful their absence was. That's the regret I'm talking about.

We have one such person on our guest list, and interestingly enough it is not my undesireable or my fiance's undesireable. It's my mother's.

She has been feuding with one of my uncles, and has declared that he shall not be invited. That if I do invite him, he will ruin my day by getting drunk and being an awful guest.

But I have to think...

In the future, when everyone is more old and grey, and my mother is speaking to her brother again, and we are attending his children's weddings...what will the regret feel like?

That's why I have invitations filled out and ready to send to my uncle, and his children, my cousins, just in case.

Just in case my mother realizes that she will sorely miss him when albums are pulled out, and cooed over, and his absence, instead of his drunken prescence, is the focus.

Just in case.


Inventing Julia

My life is just beginning, and I can feel it spreading out of my mind and my fingers and my feet. I can feel life overpowering me as I compose final essays and exams, write wedding invitations, and look for an apartment.

Can you feel your life, breathing inside of you, waiting to escape? Is this a normal feeling?

Is it normal to want to scream at everyone and everything that isn't your new life, that represents your old life? Is it normal to demand that everyone understand that this new life, this rebirth, this invention is the most important thing that has ever happened to you? Is it normal to want to shed off your old life, your old world, your old thoughts, your old dreams?

Is it normal to want to burn your past life to make way for the life that is full and new and green and brilliant and blinding and burning and evolving and now?

Welcome to your life.