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?