Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dawson's Creek has been cathartic

This is my second time going through the series.  I watched it at first on DVD (yes, Benny got me the whole series for $20! =P) and finally got to put together the bits and pieces I watched over the years.  I don't remember my impression of it after that viewing but in the midst of season 5 during round two, my biggest reflection has been friendships.

I find myself sorely lacking in that department lately, at least in the close-knit kind.  I had a good bunch before but due to one reason or another they fell away.  Watching Dawson's Creek, seeing the characters untangle the whys and hows of relationships is helping me realize what went wrong and that, in the end, I am still worthwhile to have as a friend.

Yes, it's done a number on me, to the point that I've closed myself in from reaching out often enough to create a strong connection with people.  I should say they've done a number on me, as it was a series of events which brought me to this place.  Of course, I have some responsibility to shoulder, but let's just say I don't have much issue in that department.  What I need to remind myself of is that it takes two to tango, and when one person stops dancing, it's hard for the partner to continue the tango.  Abandoned partner can't keep feeling bad for being abandoned.

Just for myself, I'll list out the situations which keep coming to mind and which I believe I've come to terms with.  Yes yes, there's a part of me that says "Read this list of unfair friends!  Feel sorry for me!" but really, I don't even know if anyone's reading this at all, never mind this far.  So, hear are the things I'd highlight to my psychiatrist.  Grab a bowl of chips and enjoy my pity party.

1. My best friend from high school.  I always wondered what happened to our friendship, that we went from always sharing things to all of a sudden nothing.  I thought it was just time and distance (which wasn't very far, we were still in the GTA!) but I realized in the last year that I was essentially dropped.  Many things feed into this point but basically, I was no longer of any use in her next phase of life so she stopped contacting me.  There were others who were more stylish, more good looking, more worldly, and they could bring her into life beyond university (or high school, really) where I would simply be a tag along.  Silly me thought that friends go for broke for each other unless a real big blow up happened - which easily could have, considering she did betray me once and somehow ended up blaming me for it.  I let that pass, and we trucked on for another year or so while I became her emotional dumping place.  When I cut those short - how many giddy 1 am calls am I obligated to take? - the contact became less frequent and eventually stopped.  We resumed briefly for my wedding, then I hardly heard from her again until my brother told me she was on maternity leave.  After 2 attempts to meet up with 2 cancellations but no rescheduling, I gave up.  Hurt, I just retracted into my shell.  Why put myself out there if she doesn't want me anyway?  What sucks the most is that I never knew why and for the most part, I don't really know her conscious reason for dropping me, but I wish we could have at least talked about it.  In her eyes, I suppose I wasn't even worth that.  Incredibly selfish, I have to say.  But up till 2 years ago, I couldn't really muster up to say that.  Now I can, but with a heavy heart still.

2. My 3 guy friends from high school.  I loved them, they loved me, but boy, did they have issues with Jesus! And that took a toll on me in ways I never knew.  They made me scared to talk about my faith with all the quips they made, and I'm not one to retort back on sensitive subjects.  I realize now that true friends, even when they disagree about a life choice, don't blatantly throw the disagreement in a person's face.
Another issue I realized I had with them is that they, too, drop friends, although they may give an explanation.  The one given to someone who was dropped - and who I thought was tight in their circle - was that he was boring.  I laughed when I first heard the story but I realize now that I became anxious about my "performance" as a friend.  Was I funny enough?  Am I laughing at the right jokes?  What a burden!  All in all, if I can't be myself around them, how much can I call them friends?
Mind you, they have still kept in touch with me, sparingly as it might be, and I would still trust them with my life.  We've had some discussions, although clearly I still have some hang-ups, but those things don't happen any more.  They've even apologized and affirmed that they do love me. =)

3. Other friends.  Like the one who was always watching TV when I called and instead of arranging another time to talk, had me chatting on the phone while the show continued and paid more attention to the show than me.  Yes, I kept calling this person despite that because, well, I didn't realize I was being prioritized below a TV show.  I just thought that's the way this person handles phone calls.  I have more self-worth now, but still hurt over it.  Yeah yeah, it was over a decade ago, but these are latent realizations okay? =P
 Then there were the guy friends (different from above) who had to show case their manhood by putting down everyone who wasn't like them.  We laughed about it then, still laugh about it now, but I realize now how hurt I was by those things.  We grew up together but grew apart because my responsibilities after university were different from theirs.  Being an introvert didn't help either - not because I was shy around them, but because I was too tired sometimes to go out with them.  That drove me to the outskirts of the circle and lo and behold, I barely hear from them anymore.
Then there were generally those who would always call me to get advice or to wax on about their lives.  It's not that I don't want to help, because I did, but looking back, they never really asked about me.  Maybe I should have just brought things up anyway but there wasn't anything dramatic going on in my life.  And just generally, isn't it common courtesy to ask about the other person and not only talk about oneself?
There were also friends in ministry who, I felt, left me hanging dry at times.  I see now that we differed in personality styles much bigger than we thought but at the end of the day, rude is just rude, and letting me do all the grunt work while not sharing in the credit just really sucks.  I mean, yes I did it for God and I'm glad my efforts and ideas really paid off, but as a result I ended up leaving a place I called home for over a decade and was left watching the youth I helped (start to) shape grow up without me and with barely a remembrance.

So all of the above led to some friendship burn out for me.  I didn't realize it then but I'm reaping the consequences now.  I should correct one thing: I was going through some drama of my own, but I thought it was beyond their scope.  Perhaps I should have just shared with them anyway, ah well.  But back then, part of my reasoning was that I was supposed to be there for them.  It never really occurred to me that they needed to be there for me too.  So I stoically sucked things up and did what I could on my own, with some advice from a few older and wiser counselors.

Where does this leave me?  I wistfully enjoy watching Dawson's Creek, admiring how the characters fought for their relationships or at least vocalized what was wrong with them.  I wish I had done the same so that I could have friendships to fight for now.  But what's done is done, and may I do better with the friends God eventually brings my way.  The past still hurts but I hope they help me mature in future friendships rather than restrict me.  What I take most from this is that, despite all the hurts, perceived or real, I am worth while to have as a friend and deserve to be treated well, not just because God sees me as worth while but because God has formed in me some pretty great things to share with others.  I just need to remember that, every day, because so many things in this world are helping me forget.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Burberry Beauty: Summer 2013 products and (some) swatch

Sorry I don't have any descriptions right now but my brain isn't functioning much.  I'm just glad I finally got the pictures up!  Hope to update before the end of this week.  Enjoy in the meantime!

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Burberry Beauty and no one's heard of it?? =O

Sorry if you already read the Specktra post but I'm too tired to spew anything new.  Please forgive me!

THEY HAVE NEW PRODUCTS!!!!! Sorry, I am sooo surprised and excited, especially since I search every week or so for any news (what me, obsessed?). I took a few pictures but not the best as I was stunned just to see them so my brain wasn't functioning as it could have. =P They were also taken with just my iPhone, no flash, but hopefully enough to give a decent idea of what the items are like.  I'll have to post those later as I don't know how to from my phone.

Anyhoo, on to the goods. These are palettes with 2 cream shadows/liners and one powder shadow. One is olive & teal creams with a golden powder, the other blackened red and dark teal (reminds me of Beauty Marked and Deep Truth+Submarine!) with a bronzey powder.

Left: lighter palette
Right: darker palette

I don't think the cream counterparts will be great for summer tho as I was able to wipe off my swatches fairly cleanly with just a tissue as I was leaving the store. I'm really intrigued tho and wish I had more time to play with them but I had only strolled in on a whim before dinner. I might still get one of the palettes, just don't know which one!

Almost forgot - fresh glow is now available in powder form AND in a bronzey shade! So each shade comes in both powder and liquid form. Texture is smooth and buttery as usual, subtle sheen as the original Fresh Glow. =D Oh, and Nude Gold lip glow is back - definitely getting that! (Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the swatch I did)

Fresh Glow powders
Top: original shade
Bottom: new bronzey shade
(Sorry forgot about the liquid bronzey Fresh Glow)

I may end up with both of these and the Nude Gold lip glow as there is a gift-with-purchase at Holt Renfrew until Saturday.  I'll find out more about the gwp first before I decide.  =)  Oh, the palettes are $50Cdn each.
Here's to hoping for more info over the next few days!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Launching another blog, mommy-style

In my two years and 4 months of being a mom, I've come across many other moms - in line at the store, at a coffee shop, mostly in nursing rooms.  While I am nowhere near an expert on anything, I've found that I've been able to give some tips and suggestions that I've received from other moms and my readings.  Sometimes I don't know if it was a blessing or a curse that I got an iPhone just before Derek, my 2-year-old, was born because I spent so much time researching things!

After Kristen was born, I began to seriously consider gathering what I've learned and putting it up on a blog.  Given that I'm still quite a new mom, I won't have all the answers or even very thorough ones but if my thoughts can help one mom out there or at least get a discussion going, why not?

On that note, I welcome any comments, tips and suggestions but I will post at my discretion.  Please don't feel offended if I don't post something from you!  I most likely will, at the very least to provide perspective, but as this isn't a forum and I'm not aiming to run an "expert" blog, I will focus on the information I have already planned on posting.  I also have two kids to take care of and may have only enough of a Mommy Brain to appreciate your reply but not process how to use it!  =)

My first official post will come up on May 14, 2013, the day of our wedding anniversary.  I plan to post once a week from then on so keep an eye out for something every Tuesday!  You can find it at  Follow me on Twitter @MrsBlah to be in the loop!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Parents Helping Parents: Getting Around Toronto

Are you a parent?  Do you walk Toronto malls?  Do you take the subway with your young children in a stroller?  Do you have a newborn/infant/baby/toddler?

If you answered "Yes!" to any of the above, please read on!

After having been the mother of two for almost 4 months, a slew of realizations have been piling up at my mind's door, mainly about the conveniences or inconveniences of locations for people getting around with little wheels.  I complained about it a lot when taking Derek out to malls or through the subway system but this time, I feel compelled to help other parents have a better (or just "a") resource on facilities and access-friendly - and unfriendly - locations.

I haven't traveled throughout Toronto enough to know the ins and outs, however, so I'm asking the power of the masses to help.  If you have come across pleasant surprises or frustrating moments while travelling through the TTC subway line or while strolling through a Toronto mall with your children under the age of 3 years, please email TDot [dot] Parents [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment below.

While there may be other helpful hints you'd like to share, kindly keep it to just the subway and the malls and within the age group as noted above.  That's all the information I can handle at the moment!  (I hope I'm not over-anticipating....)


Fairvew Mall
- The entrance on the south-east side going into Hudson's Bay on the upper level has Family Parking Spots but does not have an automatic door. (This is more troubling for those in a wheelchair as the sign posting this information is only viewable as one approaches the doors!)
- The nursing room is located on the main floor beside the McDonald's in the women's washroom.  It has a microwave and a bottle warmer (as last seen February 2013).

Finch Subway Station
- There is one elevator available near the middle of the platform.  If it is out of service, TTC recommends taking the subway to Sheppard station, obtaining a transfer, then taking the Yonge bus north to Finch. (Yes, you read that right...)

Yorkdale Subway Station
- There is NO elevator within the station to get to ground level.

Soooo.... let's see what we can get together people!  I'm hoping to start posting information by May 12, 2013.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Oh Toronto, if only!

Seeing this makes me cry - for hope of the future, over the reality that is, on many levels, slow-moving Toronto.

The potential of the GTA, hopefully realized before a working replicator is created.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Notes from discussion on Emerging Churches

On Friday I was invited to a Q&A on emerging churches with Pastor Gene Templemeyer of Spring Garden Baptist Church. Here are some thoughts I ws able to jot down. Not much but I could type only so fast on my iPhone! I'll link to his blog later today.

Theology should be a way to measure a church, but not the way.

Apostle's Creed as the dance floor for theology: It gives us the parameters to dance around the details.

The one advantage white Canadian churches may have to ethnic churches is that they are so close to dead that they're desperate for change.

Re conservative theology w liberal execution/application:
Emerging isn't either-or so much as both-and; liberal and conservative don't exactly apply.
- dynamic balance instead of one only.

We don't want to follow culture, we want to speak into culture. We need then to know about it but also critique it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Twitter and Facebook: An Introvert's Voice

Today I'm refraining from going on to social media in support of recognizing those in slavery today. Does blogging count? I'm not going to over think it. Am I just jumping on a trend? It's a movement that caught my attention and one which I can easily participate in - well, as easy as not posting or tweeting can be.

Which leads to the topic of this post. It's actually quite hard for me not to do either of those because I have so many thoughts swirling in my head that I need an outlet. As a teen, it used to be calling up my friends or writing letters to them (some of the replies I still have!). Diaries never worked because I wasn't as motivated to write to my future self or a mystery reader as I was to friends.

But now, life is different, both with technology and life stage. I can't call up friends or family whenever because they are usually at work. I can text but boy, that would be a lot of buzzing and tri-toning on their end. I do send the odd message but only if it's specific to them.

That's where Facebook and Twitter come in. Yes, they can be too-distant methods of connecting with people but for an introvert who doesn't think fast on her feet with quips and zingers, or who isn't as confident saying them out loud, these mediums are a great way for me to find my voice. They help me discern too what I want to share and keep private, exercise the art of being concise and assess what statements and which persons are worth responding to.

I've also been able to connect with people I otherwise wouldn't, either due to location, life stage or self-confidence. I wouldn't say I have relationships with most of them but that's not really what I expect anyway. They might help turn these acquaintances into something stronger but I'm just glad to have a way to keep the acquaintance. Those I have stronger relationships with know who they are in my life and actually have little contact with me via either media.

Why do I use them so much though? People keep exclaiming to me that I'm on Facebook so much or that I tweet so often. First of all, most of my Facebook posts now come from Twitter so I'm actually not on as much as people think. Look for the "via Twitter as @MrsBlah" next time a post appears. As to why I tweet so much... I have a such jumble of thoughts going through my head most of the time that I need an outlet to expel the thought to in order to regain some peace. Some people use Twitter for noble causes, some of which I follow and am inspired by. Honestly though, for me, it's just a repository for my excess thought bubbles. And really, I don't actually tweet that much!

I've been told that my tweets have been amusing and I've received my share of likes. I don't aim for them but I must say, they are confidence boosters and nice extras to my day. If anyone's looking for really deep 140-character statements however, I'll have to point them to other proficient tweeters. If anyone's expecting me to post less, I'll do so when I have less thoughts spinning around. If anyone wants more than an acquaintance with me... comment on my posts, reply to my tweets and let's arrange a meet up. When we do, I'll tweet about that too. =)