a lovely message from the Doc

“You are you, this is truer than true. There is no one, who is you-er than you.”

- Dr. Seuss

Embrace yourself. Nobody does it better.

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Pancakes are Incredible

Tis an overcast, chilly, Monday morning here in Toronto. Pancakes are fresh off the George Foreman and the coffee pot is full. There is much to accomplish today. This procrastination habit needs to die hard and die fast. I’d love to use the fact that the Manifesto festival has kept my hands full all week, but let’s be honest people, I truly could’ve been juggling both, as opposed to choosing one over the other. Alas, what’s done is done, I welcome the consequences with open arms and perhaps a bite or two of my delicious Aunt Jemima panekoeks.

Manifesto Festival 09Weekend Recap:

Anybody who was anybody was at the Manifesto Festival this weekend. This festival combines everything that has made me fall in love with Toronto, all the reasons why I love living here — Music, Art, Community, Culture. Naturally, I signed my life away this weekend to be a part of it. I can’t even begin to describe how wicked of a time I had. From the opening night film festival screening, the B-boy competition, the art gallery opening (that I scrubbed the banisters and stairs with a muther freakin tooth brush), and the free outdoor concert with Talib Kweli… man… I have been on non-stop mode all weekend. I’m pretty sure I met like five million new people over the past weekend, most of which… I cannot remember names. (Apologies. My brain sucks at retaining that information. )

The weekend was WILD. We’re talkin’ hundreds of artists, dancers, artisans and vendors, musicians, poets, rappers, DJ’s, emcees, hip hop heads and overall music and art advocates and supporters — all coming together to collaborate stylistic efforts, create something incredible to spark positive change in this city. It’s a great thing to witness and especially be a part of. The festival is only 3 years old and is only moving upwards to growing bigger and better.

Big ups to the Manifesto crew and everybody who grinded hard to help put this together. You can count on me to be there for next year, no diggity doubt.

Unfortunately there is no pictorial evidence of the event. Why I didn’t bring around one of my various cameras to shoot footage or photograph the festival? I ask myself the same thing. I really should invest in a point-and-shoot camera so I don’t have to worry about the presence of alcohol and electronics being in the same vicinity, also known as my hands.

The day has begun. I wish I could say the same about my assignment that’s due at 9:10am tomorrow morning.

Ah. And what’s this I see? Mr. Sun has finally decided to grace us with it’s presence. Mmm. Thank You.

Getcha Monday mornin’ on, peeps. It only comes once a week=)

I’ve spoken my piece.

Peace.

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I am Human.

Why do humans constantly frustrate each other? We all have our egos to save. We all have our composure to keep. We can’t look stupid. We can’t look bad. We can’t look crazy. We can’t look too much of this, not enough of that. We as a human race embody all emotions, all characteristics, all traits that a human can possibly have. Sad, happy, pathetic, lame, amazing, beautiful, wonderful, stupid, bitchy, conniving, faithful, doubtful, insecure, confident, numb. Yes, perhaps certain qualities are more prominent than others, and that is how we categorize ourselves, but it doesn’t cancel out the fact that we still experience all of these things, from extreme to subtle. Can we just embrace that? Can we embrace that of ourselves? Declare it that yes, indeed, I am a human, I am capable of much, I am capable of terrible things, I am also capable of extraordinary things. Can we just stop beating ourselves up for what we are not? What we are too much of? Why do we hide in the corners of closets afraid to show who we really are when we are all but one and the same.

I am exhausted, bruised and battered from beating myself up. Are you?

Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves that it’s okay. It’s okay that we’re too emotional. It’s okay that we’re too much. It’s okay that we’re not enough. Nobody holds these standards to ourselves but us. Nobody made us feel like this. Why are we projecting onto others the truth about ourselves? The truth being, we are hating ourselves for being who we are.

Acceptance. Grace. Forgiveness.

It is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

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Dig a Little Deeper

The surface is meant to be broken. Creme brulée wouldn’t be creme brulée without the sweet hard upper shell and the creamy delectable inside. There is no better feeling than cracking the surface and realizing there is more to it than just stiff caramelized sugar.

Why do we go about our robotic everyday life hiding behind our exteriors? People more often times than not walk around brushing past each other without truly engaging in one another’s life. Sure, it’s a selective process. We pick and choose who we want to open ourselves up to. It’s rare to find those who are open books: people who are overflowing with passion, life, love, all that good stuff. Experiences have tainted us. People have hurt us. Our shell gets thicker, our hearts get harder, we are but acquaintances with faces and a missing story.

Do you know me? Do you really really know me?

Because I know you have a story. I want to hear it. I want to know what makes your life beautiful. I want to learn from it. I want to be inspired by it.

Don’t treat me like filling-less Creme brulée. I’m melting away my thick shell because I want you to know that what’s inside is more and better than you could ever imagine.

I’ve spoken my piece.

Peace.

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She

People have expiry dates, and as much as she’d like to remove the moldy pieces and make use of what’s left of the loaf, there is truly no point.

All that is left are pieces and crumbs. Some good, some still fresh, and everything else  belongs in the compost bin.

She has picked and weeded and tried to make the most of what’s there, thinking something is still there, hoping that something is still there… Everything and everybody’s time runs out eventually. People come and people go, leaving their mark and moving forward.

All that is left are pieces and crumbs. Unworthy of my time, my efforts. Unworthy of being picked up and tried again.

She keeps her distance. She stays back because she knows.

She knows these pieces and crumbs are a foolish game.

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Fighting.

It is so easy to lose faith. We put trust, hope and love into someone or something and the moment they show their imperfections and flaws, we question them, we doubt it. It’s inevitable though. Humans are a blemished species. We have the power to hurt, the power to destroy, and the power to destruct. It’s literally, earth shattering. What we don’t always embrace is the fact that we have equally as much power to do the exact opposite. We have the power to heal, the power to build, and the power to rise up against all odds.

I’m not going to front; I have allowed my lost faith in people and things the ability to create a realistic view of certain aspects in life. It’s made my heart hard.  Things are never the way they seem. From these experiences we are then taught to question everything, to guard ourselves, to build walls, and to keep our hearts hidden. You can look at it from two different perspectives – I’m being smart, wise, and rational, or, I’m being a cold, hard, pessimist.

I don’t know which to label myself, so I’d rather choose not to.

I actually don’t really think about it too much. I just am and I just be.

So then why? Why am I thinking about this right now?

I live with two incredible human beings. One of which is probably one of the most positive and loving people that I know. She is going through some really tough things. Some things I’ve gone through, and some I can only listen and experience through empathy. Today I listened to her speak nakedly of her anger, resentment, sadness and brokenness. It made me reflect and see that in many ways, I have lost faith. I have lost faith in the goodness of people. I have lost faith in the possibility of love.

Those are things I never want to give up. Those are things that are worth fighting for. Those are the things in life that have the power to move mountains and the power to create real and positive change.

I am a fighter to the very core. Always have been and always will. I never realized that that takes fighting for too.

It always comes back to it being all about choices. I choose to be open to possibilities. I choose to be open to love. This is why we have got to keep the faith. It’s there and it exists. Authenticity in people exists. Romance and true love exists. The idea that things are going to get better… it all exists.

So to this most wonderful and lovely person that I know, take this to heart. Your learnings and experiences, although painful and excruciating, are what are reminding me that this is what makes life dynamic and extraordinary. We are simply fighters in a battlefield, taking every step in the name of courage, striving for something real, something that’s attainable.

It is always worth it. It will always be worth it. Fighting to keep the Faith.

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