23 Sep

On Saying Yes And Trying To Fit In

While circumstances dictate that we’re not travelling far right now, I’m trying to make the most of what is possible.

I’ve read a few articles on the power of saying yes. They intimate that we often don’t say yes for fear of the unknown; that the activity or concept is outside of our realm of knowledge or comfort zone so we say no automatically when, really, we might be richer for it if we could just say yes.

I definitely fall into that trap. Although I like to step into uncomfortable, and I encourage that you do to, the fact is that even in that there is a comfort zone. I may travel to far off places but there is a routine in the way I go about it; a regular pattern of preparing and executing, a normal template and schedule, so that even in the non-regular and not-normal there is some comfort. Funny, isn’t it?

And right now? Right now is all about normal and regular, routine and schedules. Right now it needs to be that way and is, in its own way, offering me some uncomfortable.

So, when my good friend invited me to a fancy, international film festival party in downtown Toronto I said yes without even thinking. I had no time to even consider what I had gotten myself into as I changed out of my pj’s, hurriedly packed the one dress that might be appropriate, booked a train ticket, and was out the door in under 20 minutes.

Heading into the city I did what I do best on trains…I stared aimlessly out the window and daydreamed about what the evening might be like.

I am an urbanite. I love the energy, diversity, and possibility that exists within cities. There is a sense of purpose; a reason for all those people to be doing whatever it is they are doing. A disconnect that connects. We are not all the same and yet we all occupy the same space and we each have a place within that space.

I feel comfortable in cities. I can be myself within the sidewalks, tall buildings, office workers, cafes, green spaces, hipsters, public art, street performers, pubs, shops, and patios. I can find my way around (well, metaphorically speaking anyway…I actually suck at navigation!) and gravitate toward those places where I fit in and feel most like myself; just like we all do.

I am apparently not comfortable at fancy, international film festival parties. This was not my tribe, these were not my people, and I felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb as we stood in line awaiting the magic text that would transport us to the front of the line and whisk us inside like VIP’s.

I felt as though my dress was not fancy enough, my shoes not high enough, my jewelry not sparkly enough, and my makeup…well, I don’t even wear makeup so there was no comparison there. I had dressed up to try and fit in and I felt like I fit in less than if I had worn my regular, if-only-the-slightest-bit funky, going out on the town, outfit.

It’s not that I didn’t have a good time, or that people weren’t anything other than super kind to me, because I did and they were. But I think I would have stood a little taller, felt a little more confident, and had an even better time if I’d just been strong enough to just be myself.

In the end the evening was a blast. I rubbed elbows with people that I wouldn’t normally rub elbows with, enjoyed post party drinks and conversation with a great friend, and got to spend some time in the city.

Lesson learned. Absolutely say yes to everything that comes my way but don’t forget to just be me.


09 Sep

Monday Moment: Frankfurt Scene

Frankfurt Scene

This. This is what is missing here in Canada.

City squares with shops, and businesses, and cafes with outdoor seating. A place to gather and relax, meet up with friends, or enjoy a cocktail on the patio.

We are a car culture through and through and forget about the value of open space, the aesthetic of great architecture, and the beauty of simple pleasures.

One day. One day I will live in Europe and take advantage of all it has to offer!

02 Sep



One of the good things about staying in a smallish town seemingly-in-the-middle-of-nowhere are the ways that people come up with to entertain themselves.

Here in Woodstock, Ontario…the Dairy Capital of Canada…it’s Cowapolooza, baby!!


There were fake cows. And, of course, real cows.


Balloon blowing clowns.


A milking competition!! This was, for me, the most exciting part. Unfortunately I didn’t compete (because, really! Milking a cow! How fun would that be!) but it was a lot of fun watching those who did struggle to get a drop of milk from Lucy.


Kids and baby goats. You really can’t beat that.


A good, old fashioned, strong man (and woman) competition. It was brutal.


And there was, of course, a beer garden. Which we had no trouble finding.


Consider the afternoon entertained.