full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


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first world problems

Yes, that little phrase puts everything into perspective. So does the cliché “life’s too short.” While it took me years of severe depression (The Breakup), three months of stress leave from work, and a few years without a man in my life (aftermath of The Breakup), I have learned that you can control only your reactions to negative situations. You cannot control other people nor the circumstances. But you can be a grownup and stop sulking about unimportant things. Life is too short to worry or dwell on something that doesn’t involve your health or ability to live, your family, or helping the community.

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I started writing the above post in December, and I see now that I never finished it. It was about M, with whom I am no longer friends effective May 20 due to unrelated reasons.

 

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my own private soap opera

{…written for a third-year university course, circa 1996… well, September 16, 1996 to be exact…}

My own private soap opera: who needs television soaps when my life has its own complications?! Anyone who knows me cannot deny that my life is interesting and even amusing. Fate appears to target me with many opportunities to learn about myself and to develop my mental strength. And I must secretly admit that I quite enjoy what is thrown into my path.

For one to begin to know where my personality dimensions are rooted, I could mention that I am first generation Canadian, born in Winnipeg. I could also add that my parents are Bangladeshi, and I have a younger brother, older sister, brother-in-law, and niece. Actually, I could ramble on quite a bit about my family. I could interest you with where I have found my close friendships, such as through the Bangladesh Youth Federation, or through an old heavy music magazine. I could add that my most precious friends live at least three provinces or one country away. I could unveil my annoyances, such as gossip, which I believe to be the result of people who simply have nothing better to do with their time than talk about those whose lives are of no relevance to their own and thus need to get a life. I could also say that I am against organized religion, especially when imposed on others. I could intrigue you with my awe for full moons. I could uncover all that about myself… but I won’t. I would much rather reveal what I consider to be the fundamentals of who I have become.

My purpose in attending university is to learn academically and to get degrees in Communications and Psychology. I hope to pursue a career in media advocacy / public education, perhaps with a focus on youth. I would like to think that with my career choice, I have secured my potential contribution to society. In addition, I hope to be more active in the Vancouver independent music scene as my passion for this industry is continuously fostered by my involvement with CJSF and many musician friends.

My academics is complemented with the co-operative education program. My work terms not only develop my career-oriented skills but also my life skills. I have completed two work terms: one in Hull and one in Toronto. Moving to the other side of our country twice in one year has indulged my love of travelling, strengthened my independence, and forced me to confront such challenges as living in an unfamiliar city away from family and friends. However, it has yet to improve my money management!

I believe that every experience is an adventure, especially when the consequences are unanticipated. Too many people have a predetermined schedule of how their lives are to unfold. I could bet these same people face stress quite frequently. Often, I simply “make it up as I go along.” Flexibility is a wonderful buffer for stress.

This is not to say that I don’t encounter stress. However, I have adopted two principles which help me deal with negativity. One is that I have no regrets. If I regretted the mistakes I have made, then I did not truly learn from them, and my mood or state of mind would probably turn toward bitterness and depression. My second belief is that it is unproductive to spend too much energy on negativity. Deal with the situation quickly and focus on positive thinking. Of course, this is not always my initial reaction to stress, but in the long term, having this belief allows me to maintain my sanity.

I cannot predict my future (well, I can but life may prove me wrong!). I cannot know what my career will be, or where I will travel, or which friends will remain close to me, or whom I will marry, or even if I will do well in this course. But then, the uncertainty and anticipation is half the challenge and half the fun, and I definitely look forward to it!


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play me

i can’t wait for monday. i can’t wait for monday because that is the day when my boss returns from a two-week vacation. that is also the day i give her the media pager and no longer have to deal with any more issues alone.

these last two weeks at work have been painfully exhausting. dealing with patient and media issues (one of which resulted from a faceless shit disturber who dumbassedly decided going to the media would be a good thing. some people’s children. seriously.), drafting news releases, organizing government events, attending after hours meetings, staying late with no breaks, being late to an early breakfast meeting—and that’s on top of the routine stuff like dealing with internet requests from stupid people, handling media calls, and writing and editing in three days most of the content for the next newsletter issue (yah, that ain’t happening). all this makes it seem like having the pager for four weeks straight was the best part! i would say i didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, except that i chose to laugh—which i would have said was major progress because usually i’m a crier, except that yesterday, i broke down. one of my team isn’t in on fridays and the other one filling in for a few weeks called in sick (and i refused to allow her to come to the office in the afternoon if she felt better as she suggested because i didn’t have any immediate plans to get sick just before my hawaii trip, but thanks for thinking of me, lol). so, not only was i dealing with all of the above, i was also the only one in the office. about the middle of the morning, i made one stupid mistake by making an executive decision to send out a particular staff communication only to be berated by two managers (on email no less) who told me it contained wrong information (JUST FYI: IT CONTAINED WRONG INFORMATION BECAUSE THEY FAILED TO LET ME KNOW THAT THE INFORMATION HAD CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS DAY WHEN WE SENT OUT THE SAME COMMUNICATION TO OTHER GROUPS OF STAFF.)

that ended up being the last straw. i completely broke down and seriously thought about walking out and not coming back. let them see how things would function without a communications officer for even one day. i cannot tell you how much “distaste” and contempt i felt for everyone at that very moment. everyone. i had spent two weeks working to my absolute max, doing the BEST freakin job i could (and my “best” during these two weeks was EXCEPTIONAL), and what do i get for my efforts? email correspondence telling me that i screwed up. YEAH THANKS, !@#$%.

yes, some harsh words coming from my fingers, but my team has witnessed what i have been through. i didn’t ASK to cover for my boss while she was away. indeed, i did not.

and on top of work, i was trying to maintain my life at home but was not succeeding: laundry piling up, dishes piling up, no time for proper meals, going to bed late, lack of sleep taking its toll, and a stressful middle of the night incident involving my brother trying to enjoy a concert only to find himself being poked in the stomach with the tip of a gun barrel held by some gangsta wannabe. so, you can see why i am looking forward to monday.

after staying late at work last night, i dragged myself to the gym and took out most of my anger on the treadmill. ohhhhh, that felt good. i was hoping to drop by my friend’s studio, so we could spend an hour working on the guitar part, but he ended up working with his bass player, so i was left out in the cold. 😦 i don’t like to intrude on his musical space, but i was incredibly disappointed. i had been looking forward to the possibility of the distraction from my horrible day.

but funny things can happen. i ended up reconnecting with someone i used to be friends with. we spent an hour on MSN and then a couple of hours on the phone. it was nice to catch up – felt like old times. but i’m cautious. i remember clearly why we stopped being friends, and i don’t want to open my heart to friendships that will only hurt me again. one of my favorite lyrics right now is State of Shock: “the key cannot be recut; my heart is sealed shut.”

much later that night, my friend (i’m gonna have to give him a name for the purposes of this blog, as even i’m starting to get confused, lol) called me to say he was done in the studio and that he didn’t have his daughter today. so, early this morning, i headed over to his place with my song in hand. M played it over and over, so he could start creating the guitar part. he was frustrated at times because i didn’t give him the “route chords” (read: his explanation of what this meant failed to integrate into the current music knowledge in my head, but today i googled it, and it’s actually called the “root note of the chord” which i understand and can now provide him with).

as his fingers strummed the acoustic guitar, the music started to form and envelope the song. i was so excited! more and more, the song was coming to life. patting ourselves on the back, we took a break. i showed M the cd cover i designed this week for my song, and he was duly impressed (yeah!). the song is very sad, and the image for my cd cover came to me in an instant. i took my full moon photo from the grand canyon and photoshopped the trees to create the most eerie look (come to think of it, the font i used is called Erie – oooh spooky). the back cover is the same image but in reverse (like a photo negative). oh, i can’t wait to see it printed (semi)professionally!

i was having a great time, totally cheered up. well, at least until M casually mentioned that he was “researching” thomas. i stopped dead in my tracks, which was very impactful since i was sitting down. M said i always speak so highly of thomas that he wanted to check him out. i was not happy about that. in fact, i was incredibly upset, and the buzz i’d been feeling fizzled out. just because i speak “highly” of thomas’s musical talent doesn’t mean i want my present to be connected to him anymore. he left me. he does not deserve my friend’s attention. i tried to explain that to M, who, as sweet as he is, pretended to understand and agreed not to do any further research. i told M if he were going to continue, i didn’t want to know about it. he apologized, gave me a great big hug, and all was good.

continuing on the break theme, i pulled out a cassette tape (yes, you read correctly) of traditional bengali songs that i’d been wanting to share with M ever since i heard one of his newer songs where he sampled indian music. the bengali music was recorded by my friend’s sister more than 10 years ago (she would have been in her early 20s when she sang on it). and then M and i listened to the opposite, which apparently was neil diamond, lol. “you are the sun, i am the moon, you are the words, i am the tune, play me…”

we chilled the rest of the day.