Calabrisella Mia

When I was 16 (and in the middle of a very black lipstick sorta phase) an old man sat across from me on the subway.

He looked up at me and I remember thinking to myself ‘here we go’ as my experiences with people from my own culture had been so poor.

But this old man smiled at me and said in Italian ‘You must be Calabrese!’

I was so startled as people often judged my person style and assumed I couldn’t possibly be Italian.

I nodded to him that I was.

He smiled and winked at me and said ‘I knew it as soon as I sat down because you have such beautiful Calabrese eyes!’

That old man is long gone now but I won’t lie, he restored so much faith in humanity for me then….maybe still.

Hope Calabrese eyes are smiling wherever you are Signore.

Xo

Ps I got my hair done today and thus the reason for my smiling eyes 😬

Advertisements

Day 3 of 3 (belated) Quote Challenge

Things have been super busy and I missed doing this yesterday. So here it goes.

This quote is a little different for me. As you may know by now I have a penchant for the darker quotes and while this one isn’t light and fluffy it’s definitely different. It evokes many memories for me. This was something from my childhood, hung in my family home and now hangs in my own. This quote reminds me of my grandmother, mother, superstition, culture and folklore. Things I love.

This loosely translates to ‘May whoever wishes bad on this house, drop dead before they enter’.

My family is big on superstition. And we have something in our culture called the ‘malocchio’ which means ‘evil eye’. It is believed that people who have an evil eye can cast a curse on you as a result of their jealousy or envy. Sometimes it is malicious and sometimes not, but the person cursed can become physically ill. There is a prayer that can take the curse away, learned once a year on Xmas eve by someone who already practices it. There’s also a whole espresso cup thing filled with water and oil droplets. I’ve said too much. 😬

I don’t know if I believe in it but I still call my ma to remove the ‘malocchio’ from me on the regular. You know, just in case.

Corni benedica folks

Day 2 of 3 Quote challenge

Amidst the chaos of moving I almost forgot to post my quote for Day 2.

I’m not gonna nominate any more people cause I’m a rebel like that (read lazy).

This quote is hauntingly beautiful isn’t it? It’s no big surprise that I see myself as ‘broken’ and Hemingway helps me see it as not just a negative thing. Of course being broken isn’t ideal and I would have loved a different life but this quote makes me see the beauty in it. With all the cracks in my armour, the light flows in and it allows me to be the sensitive and empathetic person that I am. There may be parts of me that are damaged but there’s beauty in there too and that’s from the light shining in.

Day 1 of 3 Quote Challenge

Thanks to the lovely Alyssa for her nomination. She has similar struggles as I do but yet seems to handle the challenges with a grace most could only dream to possess. Read more at Alyssa’s blog

I imagine anyone who knows me knows how much I love words, lyrics, poems, books etc and I could seriously cover my entire body in the quotes that have made me feel something and not regret one line.

My first quote is attributed to Robert Frost.

Excuse the bubble bath on the last word. 😬

What I love about this quote is that it says so much without revealing a single thing. You can feel how much the author has been through. How much life has thrown at him. And that at the end of the day, the thing you can really take away from life’s alleged lessons, is that it continues. The world keeps spinning, people keep moving. There’s something so comforting in that knowledge.

I’d like to nominate the following three bloggers to take part in the quote challenge:

Steve who motivates and inspires me to continue to write. He’s even written a book! Check out Steve’s blog

Second blogger nomination is Caz. Caz is supportive, encouraging and knows too well the struggles of a warrior. She writes about real life. Read her blog at Caz’s blog

Last but certainly not least is Jay-lyn, whose writing conjures up powerful images and is a fellow warr;or. Read her words at Jay-lyn’s blog.

Some people long for a place they’ve never been to

But not me

I’m nostalgic over the feelings that the places I’ve been to evoked

The memories of feelings those days evokes

I don’t know how to explain it in a any less of an abstract manner

I can only paint a picture of what my nostalgia allows to remember

All of this because I met with a legend of 1980s Toronto

Crazy Joe the drapery king

I sat and listened while he regaled me with vivid stories of all his years in the business

Usually I do anything to avoid the banal back and forth chatter of strangers

But that’s the very reason why I sat and listened so intently

It was anything but unoriginal or boring

And it reminded me of a different time

I miss when the Crazy Joes of the world were all around me

The ones with whom you could sit down and haggle good-naturedly

And reminisce about a Toronto that was messy and vibrant

Like my dads old fabric store in Chinatown or Crazy Joes drapery shop

Filled to the brim with fabrics and with treasure waiting to be unearthed

Bursting at the seam with stories and jokes and hard bargaining

A Toronto that doesn’t exist anymore

A Toronto that is now turning out mass produced everything

Processed and easily digestible to anyone (and everyone’s) sensitive palette

I miss the days of wandering through Graffiti Alley

With its dimly light hallways and shops smelling like burning incense

Or rifling through clothes in Black Market trying to find that perfect piece while the comforting smell of old clothes permeated my nostrils

If I close my eyes and concentrate I can conjure up those very same smells of vintage clothing, incense and enchantment of exploring unique places

I wish that everyone could be so lucky as to experience my Toronto that way

A Toronto that was just so real you were unsure if you were stunned by its beauty or shocked by its mess

And although I’m sure some of it has to do with the rose tinted glasses of youth

I am certain there was more to it than just exploring unchartered territory

Because I went to the same places over and over again

And it wasn’t the newness that left me enchanted

I don’t know

I can’t explain it

Maybe it was just magic

But all these years later

And I would do anything to get that feeling back

To wrap myself in those same emotions and luxuriate in them

But this time

I would not take it for granted

And I’d steal some of that magic to keep it with me when the memories just aren’t enough

A typical sick day in the life of a youth worker

I woke up after being text messaged and called by one of the youths in the class.

I’m half asleep and he hears it in my voice and asks if he woke me up. When I answer in the affirmative he asks if I’ll be at school.

When I say no he gets sucky that I won’t be at school today.

I tell him I’m glad he’s going to school though and I futilely try to explain that I’m sick but he’s already telling me the reason for his phone call.

There’s bad shit brewing between one of the boys and the only girl in the class.

My sleepy brain can only comprehend the words picture, Snapchat, cops, arrest. I sit up now but the kid’s taxi has come to take him to school.

Of course I’m wide awake now, so I attempt some damage control with a member of my team in the classroom.

It’s like a potential war zone in there and we gotta be prepared for catastrophes at any minute.

Okay he’s been forewarned, I feel better about my absence.

I can’t get back to sleep now because all I keep thinking is what the hell was that kid talking about this morning?

Wait did he say cops?

Shit I think he may have mentioned something about a charge.

I head downstairs I need coffee stat.

I finally hear back from the kid who fills me in on the entire story and all the gory details.

I won’t share, you’d thank me if you knew what I was leaving out.

The kid is talking to me from the class phone but he’s in the hallway. Even from home I tell him to lower his voice so he doesn’t get into trouble.

As he fills me in detail by excruciating detail I’m already planning how the problem solving will go.

I need to get in touch with my team. We gotta be preemptive in this. Gotta get ahead of the chaos.

Before I let him go, I make sure he’s got food at home.

He does but he gets distracted because the bell between classes has rung and he starts talking about all the cute shorties in the halls.

I remind him that I’m his youth worker not his homeboy.

He laughs and says he knows but I’m his closest (albeit) only youth worker.

He keeps talking about the shorty at the locker so I ask if he’s still trying to win back his girl, he doesn’t see the connection.

I tell him I’ll see him tomorrow.

I call my team one by one to fill them in.

Unlike you all, they aren’t exempt from hearing all the details.

I don’t even stumble over my words when I give them the inside scoop. They like me aren’t surprised by where this story has gone.

We predicted this outcome but no one really listened.

We tell each other that tomorrow we will detail with it all.

We work out a bit of game plan.

We hang up telling each other that tomorrow we will be there.

That we will do what we have to do to get through the morning classes and our afternoon meeting.

I hang up and I start thinking about my job and this little team of mine. And how we are all so isolated from our respective coworkers.

No one else really gets it like my team does.

It’s like some kind of platoon back from the war, you tell people the shit you’ve seen but they just don’t get it.

But your little team, well there’s a mutual understanding that if we don’t laugh at some of the shit that goes on, we’d go mad.

So anyway this triad of mine, they’ve got my back and me, theirs. And tomorrow we’ll suit up to face another day in a contained classroom with these kids that sometimes love us, sometimes hate us and sometimes just want us to shut the fuck up so they can go home.

And those sentiments, I am quite sure we have each muttered to ourselves on any given day.

Another day, another💲

I’ll leave the forgiveness up to your choice of god

A fellow MSer and blogger recently wrote about forgiveness (check it out here https://fightmsdaily.com/2018/03/17/forgiveness/) and it got me thinking

Forgiveness is such a complex topic

So often we tell ourselves and others that we have forgiven

But what does that even mean? And what does that open ourselves up to?

Is forgiveness merely acknowledging that the offending event occurred and then accepting it?

But what happens after the acceptance?

Do you simply ignore the feelings that come along with the event that precipitated this act of mercy?

Read back to what I just wrote

Ignore the feelings

You didn’t choose the event that occurred

However you choose to allow yourself to remain ignorant

You know what happened

You know what that person did or said

And yet you turn a blind eye to what happened

After you’ve let said person off the hook

So that persons guilty has been appeased

But you

The forgiver

Have now placed yourself in a very vulnerable situation

Like sitting with your back to a door

You’re the very fodder of know better stories we recount to our friends

Tsk tsk tsking

You’re the person in cautionary tales

Don’t be like so and so

X did that to her and she forgave them

Only giving them the opportunity to do it once again

Poor ignorant so and so

I’m not saying to never forgive

However be aware of what the motive is

Forgiveness is for the other person

You on the other hand

Are forever changed

And now you must proceed at your own risk

That first time

Is enough of a warning for me

I choose to be unmerciful

I choose to be angry or hurt

I choose to never allow someone the opportunity to come back for seconds

I choose myself over making you feel better

Fool me only once