My Best Friend

“The definition of a best friend is a person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust and someone in whom you confide.” 
-www.yourdictionary.com/best-friend

I’ve never really had a best friend before, at least not in the true sense of the word. I’ve had friends I’ve been close with and that I’ve shared a lot with but  I’ve never really valued someone above all others. I always imagined that the person I’d end up calling my ‘best friend’ was going to be the person I was in love with because it’s always been the people I’d fallen in love with that I had felt the closest to. I’ve never felt that there was a ‘Best’ friend before, that is until I met her…

Let’s start from the beginning: It was one of my first days at work, and I got a call for a voicemail password reset. Typically we only change two numbers on the voicemail during the reset so I asked the caller what their favorite number was, she responded with five. I changed the password to include five-five and asked as a joke if she would remember that. “Of course! It’s my birthday!” It took me a few seconds but I realized we shared the same birthday in that case, 05/05. This was my first contact with someone that would end up very special to me and also my birthday twin!

Eventually I had to go up to the building she was working in and I met her face to face. We had a pleasant chat and got to know each other a little bit more, and to be honest I had a bit of a crush but we didn’t really get too close. It wasn’t until we both signed up for our companies corporate challenge where we compete against other businesses that we began spending more time together.

Our first challenge… and our first time ever hanging out together; Blood donation. I had never gave blood before and I was chatting with her about what to expect until she asked if I would like it if we went together. A beautiful girl that I have a bit of a crush on asks if I want to go donate blood with her, heck yes! We ended up going to donate blood and sure enough my vein collapses so I can’t donate more than a few drops and she gets lightheaded from not drinking enough fluids but that’s okay because we get to sit down and chat for a bit, and it turns out shes a pretty wonderful girl that I really enjoy talking with. We ended up going to get some Aussie pies from a pie shop afterward and chatting a bit more however she started to feel ill so I took her home but our first little interaction was a good indication as to how well we got along.

We started hanging out more and more as we did more corporate challenge events together and one evening she made one thing clear: She wasn’t looking for anything romantic and just wanted to be my friend. I appreciated immensely how upfront she was and of course I wanted to be her friend, she made me laugh a tremendous amount with her wonderful sense of humor and I genuinely enjoyed being in her company.

As time passed, we grew closer and closer. I helped her move from her old crappy apartment to a much nicer one and as anyone knows, when you help someone move, you know its getting serious. I took her to a few of my favorite places, we went to work events together and she even asked me to house-sit for her when she left for home. We were pretty inseparable.

Then, she left for a month to visit her home. And in that month of staying at her place, I missed her…I missed her more than I should have, more than I thought I would and more than just a friend would. We had contact every now and again, but honestly I lived for the times we were able to chat. She had become more than just a friend in my heart.

I was more than excited when she came home and picking her up from the airport was like I found a long lost missing piece of myself. On the way home she told me that something interesting had happened to her; She had developed some romantic feelings for someone and at that moment my heart sunk a bit because of my own realized feelings, but I quickly came to realize that her excitement for this development was more than enough to make me feel happy for her in finding someone she had romantic feelings for. That romance didn’t last long though and it breaks my heart that the excitement she had from finding those feelings faded away.

I always thought I would start dating someone, fall in love and they would become my best friend, but I now realize that love is a catalyst that creates a best friend. I’ve found a best friend that I love and want more than anything for her to succeed in all aspects of life. I want to see her excitement if she develops romantic feelings for someone, I want to see her move forward in life and get to where she wants to be. I want to see her become what she will become and I want to help her every step of the way in any way I can because that’s what a best friend does and I know its what she wants for me too.

I love my best friend; My one I value most; My someone I have fun with; My someone I trust; My someone I confide in; My Duchess.

The Crash

Sadness is a beast that can easily consume you if you allow it…

I’ve always felt a sadness inside of myself. I hid it by portraying myself as someone that was cheery and lighthearted for most of my life, but deep down I was in pain. I don’t know the cause of it, perhaps loneliness inside my heart, perhaps my negative self image and lack of self confidence, perhaps it was a feeling of uselessness and self loathing or perhaps just a chemical imbalance or maybe it was a combination of some or all of these things or something entirely different, I don’t know, all I knew was that I had a sadness deep down inside of me.

My life had had it’s ups and downs, I had loved and lost, I had felt purpose, I had helped many others and I even felt like I had saved some lives. I lived and I had no regrets.

Leading up to the winter, I was jobless while trying my best to find something, things were not going very well with the princess I was with at the time, and things were not going well at home. My stepdad had begun to drink and make snide remarks about how ‘lazy’ I was while making mentally abusive comments to my mother. After a while this escalated and he would yell and call my mother and I names and remind us of how useless we were… Funny what goes on behind closed doors. My princess and I had broken up and my heart was broken. I had no luck finding any jobs and I was starting to fall into a good amount of debt. And worst of all, I started to believe my stepdad was right, I was completely useless. “What was the point?”

I gave up…

I made a decision. I was going to end it. I didn’t want to live anymore.

I was going to spend the last bit of money that I had left on my credit card to enjoy my last little bit of life before I took it and I tremble as I type this because I can recall how set I was on my decision.

I remember I was at a drop-in volleyball center and A few friends and I joined up with a small family and the father and I got to talking. I opened up to him and he told me he might have a job opportunity if I was interested. To be honest I wasn’t that interested because I was already set on what I was going to do, but I guess a part of me was curious, or perhaps a part of me wanted to live on, regardless; I agreed to meet him in a few days to talk…

The night I left to meet this father, it had just snowed with freezing rain falling the night before. Roads were slippery and my car was rear wheel drive with not much traction at the best of times. It happened about two blocks away from my house, I was behind an SUV when the driver suddenly slammed on their brakes. I quickly hit mine but I got literally no traction… I was sliding out of control and was veering into the oncoming traffic lane. I can remember the scene: A blue caravan parked on the right of the road, the brake lights of the SUV, but most of all I remember the headlights and front end of the red caravan heading directly towards me.
In the last moment before impact, I remember that it was so quiet I could hear myself think one last thought, “Good, I wanted this.”

I came to, my airbags deployed, my face feeling like it was broken but I came to and was alive. I remember moving my legs and arms to make sure they were there and functional then finding my cell phone which got launched to the ground and calling emergency services. I had to kick my door open as I fell out of my car onto the street, got up and stumbled toward the other vehicle to make sure they were alright. I heard screaming from the other vehicle and I felt dread as I approached. I saw a mother holding her screaming child telling her everything was alright and to calm down. I requested an ambulance for the other driver whom said his back was in pain. After letting them know that the ambulance was on the way, I went to the sidewalk, sat down on the snowy cement and I cried. I cried from happiness that the other family was alright, and I cried because I was happy I was still alive.

Looking back, I died that day. Much like motivational speakers preach about the Caterpillar dying and being reborn as a butterfly, I died the day I crashed and I was reborn wanting to live for the first time. My life still had many complications that I was going to need to figure out, but I wanted to figure them out because I believed that there was something better for me and there was and its turning out that there always is.

For anyone who does struggle with depression or suicide, my only thoughts are that it does get better, but you have to stop being consumed by the sadness. It is tough, but there are people out there that can help. I wish I had spoken to someone, perhaps they would have been able to help and I wouldn’t have spiraled into the situation that I put myself in where I felt so backed into a corner that I had no way out. I was lucky, and my life went on and I can truly say that I enjoy every bit of it including the hardship and adversity. The challenges in life are what make it interesting and help to build you and mold you into something stronger and honestly there is no challenge that is insurmountable.

Sadness is a beast that can consume you, but if you starve it, life continues toward bigger and better things.

 

Love is a Battlefield

The heart is such a difficult thing to understand because it wants what it wants and there is no changing that. It defies all reason, it defies all logic, it truly is it’s own entity; it’s own fragile, delicate entity.

Love hurts. At least unrequited love does and I’m convinced most people have experienced it in one way or another. I feel like I’ve been in a situation of feelings not being returned quite often and I’ve even been the person who didn’t return those feelings and it truly does feel like a battlefield.

The conditions for love are not as easy to fulfill as one would think. When I was younger I figured love was easy, A person likes another person and they would get together and work on it. As I have grown and experienced love and heartache, I realize that there are many factors to consider when falling in love with someone and an imbalance of one of those factors can cause the love to never be returned or the love to ultimately fail. Timing is important; it truly is a tragedy when you love someone and they are just not at a point in time where they can love you back. Attraction; it seems obvious that you are attracted to someone you are in love with but the heart can be fickle and you might have an attraction one day and if it is never acted upon, it can fade, and the opposite can be true as well. Mindset; Sometimes a mindset can be the cause or fall of love. I have experienced a love with someone where we shared a similar mindset however as the person I loved matured mentally, my mindset was left behind and we no longer shared the same joys, dreams or desires and ultimately we fell out of love.

Love can also be terrifying and I found that it is the fear that can make it seems so uncomfortable to let your heart fall. What if the person you love doesn’t love you back? What if they break your heart? What if they are the wrong person? What if they do love you too? The uncertainty is scary and sometimes it is just easier not to have those feelings, but love is a battlefield, and in a battlefield you are fighting for something. Letting fear deter you, and letting the pain of failure break you means you have conceded. If you want to succeed on the battlefield that is love, all you have to do is keep fighting, keep trying until you make it, knowing that you are fighting for something that is beautiful and can bring about so much happiness, something that is worth enduring the battle you are put through. I know because I have been in love, and it is something worth fighting for.

The Voice

I’m not sure when it came about, but at some point I developed a voice inside of my consciousness. This voice isn’t just some random thing in my head, I know it is driven by my own thoughts; all the negative and self loathing thoughts I’ve ever had have created this demon within.

Whenever I think back to times that I have felt depressed and self conscious, I can remember this voice being there, telling me I’m not good enough, telling me I will never make it, and telling me that I shouldn’t even bother. It has crippled me, to an extent that is still unknown to me as I still have yet to explore that topic in my journey of self discovery. This voice has held me back and I didn’t know how to fight it.

I let this voice dominate my own view of myself; It told me I wasn’t good enough and I never was, at least not to my own self and it really drove me into my depression. It wasn’t until I had my crash that the voice seemed to be silent and gave me a moment of peace. I was only focused on life immediately following my crash, the life that I still clung onto, the life that I was close to losing. I focused on my life and I started this journey in the voice’s absence and I’ve grown so immensely I had completely forgotten about the voice… until it returned

I had been talking to someone close to my heart and I had ended up causing that someone some unintentional pain with some unmindful words. My heart felt wrenched from causing this pain and I felt awful, and then the voice returned “Everything you touch, you hurt…” The voice…my own conscious…my inner demon, it was able to speak again, and I was overcome with a sense of terror. I felt myself begin to regress to a former state as some tears began to well in my eyes, but I stopped…I stopped and thought about what the voice just said to me. “Everything I touch, I hurt?” It’s true I hurt someone, and yes I felt truly awful about it, but how dare that voice tell me that. I spend so much time trying to heal the hurt in others and some part of my brain is going to tell me that I hurt everything I touch? Wrong… I challenged the voice in my own head that put me down. I called it out for what it said and although it wasn’t completely false, it certainly wasn’t true. I challenged the voice and I discovered the voice was a coward that had no answers when it was put in the spotlight.

I was able to confront one of my inner demons and find a way to defeat it which feels like a huge milestone in my self development. Everyday I feel like I am faced with new challenges and knowing who I am and knowing I have my own self beside me has been getting me through each and every obstacle in my way, even ones from my past that I never thought I would be able to overcome. The voice has been silenced.

Looking at the Rear View Mirror

It is truly amazing how much a person can grow when they desire it. With the proper drive, a whole world can completely turn around in a relatively short amount of time…

When I first started driving, I truly did enjoy it. I would put on the radio and just relax, I would get to my destination when I got there without worrying about what any other driver around me was doing. Not that I didn’t pay attention, I moved out of the way when a car was tailing me, and I left space between myself and a car going a bit slower in front of me, basically things never bothered me. As I drove more and more however, those things began to bother me… to the point where I loathed driving. As I’ve been going on this journey of self discovery, I really had to take a look at why I had begun to hate driving and how I could go back to enjoying it and it came down to one thing that really triggered me. Getting tailed closely… I absolutely hated looking in my rear view mirror and seeing headlights shoved up my trunk because someone needed to tail me, and I’m not talking about me driving slow in the ‘fast lane’ and being tailed. I’m talking about me driving in the other lane and someone deciding to ride my tail when they could easily switch lanes and pass… It still fills me with a bit of anger thinking about it however I felt that this had a much deeper meaning and was an analogy to my life.

Looking at the rear view mirror was causing me stress and so was looking at my past and what had already happened. Why wouldn’t this vehicle just pass me and why didn’t I do things differently? They are both behind me but yet I’m letting them upset me in my present moment. I realized that I needed to find a way to stop letting it upset me because in the end I don’t have control over it. The driver is going to do what they are doing and my past has already done what has happened, I cannot change either, all I can change is what I do in the present moment and so I stopped looking at that mirror.

There is only frustration in the hope of changing your past, the only thing you have the power to change is your present. This isn’t to say that checking your mirrors every once in a while is a bad thing (actually its dangerous not to) but to dwell on something that is behind you does not help you in your present. Instead look in that mirror for what it was intended for, to make sure the move you are making in your present moment is safe, and then continue to keep your eyes forward to what is happening right now.

5 Princesses

I’ve never really had much luck in matters of the heart. After I reached maturity I really didn’t have my first relationship until a few years after graduation. I remember it was 3 years after I graduated, the only work experience I had was what little I got from working a labourer job for my stepdad, I wasn’t in post-secondary, and I didn’t feel like I was doing much with myself. Because of this stagnation, I had grown depressed and every night for a while I prayed. I prayed for something to happen, something to change my life.

Enter my first princess, the Angel. My prayers had been answered and I met my first love and it got my life somewhat in gear. I started post-secondary for a business degree and worked part time on the weekends. Unfortunately, the Angel lived a couple thousand miles away, so I would save up money so I could fly to see her whenever I could. I worked hard to maintain a 4.0 GPA as long as I could, worked on the weekends and after dating for a few years, we decided to live together. Unfortunately when I moved in, the love we had, had been lost. I was still young and very naive to the way things were, I just had blind optimism that things would work out and no solid plan on how to make them work and we eventually went our separate ways. I know we both found each other for a reason; we needed each other but after we helped stabilise each other’s lives, it stopped making sense for us to be together. My first love will always be the angel that answered my prayers when I needed them answered.

Needless to say, I was heartbroken after my first princess and I had broken up, and that’s when I met my second princess, the Sun. I felt like I was shrouded in darkness after my first break-up and a bright entity showed up and shed light; hope on my life again. She heated the heart that had been broken into thousands of pieces so it could be melded back together. The Sun and I were complete opposites personality wise, but we shared the same type of heart which also gave her the nickname of Yin, to my Yang; complete opposites in our color but we were the same shape. Although we were never romantically involved, she will always have my love for saving me from the darkness that had clouded my heart and teaching me that the sun will always shine again. I’m still good friends with the second princess and we visit each other a few times every year.

After I had taken time to recover from my first major heartache, I was ready to love again, and that’s when I met my third princess, the Scientist. I had known her for a while because she had been dating a friend of mine a year earlier. They had broken up and she had disappeared for that year and resurfaced again as his friend. She was in med school and I was just freshly graduated looking for a job and we decided to have a study date over Skype while she studied and I fine-tuned my resume and cover letter. We ended up staying up all night bonding over our unique musical preferences that we had in common. For the next few nights we did the same thing and we quickly fell for each other. We talked a lot about our futures together but unfortunately we lacked time to spend with each other in the present. At the end of each of our days, We tried spending as much time as we could together, and I remember singing her to sleep over Skype often, however we just weren’t able to spend enough quality time together and it started to hurt too much for us as a couple. All I wanted with the Scientist was to go back to the start when we had time for each other but she logically knew we had to move forward and so we ended our relationship. The thing that really broke me in this relationship was all the future plans we had not coming to fruition but I learned that you can’t live in the future and what promises it might bring, you have to live in the present with the future you want in mind.

I took a while to recover from my third princess as well, however I knew things would get better again, as they did in the past and I wasn’t shrouded in the same darkness I was before. I eventually found a full time job and just concentrated on work. While I was on vacation visiting my second princess, I had a dream. Usually my dreams are vague and I don’t remember much of them however when I had this particular dream, I remembered waking up and remembering it quite vividly. In this dream I saw a fortune teller, and they told me that in five days’ time, I would meet my true love. When I awoke I checked my calendar and it happened to be the day I was taking the bus back home. I didn’t read too much into it but I had hoped that maybe I would meet someone on the bus ride. Turns out I didn’t quite meet anyone on the bus however when I got home, I checked social media to see a message in my inbox from someone I went to school with; my fourth princess, the True Love. We saw each other here and there in school but our brief interactions were enough to leave an impression on her. We began talking daily and got along really well and I even took her out on a few dates and she restored hope in me again. Although we never ended up getting too serious, she did teach me what true love meant; it is a love that means you’ll be there for someone regardless of what they are going through; it is walking through hell to help the other person out of it; and it is a complete understanding of another without any lies. I’m good friends with my fourth princess as I am my second and we still try to hang out now and again and catch up on our lives together.

That leaves my fifth princess, the Alternate Ending. I don’t ever want that name to take away anything from how wonderful she is. She got that nickname from a song that made me fall for her. I had caught feelings for her but she lived many many miles away (much like my first princess) and she knew we would have a tough time making it. The song that made me fall for her was about my life having an alternate ending so that I could spend it with her. I had a choice to make, accept that we wouldn’t be together or try to change my life, try to make it the alternate ending that ended with her. I went for it and put myself out there, and even though at first she held fast that we wouldn’t make it, she eventually gave in and we started dating. Everyday I’m grateful that we did because she was the princess that helped me change my life. Not only were we able to transform physically together and become more confident, but we also went through a lot of personal development together. Distance however, was not our friend and it felt like she began to outgrow me, and eventually it seemed like we no longer brought each other joy, but rather pain whenever we saw each other and so we ended our relationship. After losing her, I lost myself but the beauty of losing yourself is that it gives you an opportunity to rediscover who you are and become something more. It took some time but my fifth princess and I were able to become friends again and it is truly a blessing to see her well as I’m sure it is a blessing for her to see me well.

A piece of my heart belongs to each of my five princesses and each lesson and experience I had, and continue to have with them adds to my own development as the prince I hope to become. Are there going to be any more princesses that earn a piece of my heart? I suppose only time will tell the answer to that question.

Unattractive

Ever since I hit puberty, I’ve never felt like I was an attractive person. I’ve never felt like anyone has ever looked at me and labelled me as ‘cute’ or ‘good-looking’.  My mom always used to apologise for the bad skin and nose that I inherited from the family, and honestly I hated the way I looked and have always lacked confidence because of it. The following is a story that really set me on a self-loathsome course and truly made me hate the way I looked and I carried that with me for many years and it probably wasn’t until I was in my mid 20’s that I was finally able to move past this moment.

When I was around the age of 14, I had gotten onto a bus making my way home from my junior high school. Usually it gets quite full but on this day I was lucky enough to get a seat next to the window with no one sitting next to me. At the next stop as I leaned against the window with my eyes closed, trying to avoid any and all people, a bunch of people got on and a girl around the same age, maybe a bit older, called out to get my attention, “Hey”. I looked over to her expecting her to ask if she could take a seat next to me like most people would, she instead, decided to deal me an emotional wound that has taken a long time to heal and a scar that might never heal completely; She told me that I was ugly…”You’re ugly”… She repeated it to me to make sure I heard it and that let the gravity of it sink in… In that moment, all I could manage was to shake my head, lean it back on the window and close my eyes while I shattered on the inside.  Some random girl on this bus, someone I had never met before, and will probably never see again, decided that it was important to get my attention just to notify me that I was ugly.

I know they say kids can be cruel and they say things without thinking, but regardless, this moment destroyed me. I had already always seen myself as someone who wasn’t very attractive but it felt like this girl had just confirmed that society also saw me that way. After that day I viewed myself as an eyesore, I even ended up growing my hair out for the next couple years for the sole reason of hiding my face from the world. This memory; this moment, I tried to bury it deep so I would never feel like that again but that feeling has been seeping out in small doses from where I buried it for many years. It wasn’t until I started this journey that I could unbury it and start to get over it.

Being ugly does not translate to being unattractive. Yes it means I’m not going to be eye candy for anyone, and I’ll probably never feel 100% confident but I have learned an important ability, I’ve learned how to glimpse past a person’s looks and see a person for their soul and I’d much rather be attracted to someone for their soul rather than what they look like. I’m sure there are others that feel that way too and I feel that my soul is beautiful on the inside even if I’m not on the outside which doesn’t make me unattractive at all.