Have fun when you can. Think all the time.

Music, Trees, Environment, BBC, Hardwood floors, Storytelling, Adventures, International development, Learning new things, Getting new perspectives, Writing essays, Water, Road trips, Photography, Spaghetti squash, Art, Books, Getting involved, Gingerbread lattes,(Not)Sleeping, Reading, Poetry, Falling leaves, Aging, Monologues, Prickly pear tea, Making lists, Politics, New ideas, Exploring, Traveling, Dinosaurs, Killer whales, Sushi, Pop Culture, Meeting new people, Barbequing with friends, Tubing down the river, Waking up early, Discovering new things, Trees, Empathy, Believing in the Power of Love

August 26, 2013

“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction.

Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in.

Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become."

Chris Hadfield

I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands

June 24, 2013


My grandfather was not the easiest man to get along with. Nor the easiest person to get close to. He and my grandmother came from a different time, a different place. An isolated mountain town tucked away in the forested hills of mainland Portugal. A place my grandfather had to leave, working abroad to ensure his wage covered the cost of his families needs. My grandmother worked in the fields, both literally and figuratively, to the bone taking care of two young sons and their home. A relationship created in love transitioned to convenience, loyalty and commitment. Coming to Canada to avoid watching their sons be forced to fight a war they didn't support.
Working tirelessly, saving money, and wanting the best for their sons and their expanding family were ever present throughout my relationship with my grandparents. All qualities I am proud to possess and have learned from them, however the technique in which they used to imply these lessons often pushed us apart rather than uniting us.

I remember spending summer afternoons in the garden picking raspberries, crab apples, tomato's and lettuce. Sticky from the heat, cheeks stained from playing with earth and sneaking raspberries into my cheeks when grandma and grandpa looked away. I remember laying on their living room floor, pulling on the thick carpet watching cartoons enamored with their crystal candy bowl and trinkets collected over time. I remember sitting down for lunch of cucumbers, lettuce, tomato's and onions tossed in grandma's special dressing, Portuguese soup, oven fried chicken, and homemade bread. I remember going for walks to the park, being pushed by grandpa on the swings, climbing to the top of the tallest hill my seven year self could imagine, holding my grandma's hand.

I remember hearing "why are you so fat," "why do you want to do that," "you shouldn't be driving a car, it's dangerous," "you let her drive a car," "you're moving where?" "you're ruining your lives" and feeling as though I would never be good enough, my family, my father, would never be good enough to please them. I know, deep down, that they did care, that they did and still do want the best for me, as their granddaughter, for their sons, my father, and uncle, and for the rest of our family.

The greatest gift they have given me is my family. The importance of family, and how close we have become. My fiercely loyal, dedicated, perseverant, eclectic and kind hearted family. My family, small only in size, certainly not in heart. Family dinners started at grandma and grandpas, transitioned to other venues when they were unable to continue their role as hosts.

My grandfather who passed away yesterday, and my grandmother who's mind has become a stranger even to herself. They fought for my family. They came to Canada, a foreign place, to fight for my family. They instilled in my father and uncle, the importance of family, of loyalty, of never giving up, of working as hard as you can, and then working even harder. That is what I will take away from my grandparents, the greatest gift they could have ever given me. My family, whom I know we will be able to weather any storm, take on any battle, overcome any odds. Together.

Delaney C.

April 26, 2013

Connection is the true state of being

It seems that whenever I need, as in really really need a message, a sign from something greater than I, bigger then me...well, there it is.

I spent yesterday morning wandering around downtown Winnipeg, weaving in and out of streets with no real destination. Just needing to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. One foot. Then the other. Repeat. Repeat. The crisp air made my cheeks rosy but kept my head clear. When thoughts would creep in I pushed them out "Whoosh". Focusing on one foot. Left. Then right. Left. Right. And that was exactly what I needed.

I spent the evening thinking, sleeping, and dazed. And I think that's what I needed as well. I kept coming back to, "what's the point?" Why get close to people, develop relationships with people, if this is the kind of pain you feel when they are no longer there. Why? I thought about locking up all my loved ones, my nearest and dearest, in a room so that they couldn't get hurt. So I wouldn't have to hurt. I thought about cutting ties with everyone I know and love so that I never have to go through this again, and so they don't have to go through it if I were to get hurt, or die.

This morning I went to CrossFit and got a little bit of perspective. I was humbled by how far I have come, and how much further I have to go. Gasping for air putting one foot in front of the other, huffing and puffing, not letting myself stop or give up but still struggling the entire time. Nothing like getting physically destroyed to give you a little perspective and feel relatively small and insignificant.

When I got back to my apartment I turned on the radio and heard "Connection is the true state of being." As though Jian was speaking only to me. "We might not always remember that. We may feel powerless in the face of a world of problems but really we need to give our share to humanity the awareness the attention it deserves in order to start seeing things clearly. Surely that is the least we can do." And that was exactly what I needed to hear, was exactly the sign I needed to make today a new day. To get to work and put one foot in front of the other, again and again, until today is tomorrow. And until this gets easier.

Life is hard. It's tough. In one moment you can have all the air pulled out of your lungs, scared to take another breath, feeling like the stars are falling down all around you. When people leave us it reminds us of the horribleness that exists in every day. It reminds us that life is fleeting and short, which is something we don't always like to admit. It reminds us of all the times we've said angry words out of desperation and frustration and all the days in which we haven't laughed, or loved with our full and open hearts. And that is a sobering feeling.

But life is also stunningly beautiful and marvelous. It truly is an amazing experience sharing the world, sharing your life with others whom you grow to know, connect with, and who become a part of your life. I do have many wonderful, inspiring, and amazing people in my life and as Jian reminded me "connection is the true state of being." It's why we find so much satisfaction in our lives, in our jobs, in our relationships...all that connecting. Feeling as though you are a part of something, being aware, and attentive, and giving it all we've got. Life is much more beautiful, meaningful and satisfying when its shared. And that's why I can't get rid of all the people I care for, can't ask them to live in a box so that I never have to feel loss or pain again. Because we are made to connect. To share our lives, and our love with each other.

It will be hard. I'm scared. I'm worried. For my friends and family that are also feeling this loss. But I know that it will get easier, whether we want it to or not. Our hearts will heal. We will have each other. As long as we keep moving our feet, one after another. Left, right, left right.

With an open heart,
Delaney C.