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

May 30, 2014

Refusing to sink

Well, well, well. Here I am just about to enter into the 6 month of the year, and I haven't made a blog post since August which goes against the little list I made in January which had me planning on writing more among other things that I had identified would assist me in being a healthier, happier version of myself. Delaney 2.0, Delaney14, Delaney new and improved.

I’m not a fan of ‘New Year’s Resolutions”, but I am a fan of direction and goals so I came up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the 2014 year, a list of things I wanted to do more of, and a list of things I wanted to do less.

I am a huge fan and strong believer in personal (and professional) development. In fact I am always reflecting and analyzing myself, my actions, my perspective on a specific situation and identifying weak points, areas where I could improve, and occasionally identifying strengths…some times to my own detriment. This behaviour, at least in my mind, has made me hyper aware of who I am as a person (and a professional) and kept me aware of where I want to go and the path I need to be on to get there. I constantly seek out experiences and opportunities for learning and growth whether it be hands on in a volunteer capacity, joining a committee or project at work, or observing those in leadership and managerial roles to figure out what I like and do not like about their approach and how it would complement my own. Always learning, always growing…and deeply afraid of stagnating, staying in the same place, failing to thrive.

Along with writing more (something I love to do but don’t often make the time for) I made a goal to read more which is something that doesn't always make the cut after finally getting how following a long day but something I am so happy to do.

In June 2011 I made the intentional decision to stick around Winnipeg, to stay in Canada, to pursue a relationship, to put down some roots and to see if they would grow. And grow they did. Its May 2014, and I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years, I’ve grown a lot in the last three years, and the relationships I wanted to pursue and develop have become strong in ways that I could not have anticipated being possible…and making it more than a bit difficult to take off again.

Unable to decide on a graduate program that was a good fit, I decided that looking for a new job might be the way to go to push myself outside of my comfort zone, hone some skills I want to develop, and explore an area that I have been interested in for a long time. Which has led me to where I am now. Starting a new position, in a new line of work, daunted by what seems like a mountain of learning and firsts ahead. I’m feeling very overwhelmed and like I may have taken a big bite of something I will be unable to chew however I have been in this situation before (as I keep reminding myself) and that it will get better as I feel more comfortable because change and transitions are always hard (I’m trying to have a gentler and more kind mental tape as well).

With summer on the doorstep and new challenges ahead I am going to channel the sun who regardless of the gloomiest days rises the next.

Growing, growing, growing,
Delaney C.

Down, down, down, down.

My heart is angry and hard this week, although if I’m being honest and realistic its been that way for a while now.

Since I started realizing and becoming aware of how little I matter to society, and to people around me. How as a women all signs point to me being less than, and only being assigned value as I related to someone else. How my body is not my own, but how others (typically white men in a position of power) get to have more say over my body and what I get to do with it then I do, and have the right to access over it. How I can’t enjoy a solo bike ride without a man yelling at me from his car window “nice tits” as if I asked for his commentary on my body, and how I have to qualify that experience by saying “I wasn’t every wearing anything low cut” to prove that I wasn’t “asking for it.”

This week a man whose name was Elliot Rodgers killed six people, and sent seven more to the hospital because he wanted to seek retribution against women who had rejected him. I’ve read a bunch of thoughtful and articulate articles on the issue and I’m not going to attempt to write my own. I am angry, ANGRY, that in 2014 this is still going on. That there are people sympathizing with him, posting comments, tweets, responses stating that it was the fault of the women who rejected him and that at least one of them should have slept with him and not been so stuck up. As a women I shouldn’t have to sleep with anyone who wants to sleep with me, or anyone at all, because my body (and what I choose to do with it) is MY decision. I shouldn’t have to say “I have a boyfriend” to ward off unnecessary flirting or advances, I shouldn’t have to have three alternative escape plans running through my mind while walking home alone at night, I shouldn’t have to politely listen when men tell me that “you’d be prettier if you smiled” or worry that the dress I’m wearing might bring unwanted attention even if it’s the dress I want to wear that makes me feel good.

I’m enraged that my generation (and many others) denies that misogyny is an current issue, and denies that we continue to perpetuate a “rape culture” of violent masculinity without addressing that as a society we comply to these standards. We chuckle with little boys are aggressive and domineering, we tell little girls to be dainty and delicate and that when a boy teases you or picks on you he likes you and allow these little girls and little boys to grow up into adults where the same holds true. Where my chances of advancing as a professional will be thwarted because of my gender even if I am skilled and talented at what I do, and where my individuality, safety and security will be compromised every damn day because I am a women.

This is not the world I want to live in. This is not the world I want my sister to live in. Yesterday my heart was so heavy, my mind to frustrated about the INJUSTICE that continues to be perpetuated in our ‘civilized’ society that I wanted to give up fighting. But I can’t. Because I am strong enough to say no, courageous enough to call people out, and determined enough that I will not accept this treatment…on the streets, in bars, in my workplace, from neighbours, friends or strangers…and hopefully by speaking out, and showing other women and girls, men and boys that this behaviour, this way of thinking is completely unacceptable they too can speak loudly, step in when it is happening, and we can move towards a society that values women as individuals, a society that protects and advocates women's rights, and act as allies against those who don’t.

Delaney C