the mourning after

So the 45th president of my country is this orange racist misogynistic clown.

To say I’m in shock still would be an understatement. I think I’m still processing the idea of having such a hateful buffoon as the figurehead and leader of my home.

Thankfully, social media has been (for the most part) a place where people can come together to express their shock, sorrow, and fears.  Here’s some of what I posted over the last couple days:

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This isn’t to say I haven’t encountered my share of gloating Trump supporters. Usually I’m cool with people having different political opinions from mine — but there’s a difference when someone willfully supports/condones the words of a political figure who is known to incite hate.  In this case, I’m not interested in engaging or remaining their social media “friend”. Here’s an example of one of those exchanges:

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Honestly, I’m not looking to fight or argue with people about it all. I do, however, feel compelled to not let untruths or abuse go by unnoticed.  I stumbled into a FB thread of an old Bible-college friend of mine, who was bemoaning the “hate speech” directed toward Trump supporters. In his post, he wrote: “You know what irks me more than all of Trump’s bigoted comments over the last several months? All the hate talk I’m seeing directed towards “Trump Supporters”. For real. I’m mad.”

I couldn’t let that go. I wrote:

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I gave myself all of yesterday to mope. Today I need to get my life back in gear, and figure out how I can mobilize. Part of me feels guilty for living up here in Canada, because I want to be of use back home.

ask me how I am one month from now

When it comes down to moments like these, sometimes the only way I get through it is to think of where I’ll be in one month from now.

Because, somehow, the amount of work and effort that I’m sure will be required for me to make it to that day, one month from now, seems like it is too much to think about.

For posterity’s sake, here’s a quick to-do list of everything I need to survive until December 4, 2016:

  • write and edit and submit my MEd final project proposal (which is still in its early – nay, nonexistent – stages)
  • mark ~70 midterms
  • revise article on rapport-building I’m co-writing for peer-review
  • mark ~70 assignments on integrating sources
  • finalize my contributions for the group project in the grad course I’m taking
  • mark ~70 5-minute speeches
  • teach teach teach (3 undergrad courses, 1 grad course)
  • sleep. occasionally.
  • plan and present the group presentation for the grad course I’m taking
  • mark ~70 10-page research reports
  • develop materials for a new course to be given in January
  • begin to develop my final MEd project (to be completed by March)

So, yeah. If I’m still here in December, I will count that as a win.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get more reflective about my internal state — which is in enough turmoil to require me to need some physio to get my body back in check.

the practice of authenticity

Yesterday I was asked to speak on a panel at the Unitarian Centre on the topic of authenticity and community. It’s one of those topics that I love reading and thinking about, but it’s one that is daunting to be asked to speak to. It was only a 5-minute time slot I had to fill, and I decided to base my talk on a couple quotes that spoke to me about authenticity:

First, a couple quotes by ee cummings:

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everyone else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.”

I opened my talk by talking about the authenticity that little kids have — how brave and bold and outspoken they are, right up until they start understanding the weight of their words and the cultural expectations they’re under. I wanted everyone to think about the different kinds of expectations we all face in our lives — from our family, our culture, our religion, professions, relationships, etc.

Then I put up this picture:

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working the hipster glasses before it was cool

And talked about all the expectations that “Becky” had, growing up.

Which brought me to a couple other quotes, these ones by Dr. Brené Brown:

“Authenticity: the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”

I then talked a bit about Dr. Brown’s idea that authenticity isn’t a personal characteristic, but it’s a practice. A practice that is both daily, and mindful. Authenticity isn’t something that is permanently achieved — it’s a conscious commitment that requires you to value being true to yourself.

I didn’t go into too much detail about my story, mainly because I wanted more to give the audience something for them to think about in light of their own life. What’s really interesting is that the service leader had specifically asked me to speak to the fact that part of my authentic journey was to reject the faith that I grew up in. Guess what I forgot to mention as I was talking?

Afterwards when I talked to the service leader, she brought up the fact that I forgot to mention my atheism in my little talk. And it’s interesting, as much as I identify as someone who isn’t “religious” anymore, I don’t really feel like that aspect of my life is as interesting to talk about — at least not in that Unitarian setting. Being a nonbeliever is just one small part of who I am, authentically.

smash the patriarchy

12289742_10156288668925134_1486213819461626028_nOn Friday I went to the Court of the Queen’s Bench to go file for divorce — everything was in order: I stopped to get a selfie, plus I had all my papers in tow (FYI this is a great site that walks you through filling out family law forms).

Everything was in order, until they got to J’s name on the court order. The clerk then compared his name to what was printed on the marriage license, and her face got screwed up in dismay.


Her [pointing to J’s name as the respondent on the court order]: “Why is his name different here?”

Me: “Well, he ended up taking my name after we got married.” [note: there is no male equivalent to saying “maiden name”]

Her: “Oh. Before you can file, he will need to come in and file an affidavit of identity to verify this is really him.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Her: “Yes.”

Me: “But if I had taken on his last name, I wouldn’t have to come in and prove my identity, right?”

Her: “Yes.”


So much for filing on Friday.