Community Project: Dawson City Hospital

Think about it.

When admitted to hospital, having doctors and nurses keeping watch over you, providing a calm and safe place for you to heal… Do you stop to say how truly grateful you are for them?

Do you acknowledge that these people, in the health and helping sector also have lives, their own people to take care of, and also have themselves to nurture?

All the countless hours of helping strangers, in all sorts of stages of life and health, at any time of day or night- being ready to not only provide medical care, but also a kind and thoughtful approach to you and your health.

Yes, I know, it is their job. But still- shouldn’t we still voice our gratitude once in a while?

IMG_6993I really like this photo of my Doctor’s Office. I sneaked a photo when I was waiting for her to come back from checking on some paperwork.

Recently spending time in the hospital, I spent two nights in the new Dawson City Hospital- and I must say, what a beautiful centre as a brand new building, but also as a community of doctors, therapists, nurses, and pharmacist.

IMG_6841Late night trip to the ER- I really do hate hospital gowns.

Gone were the fears of strange hospitals, with cracking paint and scuffed floors, and that awful lysol/sickly smell of unwell people. What I found were beautiful murals, spacious rooms, and wonderful staff. Because of my situation- I had to have an eye kept on me, so I got to know some of the nurses quite well- (on a patient/nurse kind of terms I guess) 

IMG_7112My nurse let me pick out some tea once I got settled in- David’s Tea at that! How special- ūüôā¬†

IMG_7109Yes, I was painting the closet. After they gave me a dose of my anti-anxiety meds. I just felt so chill and all I could really focus on was the closet- Soon fell asleep after the third closet.

The genuine humour, laughter, and interest they had shown in both myself and my artwork was so wonderful. I immediately felt safe, calm, and content in my room. It is amazing how your environment and mental state can affect your quality of sleep. Рeven sleeping on a hospital bed- (a.k.a. Рa bit like sleeping on a block of wood)  I slept like a rock, and woke up in a calm, almost meditative manner. What a wonderful change to the not-so-good nights I had been having previously.

So- To thank all these wonderful people. I decided to create my Community Project into something that would acknowledge all the special people at the Dawson City Hospital. (At least- the ones that I was lucky enough to have as providers of care for me) 

How I did this was I began to knit.

I love knitting- and have always found it very therapeutic. Lately, I have been making these little pouches, “Marsupial-satchels” I call them. To carry special things that one may find dear to their heart.

IMG_7046                     Here is one I made for a dear friend of mine for her little mouse named Candlelight.

Using beautiful yarn my mother had sent me in a care-package, I began to knit and crochet thinking of all the caring people who I had met when I was at the hospital. With every stitch, I silently said thank you, with every little detail, I silently reminded myself how grateful I was to have crossed paths with them. It was a very healing and meditative experience to create these little pouches. I knitted eleven pouches. And then included a little letter within each one. Here is a quote from the letter:

“Just wanted to say thank you for all of your help and patience over these past few weeks.¬†To be able to have a safe place to go to when on cannot provide that for herself is a blessing. Therefore ~ Thank you, for being YOU! As part of my Community project for SOVA, I would very much appreciate any comments, feedback, etc. on what you think of your homemade marsupial-satchels. I wanted to give a token of appreciation, ~ you may keep, give away, switch, as you like with these little pouches. Just wanted to show in my own little way, how thankful I am for crossing paths with you ~ as you have made it a more positive one to walk.”

IMG_7224A photo showing all the little pouches with letters inside~ ready to be dropped off at the hospital! 

IMG_7225A close up- I hand wrote the letter, and made photocopies, providing my email and blog address for people to check out this article, and maybe even leave some feedback about what they thought about it all! 

IMG_7226Here I am wearing one Рto show size and where they would approx. rest on the body. РThis pouch was made for one of the amazing doctors I am lucky enough to see once a week to help me through this all. 

So far, I have not heard back from any of the medical staff on what they thought about their little marsupial-satchels. I hope to hear via email, or face to face, what they thought about it. Even if I don’t hear a peep from anyone- I know that I myself felt¬†love and joy¬†making and giving these away to those that had helped me, so hopefully, that loving energy will be passed along with these pouches to the 11 gentle souls who made my life a little easier to cope with this past month.

And that is my Community Project.

 

Fire Engine Red

Somehow while in the midst of a storm- the sun breaks through the clouds to remind me that there is hope.

And by hope, I mean knowing that come summer, I will have:

  1. A cabin of my very own – With a PINK outhouse! – Not to mention fabulous studio space
  2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (I am so thankful for Yukon Healthcare)
  3. Mountain Bike as transportation, and fingers crossed- maybe my darling of a Chevy, Ol’ Blue- ¬†will make the trip up the Alaska Highway from B.C. with me behind the wheel (Spring road trip in the making? Possibly)
  4. AND – As of tonight- I have a job lined up for the summer being the Museum Manager for the Dawson City Firefighters Museum

Now to just survive the final days of school, holding on tight to the last bits of sanity that I have.

Here is one of the vehicles I saw in the museum today!


 

Image

ELMER GAUNDREAU WITH THE CLAPP AND JONES FIRE STEAM PUMPER

1897 Clapp and Jones Fire Steam Pumper

–¬†Put into service with the Dawson Fire Department in 1900, this was the second engine to be purchased by the city. Capable of pumping 500 gallons a minute, the double engine meant that one pump was always running, thus resulting in a near constant stream of water. The steamer had two suction and discharge openings, allowing either side to be connected for use. The frame of the steamer rests on springs, which would have helped it to run smoothly on the rough roads of early Dawson.

For more information on¬†Firefighting and it’s history in Dawson City : Click here

 

 

Getting Plastered On A Thursday.

And by that- I mean getting my face plaster casted for my assignment dealing with prosthetics.

 

First Step: Cover entire face, neck, ears, hairline, eyebrows, lips, etc. with a thick layer of Vaseline.

Image

 

Oh yes, and don’t forget to put some up into your nostrils.Image

 

 

 

Step two: Have two assistants that you trust and that have previous plaster casting experience to assist you. You will be completely useless and blind in a matter of moments. So pick your assistants wisely.

Image

I chose Bronwyn and Justice. The super-couple of SOVA. Both very talented artists. Watch out people- this duo-power is out to crash and conquer the art world!

Step 3: Have your assistants begin to plaster your face. It is honestly a rather relaxing experience. This picture was taken before they blinded me for the next hour or so.

Image

The perks with having artists do this- is that you will have a two people who can think on their feet, strategize, and always have aesthetics in mind

Image

Step Four: This is where I am completely unaware of what these two goof balls do whilst working on my face. I can hear, smell, but not speak or see. I have asked them to document the process- and document they did. With lots of “selfies” – Oh how I love my friends.

Image

Finishing touches on my nostrils.

Image

Strips of plaster had to be cut and specially fitted for the bridge, nostril, and delicate parts of my nose, eyelids and other parts of my face that proved finicky.

Image

There seemed to also be a plaster war going on while this was happening as well.Image

Step Five: Soon- I am fully plastered, and ready to sit still , try not to move to much, and allow the plaster to dry. I am completely blind, but can make some squeaky noises through the air pocket between my lips and the plaster. I sound a bit like a dolphin with a paper bag on it’s head.

Image

Hearing giggles, and feeling hot breath on my head- I am intrigued as to what the hell is going on. Image

It is not until I check my iPhone after the whole process is completed that I realize what these two guys where doing…Image

Remember- I am completely unaware of what is up. All I can do is squeak and grasp blindly into the air to try to catch one of there bodies to somehow ask what is going on. I hear laughter- I can’t help but dolphin muffle and laugh as well.

Image

Step Six: Soon it is time to peel off the mask. Bronwyn and Justice walk me over to the work desks, where I can sit on a stool, and start to scrunch and move my face beneath the mask, creating air pockets. What a weird sensation- From wet warm plaster strips, to cooling and hardening, to becoming itchy, to the peeling, pulling, and finally popping off of the mask!

Image

The bright light of the classroom is blinding, and I feel super icky. The Vaseline saved my eyebrows, eyelashes, and hairline from being ripped out, and also just for general comfort of the skin on my face.Image

And here it is! My face cast! I am happy to say that it looks like me! This is step one in my prosthetic project, more strange things to come.

Thanks again Bronwyn and Justice for helping me out!

 

 

 

Plaster Casted Upper Ventral Region

Yes, that means boobs.

 

As an artist- sometimes you need help, and if you have a wicked idea that involves body parts, well, you kind of need to go on a search for willing appendage donors (is a breast an appendage? never mind – you know what I mean)

So Friday after school I was an appendage donor and had my breasts plaster casted, for my friend Dana’s homework assignment on prosthetics. I am really excited to see the final project, as there will be roughly 25 sets of breasts casted for this project. You should be excited too- as I think her assignment will blow the gallery show out of the water.

So to spread the good karma, and to satisfy my curiosity- we set up shop in the wheelchair washroom and got to work. And because I am way to curious for my own good- I requested another student (Props go to Lucy) to film and help me create a stop-motion film documenting the process. Because hey, it’s not everyday you get to create art with your rack, am I right ?

I found the whole experience relatable to a tea party with friends, it was very casual, and had lots of laughter, the only thing missing was the tea. Weirdly enough, this was something that I truly needed since my mental health has decided to play dangerously with my well being these days. It was also a nice pick me up- it’s nice to be part of someone’s art project. Even if it is just your breasts. I like to help out where I can, what can I say?

I think the practice of being a nude model for KIAC drawing nights helped with some of my body confidence/acceptance issues- and to be honest- this whole getting naked for art thing is quite liberating! To be able to find the beauty in someone else’s, as well as your own body, is such a wonderful thing.

I look forward to creating this stop-motion film. I feel like the title should be something along the lines of “They’re Just Boobs”

Here are some quick iPhone photos of the “tea party in the washroom”

Here are the “Facebook Proof Photos”

1606995_10201777170935437_1414335852_n 1465379_10201777171375448_601078022_n

 

And then here is a shot of my plaster casted upper ventral region.

image-4

Oh- The things we do for art.

Thanks for the opportunity Dana.

 

Improvising. Like The True Small Town Girl That I Am.

Hello !

Image

Here I am beside the Yukon River, with not my snowmobile- but the Doctor’s snowmobile. (I was on my own for the month of January, with a broken down skidoo- so he graciously lent me his Bravo so I could get to school and back in the cold temperatures- “my contribution to your education” he calls it. Very thankful for all the helping hands in Dawson City)

For school – we are to write about our experiences and art created at Yukon School of Visual Arts. Well, as some of you may know- My experiences at SOVA have not been of a quality that I am willing to post about on my blog. Challenges are good, yes, but this circumstance has become more of a burden than an enjoyment. More of a heavily medicated experience than an invigorating one. I don’t work in the studios unless I have too. I don’t spend time at that school unless I absolutely have too. Believe me when I say I try to enjoy every shred that I can while floating through the semester on anti-anxiety meds. Definitely not what I thought Art School was going to be like, but hey, what can I say- this is just a bump in the road, I will learn something from this (I have already learned many things while overcoming this) and I will keep on producing art. Preferably in a less medicated manner, as I do not like this whole icky, floaty, strange feeling. (But it was that or super depressed/panic mode – so I had to prioritize)

So like any small town kid would- I looked to my family, friends, and community (both Fort St. James and Dawson City) for help when times got lonely, confusing, and stressful.

Sure you could say that SOVA brought me to Dawson City- But the people who call Dawson home, that is what has really made this whole crazy first year of art school experience really worth it.

Image

The VICTORS – Snowshoe Baseball team that I was lucky enough to be apart of!

So thank you, everyone who has held out a hand and let me grasp it and really, well, pick your brains and gain such rich and inspiring knowledge that has influenced my art and myself not only as an artist, but also as a well-rounded, strong young woman on the journey to self-healing through the practice of making art.

Image

At the Traditional Feast- gifting a painting I created at a painting workshop at Myth and Medium to a very inspiring and talented Nunavut Artist- Mathew Nuqingaq

Image

I have worked very hard to be successful at art school. Knowing that I learn best in a one-on-one teaching environment – I took advantage of any opportunity that presented itself. Including when my father stopped by from driving down from Tuktoyatuk, where I got to spend a weekend with one of my favourite people, being tutored to help me with a difficult project, I spent that day learning about gears, motors, and general mechanic knowledge that became very helpful for me to create my kinetic sculpture.

Hopefully- I will get the marks saved for posts regarding SOVA put towards posts that showcase the fabulous people and resources that have been available to me in Dawson City, outside of school. My fighting argument is well- if a student is struggling in Math class, he/she is allowed, even encouraged to get a tutor. So when an Art student is struggling in Art school, and feeling that her expectations are not being met, what is so wrong about turning to her newfound community for assistance? Here are a few events, places, and people who have been such amazing resources for me during my school year.

  • Myth and Medium 2014
  • Tr’ond√ęk Hw√ęch’in Community
  • Dawson CIty Community
  • Tr’ond√ęk Hw√ęch’in Heritage Department
  • KIAC
  • D√§noj√† Zho Cultural Centre
  • Robert Service School
  • Mayor of Dawson City
  • The countless people I’ve interviewed for my short documentary
  • My family in British Columbia
  • My close family friends in Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Elder Victor Henry, as well as many other Elders of the¬†Tr’ond√ęk Hw√ęch’in community
  • My inspirational roommate
  • My supportive friends
  • Tr’ond√ęk Hw√ęch’in Heritage Department Library
  • Community Library
  • Dawson City Medical Clinic and their wonderful staff
  • Visiting artists as well as local artists
  • My Sweat Lodge family
  • My Yoga Community down in Vancouver
  • My pen pals
  • My neighbours on the Old Dome Road

So you see, I would not have moved to Dawson City if I knew that school was going to be such a brutal experience, but then, I would not have discovered that an organic approach to gaining a well-rounded education of not only the required “foundation year” curriculum, but also the land, community, and local artistic practices does not start in the classroom, it starts with the first hand you shake, the first time you acknowledge whose lands your lucky enough to live on, and the first time you get the wool pulled over your eyes by a cheeky elder. SOVA is a young school- I have hope that they will adapt and evolve to recognize and include such experiences and opportunities for future students, I know they will, change takes time. We all know that. This experience has given me a lot to think about and a lot to smile about, and it simply reminds me that yes, it does have to get pretty dark to be able to see the beauty of the stars that the universe has gifted you to see. And the stars I have found! Oh how thankful I am.

Image

I am also a Canine Companion and Dog Walker- this is Ziggy. Who helps me by providing smiles, howls, and laughter every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Thank you, Musi Cho, Namaste

Jeff Lemire – Graphic Novel Shenanigans

essexcountysoftcover_lg

Currently- I am reading Essex County by Jeff Lemire for my English Class at Yukon School of Visual Arts. As you can tell by my forced formality- This is a homework post. So far- I have read book one: Tales from the Farm, and started into book two: Ghost Stories. And so far- I have just not been reeled into the story. No biscuit. No cheese. Nada. I absolutely LOVE the illustrations, truly, illustration ENVY. I was also intrigued by the cover art and choice of colours. Feeling like I was missing the boat on something, since it seemed like everyone else was enjoying the graphic novel ~ I did a little research via CBC. And here is what CBC had to say:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/booksandauthors/2010/10/essex-county.html

“Jeff Lemire’s¬†Essex County¬†is composed of three interconnected graphic novels —¬†Tales from the Farm,¬†Ghost Stories¬†and¬†The Country Nurse. Winner of several major awards in the world of comics, including a¬†Joe Shuster Award, it was hailed by reviewers as “the comics medium at its best” (Booklist) and “a quiet, somber, haunting masterpiece” (The Oregonian). The minimalistic though intensely emotional trilogy gives form to the author’s inspired vision of what it means to live, work, dream and even die in a Southwestern Ontario rural community.

The population of Lemire’s fictional landscape is represented from childhood to old age through the characters of Lester, Lou and Anne. Their external world is rendered in stark black-and-white lines. The vividness of their interior lives, however, is what gives the graphic novel its colour and vitality.

After the death of his mother, 10-year-old Lester, the central character of Tales from the Farm, is sent to live with his Uncle Ken, a rural bachelor and a man of few words. For the sensitive boy, comic books and superheroes are a welcome distraction from the painful circumstances of his life.

Lou LeBeuf, protagonist of Ghost Stories, is an aged hockey player living out his last days alone at his farm. Isolated and full of regret, he replays the turning points of his life once again.

Anne Quenneville is the focus of¬†The Country Nurse. A travelling nurse in Essex County, she has seen her share of suffering. Perhaps that’s what makes her such a force for good. Through Anne, the trilogy finds resolution and its heartbreaking characters find much-needed connection.”

I caught myself thinking something was wrong with me to not be enjoying this book. But then again- what I am reviewing is how I am engaging with the image and text, rather than the creator’s work. And to be frank- where I am at with my depression and anxiety, I feel like I just cannot and will not allow myself to absorb any more suffering if I can help it. Enough already- the thoughts in my mind do not need inspiration for regret and suffering. Even if it isn’t relevant to life events that I have gone through- depressing stuff just adds to the ever-growing laundry pile of anxiety triggers and a feeling of being uncomfortable. Sort of like sitting in a bath too long. Not my idea of enjoyment. I would not have read this if I had a choice, at least at this particular time in my life. I am sure that there is possibility to enjoy it, but not in the situation that I have found myself in right now. ¬†It was the same with the other books assigned in class- full of heart wrenching ¬†psychological¬†ponderings, uncomfortable periods of self loathing, and a sense of negativity but also a cryptic secret commentary on politics, society, you name it. And I just could not focus, I tried, but there is nothing worse than trying to write an educated blog post on a graphic novel that you feel not so sparkly about, let alone an essay on a final exam. But I am not the kind of human to give up, so I will keep reading, and try to step into the world of Jeff Lemire. ¬†Where are the positive books? Okay Okay, I don’t expect cotton candy and happily ever afters. Hell- Where is David Sedaris? Now there’s an author I admire. (Don’t get me wrong, I like reading books that have an edge of darkness to them, but it depends on how the author communicates it to the reader. And so far with Essex County, no cheese. I like a Humorist’s approach to dark matters) ¬†Where are the authors who delve into less dark matters? [Would that be considered Grey matter?] ¬†This is an improvement from Beautiful Losers, but I still find myself knitting my eyebrows together when asked to “make a comment”. So I conclude:¬†I liked the illustrations. And like any other homework assignment which makes pulling fingernails off with pliers look like spa treatment-¬†I will carry on. Maybe my opinion will change once I finish this book- who knows.

David-Sedaris-005

Photo of David Sedaris 

 

My Experience: A Photo Essay about Depression

For this photo essay project, I photographed a series of objects that connect directly to terms and experiences I encounter on a daily basis while coping with a mental illness. My photographs will talk about the process of accepting depression and learning how to live and move forward while making the best of my life.  Depression is a common affliction in society today for many reasons, may it be environmental, internal or inherited. How people acknowledge their mental illness is unique in its own way as everybody has different coping strategies. I want to challenge myself to find new avenues toward healing, coping, and renewal through art and the creative process. Mental health issues cannot be shelved or put on the back burner, so I want to take the opportunity to explore my world in a true holistic sense. In this photo essay, I capture my experience with depression, and the symbols and meanings I connect to. This series of photographs  provide a sense of release and awareness, not just for myself, but for others who may connect to what I have to say, whilst finding a beauty in the deep and dark mundane aspects of my life.

trigger shot Sally

Trigger –¬†Anything,¬†as¬†an¬†act¬†or¬†event,¬†that¬†serves¬†as¬†a¬†stimulus¬†and initiates¬†or¬†precipitates¬†a¬†reaction¬†or¬†series¬†of¬†reactions.

homework

Stress РA reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium.

pills pills sally

Anti-Depressants –¬†Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders. They work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

paranoia  copy Sally

Paranoia– An unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people in general, are “out to get them.”

self depricating Sally

Self-Depricating Thoughts –¬†the act of belittling or undervaluing oneself

This is my experience.

 

 

Start collecting canned beans. Run for the hills. I’m Warning ya…

Howdy Folks,

So this blog will temporarily be a host to my homework assignments.

First, let’s have a conversation.

Okay, you pretend to be the excited, loving grandma.

Image

Are you in character yet?

Good.

Here we go. Let’s not make this awkward.

You: “How is school my [Insert loving nickname here]”

Me: “Well, I’m still alive. I have not become a raging alcoholic. And I still have all my fingers. ¬†That’s all that counts doesn’t it?”

You: “Well okay sweetie…”

Me: “Oh and I know how to make tofu chicken nuggets.”

You: “That’s nice.”

Me: “And I passed all my classes last term.”

You: “HOW SPLENDID!”

Me: “Yeah.”

You: “No Yukon men in your life, [insert cute nickname]?”

Me: “No Grandma, I rarely have time to shower, let alone to socialize with humans… To much homework.”

You: “Oh.”

Me: “But I do know how to run a snowmobile now.”

You: “That’s my girl!”

Me: “Thanks Grandma. I love you.”

Here is my “Official Homework Blog” – Maybe you’d like to take a peek if you are indeed interested in reading my homework posts in the near future and what to check out the interesting podcasts, discussions, etc.. .¬†http://sovaartwords.blogspot.ca/

My teacher is a pretty cool cat.

And so are ALL my grandmas (nana included).

And for those still curious:

I have not yet lost any body parts to frostbite.

xx

Heading North.

Hello dedicated blog subscribers – and to the innocent reader that stumbles upon my blog.

I’m sorry.

A lot has happened since last time I sat down to write.

So let’s have a quick re-cap. (In the most non-naracisstic way)

My summer was spent in Fort St. James – My homeland.

I left Vancouver with mixed feelings.

Knowing that it will be a while before I call the rainforest home again – (if ever) – I left with a tinge of sadness, mixed with the excitement of knowing I’ll be charting unknown waters in the months to come.

At this point- I had no idea what or where or how or why or when. I did not know what the universe had in store for me come September.

All I knew was that I was coming home. And it was a beautiful and frightening feeling.

Gone are the Vancouver supermarkets and chaos,

to be replaced with the Vegetable gardens I grew up in and my silly puppies greeting me with wet noses and waggy tales.

I had put out a question to my friends and family in the Fort.

“Would you attend yoga classes if I was to teach?”

The response was amazing.

The interest in yoga blossomed in little Fort- and I was so thankful to be able to share the gift of a gentle, holistic Hatha yoga to those who had come searching for it at the gym, the classroom at the Enterprise Centre, the health unit, or at Kwah hall and at the tale end, the beach. My goal was to make yoga accessible to my community and what an adventure that was.

This was exciting and anxiety triggering – I loved the feeling of stepping out of my comfort zone, and stepping on to the instructor’s mat at the front of the room. But could I do it? Were my students happy? Was I skilled enough? Can I do this?

Yes. I can do this.

and by the end of the summer- I wished I was teaching yoga full-time (in a perfect universe this would make enough funds to get me through Art school…) as I had such an amazing and enlightening time with my students. It was as if every time I stepped onto my mat to teach, I myself walked away with a new lesson learned.

This little community I discovered by teaching yoga really opened my eyes to the beauty of Fort St. James.

If you have been, you will have seen the lake, trees, mountains, snow, wildlife, etc.

But that is not the beauty I am talking about.

The beauty I found was within all my students. Every single one- even if they just did one class- they helped me open my eyes to all the amazing people I was surrounded by. It gives me the warm fuzzies just thinking about it.

Every class I taught- I felt more and more whole. Working with your community does that.

*I just can’t help but get all mushy – it’s what I feel and what drew me into the life of a yoga teacher… ALL THIS LOVE!

Teaching 5 yoga classes a week as well as working as a Customer Service Representative at Hub International (Insurance Office/ICBC mini branch) was a big commitment. But in both jobs- I learned so much and worked with amazing people.

I was very busy- the summer went by too fast it seemed.

Summer seems to always slip through my fingers- I’m sure you can agree with me on this.

The weekends where I could simply lounge in a hammock and read my novel, whilst indulging in the sweet breeze drifting off the neighbour’s field were few.

But that does not mean the Summer was meaningless.

The quality time spent with my family, friends, puppies, co-workers, and students made this summer something out of this world. No, I did not lose enough weight to prance around in a bikini, but I was able to plan and execute an Art Show, Apply and be accepted to Yukon School of Visual Arts, and run a mini nomadic yoga business while learning how be a good employee at Barton’s. Mixed with family dinners, laughter, bonding with brothers, meeting the older brother’s lovely girlfriend, campfires, sweat lodge ceremonies, and a healthy dose of dog walking. Somehow looking at it that way- I don’t think I would of had the time to “prance” around in a bikini because life had handed me a plate full of responsibilities. And I took it with Gusto. I also learned that one piece bathing suits are PERFECTLY FINE.

Just have to make sure you stay away from the frumpy ones.

So yes- in mid summer or so I learned that my next journey in life would be heading north.

Dawson City.

So with the help of family and friends I packed up all my things, said my goodbyes and thankyous, and gave each of my dogs a big, long, teary emotional hug. (Just thinking about them makes me tear up right now. My little darlings. I miss them so much.)

Mom, Dad, Daniel (younger brother) and I then hit the road- It was a fantastic road trip. I am so glad I was able to drive there instead of fly- as it was a great adventure for all of us.

That trip deserves a post of it’s own –

When we rolled into Dawson City- we hunkered down at Klondike Kate’s in a little cabin. The next few days were spent touring around my new town- since the tourist season was winding down- we caught some of the last tours of the season.

Time once again went by too fast. And soon I found myself moving into a little cabin by the Yukon river and saying goodbye to my family.

Once again the tears, turning into sobbing and consoling each other and those hugs where you don’t want to let go of each other ensued – That was my mother and I. I may or may not have seen dad shed a tear, as I was completely immersed in a bear hug surrounded by dad’s soft flannel work shirt. I then really broke down into a teary, snotty mess when hugging Daniel. The youngest of the family is also the tallest and broadest of shoulder, so once again I felt completely surrounded by his hug. Being siblings and being a teenage boy- getting a hug from Daniel is a very special, rare thing. So I made sure to get the most I could while I had him there. Which also meant he climbed back into the pickup truck with a rather soggy, snot covered shoulder. I could tell he was completely grossed out- as now he would have to drive back to Whitehorse with his older sister’s snot on his shirt. Oops.

I am not a glamorous cryer.

It did not matter how many times I hugged my family goodbye. It felt like I needed another hug, another kiss, another confirmation that yes, I could do this. I can do this. I will do this. All that fear of being on my own hit me like a in the gut. And I think my family could see this. So the hugs continued. More kleenexes were handed out. And more kisses were given.

When the pickup pulled out of the driveway, and drove down front street, I watched it until my family disappeared into the horizon.

Back to B.C.

Taking a deep breath in – the fear parted like ripples in water to allow my excitement to come out of it’s little hiding spot.

I may be scared, but I CAN do this I thought to myself.

Once in my little cabin, I unpacked my pink afghan, sat on my bed, and looked out my window.

That’s when I realized my cabin slightly tilted to the left.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

Most buildings in the Yukon that are built on permafrost have a quirky tilt.

I slipped off my sandals and snuggled up under my pink afghan, looking up at the ceiling.

Before drifting off to sleep (saying goodbye to the most important people in your life is a tiring ordeal) – I could hear the Australians next door start to play the guitar and sing.

With I smile, I let myself relax.

I could hear the chugging of the Dawson Ferry cutting through the strong current of the Yukon River.

My eyelids began to close, the chugging ferry becoming a purr, the yodeling of the Aussie next door turning into a soft murmur.

Another deep breath in, and the little smile turns into a toothy grin.

“Welcome to the Yukon” I thought to myself as I let go of my fear and slipped into a little afternoon nap.

xx

Photo below: Boo and I ūüôā

1378483_10200699959605827_21229472_n

Asian Salad and Immaturity.

Enough is enough.

I am very disappointed in the hypocrites tonight.

There are days when I miss when I was in highschool…¬†

Just kidding. 

What I learned whilst becoming a yoga instructor has taught me many things- I won’t go all ¬†preacher on your asses tonight.

(Just letting my inner Peer Counsellor have a few words tonight…)

 I am becoming more and more intolerant of the lack of maturity and just plain rudeness that I come across daily. 

Especially on social media sites.

It makes me cringe at how nasty and cruel people can be- especially those who look down upon someone for “bullying” people.¬†

Harassment, insults, etc. 

I shake my head at this- for really if you have an issue; there are people to talk too…¬†

But yet I do know the feeling of being alone and unheard; reaching out to anybody who will support me. But that doesn’t mean I support people bashing others- its amazing many of these people behind these statuses would never utter these words for example in front of a whole soccer team, a teacher, or a coach.¬†

But shockingly, I come across many hurtful people who wouldn’t even think twice about shouting it out over the radio.¬†

As I became more comfortable with my journey in connecting my values with Ashtanga Yoga values- I became more and more sensitive to the negativity that suffocates my life. I became over stimulated with society, and all the hatred and hypocrites. 

But I also found compassion for the humans behind the hateful words and actions. 

It really makes my head spin when I see the battles that take part over twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. 

During my journey in becoming a Yoga Instructor I have also learned about letting go of the need for defence. 

I highly respect someone who stands up for their values- But I do not support “fighting fire with fire”

To put a fire out- you simply give it no fuel to survive. 

No oxygen. 

Fire Blanket. 

No response to the hatred. 

You get what I mean. 

The people who read this blog will probably not be the ones who I am so disappointed in. 

But that’s okay-¬†

The people who find themselves constantly defending themselves, their decisions, or people they respect….

Those are the people that I am hoping will read this blog. 

As hard as it is- let this sour taste wash away like the hawaiian surf. 

Let the hard done by be hard done by, for if they really wanted to make change they live in a country where you can speak your mind and make change. 

and for pete’s sakes don’t even dare say you don’t know how. If you have a beating heart you know how to make change, for better or for worse.¬†

I understand your frustration- but spouting out on facebook, creating an army of negative energy will get you no farther than before the thought was conceived in your mind. 

Tap into love, tap into gratitude for what you have already, and make plans to reach the goals you want to accomplish. 

I am not trying to smack every negative nelly on the wrist with a ruler- I am just writing a blog post about what I have observed tonight, and how thankful I am that I am not swimming in the pool of acid that I once called high school anymore, that I do not have to face these people, that I have a choice to socialize with healthy people with healthy values, and no need to bring others down to make a point. 

Tell me if I am correct here: Is it bullying when you make fun of someone’s disabilities?¬†

Yes. 

Is it bullying when you post a status- targeting a sports team, coach, or specific teacher just because you are unhappy you did not get something that maybe they got? 

I believe so. 

I witnessed on my facebook tonight as I scrolled down- Someone had posted “I wish [Specific gym teacher/coach] would let us go to Hawaii instead of being so god damn weird.”

-This is the kerosene that many people decided to soak facebook with. 

This may be a harmless little temper tantrum- but what it gives birth too I strongly think is bullying. 

This opens up a cesspool- if one person opens up a wound, everyone else begins tearing off their deepest, crustiest scabs…

Including this comment: “or maybe if [gym teacher/coach] wasnt half jew”

The firewood. 

and there are many other comments to follow that make this into a whole forest of negativity. 

I’m sorry. Did this facebook user just use the term “Jew” as a put down?¬†

So disgusted in humanity right now, and I am not even Jewish. 

Let’s hope you will not become a member of parliament, or even worse, the Prime Minister in our future.

So what if the faculty member in question is Jewish. ( I don’t know, neither do you, it’s really none of our business )¬†

We don’t diss people by calling them Christians do we?¬†

How about Catholics, 

Mormons,

Buddhists, 

Atheists, 

 

remind me what century we are in? 

Maybe this is the feminist in me- but this was also targeting a soccer team of talented young women. 

Majority of the hateful comments were from young men. 

Jealously perhaps? 

Of course. They have something that the very angry young man doesn’t.¬†

What I find highly frustrating, especially in the teenage culture is that when something is out of reach- many decide to bitch and complain. While the few who are above that decide to make things happen, sidestepping the need for venting on Facebook. 

So unhappy young man- if you so happen to come across this here is what I propose to you. 

Sure you stand up for some people. 

Sure you are not playing soccer in Hawaii right now. 

Here is what you could be doing. 

Creating, brainstorming, stepping up to the plate, and if this is your graduating year, then creating a legacy for ones younger than you. 

Go talk to the principal. 

Got funding issues? 

Hold a meeting with PAC. 

Hold a meeting with District of Fort St. James. 

Be mature, and be open to the most likely possibility of working your knuckles to the god damn bone to get what you are fighting for. 

Sure the senior girl’s team went on an extravagant trip this year.¬†

BUT.

I am sure they did not sit on their butts, just waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces and fly them all to the land of sunshine. I would love to interview the coach, interview the team captains, interview the parents. They worked hard. 

I was also on sports teams that worked their asses off fundraising- including other groups, not just sports….

Is it the lazy male teenager personality to blame? 

Who knows. 

But I do know it makes me very unsettled when I see shit like this on my timeline.

 

  • (Soccer Player) Maybe if you guys could keep a team and win a few games you could go to an actual tournament?
    Saturday at 10:37pm via mobile · Like · 5
    Okay- you’re defending your team and coach and everything you have worked for.¬†
    (Fellow soccer players liked this comment)
  • ¬†
    (Facebook User who started this all with the status) Or he didn’t cancel our teams and actually put an effort towards help funding. (Really? You are going to blame the gym teacher, when the reason you cancel a team is when there is lack of commitment coming from the players… P.S. hmm funding comes from the community- not the gym teacher/head of athletic dept….)
    Saturday at 10:40pm via mobile · Like · 1
  • ¬†
     
    (yet another young man) HA because you guys win games. We all know why you’re in hawii.
    (Oh tell me, facebook user, why are the girls in Hawaii?, maybe because they want to be… right? Because they are young, and having fun… I could be completely wrong. But I do know this isn’t the Fifa world cup mister. Who cares if they win or lose a few games. Remember this is high school… I don’t see anyone calling the travel club a bunch of Jews… the kids paid their way. End of story.)

And if that means a soccer team for boys well then- you better look back at your teammates, and put some of your time spent on calling the coach a weird jew into more productive things. 

Have you thought about why you goal has been difficult to reach? 

Do you have to be reminded that even with lots of money spent- if no one shows up to practice- the way some teams contemplate skipping their own prom and graduation for provincials, then there will be no team. 

Fort St. James is dominated by male hockey players. 

Boy’s soccer season clashes with Boy’s hockey season.¬†

So really- you needed to target your fellow teammates rather than pinning your hatred and negative energy on the opposite sex – who’s soccer season is the opposite of hockey season.¬†

Need I say more? 

And for the young women defending their territory on facebook. 

You are simply the match to this Forest Fire- and I am sure I am not the only Smokey Bear rolling their eyes and counting my lucky stars that I survived high school and made it out alive only with a few scars and a couple months of therapy. 

Let this go. 

Both of you. 

For this will resolve NOTHING. 

 

Om Shanti Om Peace- show each other compassion and love. 

Have empathy for the ones who have less than you, and have gratitude for the things you have. 

If you did this in the first place, my blog post would of been about how my favourite meal is Asian Salad at the moment. 

Did I mention how glad I am that I survived my time in hell? 

So much nicer being graduated. 

It’s like being taken off the butcher hook and put back out into the green pasture- to find new friends to frolic with that won’t destroy me and my self respect, values, or brain cells…¬†

Love is all you need. 

 

 

One thing I love about myself: My sense of empathy and compassion, but also my intolerance to bullshit. 

 

Goodnight lovelies 

xx