Friday, December 18, 2020

Believe

 

It can be difficult at times, but to know what is real, you just need to believe.

As we find ourselves in the holiday season a question that pops up every so often, a point I guess that comes in almost everyone’s life (adult or child), is asking whether our Jolly old friend, Saint Nick, is real or not. Why do we do this? Is it physical proof that we need? Or is questioning happiness so important? Maybe we just need to find some sort of reassurance that something good is out there.

The story of Santa Claus coming around at Christmas dates back hundreds of years. It is the story of magic and wonder, the story of one man in one small village somewhere in Europe, (and I say somewhere because he eventually went everywhere) who made a decision to spread love and laughter though the joy of gifts.

The magic of this one man has engulfed the world still today. He appears with the blink of an eye and twitch of the nose. We decorate our homes, people sing songs and we honor him with parades. Presents are exchanged and end up under trees, faces are lit up and laughter is shared. How is that not real?

I don’t question Santa’s authenticity now, but did I ever? Perhaps. I cannot recall exactly. Maybe it is because I don’t want to recall any moment of doubt.

Several years ago I fell victim to a viral brain infection and in many ways I have been struggling with it my entire life. Most doctors did not think I would come out of my coma, but I did. Teachers did not think I was capable of getting back into school, but I was. After failing my first attempts at a few classes (both in High School and Collage) I was told that I’d never graduate, but it happened. I have gotten myself, brain injury and all, to a place in life that a lot would not expect. There was never any proof that I’d get through these things, I just did them. I believed, and that is real.


From all that I have learned over the years through my experiences, my work and volunteerism in non-profit, the stories that have been shared. Life and people have grown, overcome and accomplished through believing. And that is real.

The donations, the food drives, the toy drives, the clothing drives. The Christmas light shows that raise money to give away to charities. It is the inspiration and the magic of one man; Santa. Hundreds of years ago and still today. And sometimes that inspiration and magic even spreads into the rest of the year; not just at Christmas time.

I have always believed in love and joy and smiles on faces with warm hearts. I have always believed in kindness and peoples good nature.

Throw any darkness my way. I will never stop believing.  And this year we have all seen our fair share of darkness in the form of a virus that no one saw coming. THIS, is a most important time to hold on and continue believing! Believe in the magic and the joy.

So you ask me if Santa is real, I believe it to be true. And I am certain I am not the only one. After all, it is why milk and cookies are left out every Christmas Eve.


 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Time

 

Time is a funny thing. It comes, it goes, and it changes. It has brought to me challenges and frustrations but also happiness and success. Time has helped me capture moments and create memories, but it is uncontrollable, you can’t slow it down or speed it up.

Time can on occasion feel like it is agonizingly moving slow, slower than waiting for a train to pass by when I need to get through, but more often than not it whizzes along before I can accomplish all the things that I planned out in my mind. Days can go by too fast, things approach too quickly, good times come and are gone in what can seems like a heartbeat. Why is it that the things we dread or fear seem to last and go on, but the laughter and fun are over too quickly? Regardless though, time has given me great experiences and has made me appreciate so much.

Time has not healed all of my wounds, but it has helped turn me into a gentle, thoughtful, strong person with character. It has allowed me to see and to understand that this world is full of beauty even if veiled often by darkness. Beautiful people, abilities, cultures and colours. That is what time has done for me. It is full of possibilities.

I’m in no hurry; we do not need to rush.

We can grow in age, beauty and thought.

We can learn from each other, our education, even our mistakes.

Time can give us all that.

I can only hope.

But I also wish I had more time. I know that it is precious. If used properly, it is accommodating and abundant.

I have gotten lost in time, trapped by my own thoughts. Sometimes good, sometimes happy, other times… not so much

I am grateful for the time that I have been given, and I look forward to what is to come.

Family;

Friends;

New beginnings.

The world is in a place where we all need to be trying to slow things down, to really reflect and build toward something great! There is so much time in hand, but where does it go? For my own reasons, I have been wanting and hoping for things to slow down for most of my life. To truly recognize what time offers. To be able to breathe more fully, to see more wildly, to feel more freely.

Time can work against us; but doing it right can put it on our side and in our corner.

Time. It is a funny thing.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Challenges of Learning


As someone who has lived with a learning disability for years, an after effect from an acquired brain injury, I’ve come to accept certain challenges along the pathway to learning. Pacing myself and being patient are key contributors to any of my successes; however, in many ways, I know that there is still more for me to realize and gain.

The other day when I rolled out of bed, I threw on a t-shirt I have without much thought about it until I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. A brain injury awareness shirt that states “Making invisible visible”. Staring at those words it hit me as to how much that saying can mean, how many things it can apply to.

The world around me is in a state of unease, a lot going on to wrap my head around; for me, and I think maybe for anyone. Not only is there this devastating global pandemic, but the disturbing anger and gun violence that we continue to see, the horrors of anti-black racism, the increasing mental health issues from being semi-isolated, and worrying over sickness and death.

It is all invisible until it is visible in the after math, and I think we all hope to find a way to move forward to something better. These things of unease, unfortunately and sadly, are not entirely new. It makes me question, can we learn? Can we relearn? Can I? If so, what can I do?

I’m the calm and quiet guy type; the guy who tries to see the positive light at the end of the dark tunnel; a guy who thinks of himself as open minded and accepting to others and the changes that come. But to continue being that guy I have to be honest with my mistakes; I have to admit to what I don’t know or forget or cannot see; I have to learn how to re-learn the things I thought I already knew;… and these things may be the most challenging part of the entire learning process.

I love the world that I live in, despite the problems that raise concern and cause stress. Maybe I’m na├»ve.  I don’t know if the anxious moments that hit the pit of my stomach can ever truly be erased, but I have to believe improvement and best quality can be achieved. A better tomorrow is waiting to be discovered, I know it is there. Hard work, communication, listening, education, (the list can be endless really) is the way to find it. This is the path and it is continuous.

It is not just one thing, it is everything. We cannot just train ourselves out of an issue, we need to engage in meaningful dialogue and make sure that good communication is happening in everything we do. Being that calm and quiet guy type can make it difficult for me at times, but I need to try; I don’t really see another choice.