Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The NaNoWriMo Experience

No, this had nothing to do with Mork from Ork, but rather something any human being with the propensity to write can have.

I have never taken this trip before in challenging myself to participate in National Novel Writing Month where one is asked to take up the deed of writing out 50,000 words from November 1st all the way to the end of the month. Technically, a novel is 40,000 words or more, so if you complete the month that could be it, though there are people who say that you need to hit 60K for it to be considered a novel and 40K is a novella..... opinions differ on this and the whole thing is a bit of a grey area.

Regardless, there is no BIG monetary prize or anything for any winners, it is all in the spirit of writing and fun. But the spirit was not what moved me to enter this year, it was more of a personal reason. I've had a bit of a rough 2014 and while I did continue to write for certain blogs that do I stopped with a few other things, like this blog, and more importantly, I wasn't working on the book I kept playing over in my mind.  So I used NaNoWriMo to kick start my story telling.

The challenge worked in that regard, I began writing, but I did not get to the 50K mark. Honestly, I kind of felt a little pressure in not completing enough words per day. Even though I know this was not the idea, it was hard for me. My brain does work well under pressure.... and that kind of relates actually to what I am working on, which I have titled Challenging Barriers and Walking the Path.

I am working on it and will have it ready for release (I am hoping) for early Spring 2015. As for next years challenge, I may pass I may not. Depends if I get a writer's block. I know about challenges, I've experienced different one's my entire life, they are not easy; but most do allow you a fairly valuable lesson. Challenges make life interesting and keep things moving. We learn and we grow.... I have.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Balancing Busy

So I recently obtained a new job and things have been going real good, a little busy, but good. After quite a bit of time away from the bloggershere and the workplace, (something that was beyond my control) after dealing with some emotional and physical health issues, after dealing with some personal and individual stresses, I am more than happy to be dealing with a little busy. I’ve come to realize that what I need most is a balance, not too busy but just enough. (And really, who doesn’t want this?)
When I am at work, volunteering, writing, even working around the house, I have a flow that keeps me going well enough to benefit myself and others. But if I am not paying attention and not too careful and I overstep, I can become overwhelmed and things can begin to spiral.

Life is full of challenges, some have more than others, and some of those can be worse and flutter up and down. Because of this there is something else that I have realized more than this needed balance thing, (though I suppose it is another form of balance) is that while I cannot ignore my health and other challenges, I cannot ignore my work; I cannot ignore my busy. While I need to remember to keep my (MY) pace and keep my (MY) style of organization and to keep my doctor’s appointments and continue seeing my social worker, I need to also remember to keep working and all of those other things that I mentioned, because I am good at them. I am good at being a Communications and Administration Coordinator, I am good at Mentoring and being an Advocate, I am good at being a writer.

We all have our ups and downs, and I truly understand that there are some downs worse than mine, but if I can get back up, I don’t see why anyone else can’t; or at least can’t try. Limitations may present themselves, but I really do think that with the right attitude, they can be made livable. I suppose creating a busy balance is all about perspective and it is gained only through life’s experience. We learn more and more as we go and grow. I don’t think reading one awesomely written blog post is going to change things…. but then again… livable, balance, perspective… one step at a time. Then we can all keep and maintain a proper, well balanced, busy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Faces of Angels

I recall a time back in October of the year 2000, when I saw an angel on a TTC bus in Toronto. Now granted it was Halloween and she was with a few others that were in costume, but still.

I was working down in the city at this time and staying with my sister in an apartment near Eglinton and Avenue Road. Coming home from work late that night I got off of the Yonge subway and jumped onto the connecting bus. A few stops up was when my angel boarded. She took no notice of me and I did not approach. My stop came before hers and I slowly got off to watch her and our motorized carriage leave.
Even though quite some time has past since then, I will not forget. I cannot forget. She was so beautiful and perfect!

That angelic costume is what first grabbed my attention, but I am almost certain her flawless good looks alone would have done the same. Her hair, that olive skin, those brilliant eyes; from top to bottom she was the ideal package. Aside from any attraction this gorgeous being may have sparked within, her image also left me with another feeling, one of hope, and from that a smile grew on my lips and in my heart. That distant, unspoken encounter made me realize the serenity that life can be.

Plenty of darkness fills our lives and over time I have come to realize, and I need to continually remind myself every so often, that the occasion of Halloween is not needed to encounter the face of an angel. They are around if you slow down a bit to look and feel.

Even before the above mentioned event occurred, years earlier when I was thirteen, my father passed away. I felt as if my life had lost an integral piece that kept it all together as things began spinning out of control. But I have come to understand that if I stop for a moment and close my eyes while taking a breath, the feeling of love and security he offered then, is still with me now.

And Currently I am blessed to be living with two angels. my three year old niece and seven month year old nephew.
Times are tough and waves of depression are felt, no matter the disguise I try to use to mask it. But there is no need to hide from the feeling I get when looking at them; the feeling of hope; the feeling of serenity.

Angels are among us and do roam this earth..... whether it is through a feeling or if it is discovered through the loud sounds of gigglng or singing "wheels on the bus."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Balancing Busy

"Keeping busy is good for you"; "a busy mind is a happy mind"; "staying busy keeps you from getting into trouble". That's what I have heard anyway; but are these statements correct? Whether it is volunteering, working overtime at your job or even indulging in those creative hobbies, being busy can become too much and too overwhelming if you are not careful.
I used to think that keeping my schedule busy and doing more, working more, volunteering more, was a good thing. Turns out, it wasn't so great for me.
Doing more than one thing, wearing multiple hats so to speak, is at certain times a necessity in life, and being productive and active can be healthy even, but you have to be able to find that fine line that keeps you balanced. Balancing work to life is important. Taking the time to relax, taking a breather and kicking back is a critical part life.

People sometimes like to keep busy so that they don't have to 'think' about certain things, but thinking and working out issues and being able to 'let it go', is something that the mind and body needs. Not doing this can be unhealthy and lead to burn out.

Finding that balance on our own can be hard to do. We all need a little help; there is nothing wrong with that. We need to turn "keeping busy" into "keeping okay". But there is the trick, finding the right kind of busy and then knowing how much one can handle without feeling overwhelmed. When it rains it pours, and it seems that it is either too much or not enough.

There have been times in my life where I think I have gotten there and found that balance, but when I start going off track I can't quite remember the recipe on how I got to my 'okay' place to begin with. (Maybe it was just blind luck that got me there.) I'm learning though that it is okay to hit the re-set button on ones life and take stock of what is really necessary to be 'okay'. Unfortunately, life doesn't slow down when you do this.

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life." ~ Socrates

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Importance of Artistry

I'm a writer.

The other week I was was invited, along with some of my colleagues at the Writers Community of York Region writing group, to attend the Unionville Festival to showcase some of my work. I choose to bring my stories of Chronicles of a Girl and the Soul Bound series. We were asked there by the Markham Arts Council to help represent the creative community.
It came to my attention that the Markham Arts Council, also known as MAC, are being threatened with closure. MAC is in a tough position as the City of Markham is deliberating whether to continue, reduce or cancel funding all together.

While I support MAC, just as I would any other creative organization, I also understand that there are other things in our society that hold just as much importance. But that is it, "just as much". The arts should not be overshadowed. Their relevance to this world is great; and when I say this I am not just talking about the pretty and colourful pictures on the wall. It goes much deeper than that.

Whether it is literature, theatrical, painting, dance, composing, music, and so many others I cannot even think of right now, the arts are oh so very important. This is a medium that not only supports many jobs and hobbies, it instills family values and creates relative outings and gatherings. The arts promotes culture, contributes to education, adds to an economic need, and helps growth in not just the traditional way, but a therapeutic one as well. I could go into detail about each of these things and rhyme off some detailed fact checking, but instead I will simply tell you my personal story of how the arts has impacted my life.

For as long as I can recall I have always been a creative person. All throughout school my favourite subjects included Art and English Media. I enrolled into a Graphic Design program in college; and even though it took a little longer than I had anticipated, I worked hard and graduated with honors. I was so proud and happy only too have those feelings turn into disappointment and uncertainty. I did not possess the computer skills nor the accuracy required for the way the Graphic Design industry now flourishes.

After countless resumes, phone calls and even a few interviews, I hung my head and went to spend the summer at my grandfather's home with him and my mom. She convinced me to get up and volunteer, to do something to hopefully snap me out of this funk that I was in. It worked and the depression lifted. I volunteered myself to The Red Barn Theatre and my eyes, and heart, were opened to something new, fun and a bit magical. I helped with props and set decorating and I put so much hard work into my duties there that they hired me on to finish out the season.

I spent the next eight seasons with them, learning the tricks of the trade, meeting great people, acquiring other job leads and realizing my dreams of living within the arts was still alive. However, even in those darker times that life can throw at us, it was The Red Barn that helped me get through. The passing of my grandfather (from cancer) was a hard pill to swallow as my dad had already died years before, so my Opa was the male figure in my life. My mom's accident that led to a brain injury was an even bigger tragedy! My mom's brain injury inflicted her with aphasia, a speech disorder that hinders her ability to talk and understand. She has come a long way with the aid of rehabilitation workers, but has also been given help to communicate through the medium of music.

For personal reasons I left The Red Barn after that event; I had to now help out with what my mom had to live with, and that meant finding work with a more structured schedule that kept me closer to home. Anyone working in theatre I am sure understands what I mean when I say this. But theatre left me with many great memories, a great appreciation for the arts, (as if I didn't already have one) and a list of good friends. Friends that offered me support and kept me from falling off the cliff into the abyss of depression. (A special shout out goes to my good friends Kevin and Susann)

Something else The Red Barn left me with, or rekindled maybe, was the gift of writing. As I stated in my opening, I'm a writer. I have written a novel series as well as some short stories. I have a passion for writing; and like the theatre that offered me support and vision, writing has given me hope, inspiration and understanding. I have learned how to deal with the misfortunes in my life by the written word, some of which I have shared and some that I have kept to myself. 

The greatest thing writing has given me is knowledge, acceptance and inner peace for myself. When I was 6 years of age my brain was inflicted with a virus and I was hospitalized for months. I had slept with little signs of life for two weeks. I spent the remainder of my childhood and up to my mid twenties living in a cloud of confusion and depression. (a very familiar aspect of my life) A Creative Writing program I had enrolled in led me to do a short story on self awareness. I knew of my time in the hospital but little else. The writing begged of me to ask questions and do research. My thoughts and my story eventually gave me the courage to seek out and find a proper "medical" diagnosis. It is a relief to know that I wasn't going crazy!

Because of the Arts I am aware of my brain injury and able to be an advocate. Through my volunteering as a mentor and my blogging, I like to believe I have contributed to making a difference.
Because of the Arts (in part) my mom is able to communicate with family and friends.
Because of the Arts I have, in my own way, learned how to understand and cope with the Tribulations that have plagued my life.
Because of the Arts I feel like I am of value and can contribute to this world.

Join me in making a pledge to keep the Arts alive, because in many ways, they keep us alive. Let us start our acknowledgement together of this great gift, and all that are held within, by signing the petition for the Markham Arts Council by clicking here:  http://t.co/sR4ERUnrKa

Let the Arts live! 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Word Play

As a writer I love using certain words like Monolith and Omnipotent; and in life there are certain words that resonate within me, words that I adhere to, words like Inclusion, Equality or Amelioration. Like that one? Look it up.

It is my belief that in our ever changing society there is always room for improvement, self reflection and growth, but that does not mean we should overlook another great word, Acceptance. Not accepting "what is" can make our lives quite difficult at times. For example: I accept the challenges and barriers brought forth by my disability, but I am always trying to improve on how I deal with them, work with and around them, and perhaps even overcome them. If I don't accept those things, then I might drown in them, allowing them to overshadow what could be.

All of what we do is brought on by an action that is brought on by a thought that is started with a word. Whether spoken, written or silently contemplated, words can bring us up or tear us down. Words can be inspirational or despairing.They are pretty powerful in the way that they can create beauty, imagery, mystery and hope. Words can bring about sorrow and hatred.

Strung together they can make exquisite music or engaging stories, or malicious propaganda. Words can paint surreal worlds, helping us get magically lost and then being found again, or they can bring about real awareness and help to educate.

Words should be honoured, respected and chosen carefully before being thrown around. They effect us all and I don't think we realize the impact words can have.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time Out

It is disappointing to me that this can sometimes be a "me" focused world; people thinking about nothing but themselves. It's sad. So many people go through life dealing with stresses, loneliness and depression because of this very fact. But, there are others who don't live in the "me" focused world, trying, sometimes desperately, to help.
I am one of those people wanting to lend a hand where needed. I am a person who lives life with his heart on his sleeve. Realizing that I am limited in what I can do to make this a better world is sometimes hard to swallow, but I deal with it and do the best that I can. To help my family and others and share the love that I feel inside is all I want.
I am the very opposite of "me" focused.
Is this a good thing?
Over time I have come to realize that placing yourself last is not necessarily best.
Taking the time to take care of yourself is important; for everyone!
Only the best you, or me, can offer the best help.

So where is the balance? I think I once had it; I know I did.
So I have put myself on a journey to find it again. I can never become a "me" focused person..... no one should. It's not right. And, well, it's just not me. But perhaps I can be a little more cautious with where, or how often, I lend my hand.

I want to be able to enjoy dancing in my kitchen again or finding inspiration in the "Tiny Feet" of my niece.

If everyone could find this balance I feel that we would all be much happier.
I challenge you.
I challenge myself.

No one can do it it alone, we all need a little help.
See how that works?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Writing Process

One of the ways I get through most of the challenges and difficulties I face in life, is to write. This writing is both therapeutic and also a passion. Whether it be fiction or non. Whether it be in the form of a novel, a short story, a magazine article or a blog post. I have written about experiences throughout my life, (good and bad) the learning process behind trying to understand those experiences, places I've been, legends I've heard about or made up. I've created characters and worlds and heroes.
My work varies from my own Challenging Barriers blog to writing for the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, NeuroConnect, YorkScene.com, my novels and a variety of short stories.

I would like to thank M.J. Moores at http://infinite-pathways.org for including me in on this blog tour that is about a fairly big part of my life. M.J. is an English teacher turned author, editor, and freelance writer, who enjoys connecting and working with authors around the globe.

1) What am I working on?
I am currently working on my book series, "Chronicles of a Girl", A Dramatic/Dystopian Fiction, about the life and journey of a girl learning to survive, overcoming challenges, and trying to set what is wrong... right. It takes place in a once promising land where a war made from greed breaks out separating the population that inhabits it. Barbaric fighting leads to death and chaos, and this once civilized nation is cut off from the rest of the world. As time moves on, some wounds heal and some don't.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I have always liked the idea of a superhero, a kick ass one, who saves the world and others in it. And while I grew up liking the comic stories of Superman or the X-men as well as being a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or River Tam from Firefly, I wanted to see more. When I say more I mean that I wanted to see the character flaws that come with heroism, that come from real life. Heroes don't need to be born out of super powers or come from super worlds, heroes can be an average person with a strong mindset to do what is right. And while there is one main character hero in a story, there is never really just One hero. I try to show all of this through my writing.

3) Why do I write what I do?
Like I stated above, I write for an understanding. I write to share and offer inspiration. I write because there is a creative need, something that I think resides in my soul and I cannot confine my imagination. I write in various forms, but in regards to this story, I write because I like the idea of overcoming even the darkest of obstacles to show off the power and beauty of the human spirit.

4) How does my writing process work?

My inspiration comes from many different things, people and places. Stories develop in my mind and I tend to let my imagination run. Eventually I sit down and with pen to paper, I write my notes. I outline crucial points I want to hit and I create a timeline for beginning, middle and end. Then I start writing and while I don't do the majority of editing until I am completely finished, I do make little corrections along the way. I continue noting things of importance as I go and fitting them into my timeline so I can easily recall what happened and when. Notes on my characters are made as well and I also allow them to help guide me through the story, going with feeling and making necessary changes if a character dictates it to. 
I have read and heard a lot about the writing process of different professionals and I guess I've taken certain notes if they make sense for me. While I try to set up a similar process every time I write, because I do believe in routine, I also know that nothing about the creative imagination or the ability to write is molded in stone. I write with the philosophy that just because it worked one way before does not mean it will, or has to, work that way again.

Everything I write I consider to be part of the journey, my journey, and growth of who I am.

I would like to continue this tour by introducing you to: 

Charlotte Ottaway who is a creative non-fiction writer and small business blogger published in Canadian publications such as Zoomer and The Globe and Mail. You can visit her next Monday, March 31st, at http://charlotteswebofwords.ca/

Saturday, February 22, 2014


So this what I do. It is my outlet. It helps me, not just share with others, but share with myself. It helps me try to understand something that is never really going to make sense. It helps me accept something that I will never forget. It helps me deal with pain. It helps me say the words through my fingers, that my mouth cannot.

What I do is write. Everyone has there outlet, this is mine.

I have lived a beautiful life so far, but that life has seen its fair share of grief and tragedy. Through a number of these occasions I have turned to pen and paper, or computer and keyboard, and let out my thoughts; and my heart.

The loss of my dad, my grandfather, the pain, the questions; the list goes on. Some things I have shared with others, to let people know that we all share a commonality, to some degree, when it comes to heartache, difficulties, feeling alone. Other things I have kept to myself, for my own insights; because we are all entitled to a little privacy.

This past week has been a difficult one of not understanding; of shock, of confusion. A numbness settled in, an eerie and familiar feeling. A friend of mine passed away. It was sudden and it was unfair. It is unfair. My friend, Kevin, is no longer here; physically that is. His friendship, and the memories that I'm filled with, will remain forever. He was five years younger than me and I think, again, it is unfair. My heart goes out to his family whom I have the pleasure of knowing; his sisters, his brothers, his father, and his mother, before she passed.


Kevin and I worked together for many years at The Red Barn theatre as well as The New Yorker theatre, for a time. Our friendship continued beyond that as we shared interest in music and television shows and movies. We spoke about a lot of things and shared a lot of laughter, along with attending a few parties. But one of the most meaningful of memories was of Kevin doing something that sadly, some friends, or even family, do not always do.

It was a time when I faced one of my biggest challenges and I was thrown into a shadow of darkness. My mother had fallen while out walking, all alone, and from it suffered a brain injury. I was working at the time, at the theatre, with my friend Kevin.
The first Act was about three quarters in when someone came to get me and tell me the news. It was basically just the Stage Manager and the two of us (Kevin and myself) running the show...... and when they say "the show must go on", they really mean it. I helped out with a few more things before leaving that night, my mind being all over the place. It was Kevin who told me, "I got this, go home to your mom." 

The injury my mom deals with is life long, and it has affected both her and me in multiple ways, but she handles it well; I try my best. A year after her injury she was up on her feet, and for my mom, the best medicine, is being social. We went to the theatre to see a show and be with all of our friends that were in attendance. Toward the end of the night when it was time to leave, it was a slow process. The theatre parking lot pretty much had only one light to see around aside from the illumination that squeaked out from the insides of the theatre. The fairly steep incline that went to the front drive where I had pulled my car up to, was difficult to maneuver; my mom was deathly scared of falling again. Amongst the crowd came my assistance. Kevin ignored all those around and made his way to our side to make sure I got my mom to the car safely.

These are the things that will surpass all other great memories, (which I'll hold onto as well) because these are the things that have delivered the biggest impact. In a time where I had dealt with distant family members argue with me because they didn't understand, along with friends turning away out of fear, (or whatever reason they may have had) my friend Kevin was there. They may seem like little gestures, but, for me, they were enough.
"I got this, go home to your mom." 

I was lucky enough to have a friend who not only offered friendship, but support in a time of need. We all need this, unfortunately I do not think we all have this.

Not just in my life, but other paths I have crossed, lives facing various challenges, the loss of friendship and family support has become all too common a story. Hearing about how people just don't "get it" and ignore the situation of those facing difficulty, is sad. And like it is with Kevin's passing, it is also unfair. That is why when you get it, the understanding and the support, no matter how big or how small, (and it really is all big) it means the world and touches the soul.

Rest in Peace, Kevin Derouin. I will remember you for a lot of things, in my mind, and in my heart.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love U's

I'm writing this on a day that supposedly is meant to celebrate love, Valentines Day.  But I am under the impression that celebrating love should be held onto and done every minute of every day all year round. This day to me simply enforces the fact that I am single. It is a day, in fact, that I think can pose some challenges for many individuals.
Love, and even being in love, should not only be measured by romance, but also by family and friends. Anyone that congregates around the heart and within the soul should qualify for the category of love. Plus, being single is not something that bothers me. It doesn't even bother me a whole lot to be single on this day; I just don't need the reminder and to be made to feel that love only means something when you are romantically involved. And we all deserve love... in some form.

To me, love has never been a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of thing. I don't give away love easily because I see love as a four letter word that is incomparable. It also comes, in my opinion, in a few different, and special ways.

Unconditional: Accepting someone for who they are, the ways in which they change, their past, their ambitions. Without acceptance there is no love. Love is meant to be unconditional, only to know that "unconditional" can change the moment love is broken.
Understanding: There is no exact knowledge to love, making sense of it is pointless. Just know that the key to love is having an open mind, heart and soul. If closed, do not expect love to knock.
Universal: There is no limit or maximum capacity for love. Boundaries may keep us physically stationed to one location but the feelings in ones heart can move through walls, time, and space
Unrequited: Nietzsche considered "indispensable...to the lover is his unrequited love, which he would at no price relinquish for a state of indifference." It can hit when not even expected and become very meaningful and important; life's a stage and you cannot always predict what you feel.
Unknown: It is impossible to really define love or even "being" in love. It is hard to capture and sometimes even hidden in plain sight.

All of these love U's are linked together in some ways, but stand on their own in others.

Love U and happy Valentines day, every day, to no one specific but someone special.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Good Fight & Throwing a Plate

I am sitting here in my office preparing myself for another trip down to Toronto and visiting, for what seems like the umpteenth time in less than a two month span, the hospital where my mom is undergoing surgery for skin cancer on her nose. It is a rather hard journey because it is a bit of a trek to get down there from where we live, the driving conditions aren't the most favourable at this time of year, and the purpose behind this journey is not a fun, or even reasonable, one.
The fact that my mom already lives with a brain injury and aphasia presents a big time double whammy, and going through something that is never easy has been made worse. The fact that brain injury and its related difficulties are hidden from the seeing eye and still relatively unknown or misunderstood makes it frustrating having to explain or receive not-so accurate reactions.

This surgery is the third and final (hopefully) and it is more cosmetic than anything else. The previous surgeries have dealt with and eliminated the cancer; though we were told all went well last year when she underwent radiation. But we have to think positive and do our best to get through it. We have been getting through it! My mom is a superstar to be handling this as good as she is. She's a fighter!

Over the last few years, but especially the last few months, I have spoken with so many fighters and I find it quite amazing what people can really deal with. I've talked with brain injury survivors, heart and/or stroke survivors, cancer survivors, just to name a few. People are capable of so much more than they give thought to, before having to be capable.

There are sad stories, of course. There are stories of individuals not handling things well at all, sure. There are times the illness wins out regardless of the fight. But I've seen a lot of positive attitude, and I've seen so much strength. And as much as I don't like hearing stories of people giving up, I'm still sometimes in awe that it doesn't happen; that people rise up and they face tomorrow and beyond.

I received an email the other day of someone who came across my blog and complimented me on my writing, on the subjects I chose, and on how I have handled what I (myself) have gone though in life. This person was writing me in regards to his wife, her cause, and her blog. I've since checked it out and again, I found something both inspiring and encouraging; a story of survival and creating awareness.
Heather Von St. James, survivor of mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis. Lung Leavin' Day is her blog and I think anyone reading this should check it out.  Learn about this illness, read about Heather's incredible journey, and write your fear on a plate and smash it in the fire on February 2nd.

Disability or not, illness or not, we all have fears and have fought the good fight. We have or we still do. While we need to hold onto the fighter in us, we need to throw away the fears.
We are all our own individuals, but there is also a little bit of Heather's fight and my mom's fight in all of. So don't give, step out of the shadows, stand tall, fight the good fight, and for the love of yourself and humanity, smash a plate!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Return

It has been five months and a bit since my last post to this blog. Times have been busy with family obligations that have kept me running, it seemed, in circles. Circumstances have not necessarily changed all that much, but I've learned to prioritize and organize a little better...... and so, I return. But when I say 'The Return' I mean much more than just me coming back to the pages of the Challenging Barriers blog.
I refer to something I think we can all relate to and could use a little of, and that is the return of good times, of taking a much needed breath, of stepping back and seeing our lives the way we once did in a moment of clarity. (we all get these moments from time to time) The return to grace.

Life can offer us challenges and unexpected occurrences that can alter our paths. Sometimes these hardships are barely within our control, if they are at all. But with work , patience, and a little faith, 'The Return' can become a reality. Because I do not believe in lost causes, not if there is no good reason for us to lose hope.... there is no need to give up when more strength can be found, as we can fight together.

The story of love lost can be found;
The darkness can become the light it once was;
The difficulties can again become easy;
Sorrows can work their way back to happiness;
The soul of the fallen Angel can, and will, rise again;
And those that offer supportive hearts will benefit by an unrelenting gratitude of love and admiration.

I believe that the current obstacles I find myself facing will, in time, be overcome, just as I have overcome challenges before. I believe in the return of serenity, in time, to those near and dear; along with all those who feel the shadow of darkness.
I believe this to be true because the alternative is too ugly to consider....... because I believe in things like hope, love, strength, virtue. If felt lost, it can all return...... because I believe it is within us all.

That, is 'The Return'.