Lessons I Learned From My Family.

 

I was very lucky to be born into the family that God gifted me, because he put me in a small family of three: my grandpa, grandma and mom. All three of whom were quite different in their unique abilities and upbringing.

My grandfather came from a Scottish-Canadian background, and was a very honourable, loving, giving and creative person. He lived creatively in the way he dressed, and acted. He was a drummer (and a few other instruments) in a few bands, both country and jazz. He grew his hair longish (mid-back) and wore it in a ponytail, and wore anything from crazy self-made costumes, to stylish well-groomed 3 piece suits, or sports jackets jodhpurs and English riding boots. He also loved to draw. He ended up working 30 years at C.K.N.X. as a TV producer and a few other jobs. I grew up learning how to draw, and loving fashion, and appreciating jazzy type music, and wanting to be an entertainer.

My grandma was of English-Canadian heritage, and grew up with 2 other siblings; her brother and sister, she and her sister and had to work really hard to put herself through teacher’s college, because her father was of the mind that girls were going to end up marrying and raising children and didn’t think it wise to spend money on their education. She was more of an authoritarian-type of person, set down rules, and gave punishments if necessary. She was more logical, but also raised in a family who valued music. She played piano well enough, and sang in church choirs. Every event we’d go to on her side of the family came with sing-alongs while our aunt Marie (sister) or Joanne (sister-in-law) played piano. I learned to love music even more as a group experience, and the value of education, and reading, and respecting rules, even if I didn’t always obey them.

My mom was pretty much the sum of both of my grandparents’ teaching. She did end up leaning more towards her dad’s side of the genes but what she has taught me is something more. When I was younger she worked at the TV department of C.K.N.X. but when it closed down, she moved over to the radio side. While she combined both of her parents’ attributes, the lessons she most filled my life with, are ones of how strong one person can be, against all odds. She chose to have me, fairly late in her life, at 39, and after having suffered through a few relationships, decided that having a child didn’t have to come from a relationship with a man; and she found a way to do that. She went through artificial insemination in order to have me and raised me as a single parent. Luckily my grandparents were very active in helping her to raise me, and look after me when she was at work, or needed time for herself. She has showed me the power that can exist inside a person, and an unconditional love that literally has no bounds. My mom was more of a free-spirit, much like my grandpa. She did life her own way, her own rules, and was became a real-estate agent, and showed me what it was like to go from a secure, steady paycheque to a job with risks, and a not so steady paycheque, but that allowed her to be free to make her own schedule, and still be able to be good at her job, and be an amazing woman and mom.

With all I was given in a family and as I’ve grown up and had more experiences outside that safe little world I was first introduced into, I can think of no better word to describe my life as blessed. It is because of their love, guidance and support throughout my life, that I’ve been able to work my way along my life’s journey as well as I have, and as humbly as I possibly can. I now know what a truly remarkable family I had, because I’ve witnessed first-hand families that haven’t had it that great, sometimes their whole lives have been rocky. I know some people who’ve come up from hellish lives, and done better for themselves and their situations.

So, with all that I’ve been blessed with its time for me to work towards giving back to the world, that is why I am pursuing my dreams, because I want to be in a better position where I can speak to a nation who is slowly crumbling, and help be one of the people who inspires others to be their best self, and to never give up on whatever good they can do to better the crazy world we live in.

It needs all of our help in order to flourish and rise from the ashes that Hell has doused us with!

God speed fellow humans!

J.J.

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Valentine’s Day — Love and Hate this yearly tradition!

Valentine’s Day for couples and Valentine’s Day for single people can be a very different day at times. If you’re in love it’s another day extra to your anniversary to pay tribute to the love you share for each other and your time together however long or short. 

As I scroll through my social media feeds I see the love-filled messages and photos of happy couples, and all the ways they appreciate one another, and I am genuinely happy for each and every one of them because it shows me that love does exist and that truly warms my heart.

But for those of us who’ve spent countless years alone on this day, it can be quite saddening. I am turning 30 this year, and have yet to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day; and while I still hold hope for my future that that may not be the case one day – this year, it still is. And in the time where I have dated, or had relationship-like men in my time, there have only been two times where I’ve actually been IN LOVE. My first relationship when I was 16; about to turn 17, I was finally with my best friend, and love of my life at the time, and it was wonderful, and I knew that I we both had value in each other’s lives. But, due to external forces, it ended and left me devastated, and not only did it end; but it ended on Valentine’s Day. Picture your first relationship ever, you’re experiencing feelings you’ve never felt before, and you have this naive take on the world, and you with all your heart believe in love, and are a true hopeless romantic, only to have your world kicked up from underneath you, on what you’ve come to know in society as the most romantic day of the year… and THAT is when he chooses to “let’s just be friends”. For most of my years since, I came to loathe this holiday, even after he and I had moved on past the hurt, and reconciled our friendship I still had this angered feeling come over me as the time drew closer to February 14th.
The second, is more recent, but I don’t want to divulge too deeply into it, other than to say, it has come to be my MOST treasured relationship of all, because I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about him, and it’s also the first encounter with a man, where I don’t feel judged too strongly, and can be free to release for the most part, some of my most intense insecurities about myself because he doesn’t seem to have a problem with them. Sometimes, best friends make the best partners, even if it doesn’t go to the romantic level.

After many years, I’ve now learned to let the anger go, but I still continue to have a pang of longing when this time comes around, because I remember my beautifully naive heart’s desire to find my soulmate. But this year, this one is tricky… because I’m not in a relationship as defined by any other relationship I’ve seen or heard of around me, but in a sense I am and I have this new feeling like, maybe I have found my soul-mate, just not in the form of a boyfriend, but in that of a best friend. Maybe it’s okay not to be traditional, but just accept things they way they come. And learn to appreciate what you have, without defining it’s form or reason. 

So with that being said, I really hope all of the lovers out there celebrating this red and white day of love and happiness of being together with the one (or family), or just being in good company of people you adore! The world could use way more days to celebrate love, with all the crazy, messed up stuff going on in the world now.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day my darlings!

All my love!

 

J.J.

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