thoughtbubbleI know.  I get it.  You’re tired of people talking about the election.  I agree.  It’s over.  Get over it.  But I have to say, it’s hard.  Even though, and get this, I don’t even live in the US.  I live in Canada for crying out loud!  The place where everyone has been threatening to flee to if Trump wins!  But I can’t help it.  It’s kind of like this morbid kind of mulling.  You know it’s time to stop, but you can’t.  Like a car crash.  It’s horrible to look at, but you just can’t look away.  But this has actually been a good thing for me, me thinking about this.  Yes, Donald Trump winning made me think and self reflect, and you know what, I think I’m now a better person.  I know.  Donald Trump made you better?  What?!

Well, like most people, when it was clear that Trump was to be the president elect, I was like YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KDDING ME?!  What is going on?!  Are you serious?!  I was in disbelief over the stupidity of the American people.  How can anyone vote for someone so vile, so vulgar, so disgusting?  Not that Hilary is without fault of course.  But just because she is deserving of criticism doesn’t mean that he is not more than worthy of condemnation.  I must make clear that I don’t like EITHER of them, but when you put them side by side, how is she not the lesser of two evils?!  This is a man who makes fun of the handicapped, looks at and talks about women in the most hair raising ways, and for those who want to talk policy; well; what kind of policies has he presented to you that he hasn’t gone back and forth on; and which of those policies has ever been presented to you with any kind of substance?!  I mean, really!  Are my neighbours to the south that ignorant, that bigoted, that racist, that misogynistic?  I admit it.  I was not loving my neighbors.

But of course, as reality settled in, while there is undoubtedly a portion of such people that had been unearthed by Trump and they all came crawling out of the woodwork to voice their support for Trump (and the unfortunate truth is, there are people like that in every country, no matter where you are.  And yes, even in Canada, just an FYI to those who think that Canada is the complete polar opposite of the US), I also began to empathize with those who voted for him.  Not the creepy crawlies, of course.  They are just down right disgusting.  But enough about them.  My skin is starting to crawl.  There are though, as Michael Moore points out in his film, Trumpland, legitimate reasons why people voted for Trump.

It wasn’t necessarily because those who voted for him were racists, sexists, bigots, or misogynists; but because they feel like they have been forgotten.  They are living a hard life.  A life so hard, a life that they want out of so badly that they are willing to overlook any and all the character flaws that Trump have because they perceive him to be their saviour.  The only one capable of lifting them out of the life they want to leave behind so badly.  And you know what, I understand you.  I really do.  I truly hope that for all those who felt forgotten, left behind, or ignored under the previous administration, you will now be given the chances and opportunities you need to make a better life for yourself and your family.  Trump said the he will be a president for all Americans in his victory speech, so make sure that that’s what he is.  Hold his feet to the fire and see to it that he is exactly that, and if he doesn’t deliver, kick his ass out in the next election.  Don’t let him get away with taking away the only vote that you had, the one that you cast for him.

What really resonated with me in Trumpland was how significant electing a woman as the United States president truly was.  As a woman, I find that I take so many of the freedoms that I have today for granted, not even realizing that they were freedoms.  They had just become the “everydays” for me.  This was especially true when Michael Moore took me back to before WWII, when women weren’t allowed to do anything more than clean, cook, and wait on her husband and family hand and foot.  Not that that’s an unimportant or trivial role, because believe me, that’s harder than actually going out and getting a paid job.  Just ask  my mom.  But the second world war gave them a chance to see what life was like outside of the house, when they had to get jobs as all the men were deployed overseas for the war.  And that, their dreams, their desires for something more paved the way for so many of the things I take for granted today.  And Hilary Clinton, again dislike and criticize her all you want, is an undeniably strong, intelligent and independent woman who, in her day, was blasphamized for being “forward” enough to want to live her own life the way she wanted it lived.  GASP, how dare she!

And you know what, it is because of the women in her generation, because of  all the women like her that allows me to live my life the way I choose to live it today.  I’m still not crazy about her, but she is a crazy strong woman who will not allow herself to live a life that she is so much more than.  She is what I want to be, what I need to be. Someone who doesn’t take feminism for granted.  And no, feminism isn’t a dirty word.  It’s an honourable word.  Because even if you choose a life that resembles the one that women led prior to the second world war, I don’t choose that life for myself.  The operative word here is choose.  We can now choose the kind of life we want to live, whatever that may be; and I can never take that for granted.  I will, and must always stand my ground and hold my own, stand up for what I believe in, and speak my mind, make my voice heard; because if I don’t use my voice, I’ll loose it, and I can never allow that to happen.

 

 

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Interaction between humans is never easy.  Especially when it comes to, above all else, family.  At times, interaction between strangers seems so much simpler and pleasant.  Perhaps it’s because they’re just that; strangers.  We don’t know who they are, what they are, their faults, their anything.  They’re just people who happen to cross paths with us.  We have no expectations from them.  And why would we?  These people may only exist in our lives for minutes, or mere seconds, and people we’ll never see again and eventually forget.

Family, on the other hand, is so much more than just strangers.  We know everything there is to know about them, and perhaps that’s why we hold them to a different standard.  We expect them to be a certain way and hold them to those expectations simply because we know who they are, what they’re capable of being, what they’re capable of giving, all their positives and negatives, that when they fail to be who we want them to be, we get disappointed.  And even when we know that they are just being who they are and will never change, that disappointment keeps hitting you every time they disappoint.  Maybe it’s because we want them to be better than our perceptions of them.  Maybe it’s because we want to be wrong about them.  But every time our opinions about them are reaffirmed, it never stops hurting.

But, family is family.  We can’t choose who we end up being a family with.  And while people do things that disappoint us in ways that probably only the one who’s been disappointed can understand, we can’t forget that they are who they are, and will never be who we want them to be.  And maybe that’s just it.  We all have our qualities and faults.  Just because they are not what we hope for them to be in one aspect doesn’t mean that they’re not more than what we want them to be in another.  So, final thought.  Bottom line, family is family, and no matter what, no matter how much we think we’re kidding ourselves, we have to believe that they’ll come through in the end, because family is family.

What do you wish for?  We all wish for something, no matter who we are or what we already have or don’t have.  I visited the Wishing Tree the last time I was inHong Kong, and I, just like all the other millions of people who have wished upon the tree, made a wish of my very own.  It’s like wishing on a star.  But instead of saying the age old, “Starlight, starbright.  I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight”, you write your wish down on a piece of wishing paper, tie a mandarin orange to it, then throw it up onto the Wishing Tree.  And, as legend has it, if your wish lands on the tree without falling off, then your wish will come true.

As Valentine’s Day draws closer and closer, there will undoubtedly be many a wishers wishing on the tree.  For those who are single, perhaps love.  For those waiting for a loved one, return.  For those in love, to be in love forever.  No matter what you wish for, the Wishing Tree stands as a symbol of hope and dreams turning into reality, creating moments that will be immortalized in our lives forever.  And on this Valentine’s Day, love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

There are two kinds of people.  Those who know what they want to do in life, and those who don’t know what they want to do in life.  Sometimes, a few of the people who fall into the latter get lucky and find their calling, but for those who aren’t as fortuitous spend their entire lives looking, searching, seeking, finding.

I have always thought of myself as a figure among those who wake up each morning to just another aimless day, one without a force propelling me forward.  I have spent countless hours, in the hundred of thousands, maybe even millions, trying to find my calling, hoping every night that when light comes, it’ll be THE day I figure it all out.

It’s funny, life.  I woke up today with an epiphany.  It turns out I already know what I want to do in life because I’m already doing it.  That’s how people are.  We spend all our time and consume our entire lives looking for that something we think will make our incomplete lives whole when the very thing we are searching for is something we already have.  We search and search, thinking that we will soon find purpose, only to become blinded by the “if onlys”.

Life is but a laugh at times.  Or maybe it’s just us.  True, we do have to search and figure out what we want to make of our lives, but to become so focused on, perhaps, perfection, is to loose sight of our current lives.  Take each day as it comes and live, experience.  Because it is only then that we will find what we seek.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (Canadian Army) , MD (1872-1918)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I saw this picture on facebook, and it really made me stop and think.  We keep telling people to behave and to “stop acting like animals”, but if you look at this picture, perhaps what we should be saying is to start acting more like animals, and not the selfish selves that so many of us, including myself, are so often.

In the face of high waters and unthinkable dangers, we see a monkey rescuing a dog at its own peril during the flood in Thailand, and yet, just how many of us human beings would be willing to risk our own lives to save the life of somebody else’s without thinking, “Sorry,  but I can’t put myself out there for you.”

That is, of course, not to say that we’re all like that, but if we were to be honest, that’s what many would think.  Perhaps it’s because the human brain has been said to be so much more developed than that of an animal’s that we are constantly thinking and analyzing every situation we are in or potentially enter into.

Of course we shouldn’t just throw caution to the wind and knowingly enter into a situation that we know we will perish from, but sometimes, we need to just stop being creatures that think and be like that monkey and help others because well, they need help.  I mean, is there really a better reason to help someone other than because they simply need it?