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One Halloween, Jen and I decided to dress in matching gorilla costumes, complete with gorilla gloves and masks. I was slightly taller, and one year younger, so we decided to switch classes. I would go to her “Career and Life Management” (C.A.L.M) class, and she would sit in on my computer class. The idea was silly to the point of being a bit absurd, and so were we. Perfect. 

So many of my other dear friends were in Jen’s CALM class. By Junior High, I was enjoying being friends with lots of people in grades above me, but in a rural school, truth was, we all grew up together. There were few people in my school who I didn’t consider my friend. This type of attitude served me well throughout my entire life, and our dear family friend, Carol would say, “It’s easier to be friends than enemies.” My mom would share Carol’s wisdom with me over and over to deal with the complexities of female friendship. Girly politics start early in life. 

Not halfway into my CALM class, Jen, with her mask and gorilla hands off was standing at the door with Mr. Lekas. She took off her gorilla mitts off to type,we didn’t factor in as an essential part of computer class. Her white hands gave us away! Later Mr. Lekas’ wife, Gail explained to my mom that her husband had been playing zookeeper.

There are many nuances to friendships, but having fun is absolutely essential. Belonging and feeling like you fit is so essential to mental health. This time in my life I was secure and happy, and naively unaware of the bigger world.

PROMPT: Do you have positive experiences with female friendships from childhood? How has that shaped you? The way you parent (if you are one)?

Can you send love to someone from the past? How would you do that to reconnect and show love for what they’ve done for you in your life?

 

She Was, Sabrina’s first book of poems about her phenomenal influences is available for $20 and $5 shipping

in support of CASASC

SPEAK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT CONSENT AND BOUNDARIES.

Join facebook.com/surrenderliving for more information on Women’s Circles every Friday, 7pm on zoom

Tuesday, May 25 Write a Tribute Poem Workshop – $35 to register

 

Lloyd and Vermillion For Equity Book Club meets Sun. 2pm ALL WELCOME – drop in

I wanted this to be a self improvement, inspirational, hope-invoking romp through my adventurous, colourful past. Then I got to thinking: Some of my best friends used to regularly piss their pants and live outside. Now they have families, companies, and big lives. They are back from a hopeless despair nothing could really get at. Rehabilitation is sometimes not always so dynamic. Sometimes it’s just improving the quality of thought and self belief so slightly, that one day you notice you are doing things better, and it all pays off.  

I smoke weed again after 10 years clean from it, live alone, and am often underemployed. The “victory lap” of a memoir had to be scrapped. I did a few things right however, when it came to eradicating excessive drinking, hard drug use and self hatred from my life. Even though the past few years have been mired in major losses like death, job loss, loss of mental health, family relationships, racial discrimination and sexual assault, I didn’t relapse. 

I’m so proud of that, because that means spirituality works. And I have so much music left inside me.

Inside that narrative is also the friendships I’ve built, the activism I stepped into, the massive support from so many people, education in yoga and business, and a deeper connection to the spirit that keeps grass growing and me going. That means even in the absolute shit of human suffering grows the bountiful nourishment my soul needs to keep going for maybe just another day.

I felt less than, worthless and suicidal all the time. It changed gradually. I learned to show gratitude and find others with similar problems and to serve and show up for others. And I learned to let go and to make boundaries. I am still learning.  

The reality of bipolar disorder, grief and loss, and going it alone through a global pandemic presents different problems than my overly scheduled friends giving their every last effort to keep their families and jobs and households afloat.  Sometimes just giving life to the story takes the pain from it. And at this stage, maybe that’s all I could really offer – the story of this life as it continues writing itself. 

This is not the year I became a writer. It’s the year I let the world see. This is not the year I became a lover of justice and equality. It’s the year I let the world see. This is not the year I could help heal families. It’s the year I trusted myself enough to let others in and trusted my ability to be seen, heard, and felt. The alchemy of self examination and meditative calm met to produce SHE WAS. A work to change my life and the lives of other women. I let the world see.

 

She Was – Write a Tribute Poem Workshop

Thursday, May 20, 7-8:30pm on zoom.

$35 includes your mailed copy of SHE WAS and 1.5 hr. together and guided instruction. A thoughtful heart is needed more than writing expertise. (surrenderliving@gmail.com to etransfer – please include your mailing addy. Additional books are $20 each)

Surrender Living Women’s Circle

Friday, May 21, 7:00pm on zoom. FREE (or by donation: surrenderliving@gmail.com to e-transfer)

She Was $20/book and $5 delivery outside of Red Deer to etransfer: surrenderliving@gmail.com