Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just a Girl

Some people have it all. Youth. Unbounding talent. Originality. Fame.

If those 4 things a happy person could make, then gossip magazines and television entertainment shows would surely find themselves emaciated for content. There wouldn't be stories of eating disorders, run-ins with the police...drinking binges or hopeless drug addiction.

But as another young lady with the world in her hands snuffs out her own life as a result of addiction, I feel not cold or cynical...I feel deeply sad for her, and those who loved her. To them, she wasn't a celebrity...she was a daughter, a aunt and a friend. Just a girl with a big life.

Having loved someone very deeply, and having them torn from your life is unparallelled. Parents aren't meant to bury their children...20 somethings aren't supposed to have their kindred extinguished quietly like final smokey embers of a cigarette butt. But it happens all the time. We embrace a cynical, calloused attitude because won't happen to us, or to those we love.

I assure you it will. Someday, somewhere, life will blind you with it's unfairness...and you will begin processing just how precious it is to love someone through their weaknesses and frailties. Once that person is will change. You will become bitter and hard...or you will alter your outlook on the world, and become a respector of the whisper that is this life. You will look at the daughter of a cab driver...a tattooed, birdlike, beehived soul singer from England who struggles everyday with addiction...and you will feel compassion for her. Because she didn't get it. She didn't see what her life was. She was ravenous for the high...she longed for the buzz...and she wanted to repeatedly escape.

She succeeds...she breathes her last breath...and she dies alone.

She is not unique. Incredibly talented, vibrant people die everyday as a result of addiction. But know this, a pop star with an addiction is the same as your baby cousin who has an addiction. It's the same as the successful Insurance broker who has an's the same as the veteran prostitute who will sell her fluttering soul for her addiction. It's all the same. Resources are available to all of these people...but it takes surrender to crawl out of the torture and towards recovery. Many don't make it...maybe most don't make it. It makes loving them, in all of their incompleteness...and their delicacy... that much more timely and necessary.

So to those I have loved and have taught me. Your release from a tortured life is horrendous to live with...but I am happy for your freedom, for your peace, and for your emancipation from the insatiable hunger. It's not easy...but it's been an honour to love you.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Little Things

If my profession in the beauty industry has taught me anything, it is this:

the small things are the most pleasurable, desirable and coveted.

I can show my clients amazing new products, awesome promotions, and endless ways to be more profitable...but at the end of the day, when it comes down to what excites people most, it seems to be the mini' sizes of their favourite products.

Life is funny. I think if we were to keep our eyes on the little things; those little sparks of temporary childlike bliss, they may just create all of the magic we need in life. For all of the striving to get have more, and to be more, I think we so often miss the moments.

Does frustration relentlessly tamper with your peace? Call you a failure, an habitual screw up, or point it's knobby filthy finger at you with accusations of not being enough? How often does your past look down its crooked nose at the life you're in right this very minute...and tell you, surely, you should be further ahead. Sometimes, we need someone to remind us of all the things we have accomplished, or are accomplishing right now. All of those little achievements, the baby steps...the steady chipping at the marble slab of your life...are revealing a unique masterpiece, one chisel stroke at a time.

So the next time you hold the chubby Smarties stained hand of your niece, like I did today, realise...she won't be 2 forever...and that was a moment of pure magic. The next time you speak words of encouragement to someone who is breaking...know that seed will be responsible for something beautiful one day. If you got a promotion, or started something entirely new...know you stepped toward your future, and that the universe is smiling fondly on you. Maybe you made your final car payment, and now have extra money to save for something special. Perhaps like me, you caught the scent of campfire on the wind...or freshly cut grass while watching the sun slowly melt into the western horizon, and realised something profound.

Don't you know? God made those moments...and they're His expression of adoration to you. He, like any Father...finds joy in your successes, miniscule and tiny...momentous and monumental...He is there for all of them, snapshotting them, and cheering you on. He knows your favourite things...and He drops them on your path to display His unending affection towards you. Campfires, cut grass, fireflies and sunsets...those are the ones He sends to me.

So choose to be present in life...even just once a day. Stop. Look around...count your achievements and your blessings. They are big...and they are small...but they are propelling you forward. You're not're not stuck.

You're making this little thing at a time.