One year

I started writing this blog a year ago. Back then, I knew it could lead to another failure. I’ve been known for starting blogs that I would later delete, trapped in words I was unable to own, under a name I couldn’t carry, trying to recapture the sense of freedom and creativity I had when I wrote my first blog in 2007. I was a teenager back then, carefree, and it showed in my writing, happiness with a little bit of pretention. I deleted the blog by accident one day, trying to get rid of another one I didn’t use on the same platform. I was never able to build another one like it again. And then, I created this one.

I knew I could fail again but, surprisingly, this time, I did not. I started writing under a penname that I later changed for my own, sharing stories and experiences I wish my younger self had known. For the first time in years, I wrote and shared out of desire, not because I thought it was the thing I should do. I wasn’t trying for a writing career anymore. I was writing for the joy and love of it.

Some of my texts were born in only a few minutes, words rushing by and needing to get out in the moment. Others slowly cooked in my brain for a few months, even a few years, before I found the voice they needed to be told. I shared stories I never thought I would write, each one of them giving me strength and courage for the next one. Fear sometimes knocked on my door, but I never let it in.

When I started planning this post a month ago, I didn’t know what would be the next steps on my way, what styles of writing I would go for. Since then, projects have started to take shape, some of them already in motion through this platform and another. I’ve been building the confidence to write about sociopolitical themes that matters to me, dive into different genres of poetry and storytelling, perhaps even try my hand at critiques and literary analysis, using the many modulations of my voice discovered during the past twelve months. The metamorphosis of my thoughts about money and the worth of my words also laid down the road for new experiments, both as a blogger and a writer.

There is still so much to learn. I’m excited to discover it all.

May 19th is a day of celebration. A rebirth of some sort. It deserves cake and a few candles to blow.

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Cbaquiran on Pixabay

For all of you who’ve been supporting me so far, old and new followers, thank you. It makes me happy to know that, through my struggles and moments of clarity, others can find common ground and share their own experiences. It’s always a pleasure to read you. I look forward to the next years together.

Mireille

Money

My relationship with money have always been… strained, to say the least. The household I come from was considered poor in the eyes of the North American system we were born into. We lived of welfare for more than a decade. As a result, my family believed that money was the source of all evil. But they also believed it was the answer to all of our problems. Hearing them complain about the rich while wishing to be like them was a daily occurrence under our roof.

It was usual for my parents to say « we are poor ». Even today, with jobs, a house of their own, two cars, smartphones, wide screen tvs and a dog, I still hear those words coming out of their mouth when talking about their financial situation. They made this mantle their own for so long, they never learned to shed it away. As a teenager, I began to question this, seeing the many ways in which we were rich. We had time, creativity, accessible knowledge through public libraries and affordable schools. But if I dared speak up and say that we were not really poor, my father was quick to shut me up. « You’re just a child, you don’t know any better. »

So I shut up and began to live the way they did. No education but a high school diploma, I took a minimum wage job and started to live paycheck to paycheck, always in fear of lacking money even as I readily spent most of it on books, movies, video games and music. 5 years into the workplace, I accumulated more than 15 000$ worth of culture. Culture I didn’t even consume, letting it sit on my shelves just to show that I possessed it.

Minimalism was my first way out of this cycle of meaningless consumption. It did manage to make room for what’s important in my life and put a stop to my senseless credit purchases but it didn’t change my thoughts about money. Regardless of the money I could now put aside for future use and learning that I needed much less to live comfortably than I previously thought, the old idea that money is evil made its way through and settled deep. I ended up thinking that to remain in the « pure » and « virtuous » state of mind brought by minimalism, I couldn’t ask for more. And, given my educational social status, I believed I didn’t deserve to earn more either.

Things started to change when I started university. It began as a shift of perception, from thinking I couldn’t afford higher education to, thanks to minimalism, knowing I had the money for it. Growing into my new student life, I began to see better options for my future. Suddenly, in my dreams, I could afford the tiny house I often imagined living in. I could afford going for a career tailored for my needs with a decent salary. I could afford trips abroad to see my friends and to discover the world on a yearly basis.

A recent conversation with my spiritual counsellor broke the last of my objections about money. She gently told me that money is just another form of energy. It’s a chain of appreciation. One service paid for goes to someone who needs it, who will pay for another service that will help someone else, etc. Like all forms of energy, it needs to move around or else stagnation will make it rot and render it useless. Money, in itself, is not evil. It’s how we were taught to use it that corrupts our minds.

That conversation brought forth a desire I had for a while now. I aim to get paid for my online writing, and I needed a change of perception to take action. Having acquired this balanced vision of money, I now feel ready for this step. I don’t publish regularly, I don’t have any social media accounts, I don’t market myself, I don’t do what writing advisers tell me I should do, I don’t even know what my words are worth, yet I’m willing to try. I’m curious to see where this will lead me. I won’t loose a thing trying, I would loose the opportunity to learn something new if I didn’t.

Our society puts economy above humanity. It’s shown as cool and trendy in the medias, yet it’s at the roots of our inequalities. It’s been used and abused by those in power for as long as money existed yet, once fairly redistributed amongst people, it increases the well-being of all.

Money can certainly buy the luxury sold by our culture, but I found that, for me, this lifestyle isn’t happiness. My happiness is found in education and words, sharing those I write and reading those of others. It’s found in the relationships I have, some of them living as far as on the other side of the world. It’s found in the quiet and wholesome living of the countryside, with a yard bursting with fruits and vegetables, flowers blooming on the side of a house that hugs me close with its walls. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy my student fees and the time I need to write and study. It can buy books and publications written by authors I wish to encourage. It can buy my transport tickets, trips to the restaurant or ingredients for a potluck with my friends. It can buy the piece of land where I’ll build a part of my life. While money isn’t happiness, living above survival necessities makes life sweeter, for myself and others. I’m ready for more.

Overload

days full of time unused
scrolling down through minutes and hours
informations coming in
getting out
overload of sounds and images
I throw my phone away
slam my computer shut
get outside and play

heavy wind in my hair
racing against my heart
I close my eyes
and hear my loneliness
screaming for
an easy distraction
my 21st century’s addiction

steps taking me away
from any connections
I see I am not caught alone
in this net
of double edged swords
but I feel alone
fighting to get out
ashamed
of a problem
that shouldn’t be one

books open
blank pages filling up
electric light bulb
shining bright above
the only piece of technology
allowed in my room
the loneliness fades away
and my screens become
once again
the tools they were meant to be

Eerie

Montreal, 5AM. A sight I get to see only a few days, twice a year. Walking through the quiet streets on a Monday morning, hearing birds chirping and feeling the chill on my skin, crinkles adorn my face as my lips lighten up. My steps resonate as I walk through the subway station. I can hear every cracks and pops of the machinery hidden in its walls.

Soft piano plays in my ears, the roar of the subway cars overlapping its sounds. This is the Montreal I love. Populated just enough for a chance to study those around me. So quiet once I leave those man-made machines for the outside world. The big city does sleep, and I like waking up before she does to witness her slumber. For the early bird I am, seeing her stripped bare of her night life, her heartbeat is as familiar as the faraway town I grew up with.

§

University, library opened 24/7, I’m studying for one of my last exam. Two more awaits, with two assignments to turn in. It’s a bittersweet countdown. This first year is almost done. Soon, I won’t see the people I met as often as I did, our ways splitting in different branches of interest. What I once found uncomfortable became a new comfort zone, ready to be left behind, a soft blanket I’m not all ready to quit. Yet, excitement bubbles inside when I look at what the next year have in stock for me, new knowledge to fill my insatiable brain, new writings to play with.

I’ve been dreaming this journey for so long. Being on it’s road, feeling ends and beginnings rolling behind each other, I ask myself : what will I do once it’s done? What will I do when the dream is fulfilled, added to the reality of my experiences?

New dreams awaits. Old ones come and go, whispering « one day, maybe ». I’m walking through a labyrinth without a map, faith my only ally. She knows where I’m going.

§

Walking the streets of Montreal at dawn is as eerie a feeling as is walking through the labyrinth. I feel alone, yet not lonely. The air is cold but I’m warm inside. My perception of the colours of the world is different under the sunrise, just as is my perception of the future when I can only glance at images of what I want it to be. Everything feels soft and ready to disappear, but then, the sun shines higher and everything becomes tangible and real. Time speeds up as the city wakes up, welcoming another day on her glass and concrete. I find an empty bench at the park, where I sit, close my eyes, and dream some more.

Earth

Rain. I didn’t know I missed it so much.

The wind is still cold but not enough to turn it into snow. Window open, letting the chill in, I listen. Spring sings in every single drop of water. Life is pulsing through the air.

At my desk, I sit, and ask how you’ve been doing. Your answer reaches for my heart, feather-soft presence wrapped around my soul.

My living space has been filled with mementos sent from you with love. Reminders of my path to you. Yours to me. My notebooks hold wisdom of the ages, knowledge of my self tapped into when I close my eyes, slow my breath and softly sing back to you.

The moment of bliss and quiet pass. I turn back to the noise of the world, peacefully looking forward to our next meeting.

I close my window and go back to work.