Monday, November 26, 2012

This changes everything

     Yes, I fell in love. We connected quickly and had so much fun together. Soon, our relationship went from barely knowing each other to being best friends. My parents and my older brother, who has been with his wife since he was 18, always told me that when I found Mr. Right, it would be easy. And it was!

   Now, to say it was easy doesn’t mean we didn’t work at it, because we did. We wanted to! It was never a question of, “Should we work this out?” It was more that we couldn’t imagine NOT working it out. We had some big arguments in the first year or so, but through it all we learned that we could tell each other anything; and that we really were the perfect match for each other. Our morals and values were the same, and our outlooks on the world and life were so similar. I had found a guy that actually felt the same way as I did about so many important things. I couldn’t believe it. He was supportive of me in everything I did or said. And when he didn’t agree with me, he’d always be honest.
   He always pushed me to be the best I could be, and to always try my hardest. One thing he really pushed in the beginning was for me to get out and be active. He led an extremely active lifestyle, jumping at any opportunity to play any sport offered. I tried to keep up with him but I just couldn’t. I remember going to play tennis with him once and nearly passing out because I just didn’t have the cardio endurance. That experience took me back to when I was a child, trying to keep up with my active friends and always feeling like I was letting people down, or holding them back because I just couldn’t do what they could do.
   That prompted me to make an appointment with my cardiologist. I wanted both of us to be clear on what kind of exercise I should be doing, and just how much of it. Part of me wanted the doctor to tell him that he was pushing me too hard, and to ease up a little. But, the rest of me really hoped the doctor would tell me that I was too sensitive, and that I should be pushing myself harder. Even though I had spent my whole life testing my own limits, I hoped and prayed that maybe I was just a suck, and that it wasn’t all that serious an issue. That appointment was the beginning of something that would change my life forever.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Could this be love?

  After a few unsuccessful relationships and nearly two years of being “single,” I gave up on men. I decided to stop looking and really focus on work. At that time, I was working in childcare and had a second job doing respite care for a family that I have grown incredibly close to. I am still with them to this day, more so to maintain the important relationships than for the money, which is now just a bonus!     
   I was working up to 60 hours a week and in my spare time I’d go out with a group of girlfriends that liked to go for drinks and dancing. I was satisfied and content for the most part. Then, one night one of the girls said she knew someone she wanted to set me up with. I was open to meeting people and went along, but didn’t expect anything to come from it.
   She arranged a “first meeting” to let us get a look at each other. The guy was a bartender, which didn’t matter much to me, so we went to his work and saw him in action. He was cute. Our mutual friend arranged a series of events in the following weeks for us to get to know each other and, eventually, we took it into our own hands and began dating.
   I was taken aback by this guy. He was not only cute but also self-sufficient. He had an apartment, a vehicle, and a steady job. That was shocking! A lot of the guys I had met previously were less than par when it came to self sufficiency. Plus, he was also incredibly kind, thoughtful, compassionate and sweet, even chivalrous! He opened doors for me, complimented me, and held my hand. I was smitten!
   I didn’t know many of his friends or the area of the city he was from so it was all very strange and new to me. I didn’t know how to take this guy. It’s too good to be true, I thought. And if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is, so I convinced myself he would likely end up like all the rest and tried not to take it too seriously. But only a few weeks into dating something crazy happened. I had just moved into a new place and there were boxes everywhere. One day he sorta sifted through a box of my books and came across the one my Dad had written – The Way Life Is. This book is the story of my parents’ marriage and life together, chronicling their lives from before children all the way to when I graduated from high school. It tells about some of the most important, and personal, events of my childhood from my Dad’s perspective. And it is very near and dear to my heart.
   I let this new guy borrow the book… he read it in one day! It is a fairly easy read but I was amazed that he was so into it. When he returned it to me, I figured that was going to be the end of what little relationship we had to that point. I figured, He now knows my wild past and all about my wild family so he will definitely be scared off!
   He handed the book to me and said, “I feel like I have known you all my life… and I feel like I know your entire family now.”
   That was it! He wasn’t scared! He didn’t think less or differently about me. In fact, I think he liked that he didn’t have to figure out why I am the way I am because the book told him. I didn’t have to explain my heart condition or my sister and all the crazy things that happened with her. All the initial hard work was done. And, just like that, I fell in love!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Meeting the first goal

   When graduating from high-school I had many different aspirations regarding my future career path. I really couldn't decide what to be. Should I be a teacher? A therapist? A social worker? I also loved designing and decorating, could I do that? I thought I might love being a hairdresser....there were just too many choices.
   I took some time to take random university classes, to work, and eventually decided to travel around Canada through a volunteer youth program, Katimavik. This gave me some time away from my friends and the little bubble I was wrapped up in to really explore the world, and mainly to learn about myself. I came home a changed woman, more mature and ready to make something of myself.
   I enrolled in a local community college in the Early Childhood Education program. My reason for taking this course, rather than going into Education or Psychology was simple. If I had this as my background, then when I finally had my own little family, I would be able to be a stay-at-home Mom, and run a daycare through my home. This way I was able to work with children, as I absolutely loved to do, and would be prepared to have an income while taking care of my own kids. It seemed perfect.
   I excelled in the program and had better grades than I ever did through my 12 years of grade school. I loved it, and have been working in daycare ever since.
   I still have aspirations of being something more. I really want to become a therapist, and have been slowly working towards it over the years. However, I chose to put my education on hold in order to fulfill some of my other dreams. The first of which, came in the form of a handsome young man....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


    I have had 3 goals for my adult life (aside from the basic living a good, happy life, like anyone else). They include: having a great career (in the care-giving field of course, as either a teacher, a therapist, a social worker, etc), being a wife, and of course, being a Mom.
    I have wanted to have a great career for two reasons. First, to lead a fulfilling life, and feel like I am doing something important. I mean, we all need to have jobs, so I wanted to have one that fulfilled my soul on pretty much a daily basis. And second, so that *when* I have children, I could show them that they can be anything they want to be.
   I have wanted to be a wife for two reasons. First, again to fill my soul (this time with love). And secondly, to share life with someone: giving them all that I have and am, and having someone by my side through the good times and the bad. I went through a lot of shitty times regarding men (and I don't just mean the basic bad relationships). I mean that I had very low self-esteem as a teenager. I was confident in the fact that I was a good person and had a lot to provide the world with, but I felt ugly and unlovable (as mentioned in one of my last posts). I really had a major fear, and belief that someone would be crazy to want to love me forever. Knowing that I would constantly have health issues, and that my life could end a lot earlier than average, I figured any man would be scared off in an instant. My relationships were fairly normal, but never lasted very long.
   I have wanted to be a Mommy for a trillion reasons, most of which I cannot even put into words. All I know is that this has been the only constant desire and goal in my life. I have changed career paths and I thought I would be single forever at one point in time, but I have always known that me + motherhood had to happen.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I was born to spread the love.

   Although I led this regular life and tried so hard to blend in, I felt I couldn't hide from what would eventually come to help define me. Yes, I was affected.
   The most obvious was that I had scars all over my chest and body. When I first got the pacemaker implanted I was so ashamed of the scar. I already had scars from the open heart surgeries, and to get a new one right on my chest, well I was embarrassed (as you can imagine, I mean, I was 10). I felt as though people (mostly boys) would think my body had been mutilated. I felt the furthest from beautiful and developed a fear that no man would accept me based on the fact that my body was imperfect. My Mom always referred to them as my 'life lines', which didn't mean much to me as a child, but as I grew into an adult, I really understood what she meant.  I came to accept, and eventually love and embrace all of the scars.
   My personality was affected and shaped the most, both because of the health issues as well as having a sister with special needs. I was always the one to stand up for something that I believe in, and speak up when no one else would. I was and still am extremely sensitive and emotional, and  I have always been very aware of the 'bigger picture'.  I've always had some crazy notion that life is supposed to be filled with all things LOVE and maintain a very strong belief that everyone is equal and deserves equal love and opportunity.  This belief has crept in to most conversations in one way or another, and led a lot of people to think I am a little strange and that I live in a fairyland with rainbows and stardust (unrealistic and annoyingly optimistic).  I have come to embrace this quality and now feel blessed that I am able to have this outlook, but when I was younger it definitely wasn't as cool.
   My softest spot however was, and always will be children. The games I played as a very young girl were either Barbies, or 'house'. As a teenager I babysat all the time, coached young children in gymnastics (and believe me, I am NO good at gymnastics), and even wanted to hang out at my friends house when her Mom had daycare kids friend didn't exactly think that was such a fun idea haha. Everything I did involved children, and was motivated by my desire to become a Mommy myself.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A little more...

   My family was in a car accident when my Mom was only a couple of months pregnant with me. We speculate that the accident is the cause of my heart condition, but there is no way to know for sure. When I was not even a full day old, I had to be rushed by air ambulance to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Kids for emergency open heart surgery. I had another surgery at 4 days, another at 13 months, and when I was 10, I had a pacemaker implanted. I would have regular check-ups with my cardiologist and at the pacemaker clinic, and was ALWAYS given a great report.
   As far as I knew, I was as 'normal' as anyone, and the biggest issue in my life was dealing with the trials and tribulations that having a sibling with Prader Willi brought (which perhaps I will get into later on or you can  look up the book, The Way Life Is by Richard Johnson).
   When people would ask me about my heart, I always just told them that I was totally fine, and it was no big deal. Honestly, I felt fine; it really was no big deal. People always felt bad for me though and I got a lot more sympathy than I ever asked for.
    I was never teased or picked on due to my health (or for any other reason! Besides from my brother, but that is typical). One of the worst things I ever experienced regarding my heart condition was someone telling me that they were jealous of it. I remember it like yesterday. She said to me that if she had something like that wrong with her, she would use it to get people to feel sorry for her, and use it to her advantage. I was stunned and disgusted, as I had the exact opposite opinion. The last thing I had ever wanted was to have anyone feel sorry for me, or to stand out from my peers!
   Physically, I blended in no problem. But overall, I felt like I did stand out, in a big way.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just the beginning...

   I have sat down to begin this blog so many times already. I have even gotten to what I thought would be the end of the first page, but couldn't figure out how to start the second page. I keep wanting to leave my readers in suspense, as though I am writing some sort of fiction short story.
   But I am not, I am writing the truth about my life, my experiences and my emotions. I am searching for support, understanding, and possibly some direction. So I think I will just lay it out on the line. After-all, face to face I am very blunt, so why beat around the bush when I am safe behind my computer screen? I am a believer in jumping in with both feet.
    I had a relatively 'normal' filled with hanging out with my friends, arguing with my parents over cleaning my room, and the typical sibling rivalries between my older brother, sister and I. I grew up in a small town, just north of Winnipeg MB, and maintained what sanity I could by taking frequent trips into the big city with my friends.
   Yes, most things about my life were pretty normal, average. But there were just a few things I couldn't get away from that separated me from my peers. My older sister has a disability called Prader Willi Syndrome. It is so complex that it would take at least 5 days to sit down to explain it fully to someone, which even then, they would never believe me. And on top of that, I was born with a heart condition.....