Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Year Later...

Good morning Cyberspace! It's nice to be back here with you writing out some thoughts and ideas. It's been some time since I really took the time to write a real blog entry. My last blog entry on breastfeeding in public seems to have found a certain level of popularity over the internet. By far it is my most successful blog post to date. Today I've got a little bit of time to spare (not really) and decided that I would write a little something for you; but perhaps more for me.

I've been thinking recently about my life; most especially how it has changed over the last year. I suppose I should start at a year or so ago from now. At this point in my life I was living off of an unemployment check which served to support myself, my girlfriend (she received a small income) and her little girl. Things were not so well. Being poor tends to create stress and divide in relationships; ours was no different. By the time September rolled around our relationship had reached a tipping point. Financially, things had improved slightly however the strain of the previous months had, unbeknownst to me, taken its toll on us.

September rolled in and as it was closing I was leaving my family behind. The two girls were staying in Yarmouth, both going to school, and I was moving to Halifax to attend school. This wasn't the first time I'd dealt with a long distance relationship. In fact, the first year of our relationship I spent in Newfoundland studying Philosophy & Political Science. Somehow I felt that this time around our bond may not be strong enough to hold us together.

With school starting and October rolling in I had my main focus on attending school and trying to salvage what was left of my five year relationship. Then, completely by surprise, something incredible (incredible to me) happened: the Occupy movement. I won't go into great detail about Occupy itself or the Occupy Nova Scotia to which I was a member and am still a supporter because I have covered much of this is previous posts. Occupy is one of the single events in my life that has carried with it some of the most far reaching impacts on my personal self I have ever experienced. It opened my mind up to so many new ideas, new ways of thinking and introduced to entirely different perspective on reality. I cannot stress enough how grateful for that experience I am. 

By the time December rolled around, the ONS movement was losing much of its steam. Personally, the stress and anxiety had taken a toll and so I retired to the solitude of my former life: focusing mainly on school and family. I continued to spend much of my online time sharing information regarding the ideas presented and expressed to me while actively participating with ONS. I brought to light injustices to friends, family and acquaintances that those responsible tried to keep from peering eyes. I did and continue to share knowledge and information to educate others on the realities of certain situations.

Then the Ides of March arrived. I know this day because it is the day I was meant to return to Yarmouth for a week's vacation with my partner and her daughter except fate had another plan. As it turns out, all that strain on our relationship had been, as suspected, too much. We mutually dissolved our relationship just a few hours before I was to leave. Ordinarily, as shown from past experiences, I would have been emotionally devastated; even returned to masking emotion with addiction but not this time. This time I was no longer the person I had been for the 30 years prior; this time I was more complete; balanced; harmonized.

I dealt extremely well with the sudden loss. I now had but one place to focus my energies: school. So that's what I did. I became entrenched in my education; more specifically the social media side of it. I began to spend more time exploring social media, connecting with new and interesting people, learning from others from across the world. For almost two months this was my life; well besides spending the occasional afternoon at a random protest, rally or with friends having open discussion. Then little coincidences began to occur which would inevitably lead me down an unseen path.

Around the beginning of May, ONS received an injection of energy when our legal charges stemming from our Remembrance Day eviction were dropped. With the sudden influx in energy and a revitalized sense of bringing change I dove back into the Occupy movement. It was rather short-lived. Despite having been given another opportunity to revive ONS to its once former strength, it was to be for naught. Within two weeks, this injection of hope had begun to fade. I began to question myself and my actions: had I wasted my time? What do I do now? How do I move forward as the person I had become? How could I continue to work towards change? Then the answer came in the form of an offhand comment made half in jest, half with the utmost seriousness: politics.

Having spent almost a year living in my new home, Halifax, I had come to understand a lot of the municipal issues and community issues that the people shared. Things like urban sprawl/over-development; an over-abundance of secret council meetings; property taxes; financial over-spending by city hall; a decreasing usage and disillusionment of our public transit system and several other important points. At a local social gathering with some friends from Twitter, I was told I should run in the upcoming Municipal election. Never in my life have the bells in my head rung so loudly and reverberated so deeply within myself. This, this is what I knew I had to do.

I quickly gathered together some friends, most that I had met through ONS and created a small campaign team. We went over many concerns, plans and ideas. In the end, as you can see here, I moved forward with the idea. At the onset I had many fears and anxieties about how I would be received; I should not have. From the beginning I have received such positive feedback and encouraging support that I have been reassured almost completely that I am following the right path. This brings us to our present day here in August; less than one month from the day I settled in Halifax.

What a year! From a stable family home to being alone in a city; from a narrow vision of direction to a broad spectrum of opportunity; from passive political criticism to spokesperson of one of the largest global activist movements in modern times; from the pursuit of an education to the journey towards bringing positive change to the people of a city of 400k+ people; from a scared, confused little boy to a matured, wiser, balanced human being. The one thing that has been constant throughout this past year, each one that preceded it and all those to come is change.

My life has continued to change. From my personally held spiritual beliefs to my friends, my family, my knowledge and my goals. I am constantly changing because the Universe and reality in which I live is always changing.  I think that perhaps learning to accept this constant, uncontrollable (in most cases) change has been one of my great accomplishments this past year. What will the future hold for me? Well, with the municipal election in less than two months as well as my graduation and the fact that my former partner and I are attempting to resolve our differences, it should be interesting to look back and see what my life will look year later.