For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I'm not who you think I am.....anymore.

I’m not who you think I am. As a matter of fact, I am at a pivotal time in my life where I’m trying to figure out exactly who that person is. When once I had it all figured out, I find myself in an identity crisis, asking myself what exactly defines me now that I am no longer a wife? A photographer? Even that crutch, which once offered me security and self worth, has become a quicky evolving field to which, at times, I find myself wondering if I even have anything in common with my 20 year old brides anymore? Am I still relevant? If I don’t book 40 weddings per year, and make a crazy amount of cash, does that make my self stock plummet?

Sometimes, when you’re on a quest to figure out who you are, you find yourself, through the process of discovering who you are NOT that in actuality you may be closer to self discovery than you may think.

Do things that scare you, they say. Outside of your comfort zone. Well, I did that. I moved to Toronto at a young age by myself. I left a marriage I wasn’t satisfied with, with not a clue how I was going to move forward. I quit my day job to start my own company. All of those things lasted a decade, each. Toronto. Entrepreneurship. Marriage. But alas, do we have to continue to do things that scare us, when at the age of 40, we know ourselves better than we ever have? Must we lie to ourselves in order to live an “epic” life that others will respectfully nod to?

When I flew to Bali with not a clue of the 30 + hours of travel nor the culture shock, and an introvert spending 10 days, sunrise to sunset with a group of strangers, talking about our feelings, I literally cried the first day I got there. I couldn’t have felt further from home. When I look back on the trip, I am proud of myself for surviving and blending in. By the end, I just wanted the comfort of home. Of quiet. Of familiar. I’ve never been one to travel alone…in actual fact I’ve never done it and oddly enough, the person who wants to spend so much time in solitude, has no desire to hop on trains, planes and automobiles and navigate the world solo.
When presented with an opportunity to shoot in Europe, my first instinct was how fabulous that would look on my portfolio. When reality set in and sheer panic of how I would really feel in a foreign country alone sunk in, I knew what my decision was. I must be crazy right? Not the bad ass boss babe I’ve made myself out to be, who by the way, shits her pants (not literally), in fear before every single wedding. Still.

I was asked to speak several times at a local college to a bunch of photography students. Next to travelling alone, I think public speaking has got to be one of my worst nightmares. I must do it, I thought to myself. I must give back. It’s easier to hide than seek. But then I asked myself, why? Why must I do something that causes me so much stress? Haven’t we spent our entire lives doing things we are told we have to do? Isn’t there a point of freedom where we, as self aware and independent adults can do what feels right in our gut and soul? Even if it means, losing our "edge"? There is freedom in living an authentically honest life. Trust me on this. It's like a weight that is lifted when you stop adorning a mask. A facade. And own who you are. All of it.

It’s an interesting time, this time after divorce and in a new relationship. In transition of business and pleasure and the distinction of what actually serves me and what most certainly, does not. I’m still not sure of where I’m going or what this next chapter brings, but there is comfort in admitting that I am not the same person I once was, I will never be the person I sometimes want to be and that I need to be okay with exactly where I am. Even if that conclusion has me less cool than the version of myself I’ve presented up to now. Choosing Disney with the kids as opposed to amazing Barcelona is a choice I never ever thought I would even consider, never mind think twice about. But alas, I guess that’s part of the process. Living an authentic life and choosing what you KNOW will satisfy your soul…as opposed to the persona you’ve put out to the world. Even if it means wearing less than cool mouse ears while doing it. I hope you still love me, just the way I am.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What's it all worth?

The things I thought I wanted at 30 years old, I find myself at almost 42, not desiring. Popularity. Success. Money. Status. The in crowd.

I find myself at a crossroads. As the gap in age widens between myself and my very young brides, I have to reevaluate my plans, my goals, my future.

Where I find myself noticing trends, and a brief sense of panic trickles in, I take a step back and ask myself, what does all this mean? When your ego is screaming "protect me", your logic must tell you that whatever you are feeling in this particular moment, will not matter in 5 minutes, 5 months or 5 years. If it will matter, it is worth exploring.

In order to gain "likes" on social media, various strategies are used. Buying them. Bribing them. Or trading random comments on thousands of posts where when you scratch someone else's back, they scratch yours. Do you know what I recently realized in my adulthood? The more comments and followers, the more time spent away from family and friends staring at an already overused screen. The followers are an arbitrary number...but are they friends? Are they offering a paycheque in order for the service you are offering? Is it creating a false sense of importance, popularity or value? What's it all worth?

I was at a bar this past weekend celebrating a good friend's birthday. A couple of random women approached me individually to tell me they love my Instagram account. They have followed my #wordsfromwendy since my Life Wrapped in Lace blog started 11 years ago. Writing transpired into photography and I then discovered the two went hand in hand. Never did I think I would be recognized in a crowd for my truth. Truth that is sometimes criticized by others, so closely guarding their privacy and so desperate for others to think their lives are so perfect. Hashtag #blessed. Hashtag #mylifeisbetterthanyours #onfleek The truth is, we attract those who are likeminded. Bitches attract bitches. Bosses attract bosses. You catch my drift. Find your tribe.

I've been asked to speak to a bunch of budding photographers at a local College. I sit and think about the content I would share...the journey they will embark on, the challenges they will face in the industry, the naysayers, the critics, the victories, the ones who steal your ideas, the successes, the constant learning and constant quest for being creative, different, relevant. Are they willing to eat the shit sandwich? What this means is in Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic", she discusses how every career has their share of downfalls. If you love something enough, and are willing to put in the overtime hours as a lawyer, the summer planning as a teacher and in my case, the rejection as an artist and the years of evolution and learning, and take the shit with the passion, then it's your destiny. Not willing to eat the shit sandwich? You won't last long.

As I sit and reflect back on the past decade of life and career, I realize that it's completely okay to not follow the crowd. To find your own definition of success. To change your M.O. from ten years ago or hell, even to change your mantra from yesterday. To carve out your own niche. To do your own thing. To break the rules. We are constantly growing and learning.

It's funny how when, I once craved approval and belonging, at middle age you simply just find your own way. Do your own thing. Sure, your childhood fears still creep in from time to time and scream at you. But you need to deafen those doubts. Feelings aren't real. They are a trick to the mind. And finally, a few quotes from the amazing Elizabeth Gilbert and my new favourite read Big Magic.

“Recognizing that people's reactions don't belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you've created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest - as politely as you possibly can - that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“She said: “We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won’t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth—nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I think I just wrote my notes for my speaking engagement that I told myself I could not and would not do. And maybe a few slides from the book I've been working on. Funny, this life shit.

Hilarious at times.

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

If Christmas were like Tapas

I find myself reflecting after this mad, crazy year. Last night; the eve that represents so, faith, magic, joy, family...I fell flat on my face in sheer exhaustion. It's been a wild year of personal change and professional madness. I sold my beautiful marital home which took me well over a year to stop flip flopping on the decision to stay or sell. In a market that was about to cool off, we made the right decision and left the city we built our life in for the past 7 years. A decade together, meeting at the end of my 20's and separating on the heels of my 40's.

I remember looking at the rental units available and having a total meltdown at what was out there. The uncertainty of it all...would I be able to afford it all on my own? Would I ever find something that I loved as much as my home? Would I be stuck in a basement apartment with noise above me? Would they allow animals? Would there be enough space? A backyard option so I didn't feel stuck in a concrete jungle? I felt like I was going backwards, sideways and every other direction but forward. Here I was at 40, starting all over again. Experiencing the electronic dating pool of damaged 40 something year olds who all had their own baggage, dependents and scars.

I went to Jamaica for a week with my best friend whom I had lost touch with for over a decade. We had never travelled together even at the height of our solid friendship, nevermind during the rebuild of trust and time lost. We got robbed while down there shooting a wedding, and I was distracted with the sale of our house and all that was happening thousands of miles back home, all beyond my control.

When the unit came up on the water in Stoney Creek, I drove down on the coldest, snowiest blustery day with cash in hand. Recalling what my mom said: "You're like a dog with a bone when you want something." I knew I wanted to live on the water...the calm of water has always soothed this mermaid's soul and I suspected it would take some of the deep sting out of my failed marriage, sold home and uprooted life. It was much more than I thought I could afford, and definitely not a wise investment. But alas, I knew it was the "one" when I walked in. Some people call renting a waste of money...I prefer to see it as trading my money for a place to live that makes me feel safe and at peace. How could that possibly be viewed as a waste?

Finding a man I was serious about was the last thing on my radar. I had dated a few since the separation with my husband and nothing seemed to work out, although I must say that the order in which I met these people was surely no accident. One made me laugh again. Another had kids but was not yet divorced. Another separated but still living under the same roof with the ex.This was a whole new world that I wasn't exposed to in my 20's. But I do believe that the sequence in which I met these people prepared me for the man that I met in April, fully divorced, dealt with the emotions that come with that, 2 kids part time. It seemed that the other scenarios were serendipitous in the sense that I had to experience them to ease me into a blended family.

I've been known to make impulsive decisions and that was the case with the Bali trip. I had just got broken up with at the airport, the night I flew back in from Jamaica and was trying to understand it all when a friend mentioned there was one more spot left for a Bali yoga retreat. I literally transferred over the funds, with not a clue in the world of how far on the other side of this planet Bali was located. I had proceeds from the sale of our home and wasn't planning on blowing it, but somehow after all the change that had taken place, my heart shouted that I must visit the very place written about and visited by one of my favourite authors during her marital demise.

Bali was life changing for so many reasons, but that's a different blog for a different day. I don't even believe I've processed all the beauty and serene moments that trip had to offer. I just know that I was very far away from any comfort that I'd built for myself. I wasn't a yogi, a vegan or world traveller who could easily adapt to the missing luxuries from home. I couldn't get in my car and flee in discomfort when the agenda called for the entire group to spend morning, noon, and night together reflecting, sharing and quite frankly, not having any of my so desperately needed alone time. But the true test of a survivor is to adapt or die. Some of the group went to Bali to get over past relationships or demons. I believe I did that in my hometown, albeit with the help of some very strong alcoholic beverages on some occasions. But I did find a way to honour my internal self, what I needed, to say no when everyone else said yes and to not feel bad about it. If it took going to the other side of the world with strangers to get to that point, it was worth it. The beaches and temples and countryside and rice fields also made a postcard backdrop to the self awareness discovered...and of course, I had my camera to document it all.

I arrived home and dove right into the relationship I had met two weeks prior to leaving for Bali. I had warned him that I was about to embark on my busy season of my photography career...he thought he understood, but later would admit that he never truly comprehended what time constraints on our relationship that meant. I mean, most people who run a business have a team. I am the only one who can do the communication, shooting, editing, accounting, technical issues, training, marketing, putting out fires and planning. It's just me. Who else is going to do it? We ebbed and flowed through the nuances of dating...personality differences, past tendencies, commuting from different cities, shift work, and then we booked a week long trip to Aruba. Once we realized we enjoyed the week together, we jointly decided that we were going to give this thing a full shot.

We met each other's parents, his children, friends and I took on the very careful and delicate dance of "dad's girlfriend/step parent". A fine line between ensuring that the kids feel comfortable and like me, as well as not letting them defiantly try to test my kindness and role. It's such a critical and cautious time in their lives because I know, as I grew up in a blended family, that the second they know they can pit us against each other, or smell the fear, I'm doomed.

We were three months sick with bronchitis, literally knocked down for the count in my busiest season I've had in 8 years. Weddings, shoots, editing and 127 mini sessions that I somehow pulled off. Trying to stay relevant in a young person's world, where everyone is a photographer and people looking for quantity, not quality. His shift work, lack of sleep, constantly packing a bag, commuting back and forth, and BAM, somehow it was Thanksgiving, Christmas and coordinating the logistics between ex wife, her family, new boyfriend, his family, my side, his huge Italian family, event after event and I digress, I just am emotionally spent. Last night with tear soaked eyes I looked him in the eyes...and he said so matter-of-factly after listing all the things that had gone on this year..."You don't think this will get easier? You're fucking right it will." I hope he's right.

An introvert living in an extrovert's world...somehow I've managed to juggle it all and try to make everyone happy, but it never seems "good enough." If I show up for 3 hours, it's like why didn't you stay all night. I wish people would understand...the 3 hours to me is a lot as it's not that I don't want to be there, and in most cases I love's just event after event after event with no time in between is like someone putting a bag over my head and suffocating me. I literally feel I can't breathe.

If Christmas were like Tapas, we could dabble a bit, have a bit of a break, on to the next event or group of people, have a bit of a breather, get up, walk around, get some air, sample some different personalities in doses, and if you don't like it, move on to the next thing on the menu.

But alas, here we are, the day after the busiest holiday...after all the beautiful photos posted, gifts opened, family issues avoided or in some cases full eruption, ending off the year in most cases, full hearts, bellies, empty bank accounts and wondering where in the hell the time went and how it all happened so fast.

I myself am not one to make new years resolutions...I tend to want to break commitments the second I agree to it. But I do know that I'm going to work smarter not harder, take time to read again, to say no when it feels impossible, despite the guilt...and to also say yes, even when I want to say no, to the things that are important. Sometimes we have to do the things we don't want to do...but sometimes you have to find the balance. If you are giving 10% to everyone instead of 100% to a select few, you're no good to anybody.

Au contraire, with a grateful moment to myself to do the thing that has lacked for a couple of years now, write, I hope you all end off 2017 with lessons learned, excitement for what's to come and a little bit of time for yourself.

As for me, I'll take a few pieces of Bellavitano merlot cheese, a handful of cashews and a glass of vino tinto and enjoy my tapas filled day of solitude. In the quiet. Just how I like it :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love always,

Wendy xo

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Who's the bigger asshole?

We are currently residing in strange times. It's a world where the person who cares less, maintains all the power. Fuck being kind and loving and telling the truth and being honest. No. The trick is to show no mercy, no feelings, and absolutely, under no circumstance, shall any fucks be given.

In a commitment-phobe world where the online options seem endless, we've adopted a callous and disposable way of thinking about relationships. How we treat them, how we choose to honour or (dis)honour an ending, how nothing is ever good enough and how there's always the next best thing. The options are endless, like a smorgasbord of menu items and instead of your tummy being filled at an all you can eat buffet, our egos are never satisfied. The lines between reality and fantasy become blurred and the grass always seems greener on the other side. Except it never is. That rush of blood to the head dopamine that you feel when with the shiny and new partner, friend, thing, wears off quickly after the dark restaurants and romantic dates meld into real life and suddenly, the toilet seat is left up, real personalities are revealed and you're just stuck with someone else's ex, and all their problems and a bunch of shiny shit to fill your house that you don't really want or need.

I had a conversation with someone once very dear to me today about the demise of her relationship and how they both came to realize that the crux of the matter was during the height of their indulgence. A time when they had more money, more properties, better cars, and a flashier lifestyle. This was supposed to be everything they ever wanted.

Interesting thought, isn't it? Be seriously aware of what you wish for.

These are some considerably unsettling times. The word sorry seems to come in strange formats and seems to hold the connotation of shame and weakness. Sorry is rarely said. And in some cases, even if it is, does that make the initial hurt any better? Because someone had little to no regard for your feelings and later realizes or regrets it? Or what if they don't actually utter those words? What if you hear through the grapevine that someone is asking about you? Or your gaze meets theirs, and you can just tell by that old familiar look that there's an unspoken panging?

There's no shame in missing someone. And yet in modern day relationships, if there's a fallout, you don't dare be the first to ever admit such a thing. And if you do, and there's no response on the other end, you'll find a way to retract it. To try to erase it. To win. To have the power. To be the bigger asshole and care the least and to be the non affected human. If that's winning, then fuck it. I'll be the biggest loser.

We've all had fallouts where we've been the asshole, or to have been affected by an asshole. Personally, I can't sleep at night if I feel I've intentionally hurt someone. I just can't. I need to say my piece. Unfortunately, this always hasn't been the case for me. There's been years that have passed with an apology I've never received and it destroys the soul if you wait for it, because sometimes it will never happen. Because there's three sides to every story: yours, theirs and the truth. And then there are the moments that blow your mind, after years of wondering where things went wrong, and you find the answer. And things come full circle. And if it's real, you'll pick back up where you started, treading very very carefully of course and with a new and enlightened mindset.

And sometimes you just have to let it all go. Learn a lesson. Move on. Heal. Grow. Forgive. Or maybe not forgive. Maybe they don't deserve your forgiveness. Sometimes they aren't sorry. They simply don't care and probably never did. They played games with your heart. Let me be clear about this: anyone who plays games with your heart does not love you. Love is not mind games. Or pain. Or drama. Or unkindness. Don't pine for someone like this, but don't wish them harm either. Back away. Know better next time.  Be cautious yes, but always, go forth with a whole lot of heart and soul.

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Act accordingly.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Choosing my confessions

I wouldn't say I'm religious, per se. I've always had some belief of a higher power, said my prayers in thanks and gratitude, not just when I'm asking for something and on occasion, gone to church.

Never one for commitment or sticking to routine, I was quite surprised to find a newfound love. A few times a week, I walk into the heated studio, breathe in the warm air and energy of those surrounding me, lay my mat down and bow my head in gratitude. Yoga is my new religion.

I may not be able to control the things that happen, or the constant thoughts that enter my mind, but for one hour a day, even when in that complicated head of mine, ideas and thoughts flit to and fro, I have committed myself to practice. They call it practice because it's exactly that; it is not easy to train your brain to turn everything off, to find your balance in body poses, to remember to focus on your breath and the present moment.  It's an added bonus that it seems everyone who'd been doing yoga for years has a rockin' body and an even better attitude of gratitude.

In stark contrast to when I seemed to be losing my religion last year, by turning to darkness, drinking, partying, solitude, negativity, Yoga seems to encompass all things love and light. The mind and body connection seem to go hand in hand with the books I'm reading, my outlook on life and a higher state of consciousness.

It seems we are living in strange times that condition us to believe that external factors will fulfill a deep longing within for "something more." A material thing. To win. To have affections and attention romantically. To be the best. Most of the time, however, we find ourselves striving toward that which always seems to lie just beyond our reach. We are caught up in doing, rather than being, in yearning rather than awareness. It is difficult for us to picture a state of complete calmness and yet, in the quiet we reach a level of inner peace impossible to attain through outside means.

I won't be one of those ones who preach my newfound God. Or to get caught up in the cute name brand apparel that retails for ridiculous amounts of money to wear and be trendy. But I will say that when I enter that room, with likeminded bodies and souls around me, all sharing their energy and striving for the same purpose, I do feel like home. I feel right, good and at peace. I've practiced pilates and higher thinking for years, but never stuck to it.

I have a girlfriend who has been urging me to try this lifestyle for many years now. I often would chide her for being all hippie-like with her perceived witchery trickery hocus pocus hooplah. I now join her and likeminded friends for Yoga and we don't say a word to each other but are all there for the same purpose. It's not an instant or easy thing, changing your thinking. But when you really try, there is a definite shift. A shift maybe only noticeable to the very trained eye. But nevertheless, a shift. A shift in perspective, in conscious thinking and in being.

It's a good feeling. I would say Namaste, but that feels a little too cliche for a novice like me.

So for now, I'll leave you with, Peace.

Monday, February 8, 2016

On your terms

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you or care for you. Furthermore, you can't force people to feel for you or behave in the way that you do, would or expect.

When you let expectations go and accept people and situations for what they are, you save yourself so much heartache. Don't wish bad on anyone and just because a relationship didn't work out, you can still silently cheer them on in your own head.

Sometimes, things don't work. Shit falls apart. And you have to let it go. It is simply unhealthy, wasted time to have expectations because you will be constantly disappointed. I find myself wondering why people are the way they are. I ask myself why someone would do something cruel or behave in a certain way when I would never think to act like that. This does not mean that I am right or they are wrong; but simply that we are different.

Differences can make or break a relationship. They can compliment each other or tear you apart. If you can't see eye to eye, constantly have fallouts or feel like you're talking to a brick wall, it may be time to walk. It doesn't mean you have to have a blow out fight, retaliate or be nasty. Sometimes two people love each other and yet, sometimes love is not enough to sustain a relationship. And that's okay. Acknowledge the love, the memories, the lessons you have learned, and move on.

Close the chapter, surrender to however you feel, really feel the sting of it if you have to, use that pain to create something, art, writings, a plan, anything. Don't pretend to not care. What's the use in that? The Universe knows when you are lying to yourself. You're not truly over it until you're over it. And then there's no need to pretend anything. Because, you just are. And above all, don't give up.  Just because it didn't work, does not mean that you won't find someone who will get you. Who will compliment your soul. Where things are easy breezy and not always on someone else's terms.

Move forward, yes, heed warning to love cautiously, with the lessons learned in your back pocket and an open mind and heart. And do so on your terms.

Love madly, always with a full heart....even if you once found that same heart bruised or broken.

Find the courage and hope to put the pieces back together again. You've got to find a tribe who loves like you do. Or it's not going to work. Like, ever. Some of us love harder, deeper and genuinely feel more. We all cope differently. Some of us are fragile and it takes us time to heal.

Don't be bitter. Smile because it once was.

Love always,

Wendy xo

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Living the life of Riley

I agreed to condo-sit in midtown Toronto, for a friend who would be going away for a couple of months. The deal was, I would take care of his dog, and in return get a space to myself to catch up on work, edit and try and get my writing mojo back. At the last minute, I asked if he could bring the dog to his dad's house while I stayed alone. Afterall, at home I have responsibility, duties to walk my own mutt, clean up after it etc and I didn't feel too pumped about minding someone else's pooch.

"I'm starting to feel like this isn't going to work out." The deal was with Riley. I obliged.

Panic stricken, I pulled into the condo feeling that familiar anxiety that creeps in when change presents itself to me. Where do I park? How do I operate this fob key? Where will I get my morning coffee? How do I work this convection oven?

"What happened to you?" my friend asked, almost puzzled. "It's like moving to the sticks has made you completely unconfident in how to do things."

He wasn't wrong. Besides, I was reminded at any time that I could go home. I wasn't stuck here. But I didn't want to go home when scared. I wanted to stick it out. With grit and determination and proving to myself that I could do it solo. And Riley was the perfect excuse to not be able to pack it in when things felt slightly uncomfortable. Do things that scare you. Trust me. There's no other satisfaction like it.

It's a strange feeling being taken care of but wanting your own autonomy to do things independently. After I got locked into the parking garage (my spot is 25 winding turns to the destination) and got honked at and yelled at by a resident, I got my inner guts back. I opened the car door, walked up to his car, tapped on the window and in Carrie Bradshaw fashion yelled "You're SOOOO Busy!"

He then apologized and showed me what I was doing wrong, to the detriment of the lined up cars behind us trying to get out of the retail parking they paid for.

That felt good.

I then hesitantly put Riley's leash on. My own dog bites at any given chance and has made me fearful of other dogs. Even though it's owner says it would never turn, you just never know with nature's wild. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and gave my hand a sloppy kiss, as if to let me know that he would cause me no harm.

Riley is three times the size of my dog. He's an Irish wheaten terrier so I half expected him to pull my arm off at the sight of a tree. I walked by the front desk where the security guard started asking questions about the dog. He handed him some treats from behind the desk and I would then find out that he was a Veterinarian back in Iran and performed hundreds of surgeries on smaller animals. He took the security guard job because of the flexibility it allowed him to study to take the equivalency test here.

They say Toronto is unfriendly. Maybe people just need a reason to make eye contact, or a four legged friend to start up conversation. Everyone loves Riley.

Christmas at my parents had me packing the car and bringing the dog in tow. He sat in the front seat like an angel and didn't so much as make a sound. My own dog gets put in a crate for the entirety at our parents because he goes to the washroom in the house and is a complete mental case. Riley pranced in slowly, let everyone get accustomed to him and he didn't leave my side. He was a great comic relief in certain needed moments and really just had love to give. Sometimes there is strength and comfort in quiet and calm. He doesn't say much, but you know he's there.

I can tend to hibernate in this season. Taking care of a dog reminds you that you must get up and take care of them, even if you don't feel like it. It means you don't open your backyard door, because it's a condo so up and down you go whenever he needs to go. I realize that most of you reading this are parents, and that you are probably rolling your eyes at me. But it's important for me to get my sense of responsibility back. To care for something other than myself. My job. My house. My spouse. My own dog won't let me care for him the way I want to.

They say that the grass isn't always greener on the other side...but sometimes it is. Sometimes you have to trust another, even if something in your past has bitten you hard. Afterall, he's giving his trust in me, a total stranger, left and expected to feed and care for it.

I came to Toronto to get inspired by the city.  Instead I found it in a dog.

Love is, a four legged word.