rusty recluse

my limbs are shaking the foundation of this house

growing long and crashing out windows and doors

i’m growing out of the house now

i need to get out of the house now

i’m going to take it with me at this rate

i’m going to walk along the streets with a house to dress my body

i’ll have to take it with me everywhere i go

can you cut me out of the house

i could lose a piece of me and still not care…


jealousy amounted to indifference

falling through into myself

emptied my shopping cart

let my hair, nails grow long

turned to a tower of literature

overshadowed by the bright white light

from the screens, all the screens.

keep keeping track of everything

ya sham

stop doing things to do them

get your own motivation

i barely like the things i do anymore

but the food is still good


never called

lines drift in many directions
yet our means of connections
have become plenty.

everyone is on the run
from the vaults of commitment
like a reverse crime
noone is searching for this gold
but everyone speaks of it.

they just want gold flecks
between sheets
between one another
disappear and never come back

poof – and yet you
stay so close

only a click
a call
a double tap

and, noone is hitting send.

Why Do We Hold Back?

When a person reaches a certain age or hits a new milestone, we expect them to have grown and emotionally matured. Naturally, this is not always the case. People ‘mature’ in different senses of the word across varying timelines.

My concern is the discouragement of people to be honest in their personal relationships and close friendships. This is almost a natural behaviour for me now. I sometimes hold back, but as of late, my track record is brutally honest with a strong bond to my feelings. It doesn’t mull over well with everyone.  

Why are people so inclined to bite their tongues?

Well, feelings are fleeting. They can change in an instant. Why run the risk of turning someone off of your personality or losing a friendship? All for a possible changing feeling…

North America puts a demand on people to keep up the appearance of cool, calm and collected. It’s no wonder we see a rise in mental illness. I say this with complete understanding that some people’s genetics and immanent qualities can lead to mental illness, but I personally believe the added societal pressure of keeping things to yourself can trigger these inherent traits. Quietly refraining from you feelings and not telling a soul.

Think about this: You go on social media and the most annoying people are the honest ones.

“Facebook isn’t a place to vent your true feelings. Talk to a therapist instead. Go cry into your journal.” – Generic Quote everyone has probably heard at least once.

I’m guilty of this, too. But like all feelings, right now in this moment I am vouching for that raw – slightly contrived, well-thought out – honesty. Truly, I wish for more openness in my strong friendships and relationships. If we can casually extend this to our acquaintances and peers and encourage a more open, honest playing field, people will likely translate this behaviour into their personal lives, too.

The trouble with societal pressure is it links back to each and every one of us. If you crave honesty, you have to accept it from all angles. It isn’t always going to be pleasant and certainly won’t be easy. It will be worth it.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t wish for the world to start screaming. Sit back with your feelings and see what they truly mean to you. If you have a strong thought, write it down or say it out loud to yourself. And then bring it back to a person who may or may not want to hear it.

How’s it working for me?

Ever since I started being completely honest with others, I have felt better. I’ve been pretty honest with a few different people, sharing deep-rooted feelings. I’ve also dropped a few honest comments to new friends or dates and found that it helps weed out the incompatibles, too. I am staying away from social media because it is not a venue where I’d like to share my feelings. (However, if you feel comfortable in that environment and you aren’t talking about breaking the law, please go ahead.)

My close relationships are mostly unchanged, save one person who I certainly scared off. But that’s okay. I now know who is worth my time versus who didn’t care enough to reciprocate my need for honesty.

That’s usually a good indicator for who you should keep around.

Ever Gray

I’d just sank into a deep sleep.
A boundary knocked itself down.
My father walked past me on the street.
A surprise.
I flung my head back. Graying he was.

“Dad! Dad!”
I ran. Shrieked.

The emptiness of the space, now full of dark.
“This was your fault. You could have prevented this,” he said, walking away.

There where I thought he’d faked his own death.
There where I thought he’d been hiding out.
An escape.

Still at an end.
A double take in time.
An altered escape.

Ever gray.
Ever death.

Why I’ve Stopped Asking People to Hangout (Starting…Now)

I miss seeing my friends 3-4 days a week like I did when I lived in residence. (“Grow up, Jill!”) It’s so hard to have that kind of commitment these days. Why is that? I speculate…

  • Technology

It doesn’t matter how REAL your plans are: texting makes it so easy to bail.  If you had locked in plans in ancient times, it was harder to get out of them with the absence of the Internet or a smart phone, so you just kinda showed up where you were asked and assumed the other person would show up, too. The “social” media dilemma gives us a false social sense of community but it’s not enough to sustain real relationships so drop your phone in the toilet and come hangout with me.

  • You Can’t Just Pop In


Remember the days of “calling on” your friends? Maybe it’s just a late 90s, early 00s thing, but I used to knock on my friends’ doors to ask to play Mario Party 2 or go hangout with the “k00l sk8boarding boize.” Okay, so maybe we don’t live right next door to our friends anymore, but if we do, we should probably start knocking.

  • We Have More Friends Now?

Most of us are well connected via social channels which help us stay in touch and in tune with 300+ people from our friend groups, work groups and community. Too many friends means more interactions and means more choices between friends. You better choose me, ya douche! (Side note: Most people choose themselves…)

  • Work

Working hours are not necessarily 9-5. Maybe it’s just the freelancer in me, but I work odd hours. I think a lot of millennials can relate to flexible hours and weekend work days. Oh, and when you’re friends with people who are studying, working, freelancing and so on, it’s hard to plan anything concrete because someone is always doing something work-related at 11pm on a Friday night it seems.

  • I’m a bitter old grouch and I have no friends.

Yeah, that’s the one.


Money Tree$

This year, one side of my family is having a VERY frugal Christmas. We are to spend a maximum of $10 on each person in the family. Somehow, this manages to be more painful than the typical “no limits” Christmas. What is under $10 but still considered a quality gift? My initial plan was to make meaningful crafts for everyone but as Christmas time got closer, I did not have the time. (Imagine that!)

However, some of my family members like lottery tickets. Great! OLG sells $10 Gift Packs with 6 scratch tickets. That was easy! But… it was also boring. How could I possibly spruce this up?

Funnily enough, I ended up at a Christmas party with Secret Santa at the forefront. A colleague of mine created a fabulous “money tree.” I decided to follow suit to make these lottery tickets even more fun and exciting.


What You’ll Need:

  • A thick branch of a tree with 4-5 smaller branches, maybe 2-3 feet tall
  • Gardening pot
  • Lottery tickets (I purchased $9 worth per tree)
  • Styrofoam balls
  • Rocks or glass gems
  • Mini-ornaments
  • Candy canes
  • String, fishing line or embroidery floss


Where to Find it All:

  • Branches: Your backyard or neighbourhood park
  • Styrofoam, rocks, glass gems, mini-ornaments, candy canes, gardening pot: Dollarama
  • Lottery tickets: Convenience stores


  1. Find a branch-y branch in your yard or a nearby park.
  2. Cut the styrofoam ball on one end so it can rest flatly.
  3. Put the styrofoam in the bottom of the pot.
  4. Surround the styrofoam with rocks to hold it in place.
  5. Put the branch in the styrofoam.
  6. Cover the styrofoam in more rocks or decorative glass gems.
  7. Poke holes in the lottery tickets.
  8. String embroidery floss through the tickets.
  9. Decorate with ornaments, candy and so on!

(Alternatively, you can use a potted mini Christmas tree and decorate it!)

What are your gift ideas on a budget?