My Hammer Drill is the only Bully in my Life now.

I found myself reflecting on my recent victories last night and making a bold, surprising, ridiculously awesome claim to my mother. I told her that it’s already beginning to happen. Days pass, occasionally in multiples, that I do not think of her. 

Her who? My beloved Mumsies? Hahaha, no. I adore thinking of that particular brave, inspiring, beautiful, sparkling soul. The “Her” that I wish to banish from all of my thoughts I have mentioned before and is now a feature of my past. Nothing more. 

It was that past however, and all other personal history combined, that made me who I am today. As such, it’s borderline impossible to put it too far aside. Up on a shelf, yes. But not the top one. Lower down, where I can dust it off and look at it from time to time.

Mum was both amazed and slightly incredulous, admitting that much longer periods had elapsed for her before she was able to cut toxic people from her daily thoughts as they had been excised from her daily life. She was also proud and excited for me. She reminded me of this further evidence of my successes.
 
“I never hear from you at work anymore!”

There are no more panicked, tear-stained phone calls as I reached out to the only person who could dependably talk me down from the mental ledges I used to work myself out onto in a regular basis. 

In the first days after the transfer, that stole me from my super organized, ultra-productive backroom and placed me smack in the middle of a box strewn maelstrom that couldn’t even be safely navigated, I would call her three or four times a day. Wondering just what the hell I had gotten myself into and just how badly I had been manipulated and bemoaning the perilous state of my work space. And since it only took til day three for things to start to deteriorate with my boss, there were plenty of distress calls to be made.

Each day that I don’t think of her is a gift. Today will not be one of them, of course, as these words make plain. In fact, time has elapsed between this sentence and the last (pre-work versus post-work) and having started the day with Her on my mind definitely set the stage for an unstable day. A mid-morning disagreement with my hammer drill followed by what seems like my fortieth tutorial by one of my co-workers left me feeling pretty inept and thusly pretty bummed out on myself. 

But, you know what? I got through it. With nobody else telling me things like “everything you are doing is wrong” and “why can’t you learn faster?”, I focused on the task at hand and taking deep regular breaths as I did it. Before I knew it I had completed the lifting head I was building and I no longer wanted to cry. 

It’s bad enough when you’ve got your own voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough. When you are surrounded by others that agree with the absurd, negative mental diatribe you feed yourself, it’s a recipe for disaster. Believe me. I’ve lived it. My new working environment is so far a cry from the redundant, immature drama I was exposed to on a daily basis and I absolutely love it there. I just don’t love my hammer drill! 


Thanks for reading, beautiful people!

Precious Gifts of Nature 

Hello lovelies! Hope that everyone had a spectacular weekend full of love, light, sparkles and words. I’m delighted to say that not only can I see the mountains again from my home now that the rain has chased off that awful smoke, but I was also able to go to them for the first time all summer. Now that the truck is fixed, I look forward to many more expeditions out into the wilderness as summer fades and brings the vibrant golden tones of my favorite season; quite easily the most beautiful time of year for tree watching. 

I have so many more stunning pictures to share with you from my Sunday adventures, but I don’t want to just throw them all at you like paper airplanes or confetti. This isn’t Tumbler. Or Facebook. I will make word mountains to go with them first and only then shall they be released into the universe. 

For now, enjoy a few shots of this amazing fountain about three minutes up the Chehalis Forest Service road near Harrison Mills. We had forgotten all about this treasure until we reached it and wished we had brought more jugs to fill. The people who were parked there when we arrived were filling up two 18 litre vessels like the kind that go on water coolers. That’s thinking! 

It’s crazy to think about how abundant fresh water is here in the summer after the glacial melt. It’s literally everywhere. I’m grateful for this precious gift. I know there are places in the world where water is hard to come by.

See you on Wednesday for more words! Thanks for stopping by. 

Picture Show Sunday #4

In honor of the blessed rain that arrived while I slept, to wash away the smoky skies and bring my precious mountains back into existence, I share these photos of a rain-soaked September adventure from last year. This set of pictures encapsulates a snapshot of time in my old life. I was still struggling with the idea of moving on from a place I had given nearly nine years of my life to and still stuck firmly inside the mental cage I built myself. Far too deep inside the confines of my own skull to be reached by even the most thorough and experienced search party. Turns out, rather than await a dubious rescue that might never come, I had to save myself. 





 These shots were taken and edited by me on my BlackBerry Z10 on September 18, 2016 in Abbotsford, BC. I’ve included a couple pieces of digital art that I created during that period; my main outlet as I tried to keep the poison that infected me from spreading through my creative ocean. One is a self-portrait of a girl lost in space: the cavernous, sprawling universe inside her own mind. The other is a haunted house edit of which I cannot credit the original artist of the pic because I don’t know who they are. Internet image searches- a blessing and a curse! 

Hope you enjoyed the show! Do you have suggestions of things you’d like to see more of? Less of? Let’s talk. This is a safe space. Safer than the old landscape, anyhow! 

When You Tell Your Self (Doubt) to Get Lost

The first stumble is inevitable. After a strong blogging start, my old friend Self Doubt remembers that I exist and reaches out with its clutching, smothering fingers. 

Long time, no see! Why are your hands around my neck? 

It’s always just a matter of time before the old chatter starts up: why bother with words when you pick all the wrong ones? Why give so much of your time and energy with little or no visible return? Why be so brutally honest when removing the layers leaves you with less armor to protect yourself? Why keep reaching out when the faces around you seem blank, uninterested, turned inwards on their own plight? Why bother trying to create when everything’s been said, done, drawn and written before?

Well, I’ll tell you why. Since you asked, dear old friend. It’s because I know you lie. 

Obfuscate. Dramatize. Overestimate your own importance. You see, Self Doubt, I know you don’t have my best interests at heart. Your meddling is presented as being for my benefit, but we both know it isn’t so. The victories you claim only ravage the landscape of my imagination, rather than build anything of importance. 

And, while I’ve got you on the line, I want you to know, your time has come. There’s no room for you here anymore. The space once held for you has been repurposed. Once a storage closet, now a portal into the intriguing, blessed unknown. You stand in what has now become a doorway and I need you to stop blocking my path. 

Lyric poster made today by me. Band: Failure. Song: Otherwhere. This has become my mantra since leaving my old job.

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All of the things I’ve let you take away from me over the years, a clever pickpocket in a crowd of the rich, I now reclaim. This is my space. You are not wanted.

So, Self Doubt, the next time you stroll in with your self-aggrandizing ways, remember that I’ve heard it all before and I’ve chosen to discard your narrow world view.

Words of Wednesday #2: Finding the Way Through Fog and Smoke

We were friends first before it all. Too young to know shit about love, we just were what we were. 

You: spitfire and a devious grin. That part of you never changed. A shame all others did. Me: unaware of the fog I moved through. A year from getting the glasses that brought my world into focus. Blissfully unaware my vision was anything but normal. Seeing you, but never seeing you clearly. It became a theme.

I remember a boy threw a rock at me once. One large enough to leave a bruise down low on my back. You chased him off and asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t. For a long time.

It wasn’t the bruise, but my heart. Small and confused as it was, all of the love in it was yours. Perhaps, you never wanted it. You should know, I didn’t either. I was too young to decide such important things. 

Sometimes you would just show up with your Dad, out of the blue, like a smiling poltergeist come to life. One of these times I tried to hide behind the couch. When you found me, I lied and said I was looking for my cat. I might have even meowed. Here, kitty kitty! I know I was embarrassed. Mortified. Wishing myself invisible. 

It must have worked. Too well. I don’t think you even saw me there that time I found you kissing the girl I thought was my best friend. It broke both my heart and trust, but the shattered pieces helped me build something of my own design. Something to keep me afloat.

Emboldened by ships of both the friend and relation kind, I remember telling you how happy I was when we ran into each other at the station, both of us heading the same place on the same day by chance. Later that afternoon, having confronted the face of death and been stood up by my boyfriend (equal tragedies to the teenage mind), you saw my lie when our paths crossed again and I asked you the time just to have something to say that wasn’t a scream.

Weeks later, I heard about the gunshot. The details began to blur almost instantly. You shot yourself, that’s all I know. It’s all I want to know. Until morbid fascination creeps in and puts my pen to the page. I have no recollection of the things I wrote to you. It’s better that way. The only way it could be even better is if you’ve forgotten too. 

I may have wrote more than one. I remember the sad look in your Dad’s eyes when I would pass the notes along to him. If you wrote back, I have since blocked it out. But I doubt you ever did; so much to do so little time. 

Breaking. Entering. Stealing. Selling things for drugs. Taking every item that wasn’t nailed down with a complete disregard for any vestige of ownership. The world was yours to use as you saw fit. So, you used. 

And the parental grapevine assured that I heard about it from afar. Sometimes it was my Mum who filled me in, speaking softly so as not to further disturb my shattered heart; other times I’d listen to your father as he spoke with honest regret, clouds floating in his sky blue eyes. 

Hoping you’d wake up one day on a new path. One with a future. And somehow, after too many prison stints to count and nearly as many broken relationships, you did. 

The piece of myself I tried to give you, sat unnoticed in your pocket for nearly a decade before I came to realize it was never meant to be yours and took it back. You might have never known it was there in the first place. 

Isn’t it interesting the paths we take that make us who we are and the people we choose to share ourselves with. These words were penned on August 8, 2017 about the first person I tried, erroneously as it turned out, to share my heart with. His picture popped up in my Facebook feed last week and since then, the thoughts of him have returned, skulking around the dark corners of my mind. They don’t quite carry the devastation of yester-year now that my heart has been held safely in the hands of another for the last fifteen years. But, I still think of him from time to time… or who I thought he was anyway. First crushes are like that, or so I’ve read.




Do you still remember your first crush? Did they reciprocate your feelings? 

Thanks for tuning in for some  Words of Wednesday. Join us next week for more free-flowing stories, poetry and artful words! See you again soon! All pictures taken on August 8th, 2017 by me on my bike ride through Bear Creek Park on the way to work.

Picture Show Sunday #3

Hello again friends! Welcome to the third edition of Picture Show Sunday. First off, let me say: thanks for coming by and thanks so very, very much if you are one of those delightful folks who have recently chosen to “follow” me. What’s it they say, “Don’t follow me, I’m lost too”? Ha! Well, screw those guys! Let’s get lost together. 

Step into a world that doesn’t exist… yet! 

Here we have some photo edits I made today. I love to take nature and twist it into something surreal and dreamlike. The originals are the bottom of this post and were taken in the last week by me. Do you like these edits? Do you like to make photo edits? Would you like a feature just about photo edits? Let’s talk. It’s a safe space here. 






All photos taken by Jessica Anne Breisnes.

While We’re being Honest here…

The fabled autographed drumstick from twenty years and eleven Nickelback drummers ago. This drummer was named Mitch; he once bought us Slurpees. It was signed by Ryan Peake, the guitarist. Though the three core members of Nickelback remained the same, they had a revolving drummer door in the late 90s.

I found myself admitting something the other day to a co-worker that I mostly keep to myself, so I thought I’d tell you guys too. It’s not that I’m embarrassed about this fact, nor is it even that much of a well kept secret. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth when spoken aloud. But here it is:

I have seen Nickelback play live 24 times and was once-upon-a-very-long-time-ago quite possibly their biggest fan.

Are you still reading this? Or, did you go <<*blech!*>> and stab frantically at the previous screen button while resisting the urge to blow rainbow chunks across the room at a speed rivaling that of light? Perhaps you dropped your personal device as though it had become the fabled hot potato and fled from the room while bemoaning the state of the music industry and humanity in general? No, you’re still here? Good, I’ll continue with a story that might put us both at ease. 

A poster from the first Finish Line concert. Grand opening of a place where I had so many good times even though I wasn’t old enough to officially be there. We just sat outside this one; it was a few shows before we befriended the owner and we’re allowed to watch the bands play through the back window that faced the horse racing track.

Though spawned in the vast, bleary plains of Hanna, Alberta, the original members of the band migrated west in the mid-nineties. Their sound was much different then, but that’s the case for almost every band of that era still active today. Bands should be allowed to evolve. It’s necessary. 

Random Nickelback Quote #31. Found this in my sketchbook and couldn’t help but smile. This quote is from the late 90s. I’m sure Chad has a much bigger pool now!

My first NB concert was in the classroom size space behind the sales floor of one of our local music stores. Such a loud, thrashing guitar noise in such a tiny room combined with the fact I was pressed up against one of the front speakers by the small-yet-happily-moshing crowd left me with permanent hearing damage. So that was cool! (Joking of course; not cool, very not cool!)

Around that time, shows of that type were incredibly common; pretty much a weekly occurrence if you one was willing to travel. This one took place nearly two hours from home for me, but only minutes away from the house my best friend had recently moved to. Convenient for this one thing, yes, but assuredly disastrous for everything else. 

Just writing NB lyrics in my sketchbook… nothing to see here! Like that time I found a copy of the first album Hesher in Charlie’s Music on Granville and proceeded to hold it high above my head as I made my squealing way to the cash register. There were only about a thousand of these made and they now go for $600.00+ on eBay and the like. Hmmmm….

Did we get lost? Are you still with me? I tend to stumble around in my own personal darkness. When it comes to this space, my blog, I’m aiming for authenticity. It’s important to me to be more ME. I’ve been trying to be less for too long. I think that’s part of my reason for sharing this not-very-secret-and hopefully-not-horrendously-revolting secret here. 

 Yes, I liked Nickelback. I cannot say I do now. The last album I bought of theirs was in 2003 and the last time I saw them live roughly the same time. Although I remain firmly tethered to almost every single band I loved in high school, not so with these guys. Part of it is that I don’t enjoy bandwagons or the act of hopping on them… or finding your previously barren wagon clustering with people. Part of it is the disconnect between the music I fell in love with in the beginning and the pre-packaged, repetitive pop-alt-rock that came after. 

All of these bands kicked just as much or MORE ass than NB and yet almost every single one faded away.

Most of the rest comes down to this, a core question that has haunted me for nearly twenty years: why them? Why did success rocket towards them and not the others sharing their stages? Why did so many bands that I love from the Nineties perish and yet some unknown force took hold of NB’s trajectory and nudged it into outer space? I keep asking myself. But I have no answer. 

Wayside. Sam. Glimmer. Damn the Diva. Noise Therapy. Mystery Machine. Pleasure. Slowburn. 69KM. DDT. Cripple. These bands and more brought the local music scene to bright, stunningly colorful life in the 90s.

I’m much better with questions.