recovery – one year

cs lewis

One year ago today I woke up planning on catching one of my favourite bands (Mother, Mother) at Stampede… instead I wound up in the hospital with a broken pelvis.  It was just one of the many struggles I have had to over-come in this last year-or-so period of my life.. basically ever since I started the blog (when I got laid-off from my long time retail-manager position) things have been constantly crazy and changing.  I can only hope they keep changing, because as hard as this last year has been, I have grown so much, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

july 15, 2012 –  the nurses let me have Finley for comfort ❤

I am thankful for the blog and the support I have received here as well, it has made this year much better for me! Its really interesting to me to see what I wrote, where I was mentally exactly a year ago, so if nothing less the blog has provided an excellent diary.

I have always known that following my passion for riding could result in a serious injury. There is risk to everything in life, but if the reward is greater then to me, you must always risk it. Life is not worth living if you live it afraid. I am not afraid, I am not angry, I accept this and I am thankful for all I have, because I know how much I could have lost.

To all my family, to all my friends, thank you for you’re love and support. Remember that life is worth nothing if you risk nothing, because then you never reap the rewards. I won’t feel fully healed until I can be back on my horse galloping across my land with the wind in my hair because for me, there is nothing in life better than the freedom I feel on the back of my horse, and there is nothing in life that will stop me from going after that.

Pretty optimistic right?  Read the full (aka super-long) story of my accident here.

These two girls have been my best friends since elementary.  I will forever appreciate that it was these two who were there for me at the time and in the days to come following my accident.

the kind of friendship where time and distance come between, but nothing ever really changes

..and they are responsible for the best thing that has happened to me last year, Cedric Diggory!!

Cedric Diggory 16

There is really nothing in the world that makes me happier than animals, talk about creature comforts!

Of course, the best part of it being a year later is that I have been back riding my beautiful horses!

Wild hearts can’t be broken..

xo, aiyanajane

ONE Year Later

Guys, its been ONE YEAR since I started my blog.

blessing in disguiseI was going to make this a far more upbeat post and then look what happened in Boston. Not making for an upbeat Aiyana. Also lets get real here, I’m still pretty emotionally unbalanced from the whole unexpectedly-single thing and I’m just not up for pretending to be one of those super happy go lucky bloggers today. Sometimes I feel like I should just write what I really feel everyday, but then I remember that The Bloggess has that niche pretty well covered but she’s WAY funnier than I am because she buys giant chickens and names them Beyonce and I’m just pessimistic and broke from my shopping addiction. So mostly I post outfit photos because people are way more interested in that than they are in self pity. Rightly so, I mean really who wants to hear it? But unfortunately for you I broke my camera, so self pity is all I got.

Sometimes I feel like ALL I DO is complain on here about the latest thing, but this entire last year has literally been one. thing. after. another.  ALL YEAR. I would refer you to my first post, and would like you to note that I am still pretty much just as angry about it now.  I actually started blogging because while being an outlet for my anger in some ways, it also forces me to stay positive (or at least, compose a positive post) and it occupies my time.  See, if given time to dwell, I tend to get depressed.  What happened in Boston is a perfect example.  What happened in Stuebenville. What happens every day all over the world. If given the time to think about what happened to me today, or last week, or last year, or five years ago- I will sit, and I will dwell and I will cry.  I’m pretty sure today alone I’ve broken down in tears at least ten times.  Sometimes there are just so many things wrong in the world I can’t help it.

The main reason I started a blog, is because I have always felt, even from a young age, compelled to write.  To write is to convert emotion to language that a man who has never before felt it can understand.  How best to choose the words to explain a thing like love, or senseless hate?  For me, writing has always been an emotional process, it is an expulsion of feeling in the written form, it is therapy.

It’s something I’ve struggled with this whole year of posting.  In some ways, this blog is therapy, which is not always pretty.  I try to stay positive because for one thing, really, I KNOW NO ONE wants to hear my shit… but sometimes that’s why I have to blog it. In this last year my life has been changing non-stop and I have been burning out and going crazy and trying to get by. Its been really hard and I have needed an outlet and I am thankful for all my lovely readers who put up with it.  

I’ve had a very painful year of what I would consider to be personal betrayals and downright bad luck. First, I was lied to by my supervisors for months prior to being laid off at the last legal moment, after working for le chateau for over 3 years. I was laid off because they were closing that store. (Recently I discovered that in fact, it has been renovated and is reopened. Another giant slap in the face, but whatever.) I started the blog, then my laptop immediately broke because I couldn’t afford a new one, so I used my then boyfriends computer.  He did not clear his browser history prior to giving me his password and as a result, I accidentally learned he was contacting “undesirables” (shall we call them) via craigslist.  Quite delightful.  After five years together, I moved out and moved home. A few weeks later, while riding a horse my friend had been having problems with, my pelvis was broken when she reared and landed on me, leaving me bedridden and unable to work (or do anything else) all summer long.  My champagne birthday was spent sans champagne with family and a few close friends, just a few days after being released from the hospital.  Two weeks after my accident, my high school “best friend” and I got into an argument which ended our friendship.  It wasn’t until the blatant hypocrisy of the situation came to light, that I realized our friendship would only be filled with pain until she could confront her own issues, that I decided the fight was no longer worth it.  Because of my injury I had to withdraw from SAIT and instead, enrolled in the LAA program at Robertson College. When I moved back to Calgary for school, (I thought) I made it clear to the guy I was seeing how difficult it would be to continue our relationship and that I would not be coming back, but he was quite convincing that we could make it work.  I moved to the city in with a family friend… who is actually, literally, certifiable.  I had to move out abruptly, I couldn’t follow her ever-changing rules for cleanliness, the schedule for the cats, or pretty much anything else. Really she just needed her own space, which is okay, I just would have preferred not to have been subjected to months of Nazi cleanliness inspections only to be kicked out on a whim.  Another blow, but I picked up moved again (into a spare storage room, boo yah) with my best friend. I landed an early practicum and completed it by going to school in the mornings, then working off my practicum hours in the afternoon. When I was officially offered a position in the Firm I was very excited, then he told me by text two days later that he was having a hard time staying committed and that with our jobs it was too hard to see me. I’ve never been dumped before, but out of the blue, via text, because of getting a job seems like a pretty shitty first experience to me.  Then Boston got bombed and it somehow didn’t matter as much, and at the same time it started hurting even more because the world can seem like such a senseless place.

The thing about the world is, it keeps going.  We keep going.

So… that’s pretty much where I’m at. All this year though I have been telling myself that maybe its just a year of bad karma or something, actually, I’ve been kinda clinging to it- that it will be one year! Anyways, if my theory holds (and it will damn you!) according to this sign, which marks the beginning of the year of the terrible things, April 13, 2013 should be the end of it. So I am counting on things getting better from here on out.  Power of positive thinking people. Apparently that works.

thanks for reading my loves. tomorrow is another day .

xo, AIYANAJANE

goodbye 2012

I really meant to have a NYE post for you lovely readers, but my the holidays turned out to be a great deal busier than I anticipated and I didn’t get it together.. whoops!

This year I have found myself focused so entirely on the importance of family, and so rather than blog and take outfit photos I was spending time with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, my brothers, my parents and my friends- the family I choose. The closest my little atheist heart comes to believing in God is when I think about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. I  am so blessed to have such a supportive, loving group of people at my back, I could never have made it through 2012 without their help.

This was a very difficult year for me, one I have to say I am happy to see the end of.  I was reading my cousins blog, and she posted ” Remember! Every year must end with the feeling that you never had such a good year.” A lovely sentiment to be sure, but sometimes years go by where things just seem to be going badly despite your best efforts.

That positive attitude however, seems to be a distinctly Danish trait from my personal observations. I am so glad to have that Danish heritage behind me, my grandparents came to Canada after they were married to raise their family. The Danish have been ranked as the “happiest” people on earth, but I doubt they are any happier than any other first world countries, it is the cultural attitude that the Danes have that makes the difference, a strong belief in the value of hard work and a positive attitude. I’ve learned so much from my Grandparents, and feel still that there are so many stories left to hear, that I would much rather spend my time with them than primping, shooting, editing and posting. They have always instilled in us the importance of being happy with what you have. As I write this there is Rice Pudding on the stove upstairs and my Grandparents are due to be here any minute.

This year I have felt within me an urgency to be with my family, thinking back I wonder if everything that happened was only to bring me closer to them. 2012 was NOT a banner year for me, and no amount of my Danish heritage can put a positive spin on it.

First I was laid off, then weeks later I discovered my (ex)boyfriend of nearly 5 years had been extensively browsing the craigslist personals section. Jobless, suddenly single and homeless, I moved back to my parents farm. It was lovely to be home in the countryside and I spent as much of those early summer weeks swimming and riding. Then on July 15, 2012, a week before my champagne birthday, I was riding a friends somewhat unruly mount when she reared over and landed on me, crushing me beneath her and fracturing my pelvis in two places. I was bedridden for weeks, and unable to go to school in September as had been my original plan. Since breaking my pelvis I’ve suffered a streak of minor injuries, it seems excessive and I am hoping for a respite. I had an eye infection, dislocated my knee, a painting fell pointy side down and landed on my forehead (you can still see the dent!), I also accidentally gave myself a black eye and most recently, I fell down my stairs and popped the bursa sack in my elbow. I’ve been joking with my family and friends that I only had to make it to the end of 2012 and my accident streak might end, I hope that proves to be the truth! Once I was healed enough, I went back to working at the Rosebud Theatre, and found a legal administrative assistant program at a different school, Robertson College, that started in November.

This year as I said, has been full of challenges but it is the attitude with which we face our struggles that will define our happiness. I’ve been back in Calgary for a couple months now, so being home over the holidays was a welcome change of pace. Though so many things went “wrong” for me, I feel that without those obstacles I would never have found the strength in myself to overcome them. The greatest obstacle is not physical, but emotional, and to the detriment of your heart some times you find out who people really are.  In 2012 I had to let go of a few people who I loved deeply because I finally realized their treatment was not reflective of my treatment of them. As the year comes to a close I look at myself from where I was last year and cannot help but feel pride, because throughout the difficulties, despite sometimes feeling like it was completely hopeless I am the happiest now that I have ever been.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

in 2012 I finally realized I deserve to be loved and treated with dignity and respect. It seems so obvious but “love” is not always true even if spoken aloud with a great many assurances. Words, I believe, are the most powerful tool man has but so often we forget their power, and too often is the truth drowned out by other voices. Love loses its value when people forget that without respect, love is as empty as their words.

This year, for all my trials, I am fortunate to have finally realized my personal value. To those who value themselves, it seems obvious, but there are many who feel worthless, an existence without purpose or love is empty. Questioning the point of your own existence can be a dark path to wander down, but when you find the light, the reason for your search and your purpose,then suddenly the darkness is nothing. It is not the dark we fear, it is the unknown. As a young adult there is so much left unknown, and an immense pressure it put on young people to figure out what to do with their lives, when I graduated high-school I was entirely in the dark, and being asked by every adult what my life plan was was about the least helpful thing of all time. The years I spent after school- working for a company that threw me under the bus as soon as it became convenient, living with a boyfriend who treated me like his personal servant, hiding in the city from the people who would ask me what I wanted to do with my life. I needed those years, those experiences, those revelations- that painful realization that love is not always enough, before I could find the truth in my own heart.

The most important thing to remember, is that without those you love you have nothing. Often over the Christmas holidays I find myself disgusted with our consumer based culture- hoards of people trampling one another on boxing day to save a few dollars. Materialism, consumerism, selfishness and thoughtlessness drive the economy along while family falls to the wayside. Love and family, not material things, are the most important part of life. Part of the urgency I feel to be with my family stems from confronting the impossible- my grandparents both have Cancer. It makes me sad when I speak with people for whom visiting their grandparents is a chore, because for me it has always been one of the greatest joys in my life. How can I think of my personal vanity when I am facing the reality of their mortality? They will be my first priority always, and I find myself wishing for more time. More time to blog, more time to spend with them, with my friends, or family, more time for me, for doing nothing, for doing everything. Time is a fickle thing, moving forward in leaps and bounds- perfect moments that last forever and the rush of time lost in the menial monotony of the day to day.

One thing is certain, every second that goes by is a moment of your life you will never get back. As the last seconds of 2012 tick away I find comfort in the belief that though 2013 will undoubtedly bring with it a whole new series of challenges, each one will be another opportunity for growth, a catalyst for change and an opportunity for something new and better. The new year represents new hope, and it is my hope that each of you may find your purpose, a lightness within your soul that allows you to shine. Every life has darkness in it, if you find yourself feeling as though nothing has changed, as though you are stuck in a hopeless place that seems inescapable, search within your heart and make the changes that will make you happy. As individuals we control our fates, and though we should try to strive to be decent, in our failings we must have empathy for others. Remember that a single kind word can make the difference in someones day, and a single hurtful slur can shatter a heart. Your words have power, your heart has the truth, your mind has value and it is up to you to find your voice.

I wish you peace and love in 2013

xo, aiyana

getting back on the horse

September 15th marks 2 months to the day since I broke my pelvis (x2) when the horse I was riding reared over and landed on me. When I was in the hospital (and in the weeks that followed) the query I was met with most is, “Are you ever going to ride again?”

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There is a saying among riders, that you aren’t a real rider until you’ve fallen off, and there is an expectation that you will get back on as long as you are able.  Well, it was immediately apparent to me back in July that I would NOT be getting back on anytime soon… but one of the first things I thought of  (right after OMFG OWW!) was that the day would come when I was back on, and next time I wouldn’t be bested.

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The reason young riders are taught that falling off makes you a real rider is because everyone falls.

The reason they’re told that you always get back on is because you must not let the fear of falling stop you from learning to fly.

Fear of falling- of failure, will cripple you just as effectively as a horse landing on you. You must not let your fear stop you from trying. Bad things will always happen, but whats much worse is to stop living your life in the way you see fit for fear of the consequences.

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So take the leap and enjoy the fall, for all we have to live for is the moment. Make as many plans as you like, but if you forget to live for today your plans mean nothing in the end. More people need to take time to disconnect from their virtual world and live in the moment- I get so caught up blogging and facebooking, tweeting and texting and pinning that I forget that the world outside my door is so much more amazing than having the entire world at my fingertips.

 

September 14, 2012 was the first time I rode since my accident. When I got on my horse I cried (possibly just cause I’m female and insanely hormonal right now) but my tears were not of fear but of joy. There is no where on this earth I feel more complete than on my horse and losing that for the last 2 months was incredibly hard. Falling was hard, staying down was harder, so I got up. 

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I rode my beautiful Misty (pictured above) she’s the first horse I fell off of, the horse I learned how to ride on, and it seemed right that it would be her I rode for the first time since I sustained the worst injury of my riding career. She’s also 23 this year, meaning I don’t have much time left on her back and making this ride all the more special. I feel like we have a connection that you can’t put into words, but you can see it and you can feel it and without that I felt empty. Today after work I think I’ll ride my lovely Lina (below) and someday soon, I’ll be back on Soda (the horse that pancaked me) and I will not be afraid.

What I love most about riding is that I feel free. Its just me, my horse and the ground underfoot. I can fly on her back, and I can fall and I am thankful that I’ve always been able to get back up. Fear of the fall that’s bound to come will not stop me from loving the flight. When the day comes that I fall and can no longer rise and least I’ll know that all my days prior were not wasted. Accept your mortality, that your life is finite and live in a way that makes you feel free and happy. Be present in the moment, with your friends, your family, your animals – put away your phone and connect with something real.  Ask yourself- are you happy with your life? If the answer is no then today is the day to change that, not tomorrow, not the next day, now.

You are responsible for your own happiness, so make the jump and fear not falling,  you can fly! But first you have to make the leap!

-xo, a.