Sunday, 28 December 2008

Thursday, 18 December 2008


I'm in Jamaica, on vacation, and loving it. Christmas and New Year's are that much more special when I'm here.

I've met, and have been spending time with, my niece - she's a sweet little person; been hanging out with a few friends and totally enjoying being with my family.

Heard I missed about 5cm of snow that fell the day after I left Ontario. Also heard that there will be heavy snowfall tomorrow.

Oh well. Look at that, eh?


Monday, 8 December 2008

In life, always have something to look forward to

I'm not sure when I first read that quote, but it was a long time ago. We're talking probably ten years or more. Over these many moons, it still becomes new with every use.

That's how...well, that's part of the way I live my life - always having something to look forward to.

Right now? Christmas with the family from which I am. For the first time in a long time (read: two years) we'll be together, LS. Can hardly wait. We've been talking about the good, bad and the indifferent - especially these past few weeks.

We look, in amazement, at the old things; look, in anticipation, delight and hope, toward the new things that are already upon us.

Blessing a run wi dung, an a ova tek wi.

In the words of Amy Amatangelo, "True that, Ruthie, true that."


Friday, 28 November 2008

The Mentor

Thought I'd share the nomination that won the TRIEC's 2008 Mentor of the Year award for Michael.

He was, truly, surprised.

My mentor, Michael, motivated me by conducting a number of one-on-one sessions in one of his office's meeting rooms. That may seem like a small thing to some but it was an incentive to continue working toward that great career move. Michael also helped me through several versions of my Resume and Cover Letter, my :30s elevator pitch and mock interviews. He pointed out shortcomings ever so kindly. Even the little things were not overlooked. For e.g., for my first meeting with him, I arrived about 20 minutes early. Michael advised that I should try not to arrive more than 10mins early for an interview. Makes sense if you think about it.

Whenever he had a tip, he'd either send an email or call. He'd follow-up, too, to ensure that I was carrying out my 'homework' - making the connections we'd talked about. When I got called for the interview, he unabashedly shared my excitement. It felt like I had someone in my corner. Michael provided his contact info early on and, if he was going to be inaccessible at any time, he'd give me an early heads-up.

I was happy to work with him working with me. Michael 'pushed' me ...ok, strongly encouraged me to tap into the IABC network of Communications professionals. Even though that was not one of the organizations with which he was very familiar, he realized that it was important to my profession. Needless to say, he coached me on what to say and how to best approach the right persons within the organization. When I did not succeed in making contact initially, he kept at me to keep at it, pointing out a change in strategy. It worked! I got in touch with another executive and that actually led me into a conversation with her. While the complimentary invitation to the networking session that we were aiming for did not come to fruition, a new professional relationship did! The exec has since invited me to be a LinkedIn connection and has also referred me to one of her connections to be considered for a new position!

Michael's advice was multi-fold. My Resume and Cover Letter metamorphosed through his input. My :30s elevator pitch became much improved. I also took his advice on arriving no more than 10 mins early. The better part? His advice on preparing for the interview. It was encouraging to hear that I should just be myself as I present well - and I shouldn't underestimate that. More importantly, he emphasized that I should convey an attitude of helping the organization, as opposed to focusing on what they could do for me.

After I got the job - which he was absolutely thrilled about (he was the second party I called after my family) - he gave me very helpful on-the-new-job tips (be a great team player; be willing to help and learn and make your boss look good :)

The best part? At the end of my first month on the job, he emailed congrats and checked on how things were going! That wonderful gesture was much appreciated and forms a great part of the reason for my nomination of Michael ____ for Mentor of the Year 2008. He doesn't know I'm nominating him. I'm thinking it'd be a nice surprise!


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

"These are for you"

I attended an awards ceremony earlier this evening. The person whom I'd nominated, won.

After accepting his framed award, along with a handful of beautifully arranged Calla Lilies, he made his way back to the crowd. When he got near me, he said, "These are for you." I couldn't help but chuckle. After I'd graciously accepted the lovely arrangement, with thanks, we hugged.

I'm glad to have done something that meant so much; something that brought so much joy to someone else.

It was a good evening.


Saturday, 8 November 2008

Welcome to the 21st Century! We've been waiting for you.

Thoughts on the now-history US Presidential elections.

"What made him (McCain) think that he would win...
...with Sarah Palin on the ticket? She looked like the other side of Hilary...until she opened her mouth."

I told my sis that had her question stop at the word 'win', the response would have been quite different.

Hardly any vocalized support from the icons of the civil rights era (read: Jesse Jackson et al.)"

I'm thinking that had Obama strongly aligned himself with them, it might've appeared to be a continuation of those past efforts at the presidency. In addition, the journey would be burdened by racial under and overtones. They paved the way and he extended it to a road less traveled - make that, never traveled.

Of the two candidates, Obama seemed to be better able to bring the USA in line with the psyche of the rest of the world - at least with other progressive countries. His being the first African-American to be elected President of the USA adds weight and credibility to the baton. The USA, always so great, and yet, the fly in the soup - a certain backwardness, if you will - even in this here 21st C.

"So many people gathered at Grant Park in Chicago. They wanted to share that piece of history. The realization of Martin Luther King Jr's dream."

People saw the opportunity to play a part in the realization of the dream.

And so I say to the US of A: "Welcome to the 21st Century! We've been waiting for you!"


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

America is old enough, isn't she?

I was watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as they broadcast the results of the 2008 USA Presidential elections that came to an end tonight. Their take was very funny and creative. Without warning, at that decisive moment, Jon uttered, "I would just like to say, if I may ... that at 11 o'clock at night, Eastern Standard Time, the president of the United States is Barack Obama."

A quick toggle over to CNN showed an extensive expression of jubilation.

The USA has finally caught up with so many other countries. Whether the outcome was the first woman Veep or the first African-American Prez, there is a sense that that shouldn't really be news, here in 2008. CNN had a quick fact earlier: "If elected, Barack Obama will be the first president born in Hawaii."

When I saw that, I thought, at this point, that should be one of the main ...distinctions, if you will. But, we know why it isn't; why Obama's win is so significant. It's historic; something the world has never seen before. And so, the world has, tonight, changed in some way, shape or form.

The victory is not just his. It heralds - while confirming, if you will - a change in the psyche of other African-Americans; of (insert origin here) -Americans; of so many people around the globe, where, as the saying goes, 'geography is now history.' The kind, or extent, of the change? We shall see, shan't we?

Still, there's a lingering sense that America should have got here already.

After all, she's old enough, isn't she? I dunno. I do know that in these elections, she displayed social, political and democratic maturity.

And so, on this day, Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama, born August 4, 1961, has become the 44th President-elect of the United States of America.

My parents were married on November 5, 1969. Tomorrow is their 39th Anniversary. Happy Anniversary guys!!!


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Dnafcnatgada: Only for the poetry

I've decided to share poems from my tweens to the now, right here. I'll try to resist the temptation to edit them prior to posting them. However, I shall also reserve the right to reproduce them in other media and edit, as I deem necessary. I learned much about writing while writing, over the years. The argument may be made about 'raw honesty'. But, there's something to be said for learning the right...well, on second thought (and you can tell I've started having second thoughts), we'll see.

Just about the time I'd started writing - poems, short stories, diarya-into-journal entries - I assumed the pseudonym "Dnafcnatgada". Lying in bed one night when I was about fourteen, it just came to me. Like, it was there for only me to take. And I took it. I still don't know what it means, and it still doesn't matter.

I use it only for the poetry.

Leafing through my (rather worn, yellowing and spineless) notebook tonight, I found this one I'd penned twenty years ago - give or take about two weeks. It's dated Saturday, October 15, 1988. Was I in love? I think so.

When I see you again

I came to see you today
And again, you were not at home.

When I see you again
I'm going to cry in your arms
'Cause I missed you so much.
And I'll tell you how much
I longed to see you.

But first
I will demand to know
Just where you were
And what you dared to place before me.
I would like to know
Just how much you value your time with me
How much you loathe the time without me.

But, after that
I will forgive you
As I always do.
When I see you again.


Saturday, 18 October 2008

New life: "Babies are a great way to start people."

Today, October 18, 2008 is a special, wonderful and blessed day! It's the birthday of the new baby in the family! Amazing!

Who would've thunk it? My sis and her husband became first-time parents today! New baby was born at 7:07pm (their time) weighing 6 lbs 6oz.

I'm an aunt! OK, so, writing it doesn't make it any more or less real.

We are filled with joy so intense, it undoubtedly overwhelms the (albeit, inkling of) anxiety that was, I imagine, secretly shared by all of us.

So, our mom and dad are grandparents for the first time. They are positively grinning, I tell ya!

In under fifteen minutes from the time sis went into the labour room, there were the cries. The sound of new life: "And you're slapping me, becaaause?" LOL!

My other sis said she, along with our other sis - do the math :) got a quick peek at the bundle of beauty. There she was looking around like, "Soooo, I'm here. Let me take this all in. Ahm, what do I do now?"

Sis said our mom came out beaming to announce that the new born looks so much like her (now exhausted) mother.

Of course, I've been in touch since they were on the way to the hospital. Thankfully, my sis has been facilitating (almost) step by step reports. I also talked to our dad who'd stayed home - a bit too nervous is my guess :)

I finally got to talk with the new mom. She related what she felt and what it felt like and how she felt and what she did and how many times she did it... I was just as excited to hear it.

Our mom was with her the whole time (hers was the hand she held), wiping her face and encouraging her throughout. Her hubby was taking the pics and vids.

Thank God, all is well. Mother and baby are doing fine, with baby now enjoying her first meal.

They've promised to send the pics and vids until I get to meet her. Hopefully, that's in another couple of months.

What's that quote? "Babies are a great way to start people."

True that!


Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Someone said something nice to me the other day. It was empowering, too.

She said, "You have leadership written all over you."

I smiled.

The annual kind.


Sunday, 28 September 2008

Platonic influence

Not sure whether you've ever heard this Platonic quote: "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something." Plato, (c. 428BC - c. 348 BC) that most influential Classical Greek Philosopher, was really on to something there, wasn't he?

Anyway, this is one of those times when I'm kinda torn between having something to say and feeling totally obligated that I have to say something

Now, however, is not a good time. And I certainly do not want to be perceived as being in Plato's latter category.

So, until a good time, more anon...


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Educate, Enlighten and Inspire

Sometimes, you just need to be inspired.

I have been invited to speak for, well, just 4-5 minutes at an awards ceremony to be held on September 30, 2008. Mine will be part of an Assistant Deputy Minister's (of the gov. of Ontario) presentation, recognizing a couple of organizations that have made memorable contributions to immigrant success here in Canada.

Of course, I am looking forward to the occasion and have humbly accepted the invitation. Prior to being invited, my testimonial regarding the positive experience I've had with the Career Bridge/OPS Internship for Internationally-trained professionals, preceded me. I shall be speaking to that.

More importantly however, I believe, is the opportunity I will have to make a real and positive difference in the lives of newcomers to Canada. My hope is that I will educate, enlighten and inspire.

And sometimes you just need to be inspired.

I'm preparing accordingly, in order to "fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run." After all, as Kipling continues, mine will be "the earth and everything that's in it..."


Monday, 8 September 2008

"If you wish to be a writer, write!"

When Epictetus penned (or said) those words, little did that Greek Stoic philosopher of the first Century know that they would come to mean so much to me. Within, there is a tight-rope woven by the sanguine mix of love and reverence, for the art of perfect writing; this is what separates me from, and yet, connects me to home. Like Frost said, "Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in." Ahhh. That belonging.

There is so much to write; so much to write about things known and almost completely. As a former professor once told me, "The last word has not been said on anything." True dat.

So, ok. Fine. I know, the whole "perfect writing" thing is a tad elusive. But, you do see where I'm coming from, right? Or, at least, where I'm heading? Each of us sets out to do something remarkable, great, incredible, noteworthy, memorable, extraordinary with our lives. Whether we know it when we are young, or not, that's the journey upon which we embark. Perhaps it's not until we are in our late teens or twenties (for some), thirties or forties (or even later, for others) that we come to recognize the God-given talent or the passion or the zeal or the yearning or the knack or the gift or or or ... But, when we do recognize it, we also come to understand that everything in our lives, up to that point, played a valuable role in getting us there. And everything before that point was a part of the journey toward doing that thing extraordinary and memorable.

Here's the thing (and I do love Monk, yes). Recognizing the it, is one thing. Understanding the value - the life-saving value - of the it, is quite another. It must be life-saving value that is inherent in the it. You know the saying, "Good intentions die unless they are executed", right? The it is kinda like that. Actually, the it is exactly that. Have you never felt like you're suffocating? Just running out of live-saving air? All because you are just not doing that which you should be? In order to live, to the fullest, you need to do it.

And, understand completely that this it needs to be executed by you - the only person in the history of mankind who was ever born to do it. Then, go right ahead and do it, with everything that is in you.

Do it!

That's the tight-rope I've been walking. At some points in my life, I've balanced pretty well; covered some ground. Other times, I've got distracted by doubt. And doubt is slippery stuff. Other times, I lose my footing because my eyes are looking on at others achieving the extraordinary and immediately I begin to wonder whether I could really achieve that; they're doing what I want to do and already are doing it so well...what's the point? Even if I could, do I have the time? Enough time? Time. Time. Oh, the thoughts that occupy my mind.

Clearly, it has taken me a while to realize that that which I was born to do is only mine to do. So, there is no 'perfect writing'. There is, however, my writing. And, when I write what I should write; what is mine to write; what I was born to write; and, what is more, write to the last drop of this wonderful, amazing, hilarious, fantastic, enigmatic, beautiful, incredible, glorious, fragile, virginal, kaleidoscopic adventure of my life, I would have, without doubt or fear - not even a little bit - done the extraordinary and the memorable (and all I mentioned before and then some!)

And I'd have made it home!


Thursday, 28 August 2008

A New Thing


PT. 1

They say I must situate myself in my Thirty-something.
It's The Haunting.
It has to be.
The feeling that I'm waiting on my life to start beyond Thirty-something.
Call it now, Close-to-Forty.
For that is nearer truth.
That is truth, actually.

The feeling cripples me.
Makes me want to go out and do things.
Things I know I can do
But won't do
For The Haunting takes over.
Too late, it says. Too

Too too late.
So, why start?
And I get lost
In the lie.
It is a lie
But, it’s now familiar.

The familiar, Haunting
Overwhelming no.

That haunting, familiar, lie and no
Has become
Almost home
But not.

It's comfortable not to move.
It's comfortable to under-achieve
While always seeming to overreach -
What was that about o'erleaping ambition?

I don't want this to be my home.
I do not want to live here.
Get me something else that is not familiar,
Not so familiar.
(No one will hand it to me.)

I will get me something else
That is
The unfamiliar

I can't

Beyond my wildest and most vivid imagination.

I mightn't recognize the Me I'll come to be
I'll be out of the reach of
The Haunting.
I'll be out of the reach of voices that pretend to wrap me in comfort,
But whisper only lies;
But tell me only no.

And out of their reach
I'll fly
Thirty-something, maybe even
Light years

PT. 2

It's The Haunting
You know.
You have to reach down
Deep down
Deeper still…
Deeper yet
Just a little more

That's it.
That's where honesty
The truth that only you know
Beyond all doubt.
This is what you know in your heart
To be so.

No one else knows.

Truth is hidden
Truth is ugly
Truth is

I'm scared to death!
I'm so afraid of failing
At that which
I believe I would do best.
That which could not be done by any other
As well as it could be done by me.
It is only mine to do
It is unique to me.

It's The Haunting.
It has to be.

How could I possibly fail
At that which is uniquely mine to do?

I don't know how -
I just can't seem to get past
That I will.

And, what is more
I don't want it bad enough.
I need to want it

I want to want it bad
My want has to become
Something stronger -
A need.

A need to want it like I want nothing else.
A need to want it like
It's the only thing I've ever wanted in my life.
The only thing I want to do with my life.
The only thing that is my life.

Begin to believe
That I can reach down,
Way down past
The twice-defeated
The honesty
And The Haunting
And the truth
That now is.

Touch a tri-mass of
Love and life and laughter.
Inspire me.
(Sometimes you just need to be

My fingertips have touched it.
I'm wrapping my hands around it.
I'm holding tightly to it
Squeezing the life out of it;
Squeezing my life out of it.

And I find myself
Where I want to be,
(Where I need to be,