Sunday, February 05, 2017


"Is this the snowflake that attacked you?"

I surrender. I'm getting out of the sandbox. I don't want to play nice. There is no way you are getting me out of my pyjamas today and, yes, I might choose to have candy for supper. 

I can definitely put the "I give in" stamp of authenticity on this day. 

I knew when I cut myself on my own pyjamas this morning that it was time to raise the white flag. Seriously? Who cuts themselves on their own pyjamas?! 

Me, that's who, so I give in for today. Unto itself, while absurd, an attack from ones own pyjama bottoms might not be enough to shut down a day, but when it is on top of an extremely stressful time that is chock-a-block with a massive dental bill that will sink me into an even deeper financial quagmire of insurmountable debt, impending unemployment, rent going up next month, no money to pay for PTSD counselling and a finished book that I have no idea how to publish, I'm feeling a little down in the dumps right now, so I say:

"Thanks for knocking the stuffing out of me, life. The snowflake bling attack by my own pyjama bottoms was the last straw! I am going undercover for the day to try to find a way forward without losing my mind." 

Yep, it was the offending snowflake captured in the mugshot above. Pyjama bling pushed me over the edge. Hand bleeding, cleaned and bandaged, I sit down to write this - not because I want you to feel sorry for me (...feel free to do so if you want, or just roll a bottle of wine into the room and leave quietly), but because I know that we all have days like this. 

We cope, we cope and we cope some more. We exercise our stiff upper lips until we could use them as shelving; however, sometimes, you just gotta give in to the chaos and do whatever it will take to get you through the moment. 

And giving in is different than giving up. I don't want to end it all. I actually want it to be better, easier, kinder and more gentle. I don't want to look at my pyjamas as a potential threat to my personal security - that kinda takes the pleasure out of pyjama day - but I do have the capacity to adjust my angle to the shit storm swirling around me. I cut the offending snowflake off my jammies. It's a shame really - it totally added to the pretty winter ambiance of the garment ...but not worth the health risk. 

I love that snowflake. I hate that snowflake. I was so happy when I bought these pyjamas. I wore them when I was taken up island to the lovely cabin for my 55th birthday. I sat in them in front of the cozy wood-burning fireplace and felt so content and special. Who knew they were plotting and preparing to turn on me at any moment. I have to believe it was an accident. Life... full of the unexpected: joy and hardship and sorrow and ease.

The pyjamas are like certain other experiences in my life. They do not intend to harm or make me suffer and yet I do suffer. Am I choosing to suffer? Yes, the cut hurts from the offending snowflake. I am astounded by the depth of the puncture it was able to make in my normally resilient hide. Was it done with malice? Was it about me at all? Of course not. Even I am not off the beam so far that I believe that. It's likely that most of the other things that have tripped me up on my path of life were not done with an intent to leave me penniless, harmed or on the streets. Yet, that has happened before and could happen again.

S**t happens all of us. Rich, poor, powerful, weak - no one is exempt. 

I sure hope I don't end up out of work and homeless. I've been there already when I was younger and it was awful. The prospect of it terrifies me. I'm too old and sore to sleep on the ground or to stay up all night so I can stay safe from attack and sleep during the day. 

I wish I could stay where I am currently working. I went into it knowing that probably wouldn't happen as I am just covering someone's leave. I love this job. I love the people with whom I work. It is the first time in my life I have felt safe enough to be myself and the first time I have felt valued for my work and not "othered" because of my identity. I am eternally grateful to my friends and colleagues for the experience and I know that I am doing a good job. They have told me so and I know because I feel valued and valuable for my skills and my work ethic. My identity doesn't come into play any further than being a good person, a kind person and a hard-working person so, of course I don't want to leave. 

Imagine feeling safe and valued for the first time in your life - feeling a part of something for the first time in your life and then potentially having to walk away from it. The prospect of it sucks. It's life. I'm grateful for the experience, hopeful that I may get to continue to have it some way and afraid of never feeling safe again if it ends. ...Not to mention, having to leave working with some of the best, most kind people I have ever known! I will carry them with me always. 

Even in writing this, I fear punishment for speaking any of the truth of my past experiences - many things we fear come from the reality of our histories; nonetheless, I suppose there comes a time when you just say what is going on for you. Without malice, without expectation for change, you just speak your truth because, like Oprah said, everyone just wants to be seen, heard and to know that what they said meant something to someone. 

Snowflake - I know you didn't mean to harm me. :-) It's all going to be okay - no matter what.

With love always,

Gillian Cornwall, c. February 5, 2017.

Dedicated to my work family. Thank you.

The pyjamas in happier times...
G Cornwall, c. December 16, 2016

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