ground control to major tom

All I can say is that it's just weird to be here, right now.  I've said it before, and I feel that this will be my moment for a while; until we reach our destination. Things are packed, the truck is being loaded for storage, tomorrow; we're camping on the floor for the night, to be up and ready to hit the road in the afternoon, Friday. Amazing. Time, you sneaky thing.

Life is just really funny, when you reach the moments you only imagined. I still have this image of what it's going to be like, when we board the ferry, toward our new home. The ocean, surrounding us. It feels meditative, freeing, overwhelming, and incredible. I have no idea what it's going to look like, but I imagine the smell, the sound, the amazement and curiosity. It's that moment that keeps me moving forward with the process, until we get there. All the while, I have the words from Space Oddity, by David Bowie, in my head.

Commencing countdown, engines on. 

I enjoy having a song to remember things by, and when I left Calgary, it was Change, by Blind Melon. I knew my life was going to change entirely, when I reached Edmonton, I just had no idea what it was going to look like. To see who I was when I arrived, to this very moment.. it's baffling. I'm so different than who I was then, yet I'm still the same person. I'm in a good place, a better place, a place I didn't know I could reach. Change is good. I can't imagine how this next trip will shape me. I'm already in a good place, yet I feel it can only get better from here. It's super messed. I shake my head a lot when I snap out of my thoughts. The unknown is super cool.

Where I go from here will most likely play itself into the form of a song. I am curious which song will find me, when we get there.

I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go. 


the finals

This weekend is my last weekend in Edmonton. It's unbelievable to reach this point, and realize that it's actually here. I have moments where it doesn't feel real at all, and others where it feels more real than I could have ever imagined. It's so amazing where the time goes. 

Now comes the goodbyes, the visits, the final moments spent with my favorite people and my favorite places. I've done a lot this month, and will be doing even more so in this coming week; to make sure I'm prepared for this incredible adventure. The work continues, just as life does. I've had some interesting moments of panic in between moments of being extremely cool with it all. It's just a lot to take in, for sure. I keep myself reminded, it'll be fine.

I've had moments of telling myself it's just not going to happen, simply because it's so unbelievable. With the added expenses (which come with any move), it has been a little tricky to keep up with, after having spent the last few months catching up and figuring out the ropes of home business. I had to kick things up even higher, over the last little while, to ensure that I can do it all responsibly; from taking my car in to get topped up and poked at, the dog to the vet for his shots, booking moving services, the packing supplies, while getting rid of things I don't need, to clear the way for a simple move. It's kind of amazing to see how it keeps falling into place, because I'm pushing to make it happen. One day at a time, we get that much closer to our destination.

Of course, I have my supporters to thank, for keeping me going. From the ones who give me work to do, to the ones who continue to tell me that anything is possible. I've never felt so wealthy with friendship before (if that's the way to word it). The people who make up my life today are gold, pure gold. It's just so weird for me to say that, and then leave it behind. It feels selfish, and yet everyone around me is encouraging me to take the chance while I can, to experience the world and see what I think of it. I feel secure, knowing Edmonton will always be here. The people here (I will always swear by it) are what make it so amazing. It took me nearly two months to tell myself it was okay to leave. Seriously, the people in this city. I can't even.

And now it's here. Time to say goodbye and get my last little doses of this city in while the moment is here. To consider how Edmonton has shaped me, I'm curious how things will go down, in Victoria. There will be entirely different challenges, new people, places, personal comforts to find, and incredible new experiences in store. It's an absolutely amazing time in my life right now to be here, and leave a city that was once so unfamiliar to me. It just feels like it's all ending, and beginning simultaneously. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think it's a mix of both.

So many thank yous, Edmonton. 



Recently, I was asked to share 10 facts about myself, which was super fun, but got me thinking. It took me a while to come up with what I felt was interesting, and also possibly something most people don't know about me. One that really sits with me, to go with all of this change going on in my life; is where my anxiety went and what it used to look like.

Anticipatory anxiety is the name of what I struggled with. It was so paralyzing, and affected me so deeply that I had panic related seizures. There was even a period in my life where I didn't leave the house for a very long time. 8 months, is an approximate count. I remember feeling like I couldn't step forward, without focusing on how far those steps needed to go, in order for me to achieve my goals. When we look so far ahead, we can fall back even harder. It amazes me that it was that extreme, I didn't even know how to get out of the house. I was also creating an imaginary audience, watching, judging, and waiting for me to fail.

In time, I eventually got past it, for the most part, because I knew I needed to get a job and function like everybody else. I was still quite afraid of how I responded/reacted/acted/presented myself to the outside world, but I didn't let it get too far under my skin to prevent me from living a proper life. It wasn't really until I moved to Edmonton, to live entirely on my own, that I started to listen to my own voice and hear it out. I needed a hand, and I needed to care for myself, right that moment. I wanted to live. All of our actions are a choice. Suddenly, I knew how to step forward.

I'd gotten therapy for years, to deal with my anxiety. A lot of my fixations were on the future, as well as the past. There were so many things I wanted to fix that couldn't be fixed; which ultimately ruined the present because I'd lose out on the moment entirely by fearing what was to come, or how it would repeat and come back to haunt me. Rejection, abandonment, failure, pain. The sad result is that it led to a battle of exhaustion and resent, which affected the people around me. I took it out on the world for a while, until I stood in my own home, in the silence of my own breath, and asked myself.. how do we do this?

I chose to take a meditation class, because I had been reading on the Buddhist mindset (The Tao of Pooh) and how focused it is on the fact that we are alive, right now, and in no other moment. What's done is done, and what is ahead of us is also out of our control; even our own death. We're just here to live, and we should only be grateful for every day that we are given. It made perfect sense as soon as I read it, and while I got to know the now, I began to appreciate this world we've been so lucky to creep upon. The past became less about the damage and more about the repair. The future was no longer about how I could screw up, and more about what I could learn. Right now suddenly became amazing.

I didn't have a perfect past, and I'm okay to say that because even with the mistakes and the hurt and whatever other negative piece there may be, as well as the positives, I can say it made me who I am today. There is no sense in dwelling on a single thing, because when you can forgive and accept and allow for right now to be the moment of choice, it releases so much tension and unnecessary bullshit. Not to be so blunt. After this past week, I can see that I'm in the right place, to want to be heard right now, because that's where we are. When someone tries to use your past against you, it only helps provide a certain acknowledgement that you have the strength to be proud of what you have become, right now. There really is no other moment to live in.

I'm a huge nostalgic type, and I love the memories that make me smile, and sometimes even the ones that don't make me smile. We are shaped by our experiences, and while there may be things I might want to forget entirely, I can only take what I've already been through and say thank you. Really, where would I be without all of it? To focus on the moment has relieved me from such a massive weight of unnecessary anxiety. I still struggle with it from time to time, but when I stop and sit in the grass and listen to my breath, it brings me back to where I am; floating, insignificantly, in the most enormous universe. It's endless. How lucky are we, to be handed such a gift of living on this earth? Is my hippie showing?

I rest well, I live well, and I see around me that I'm doing well, just by simply being who I am. I firmly believe that your energy reflects in those around you, so as I see myself surrounded with positive and supportive people, I feel that I'm doing a good job at mending my soul to be a better person. There is no more resent, there is no more hate, or anger, or judgement. Best of all, there is no more fear. In many ways, I feel that I don't have time to feel those things, because what if I were to die tomorrow? It's possibly a morbid thing to say, but if I were to leave this world the next day, I'd most certainly not want to waste it on anything that isn't helpful. And with my departure from Edmonton approaching so quickly, I feel that this is really an uplifting way to live. I am thankful for everyone, everything, and what I take with me. Maybe I sound a little flighty here, but really.. it's how I roll. If I were fixating on what's behind or in front of me, I would be losing out on this moment. I don't have time for regret, so I take control and do what is needed.

I may have been knocked out by some really harsh words, recently, but I see that I am in a good place to not stoop to such a level as using past material as weak weaponry. If someone wants to keep you where they feel is more comfortable, for their own satisfaction, let them stay there. Meditate, focus on the moment and how valuable you are to yourself, to be here, right now. No one can take me down, because I am my own provider. It's pretty weird and ridiculously zen of me to see this mindset take over, compared to where I used to be. It's all because I made a choice, to take time to breathe. Meditate, I tell you, your mind and body will thank you for taking that time to see just how valuable your soul is.

This is how meditation saved my life.


a good place

It's almost a little strange for me to say that I'm in a really good place and not feel too weird about it. I mean, there's always a bit of nervousness that I experience when everything around me is going so well; because it leaves room for things not to go so well.  I realize, it's best not to ruin the moment with worry, and just let it ride. Now is now. And right now, it feels good to be here.

For a very long time, I'll admit, I was a bit of a rain cloud about the world around me, because I was very insecure. I was rather cynical, as a defence, and though I'd say I still have a layer of cynicism that will always exist, I am nowhere near the place I used to be. I didn't see how significant the change was, until I put myself side by side, to see it physically in front of me how far I've come. It's neat to see the changes on the surface and also know they go even deeper to my core. I'd say my heart has grown so many sizes since I started working freelance and as the artist I have always been. I worked my lifetime to get here, and it is totally fine to be proud of myself for it... even if that pride can feel a bit off, for how it can be perceived. I think the best thing to do is not let yourself (or anyone) rob you of your achievements. Pat yourself on the back for kicking ass. It's not easy keeping up with it all the time. Allow yourself to make mistakes, learn to forgive yourself for what is already done, and aim to be a better person in the moment. Now is really all that matters.

I never used to like taking pictures of myself, until I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I like to document where I'm at in my emotions, whether it be a good day, a bad day, or a day I'm not certain about. I like to use my creativity to express where my emotions are at, by practicing self love through something that is often seen as totally vain. I don't think it's wrong to love yourself, and for me, it is always a challenge. The more I allow myself to express, through my own literal expressions, the more I see how much I've grown along the way. Being grateful for yourself and the world around you is a definite healer.  It's how I got to be where I am right now. Our imperfections, and accepting them, are what make us the special little snowflakes that we are. Some are a little more 'unique' than others! ;)

I worked hard to shake off the crust of what I'd been almost literally lugging around with me. I'm a sensitive person, and I try my best to make the world happy; when it is obviously impossible. Looking at myself, from then and now, really took me to a different place this week, when I was shown just how drastic those changes have been. I struggled with myself, and when I did, I took people down with me; as we often tend to do, when we don't want to be left alone and to deal with our own responsibilities. I was a bit of a dweller, until I started to meditate on a daily basis. When I realized that now is the only moment that matters, it shed so much tension from my life.. and baggage from my hips. Kinda cool, the shape I've taken on, literally. I feel positive and content. I love the world around me, because I decided to create a better place.

My confidence will always be a work in progress. Even though I have more confidence than I used to, it's a tough one to take all at once, and maintain. It's scary to love yourself without feeling like you may become a bit of a target. Taking selfies, sharing how you look and feel, not everyone is going to love it... or you. What matters is when you are happy being your own best friend, because no one can take that away. Focus on what you need, and you may just find it. If you can't please the universe, at least take time to please yourself. You just might thank yourself for it later.

It'll never get old to hear how I've affected someone's life for the better, by inspiring them to get back in touch with their creative side. That's sorta what I aim to do, because I know what creativity has done for me. I like to remind people to see that it's okay to let go of the seriousness of the world and get your hands dirty. Grab a brush, a pen, and see what the thoughts become. Creativity has always been a healing resource, and now that it is my daily life and how I survive, I see I'm in a place where I belong.  I hope to do this until I no longer exist.

When I learned how to disconnect from what is and isn't my actual responsibility, it took a lot of weight off of my shoulders. It also helped me keep up with my own responsibilities and apply my energy in the appropriate places. Some say I work far too much. On occasion, sure, I might have a sleepless night to keep up with my workload; but, I do what I love and I love what I do. I feel lucky for that, every day that I get to call this my job.

When I can share with others and even hear their own experiences and how they cope, it brings a sense of realness to how we function and occasionally fall short. The creative community is a place where I'm happy to be. There's a misconception that it's a competitive place. Sure, there are a level of talents out there in this world that we can compare ourselves to, and billions of people who can do things better than you; but comparison gets you nowhere. Imagine if it all stopped there, nothing would ever be accomplished. Practice your strengths and you'll grow in the right places.

Me and Colin Close, on Takin' it to the Streets, on Whyte Avenue. 

I mean it when I say that this city is packed full of wonderful people, and I also feel we meet those positive forces at the right time, for a reason. The people I know today make up the life I've got in front of me, and though I'm packing and leaving, I know that I'll take with me the ones that matter most. It's an interesting cleanse, that only leaves room for more to gain. Your vibe attracts your tribe. My tribe is golden. I still feel like I have that Mario star that I've mentioned before. The feeling of invincibility is really quite remarkable. I don't think Kendyl from the past would ever believe that this place I'm at would even be possible. I'm glad to prove her wrong, and also prove her right that hard work pays off.

I'm not really going anywhere with this post, specifically. I just feel that it was an appropriate time to express where I stand in my life, and how sometimes when it goes well, it can have its challenges and kinks to keep up with. Old habits are tough to break, but it is doable to keep on the right track and away from the things that want to stand in our way. Sometimes, positive changes can lead to some pullbacks, whether it be from yourself or others around you, because it's easier to stay where it is familiar and often comforting (yet not so comfortable at all). With only a few weeks before we hit the road, I can't help but wonder what shape I'll take on next. I'm proud of Kendyl for coming this far, and pushing to go even further.

High kicks to living in the moment, and appreciating it all while it is here.


what is now

I keep meaning to write, and my drafts folder is packed with attempts at spilling my thoughts, so I'm giving it a shot by hitting the publish button. There's just so much going on, it's hard to pick where to start. I'm in a very good place, feeling loved, loving life, even enjoying being myself more than usual. It feels quite unreal, and it's only going to get better from here. Moving day approaches, so fast. Here's what's up. I hope to elaborate on some of these topics, but I can't promise that. Brains, everywhere!

First, I got a tattoo.. about a month ago. On June 10th (to be exact) I decided to make it permanent, after months of drawing the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) on my arm. There's a lot of meaning behind it, which I would rather write more about in a different post. Also, I'm working on a star project that would illustrate the story all too well. Hang tight.

I've been asked a lot lately, why Victoria? "It rains, it's expensive, it's for hippies." Sorry dudes, but I am part hippie, I'd rather have rain than snow, and the cost of living is jacking up here in Edmonton faster than I can keep up with. Besides, it's a chance to try something new, as I have a place to stay, and can bring my office anywhere. I would kick myself not to take the opportunity. Edmonton, you are a tough one to leave; especially in the summer. Beauty everywhere.

To dip into a little bit of a review of June, it was probably my toughest month yet. The first week, I took some time off, because I was really distracted by the adrenaline involved with saying Victoria is a go. I just couldn't focus, and it showed in my work. It took me a long time to stop flip flopping between my two options, because I was so seriously torn on wanting to stay in Edmonton, because of the people (and various other reasons). Seriously, it's not an easy choice, but I know I'll be leaving here with a lot of great friends, and great memories, that I will keep in my heart; no matter where I go. The support I've received along the way has been amazing. I feel lucky, oh so lucky, to know the world I know right now. You guys.. seriously.. so much love.

Excited? Yes. Terrified? Completely. What else? A little mashup of feeling exhilarated, refreshed, anxious, and totally content. I have been purging the things I don't need, things with memories I don't wish to keep, and things that are simply just that... Things. I have no attachment to things, though I've vowed to keep the couch. After 3 couches in 4 years, I'm sorry, I'm storing this baby until I find out where we land. Until then, we're loading the car, hitting the road, and living off of what we can carry for the journey. By we, of course I mean me and Breakfast.

Breakfast. Oh, my Breakfast Jones. I love this guy more than words can say, and I feel so invincible to have him as my trusty sidekick. We spend all of our time together, as he is my coworker and companion. I love that he gets me outside to play, when I need breaks from the office. Every day, I laugh and enjoy all that we have around us. I feel fortunate to have this guy in my life. For real, he is the best friend I could have ever asked for. I think he's going to love being among the trees, ocean, and mountains that will surround us in our new home. I wish he could understand me when I tell him about it. The surprise will be enough, I'm sure.

Other than that, we just wait until the day comes along where we pack and go. It's crazy to think it's just a matter of weeks. I'm trying to take it all in and visit with the ones who matter most, and just be so thankful for this experience. Now is all that matters, and it is all that I am grateful for. I have no idea if we'll love Victoria so much as we love it here, but it's all about taking chances and learning from the experience. I cannot wait.. and yet, I don't want these days to end.