I Miss Being Resilient

I’m sorry for the times when I bare my soul to you
And leave it there, exposed
And you don’t know what to do with it
And now you feel responsible
And I can understand you get scared
Because you don’t want to break it.
Perhaps your fear blinds you to the cracks it already has
Or makes them even more apparent,
So you are afraid of making them deeper.
And I’m sorry if this makes you defensive
As though it is something I am casting upon you
I’ve inflicted you with its sight
Instead of sharing with you.

It was meant to be a moment of
“Look at what I found”
“Look at this thing for which I am giving you sole responsibility for making okay.”

My fears aren’t yours to fix,
But they are a talking point
Breaking down my anxiety into
Manageable morsels
That we can tackle in tandem
Through conscious conversations
Instead of leaving me to trial and error in terror, alone.
When I say that I miss being resilient,
Because anxiety didn’t used to taunt me,
It is because what I really fear is being
So worn down that I give up.

Admitting that doesn’t mean I’ve thrown in the towel.
Admitting that means I still have some fight left.
Admitting that to you means I want you on my team.
Admitting that doesn’t mean you have to battle for me.
Admitting that just means I trust you to hear me.

[Edit: I recorded a video of this poem. View it here.]


A Visit From Flat Stanley

Dear Mark and Alivia,

Thank you ever so much for sending Flat Stanley to visit me in Victoria, BC, all the way from your classroom in North Carolina!

Let me tell you a little about Victoria. We are on the south end of Vancouver Island, which is located on the West Coast of Canada. Unlike much of the rest of Canada, we don’t usually get much, if any, snow during the Winter! We are in a temporal rain forest, which means Stanley saw a lot of flowers while he was here.

Stanley and the FlowersOur city is actually very well-known for Cherry Blossom season, which started early this year, so Stanley simply hand to climb into a Cherry Blossom tree to take a look!

Stanley and the Cherry BlossomsVictoria is a city full of arts and culture. In fact, Stanley arrived just in time for the 5th annual Victoria Spoken Word Festival, which was nearly a whole week of special performances by poets. Since I was helping out at the festival, Stanley asked to borrow my volunteer pass for a photo. It is always nice to help people, right?

Stanley VolunteeringWhile Stanley was visiting, we decided to take a visit to the downtown area of Victoria, where we ran into the Victoria Coat of Arms, which reads “Splendor Sine Occasu”. Translated from Latin, that means “splendour without diminishment“. Did you know that Victoria was named after a lady who used to be the Queen of England? It was once thought that the British Empire was so big, that the sun would never set on it.

Stanley and the Coat of ArmsThe First Nations Coast Salish people were here well before the British arrived, so Victoria is actually set up on unseated Coast Salish land. Some First Nations artwork can be found around Victoria, and at the Royal BC Museum.

Stanley and th Royal BC MuseumDid I mention that Victoria is actually the capital city of British Columbia? I didn’t? Well, it is! Many people think that since Vancouver is a bigger city than Victoria, it might be the capital, but they are mistaken. Many people also don’t realize that Vancouver Island – the island on which you find the city of Victoria, as well as many other places – isn’t a part of Vancouver at all. Ask your teacher to point it out on this map – Vancouver Island is really big! (This map is a little out-dated, because it is missing the Northwest Territories, but it gives you a good idea about size. I have circled my island and your State.)

Map of North AmericaStanley also got to see the Parliament Buildings, which are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Elected officials work there to run our provincial government.

Stanley and the Parliment BuildingWe couldn’t end our day without a trip to the Inner Harbour, so Stanley could see some boats on the West Coast of North America.

Stanley and the BoatsHe said that the view of the water was one of his favourite parts of the trip.

Stanley and the HarbourAnother view that Stanley wasn’t expecting was the view from the top of one of our Double Decker busses on the way home from a long walk downtown. He said it was really neat to be up so high but still be driving on a road. These busses are like the Knight Bus in Harry Potter, but without any of the magic.

Stanley and the Double DeckerThat was our time together! I hope you liked reading about Victoria, Mark and Alivia, and if you have any questions, I’m sure that if you ask your teacher very nicely, she’ll send them my way! I will send Stanley back to you soon.

All the best,