Category Archives: Secrets

Secret #6 – Sharing a day in the life

The guilt arrives in waves. For many this guilt is something you may never experience. It could be something you experience daily.

It’s a form of anxiety associated with earning money. That’s the only way I can describe this; that knowledge that one is beginning to earn more than poverty level income and entering into the middle class dream.

I mean, I’ve never had to deal with earning much money by Canadian standards or budgeting in larger amounts each month.

All I want to say is dream, then think of that dream and make it a reality. This dream has to do with money and making money in a way that is healthy, self gratifying and brings happiness or emotion into the world; a contribution.
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Secret #5 – Stop Smoking

Twenty years have come and gone since I picked up my first cigarette and smoked it. I like it you know.
the taste the feel, the way it filled my lungs and how it circled upwards twirling into the air once exhaled. It has always visually entranced me…

About three years ago I stopped smoking indoors. Yes, the amount I smoked decreased somewhat but that’s not the fucking point. And yes,
I’m somewhat grumpy
somewhat heaving
somewhat lazy and mourning
and saying good bye to a companion whose been by my side
for two
decades

The fallacy of smoking is that it’s wonderful for a person like me who moves from one extreme to another… the harder it is to do something the more I’ll find a way to continue doing it
braving sub-zero temperatures…

72 hours ago I put out my last cigarette.

And for all you Etsy sellers and yes this is on my mind you demonizing little forum writers… not all smokers, smoke inside and not all smokers touch their artwork with smokey hands. I am/was diligent with washing my hands and keeping myself clean.

And maybe I’m lashing out right now. It’s been so quiet. All I want to do is cry but all that does is make me sad and want to curl up into a little ball and sleep. My focus sucks. My creative energy has all but gone into the fog that’s rolling in from the bay outside. My chest feels heavy and I know it’s only because for once I’m getting adequate amounts of oxygen into my lungs. But you know what I want that vile cigarette.

I bought a house this week! Happy! but here I am crying like a baby about a cigarette. Why today is it bugging me so much!

I quit in 1997 for 13 months after my appendix ruptured and was literally rotting inside me. I had morphine to cope with withdrawal so smoking didn’t really matter when I could pump drugs directly into my blood stream.

I quit in 2003 for 19 months using Zyban. Mmm what to say about that except Zyban mentally can mess with your psyche pretty bad. Be for-warned.

I quit for 2 days in 2006. On the third day the DEA raided my office in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Yeah, so I relapsed and began smoking again. Fuck that I said. I want my crutch and I want it now. Those men have rifles pointed at me and there arresting my friends.

so here we are in 2009.
72 hours into quitting and I’m honestly fine.
Are you reading between those lines?
I read a book called “Allen Carr’s EASY way to quit smoking”.
I think it slightly hypnotized me. Needless to say I’m damn lonely right now.
NOT one of my closest girlfriends is a non-smoker.
THEY ALL SMOKE! 90% of the females aged 25 to 45 where I live, smoke.
And guess what!
The men don’t unless they are aged 45 to 65.
WTF?

I’ll tell you though… physical withdrawal from nicotine is NOTHING! It’s a wee little blip in time. It can’t even kill you.

It’s nothing compared to the wee seizures, bone chilling shaking extremities, skin eruptions, low blood pressure, hallucinations and psychosis from GHB withdrawal that can actually kill you dead.

Secret #4 – Saying Good Bye

One sunny afternoon I sat on my deck in Vancouver, brush in hand not knowing what to paint. I stared down at the piece of two by two foot freshly gessoed masonite board firmly planted on my lap. The sky was ultramarine blue, the garden glowing green and most colourful that day in late July, 2004. My senses were overwhelmed by the beauty of this environment. I glanced down at the board and at a the light grey shadow there; my shadow.

I gingerly traced it beginning to fill in whimsical areas of enchantment with much excitement and more importantly, contentment. Continue reading

Secret #3 – Live Within Walking Distance

The community itself is beautiful; wartime houses from both WWI and WWII dot the hills here with mature maple, oak and lilac trees growing along the sidewalks. There is an influx of younger folks moving in as the older residents pass away or move into old age homes. Schools are close to. Homes are being refurbished, renovated and updated. Empty lots are fast developing into newer homes designed in character with the older existing ones. It’s lovely.
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Secret #2 – Say, write, email or blog a thank you

These last few months are turning out to be some of the best and most memorable months for me in terms of art creation, exposure and hence gratitude. It’s so easy these days to become overwhelmed with emails, blog postings, comment moderation, facebook, flickr, features, etsy, galleries, friends, family, *dating and the responding to such. Throw into that mix, a few bad apples and I do become depressed or anxious at times as people or situations are not always what you want them to be. Occasionally, it can be down right nasty what people say to you.
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Secret #1 – Learn to Grow Food

garden2008jessicadoyle

In my last post I said I have many secrets. And this is the first post in which I’ll share with you my hopes in becoming less reliant on the machine created by man. Through the use of technology and ancient wisdom we do indeed have the knowledge today to become more independent and in essence get off that damn grid either completely or in the least partially.

I am teaching myself how to grow food. This undertaking began three summers ago on my deck in containers in Vancouver. I miss that apartment and deck something awful at times. The view brings tears to my eyes and floods my senses with memories so vivid and very much alive today in a most humble and appreciative way.

North West View of deck garden in Vancouver.

I am far from being able to produce enough to consume during a whole year or even a few months, however, each year my gardens do yield more and more. This year combined with the help and knowledge from both my Mom and Dad we grew some fantastic food!

Brussels Sprouts

We fertilized using only local organic oceanic and manure compost that we purchased or had ourselves. By growing your own food you not only know where your food is coming from; you will eat healthy, get in shape, save the environment and be all the more closer to not having to rely on imports to eat.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

In 2007 I did begin the planting of that years garden in Vancouver. It grows in other parts of that world now. I gave it all away, left it behind or sold what I could when I left for good. About a week after arriving back in Saint John from Vancouver I turned soil with my Dad in the backyard, and closed this blog down for two months to gather myself.

It is amazing that years can pass in the blink of an eye. You can see the full Garden 2008 set on Flickr here. And if you are on my facebook there are even more photos! Feel free to add me as a friend from the top left sidebar of this blog.

Tomatoes!

Photo Credits, © Jessica Doyle 2008
1. 2008 Garden Montage – Saint John
2. Garden 2006 – Vancouver looking West from the deck
3. 2008 Brussels Sprouts – Saint John
4. 2008 Rainbow Swiss Chard – Saint John
5. 2008 Early Bird Tomatoes – Saint John (Although in this climate they are late…)