Category Archives: walking

You don’t know where you are until it passes you by

tree of life, sketch, drawing, ink drawing, sketchbook, journal, art by jessica doyle

And you don’t know where you’ll end up until you take that leap of faith.

Last July life got a whole lot busier for me. I began working more at the City Market producing and selling art at the stall and Chris became a full-time parent overnight. Our lives changed instantly as Chris scrambled to find a way to look after his son while he was at work full-time. His son turned 12 shortly after and was then able to spend a few hours alone here and there so that helped.

It hit me hard. Chris went from sharing custody 50/50 with his ex to having his son full-time with no extra money, support or anything. It took a toll on our five month old relationship but it also opened it in another way and I got to see how wonderful this man really was. I also got to know his son better and saw how great of a kid he was.

While dating and single from 2007 to 2012, before Chris and I got together, I swore up and down not to date a man with children because of the experiences I had with them. These men were completely absent in their children’s lives or kept me a secret from their kids and/or their ex or were dating multiple women and lying about it. These things didn’t bode well for me as I wanted to someday have a child of my own and very much wanted an involved father in that child’s life.

So I began dating men without kids and usually these men were kids themselves who were more interested in their boats, bikes and pensions than in finding common ground to walk on together. I managed quite well to attract men who wanted no commitment.

I then quit smoking and quit drinking shortly after and began to see “I” was the reason for not attracting a quality man into my life. Well… half the reason… at least.

I’ve known Chris a long time… since I was 19… so 20 years… long… time. We grew up in the same neighborhood. He went out with a good friend of mine as a teenager. He was also a mutual friend of my ex-husband and I. I can remember sitting on the couch talking with Chris while my ex was engrossed in video games. I was never just Jessica. I was Andy’s girlfriend then wife… then ex. This all seems so long ago. A lifetime ago.

We all attended college together and Chris hung out with my ex at our apartment. We partied together but mostly I stayed home as I was sick a lot during college with Chron’s disease and physically could not handle the late nights and party’s. We all studied Graphic Design, surface design and illustration.

After Fredericton we both went our separate ways. Chris spent some time in Toronto and then had his son here in Saint John. He married and raised his two step-children and his own child. All the while I divorced and partied my ass off for five years in Saint John, Fredericton and Vancouver, perhaps making up for losing most of my twenties to severe illness and for marrying a man who didn’t share the same values and morals as I did. And there is no fault in that, it’s just the way the cards played out.

And now, 20 years later Chris and I find ourselves expecting a baby, dealing with extensive child custody and divorce issues, managing two homes, three cats and simply doing our best to keep healthy organic food on the table, the bills paid up-to-date and all the while we both are doing it sober.

Our life may seem mundane to some but it’s our life and the one we are choosing to live. Chris partied lots during his teens and early twenties while I got the partying out of my system in my late twenties and early thirties. And while I miss the parties on occasion, it’s a rather nostalgic feeling of been there done that, had fun and moving on now to the next stage of my life kind of feeling.

And I’m so grateful and lucky to have this man to share this stage of life with.

I love you Chris.

I see dead birds

I don’t see dead people but I’ve certainly been seeing my share of dead birds lately. This latest pigeon was bludgeoned in the Woodlawn Schoolyard off Westmorland Road this past Sunday evening on April 29th.

At first I thought it was just a bunch of feathers strewn across the green but upon closer inspection the carcass was fresh and dripping with blood. My co-walker and myself were certainly grossed out as I kneeled to get a closer look.

I think the stray cats or hawks or eagles in the neighborhood are attacking!

On a brighter note… the grass is certainly growing green on this side these days!

Simpler Times

With the way the world is moving it seems finding permanent solutions to anything, is at most, a lost pipe dream. And with what the media would have you beleive is that the world is collapsing in crisis and that we need more and more protections from nameless entities to ensure our safety and survival as a species. We need to be protected from ourselves.

And this all leaves me wondering where I fit into this picture. I think I’m on the outside looking in most of the time. It’s like I don’t know how to get there or everything I touch collapses, falls apart, moves away, stops talking to me, closes or mirrors in vanity.

This year more than any other I find myself jumping and wading through knee deep sludge. And at times it is grossly of my own doing. They say you are the creator of your own world and they also say that you can do anything or have anything you want if you work hard enough and somehow have enough luck. Really?

Then they say do what you love and the money will follow. Don’t be to nice but don’t lie either. Be honest, but don’t be a pushover. Hang in there okay and say your prayers and cross your fingers, dot your “I”s and cross your “T”s and wish for everlasting peace. It’s all a load of crockery don’t you think.

While many of us in the Western world are not destitute or starving, we are being force fed an image of reality that will keep us enslaved until we die.

And like many, I long for simpler times, but maybe those fabled simpler times are just that, the poplar image of yesteryear that survived the test of time. For, how do we know if yesterday was easier than today and how do we know that tomorrow might just be more hopeful than today.

And this isn’t to say that it’s all been gross. It’s rather been kind of fun getting down and dirty in said sludge, searching for answers.

The photo above I snapped one day while walking through a field on my way to the bank on the East Side of Saint John. In the distance is Uptown Saint John.

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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In the walking one finds solace from the haunting past

Thanks range for the spark to write this.

I attended a public elementary school where corporal punishment was practiced. Boys and girls were segregated in the playground each having to play on opposing sides of the school. In Grade three this practice was abolished. Corporal punishment remained all six years I was a student there.

In grade three when I was ALLOWED to play with boys, we girls and boys were very confused. Off school property we had no problems with this.

In the mornings we had to say the Lord’s prayer. Anyone who wasn’t of Christian faith had to leave the room. I didn’t like it.

This is what I remember in Saint john, New Brunswick, Canada from a couple of decades ago. There may have been rules or policies in place about the lord’s prayer that I, as a 5 to 11 year old were not aware of, but the memories of hearing the strap waft down that single corridor from the principals office and watching the boys play on the better side of the school playground still echo firmly in my mind.

Not all was bad at that elementary school. Three of those six years I was taught by fabulous teachers whom ignited the imagination and nourished the creative side.

But this post is about corporal punishment. Continue reading

Week 1 Weigh in – Jessica

This is very new to me, that is the having to lose weight. My weight tended to fluctuate between 115 and 130lbs for the most part, during the whole decade of my twenties. However when I reached age 30 my weight range averaged between 125 to 145lbs. Now at age 32 my weight as of my last doctors appointment was 160lbs. OMG!

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Going out the door…

If I go out the door will it make me feel better, make me feel something else? Anything? There is this patch in my brain called limbo. In limbo everything is churning. Ideas are dreamt there, memories and thoughts come to light there, in limbo. This is not where I want to be. I think of the phrase “Just do it” that Nike owns the rights to. However I’m not doing it. Why?

I want to write about all that is wrong. I want to scream. I want out.

What am I waiting for? A few things actually.

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