The Universe Favours Family

I received a government check in the mail this week. Booyah! They always know when I'm poor! God Bless Em'!

But something WEIRD happened; instead of planning all the things I could treat myself with, I had the urge to do something for someone else.  But who?  I had no idea.  All I knew was that I wasn't cashing the check till I'd spent approximately $67.99 on other people.  The universe would work it out in some way.

That evening, I went to my friend Scott Ramirez's birthday bash / album release party at Bread & Circus in Kensington Market.  There was a young man in the front raising money for something called Peace Quest.  I'm all about peace, and I like myself a good quest, so I obviously asked him what I could do to help.  This is surprising, since I usually ignore people fundraising for miscellaneous causes. 

Anyways, fate took me there, so I had to inquire. 

Peace Quest is "an innovative initiative that facilitates a direct line of donations to people in need in third world countries. We collect donations of various goods (clothing, food, electronics, toys, books, etc.) and supply the means to transport these goods to those who need them most".  It was $5 for an envelope with information and a postcard (postage paid) to write an inspiring letter to the receiving family in the Philippines, Jacalan's Compound.  This was right up my alley, so I emptied out my purse right in front of him, we made $5 in change, I got my postcard, bada boom bada bing, $5 dollars donation to help out my international family in need.  I had $62.99 left to spend on another worthwhile cause.

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The next day I was particularly bored.  I felt estranged from my best friend, even though we see each other often, just not as often as usual. Lame.  Anyways, I stopped myself from cursing our mutually busy schedules, embraced the distance, and let it make me appreciate her more.  So I sat myself down and wrote all the reasons why she's the bomb, wrote another letter to Mama Scullion, packaged it up with a little bit of personal swag, and was off to the post office.  When I got there, I picked out a bubble wrap envelope, spent a few minutes writing the address boldly in permanent marker, then asked the lady to get this to my best friend as soon as possible.  She took a look at the address.  Low and behold, they are practically neighbours.  Now, this lady could have redeemed the entire Canadian postal system right there and then if she had been serious about taking the package to their house herself.  But she wasn't serious.  So, I paid $13.17 to romance my other, better, and blonder half, and my surrogate mother, at a very busy time in our lives and to thank them for being my second home - my outer family.  $49 left to go.  

The same day, I had an urge to take my family on an adventure - an adventure that consisted of taking my mother and brother out for a midnight meal at a diner called "Markham Station".  As usual, whenever there is a family adventure, there is always an accompanying family fight, and I'm not naming names, but usually these fights are caused by adolescents with too much attitude, and who take themselves way too seriously.  So, telling myself that eventually these individuals will grow out of it, I ate my all day breakfast special in silence as I was accosted by both of what I like to call the "Terrible Tongs", for being insensitive.  A nickname granted to only the baddest, most verbally, and therefore most emotionally, abusive people I know.  If we all weren't thick skinned, and somehow didn't love each other to death, we probably would have already been featured on the 6 o'clock news in a 3 person murder-suicide.  Thank God that isn't the case, and our furious fights are always fleeting.  Anyways, I had to appreciate my family for just being themselves - the wildly passionate people that they are - because even when we hate each other, hard, we love each other, even harder, like every good family should.  I picked up the bill, and gave the waiter a generous tip for being so attentive (also, for being witness to my families...quirkiness) and we left the diner, having spent the rest of my money on my awesome family who I've gone through so much with, and who needed to have some unconventional fun in a rough and tough time.  They are my inner family: the ones closest to my heart even if we disagree on things, or don't get to spend as much time together as we would all like. 

International Families, Outer Families, and Inner Families are all important; the universe favours them.  I was shocked that my three activities, unbeknownst to me, had added up to the government check almost exactly.  Being a somewhat selfish person, I tend to look after my own needs more than I look after others; I feel that sometimes I take more often than I give.  I'm glad that the universe requested that I nourish my families in various ways, because when it comes down to it, at home and abroad, we have to be able to mutually rely on each other to survive, and we need to lean on each other when we can't provide for ourselves.  I'm not so selfish that I didn't already know this, but I realize more than ever that it is my duty as a person, a friend, a daughter and sister to provide support not only when it's convenient to me, but all the time, through random acts of kindness, lending a helping hand, or just listening and consoling their uncertainties and putting mine second.  I think that's what love is like.

Arianne Tong1 Comment