We know about Mercury retrograde, but are you ready for Venus to turn around?

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I haven’t been outside in six days. My fitness tracker died. Without the stats, I’m blind to how little I am moving. Yesterday, I spent 20 hours in bed.

I don’t have a reason to check emails. I’m not working, and I don’t see a job on the horizon — not yet anyway. Our province extended stay-at-home orders into next month, June. I hesitate to label these paragraphs as ‘sad’ when ‘normal’ comes to mind.

I stare at the wall for some time, then I decide to go through emails. Most of them are spam, which I’ve grown to loathe…

I think too much, I breathe too shallow, I feel like I’m never going to leave the apartment again. Somehow, this all feels right.

Photo by Logan Weaver on Unsplash

I don’t set my alarm anymore. When I open my eyes, it’s always 8 AM. My cat curls around my head, digs his claws into my temples to ensure he does not slip off the edge of what has become our pillow.

I check my phone — Instagram, Facebook, text, email for any pertinent updates. None come until Saturday when I read about my cousin’s spouse who is in the ICU with the virus.

It’s here, I say. It has arrived in my life.

I was waiting for it, this entity that has become so large, so powerful — the…

I wanted to change my life — the virus did that for me. Why I’m never going back to the way it was before.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It was Christmas time. I’d been working ten to twelve-hour days for three years straight and I needed a break. I thought I got it: a glorious couple of months between the end of one contract and the start of the next. This kind of assurance is a rarity in the entertainment industry in which I work.

Assured work to a freelancer like me means security — and security means power.

I saw this time between contracts as step one of a bigger plan: to change the pace of my life.

During this break, I would write my book and…

I keep thinking I hear her coming down the hall, but my tender, feline companion is dead — and she’s never coming back.

Lua lies on the corner of my desk, soaking in the morning sun. Photo by A. Wrauley.

The day Lua died, I sat on the couch and purred into our younger cat, Little Buddy, when we heard a noise in the next room. Both of us looked — Lua? We stared at the doorway and habitually waited for her short legs to waddle over to us. It was common for her to kick Buddy off my lap so she could curl up beside me in solitary peace. When she didn’t show up, I pet…

Things you can do to help remedy what can feel like an incredibly overwhelming time in your life

Whether you’re going full-traditional, completely off the beaten path or landing somewhere in between, weddings can be bonkers. A month before mine, I found myself locked in a bathroom stall at work furiously searching on my phone for quick and easy stress-reduction remedies. I was experiencing tidal waves of over-whelming emotion that would cut my sentences short, distract me from being present and causing me to cry unexpectedly.

When I think back on these moments, it’s clear that I was overwhelmed and experiencing decision-fatigue. Of course I was! Weddings are bonkers! I was searching for a quiet way to help…

Back pocket remedies when anxious thoughts begin to take over your body

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I was six when I first felt anxiety in my body, and they’ve never left my body.

In these quiet moments, my thoughts spiral so swiftly that, for the majority of my life, I didn’t think I could stop them. I had lived with anxiety for so long that I didn’t know there were ways to approach it that would help me until my early 20’s — and it took me another ten years before I became proactive about finding techniques to help me spiral less, or to bring me back from them sooner and safer.

When I first decided…

Out of the 22 films currently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU), only 1 is female-led. Did this get my hopes up?

Spoilers ahead.

Scarlett Johansson in Avengers: Endgame (2019) (From IMDb)

I went to the theatre on opening weekend to see Iron Man in 2008. When it ended, I felt like much of my real world frustrations had been thrown in my face.

“I’m upset that I paid to see a movie about a sexist, narcissistic, untouchable, billionaire, white man when I interact with people like Tony Stark almost every day,” I told my bewildered friends. What I didn’t say was that I was more upset that the only conversation between the two women in the film is comprised of them trashing each other.

I’m not interested in superhero…

Exploring, in truth + fiction, all the ways in which I scare myself in small-town Ontario

Image by A. Wrauley

A few months ago I impulsively booked myself into a single room of a spacious, shared house located in a small town off Lake Ontario in hopes of writing a book for a few days. The listing touted the room rental as the ideal place for writers and the comments were positive. But the town was so small, the bus didn’t stop there and the train only operated for work-week commuters. As a car-less urbanite living downtown Toronto, I leaned on my brand new father-in-law for my first ask after marriage: a ride from his home to my AirBnb.


How Christmas card envelopes that did not fit a 4x6 photo led me down a dark path

Image by A. Wrauley

Last Tuesday: me, on my lunch break, sitting in my cold rental car in an industrial, muddy, park-and-go 25 minutes west of Toronto licking forty envelopes so I can mail them four business days before Christmas. Five minutes earlier I was sitting there, taking selfies with a borrowed polaroid camera, wearing my coat and toque wondering if my visible breath was going to block the 4x6 printed photo I was holding in front of my face. I held my breath just in case and kept looking around to see if I’d have to explain myself to anyone later.

It has…

Dispatches from daily life: May 2018

It’s the third day of May. I wake up feeling warm to the bone, something I had not felt since last summer; something I barely remember.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Every year, it’s a new feeling, like my body resigns to never feel true, persistent warmth again. For the first time in 2018, our apartment smells fresh like potable soil and Spring, the windows wide open all night, the cats going mad at the screens, the air of brighter times upon us. I let out a sigh of relief. I feel violently happy.

I think about two days prior: my partner comes home with…

A. Wrauley

Fiction, memoir, magick.

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