So I’m currently self-isolating in my hometown, having just moved back about a week ago, after losing two jobs and an apartment in an epic tale of fuckery I don’t have the energy to even begin unpacking. 2020… need I say more?

Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash

Instead, I want to focus this piece on the beauty I found in a simple story my mother recently told me about a Christmas tradition that her mother practised over 30 years ago. My grandmother died before I was born so I don’t know much about her, besides the odd story my mom will tell me in passing…

JFK Library and Memorial, Photo: Matthew Villemaire (me)

I should have written this blog like 3 months ago when I got back from my trip, but clearly, that didn’t happen… so here we are!

In June, I had the privilege of spending a week in the incredible downtown of Boston, Massachusetts. I went into the week with pretty low expectations and came home with an immense amount of love for a city I had never visited before.

My original plan was to visit New York… for like the twelfth time, but for whatever reason, my heart shifted towards somewhere new. …

“greyscale photography of a boxer inside ring” by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the amount of respect I have for the many content creators of the world. Whether your medium is photography, film, television, social media, writing, drawing, painting…the list goes on and on. If you are trying to make a living through a creative medium you are no doubt facing an enormous amount of rejection, criticism, and straight up failure!

Just yesterday I had two auditions, and both were unsuccessful. And I don’t mean that I did poorly, I just mean that neither audition landed me a job. …

First off, I guess I should acknowledge the fact that I’ve been MIA for several months now. After my 30 day writing challenge I decided to take a break, and sadly lost the drive and motivation to keep the blog going. It was not my intention to disappear for so long, but it is what it is! I’m here now and that’s all that matters :)

I want to talk about a big realization I had over the weekend with regards to how I’ve been approaching relationships and where I want to go from here.

I got in late last…

My entire life, I’ve been acutely aware of one of my greatest attributes, which also doubles as one of my greatest downfalls: I’m a highly-sensitive individual.

Photography by Ian Brown

I’ve always been extremely empathetic and attuned to other’s emotions. If my mother was upset about something, I could sense it without her even saying a word. When a kid in the schoolyard was being bullied, I could feel their pain. It pained me to see someone else suffering.

Sensitive people tend to internalize negative energy and emotion. It’s hard enough navigating my own shit, let alone someone else’s…

Sensitivity serves me best in…

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

When I joined Medium one month ago, I had no clue what I was doing or what I wanted. I could feel these creative juices flowing from within, but it had been a long time since I actively let them pour out of me. So, I committed myself to writing every day for thirty days, and I did! There was never an end goal, it was simply an exercise in building my creative muscles.

This experience has truly opened my eyes to the power of vulnerability. Sharing my thoughts and experiences with everyone has invited genuine engagement from a wide…

Making excuses is one of the easiest things for me to do. It’s as if I have this massive word bank to pull from, a list of ‘go-to’ excuses that I use to justify just about anything.

“I’m too tired.”

“I’m not feeling great.”

“There’s not enough time.”

“I’ve got too much on my plate already.”

I could sit here and literally come up with a million and one excuses for reasons to avoid the gym, look for a new job, do laundry, go on a date, or whatever it may be.

Doing this 30-day writing challenge has shown me…

“A zigzagging road along barren hills” by Blair Fraser on Unsplash

If you’ve seen the film Call Me By Your Name, or better yet, read the book by André Aciman, then I’m sure you were as struck as I was by the speech Elio’s father delivers to his son towards the end of the story. One line, in particular, spoke directly to me, it reaffirmed everything I’ve been going through in the last year,

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster, that we go bankrupt by the age of 30, and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. …

“A person sitting on a picnic table next to his bicycle at the University of Alberta” by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

Most days, I’m surrounded by human beings. Whether it’s at home- with my three roommates, on the subway- heading downtown, or at work-bartending for large parties, I’m constantly around others. It brings me comfort, I love connecting with people every day. However, it can also be exhausting, at times.

I can usually sense when I need a break from all the chatter and constant stimulation. I can sense it because I find myself getting snippy with people, I become easily agitated, and I know it’s time to step out for a moment. The easiest way for me to get back…

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

For the better part of my life, everything was taken care of for me: my lunches were packed every day, my clothes were washed, folded and put away, I had very few chores, and I never needed to worry about money. I got to travel to places like New York City, Disney World, and Las Vegas, without ever having to consider the amount of hard work that went into planning and financing a family vacation. Looking back, I realize how much I took for granted in my early life.

In the summer of 2015, I was going through some big…

Matthew Villemaire

31, Toronto-Canada, LGBTQ+, Actor, Singer, Writer, Lover!❤

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