Hi, I'm Brenda Lloyd...
Writer, minimalist, beachcomber, cynophile...and finally becoming the person I wish I had always been.
After flailing around somewhat aimlessly for years, I'm finally beginning to understand the world again.
You see, for years-in the time I tend to think and speak of simply as "before" - I don't think I ever really understood things in the way they are meant to be understood. Oh sure, I was smart. Even now, with a quarter of my brain beaten bloody, irradiated, and scarred, I'm rather bright.
Regardless, and most unfortunately, I don't always come across that way. With the filter between my brain and the rest of me all but fried, I can be startling blunt and a tad anti-social. I forget easily, stutter and stammer for lost words on occasion, and don't always connect all of life's dots. And my academic smarts, unfortunately, didn't always - don't always - translate well into useful hands-on skills.
I'm still working on forgiving myself for past failures; for not being as effective in certain roles and relationships as I should have been. And I give thanks every single moment - because I worked in the military and nursing (jobs in which other lives depended on my skills) - that I never unintentionally hurt anyone.
To this day, it haunts me that I could have...
I am no longer a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. I'm no longer a Registered Nurse. I lost the ability to be either of those things after a series of strokes, and the diagnosis of inoperable cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), knocked me on my ass and left me feeling like a grenade.
I lost other things, as well, of course.
A husband. The ability to fully enjoy a good book. My hair (that grew back!). The energy to do so many of the things I wanted to do with my bright lights... my two sons. My confidence... and a large bit of my sense of self-esteem.
What I did NOT lose, however and thankfully, was my foundation: my boys, my Mom, my sister and her family, a few of those perpetual friends that just always and naturally seem to stick.
I also seem to have retained both my perseverance and optimism.
So I'm starting over. After more than a few false starts, more than a few stupid ideas, a few years of self-imposed exile in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, a lot of pain, and a lot of time spent learning how to rein in and operate a brain that seemed, at times, to be breaking and flying apart at the seams - I'm starting over.
I am re-inventing my life with a few new tools; things that I actually managed to discover in the rubble of before…an unrelenting gratitude that I am still alive, a rather dark sense of humour, a profound pragmatism, and a most unexpected talent for writing.
Not only is this personal website meant to act as a portfolio of the written work I have already done, it will also, I hope, act as a hub for my ongoing and future projects. For a long time, I tried to organize everything into logical and specific categories, but I found that far too stressing and onerous. My brain no longer takes logical steps, and is, far too often, running frantically from one specific to another. So, I have simplified (one of my healing secrets) and now post everything into one stream of consciousness style blog entitled Mind Wide Open. This effectively gives me the space to write, to vent, to create, or to opine (once a columnist, always a columnist) about whatever shiny topic my wonky brain may decide to focus upon, whenever it decides to dwell upon it...
I can only hope that what I have to offer will, in some way, help others who are either actively in the process of rebuilding a life after loss, or who have lost so many things, are so bogged down and overwhelmed, that they just simply can't understand that it can even be done.
I believe it can be…
So, if you find yourself at a crossroads or a new beginning, please take a look around. Read, leave a message, vent, ask for resources, chat away...
I look forward to getting to know you.