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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lessons Learned

So as many of you have noticed, and messaged me about, I have been away from my writing. A combination of things happened last year, and to be honest, my heart just wasn't in it. Even when I wrote some columns I just felt that I couldn't stir any passion. But in the last couple of weeks, I started picking up my journals again, and then I found myself waking up in the middle of the night to jot down some thoughts. And just like that, my love had returned.

To be honest, it could have been some type of writer's block. After the fire, I went into overdrive, and was working a great deal, but was also overextending myself in a variety of ways, which is my way of dealing with anything...get busy. But there was also another life lesson in amongst the events of the last year, and I wanted to share it so that you don't do the same thing that I did. It was kind of an a-ha kind of moment when I actually started writing about things the last couple of weeks.

Last year, at the height of many emotions in Fort McMurray, someone had written me an email, and questioned me on "who I thought I was" and my writing "ethics" in response to a few things that I had written. And I let those words seep into my way of thinking, and not in a good way. I literally started thinking that I had no right to be giving my opinion on events in town, or political happenings. I felt that so many others had lived through much worse than I did last year, so why would anyone want to hear my opinion on things, or care what I thought. And then in writing about it all the last few days, I realized a few things. The main one being that the persons that emailed me last year to question me so much have had very little to do in my life in the months since then. They do not interact with my children, they do not ask me how my day was, they do not land with a bottle of wine on my hard days, because they have no idea what my life is like on any given day. I had given my power, my words to people who had no right to it. I thought I had learned this lesson years ago. I have been a strong, opinionated woman for a few years now, what had happened? Well, a lot. And now suddenly, I feel like we have so much to catch up on, I have so much to tell you.

A few months ago, when I announced that I was going to run for council in the fall, I had to give up writing for the Today. I had done the same when I ran in the by-election two years ago, and I think it's fair. But I miss it terribly, and many have contacted me almost every week to ask about what I thought about something that happened at council, or at the provincial level. And I realized a few other things. One was that I love talking about politics, and everything political. And just because I am running for office doesn't mean that I have stopped having opinions on things. People may not always agree with me, but over the years I have learned so much from discussions with those same people, so it has always been a benefit in some way. Also, people have often come to me because I am honest, and try to have a balance approach to whatever the issue is. People liked me because of my openness and my honesty, so why shouldn't that continue when I am looking for their vote?

On the political side of things, now that Nathanial(my son's) graduation is over, I am ready to ramp up the campaign. I will be hitting doorsteps, thinking of creative ways to meet more people and sharing my platform in the next couple of weeks. If you want to meet me for a coffee, chat on the phone, or get involved with the campaign please feel free to email me at vernamurphyforcouncil@gmail.com, or phone me at (780)838-1782. I know I have my own barriers to overcome, like the fact that I don't believe in posting every single thing that I do in the community(I am still thinking that is good Catholic guilt and a Cape Breton upbringing also at play), I hate getting my picture taken, and I often would rather be in the back volunteering than out front making sure the crowd knows I am there. Lately I have been watching videos where people approach things with humour, and honesty, and I was thinking maybe I should start doing a series of videos about local issues, and about who I am. They will not be professional, or polished, just like I am neither, but they will be honest, and hopefully funny at times(and no, Tim, my hubby, will not be appearing.

One other thing that I wanted to talk about today was about this blog. I had gotten a business license after we returned after the fire last year, and was working on advertising and being an affiliate. But once I started thinking about running, I put it all on hold. I didn't want people to think that I was taking money from some companies for ads in relation to my campaign, or that I was writing some stories to seek attention for my campaign. So I shelved it all. Running for council, for me is something that I will never do again if I don't win this time around, so I really want to do it justice, and by the book. Even if it's only in my head, I want my campaign to be one that I am proud of, and one that no one could question the motivations of things that I do. It may sound silly, but I want to be a candidate that people know they can trust to say one thing, and then actually do the same thing in follow up. I want people to say, "That woman has integrity."

The last few months have been jammed full of lots of changes for me, and everyone in my house, and I am excited to start sharing all of that with you again. And I am even more excited to take you along with me during the next few months, as I think they will be some of the most exciting in my life. I feel like everything has turned for me in the last 6 months(except for the house issues that you will hear about as well), and I am so happy to be back in control and moving forward. I hope you will all join me by either reading about the adventures to come, or play a part in them personally.