Hold Yourself and Try Not to Shake: Some Thoughts on Change

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A lot of you beautiful people have asked me how my move has been and how I’m feeling with all the change. The short answer is: it’s going really great! Then I started writing on my flight back from Toronto a week or so ago, at first just for myself, and I tried to capture exactly how I feel at this transition in my life in words. I wasn’t going to share it but then I thought, ‘hey fuck it!’. And so here it is. An essay, or rather a stream of consciousness about change.

Thank you for your amazing support! I miss my friends and fam back in Toronto dearly but I am glad I made the move. Your love means the world to me!

– XOXO Sari

It’s weird living between 2 homes. As I sit on a plane heading back from Toronto to NY I wonder if this is home, somewhere in the clouds between the two major epicentres of my past and future.

Change is such an odd beast. Almost like the visual of hugging tightly to one adorable kitten and then watching it jump away while you see the next adorable kitten slowly skips towards you in the distance. You know you will clutch it soon and it will be in your arms and you might not even miss the old kitten once it is, but for now you are alone with your arms empty and your heart longing for that kitten to spring forward to you. Yes I’m saying that having a home is like cuddling an adorable kitten. The super fuzziest of ones.

I feel I’ve had a complicated relationship with change. When I was younger I would often say I hated change, I dreaded it. Because to my young and fragile youth change usually meant something dreadful was going to happen. Like someone you loved was going to leave you and never come back and you would be forced in to learning how to live with a gaping hole swelling beside your heart. Change, to me then, was deep and utter darkness. It was disappointment of the worst kind.

Then when I pulled myself out of it and started my career change became my often sung about motto. It became the “posi quotes” I peppered my mind with to try to drown out the harsh realities. To pull myself through and remind myself things will be better if I work hard and stay focused. And in that sense it worked. Embracing change, for the best, allowed me to transform my life. Being back in Toronto, walking to work on the streets I did for the last 8+ years, reminded me of this transformation from child to adult, from insecure and angry, to assured and confident and I think even if I can be so bold to say, happy. Each morning as I walked along these streets or ran along the great blue waterfront I burned in my mind images of strength and power and slowly I became a new version of myself. I forgave, I forgot, and I learned to manage my stress in ways I never knew existed. So change, you could say, was my saving grace.

Now, 25, flying back to a new city, one that I hope to one day call home, my definition of change is somewhere in-between the two extremes. I talk a lot about balance. I talk a lot about patience and how I have very little of it. These words, repeated in bars, over bands, on streets, in homes, with lights and plants, these words, they are the remnants of what creeps through my head slowly, what I’m devising between my ears. As I work it out I try them on for size. I hear myself make statements I know I believe in and I wonder if by saying them aloud I will one day be able to embrace them at my core.

And in that way change has always been something I’ve forced on myself. The good kind, the bad kind has happened with the exact disregard of the latter. But the good change, the change that has brought me here to this plane, and these words, that has always been something I have never felt totally on top of. I often find myself saying or writing the visuals, the scripts, of who I want to be or what I want to be able to do or the future I would like to have before I indeed have the power or control to be that person. So maybe change is elusive. Maybe it’s a social construction all made up in our heads to distract us from our power to do whatever we want. And maybe change is simply whatever you make of it. Maybe it’s everything and it’s really just nothing at all.

But how do you explain that sneaky kind of change? The change that happens when you wake up one day and notice that you now have a very small gap between your two front teeth. Or that your natural hair colour used to be a richer brown. The kind of change that is so you, but you never even know when it’s happening. I was not required in the planning of this change. Perhaps it was on another board meeting’s agenda and the vote just didn’t go my way.

There are things I need to change. I wonder if I do hash through the list of crap I know I still need to resolve in myself, which I would like to, who will I be at the end? Rid of all stress and negative BS holding me back? Clear and focused on the future? Truly untouchable? Who I am kidding. There is no place where you can be resolved of all your neurosis, for that is what keeps us grounded. Right? It is a long endless winding path not an upwards mountain where you reach the top and springboard in to the clouds and enjoy a life rid of your inner turmoil and bullshit.

So for now I will try to breath deep and not let my chest get tight when I’m not paying attention. I will try to not let the stupid voice in my head tell me I am nothing, nobody, and unworthy of success. I will tell it to fuck right off.

Today is the day I decided I belong here, in New York City. The big the daunting and the fucking glorious New York City. I like how this city makes me feel. I like who I am inside of it and how it feels with its arms around me.

I know I can only see a fraction of the whole. Peering through a keyhole so small and trying to see the bigger picture. I know patience and time will split open the crack in the door wider. I know I will slowly see it all in technicolour and I will understand the intricate pieces and how they all fit together. For now, I will talk about patience and try to embrace it.

For now, I will accept that there will be a million more situations I never could expect that I will find myself forced to navigate through. Ones of a horrible and utterly disgusting variety, I’m sure, but also ones of triumphant and incredibly amazing greatness. We take the ups with the downs and we roll them in to this blanket we call life. This quilt with is dark patchy holes and bright sunny rainbows. These all live there side by side tucking you in at night. And when you get cold and feel empty or between blankets old and new, you need to just hold yourself and try not to shake.


Sari Delmar is the Founder and CEO of AB Co., a North American digital, lifestyle, and communications agency that specializes in music programs and events. Sari has spoken at international conferences (Big Sound, Canadian Music Week), sits on the Toronto Music Advisory Council and the Women in Music Canada board, and was profiled in the Globe and Mail Small business column (“from Music Fan to Music mogul”) in 2014. In 2015, Sari was awarded with an International Women Achievers’ Award in the Entertainment category and named as a Rising Star in ProfitGuide and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Canadian Female Entrepreneurs list. Learn more about the work AB does at: http://WeAreAB.co.

One thought on “Hold Yourself and Try Not to Shake: Some Thoughts on Change

  1. Wishing you all the continued success and adventure Sari! You should be so proud of what you have done to date and embrace this change and hang on for dear life! NYC is phenomenal and you totally deserve it! Super excited to watch your next steps! It was amazing working with you and watching your company continue to expand .

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