Look What You Made Me Do

Happy birthday to my blog! 

It’s been seven years of crazy stories, a name change, three cities, two provinces, 19 million jobs, and for some reason, you’re still reading! That’s awesome! That’s also longer than I’ve ever been able to commit to a human being, a house, a city, pretty much everything but my cell phone company. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my adventures these past seven years. I know I’ve enjoyed every step of them, as they helped shape who I am as a person. I’ve learned to live life on my terms, and that it’s okay to march to the beat of your own drum & do things your way. I’m sorry I don’t have some inspirational junk, but I’m not really an inspirational person. I’m just a regular human, trying to raise a family, be a decent person, and super loves Taylor Swift. But I hope you’re all living life on your terms as well, and I hope it makes you happy. 


I guess that’s what we all need to do; live life for us. On our terms, & if people don’t like it, fuck em. Maybe my life isn’t the way you want it to be, but it’s mine and I’m so utterly in love with my life, my family, my job, and my portfolio. It’s mine and I made it for me, my terms, my way. When people feel the need to question your choices, or call you names, you’ve gotta remember that’s all that they have; talk. While you’re out there doing your thing, they’re talking. I used to care about the talk. I tried so hard to bend to please everyone; friends, lovers, bosses. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve learned that while I’m doing stuff, they’re just talking. While I’m raising my kids, writing my articles, working, exercising, and living life to the fullest, they’re sitting in bachelor apartments calling me a cunt on Tumblr whining about things that don’t matter instead of moving forward or doing something about it. I recently had this same conversation with my middle daughter, when she wanted to return the shoes she asked for because kids would make fun of her. I reminded her that people who talk about you aren’t friends. You’ve gotta be who makes you happy; not your friends, not your sisters, not even me. In the end, an insult is just a word. It only hurts if you let it. Much like Taylor Swift embraced the insults her detractors threw at her & will use those monikers to make a fortune, everyone should remember that the best revenge is living well. I choose to live well & set a good example for my girls. 

My girl Pink summed it up so nicely at the MTV VMA’s, in her beautiful speech to her daughter Willow. No matter what you do, people will talk their shit. But every one of us is meant to change the world, whether it’s redefining beauty standards, using their voice for change like Pink, setting an example as a strong female artist like Taylor, or just making a difference to your inner circle. We all have it in us to make things better. But to do that, we can’t alter who we are to fit society. We change to become who we’re meant to be to make society better. So, as Pink said, take the gravel and pressure and become a pearl. Let them whine on Tumblr with their funions. Do your thing; shine your light.


Maybe that’s why I like to keep up the blog; maybe I like reminding myself that while my life isn’t perfect, it’s the life that makes me happy. I get to see how I’ve evolved. I’m not inspiring, that’s Beyoncé. But I hope you’re all living your happiest life too. 


Thanks for reading this for seven years. I hope to entertain you for seven more, even if it is just you feeling better about your life because it’s not ridiculous like mine. 

Style

Happy birthday ASH Multimedia!

Five years ago, I started this little blog to help endorse my ex husband’s photography career. The photography & the husband are gone, but after 511 posts, over 65K views & five years, I’m still writing & that’s kind of rad. 

I don’t even recognize the person I used to be. I look at old photos and wonder who that woman is. I don’t recognize her (not just because I’ve dropped 100lbs) & I’m so glad. I love the person I found while muddling through life & finding that my life needed many things; passion for my career, a commitment to being a role model to my daughters, all the Crossfit, and the strength to stand on my own & become the woman I always was meant to be. 

 

The five year evolution of MHC
 
I no longer fear being my overly determined, impulsive & flighty self. I no longer fear being left to deal with life on my own. I no longer fear anything, except for geese, because they are terrible. I don’t take life too seriously anymore; I’m not going to make it out alive anyway. Now I trust that the universe will put me where I need to be & I’ll sieze those opportunities & make them my bitch. I’ve finally hacked away all the poison friends, relationships, self doubt & fear & have only the good left. And I love it. 

NEVER take life seriously

I used to think that I needed to conquer the world (this is lies, I still want this), but now, I just want to work towards my goals & make my daughters proud of me. So, I’ve decided to build my life on three basic rules. All I need is this;

1. Something to work for (whether it’s to be a better writer, or a better mother, a better girlfriend, Crossfitter, or human). 

2. Someone to love & love me in return (my children, my friends, my mom & brother & my beau, whom I have always loved & always will)

3. Faith in myself & my path, whether it’s the one that was well worn, or the one I forged myself through the mountains. 

The rest are details that mean little to me. I may never be a staff writer (this is lies, I for sure will), or a wife again (which is so low on my list of priorities, under “get root canal”), or a size six. But I will always be MHC & that’s the most awesome thing ever. 

Thanks for hanging out with me & my kooky life for five years. I’m sorry if you applied any of my ideas to your life & probably screwed it up for you. Might I suggest Taylor Swift or Beyoncé as a role model? They’re much better at this. I hope you don’t recognize yourself from five years ago because you’ve grown into the person you were meant to be. I hope you’ve found joy, happiness, & you’ve found the love of your life. 

I look forward to what the next five years will bring…

   

Shake It Off

Happy Birthday ASH Multimedia!

I started this bliggity four years ago today and I wanted to thank all of you for going on this crazy ride known as my life with me. I’m not going to review all of the ups and downs, just thank you for reading my thoughts and feelings as life happens and hope you kept the laughing @ me to a minimum. I once had an audience of one and that meant everything to me; now I have a much larger audience and that’s really awesome. I’m so excited to see how my little creative outlet has grown.

Every year on this day I try to impart some kind of wisdom that I think will help with daily life. Today is no different.

***Disclaimer: I am a moron. Helpful wisdom is for entertainment purposes only***

I’ve always believed that some of us were put on this Earth to change the world and accomplish amazing things. My daughters are three of those people. I once told someone very important to me that his destiny was to accomplish great things & I just wanted to be by his side while he did.
Now, I like to think I am one of those people, but then I remember, not likely. I write puff pieces & this blog. But I think we all have some kind of purpose on this planet and sometimes that purpose is hard to see when things kind of suck. For a long time, I didn’t really give myself credit for my life’s accomplishments, only my failures. But when I sit in my little house by the creek, with my punch clock job & my new media job & another media project a friend is starting, my happy and healthy children and my 65lbs weight loss, I realize that we as humans need to let ourselves feel pride in who we are. It’s okay to be selfish and say “I did this,” because we need to feel competent and successful. I know what I can do & how strong & successful I can be & I’m proud of that. I no longer need to see my worth in being beside someone; I have worth for being me.

But that’s not my wisdom.

My wisdom is a simple lesson I had to tell myself when I felt completely alone and miserable. I had felt betrayed, like an idiot, and so completely alone and humiliated. But, when I woke up in the morning, I looked in the mirror and said “I’m still here.” Those three words got me through all of the bad times from that day on. Obviously, whatever was bothering me, whatever thing that I thought was life altering and heartbreaking couldn’t be that bad, because I’m still here. I’m still here on this Earth to raise my daughters and accomplish something important. At various points in my life, like all of you, I would lay my head down on my pillow and sob and wish I wouldn’t wake up in the morning…but I did and I’m so glad that I did, because now I get to live my raddest life. I’m still here, on this planet, to make some kind of difference, so I plan to live my raddest life, and be happy, and be positive, and be the person I’ve always want to be so I can teach my daughter how to live their raddest lives.

So, if you’re in the “everything sucks” part of your journey, it’s okay. We all have that part of our story and you’ll soon learn that it’s actually one of the most awesome parts of your journey. No, I’m not insane. All of that bad, horrible crap that rips your heart out and brings you to your knees will help you see how strong and brave you can be. You’ll learn that while in those dark moments, maybe you didn’t handle them with grace or maturity (I know I didn’t), but that’s okay; anyone who says that they handled every single thing in life with poise & grace & has never gone a little bit crazy is a big liar. However, you endured and when they’re over, you’ll have the joy of knowing that you are strong and powerful and brave…and no one can ever take that away from you unless you let them. You are in control of your feelings, how you see yourself. If someone is crushing you, you’re letting them. Take control by telling yourself every day that you are worthy of living the best life. By reminding yourself that this life altering, soul crushing blow wasn’t the end, it’ll help you to keep moving on & when it’s all over & you’re succeeding & thriving; you’ll know that it’s because you learned from the bad.

So, thanks for reading four years of my drivel. I hope to amuse you for four more. I hope we get through lots of really cool stuff together. Maybe I’ll get to tell you about how I met my soulmate and I just knew. Maybe I’ll announce I got the best journalism gig ever (although I really love the one I just started) or another awesome move & of course, how my girls become women. Maybe someday I’ll write my book on love (working title is “I attract Losers”) and you can be hipsters & say you knew me BEFORE it became big & turned into a romcom starring Jessica Alba & Adam Levine. And we’ll laugh. And we’ll cry. And we’ll be strong and amazing people, because we’ll all still be here.

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Day 14: A Year of Change

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The challenge was to post a photo from last year & discuss how I have changed. Normally, I’d say I’m the same girl I’ve always been, but that’s not true.

Last year, I felt life was hopeless. My daughter was mad at the world & I felt like a failure as a mom. My education wasn’t going well. My friendships were strained. My magazine folded & life without journalism felt bleak. I was healing from a breakup. I was freaking miserable.

But, I kept going. Sometimes, when life feels hopeless, all you’ve got are the little victories. I went to school today. I got my kid in therapy. I handed in my assignments. I went to placement & did well. Soon, those little victories become big ones. I finished school. I found a job. I did well at my job. I helped my child cope with anger & she’s doing well & doesn’t need counselling anymore. I became stronger & more self aware. All of these things helped me be happier.

Then there are the physical changes. I’m 15 lbs lighter. My arms are thinner. I wear a smaller size, and of course, the most obvious; my hair. My once jet black hair is now a warmer brown. The change brightened my face, made my eyes stand out & dare I say I feel like I’m prettier.

The year was hard but I’m grateful because once again I learned what I can accomplish if I try, which is a lot. So, I’m stronger, wiser & more at peace. These lessons I will take to my shiny new home, that I will move in to in 75 days.

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Day 11: Favourite Quote

I have many, most of them are by Oscar Wilde or Edgar Allen Poe. However, my all time favourite quote was said by the wisest person of all. He was brilliant, yet often dismissed for being dumb. He was fat shamed, bullied & his ideas largely discredited. He associated with misfits; his best friends had anxiety issues, OCD & Schitzophrenia, Dyslexia & of course, a serious case of Biploar Disorder. But he learned through those friendships, & one could learn more about unconditional love, life & happiness from this wise peron than any psychologist or self help guru in the world.

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Day One: 15 Random Facts

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I try to do one of these every year, because I think writing about a particular subject each day helps me improve as a writer but helps people who read this crap get to know me as a person better & relate to my world a little more.

I could go through the introduction, but this seems much easier, so click here.

Next, some interesting facts about me. Sadly, nothing about me is terribly interesting so you’ll just have to settle for random facts.

1. In December, I bought Silver Linings Playbook to watch on a night off. I still have not done that. Maybe because I so rarely have nights off.

2. In addition to my Branta canadensis specific ornithophobia, I’m claustrophobic & I’m not terribly cool with mice either.

3. I’m way too amused by the doge meme & I visit the doge weather site all of the time. Much obsessed. Very laugh. So funny. Wow.

4. I’m so conscious of how my choices affect my daughters because I know how my mom’s choices affected me. I don’t want them to feel “screwed up” like I do.

5. I carry my Certificate of Divorce in my purse because I worked so hard to get it & spent a small fortune, so I’m pretty proud.

6. I keep a pair of shorts beside my bedside table so I’ll be motivated to exercise in the morning.

7. I just completed a 30 day squat challenge & I’m on day two of an abs & core challenge. 30 days of arms is next.

8. Trish Stratus is my idol & I would literally buy anything she endorses, except the Maple Leafs. I use her yoga DVD & Fit Gloves every day, bought New Balance shoes for running in the spring & if I ever interviewed her, it would be worse than when I fangirled over Amanda Marshall. Interviewing Trish Stratus would be the greatest day of my career.

9. All of life’s woes can be cured with pancakes or pancake type food, like crepes.

10. I once bought myself a diamond ring for my birthday. I was supposed to get engaged that day and when it all went to Hell, I went out & bought my own as some kind of empowerment thing. I have since misplaced said diamond ring in my house somewhere. Don’t all propose @ once guys.

11. I was recently barred from the Caesars Windsor gaming floor for the night because I didn’t have a second piece of photo ID. I’m in my thirties.

12. I cry @ the end of Monsters Inc. Every. Single. Time.

13. My entire love life can be summed up in the chorus of the song Endlessly by Green River Ordinance or All too Well by Taylor Swift. That makes me sad. It also makes me realize that I need to get out more, work less & like better music (except GRO, they are bomb).

14. I called the last guy I went on a date with a pretentious fop. I was most excited that I got to use the word fop in a sentence.

15. I’m designing my seventh tattoo. Okay I outsourced it. Someone else is designing my seventh tattoo. I’m excited either way.

There you have it kids, 15 amazeballs facts about MHC. Sorry they aren’t really that interesting. I’ll try to be cooler next year.

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Say Something

I can’t sleep in hotel rooms well (not that I sleep well on a good day. Useless MH fact, I get wicked insomnia & suffer from night terrors or at least really vivid nightmares. Stress means no sleep. Looking at houses all weekend is stressful). My mind always ends up wandering to weird places. So, I’m gonna jot it all down & pretend it makes sense.

Throughout our lives, we’ll be happy. We’ll be sad. We’ll be epic douchebags. This is everyone. This is life. Throughout our lives we’ll pretend to be happy when we’re sad. We’ll use sad to make excuses for being douchebags. It’s a circle.

But through all of these moments, who was with is through it all. When you were happy, who was by your side? Who was with you for a little while during your sadness but once you hit bottom, walked away? Who got sick of your douchebaggery & left?

Part of life is owning your douchebaggery, something I’ve tried to do. Owning your pain. Creating your own happiness. But humans need each other too. So, think about everyone you’ve ever met. Who did you stand beside during their douchebaggery? Who did you walk away from? Who stood with you In your joy but left you in pain? When you were your cruellest, who (did the right thing for them) left you behind because you were a dick & who silently endured your cruelty & hopes you find joy?

Hopefully, when you think of the list of people who were there in your joy, held you through your sadness & took your douchebaggery with grace as you took theirs, your list has your parents & siblings, your best friends & your soulmate. I know mine has most of those. If not, then I truly feel sorry for you, as you have no true emotional connections.

We all go through periods of awesome & periods where we’re an awful person. However, it’s comforting to know that sometimes, there are people who will love all of that, if this makes any sense @ all, because I feel like it doesn’t.

Of course, even those who leave you (or you leave behind) are still connected to you, because hate & love are connected. Hate is love enraged. You are so angry with the person you love that you loathe them for not being what you believed they could be or what you wanted to mold them into. The absence of love is indifference. I learned this post-marriage when I hated him for all he did & continued to do. Then one day, I didn’t care anymore. Same with two friends, one I despised for betraying my trust. Loathed him. Now I see it was my love for him as a person that made me hate; I felt like he was not the person I thought & I felt let down. The other, I actually have thought “I hope she’s well,” when she’s mentioned, but I just don’t think we’re meant to be close friends. I think we bring out negative traits in each other.

I think I’m done rambling, as this didn’t make me any sleepier & I don’t think it makes sense. So, I’ll leave it with a quote that I think explains my thought process better.

There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.

Dear Olympic Committee, Sponsors & Networks: Why I won’t Watch Your Games

(I understand this deviates a bit from my normal formula of self depreciating wit, I promise to bring it back tomorrow.)

Dear IOC, Major Television Networks & Corporate Sponsors,

Let me introduce myself. I am a 30 something single mom who lives in works in Canada. I’m not a celebrity, of anyone important by any stretch of the imagination. I have never won an Oscar or an Emmy & my only medal is a silver medal when my eighth grade class represented Thun, Switzerland in the bid for a pretend Winter Olympic Games.

I am, however, a huge supporter of the Olympic Games. Every four years, a school project was dedicated to an Olympic sport. I waited with baited breath & stayed up all night to see if you would let Ross Rebagliatti keep his gold medal. I stayed up all night to watch the Beijing Olympics live. I forced my then boyfriend to sit through events we had never heard of (Keirin? What?) & even saluted when the US teams won medals (even though I’m a proud Canadian). I have six pairs of those red mitts, stuffed mascots & books everywhere. I cry when Canadian athletes stand on the podium & stand for my anthem with pride. I love the Olympic Spirit…

…but I will not watch one moment of the Sochi games.

There are things in life that I love more than the Olympic spirit & those are my daughters, my family & human rights. I cannot in good faith celebrate a host nation that punishes people for loving whom they choose or people who support them.

I’ve read about the state-sanctioned corrective rape, the sickeningly high suicide rates & Vladmir Putin’s claims he’s defending “traditional family.” Fifty years ago, my family was not traditional. A single mother, that wasn’t a widow, working full time while building a career was unheard of! Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon would have been stoned in the street for their interracial marriage & children. Traditions change, families are redefined every day. Same sex families are every bit the new normal. I can’t imagine how anyone could look at photos of Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka with their children & not see a beautiful & loving family. Traditional is so subjective. BDSM isn’t traditional, is that banned? No Fifty Shades of Gray? Or is that okay because it’s heterosexual relations? But I digress.

As much as I love the Olympic spirit, I love people more. I love my LGBT family members & friends who would be forced to live a horrible life if they were in Russia. I love my daughters, whom I need to teach right from wrong & the Russian law is WRONG. I cannot support the spirit of the games when your host nation breaks human spirit every day. So , you can keep your games; I’ll watch reruns of Glee. I won’t be enjoying any sponsors during the games either. Sorry.

I know I’m a nobody. I’m not Lady Gaga or Stephen Fry or George Takei. I’m just one woman & I won’t affect your ratings or your games. But I’ve always taught my girls that one person has a voice & I am using mine to tell you that what you are doing is wrong. I’m also using it to implore all athletes to use their time to perform well & if they support LGBT families, use this chance to support them. Use the spirit of the games to support the human spirit, the greatest thing we as people have.

Sincerely, MHC

Best I Ever Had

AKA a series of photos detailing my year.

As I’m getting ready for my move, my plans & my amazeballs 2014, I wanted to showcase the awesomeness that was 2013 in a series of awesome photos.

So, in 2013, this happened…

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Finally! My Divorce is final!
Finally! My Divorce is final!
So, I decided to celebrate. By torching my wedding dress.
So, I decided to celebrate. By torching my wedding dress.

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Lifehouse concert...best show of the year.
Lifehouse concert…best show of the year.
Ke$ha was better than I thought
Ke$ha was better than I thought
My friend is leading a campaign against the Adventures of Tintin. She's doing fairly well I think
My friend is leading a campaign against the Adventures of Tintin. She’s doing fairly well I think

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WWE wrasslin with the littles. I needed to be decked out too, so while they're in their AJ Lee digs...I chose CM Punk.
WWE wrasslin with the littles. I needed to be decked out too, so while they’re in their AJ Lee digs…I chose CM Punk.

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Let the house hunting begin! On this empty train
Let the house hunting begin! On this empty train
Lionel Ritchie rocked!
Lionel Ritchie rocked!

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I changed my hair colour for the first time in 10 years. I felt this warranted a mention. I'm not just that vain to put a random selfie in there...or am I?
I changed my hair colour for the first time in 10 years. I felt this warranted a mention. I’m not just that vain to put a random selfie in there…or am I?
The Angriest Tween's first concert: The Wanted
The Angriest Tween’s first concert: The Wanted
Since the Texan is too far away to celebrate with, we have to stick with Bitstrips where she hurls food @ me in front of the President
Since the Texan is too far away to celebrate with, we have to stick with Bitstrips where she hurls food @ me in front of the President

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Have a great holiday everyone & I hope your year was full of awesome moments too.

The New Year

Can you believe 2013 is almost over?

It seems like just yesterday I was heading to classes after my winter break. However, it’s not yesterday, it was months ago. Since then there have been triumphs, setbacks, a Maroon 5 concert, milestones, a Lifehouse concert, a Lionel Ritchie concert,The Wanted concert, my daughters celebrated birthdays & I just finished their holiday shopping. Now to count down the days until Sandy Claws brings them loot & we enjoy another holiday together.

This means 2014 is just around the corner & I can’t wait! 2013 brought me the end of my collegiate studies, a good job, I learned who my real friends are & my blog was successful. My girls were academically successful & successful in music. My divorce was finally final & now I have a whole big wonderful future to look forward to! I hate the idea of resolutions, but I love lists & goal setting. LOVE THEM. So, I compiled a list of goals I’d like to accomplish for 2014. I’m hoping by next year, I’ll have met them all. In the interim, I’m looking forward to what these journeys bring. And without further adieu, I present: MHC’s goals for 2014!

1. MOVE. This move is the big task of 2014. Finding a house, painting & decorating, buying the new furniture, all good things. I’m looking forward to my fresh start. New city, new people, new adventures. I hate that I’m moving the littles so close to the end of their school year, but they’ll make friends for the summer! I’m excited about the move. I’m excited to start over & build new memories in a new city.

2. Get in shape & stay that way. I have trouble staying motivated, but thanks to the Psych Major & the Squatties, a FB group I joined, I have a tonne of encouragement. I work out with Stratusphere yoga every day & I jog with the angriest tween. I also started meal planning & eating better. Looking forward to rocking a LBD for my birthday.

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3. Continue to be a role model for my girls. This means improve my self esteem, work hard, back up what I say & support them in their pursuits. Being a good mom is important to me, so it’s something I’m going to continue to work towards.

4. Get a new media gig. Find a magazine. Apply. Get job. Admire byline. Working in my field will bring me so much joy & I’m looking forward to it. I’ll mail everyone copies of my first byline when it happens.

5. Fall in love. After 15 months of self imposed solitude, I’m going to attempt to meet men again! I think I’m glad that I took this time to be alone, because I know who I am, what I want, & that I don’t “need” anyone to complete me. I was on my own for over a year, with no man, & I didn’t die. I finished school by myself, with the only people helping me were my classmates. I got a job by myself, paid my bills by myself, with no help from anyone, not even my daughters’s father. I did well at my job by myself, raised my girls by myself, and I may not have done it perfectly, but now I know that I can be on my own. This will help me find the right relationship, because I know that I don’t need anyone. I can take care of myself so if you’re in my life, it’s because I want you there. I won’t need to devalue myself for someone anymore. I’m going to be an equal & a partner & that person is going to love me for all the things that I do to make them happy & for who I am.

6. Be happy. Every day. I’m going to make myself happy every day. Whether because it’s I heard my favourite song on the radio, my house is clean & I get to enjoy a bubble bath after work, my daughter made me a picture at school or because I got everything I ever wanted, I’m going to be happy. I’m going to make the most of crappy situations. I’m going to smile & laugh & sing along with the radio & it’s going to be super awesome. I’m going to revel in how awesome life is every day & just be happy.

Those are my goals; I hope you make some quality goals for yourself & accomplish them too! Because everyone deserves to live a wonderful life.

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