For Now

In the never ending story that is my life, we’ll call this chapter “the time everything absolutely fucking sucked.”

I’ll keep the major details to myself, as there are a great many things that I still choose not to share with the internet, but trust me when I say this week absolutely fucking sucks. Because it sucks, I’m seriously contemplating functional alcoholism (despite the fact that I rarely drink), or maybe full Brie Mode (for those of you that don’t watch Total Divas, click here for the definition of Brie Mode).

Despite the fact that I have the most amazing friends back home, sometimes I feel like I can’t talk to anyone, because they all tell me “you’re so strong, you’re Superwoman.” I want to be a superhero, and that bad ass woman they all tell me that I am, but am I? I don’t feel very super. I feel more like “pitifully average human who is drowning under the pressure to be a good mom and a good writer and a good employee and a good Crossfitter and pay bills while still looking pretty and maintaining a social life, despite having one friend that isn’t a coworker.” Being a one woman operation is tough kids.

We live in a FB filtered world; no one wants to admit that their life isn’t perfect and maybe they aren’t the superhero that their inner circle thinks that they are. No one wants to admit that they sometimes think they’re a shitty parent or looks at their bank statement, which is currently negative $36 and wonders how Xmas will be wonderful when cheerleading fees need to be paid and the gas bill is due and one kid needs new glasses and another has a field trip & it all costs money. No one wants to admit that sometimes they just want a night off from trying to be the best and just go out with friends, but since you don’t really have any, it’s hard to go places (sometimes I feel like I’m in the ninth grade again, where I wonder if people actually like me, or if they just want me to help them with the grownup equivalent of helping them with their English homework). No one ever admits that they feel like their very personality is somehow deficient, and you are somehow too weird or annoying for people to actually like, so you feel like you can’t really be yourself around anyone. These are things we just don’t do. Instead, everything is perfect. Everything is fine. Life is awesome.

In my life, everyone is counting on me to be so damned inspirational. Spoiler alert: I’m not inspiring; Beyoncé is inspiring. I’m just me. I’m a mostly unimportant writer and kind of okay assistant cell phone manager who talks too much.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s not socially acceptable to admit you’re not killing it at life right now. That maybe you’re lonely, or stressed out, or you just don’t really feel very good about yourself. Wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to say “I hate literally everything. You ever felt like that?” And someone relate to that? Maybe then we wouldn’t feel like it’s somehow not okay to have moments of self doubt, or sad, or stressed. Instead, we push ourselves to be the superhero we’ve made ourselves out to be and you don’t want to let anyone down. I think it’s harder for women, because we’re taught at an early age that we’re in competition with each other to be the prettiest and the smartest, meeting all of the Game of Life checkpoints while also never getting angry, or feeling less than confident, and God forbid you aren’t a size six! So, we all kind of compete for the best highlight reel and you can’t really live up to the hype.

Sorry guys, I’m not Wonder Woman. I’m just little old me; a plain, boring human who struggles with self esteem and time management, and sometimes is overwhelmed by the enormity of her responsibilities. I’m actually not sorry. If I’m going to be some inspirational ray of fucking sunshine, I need to be an authentic human being. Authentic human beings sometimes hate everything and feel like they suck at everything and look to someone they think has their shit together and goes “man, I wish I had my shit together and was half as awesome as they are.” I look at another manager in my company and wish I was half as cool as she was! She doesn’t care what people think; she just does her thing. She doesn’t second guess every word or thought, hoping she didn’t do something wrong by being herself. She just slays. Who knows? Maybe she gets days where she feels like I do too and looks to someone else to inspire them. Maybe it’s Beyoncé. Who knows?

So, if you ever feel like that, let me be the first to tell you it’s totally okay. Humans are not meant to live by the standards of social media. Humans are messy, complicated beings who sometimes aren’t happy. So, embrace those moments where you feel like the world is crushing you. Allow yourself to feel it, so you can get back up again. It’s okay to feel down; it’s just not okay to stay there, not even for me. In order to be on top, sometimes you’ve got to slide back down a bit. Since I’m feeling down, there is nowhere else to go but up! So, I’ll focus all of my energy on accomplishing all of the things that I’ve set my mind to…

…if not, there’s always functional alcoholism, right?! Brieeeeee Mooooodeeee!

Tell Me You Love Me

Let me tell you the story of MH’s terrible, no good, very bad day.

It actually started off pretty awesome. I had a good visit with my boss, with lots of great feedback. My most favourite member of the management team was filling in across the hall so I got to have a good catch up with him. I got some interviews ready for my latest YEG Fitness piece. Not a bad day at all.

Then a customer called in to discuss his experience yesterday. During this call, he mentioned that he had spoken to me, but he referred to me as “the pregnant lady.” “She’s very pregnant. Huge. Ready to burst.” As I am the only woman on staff, HE WAS VERY OBVIOUSLY TALKING ABOUT ME.

FIRST OF ALL, LET US GET ONE THING STRAIGHT;

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE PREGNANT

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE LAST WEEK

After ranting and complaining to my coworkers, I thought about doing what I always do when my ego is bruised: eat. I eat a ton of shitty food. When I first moved out here, and when my last serious relationship ended, the pizza dudes knew me by name. Some people drink; I eat garbage food. I started flipping through Skip the Dishes, trying to decide what fattening foods I should enjoy, when I closed the app and opened Instagram. I decided to post a progress pic, falling into the social media trap that if it’s on IG, it’s real. Maybe if I could convince the outside world that I was proud of my body, that maybe I could convince myself. I got feedback that ranged from hilarious to empowering. My favourite was from my gym, who made me tear up a little.

For once, social media used its powers for good, not evil! But while all of the rad encouragement was happening, I also didn’t order any junk food. Instead, 2/3 of the crew & I watched the Mae Young Classic (& decided that Candice LeRae is cute as a button) & then went for my Friday night run. By the end of the night, I was kind of kicking myself. I mean, don’t I always tell the girls that words only have power if you allow it? Don’t I have a thicker skin? Does it really matter what a customer thinks (of my appearance)? The only person who should care about how I look is me.

I guess even the toughest humans can end up with bruised egos. When you’re putting a lot of work into something, and someone knocks the wind out of your sails, it’s gonna sting. But you’ve got to handle it in a positive and constructive way. Don’t binge eat nachos; find a way to remind yourself that people who sometimes people just say stupid shit. There’s no ill intentions, they just don’t think before they speak (Dude, I am soooooo guilty of that!). But you can control your reaction. It’s okay to feel hurt, or offended, but don’t let it ruin your progress, whether it’s your health, your job, or your self esteem.

Something Just Like This

It’s time for another round of “Things that Really Grind my Gears.”

Today’s topic; why people who hack phones and steal photos are disgusting people. Also, if you look at them, you’re fucking gross too. 

This week, a round of personal and private photos and videos made by WWE superstar Paige hit the internet. These were four years old. She was 19. But most importantly, they were hers. I will not link those photos. They are none of my business. I haven’t looked at them. Why? They’re none of my business. I had the privilege of meeting Paige a few years ago outside of a WWE live event. She was sweet and lovely to my 10 year old daughter. She told her they were best friends and gave her a hug. My daughter has never forgotten that day and tells me all of the time that she can’t wait for her best friend Paige to feel better and get back into the ring to win championships. Maybe it’s because I met her and saw a sweet young woman who adored her little fans that this whole thing upsets me more than usual. I don’t know her, but I caught a glimpse of Saraya Jade Bevis (Paige’s real name) that day and she was the sweetest and most authentic human being. She didn’t deserve this. No human being deserves to be violated and humiliated like this. I hope she has the support of family and friends and her fiancé & that the legal action she is pursuing protects her. 


Then came the memes. People sending the photos to Paige’s mom, Saraya Knight, her fiancé, & the wife of one of the men in the video. Then jokes were made. After all, this is just so funny, right? It’s not funny. It’s awful. If you follow me on social media and share this garbage, please unfollow. There is nothing funny about kicking someone while they’re down. 

The next day, WWE Superstar Summer Rae was threatened with badly photoshopped “leaks,” which forced her to respond. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough to humiliate one person; we needed to invent pretend photos to feel powerful and tear down a woman. 


 The women and men involved in these, real or doctored, are victims of a crime. They’ve been humiliated (or someone has tried to humiliate them). To the person who does this, you are fucking disgusting. If you are distributing them, you are just as bad as the people who stole them. 

Fun fact; I work with cell phones. I sell them for a living. I troubleshoot them when they get messed up. I see your search history and your photos. Glass houses friends. I see a lot of people claiming that they should know better, they shouldn’t take these photos. That this is what you get. Wait. What? Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s like me saying that if you bought a house and then got robbed, that you should have known better than to buy nice stuff. You did not have permission to see Paige naked. You didn’t have permission to see Summer Rae naked. Doctoring photos to pretend you saw Summer Rae naked is the equivalent of lying in high school about sleeping with a girl that said no. Every time you view these personal photos, or in the case of Summer Rae, pretend photos, you are just as bad as those who stole them. You are actively participating in the degredation of a human being in the attempt to humiliate them. When you post memes or jokes about the situation, you are basically saying that you’re cool with a gross invasion of someone’s privacy, or lying about another human being for your amusement. It’s wrong & gross. I’m pretty sure if the contents of your phone were dumped online, or those personal things you’ve sent your partner, you wouldn’t like it. So why would you be okay with it because it’s a celebrity? They’re humans, not trained zoo animals who owe you their dignity. 

When I go off on my soapbox about this (like I did a few years ago when this happened to Jennifer Lawrence), creeps always tell me that if a male celebrity’s nudes leaked, I’d be all over it. Well, you would be wrong. When WWE Superstar (& my celebrity crush) Seth Rollins’s private photos hit the internet, I made it a point not to look at them. Why? Because Seth Rollins didn’t want me to see him naked. Those photos were for his girlfriend, not me. I don’t want to participate in the degredation of a man who’s career I enjoy watching on TV. So, I refrained. It’s not that hard. It’s just called being a decent human. 


So, to my fellow browsers of the internet, I implore you; don’t be a douchebag. Stop making fake nude photos to attempt to humiliate someone. Stop distributing personal and private photos to humiliate somebody. Stop making memes to make light of the fact that someone was violated and the victim of a crime. Stop sending the photos to the victim’s mom, fiancé, etc. Stop throwing stones to shame these victims while hoping no one ever checks your glass house. Just be a decent human being. It’s not even hard. Before you look, think of the most humiliating moment of your life. Now, imagine if you’d want the entire world to be a part of that. 

I know it’s probably really tempting to go see a celebrity you think is attractive naked, but had they wanted you to see them naked; they’d have posed nude publicly. We need to stop acting like we own famous people and have the rights to their bodies, their privacy, their dignity, even their most personal moments. Everyone deserves dignity and control over their body. Stop taking it away from them. Don’t look; log off. 

Cheap Thrills

I work in customer service and media relations. I pride myself on my level of customer service. At my last workplace my customer service score was 100%. During my Target Mobile tenure, one of my customers sent an email to Target Canada’s head office praising my service. During my management team’s follow up calls, they tell me how my customers praise my empathy, genuine interest in them & product knowledge. There’s a reason my friends call me in the Cow Province instead of their cell providers in Ontario; because I take pride in my job & my ability to do it well. They call me “Cell Phone Jesus” (although I prefer the title “Queen of Telecommunications” as is in my Twitter bio). Thanks to this, I may never need to apply for a job again, for I’m often contacted by recruiters for open positions. In fact, I’m currently in the interview process for a new position that will help me transition my wireless career into a wireless/public relations career. I REALLY want this job, so if you could send all the happy thoughts, love, trend the #HireMHC tag on Twitter, prayers or sacrifices to Cthulu, that’d be GREAT (yup, I humblebragged. Fight me). 

Flashback to when Bossman Adam bought me a tiara

But customer service is super important to me, because as both a customer service representative & a person who buys stuff, I expect it on both sides of the counter. So, when I see an example of poor customer service in my travels, I tend to want to comment. 

This past week, lovable WWE jerk Kevin Owens made a comment online about a restaurant called Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce, claiming he waited quite some time & he and his wife Karina ended up leaving when they were told to wait even longer for their meal. The staff then proceeded to take catty shots on Twitter in a manner reminiscent of Owens’s in character tweets to fans & then somehow, the story ended up being relevant enough to be discussed on Ariel Helwani’s podcast, prompting Owens to post a rebuttal. While right now, it’s a source of annoyance for Owens, it’s a helpful lesson in good customer service. 

I always tell my team that we are representing a company and cellular brands. We are the face of them. If we do a good job, they tell their friends. If we don’t, they tell EVERYONE. Go to any restaurant or cell company’s Facebook & see the comments of “I went into _____ location & they were dicks!” Or ask someone what cell company/restaurant to recommend. They will lead with “don’t go here, they suck.” Why? Because humans naturally gravitate towards the negative. When I think of my first cell phone & the bad customer experience I received (I won’t name names), I know that bias slips into my work, as I lead with Rogers phones, as I’ve had great service with Rogers. Once again, that level of positive service reaps rewards. I’ve never met Kevin Owens, but I do know based on this, I won’t go to Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce next time I’m in Montreal either. Not because of the complaint, but the response & the continued attempts to embarrass Mr. Owens afterwards. That’s just bad customer service. That night, he wasn’t lovable jerk Kevin Owens; he was thoughtful husband Kevin Steen, a guy that really just wanted to take his wife out to dinner. He got poor service & made a comment about it on social media, you know, like everyone else ever. 


I think I empathized with him because I know how seriously Kevin Owens takes his role as brand ambassador for WWE. Last September, my mom bought my kids & I WWE live event tickets to celebrate my youngest’s sixth birthday (& mine, which is 10 days later). My youngest, dressed in her Nikki Bella gear from head to toe carefully made a sign saying she wanted to meet her hero, as well as her favourite wrestler, Seth Rollins. However, Nikki Bella was injured, but fellow Diva Natalya helped my child get a birthday wish from Nikki, which she did & is still on her IG. However, when Kevin Owens arrived, my then eight year old rushed over to the fence to try and get an autograph for her uncle, who’s birthday had just passed & a shy eight year old was drowned out by the “it’s still real to them” crowd & he didn’t hear her. She cried. My oldest suggested we put it on Twitter & maybe it could be funny promo fodder or we’d get a snarky tweet because she finds them funny. After all, it was an accident. Even my eight year old knew it was an accident & had moved on to seeing if she could wave to Cody Rhodes. Owens tweeted back asking what had happened, and even though I stressed it was an accident, she was fine, no harm done, he arranged for the girls to go backstage to the meet & greet, where they got to meet Seth Rollins (& they all nearly died of joy) & messaged a belated birthday wish to their uncle. By the end of the night, my eight year old was crying again, because she didn’t get to meet Owens to thank him.  But to say it didn’t stick out is an understatement. Many of my wrestling fan friends already liked Owens for his in ring ability, but his commitment to the fans made them respect him more. My kids adore Kevin Owens & can’t wait for his action figure to arrive (although it DOES have to apologize to their Sami Zayn for the whole being a jerk to Sami Zayn thing) & I have no problem lining his coffers with my purchases of Kevin Owens merchandise (even though I’m sure his gesture has more to do with him being a father of a child close in age than my buying his merch). The guy running the Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce Twitter could learn from him. 

For my family, Kevin Owens isn’t just a wrestler; he’s a guy who did a really cool thing for my kids. He didn’t have to do anything. But he did & my kids are forever grateful. Nikki Bella didn’t have to wish my daughter a happy birthday. She wasn’t even there! But she, Natalya & Owens went above & beyond & it’ll always stick out & I’ll never tank them enough. THAT is being a brand ambassador & something too few people seem to care about. Both situations started with a tweet about an experience. The difference is that Owens represented his company well & Notre-Boeuf-De-Grâce didn’t. 


It costs you absolutely zero dollars to be a good person, but being a douche can cost you many dollars. While the customer may not always be right, they are a person too & should be respected, even if the answer isn’t one they wanted to hear. A simple “sorry you had a bad time, did you want to DM us what happened?” Could have gone a long way. In this day and age of social media, restaurants can’t afford to be sassy to anyone because by day’s end, the universe will know & you will only have yourself to blame when your business looks bad. 

We all work with people every day. Treat them like they were your best friend, not like just another customer, or chances are, you won’t have any more. 

This is What You Came For

Let me tell you about my good friend Gleason. 

We have been friends for 20 years (Dear God). We’ve been friends through the best of times, the worst of times, marriages (both of us), divorce (mine), kids, depression, and that heartbreaking time that Hulk Hogan joined the nWo. I’m very fortunate to have maintained such an awesome long term friendship. We used to talk about TV & sports. Now it’s kids & fitness & life. 

Why Hogan…Why?

But when you’ve known someone as long as I’ve known him, they’re more apt to tell you when you’re not living up to your potential. Or, in my case, when I’m being a doormat. 

Awwwww!

For years, I’ve told him about my life, my kids, my plans, goals, etc. and the one question he’d ask me whenever I would talk about stuff is “Is that what Mary-Helen wants?” 

I know the hubby thinks you can afford that Van, but what do you think? What do you want?

I know he’s talking marriage, but is that what you want?

I know you say you’re fine with that schedule, but is that really what you want? Will it really work for you?

So you’re giving him what he asked for, despite him having no respect for you whatsoever. When does he care about what you want?

I would answer that I was doing what I wanted, because I was writing & crossfitting & doing my thing. But was I really getting what I wanted? I often said that I didn’t want to rock the boat at work, or make the Dad angry. Blank & I were together & happy & he worked so hard that I didn’t want to upset him. I would always say “I don’t want him to get mad & leave me,” and when I did assert myself, I would be afraid of the disappearing act. So, maybe I wasn’t. Or was I? I don’t even know anymore. 

I spend so much time making people happy that I end up sacrificing what I want. I would try to stand up for myself, but when it didn’t make things better, I’d stand down. Give in. Maybe I need to be more assertive and stop taking stupid people’s stupid shit. 


But, since winter turned into spring, I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. What does MHC want? What do I want for my life, my kids, my future? I’m in control of my life & deep down, I always have been. I just let my fear get in the way of that. And like a good friend, or Glinda, my friend wanted me to figure it out on my own. 

the first person to photoshop my friend Gleason’s head on Glinda’s body gets a cookie

Maybe I need to stop worrying about what everyone else wants and do what I want. I need to stop worrying about what the Dad wants & what my friends want & what he wants & focus 100% on what my kids & I want. And we want to continue to live our quiet life. Go to church. Go to Starbucks. Tomorrow we’ll go see Captain America. I want to go running after work every night. I want to crossfit & gains. And most importantly, I want to be the best damn writer & role model I can be. And with the awesome new changes at my magazine, I’m excited about what kind of writer I am going to become. And I’ve already taught my girls about forgiveness and compromise. Now I need to focus on teaching them how to stand up for what they want &I make their voices heard. If people don’t like that, then oh well. Your time in my story is over. I no longer stress about that. I have a world to conquer. 


Sometimes it takes reminding, but I do have a voice & I need to use it to stand up for myself at work, in life, and to myself. Because what I want matters too…and I intend to get it. 

Holding on For Life

I have always stressed that I am a happy person & will always be a happy person, regardless of the situation around me. I pride myself on it. Life can throw its worst at me & I will just smile & carry on. Why? Because things don’t make us happy. People can enhance our happiness, but we can only be truly happy if we love ourselves & our situation. Regardless of what happens, I love my life. I have wonderful children, great friends, I’m good at my job. I love crossfit. I’m a pretty okay writer. I’m smart & even kind of pretty. No matter what happens, I look in the mirror & love the woman I’ve become & that is what matters the most in this life. 

  

And sometimes, life likes to fucking test me. 

 

When I switched workplaces to improve my life, I was told the place was a little more rough around the edges. But I didn’t care. I needed to do what was best for my family. Sacrifices and stuff. And it’s all been very positive…UNTIL SOMEONE STOLE MY PURSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT. 

Yup, my passport (which was left in there from my trip to the Registry to get my license), SIN card, Alberta health cards for my youngest daughter & myself, credit cards, etc. ALL GONE.  So yesterday I spent the day getting all of it replaced. I’ll get my passport replaced next week, my license too. And it will be a bitch. Thanks to some of my rad Twitter peeps, I learned that this is common & has happened to many people, so I don’t feel completely stupid. 

I was angry; at the security guards ambivalence, at the crackhead who stole it, I mean, I hope my $200 in Olive Garden gift cards & $8 in cash was worth it. Oh, and JOKE IS ON YOU, MY CREDIT IS AWFUL. GOOD LUCK FRAUDING ME. But, I realized it’s just not worth being angry over. I could feel violated, victimized, but that’s not who I am. I choose to be patient & kind & not get angry over shit that I can’t control. That’s who I used to be. Current MHC chooses to focus on positives. I’m sure you’re thinking “like what?” Well, I needed to renew my passport anyway. I just did it early. And honestly, if someone is so desperate as to rob me, then clearly they need help. Maybe getting arrested will get if for them. But I’m never getting my purse back. It’s not worth getting bitter about. There is nothing in life worth sacrificing the best of who I am. In 60 years when I’m an old woman, will this incident matter? Probably not. So, I will learn from it & become smarter. 

And also, I got a super cute new bag. So win. 

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THIS BAG IS

When you feel victimized, you’re giving the bad people power over you. I won’t allow anyone to have power over me but me. I control my happiness & my destiny & I refuse to let any bad thing or bad person take away the best of me. I want to be a nice person who is loving, forgiving & kind. No crackhead needing a fix will take that from me. I’ll just continue to be nice & kick ass at life. So there.   

So, to the asshole that stole my purse. I hope my $8 and Olive Garden gift cards was worth it. I hope you enjoy my Coach bag. It’s kind of old and I was hoping to replace it. But you have to live with your actions; I do not. Enjoy your guilt, as I will let you keep that, along with my things. If you cannot live with it, then I hope you turn yourself in & accept the consequences of what you have done. 

Until then, I’ll just get my stuff back & kick ass at everything, because that’s what MHC does best. 

Big & Loud

This has not been my week. I’ve been sick. I’ve had xrays. It’s actually super shitty. But I will figure this out in a few days & all will be well. 

But I refuse to let dark times cloud my awesome life. My life is the raddest. I’ve lost six pounds this month. My gym dues are paid & I can train. My kids got rad report cards. Oh, and I got some much needed time with some friends this week. It was just what I needed. 

  
But enough about my life. Let’s talk about mindless drivel. Today’s mindless drivel is why the WWE Divas Division continues to piss me off. 

It has not been since 2014 that WWE has had a true babyface Diva in Brie Bella. Brie was beloved by fans, as they hoped she would defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon & avenge her husband Daniel Bryan & sister Nikki (she didn’t. She was defeated & aligned with Nikki to reign as bad girls in Team Bella & now is used to elevate the NXT Divas). 

  
Since then, all of the dominant women have been stereotypes. Bad girl Nikki Bella. Jealous geeky girl AJ Lee. Manipulative Paige. Daddy’s spoiled brat Charlotte Flair. All until the unexpected rise in popularity of Becky Lynch. 

  
Becky Lynch has gone through many phases since her debut, but the core of her main roster character has remained the same; she wants to be a champion of integrity. Someone little girls can look up to. She wants to win the right way. All three of my daughters watched the Royal Rumble with baited breath, to see if Becky would overtake Charlotte Flair & become the Divas Champion. 

She didn’t. 

Instead, Charlotte’s father forced himself on her, she was pinned in dirty fashion, tossed out of the ring like trash by villainess Sasha Banks & left to sob alone. 

  
As a mom & a feminist, I find it horrifying that male “advocates for women’s wrestling” like Jim Ross & Mick Foley are more concerned about whether or not the word Diva is problematic than the actual treatment of the women. An old man forcing himself on a woman is a humourous plot point in 2016. Every woman except Becky Lynch is a stereotype, from mean girl to cat lady. They are booked as catty, jealous bimbos who are self serving & petty. Even my 14 year old daughter, who wanted to be a Diva, no longer wants that. She feels like she would have to become a character that her sisters couldn’t be proud of, or end up humiliated like Becky Lynch. 

  

WWE has an obligation to their female fans to give them a hero. I’m not necessarily about kids role modelling from TV people, my kids look up to me, my strength, tenacity, my work ethic. But little girls deserve to see the heroine win in the story. Celeste Bonin’s Kaitlyn was humiliated by man eating villainess AJ Lee. Brie Bella was felled by her evil twin and then joined her. Paige fought the good fight, but turned bitter. WWE finally has a chance to give little girls a chance for their hero to win, like John Cena or Roman Reigns for boys, as Becky is still fighting the good fight against two evil stereotypes. As the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania approaches, I hope WWE finally shows that nice girls can finish first, and the big moment can go to the character who wants to show that you can become champion & keep your soul; Becky Lynch. 

  

My Life For Hire

It’s time for me to admit something about who I am as a person in the hopes that admitting it will help me grow from it. I don’t like admitting that I have flaws, or that I’m anything less than the most bad ass person on the planet. But if one of my best friends can be open about his bipolar diagnosis & work to recover, then I can accept my flaws. 

Ladies & gentlemen, I am a very damaged person & I have trust issues. 

I trust exactly four people in this world. Everyone else, I try, but I struggle. I refuse to blame my past relationship failures because then I’m giving them the power to continue to hurt me & I choose my destiny, not the things that went wrong.  It’s something I need to work on & I don’t actually know how. 

  
I build my life & I get to a point where I’m happy, really happy. The past few weeks have been awesome. I’m getting back into my gym groove. The kids love school. My eldest is taking her grades seriously & seeing results. I’ve accepted a new job that is a lot like my Target job. I’m excited because my bank account should be back where I was last year, where I don’t have to constantly tell the girls “I’m sorry, we can’t afford it.” My birthday was incredibly lovely & I’ve never been happier or more content in my relationship. 

But I’ll admit it’s hard when some of my best friends at home text once a week and ask if he’s left yet, because they’ve got their “I told you so” all ready. It chips away at the fragile trust I build in anyone & suddenly I question everything & my mind starts thinking;

Why did you hire me? Are you really going to promote me if I’m good, or are you going to wait six months & then the company will close. 

Why do you keep saying you love me & you’re here for good? We both know you’re lying. Please just go & get it over with, but please don’t actually go. 

Why are you my friend if you seem to delight in my potential misery? Why can’t you be happy for me?

I refuse to blame the marriage. I refuse to blame what happened before. This is me. But how do you tell someone that while you feel completely safe & at ease with them, they make you extremely happy & you trust them as much as you can, btw I still worry you’re going to walk out on me the minute I’m not the most understanding or nicest person alive. Can you please have enough patience to give me time & understanding & let me go two steps forward & one step back while I figure out how to navigate sharing my life with you. How do you tell friends you don’t invite them into the more personal parts of your life because you don’t trust them to be happy for you. You’ll just hurt their feelings. 

Erica always tells me it’s normal to feel this way, after all, trauma doesn’t go away because you’ve come to terms with it. But no one wants someone that’s damaged & has baggage & doesn’t really know how to be happy without wondering when it’s all going to go to Hell, even though we all have baggage. So, I need to come to terms with my own insecurities about my job, my parenting, my life, my relationships so I can rebuild the trusting part of me that I lost over the years. 

So, I started to do just that. I focused on meditation & yoga, also to heal a strained hip flexor that has plagued me for a week. I compiled a list of all the things that scare me about being with someone. Then I laughed at it because 99% of it was ridiculous. I reminded myself that I may not trust everyone, but I trust the right people. My closest friends love & respect me. My boyfriend absolutely loves me & understands how I got this way & will let me figure it out, but wants to help me get there. He isn’t going to leave me because he loves me, crazy and all. And my own gut instincts tell me I am fine. My life is beautiful. My new job will be successful & my writing career will continue to flourish & once my hip stops throbbing, I’ll continue to focus on health & be a bad ass MHC. 

But the thing is that we always expect someone to fix us, make us better, etc. But I don’t want that. I want to make me better. I want to be comfortable with trusting people for myself, not for my friends or my boyfriend or whomever. So, it’s a struggle sometimes. But I guess admitting it is the first step to moving forward. And the best way to learn if you can trust someone is to trust them, and every day I get better. There will be moments of doubt or whatever, but the more time I put in with someone, the more the doubt will go away. 

So, I’ll keep doing what I do; focus on my happiness & making my family & partner happy. And trolling Erica about baseball. And Crossfit. And making every day the raddest day. 

  

But You Won’t

I’ve struggled to talk about this with anyone but my best friend Melissa & friend Paul, and Erica, but she knows everything all of the time.  It’s been a source of great guilt for me, but I guess I’m sharing it because I wonder if other moms have been in this boat. 

Last week, I made a very important decision about facilitating a relationship between my kids & their dad; I’m going to stop trying. 

When we moved out here, I tried to make it easier. I called with updates, sent photos, and offered to cover the entire cost of travel for him to visit his kids for Xmas. I also told him if he wanted to move closer (as he is currently unemployed) & take a job here, he wouldn’t have to pay child support & we could split custody, where he could have them most weekends (as they are at the age where they want slumber parties with friends, etc) & I could have them during the week. He said he’d think about it. 

Meanwhile, the excuses started coming. Already he couldn’t afford to come for Xmas, as he wasn’t working or if he got a job, he wouldn’t be allowed any time off to see them. As flights are already filling up for holiday travel, I started texting, asking when he wanted to fly out, so I could book it. No reply. Second reminder. No reply. More excuses to the girls as there was just no money for him to come, maybe March Break. Or next summer. But not Xmas. That’s when I realized, no matter how easy I make it, he just doesn’t want to see them. He doesn’t care enough to be a dad. 

  
So, I wondered if by pushing the girls to call, to continue to facilitate a relationship that he’s made it clear doesn’t matter, am I hurting my children? After all, they get hurt when Dad doesn’t bother to call or visit. When we lived in the same city, every visit ended early. When I let him take them for March Break, he brought them home on Wednesday, because he was too busy. When they spent the summer with his mom, he rarely saw them, instead spending time with a girl he was seeing & drinking (according to my eldest). He doesn’t care to make that effort, so why should I? Why am I saving money for him to come here & see the kids when he can’t even tell me what day he wants to come?

I find myself offering him mental health support, which I did again this week, and for what? To be on the receiving end of his rage when I ask him once again to be a parent or tell me when he wants to come see his girls on my dime? Why do I keep trying to help this person? So my kids can have a dad? Shouldn’t that be his job? Shouldn’t he be making his kids his number one priority? Maybe my constant attempts to remind him to be a dad are hindering him from wanting to make his own efforts to be a parent. 

So, the flight I was going to pay for, I offered to his mom for March Break. I’m not sending any more photos or updates unless he asks me for them. I’m not going to ask the girls to call unless they choose to. I can’t keep trying to force someone to do what they can’t be bothered to do; which is be a parent. He doesn’t want to be a parent, so I’m not going to try to make him into one. It’s sad because I have friends who just want to coparent and spend as much time with their kids as possible & he won’t even come see them when it’s free for him to do so. 

  
But I’m done trying. It’s up to him to be a parent now. Maybe he’ll step up & be the kind of parent my kids deserve, calling every day & asking about school, life. Maybe he’ll save up to visit & spend all his time with them. Maybe when they fly to visit family next year, he will devote all of his time to his children. But if not, it’ll be on him. 

As for me, I’ll feel guilty, because that’s who I am. But I won’t keep trying to be nice & include someone who doesn’t want to be included & I will focus on raising strong women. 

  

Broken Windows

Oh nothing. Just chilling the night before my birthday. 

I wanted to sleep, but that wasn’t to be. Instead I found myself stressed out about work & frazzled…until I stopped. 

Yup, I said eff that. 

I used to be a superstitious sort, believing in astrology & whatnot & I’d let all of that destroy my happiness. I’d let a bad horoscope or a psychic reading allow doubt to seep into my mind. I’d let the opinions of others affect my faith in myself. That would force doubt into my mind, breed mistrust into my relationships, my faith in myself, etc. I refuse to allow this. I no longer believe in fairy tales, I no longer believe in fortune tellers; I believe in me. 

This past week, I’ve let all of my fears about my job & whether I can truly provide for my family temporarily stunt my faith in myself. I was so consumed that maybe I’m a poor leader that I wasn’t seeing the big picture; my store is thriving. I have another job offer if I want it. I showed my editor that I am the strong & capable writer I said I was. I managed to get to the gym feeling like death. My kids are doing well in school. I didn’t see the little victories among the fear. I allowed this to keep me awake & create insecurities about who I was as a person, my job, my parenting, my writing, my relationship, etc. But the thing is, I have no reason to be afraid of anything, because I’m in control of my future & I am a total bad ass. 

  
I will not allow one bad week to define me. I will not allow past pain to cloud my happy future, or the nasty comments from friends at home to let insecurity & self doubt cloud my reality, which is what I’m doing. My company is not going to fold three weeks into my promotion like Target did. If I hate my job, I should quit & find a place that makes me feel less frazzled. I am not going to fail as a writer, I have worked too damn hard & will continue to work hard. He is not going to go away because he loves me & only me & I trust him as he’s kept his word every day since he asked for another chance to love me. Whatever happened before stays dead and buried by the Detroit River where we left it. I will not carry that baggage. I do not need it anymore, I would rather focus on loving him now instead of worry that he’ll leave. He didn’t stop loving me for years, he won’t now. The fears that I’ll never be able to fully commit myself to another person because of my failed marriage was left in an old house in Walkerville. I will not carry that burden anymore. From now on, I will look at my relationship for what it is; a part of my life that I share with a man that makes me happy (& I hope makes him happy). I am going to do well at the gym. My old coaches didn’t make me strong, it was me doing that work. But I’ve been so worried that I don’t have that support that I let it hold me back. I do not need that support; I know what I can do & I’m going to do it. I am a strong & successful woman who is going to conquer the world. I don’t need superstitious talismen or my friends or even my partner to validate my existence or my work or my future. If I can pack up my life & move to a city I had literally never set foot in to conquer the written word because I had a foot in the door, then the rest is easy. 

I’m about to enter another year of life. I intend to make it successful & positive & full of love. Each year, my life just gets better. But for that to happen, I’ve got to let go of insecurities & focus on growing as a person. So, tonight, I decided to focus on ditching all of that old pain. No more what if I can’t, just reminding myself when I succeed, I’ll laugh at how silly I was to think I couldn’t. I’ll look at those white jeans and focus on fitting in them by Xmas. I won’t think about what he did before, but how he loves me now. And every night I’ll remind myself that I am completely in control of my destiny & I choose to be happy every second of this coming year. 

I know that I don’t look happy, but I had worked six days in a row & just really wanted to show off my cute hair.