Liability 

I think I’m too damn nice. 

At work last week, there was a sweet old lady who desperately needed help getting phone service. I found a lovely solution for her. She thanked me. I told her to call me whenever she needed help. She’s still calling me. Did I mention she returned the hardware? Because she totally did. But I didn’t want to turn her away. That’s when Boss Man told me I’m too nice to old people. 

In reality, I’m too damn nice to EVERYONE. I forgive people who don’t deserve it. Work late? Sure. Run errands for you? Sure. I just like helping people. I want to be the type of person who cares about others. But sometimes, I realize that I’m kind of a doormat. 

This week I missed the gym every. single. day. Why? Because I offered to help at work. Or help out with something at home. Or take a night shift to help someone out. Oh, and one time I left my house like a grownup and went out for drinks with the best coworkers ever & made a tank top with a friend. But in the end, all of my helping out ended up keeping me from doing what I wanted to do, which was go to the gym. I’m glad I finally put my personal life front and centre, and spent time with my rad coworkers and friends, but the rest of the week I cut short my own activities to do things for other people. This is just what I do. I don’t want to rock the boat, so I try to be helpful and accommodating. But the only person who ends up suffering is me. 

When Hot Topic only has Seth Rollins shirts in men’s sizes, you improvise
It’s been this way my entire life; I try not to stir the pot because I just want to be nice. I don’t want to make anyone unhappy, even though they have no problem making me unhappy or taking advantage of my desire to help people. It’s why friends owe me money, or I let it go when they don’t talk to me for weeks, or make other plans when I’m only down for a week. It’s why I try to be extra accommodating at work. I just want to be nice. 

So, I need to make more of a conscious effort to say no. To remind myself that the kids come first and my needs follow. It’s not kids, friends, coworkers, random customers, then me. I’ll never be happy that way. If I’ve signed up for a class, I need to assert myself and say “No. I’m going to the gym/I have plans.” I don’t need to apologize either. I’m allowed to want my own space and time & it’s well within my rights as a human to put them first. I don’t need to constantly sacrifice to please others. I know I’ll end up backsliding, so I’ll need to remind myself every now and again. You don’t need to be so agreeable. You can stand up for yourself. You can say no. You don’t have to constantly say yes to everything at work or offer to stay late and come early, you can just go to the gym or go home and watch Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children for the 900th time. 


I guess I’m always afraid that if I say no, people will stop wanting to be my friend/date me/I’ll get fired. But that’s stupid; why do I have to constantly sacrifice to please everyone else? Life should be that everyone sacrifices a little bit. Besides, if they really were my friend/loved me, they wouldn’t care that I wanted to pursue my interests. And no human has ever been fired for saying no to a shift swap. I’ll just have to remember this and remind myself that it’s okay to put myself first sometimes. 


It’s okay to be nice. But you’ve also got to be nice to yourself. Sometimes that means saying no & putting your needs first. If they get mad, they aren’t worth having in your life anyway.

Hellfire

If you’re new to the party, let me bring you up to speed; I fucking love crossfit. 

My life doesn’t allow me to love it as much as I’d like, what with the late hours at work, parenting commitments, and even a nasty bout of bronchitis (don’t worry; didn’t call in to work once, still number one in the district for sales…for now). But no matter what, I’ll always find a way to squeeze in one class a week. I want to set a good example for the girls. I want to get healthier. Not to mention my gym crew is the coolest bunch of humans in YEG. I’m seeing progress. I’m building strength. All super rad. 

Which brings me to this past week. Thanks to YEG’s “let’s cram every season into 48 hours,” I have been sick af. The first day I didn’t feel like complete dog shit was today, when a last minute customer came in so I was activating instead. But hey, can’t play with my money. While most people welcome the rest, I’m legit angry because I just wanna go to the gym! 102 degree fever? Fuck it! Let’s go to the gym! However, one of our coaches is 26 weeks pregnant. You cannot go to the gym when you’re contagious with someone with a weakened immune system. She’s a warrior princess, still working hard while creating a human. The biggest part of being a teammate is thinking of others, so for the last week, I’ve sat out. 


But the more I sit out, either because I couldn’t breathe (or smell, but don’t worry asshole that thinks AXE is a single serving can hitting on me at work, I CAN SMELL YOU JUST FINE), or to make sure I’m not infecting my happy place, the more I realize that I literally HATE being a sedentary being. I can’t binge watch Netflix (but I CAN binge play BoTW), I can’t just do nothing. I feel like I wasted a day. I could have gone on an adventure with the girls, or had some patio drinks with a friend, or gone for a run. I’m not good at resting; I always want to be doing, learning, creating memories. 


I’m just not good at being a do nothing sort of human. That’s not to say binge watching Netflix is necessarily bad, I did it through Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events. But it’s not for me. I want to maximize my little free time by doing actual stuff. I want to accomplish things with it…mostly spend time with my girls (because single moms can be hands on and available) and gains. 


That may not be super exciting to anyone else, but the most important thing I can do as a woman, a mom, and a writer, is to figure out who I am as a human. After discovering, it’s even more important to accept who I am, and that person would rather go for a walk or go to the gym than veg out. When I can’t take in a WOD or go for a run, I feel like I’m letting my body down. When I have a good day at work and a great workout, I feel like the most bad ass woman alive. I’m done apologizing or being made to feel like my interests aren’t exciting. Maybe they aren’t, but they are to me. There are so many people in this world who like to mock my crossfit love, or that I don’t watch TV (except for the wrasslin). People mock that I watch wrestling. They mock that I’d rather go running, or read Gone Girl before I watch the movie. But I don’t do things to please the planetary narrative that it’s cool to be lazy and people who are different are weirdos. I do them to be myself, & I’m quite content to be me. 

When someone tells me crossfit is dumb

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your interests aren’t important, or the things that make you happy are stupid. Just do the thing and enjoy it. I’m going to continue to crossfit and celebrate my progress & feel good about who I am as a human…but first, let me regain the ability to breathe out of my nose. 

The Cure

What’s new? 

I’m really freaking tired. 

Part of this is because I’m currently participating in my annual May kick start; no caffeine, no fast food, no alcohol for thirty days (mother’s day is my one cheat day). It’s awful. I don’t drink, consume pop or coffee (often), but let me tell you that Red Bull is fantastic and I need more of it in my life. Also, did you know that tea is caffeinated? AND I LOVE THAT IT IS CAFFEINATED?! Fortunately my beloved Raspberry Mojito from David’s Tea is sans caffeine so I’ll be chugging that every second of my life thank you very much. 

Likely my blood

But I’m also too damn busy. I’ve managed to build up quite the little writing career. I used to just pitch articles, now people come to me and ask me to write their stuff. It’s like I have connections and stuff. I have a lineup of articles that need writing and submitting. I’m focusing on my day job because I want to be a success there. I spend my days off with the kids, or at the gym with the kids, or running. I literally have no free time. Add in no caffeine and MH goes something something. 


But I know I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I’m a sole support parent. I haven’t received child support in over two years. I can’t even get help to buy a loaf of bread, let alone help with birthdays or anything else. He’s always broke and too busy inventing conversations with our girls for the internet than actually being a dad. When I ask him when he plans to work, he hides behind the depression he won’t get help for, despite having universal health care for doctors and counselling through a hospital, and drug benefits for medication (which is totally an insult to those with an actual mental illness who fight, scratch, and claw every day to get healthier and live their lives. Two of my dearest friends are bipolar and they have more strength in them to get through one day then I probably do my whole life). 

Me when I hear another excuse

So that means everything is on me. All of it. I have to pay for hot lunches and class trips and birthdays and trips for ice cream and rent. I have to think about summer clothes and new sandals while he washed his hands of parental responsibility years ago. Drinking and partying are more important. So, I need to be successful to make sure they have everything that they need. This means that I go into every shift feeling like I need to sell as many phones as I can in order to get that commission to help support us. I have to complete as many articles as possible so that we have extra money, because it’s up to me to be mom and dad. But because I’m putting so much pressure on myself to be the best, I’m kind of falling off. I need to take deep breaths and relax (such a novel concept I know!), because all of this pressure to be the best cell phone helper boss lady/journalist/mom that is also dad/crossfit athlete that I’m not enjoying any of it! I’m literally living my dream life (minus the part where I am rich and married to Seth Rollins) and I’m not enjoying it because I keep putting all of this pressure on myself to be the best. 

So, tomorrow, I am going to go to work and I’m going to have fun. I’m working with my favourite co-worker (who is across the hall) and my two favourite members of the leadership team, so it’s going to be a great day. I’m going to use Sunday to go for a walk with my girls & feed ducks (but not geese because fuck geese), and then write my articles and meet my deadlines. Then I’m gonna relax. You can’t be successful if you’re under pressure. My boss, editors, they’re not putting me under pressure. It’s all me. I am putting myself under pressure, all because I want my family to thrive. 


It’s time for me to enjoy what I’ve built. I have the best life. My kids rule. My writing career is amazing. I have the best store and work with the best humans (or they’re across the hall from me, being the best humans). I put in all of this work to get here and I’ve gotta work to maintain it, but if I keep putting all of this pressure on myself, it’ll all cave in. So, no more taking on the weight of the world because I’m the only one holding it up. I’m going to embrace my life and enjoy what I’ve built, completely on my own, with no one to take credit for what I’ve built ever again. 

11 Blocks

Today, I’m going to talk about the selfie. 

Yes, selfies. 

We all take them. We all share our cute outfit of the day with our friends, a fun moment with coworkers, or that super rad Snapchat filter. While a coworker and I once joked that there should be a ratio of 1:7 of selfie and non selfie photos on your IG to prevent narcissism (& a limit of four hashtags), mostly because he’s a model and it was a silly in joke, taking and posting selfies is a normal part of our culture. One of the questions I’m asked most at work is about the selfie camera. We all take them, whether we want to admit it or not. 

If you’re not following me on Snapchat (ASHMHC), you’re missing absolutely nothing

My teen daughter takes them with her friends. I don’t really think anything of it. She’s fully clothed, not shooting the finger, so who cares? As her birthday approaches, she’s asked me for an autobiography penned by her idol, retired WWE Divas Champion AJ Mendez Brooks. I’ve skimmed excerpts; for the most part, AJ writes a beautiful story of finding herself and learning to embrace mental illness. AJ is very honest and open about her struggles and successes and I commend her for her honesty. I think (for the most part) she’s a great role model for young women. But there is a passage in the book where she equates selfies with a lack of self respect and a desperate cry for attention. As a woman who was once an impressionable teen, I could only imagine how upset my daughter would be to read such a judgmental and self righteous passage, but I refuse to let that cloud my perspective of a moving and inspirational journey. 


I briefly touched on this on Twitter with another blogger and artist (who is rad af & I would totally throw a feminist Wrestlemania party in NOLA with her and the girls while we all sport Bayley ponytails), and she agreed that this one passage didn’t feel that great. It perpetuates the myth that women only do things to attract the attention of men, or need to be validated by men to be happy. For some, that may be the case, and I won’t judge them. I used to, but then I realized that I was part of the problem. If they aren’t hurting anyone, then more power to them. But why does it have to always be about wanting to attract a man? Why do brilliant and inspirational women continue to tear down other women?!


I take selfies. I post em on Snapchat. I never used to. If you look at my old FB photo albums, there was maybe five photos of me in 100. There is maybe one pregnant photo of me. Why? Because I was called fat and ugly every day. I woke up to hear about how I was skinny when we started dating and now his wife was a pig. He didn’t sign up for this. A few years later, one of my best friends told me that I was pretty in the face and didn’t look fat from the “tits up” so I could reasonably find a man. I was constantly told how unattractive I was because I was fat. So I started working out. I started running. I started crossfit. First it was to shake the nagging voice that said no one would love me or be my friend because I was fat. But then, it was because these activities made me happy. And the more these activities made me happy, the better I felt about myself. I wasn’t a size seven (the magic dress size that I equated with being acceptable to be seen in public), but I was confident. I was happy. Confident, happy MHC didn’t want to be in the shadows. She wanted to be visible. So I started using that front facing camera. I’d post the odd one to FB or IG. But it was a huge step for me to stop hiding behind a camera and hoping no one looked at me. Humans should want to be visible, part of the world. Now, there are photos of me & my girls, my friends, of me. My teenager was also brutally bullied in grades seven and eight for being too thin and too different. She and a good friend started taking selfies as a way of accepting themselves. For many women, that selfie is about empowerment, taking control of their self esteem and we need to stop dismissing photos as vanity & a cry for validation from men. If it’s not for you, don’t do it. There’s lots of things in this world that I do not do. I don’t watch Canadian football. I don’t listen to Nickelback. I don’t understand Zumba. But I’m not gonna trash humans that do. Just let people do their thing and you do what makes you feel good inside. 


So, take your selfies everyone. You’ll find no judgment here. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel badly about yourself or like you are somehow less intelligent, less interesting, because you took a photo with your front camera. And if you are one who belittles someone for taking a photo, stop that right now. You can’t bring up your self esteem by passive aggressively belittling someone else. 

The Sound of Silence

I get asked the same question a lot; “when do you find time for yourself?”

When men ask, they specifically mean “how are you going to find time to sleep with me and cater to my every need while I ignore yours (or at least this has been the case of every man I’ve ever known)?” When my friends ask, it’s because I haven’t spent any time with them in weeks, mostly because I have no time. I guess I have spread myself pretty thin. I’m working on four different pieces for three different publications. I work full time. I’m raising the kidlets. I’m getting better at getting the gym in there. But I could understand why an outsider would think I never have “me time.” 

The truth is that I’m finding more and more that my “me time” is running. Yes, running. That thing that I used to hate is quickly becoming my personal time. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me my crossfit, and my post WOD yoga, but running is the best for clearing my head. 

I work a lot. I’m kind of a workaholic. I love my family & I want to be the best kind of mom. Well, it’s hard to be the best kind of mom when you’re constantly trying to squeeze 100 things into one 24 hour period. I’m answering emails on the way to work. I’m coming up with ideas that I think are great (spoiler alert; are probably weird) & story pitches while signing permission slips and hearing about how Kiara is mad at her boyfriend because reasons and Jade took the boyfriend’s side and now the teen is in the middle and “OH MY GOSH MOM. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.” That’s a lot of information to be cramming into one mind. When I go running, I get 35 minutes to decompress. I listen to my running playlist and enjoy the music, while getting a great sweat sesh in (arms too, thanks to Stratusphere FitGloves!), and no one is calling or emailing me or asking me where their phone charger is. It’s just my alone time. 

All of my bomb playlists
I can understand why this wouldn’t seem terribly soothing to some; running is sweaty, tiring, and just kind of gross. But it is the one time of day that I get to disconnect from life and recharge. It helps my self esteem, as every time I finish a bit better than the day before, I’m pretty proud of myself. I feel accomplished and proud (& then I text my best friend, who’s started her own blog that I think you should all read) & tell her and we share our common interest. I find that my professional writings come together much better after I’ve gone running. My closing shifts are better after my morning run because I’m in a positive headspace and I’m more focused. I eat better because I don’t want to undo my run with the frappucino or Thai Express. I’m stronger at the gym. There is literally no downside, as no one regrets their workout!


I know I need more of a social life (I miss my friends too hahaha), and there is more to life than family, work, and fitness. But it works for me. I’m the happiest I’ve been since I lived in London (and my life was family, work, fitness). It works for me. Maybe I need to stop letting everyone tell me what works for me & let me just do what works…& this works. Running is my alone time (as crossfit has coaches and a class hahaha). Fitness is always going to be my downtime, whether it’s to relieve stress, or just to be happy, fitness is my key. And anything that helps me feel good inside, look good outside, and keeps me healthier longer, can only be a good thing. 

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here

A few months ago, I was invited to meet with the editor of a newspaper to discuss a freelance position, one that could turn into a full time position. I rushed from work to the meeting, only to find that he forgot. The next day, we had a great chat, but I got the feeling that he didn’t really take me seriously…probably because he had no idea that my post secondary institution was a real school and flipped through my writing samples nonchalantly with no real interest. 

I left the meeting feeling flat. Not unhappy, but not feeling super jazzed about it. I didn’t really think about it at all actually. I kept on doing my thing. Writing cool stuff, getting to know cool people, selling phones and generally being awesome. I figured maybe it wasn’t my place, or my time. He’s a great writer and human, I just wasn’t the writer he was looking for and he was up front enough not to waste either of our time. So, I was rather surprised when this editor contacted me the other day and asked me if I wanted to do some work for him. It wasn’t a puff celebrity piece either. It was real news, with real meaning. This person I thought had no interest in my body of work took me much more seriously than I thought & I feel honoured that he thought I could write this piece. I intend to knock it out of the park. 


I think sometimes we forget that not everyone receives information the same way as we do. I’m an overly enthusiastic person; I sometimes misread calm and tranquil people as cold or detached. I’m sure they misread me as a vapid valley girl. The most important thing is to not get offended when people don’t respond the way you’d like. I could have taken his questions about my education as a personal slight; but it was obvious genuine interest. By not letting it get to me, I didn’t burn a bridge and now it’s become opportunity. 

I used to be so afraid that things wouldn’t work right when I wanted them to that I would make a mess of the things I truly wanted. Now I’ve learned to just go with it. Things didn’t work out? Oh well, pick yourself up and try from a different angle. Bad run? Don’t stress; just take a different route tomorrow. Did the editor not ask you to work on something right away? Don’t stress; just keep on building the portfolio. It’ll all work out when it’s supposed to. It may not be on my timeline, but it will be when it’s right. 


By not forcing life to adhere to my timeline, I’m accomplishing more than I ever thought possible. My writing career is growing, my day job is amazing & my team of women are so very bad ass. I can deadlift more than my body weight and I have a bunch of great friends and an active social life…


…okay maybe not the last one. But you work full time and raise a family, while freelancing and working out six days a week and tell me how social you are. But I’m getting it done. I’m living my happiest life and it’s all because I’m allowing life to happen when it’s supposed to,  not because I’m afraid it’ll all go away. 

I can’t promise I’ll know what project I’ll be working on next, but I can tell you it’ll be awesome and it’ll arrive at just the right time. 

Turn it Up

Today, I’m gonna write a piece I call “the Ballad of Bayley.”

Last year, I told you about my teenage daughter’s love for Sasha Banks, today, it’s my younger two daughters and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley. 

The character of Bayley is arguably the most relatable character on TV. She’s a fan that got to live her dream. My 10 and 7 year old adore Bayley and everything she stands for. They once waited in the snow for six hours, in their hugger shirts and Bayley tassels just to catch a glimpse of their TV best friend (and hugs. Their goal in life is to get a hug from Bayley). My Twitter feed is dominated by photos of them in full Bayley cosplay. Bayley’s character was dismissed as being “Just Bayley.” She wasn’t special; just ordinary. But this mantra of “Just Bayley” was so important to her fan base of little girls. My own daughter is painfully shy. She struggles to make friends and when picked on for her small size and quiet demeanour (she’d rather read and do math than play sports), she decided she was “just her,” and that was enough. After all, Bayley was just Bayley and she became a champion. Being yourself is cool! While adults complained about Bayley’s character and direction, kids got the message; Bayley is herself and that’s enough, and if you just be yourself, you are enough. 


When Bayley made her way out at Wrestlemania 33, my two small girls squealed with joy, as their hero was finally living her dream. They sat in their Bayley gear and side ponytails, imitating her entrance. They cheered her on loudly from home, and big sister even joined in (after her beloved Sasha Banks got eliminated) & all three jumped up and down and cheered when Bayley retained her championship. They cried with her, their best friend won. My oldest, who wants to be a wrestler herself, said that she couldn’t wait for her moment like that, while the little two were so happy that their best friend Bayley won and when they got to school, they could talk about it with their girlfriends. 


Which brings me to why I adore this character so much. It isn’t just because she’s a good role model for my girls, or she’s relatable. It’s because I feel like she’s an overlooked but key reason why so many female fans are watching WWE. Yes, you have the Bella Twins, who introduced wrestling to the mainstream, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, who made history, but Bayley is just as important, because she’s just Bayley. 


Just two years ago, my girls & I were among just a handful of women who watched WWE. This past October, we were among dozens of little girls with their side ponytails and tassels, screaming the lyrics to Bayley’s entrance song. While yes, there were other women who helped usher in a new era, the character of Bayley opened up a new world to little girls that had been previously excluded from. I remember when little MHC wanted to play wrestlers with her brother and his friends, with a Miss Elizabeth action figure in one hand and an Andre the Giant in the other and the boys laughing, saying girls can’t play. Teen MHC was mocked mercilessly for my HBK posters on my wall, while the boys said I only watched pay per views with them because I wanted them to like me. My own girls were picked on at live events by grown men because they chose Nikki Bella & AJ Lee shirts over male superstars. But the character of Bayley allowed little girls to feel included in a world they were originally banned from. The world of NXT, originally for die hard fans, became the world of Bayley. Each week Bayley brought her brightly coloured world to the ring, another little girl realized they belonged too.  Bayley allowed little girls to feel like they belonged, and she did it by being just Bayley. 


Representation matters. You can preach equality all you want, but unless you can see it, it’s not there. There are a great many women who helped pave the way for female fans to find role models, but for little girls, it took a best friend to give them a hug and tell them that they belonged anywhere they wanted to be and they deserved it by just being themselves. I sometimes think that we as adults get so caught up in our perception of promo quality or what we think that we miss the lesson; that it’s okay to just be you. Because of that, I think we don’t realize just how important or powerful a character like Bayley truly is. No gimmick, no catchphrase. She’s just like us and that’s just enough. 

Happier

Welp, another Crossfit Open in the books! 

LOOK AT THIS PERSONAL BEST. LOOK AT IT. LOOOOOOK

I can officially call myself the 26187 fittest person on the planet. That’s up 32K places on the leaderboard and I’m pretty proud of this. Last year, I had to miss the Open because I was sick af and the arthritis in my hips made everything unbearable. This year, I went in just wanting to get to know my gym family. I did, but I also pushed myself and remembered how strong and confident I can be. I’m feeling so inspired that I entered a crossfit competition designed for novice members. I may place last in everything, but it’ll be a fun day. It was so nice to have members suggest that I register because they wanted me to feel welcomed. So, I’ll bring the girls and crush some fitness (& then introduce them to coconut chips. Seriously, so good)!


This confidence has passed over to my work. I’m getting more confident when it comes to pitching stories (and out of the box ideas at work). I’ve always been a believer that no one will see the value in who you are if you don’t. So, I decided to take control of my career. It’s been working so far, as most of my kooky ideas have been successful. The store is growing. The team is successful. When I’m not here, I’m just writing for magazines. There is no downtime. When there is, it’s for the girls and crossfit. This is my life and it’s rad. 


I know when I last posted, I was struggling with how to tow the line & be true to myself. It’s hard when people tell you that being yourself somehow makes them look bad or detracts from their role. But I’ve realized after a chat with one of my bestest friends in this city that one person cannot dim someone else by encouraging them, or by trying to elevate others. You can only dim a person’s light by holding them back. I’ve been with people who hold people back. I’ve been with people who credited themselves with my cover stories, people who credited the respect I received from coworkers to “they must really want to make me happy at work.” I’ve been around friends who wanted to feed negativity under the guise of “telling it like it is.” One doesn’t dim by suggesting improvements for their workplace or being bubbly. I don’t deny that I’m a difficult human being with my stubborn streak, passionate opinions, and fiery temper. I’m sure my scatterbrained thought process & random singing in public places is frustrating to the super serious types out there, but I’d rather be unapologetically myself before I become someone else. 

Even though I’m a grown up, I still struggle with self esteem just like everyone else. Some days, when it seems like people don’t like you, just because you’re you, it can feel frustrating. You’ll doubt yourself and think you can’t. My friends and family can tell me I’m awesome, but I’ve got to believe it. It’s up to me to build myself up, not those around me. Too many people think if they have a relationship, they have a car, if they have the right job; they’ll be happy. But the truth is that they’re settling for unhappy relationships, unhealthy relationships, and unhealthy senses of self. My happiness is an inside job. So, when I start wondering if I’m enough, it’s my job to look self doubt in the face and give it a sassy ass stare down. 

But I don’t mind moments of self doubt. They’re good reflectors. And each week at the Crossfit Open, I would push myself a little harder. And through that I reminded myself that I am totally capable of being super bad ass. No one was lifting those weights or doing those walking lunges for me. I did it, on my own. And I used that feeling of accomplishment in that part of my life to help with my emotional strength. This paid off at work, with my writing, and even building my interpersonal relationships. 

So, don’t feel badly if you spend a couple of days thinking you suck and can’t do it. Just find whatever it is that you use to help you find your mojo. I use crossfit. A dear friend of mine hikes. My best friend hits the gym. Another friend paints. But find the thing that brings out your “youness” and embrace yourself, with every difficult part of you, flaw, and imperfection. 

Save Myself

I’ve always had a big personality. I’m pretty extroverted. I talk A LOT. I have a million ideas that I think are amazing all of the time. I want to share them and help others and see everyone succeed. It’s kind of my thing. 

However, I get that it doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve dated guys who’ve told me to tone it down. Talk less. Be more introverted. Behave. I remember one of my last shifts at my old job staring at the floor, afraid to make eye contact with anyone or engage in conversation because I needed to obey so a man would talk to me again. I would go home and sob myself to sleep because I wasn’t myself. All of the things that make me who I am were being chipped away to please a person who didn’t love me anyway. A few years ago, I had a good friend who told me that I intentionally dominated the room. I didn’t really understand. I don’t think I do; I just act like myself and I don’t always realize that I’m running people over with my “me-ness.”

But I accepted that being a big personality means accepting certain things. I’ll never have a lot of friends. I always scare people off. I’ll never have a mate. No man wants a workaholic woman who wants to succeed at twelve things and raise a family and Crossfit and spend her life pitching stories and creating ways to grow her business and never, EVER stops talking. I tried for YEARS to fix it. If I could just stop talking so damn much, take a backseat, stop being so open and happy. Change into the contrite woman who smiles and nods and obeys and doesn’t take over the room with her thoughts and ideas. Then I’d meet a guy. Then I’d have more friends. But I realized I’d never be happy. I’m the difficult woman. The opinionated, headstrong, smart ass. I need to be myself. If I am, I’ll attract the right friends, the right lover. Maybe I’ll always be alone and kind of isolated, but at least I’m being myself. I get that my personality is almost impossible to love, but I love it & maybe that’s enough. 


But at work, that was where I always felt at home. I’m a salesperson; big personalities are encouraged. My boss back home encouraged my zany ideas, my over talkative nature. But here, it’s not like that. I can always tell that my “me-ness” is not an asset. It’s a liability. I’m not the right company material. My results are, but me, I am not. But I pretend it’s okay, I love my job. No one needs to like me, just respect me. But today, I was gently told that my overbearing personality detracts from others. I dominate. And for the first time in a long time, I began to think that maybe being myself isn’t the best thing at all. Maybe I need to change into someone quieter. Someone less headstrong. Someone less chatty. Less of a temper. Someone not like me. Maybe I am just too much and my ideas are too much and I talk just too damn much and no one can be around me for long periods of time because I am too much. Maybe I just need to stop marching to my drum and stop. Stop challenging. Stop talking. Stop trying to think outside of the box. Accept the box. 


I’ve never really felt like being me was a liability, but maybe it is. Maybe it’s okay to tone down my personality and just not be so much. Maybe then I’ll make more friends. Maybe then I’ll find a mate because I’m not so over the top. Isn’t that what women are supposed to want? Maybe I’m just the problem. So, how to correct and evolve into someone a little less dominant. A little less extroverted. A little less…me. 

I’m not really sure. But maybe I can’t keep bucking the status quo & taking pride that I don’t fit in. 

Or…maybe that is complete bullshit. 

Maybe my “me-mess” will be a liability. Maybe I’ll die alone with my cat and no husband because I’m too much for a person to deal with. Maybe I can learn to step back and find a balance, but I’m always going to be the person that talks too much and gets way too excited, cares too much and rambles on about the latest zany idea that I think is super amazing. But I can’t be me unless I’m me. 


So, my goal is to find the balance between being myself and rowing the line. Embracing who I am while also listening to feedback. And I won’t throw a god damn pity party when another person reminds me that I’m just too much. Yes, yes I am. But to my good friends, my girls, and most of my coworkers, MHC is just enough. But the most important thing is that I think I’m just enough, and I like who I see in the mirror. Because that’s the person I truly have to answer to. 

Eraser

Oh hey. I swear I didn’t die. 

I think I fell into a rabbit hole. I took my staycation to unwind and recharge…and save the magical land of Hyrule from Calamity Ganon. I also dyed my hair rose gold to match my phone. That’s a thing that I did. 


But mostly, I’ve reached a point in my life where I may be too busy. I’m currently working on several articles, including one highlighting an upcoming event for the city, which is really cool. I’m integrating into my new store (with the coolest staff EVER). I’m a hands on single mom. I’m crossfitting. I’m juggling a lot of stuff, and most of it actually pays me. So, the writing that pays me takes  priority to the writing that does not & my blog fell off of the map a little bit. Of course, so did my social media. So did anything that wasn’t journalism, my kids, my store, and crossfit…or my Nintendo Switch. I’m very focused on my goals and in order to achieve them, everything else needs to take a backseat. Sorry not sorry. 

I’ve built my life to my perfect specifications. My writing career is coming along wonderfully. My phone career is getting there. When I’m not at work, I’m doing interviews and writing. Even on weekends. Literally every day of my life involved pitching, researching, writing articles. My team and my colleagues respect me & that means the world to me. My kids are doing well. I finally found a gym where I’m happy and I’m not willing to let anything upset the apple cart. This means sometimes things get neglected because I’m simply too busy, like my blog, or that hockey game with my coworkers, or that date with the guy who works at my old mall. My girlfriends tell me that I’ll never find a mate because I never put the guys I’ve dated recently first. I don’t. In fact, the last guy I dated back in the fall was so low on my totem pole that it’s why it didn’t work out. But the kids, my career, and fitness all come first. Everyone and everything else needs to take a backseat. I’m not going to expand my portfolio, help my store reach target, or hit a 200lbs back squat if I’m putting things or people who don’t matter, or can wait, ahead of it. Truthfully, I’ve never really been “wife” material. I’m not the “surrender my identity and goals at the altar of a man to be Mrs. Not my last name.” I want to be more. I want to be a role model to my girls. I want to be someone that achieves her goals and is changes the world in some way. I want to be seen as someone who is strong, brave, tenacious, and not someone who settles. As a wise woman once said, “I want so much more than some provincial life.” I have goals and I’m not going to waste my time on frivolous things when I could focus my energy on achieving those goals. 


I’m sure that I sound like a super bitch. Truthfully, I don’t care. I’m finally putting all of the pieces together to build the life that I want for myself and I’m not willing to settle for substandard or mediocre; whether it’s people or performance. I’m not going to let anyone in my life unless they are amazing. I’m not going to devote my time to any projects unless I think that I can do an incredible job. I’ve stretched myself pretty thin, so I’ve prioritized my life to make sure that the things that matter take precedence over stuff that can wait, because my kids, my goals, they cannot wait. 


But there’s nothing more exciting than working towards your dreams. I am so in love with my life. I’m getting everything I’ve ever wanted, I have the best family, I have made the most supportive friends. It’s awesome. I’m so happy. So, while I may fall down the rabbit hole sometimes, you can still find me on Twitter if you need to know what’s up with me. Chances are, I’ll be overjoyed with life while continuing to build it the way I want it.