Two things I’ve never been good at are time management, and saying no. These constantly impact my day to day life.
For example, I super hate my body right now. I’ve gained some of the weight back since I moved to YEG and to lose it, I need to go to the gym more often. But my staff often delays their breaks until my shift is over. So, instead of working out, I stay late. But then I go home feeling like crap. Most recently, I signed up for the Festivus Games, but it’s the same day as the trade show I organized a booth for at work. So, I’m out money and even more frustrated because it’s all my fault. I didn’t check the dates.
I schedule my driver’s education classes with my few days off, but when you have two deadlines and are picking up extra shifts to earn money so your kids can go visit their dad because he isn’t contributing to his children, you get a window of 10 minutes between the lesson and the bus for class and it doesn’t work. So, I’m left so burned out that even my evening yoga doesn’t help.
But I find I’m constantly fighting for time to do what I want, to improve my life, but I never seem to do it because I am stretched so bloody thin, and yet not thin the way I want to be. I’m taking on writing assignments to supplement my income, as I’m still not receiving child support, and likely never will. I’m working full time and don’t want to upset my team, so I won’t just say “Take your break earlier, because I am leaving when my shift is over.” I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I’m also acting as mother and father to three children. I’m making sure that I have learned how to drive properly so that I can buy a car and improve my family’s day to day life. I’m doing as much as I can to make sure we are clothed and fed and that I’m not inconveniencing anyone that I find myself sitting in my tub hating how I look and wanting one damn hour to myself once a day to go to the God damn gym.
I need to make myself a priority.
I never have, and I never do. I’m always trying to be nice or be liked that I can’t just say no or take time for me. Obviously, the kids come first, but I can’t be a good mom if I’m burned out. I can’t be a good employee or manager if I’m constantly tiptoeing around everyone to be nice to everyone so that everyone will like me. I can’t please everyone and I’m the boss; I will never make my team happy all of the time and do my job well. I can’t meet someone if I hate how I look because that’s how you settle. I wouldn’t impulsively overbook myself if I felt like I could take time for me. But, in the end, the only person who can control these things is me. Why don’t I see myself as an investment? Instead, I allow myself to put me to the back burner so I can handle all of my responsibilities, but I feel like there’s too many and I’m about to freak out.
Actual footage of me and my responsibilities
I can get mad about why insert thing or person here doesn’t see me as valuable or worth putting time into, but I don’t see myself as worth putting time into anymore, or I’d just fucking do it. I invest more time into my store and my cats than I do myself. Then I get mad because nothing is going the way that I want. Maybe it would if I actually invested in myself.
I used to believe I was worth it, back in London, when I started Crossfit and had a core group of supportive friends. I have an amazing gym & great friends, but I always put myself last, because I don’t think I’m important anymore. I’m just there. Something happened to me in Alberta that I stopped feeling like I mattered. When I am willing to take care of my own needs, I eat better, I sleep better, I feel better. When I don’t, I eat nachos & drink mojitos.
I need to start reminding myself that my time matters. I deserve to be at the gym, I pay for it, I enjoy it, and it’s important to me. I deserve to take a day off to hang with the kids and play Pokémon Go and watch Season two of a Series of Unfortunate Events. I deserve to do things for me and not feel badly.
I’ll probably never perfect time management, but I’m certainly going to try, because my kids deserve a mom to look up to, and not a frazzled, stressed out mess that just wants one hour to go to the damn gym and maybe not have to budget my paycheques from the bathtub because that’s the only alone time I have…before a kid walks in.
I think sometimes we as moms try so hard to be indestructible that we forget that we need to take care of ourselves too. Sometimes you have to say no to the extra shift, or let driving wait one more week, and just go to the gym. Or take a bubble bath. Or whatever works for you.
Oh, Hello. Happy New Year!
I hope you enjoyed the festive holiday break! I worked like a dog through it! But, it wasn’t all for naught. I love my jobs, even if journalism had to take a backseat for the month due to the craziness of the season. Fortunately, I’m working on an article that I’m super excited about, with some pitches out there. Things are quieter at the day job. 2018 is already amazing & I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.
My professional life is already off to a rocking start. As many of you know, last year I was asked to step down from my position and work as an assistant manager. It was demoralizing as fuck, but I wasn’t ready for the job. I had so much to learn and I actually saw it as an opportunity to learn how to be a good manager. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and become better. So I did. Thanks to a lot of guidance from my District Team Leader (whom I call my Jedi Master), I was recently transferred to a new location as acting sales manager! I’m pretty excited about my new role within my company. My staff is amazing and I’m so proud to have them as my team. Don’t worry though, I held onto that old nametag because I was pretty sure I’d use it again.
Meanwhile, my personal life is going pretty okay. I have the best friends who are with me through of the best and worst times. 2018 brings visits with them, including my friend’s wedding to her soul mate. Her joy makes me smile. I’ve been adopted into the best gym community. There’s no one else I’d rather hate my life during a WOD with. My kids are amazing and they’re super pumped for our trip to see Taylor Swift this summer. Breaking Benjamin has a new album coming out this year and my friend/favourite former co-worker are going to see them live in February, so that’s pretty awesome too. 2018 is gonna be rad yo.
My love life will always be ridiculous. I’ve been casually dating a guy we’ll call the teacher for about a month. He’s nice, attractive, we have a ton of things in common, and I should be head over heels…except I’m not.
I wanted to like him, but instead, Meh. The first red flag was that he goes dutch on every date, which is fucking rude. Before you get all “But MHC, you’re a feminist, what about equality?! I can’t believe that this bothers you! Think of equality!” Well, Captain jerkface, let me tell you something; except on very rare occasions; my platonic friends and I don’t even go Dutch on nights out. The person who invites pays. Why? Because it’s called having manners, asshole. Tonight I went out with my friend Carissa & I paid because I invited her. The guy asked me out every time. But every time, we split the bill. This to me screams lack of effort. If you can’t treat your guest, and make them pay for half the plate of nachos and a mojito, what effort will you put into a relationship? Not to mention it sends a mixed signal. Are we on a date? Are we dudebros? Life is too short for games in the early stages of dating. But more importantly, everything has a negative twist. EVERYTHING. Working late, not having plans on Friday, the Far Side. Everything had this dark attached to it. I look at the bright side of everything so the sigh and pessimistic side to everything was kind of meh. But we kept talking. I kept agreeing to go out again. I kept the conversation going. It was constantly me putting in the work & it bugged me. Unless he’s having a bad day, I don’t hear from him. Why do I bother? I guess I thought that you can’t ask for everything to be what you want. So what if he’s cheap, and kind of emo, and says things like “it’s too people-y out?” He’s interested and nice I guess?
Sure, I didn’t get butterflies, or kind of excited when he texted me. Just meh. But I’ll grow into romantic attraction, right? When was the last time the butterflies led me in the right direction anyway (if you need a friendly reminder of my horrible dating choices, click HERE)? Obviously it’ll be the right choice, I’ll just keep telling myself that.
Then I ran into the hot guy from my gym while I was out and about one day. I tried to talk to him once before. I tripped over my own barbell and contemplated dying there. Everything else can be summed up by my lord and saviour Jesus Swift by clicking here.
But we had a nice chat and said we’d see each other in class. Told my best friend; she may be planning the wedding because she was so excited that I’m so attracted to a human being. I’ve literally spent a year telling her about why the hot guy from my gym is so hot. This random interaction gave me an epiphany (& no, it’s not what one of my fellow managers thinks and that Jesus was showing me that I should make a move. Hot guys at the gym always have girlfriends, because they’re hot. And cool. And I’m a potato that sucks at burpees). I realized that I was wasting my time with the teacher.
I keep settling because I feel like I should date, or want to date someone, even though I don’t really care. Then I hate them after like a month because I realize they’re assholes. I choose guys (to shut people up) that I think are more “my league.” You know, losers, not “quality mans”. I always think maybe if I was in better shape, or wasn’t awkward and weird, I could land a great guy who would make me happy like in the movies. But I am, so I should choose guys more my level. You know, the guy who doesn’t pay for dinner and turns everything into an emo sigh.
Between well meaning friends and family who want me to meet someone, and my own feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my life, I keep settling for guys so I can be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. It’s not some item I want to check off of a bucket list, like the triathlon I want to participate in, or going to Vegas, or finally trying a donair. It should be because I genuinely want to spend time with someone. I’m tired of selling myself short in relationships. So, I likely won’t see the teacher again. I keep replying to be nice, but I can’t see accepting another date. Maybe we can be friends, or acquaintances? But a relationship is definitely out of the question. So is hot guy from the gym, because that would require actually talking to him, and I literally cannot do that.
For me, 2018 is about elevation. Elevating my team, empowering other women, including my daughters, building people up and watching them thrive. It’s obvious that I need to start with myself! Get to the gym more and have some work life balance. Attend the events we hold at the gym! Spend time with my friends, and make loving myself a priority. The more I love myself, the more I will see men like hot guy at the gym as “my league.” After all, I’m pretty dope. Four out of five Wireless sales managers would agree that I’m kind of cool. And I’m pretty when I make an effort. I’ll keep losing weight and build up my confidence and kick some ass at life & stop lowering my standards just to say I have a date. I deserve better, and I’ll need to remember that.
Maybe I need to look in the mirror and see a “quality womans,” and then I’ll stop wearing my “I attract losers” sign when I go out. Or learn how to talk to guys without looking like an idiot. Or both. Whatever.
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!
If I ever decide to write the book about my life, we will call this chapter, “the time I went on the worst first date ever & created a safe word at my work to save me from future situations like this.”
I went on a first date with a guy and it already started out as a disaster because I was late. I hate being late and it just looks bad. So I’m already off my game. But it starts out so promising that I decide to let it go. There’s coffee, sunshine, good conversation. I’m actually having a really nice time. The subject changes to my work & an article I wrote about safe injection sites. This stemmed into his opinion that BLM is a terrorist group and “as woman, statistically, you should fear black people.”
Ummm…what? Statistically speaking, women are 10 times more likely to be abused by a date or romantic partner over a stranger! When I mentioned this, he informed me that those numbers aren’t totally accurate, because certain minority groups inflate those numbers.
He continues on by telling me that black men wouldn’t be shot if they stopped resisting and just accepted the police were right. I have some pretty strong feelings about this, and all of them are that that opinion is complete bullshit. We need to stop blaming victims for their own murders.
Then he said “I’m a Trump supporter because Bernie should have won.” Then I realized I needed to run.
Before I continue with the story, can someone explain to me how Trump is an acceptable substitute for Bernie? Because I genuinely don’t understand. Please explain. When I asked the dude, it was just that Hilary isn’t the right type of person. It should be Bernie, or Trump. No one is ready for a woman world leader (sorry Angela Merkel, no one is ready for you. Please resign).
I made up an excuse about having to work and ran screaming for the hills. My coworkers had a good laugh about it at my expense, and suggested I write a book about my ridiculous first dates.
But a friend from home reminded me that I’m not getting any younger & I still haven’t met anyone & stop being so picky. Just date the Trump supporter because I talk too much, I’m not gonna land a decent man. I thought about a guy online that started a conversation saying I was “hitting the wall” and no decent man would want me. I started thinking, maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I do just talk too much. Maybe I am too picky. Maybe I do work too much and focus too much on the gym and I’m just unlovable.
Or maybe I just have some sucky, not supportive friends? I mean, when I sacrificed all of my interests, hobbies, feelings for relationships that I had to walk on eggshells to maintain, my self esteem took a hit, I gained weight, and I felt like a person watching their life unfold than living it. I didn’t feel like I was someone unworthy of love, or unattractive, or the like, until the friend back home said so. Until then, the first date story was hilarious. We all laughed at how ridiculous it was and discussed making a safe word so I could have an escape. My best friend and I had discussed that I’ll probably meet my Mr. Right at my gym, because that’s where I spend all of my social time anyway, and because he’ll have already seen me all sweaty and miserable, so it’ll be a match based in reality.
Maybe it is all downhill from here, but I had a good run when it comes to being cute.
I didn’t think I was doing something wrong until someone else decided to tell me that I need to settle for the Trump supporting racist. But how would I be proud to introduce my friends to a Trump supporting racist? I wouldn’t. I won’t settle for a relationship I’m not proud to be in ever again. So, maybe I am hitting the wall. But if I wouldn’t want you to meet my coworkers, I sure as Hell wouldn’t want you around my girls, which means, peace out, Trump supporting racist. All this showed me is that I need thicker skin and can’t let my self esteem take a hit because another person feels the need to tell me I need to land a husband or an online dating dude hates himself and wants to spread the pain around. Until I improve on that, maybe the universe wants me to stay unattached.
The thing is, you can’t lower your standards because you’re afraid to be alone. That’s how you end up taking back that toxic ex that only comes into your life when they want something, or staying in a relationship that you have no business being in. When you do that, you are doing yourself (& them) a disservice. Choose your time to improve yourself, work on your self esteem, and fall in love with yourself. Figure out who you are and the rest will fall into place. No one needs to settle for a Trump supporting racist. We all just need to do our thing, live our lives, and just in case you end up on a date with a Trump supporting racist, don’t forget your safe word.
When my beloved Target closed, I bought a pair of white jeans, size 8.
I figured I’d wear them by the end of summer for my birthday in London with my friends. Instead, I moved to Edmonton on a whim one day because I make amazing life choices. Then I got frustrated with my old gym, and allowed all of the old insecurities to creep back in and I ended up gaining 25lbs back instead of continuing to lose weight. Those white jeans have never been worn. Tonight I was folding my laundry and I saw the white pants. I also noticed a black knit dress I bought to wear to a Holiday Party (which I didn’t end up going to anyway). I saw the black vegan leather shorts I bought to wear as the first pair of shorts I’ve worn since 2002. And the black and white dress I bought one spring at Target because my friend Brie said it looked cute on me (I have now decided that I will wear it to her wedding). I own lots of clothing that just hangs in the closet, never worn, because I’ve put weight back on, or I never go out.
It’s my own damn fault. I spent eight months off & some nights I don’t work out; I eat poutine and watch Total Bellas.
I don’t work out at home on days I can’t get to the gym. I’m letting my self confidence take a hit and all of my adorable clothes sit in the closet and never get to be worn. I spent money on these things. I was so excited to wear them. But now, they’re just put away in the closet, with some sad acceptance that I’ll never wear them.
Much like I hide at home because I’m afraid that everyone on Earth subconsciously thinks I’m an idiot, I’m doing myself a disservice by not wearing my cute clothing. By sighing and saying “you’ll never fit into those white jeans, so eat the brownie,” I’m just allowing myself to have low self esteem. My best friend Melissa is kind of feeling the same way that I do. We’ve been planning a ladies only trip to Montreal for spring 2018, so I think it’s time to get us out of that self defeating attitude and start getting into that “we are so very bad ass” attitude instead.
Today is October 1/17. I’ve decided to make it my personal goal to wear all of the things in my closet that I bought as motivation to lose weight/was too self conscious to go anywhere within the next 365 days. It may seem really stupid to an outsider, but to me, it’s a goal to work towards to help me stay focused. I’m an emotional eater, so a stressful day at work will have me reaching for the chips. So, I hung the white jeans beside my bed. Every morning when I wake up, I’ll look at those jeans. That will remind me at the start of the day that binge eating isn’t worth it. I’ll focus on this;
And less on this:
Of course, Melissa isn’t one to be motivated by “reward clothing,” but she is a personal trainer that works for a fashionable clothing company, so she knows what she wants her body to look like so she can wear what she wants. Because our goals are the same, we can help keep each other accountable. I’ll also check with my girl Johanna and her fitness Facebook group to help me feel like I’m holding myself accountable by checking in every day.
I’m always at my best when I’m driven to reach a goal and right now, that goal is to wear those white pants. Maybe it seems stupid to an outsider, but I’m sure you have something, whether it’s a fitness goal, a professional goal, or a personal goal. You have your own white pants and it’s up to you to come up with a plan to achieve that goal. Set a timeline, and then make it happen. My goal is to wear all six items in my closet my October 1/18. But those white pants? They’ll be worn by spring. Every time I think about grabbing a bag of chips, or skipping a workout (if I can’t make it to Crossfit, pull out Stratusphere Sculpt or Stratusphere yoga), I’m going to ask myself if it’s worth not fitting into those pants.
I’ll be adding this to the pile of projects I have on the go (more about those HERE). Maybe I can drive my new car to my new house, wearing my white pants, if I just stay focused and work hard.
Normally, I write about my personal success stories and how I’m improving as a person and junk. Today is not one of those stories. Today is the story of the time that I did some dumb ass shit.
So, let me preface that I am not smart. Like, I’m articulate, and well read. When it comes to my line of work, I’m a god damn pro. But when it comes to men, I’m dumb as fuck. To review some of my *ahem* finer dating decisions;
1. I was married to a serial cheating, abuser for eight years.
2. I DATED MY OWN STALKER. TWICE (legit looked up my address and camped outside a movie theatre. A few months later my hotel room. TOTALLY NORMAL AND NOT AT ALL A FELONY)
3. I was once attracted to a pilot that couldn’t find north.
4. I went out a guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl
So, clearly I am super good at making relationship choices. I swear, really great guys are attracted to me, BUT I AM TOO FUCKING STUPID TO PICK UP ON THEIR SUBTLE CUES OF SANITY TO NOTICE. PLEASE HELP ME. Anywho, this brings me to Mr. Oil Guy and why I am a moron.
So, Mr. Oil Guy is cute. Mr. Oil Guy is pretty chill. Funny, fun to talk to. MHC is super into Mr. Oil Guy. Mr. Oil Guy & I are planning a date. MHC is actually really excited. What could go wrong?
Well, he started telling gay jokes. The first one was more of a wrong number joke. The next few were less funny. I tried to play it off by pointing out that gay men are usually funnier and smarter than straight men, but then he got kind of defensive. So, I thought I’d point out that most of my friends are LGBT, as is my brother, so if he’s gonna keep cracking gay jokes, even light ones, I’m not gonna be interested. He then flipped it that I was being argumentative. So I apologized. We carried on. The next day we got talking about my birthday, and he got kind of defensive again. This time, because my manager bought me some shiny new headphones for my birthday (mine broke that day), because he had bought me a pair and now needed to return them (we haven’t even gone out yet). Also, that I was going out with some male coworkers. I kind of felt awkward about it. Lots of comments about brown nosing and hints that male coworkers don’t just go out with female colleagues as friends (yeah they do. All the time). But I just kept thinking that these aren’t red flags. I’m just afraid of dating. This is normal.
This brings us to the next day. Mr. Oil Guy says he’s gonna buy a phone at my work. So, I STUPIDLY TELL HIM WHERE I WORK. Then he proceeds to explain how Canadian telcos rip off Canadian consumers and there is no excuse and begins explaining to me how my job works! He tells me that subsidized phones aren’t “free”because you pay for them through your plan.
HOLY SHIT NO WAY. THANK YOU FOR CLEARING UP THE THING THAT I EXPLAIN TO CUSTOMERS A MILLION
TIMES A DAY, PLEASE DO GO ON SIR.
Finally, after I flat out ask if he’s mansplaining my own job to me, and he informs me that we are “having a healthy debate,” (about why my job is stupid), I stop messaging. I’m sooooooooooo done. If I wanted to hang out with a stubborn, arrogant, manchild who doesn’t know anything about anything and talks down to me like I’m braindead, I WOULD STILL BE MARRIED. But then, he sends me this message:
So, naturally, I throw up in my mouth a little bit (I actually replied “my hair is down”), but decide that my best friend Erica needs to see this message, because I tell her all of the things, complete with the caption “barf barf barf.”
What could go wrong?
(Narrator: everything went wrong)
In order to fully appreciate the next series of events, I present this conversation;
Yup. Sent it to him because I am fucking Einstein. I actually felt badly, because that’s some kind of rejection. But I also felt badly because I didn’t trust my own judgment. I was so afraid that I’m too picky, that I was willing to settle and ignore obvious red flags because I wanted someone to like me. I should hold myself accountable to my own standards and if Mr. Oil Guy doesn’t meet them, fuck Mr. Oil Guy. As luck would have it, I do have a date with Mr. Nurse next week, so as long as I don’t fail screenshot, we’ll see how that goes!
I should have stopped talking to him the minute I felt like I had to apologize for not appreciating the off colour jokes. Instead, I tried to look past a deal breaker and ended up embarrassing myself super mega big time. So, trust yourself guys. If something feels off, it probably is. If not, you’ll end up screenshotting their own stupid comments back to them and end up looking and feeling like an idiot. Chances are, there’s something better right around the corner. Maybe. Unless you’re me, then they’re probably fucking crazy too and you should probably get a cat.
Time sure flies when you’re on an adventure.
It’s been two years since I decided to pack up my life and move across the country to build my portfolio. Its been a interesting journey, full of highs and lows, victories and defeats, but through all of it, I’ve met some of the best people and gotten to do some of the coolest things. I’ve accomplished so much and (until the next adventure calls) this feels like home.
Because it’s home, I have a life here. So, today, I’ll be going to my favourite salon so my girl Tess can brighten up the blonde. If you need a YEG stylist, feel free to email me & I will give you some deets, because there is no better stylist than Tess and the rest of the stylists at my salon. If not, then check out some photos of my various adventures in YEG (without photos of my children to protect their privacy). It’s been quite an adventure, but I wouldn’t trade the friends I’ve made, my beloved coworkers, and the lessons I’ve learned for anything.
Part of growing as a human means being able to look internally and evolve.
For me, it means recognizing that over the last year, I’ve sabotaged almost all of my potential relationships.
I’ve really enjoyed casual dating. It’s been nice to go out, spend time with someone and be picky enough to cut things off if I don’t see it going anywhere. I’ve never been a casual dater. Just a relationship gal. So, this is all new territory for me. An old friend of mine once told me I needed to do that. That’s how you get over toxic boyfriends; you date. Maybe they aren’t the one. But by meeting “not the one” a whole bunch of times, you’ll also realize how much toxic boyfriend was also not the one. You’ll be able to look back objectively and go “man, that guy was a controlling prick. I don’t need that. I want qualities X, Y, and Z.” Sometimes I wish that I could message that old friend and apologize for not seeing it sooner. But he’s moved forward and so have I. We have mutual friends. Maybe we’ll check each other’s FB and see we’ve grown into cool people and reconnect.
But I’m off topic, aren’t I? Let’s bring it back in.
I’ve enjoyed my non committal dating. It’s helped me figure out what I do want and what I don’t. Then when I meet someone with these qualities, I can venture into a more serious relationship. But there have been times when I was really into the guy and when he pushed for us to be more serious (meet the kids, meet the family), I kind of balked and the relationships fizzled. I’m a bit gun shy. I don’t trust well. And it’s hard for me to let my guard down around men.
I was telling one of my good girlfriends about this today. I was getting to know a guy, and I was really interested in getting to know him better. But then he asked for more personal information and I instantly clammed up & asked to keep some boundaries. I gave a high level explanation about how important moving slowly is, and I’ve had some bad experiences with men moving too quickly and then becoming awful people literally overnight. I just need some more time to get to know him while I have my guard up. He said he understood, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is no more interest on his side. That sucks, because he was a really nice guy and I was looking forward to getting to know him a bit better.
I wonder if this is normal, that feeling of wanting to get to know someone, but afraid that if you let them close to you, they’ll become a bloody fucking lunatic, and then stalk you for years. Or is that just something I worry about? I know I’m capable of long term friendships. I know I can attract a partner if I wanted one. But I feel like I question my own judgement. I mean, I have a neon sign over my head that says “I attract losers.” Am I just assuming that I don’t know how to choose a partner because my track record is a who’s who of the mentally disturbed. But I’m probably cutting out really great guys because I’m so scared that someone is going to hunt me down, tell me they love me & they won’t take no for an answer, and pick out an engagement ring and then stop talking to me two weeks later with no explanation, then stalk me. Or cheat on me with a coworker. Or be abusive. Because that’s what I pick. I have a bad habit of falling too hard, too fast. I look through rose coloured glasses and all of the red flags just look like flags. Now I look through scared bunny glasses, assuming every one will hurt me, so if I stay behind the safe wall, that won’t happen.
Maybe it’s about balance. Maybe you need to have a combination of scared bunny glasses and rose coloured glasses. Maybe having that independent self and boundaries are important, so when the right person comes, they’ll respect those boundaries and I’ll be able to see if they have qualities “X, Y, and Z.” Maybe those boundaries are important because it helps me see what their intentions are before I’m in over my head and being dragged down, but so in love that I’m excusing the worst kind of behaviour because I’m madly in love and ignoring their true, horrible personalities.
Now I need to learn how to balance the scared bunny feeling and avoid the rose coloured glasses. Find the “look at someone through the regular, you wear them every day glasses.” The one good thing casual dating has taught me is that “the one” isn’t the guy that walks out, or the guy who doesn’t take no. He’ll be the one who stays, is willing to put inthe work, and look at you through human eyes, not rose coloured glasses. The good thing about all of the “not the ones” is that they’ll prepare you for the actual one, who’s worth letting your guard down for.
Maybe this is about trusting my judgment again. Letting go of this fear that only psychopaths and narcissists are capable of loving me because there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I need to start believing that really good men would be interested in me. After all, I like me. I have three jobs, three great kids, my bills are paid because I make my own money. I go to the gym, have no criminal record and most people like me. And I guess I’m kind of pretty. On the catch scale, I’m a solid 7.5. Maybe I’m holding myself back because I’ve allowed myself to believe that nice guys don’t want me, I’m just catnip for psychos. I think it’s time I let that belief system go. There’s nothing wrong with me & I am not unworthy of a great guy. Because of this, I can slowly learn that I don’t need to be afraid of every guy, thinking he’s just going to hurt me. But, it doesn’t hurt to keep your guard up a little. Because protecting yourself is never a bad thing.
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.
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.