It Takes Two

My friend recently posted this to her FB page & it got me thinking (because I am a weirdo who analyzes memes);


As the poster child for “taking too long to heal from a bad relationship,” this made me sad. So, I sent her this text;


The reality I learned is humans choose to make themselves happy or miserable. We choose who we become & no amount of bad relationships can “turn” us into anything. I chose to be miserable & believe my former friend’s lies that it’ll all work out it I wait. I chose to mourn for the life I thought I wanted. I chose to ignore the fact that he is too closed off emotionally to give that life to me & I needed to heal from my emotionally abusive marriage to be in any position to build a life; I just missed the idea of what I thought we were building. That’s what we miss when a relationship ends; the idea of the life we were supposed to have, because we never really have it. If I had that life, we would have talked about our feelings instead of me hiding my concerns because he’d leave me. I shouldn’t have had to be afraid he’d leave if I breathed wrong or asked for my feelings to be validated or to be made a priority. If that life had been real, I would have felt safe & happy. I thought I did, but now I realize I didn’t, because I was so afraid he’d leave, because he did, all the time. What I missed wasn’t real & what made my friend feel like the graphic wasn’t real. She’s too sweet to ever do it, but if she becomes a bitch, it’s her choice, just like I chose to be miserable. I made that choice & then I un made it. I decided, much like when I mourned my marriage, that I wouldn’t mourn a life that wasn’t real. I mourned this family that wasn’t real. Reality was an emotionally defeated mom, and three little girls who were afraid of their angry father. I needed to focus on why I make bad choices, which is that I choose broken men. I choose them because I want to make them happy so I can feel happy knowing I bring someone joy. I do this because I was unhappy with my weight, my lack of byline, my insecurities about who I am. If I make these broken men happy, then I’m doing something right so I have value. So, I choose to bring myself joy, give myself value & then I won’t need to choose broken men & keep up that cycle. The only reason the cycle in the graphic exists is because we allow it. When my teen daughter mentioned the emotionally abusive relationship of Damon & Elena on The Vampire Diaries was romantic, I had to think about what I had been teaching her. I had been teaching her that women in love allow men hurt & manipulate them & it’s their fault for not loving them enough. I don’t want my daughter in that cycle, so I had to break it, for myself, for my daughters. Again, that’s a choice I’m making for us, to teach them what a healthy relationship is.

No one can “make” you a bitch or an asshole. You chose that. You chose to crush the heart of that person that loved you. You chose to let someone crush it. You made those choices & you chose to dwell & let it warp you. Why choose to destroy joy? I was destroying my own joy & for what? Nothing. So, I choose joy. I choose my happily ever after. It’s right now, in this moment. I’ll fix what makes me feel weak & make myself happy, because then no one can rip it away. But in the moment it’s hard to see that reality & seeing my friend’s pain (albeit in snippets with her talking about binge eating, etc.) made me realize something I didn’t for a long time. I understand why my ex-BFF lied for so long. I was crippled emotionally by the on & off, the intense togethers & sudden splits & the consistent rejections that I couldn’t think. I went to school & raised my kids but my friend saw me broken, so very broken. He just wanted to make the pain go away. Hearing her pain made me want to do the same thing. But we have to choose the path of reality & allowing someone time to figure out what they miss isn’t real & the real happy ending is around the corner is much kinder in the long run.

My friend is an amazing & strong woman, mother, performer & friend. She will choose joy & meet her match & live a beautiful life. Even if she doesn’t, she’ll live a beautiful life with her son. Because happy is a choice, not a situation.


Day 23: My Thoughts on Television & How It Affects Our Lives

Confession time: I am an entertainment reporter who rarely watches TV.

I have had some friends recommend Dr. Who for me, as well as Supernatural and Reign. I’ve given the latter a try and haven’t been able to get into them. Even Law & Order: SVU is hit or miss for me without Stabler. I’m just not a big TV person, I get too bored or annoyed and quit watching. The only show I almost watched to the end was Dawson’s Creek and even then, I gave up after season six.


I pretty much only watch TV two days a week, which is Monday and Thursdays, when I watch Monday Night Raw with my daughters and The Vampire Diaries with the sometimes angry Tween.


I used to love WWE as a kid and as a grown up it became my favourite soap opera. All of the camp of real soap operas, but much better looking men! However, the storylines are getting lame (or I’m growing up) and the only thing that interests me are the Divas, who get very little love from the WWE writers. However, watching my children laugh and get invested in their campy characters (the overlord has long joined Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement and the angriest tween of course idolizes AJ Lee) and get happy or angry with it, knowing it’s fake all the while.

courtesy the CW
courtesy the CW

The Vampire Diaries was my favourite book series as a tween. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing as (SPOILER ALERT) Elena died @ the end of the Fury (and later was resurrected in Dark Reunion). However, the show (which was a staple for seasons 1-3) has strayed so far from the novels that I loved as a young girl that I can’t seem to get into it anymore. But I must admit that the chemistry between Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Nina Dobrev’s Elena sucks me back in periodically. I sometimes wish I could enjoy the show again, as I used to love it so much and there is still one scene in the season three opener that gets me every time.

I think I struggle with this show because season four & five have Elena spurning her compassionate & gentle suitor Stefan in favour of “taming the bad boy” in brother Damon. Sometimes, the angry tween will tell me that love can fix the broody bad boy, BUT IN THE REAL WORLD, IT DOESN’T. I’ve learned after my last few relationships, all with broody, emotionally stunted bad boys & want to be players, love does not turn a bad boy good. A bad boy has to want to be a good man & he has to want to do it for himself. Too often, a TV shows teach girls that love tames the bad boy. Carrie converted Mr. Big. We all swooned over Jordan Catalano (I still do. Jared Leto. Sigh) & Joey Potter abandoned nice guy Dawson Leary to reform Pacey Witter. Maybe the reason we women spend so much time crying into our Ben & Jerry’s is because we’re conditioned through these love stories that we can love a man into wanting to grow up & be a good husband & father. In reality, it’s up to him to look @ the people he claims to love, look @ his children & look in the mirror & if he wouldn’t want his son to be just like him or his daughter to date someone like him, he needs to become that person. But he has to love himself first. A man will never love a woman enough to better himself for her; he has to love himself enough to be the good man that lives in every bad boy.

Women need to stop being so simpering (especially me) & realize that the bad boys aren’t good for us. We need to find the Stefan, not the Damon that will chew us up & spit us out, strangle the life from us & leave us for dead the minute it gets too hard. We need to marry the Aidan, not Mr. Big. It may not be as thrilling, but at least we won’t be abused & neglected & crying in our ice cream or driving our friends nuts wondering why we weren’t enough to tame the bad boy. Because TV is TV & reality is much uglier. We are good enough. We are all good enough to be loved by the right person. But we’ve got to also recognize that love isn’t enough to make someone want to treat you better. You’ve got to love yourself enough to sit back & wait for the right person & not let the fact that the bad boy didn’t see the good in you ruin that. This is a lesson every woman learns the hard way at least once.

So ladies (& guys), let’s stop letting the romance novels & TV shows sway us into believing that we were put on this Earth to reform a bad boy & our love is powerful enough to make him a good man. It’s not. Instead, let’s accept that our self love is enough to make us good people & the rest will be better than any passionate & stormy TV romance on Earth.

One Grain of Sand

I think it’s time that I once again retire from the world of online dating.

Not just because I’m in the middle of a huge life transition and it’s not a good idea to start a relationship in the midst of that. Not just because we’ve established that I am the most stubborn person on Earth.

Mainly because…it’s stupid.

My hippie friend and her husband met online and made it. Their love story is beautiful and they make me happy. But everyone else I know, it failed. However, my Muricah food tour companion said the same thing I did (she uses her POF account to “laugh @ the winners.” We actually had a contest to see who could shoot down some poor moron in the most original capacity); it feels like forcing something that isn’t really there.

I want the love story. I want that epic Noah and Allie where you work out the misunderstandings, even though it took forever for them to finally decide to sit down and actually talk, but when they did, they realize they had wasted so much time not trusting each other and talking about things as they happened, letting outside influences stick their noses in, but they worked it out and built a beautiful life. Just like my 12 year old suggested, I want the Stefan and Elena (book version, not ruined TV show version) where they just knew, no matter what happened between them, they just knew. She often tells me where my supposed epic love is. She tells me so in between bouts of hating me. I want that moment, that moment where you look @ that person and think they’re cute and why didn’t you notice before or you stop dead in your tracks and think…wow, who is that? You don’t get that moment from the internet.


I have always wanted the epic love like my friend and fellow blogger Nancy at Whispered Inspirations has found with her hubby where she just knew. I guess I feel like online dating is trying to force the epic love story and when you try to force something, it doesn’t happen. No matter how much I think that I know who I’m supposed to be with, you can’t force it, and I can’t make someone want to be here with me, nor would I want to, because they wouldn’t be happy. They’d need to realize it on their own. Much like Noah in the Notebook, he waited for Allie to figure it out on her own and when she did, they fought for each other and with each other and had a lovely life. Maybe someday I’ll find that epic love story and it will happen naturally, with a random meeting and a lovely chat that turns into more. You can’t find it when you’re searching for it (unless of course you’re searching for what you’ve run from) and by online dating, maybe you’re pushing too hard to find a mate to fit your love story instead of waiting for the love story to play out. I shouldn’t have to settle for less than the life that I want and so richly deserve. I shouldn’t have to settle for a life that is “good enough” and that includes my interpersonal relationships. I don’t want a computer to determine my compatibility with someone. I want the man who doesn’t care if we’re compatible on paper, or what he thinks happened or didn’t happen and vice versa. I want the man that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t get me out of his mind, needs to know what I’m thinking so he wastes time seeking it out, and in the end makes the choice to work on it with me, every day, because in the end, it’s how it’s supposed to be. I think about how when I went back to school to do something profitable and how miserable I was, how my marriage was a chore because there was no moment of “This person could be the one.” I do not want any aspect of my life to be a chore, especially not the most important adult relationship of my life.


I asked my friend if it was so wrong to feel like I deserved the epic love, the love that made me want to become better, love myself more and the love I was so sure of that I would wait for it, fight for it, fight with them and when things are the suckiest, love someone when I don’t even like them. She said no, because she was waiting for the same thing and she shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than that. So, she’ll keep mocking the POF winners and I’ll keep on building my self esteem and putting my life the way I want it, so when the time is right, I’ll get my epic love story, have that chance meeting, and happily ever after the way I’ve always wanted and I absolutely deserve and so does she. Everyone deserves the person who is going to feel for them the same thing that Noah felt for Allie:

“Well that’s what we do, we fight… You tell me when I am being an arrogant son of a bitch and I tell you when you are a pain in the ass. Which you are, 99% of the time. I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a 2 second rebound rate, then you’re back doing the next pain-in-the-ass thing…So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day.”

Maybe it’s not realistic, but I would rather wait my life for the love story where no matter what happens, you make it through the storm than some complacent blah thing that some computer created for me. If something is how its supposed to be, you’ll end up there eventually. So, no one needs to force it by hunting for it, because we’ll find it, rediscover it, and cherish it when we do.

Where We Land

Let me tell you about my friend the Texan.

I met her online on a Mommy message board and from the moment we started talking, I knew she was one of the most amazing people in the world. When I mentioned that my middle child was colicky and didn’t want to be put down, I was surprised with a Peanut Shell sling in the mail, for no other reason than I had a need and she wanted to fill it. I was blown away by her generosity. She showed me through this and our many conversations that she was the living embodiment of the true Christian; someone who loved her neighbour as herself and wanted to be a shining example of God’s love.

When my eldest daughter began her struggles, the Texan was the only person I spoke to. It was nothing against my other friends, but it’s hard to explain these issues when you’ve never lived through them. I’ve been a mom for almost 12 years and I still would never have been able to relate to a parent in this situation until I’ve been here myself. However, the Texan offered me constructive advice and is quick to check in with me on counselling days, which are particularly draining for my child and I. While I enjoy these days, as it helps me come up with an action plan to better meet my children’s needs, it’s still difficult to hear her sob for someone and something that she sees as so easy and she doesn’t understand why I won’t just reach out and make it happen. She likens what she wants to her favourite book romance (Stefan and Elena from the Vampire Diaries; I won’t let her watch the show. Too many hearts being ripped out), and that no matter how long the separations, the love doesn’t die and if I would just make a phone call, that person will show up @ the door & it can be worked out and she’ll get her real family. Of course, real life doesn’t work that way & her dream scenario of him coming back to be with us out of the blue is more of a fairy tale. Of course, that doesn’t stop her from believing every knock @ the door, every time the phone rings, this time it’s him. This time, he’ll be standing there saying he’ll be with us. But the Texan is the one who helps me understand that the guilt I feel is normal, that it’ll be okay and that my efforts to make things better (the counselling, the yoga, the journalling, extracurricular activities, etc.) are all effective strategies to improve things, help with the resentment she feels that I won’t make that phone call that she’s begged me to make for months, because I’m afraid & why don’t grown ups act brave for once, admit they’re wrong, that they love each other & be a family. That way she and her sisters don’t need to be sad anymore. The Texan doesn’t question my choice to fall on my sword as it were, letting her think it’s my refusal to reach out that keeps her from having the person she feels is the best person ever so she won’t feel rejected, because he promised her when he brought her a birthday gift that he’d never leave her ever again. The Texan understands it’s to protect my child…& preserve the memory of the person who was once the most important adult in the world to me (& my natural instinct to shoulder the blame for everything & believing that the people I care about are good. Protect and defend the ones I love, even @ the expense of myself. That’s the MH way). The Texan often mentions continued prayer to help me get through the rough parts by reminding me that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, and I’m so grateful for her guidance. She’s like the coolest older sister figure ever. She’s the one who suggested I blog about these struggles, so I wouldn’t feel so alone; that other parents feel this way sometimes too.

While sitting in church on Sunday, the Reverend mentioned a verse that hit home for me and really helped me gain perspective on a lot of things.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Whether you believe in a higher power or you don’t, one must remember that the world will not give us more than we can handle. While this may not always have been true, one thing I’ve tried to remind myself is that clearly God has a lot of faith in me as a person. After all, if God won’t give us more than we can handle, then clearly he trusts me to thrive in situations that most people would look at and want no part of. This is the lesson that my amazing friend reminds me of when I lose my way. So, I look at some of the things that I struggle with, from parenting to employment to friendships and some days, even my own sanity as opportunities to grow, to be challenged. Instead of begging God for help, I’m going to thank him for trusting me to tackle these things and rise to the occasion. So, thank you my friend, for being a wise older sister, fortune teller and all around amazing person during times of triumph and tribulations. Thanks for reminding me to welcome these things and be thankful for struggles, for they shape us and make us strong, make us hopeful. We should welcome the darkness because when it’s over, we’ll be more grateful for the gifts we are given. After all, darkness helps us build character. These trying times have helped me discover who I am standing on my own feet, not with anyone to “protect” me and I’m holding up okay. These times have helped shape my parenting style, helping me learn to keep a cool head, which has helped me during challenging times such as exams. There was no panic, simply rising to the occasion and my grades reflected my efforts. Darkness will help me appreciate things as they come, and I will see them as gifts and cherish them, and not wait for the shoe to drop. So, I’m thankful and grateful that the universe trusts me to hold up the world like Atlas, for it will make me a better person in the end.

I may not be the perfect mother or the perfect friend. I may not be a superhuman machine. But I am a mom, a friend, a journalist and a law clerk and a good person and that’s all I need to be, and I have an amazing role model to show me how to embrace those things.

You’re amazing Texan, and I love you.


Dear Vampire Diary: Should’ve Said There Was Another Witch

Dear Vampire Diary:

This week was full of twists and turns and werewolves oh my!

(Spoiler alert! Don’t read if you haven’t watched)

The Salvatore brothers have had enough of Katherine and are determined to finally be rid of her. Teaming up with Jeremy Gilbert, Alaric, Caroline and Bonnie, the Scooby gang team up to take on the psychotic vamp.

The plan nearly falls flat when Kat kills a random drunk who picked the wrong time to tell “Elena” that she looked sensational. Kat showed her dark side once again by killing the girl. Stefan wavered in his resolve to kill Katherine, but Damon helped keep Stefan focused.

Meanwhile, Katherine’s plan to get a werewolf worked, as Tyler inadvertently killed a drunk girl (compelled by Katherine to get the job done if Matt couldn’t) after Caroline saved Matt from destruction. Tyler was horrified at what he would become, Caroline reached out with understanding, showing him her black eyes after his turned werewolf amber.

Jeremy & Bonnie played their parts well, with the former serving as a pawn and the latter casting a spell keeping Katherine caged. Caroline managed to fool Katherine and lure her into what should have been her demise. As the Savatores attacked their former lover, Elena (who snuck out from the not so watchful eye of Alaric. Seriously, worst babysitter ever) suffered every blow, thanks to Lucy, Katherine’s witch friend Stefan, unable to strike Katherine knowing his beloved Elena would suffer, interrogated Katherine, who taunted him comically. Damon had finally had enough of Katherine’s antics & vowed to stake her once Elena was safe.

However, Lucy had grown annoyed that Katherine had misled her; she failed to mention to her that there would be another witch. After winning Bonnie’s trust, Lucy gave Katherine the moonstone, which had now been tainted with magic. With Katherine subdued & Elena free from harm, the Salvatores were free to dispose of her by putting her in the place they thought she was all along: the Fell’s Church tomb. As Katherine explained that the Salvatores needed her to protect the doppleganger (Elena), Damon closed the door on Katherine, hesitated, & walked away.

With Katherine gone, Stefan rushed to Elena in hopes to be with her once more. Elena however, wasn’t ready to return to Stefan’s arms…yet. Deciding to take some time alone, Elena declined her brother’s offer to drive her home & was abducted by a masked man, leaving us on a cliffhanger.

Will our heroes save their beloved or will death finally claim Elena? Will Jeremy’s awkward advances on Bonnie work? We won’t know until next week!

Dear Vampire Diary: I don’t Think I’ll Like Plan C

Dear Vampire Diary,

Love hurts so much it can rip your heart out, especially in Mystic Falls.

(spoiler alert! Don’t read on if you haven’t watched)

The episode started off promising, as Elena and her vampire soulmate forgot they were supposed to pretend to fight & made love. Werehottie Mason Lockwood enjoyed his morning as well, with Katherine sharing his bed. Katherine wants the moonstone and Mason plans on giving it to her…later.

New vamp Caroline is having family drama (I’m sure we can all relate to the problems that come from locking your mom in a basement when she finds out you’re the walking undead). After spending the day educating her mom on the vampire way of life, Sheriff Forbes agreed to keep her daughter’s secret & admitted how proud she is of her daughter. Caroline knew her mother would never protect her makers (the Salvatores) in the same manner, so she compelled the moment away & set her mother free. Things are just going to get worse for Caroline, as Katherine has a plan for her beloved ex boyfriend Matt, but more on that later.

The romantic entanglements came to a head when Bonnie bumped into Mason and got a vision of him kissing “Elena”. Stefan put two and two together and along with Bonnie and Damon, set out to “talk” to Mason and get the moonstone.

Stefan’s leap into a an old well to get the moonstone nearly proved fatal as it wad full of vervain. The ladies worked as a team to save him & Elena let him feed from her in order to revive him (LOVE Bonnie, Caroline, & Elena working together again, let’s see more of this in future eppies). Meanwhile, Damon’s playtime with Mason ended with the tortured vampire ripping out the werewolf’s heart in a jealous rage. Damon’s mocking call to his former vamp lover put Katherine in revenge mode, compelling Elena’s Aunt Jenna to attempt suicide and Matt to sacrifice himself so Katherine can have a werewolf.

Elena, racked with guilt left Stefan, claiming Katherine won. Damon humbly apologized, but Elena was gone. The Salvatores know that to win the woman they love back, they need to kill Katherine. With Alaric (he wants to defend his beloved Jenna and her niece), Jeremy and Bonnie also wanting Kat dead, she best have nine lives.

Dear Vampire Diary: Being A Vampire Teenager Sucks

Dear Vampire Diary,

This week we learned that even teenage vampires have mama drama.

(Spoiler alert! Don’t read if you haven’t viewed it yet)

Newborn vamp/drama queen Caroline Forbes showed some pretty open hostility to her mother, prompting even the self absorbed Damon to rush to the Sherrif’s defense.  The relationship between mother and daughter was strained during the first season, but after Logan Fell’s abduction of Caroline and her car accident, relations seemed to have thawed. That of course was before Caroline became a daywalking vampire.

Relations between mother and daughter came to a head thanks to canine hottie Mason Lockwood. Despite Stefan’s best attempt to repair vampire/werewolf relations (“Awww…but I don’t want peace), Mason was determined to wipe Stefan and Damon out. After convincing Sherrif Forbes that the Salvatore hotties were indeed vampires, he used a little girl to bring Damon lemonade spiked with (gasp!) Vervain. Sherrif Forbes pumped the brothers full of wooden bullets and began to torture Damon before Elena and Caroline made the save. Caroline’s mother was horrified to see her daughter was now a vampire and swore her daughter was “gone” and refused to see her, reducing the girl to tears. Damon’s sparing of Caroline’s mother and even defending Caroline’s humanity melted the ice between Elena and Damon as well.

Speaking of Caroline, she got to show off her bad assery when she kicked the crap out of Mason Lockwood. Knowing Mason’s attitude towards women, his ego is bruised alot more than his body. I hope Damon makes fun of him in another episode.

Damon also managed to thaw relations between Elena and Stefan. After weeks of pretending to quarrel and his inability to recover after the Forbes beating, Stefan realized Damon was right; he does need human blood to have the strength to protect Elena from Katherine. Drawing on what Katherine said about building a vervain tolerance, Stefan plans to build up a tolerance to human blood by consuming little bits at a time. Elena is initially angry, as blood drunk Stefan makes for a bad boyfriend, but Damon takes up for baby brother, pointing out that Stefan really does need it to survive. Realizing that Damon is right, she allows Stefan to drink her blood, claiming they need to fight Katherine together.

Katherine kept a safe distance from the Salvatores, instead to claim the sacred moonstone from werewolf lover Mason. Mason got the stone from nephew Tyler, who was nearly cursed after an incident with the stairs and a drunk girl. Jeremy admitted he knew Tyler’s secret, forming an unlikely bond (I guess they needed more in common then having dead parents and doing Vicki Bennett). Katherine’s real agenda is revealed; she wants the moonstone and manipulated Mason Lockwood into accepting his “gift” so she could retrieve it. However, she seems to have an interest in BOTH Salvatore brothers and insists that Mason stay away. I guess all that professing of love for Stefan was a ploy to divide and conquer the brothers, or was it?

Next week’s preview shows another Damon/Bonnie showdown and Elena receiving some pretty serious threats from Katherine. What’s gonna happen next? Luckily for us, VD never makes us wait too long to find out!

Dear Vampire Diary: Pretend Games Are Fun!

Dear Vampire Diary,

My boyfriend’s a vampire, his psychotic ex is trying to kill me & my best vampire friend is working with said psychopath to ruin my life.

(spoiler alert! If you missed it, don’t read on)

Katherine allowed Stefan to torture her as she revealed some more details about the Lockwood werewolves, while she continued to get in Stefan’s head. While trying to convince him that he loved her, Stefan tried to stake her. Too bad his humanity (& her resemblance to his beloved Elena) stopped him. Elena & Stefan staged a public breakup to convince Katherine, Caroline, & Damon that they were no more. Meanwhile, Katherine stared @ the moon longing for Stefan, adding a twist to an already winding road.

Meanwhile, Damon played Pictionary with Mason Lockwood, in hopes to expose him as a werewolf. Wolfy McAbs wasn’t playing & offered Damon a truce, too bad Damon wasnt buying & stabbed Mason in his rock hard stomach. McWolfy told our sexy vamp that truce time is over. Meanwhile, Tyler was shocked when Uncle Mason told him taking human life is the key to the curse. The moonstone may be the key to breaking it & Katherine seems to know something.

Damon & Katherine shared a moment where she warned him to avoid the wolves. Damon’s open anger & Katherine’s concern makes me wonder if these two are truly done.

So, what happens next? Stefan is willing to go blood crazy to protect Elena & Caroline’s mom is getting closer to finding out that her daughter is a vampire. Will Damon stop the wolves or will Katherine manipulate him again? With this show’s fast paced action, we’ll know soon enough!