Something Just Like This

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Shape of You

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

Actually, it’s probably been about a month of terrible, no good, very bad, but let’s focus on today. 

Today, I woke up, fully planned to kick today’s ass. I really did. I had my game face on, I was excited. Truthfully, despite some personal setbacks, I’ve been super jazzed about life. I’ve been writing some really great articles. I’ve been pitching some awesome stories. I’m currently working on something I’m really excited to share with the community. I’ve been transferred to another location as part of a business restructuring and I’ll be starting at my new store in March. It’s closer to my house and the girls’ school. And then I’m treating myself to a week’s staycation to rest and recharge from my crazy February schedule. I’ve been enjoying the gym. It’s been awesome. 

Which brings me to today. 

Today my kid had an epic tantrum. Like EPIC. I left for work feeling a shitty mom, a shitty neighbour, and a shitty human being. I spent all day in kind of a funk because I felt like the WORST MOM EVER. I work so damn much to keep us fed and clothed that I feel like I’m not giving enough time to them. I mean, I pay someone to clean my house now because I want it done and I have no time. Then they act out sometimes because they are kids & kids do that sometimes. And sometimes I yell back because moms yell sometimes. And in the end, I just feel like an asshole. 

Sometimes I get caught up in the social media trap. I see everyone’s seemingly perfect kids and lives and no one worries about money, their kids always behave and everyone’s house is immaculate and I think “why can’t I be that person? Why am I not the person with the dream job and the perfect car and kids who never ever talk back?” Sometimes I just feel like I can’t measure up. I’ll always be white trash trying to make good. My self esteem takes a hit and I just feel awful. Good moms balance. They do it all right. No mistakes ever. Not like me, who just keeps fucking it all up. 

Then I come home, lay in my tub, do some yoga, and recognize that this is total bullshit. 

Everyone has a bad week or month. Everyone has one of those days where they took a time out to bawl their eyes out because they are so burned out and feel like they handled it all wrong and sit up late at night thinking they are a horrible parent/partner/friend. But if you keep thinking really positively and focus on the good things while making changes, you’ll make it through. 

Today, I was lucky enough to have my friend Paul call me to help me feel better. Bad days happen. Shake it off. Another friend texted me a positive affirmation. My best friend Melissa texted me positive Seth Rollins memes because she gets me. But when I asked each of them why I was failing as a mom, they all reminded me of a time that they did not win parenting. Or housekeeping. Or relationships. Or jobs. It’s easy to feel like you won’t measure up when you’re constantly comparing yourself to invisible competition and FB highlight reels. But I’m not failing as a mom. Or a person. It was just one no good, very bad day. 

When I feel like the world is gonna crush me, I immediately think of everything good that has happened, big or small (a trick I learned from Katniss Everdeen). I think of the nice ladies at Hudson Bay who gave great customer service. I think of the feel good story I found on Reddit. I think about the cool things my kids do. I think about how much I’ve improved at the gym. How rad my friends are. And suddenly, I don’t feel like my life is garbage anymore. 


There’s no instruction manual on how to juggle single parenting, career, home, and being a decent human being. Sometimes I’ll get it right. Sometimes I won’t. But I can’t spend my days beating myself up about the days that I don’t. If I do, I’ll never have any good days. So, the next time there is a no good, very bad day, I’ll take thirty seconds to remember that I’m not competing with the highlight reels, it’s okay to not know how to handle everything and sometimes you just need to learn on the fly and forgive yourself if you didn’t do it right and learn for next time. 

The Divine Zero

Despite my fascination with pop culture, I must admit I do not keep up with the Kardashians, mostly because everything they say and everything they do annoys the shit out of me. 


From Kim’s baby talk to Kris’s whining, whenever I see them on social media or TV, I immediately flip to something else. If I had to pick one that didn’t annoy me to no end, it would probably be Kendall, as she at least to have a job of some kind, as well as some talent or a skill (modelling is a skill). I feel like Kendall may also be smart. The rare times that I hear them speak, she seems to be the only one that has her shit together. So, good for Kendall. 

I googled “Kendall Jenner” and saw lots of pics, but this one stuck out. She looks so fresh faced and lovely

Now that I’ve made it clear that I don’t keep up with Kardashians, I am also late to the party when it comes to their “projects.” I casually flipped over to People Magazine’s website to read the gossip (because celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure, fight me) and I discovered that Khloe Kardashian has a show called “Revenge Body!” Basically Khloe plucks people from obscurity to teach them health and fitness tricks so they can get a slamming body to get back at an ex boyfriend, mean parent, or childhood bully. Wait till they see how HOT YOU ARE?! THAT WILL TEACH THEM!

What. The. Fuck. 

As a someone who worked to lose a ton of weight, gained some of it back and am working to lose it again, it must sound weird that I’m saying this show’s concept sounds bloody God awful. Well, here’s why. The concept of a “revenge body” is fucking stupid. Do you really think a shitty ex boyfriend is gonna magically say “I shouldn’t have been the shittiest boyfriend ever because she has a fantastic squat ass!” No. He’s probably playing house with the girl he was cheating on you with while you were trying to save the relationship or on Tinder swiping right. You shouldn’t give a shit about what that guy thinks. Or your high school bully. Or your douchebag dad. Why? Because not a single one of these people matter in your life. “Shamers” are not real. Words only have power over you if you allow them to. And besides, by losing weight to “shut them up,” they’ve won! They made you feel badly until you changed! Don’t be that person. Change to grow. 


When I chose to get healthy, I chose this to be a role model to my girls and for me. Not the shitty ex husband who abused me. Not the shitty ex boyfriend who treated me like shit and abandoned me. Not the shitty guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl. Not the asshole coworker who shit talked me when I left the room. Not the girl who bullied me in grade nine math so much that I refused to try out for basketball because she made me feel badly. Why? Because these people are irrelevant. They are simply chapters in my life that I’ve closed. I wanted to get in shape for me. I wanted to live longer. I wanted to look cute in leggings. I wanted to feel more confident. I wanted to be the best MHC ever so that I was happy with me. But it was my choice for me & I want everyone in life to be confident in their choices for themselves. When you need revenge, you are letting someone else take up space in your mind. Every second you waste on them is a second that you could be loving yourself. Why waste those seconds on shitty people who treat you badly when you could use them on yourself!

Still a work in progress, but always progress

Maybe I’m totally off base, and Khloe Kardashian is helping these people let go of their painful pasts and focus on their incredible futures, but the promo shows people announcing who they’re getting “revenge” on. But from one human to another, the best revenge is letting go, moving on, and investing in you, for you. You don’t need revenge. You need to love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Because if you do it for revenge, once you get the killer body, you’re still empty. They still treated you badly. You didn’t get back at them, or get them back. Chances are you don’t really want them back because they are sucky people! The shamers won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll piss on you for something else. Then you’ll go right back to your destructive, unhealthy habits because nothing changed. You need to change. Change your habits and your mindset so that you can be better for yourself. When you do that, you’d be surprised at how far you’ll come. 


Khloe herself admits she started working out to stop people from calling her the fat & ugly sister and stick it to them. That’s so sad. She’s a beautiful woman and while I don’t keep up with her or her family, I believe everyone is good somewhere. She’s a sister, aunt, friend and tried very hard to make a toxic marriage work. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just hope she’s found better motivation.  Maybe she’s learned to love herself. But I’d hate to think that with all of her success, loving family, wealth and the like, she’s letting faceless internet trolls or the ghosts of husbands past rent space in her mind.

So, screw the idea of the revenge body. How about we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts?! I’m gonna keep working on mine. I hope you work on yours too, but because you want to, not to stick it to someone else. 

Playing With Power

Last night, much like all of you, I watched in stunned silence as Donald Trump, a man with no political experience, who ran a campaign of hatred, bitterness and racial division, became the 45th President of the United States of America. 

As my 15 year old daughter cried, asking how the smartest woman could lose to an unqualified man & what hope was there for her to succeed, I reminded her that we have to keep trying because we can never succeed if we don’t try. But my seven year old sobbed because what if Mr. Trump builds the wall & her cousin Kristen and Aunt Erica are trapped on the other side? What if her Uncles can’t be married anymore and her Uncle Dan has to go behind the wall? Her older sister said that we needed to ask the rental agency about Aunt Erica’s dogs so they could come to Canada too. 

Even Erica’s Dog is confused.

I was floored. I couldn’t imagine being a woman in America right now. Or a person of colour. Or LGBTQ. How disillusioned you must feel. As a Canadian watching from the outside, I read so many statements from people who said they feel like they don’t matter to their own country. They feel betrayed by their neighbours, friends. Victims of sexual assault feel like they will never be believed, as their president-elect actually said that they weren’t attractive enough to be attacked and THIS WAS A VALID DEFENSE. The girl who was assaulted now is less likely to report. LGBT families sit in fear, wondering if their family is still a family in the eyes of the government. And little girls…they watched a woman who wanted to lead be crushed by a man that is grossly unqualified because she might have done something that isn’t really a crime that no one could prove she actually did and sexual assault only matters if you are conventionally hot. And Gold Star families only matter if they are white. This is the new world and it scares the fuck out of me. 


As someone who gives too many chances and believes everyone is good, this is such a bitter pill to swallow. The majority of citizens voted for an alleged fraudster who doesn’t pay taxes and ran with a partner who supports conversion therapy. This kind of world, where this man leads a world super power is terrifying. But after I cried for my neighbours and friends and their terrifying new normal, I realized that much like America used their voice, I can use mine. 

I’m just one person in 7 billion, but you only need one voice to help another use theirs. And another. I couldn’t use my voice as I’m not American. But I CAN use it to promote goodness, kindness and love for each other. And I will do that. 


I may not respect your decision America, but I respect that it was yours to make. For those who are disillusioned and hurting, know that you are loved. You are loved by your friends, your family and even me, some random Canadian you’ve never met. Know that you have value. Know that you can change the world. All you have to do is use your voice. The thing about standing up for others is that it isn’t easy and people don’t always listen. But don’t sit down. Don’t stop trying. Hate only wins when love stops trying. So keep on loving. Keep being good to each other. Show hatred that while they won the battle last night, they didn’t win the war. 

I know we all woke up to a scarier world, but we can counter it with respect. If someone you know voted for this government, do not attack them. When you stoop to their level, hate wins. Respect that they chose and treat them the way you would want to be treated. Remember that they are also disillusioned and when we lose faith in each other, that is how monsters sway rational thinking human beings into supporting things they would never dream of. Do not validate their bigotry. That’s what they want. I know it’s hard when your entire way of life is being threatened, but try. Love will always win in the end, as long as we practice to love each other, even those who hurt us. 

And finally, I hope that you all choose love. Do something good for someone else today. Be kind to someone. On Facebook, I’ve challenged my friends to compliment the person above them, even if they don’t know them. This is how we drive out hate; with love. 

Sky’s The Limit

Welcome to the Misadventures of MHC!

I hope everyone updated their address books, as there is no more ASH Multimedia. You’re probably wondering “why the name change MHC?” Part of it is for reasons that I do not care to discuss. The other is simple; the name no longer fit the story that I was telling. There isn’t really a multimedia component, as my photography skills are average at best, unless it’s something basic white girly, and that name was chosen as a joint venture with my ex husband. While I’ve always tried to brand it, I’ve realized what I’ve actually branded is me. It’s my story, my terms, my way. Why not have the name reflect that?!

See? I kick ass at this type of photography!

I’m still not 100% comfortable continuing my story here right now, for reasons I’m not really okay sharing with anyone right now (except my dearest ones, they know), but the sixth anniversary of my online home this week and I wanted to acknowledge it. Normally, I’d impart some kind of mind blowing knowledge, but I have none. Sorry. 

I do know that this year started off with my greatest nightmare coming to life, and I turned that into achieving the dream I’ve had since I was eight years old. Since I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was publish an article in a newspaper and I mother effing did it. Yes, I’ve published over 200 magazine articles, but being a news reporter was the goal. When we pulled up my transcripts, we found magazine writing was my weakest subject. Newspaper reporter, that was the goal. AND I DID IT ALL ON MY OWN. 


To the rest of the world, it’s just an article in a newspaper, but to me, it’s everything I’ve worked for since I was a kid. I didn’t give up. I kept trying. I owed it to eight year old Mary-Helen, who tirelessly made newspapers for the neighbours out of lined paper to make this happen. And I did. I intend for it to be the first of many. But even if it’s one and done, I did it. My name is sitting there on a byline on a Postmedia newspaper. That means more to me than anything else in the whole wide world. That’s what I did this year. I accomplished the only thing I’ve ever wanted since I was eight years old. 


I’ll never be able to adequately explain how that felt for me, but someone else did it for me & that is Sasha Banks. Head on over to YouTube and look up Sasha Banks wins the Women’s Championship (or click here). Just like I owed it to eight year old Mary-Helen, she owed it to 10 year old Mercedes to keep going. And she did it. I guess, if I had knowledge, I would say just keep going. Keep trying. Remember who little you wanted to be & make them proud. Be the good person little you was, before the world’s harshness sucked it out of you. Keep going even when the road is cold & bleak & you’ve never felt more alone. When your heart is broken & you are utterly defeated, get up. Try again. Turn your nightmares into everything you ever wanted. 

The name may have changed, but the format has stayed the same. Song titles for titles. Positive life affirmations. Same dorky woman trying to be better than yesterday. And in the end, if all I ever become is Mary-Helen, the woman who is too nice, forgives too often, loves too much, and believes all humans are good and deserve one more chance, but most importantly, does not quit on her kids, her goals or herself, then I win. 

The moral of the story is that in a world of Kardashians, I choose to be Mary-Helen. 


Bird Set Free

Sometimes I get days off. And after spending time with my kids & crossfit, I hang out by a lake by my house and read books & think about stuff. 

Tonight, I spent my night FINALLY reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, because nerd. I like to sit among rocks & trees & read and enjoy nature. As a kid, I used to go to Bible Camp & read my Bible in the woods (fun fact, my oldest daughter was named after the place I went to Bible Camp). I’ll get more of this because my schedule has changed & I now get weekends off. Yup, normal Monday to Friday. I like being around nature because it’s a calm, peaceful place. Birds & trees are silent, and anyone near you is minding their own business. And no one is paying attention to you. 


Because of my personality, I’m often thought to love attention. This is not true. I hate it. I feel uncomfortable when eyes are on me. It makes me nervous like I’m in a spelling bee & my nose is bleeding & I pissed my pants and the word is “superfilous” (the choice of word stems from when I was visiting back home & we were having a shark party & my best friend & I decided I would tweet anything that we said. So we decided to take a random word & add “choking on dicks” to it. Superfilous means “unnecessary,” so this sentence was actually accurate. We laughed. We were extremely drunk. I drink once a year. This is why). I hate when people stare at me or when I’m forced to be in the centre of attention. When I used to perform, my hands shook. I do presentations at work because I have to, not because I enjoy it. I think that’s why I started writing. I get to tell stories. I’m not the subject. I’m the narrator. People don’t read something I wrote & think about me, they think “hey! That play sounded good!” Or “that person seems interesting!” It’s not about me. Even this blog about my life isn’t necessarily to be about me. It’s more about learning lessons & evolving, something all humans do. To most of you, I’m a faceless weirdo. But then, there are some of you who know me better than anyone, and those are the people I struggle with talking about why I hate being stared at or watched or whatever. 

This isn’t an idea that I share to my social media feeds. I never share my super personal stuff there. That’s like showing weakness or something. People will think I have feelings or some shit. This is for the like four people that read my blog with any regularity. So, Erica & like, three other people. I used to know who they were, but  I’ve turned that privilege over to a close friend who monitors my web security for me (that person is not Erica).  It’s actually nice to be able to write whatever I want without worrying if I’d offend anyone, because I knew who was reading it. Erica always says that the people whom I might offend are soulless creatures anyway, human poison who prides themselves on hurting me for kicks. That their only purpose is to hurt me as often and as painfully as possible for their own amusement because they are sick fuckers & who cares if I offend them, but I’m not really one for offending people. I like making people happy. It brings me great happiness to bring joy to others. All I want to is to love everyone & be a good mom & a good person & write happy shit and make people smile. I used to write things with a password just to make one human smile. I wanted to be able to use my one talent to reach them & help them communicate with people so they wouldn’t run away from things & return, repent, repeat. But, I never could. So, I waved my little white flag. Cut off all communication because I’m beyond tired of being shut out & stonewalled. It’s bullshit & it’s not how you treat people. Now all I care about is being a good person & mom & writer. News stories don’t touch you; they inform. I write now to inform, not make you think or touch your soul or break down invisible barriers. My blog, just me sharing my life. Not even interesting. 

But there’s always this nagging feeling that I cannot prove one way or the other that people use my blog to observe my life without being in it & that has always hurt me. 

Yes, you read that right. IT HURTS ME

Why MH? Why would that hurt you? Because I feel like I’m in my own twisted version of the Truman Show. I hate this feeling like I’m not worthy to be part of someone’s life, but it’s fine to observe me like your favourite character on a teen drama like One Tree Hill or some shit. It makes me feel subhuman. It chips away at my self esteem to know you’re good enough to watch like a TV character, but not good enough to speak to, have in your life. And when I feel like this is the case, I get really sad & feel very small. 


So, I’m left with this weird dilemma. I could stop blogging. That would make the most sense. Give up writing, the thing I love most to help keep people away from me. And what does that leave me with? Nothing, I guess. Erica says that’s what bad people want, to take everything from me until I have nothing. But of course, I’ll never have nothing. I’m pretty much the most blessed person I know. Great kids, great job. Amazing freelancing gigs, so I’ll always be writing, just not here. Bad ass Texan friend.  All good things. Sometimes I look at my incredible life & get excited to share it with people, which is why blogging has become an intrical part of who I am. It’s how I sort out my thoughts to build a better life for myself & my family. It’s how I scratch my creative itch. But even more importantly, I look st my life & I am so freaking grateful. I’m living my dream life and I built my dream life all by myself! Isn’t that the freaking coolest?! And I write because I’m so happy that I get to be the one to live this incredible life. However, I guess the Truman Show viewers bother me because those are the people I’d rather have in my life, but aren’t. And I’m not Truman Burbank; I’m an actual human & you shouldn’t get to view my life if you left it (or in some cases, I asked you to leave it). 

This brings me to my point; maybe to remove myself from the Truman Show, Truman needs to close the bubble. 


Erica reminds me that it’s not fair for me to continually sacrifice my joy so that people who cannot muster the bravery to be in my life can be viewers of the Truman Show. She rants & raves about selfishness, cowardice, etc. She’d say maybe the people who use my blog as the Truman Show should just go rebuild the bridge that they burned because they obviously need me…& a therapist. But I don’t make things easy. I build walls because people hurt me. Writing is how I try to let them down. But letting people who hurt me near me? Nope. Terrifying. Worse than geese.  Nope. My success rate at reaching people is 0% (which makes me question my abilities to write anything but news, as I’ve never emotionally connected to anyone). Not putting myself through that. One of my closest friends suggested that I start letting those walls down, and I balked. Walls keep us safe. Besides, why is it always me who has to make the first step when there’s conflict? Why is it always me who has to extend the olive branch, to try? If they wanted to find me, they would. They don’t. I’m tired of luring out scared bunnies. It’s tiring. 

Not this guy though. He’s good people.

Maybe it’s because for so long, I was told my blog was the way to get back in after people hurt me, that I’m reading too much into nothing but my gut instinct. I’ve been known to do that. But maybe I need to step back from sharing my life. Cancel the Truman Show. 

I wouldn’t even know what to say to reach out to nothing. Please just talk to me & stop hurting me? Don’t put me through this anymore, just talk to me? I love my blog, please don’t force me to shut it down, just please reach out & speak to me? I’ve always been one for many chances & I would give as many as needed & I could explain why I’m not even mad anymore. But I already did that in something only one person on Earth can read. But I know if I did that, I’d be talking to a wall. Maybe I’m not the only one who builds walls. Or maybe this time I built them too high. So I guess I’ll just be bidding you good afternoon, good evening, and good night. 

A Better Place

Over the last few months, I haven’t had much faith in humanity. Mostly, because humanity hasn’t given me much to have faith in.

It all started about three months ago, when some teen girls tried to rob my teenage daughter. Suddenly, I didn’t feel as safe in my neighbourhood. Then, I was blindsided and abandoned, subjected to some of the most manipulative mind games & cruelty from a man who claimed two days earlier that he loved me & to remind me of a conversation we were having once we were married, because he couldn’t wait to marry me. Fast forward to 48 hours later, when I woke up extra early for my long commute to get ready for a date we had planned for when my shift was over. 48 hours earlier, he told me he couldn’t wait for date night. I was so excited to finally have time alone with him without work, as I was beyond over work taking over our romance…only to find he erased me from his life, and a cold text saying he was angry & if I gave him space & a little time & did what he said, everything would be fine. I began obeying his commands, both stated and unstated. I felt like a dog, like I was being punished. And nothing I did made it better. He still wouldn’t talk to me. I apologized for what he said was bothering him, because I am a firm believer in owning your shit, I  offered to take steps to resolve the slight, even transferred at my job to help give space, but not a word. I’m not perfect, but no one deserves this treatment. I used to believe he could never hurt me. But it was like the man I love; the kind, gentle, man who sought me out & begged for my affection & loved me so much died and a monster stole his face. It shattered me in ways that I still haven’t really recovered from, and sometimes I’m afraid I never will. I refuse to be a victim, I knew better but I wanted to believe he had changed & would allow us to communicate when he was angry. Bad shit happens, you get up, you kick ass. But it leaves scars. Horrible scars. I don’t know if I’ll ever trust another man again, as I am absolutely terrified of this man I loved. I built up huge walls to keep him away from me, as well as anyone else.

When I build a wall, I make sure its impenetrable. I also have thirty people blocked on Twitter. And emails. I also block your personal, work & even some coworker’s phone numbers. I don’t play
Sometimes I’m still in denial, like there is no way this man that swore I knew him best could do this. He couldn’t be this hateful. I keep thinking he’ll want to fix it like before, but the thought of him coming near me actually terrifies me, something it never did before (even though he would never harm me).  And sometimes, while my friends, therapist, all insist he is emotionally abusive (sending me article after article to back it up), I still squeak out tiny defenses. He’s not mean. He just can’t do anger. I bet he feels badly & just doesn’t know how to come tell me. They ask me how he’d feel if someone treated his daughter as he treated me, because he’s teaching her that this is okay & I still try to defend him. Sometimes at night, I still cry confused tears because I literally just don’t understand how a man went from holding me and telling me that I was the love of his life to never speaking to me ever again in 48 hours & was seemingly proud of destroying my heart & self esteem while I sobbed on his voice mail to please just talk to me. How did we go from looking up engagement rings on New Years Day to feeling like I needed to change everything about me (even though I didn’t want to) just so he’d speak to me. I would delete blogs after minutes for fear of offending him. I would have done anything just for him to talk to me & I still just want him to talk to me, even though I know I deserve a man who would never dream of treating a woman this shamefully. But I still sometimes feel worthless because he won’t talk to me & even though I’m terrified to let him near me, I just want him to fix it like he said he always would. But I don’t ever want to be a woman who meekly kowtows to a man. That is NOT who I am not who I will EVER be. I don’t want to be controlled. So I move forward, focused on being the most bad ass MHC I can be. And despite how harsh this may sound, I don’t believe he’s a bad person. I think he’s a good person who struggles with anger management and commitment & conflict. He made some very poor choices & they are on his conscience, not mine.

A few weeks later, I was robbed, my purse stolen from my workplace. I lost all of my ID and I’m still trying to get it all back. The whole experience left me reeling, I had just transferred and now I didn’t trust my own coworkers. The mall security didn’t help. I have little faith in the police. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly feel safe at work or walking home from work. I feel violated and I look over my shoulder a lot. But I focus on the good things I have; my family, my health, crossfit. My amazing friends who rallied around me during those tough few weeks, including a really cool coworker who became my bodyguard & protector. My super cool therapist. So many awesome people who made this whole experience bearable. By focusing on the good, I could get through the bad. I have so many good things. I am lucky to have these things. I am happy.

(This isn’t a pity me trip. Bad shit happens every day, you get up & keep on going. But I just talked about why we need to be our authentic selves. That means I need to be able to talk about the times life kicked me in the metaphorical balls. It just sometimes takes me a bit, until some of the hurt subsides.)

This isn’t all of you, but you know who you are
But to say it didn’t make me question my faith that people were essentially good would be wrong. It did. I didn’t trust anyone. At one point, after a particularly cruel trick he played,where he messaged Erica claiming he wanted to talk to me, which never happened, I almost stopped trusting Erica & shut her out for a few days, even though she’s the most important person in my life. I shut out everyone for awhile, except for those good friends who forced me to talk. I stopped writing, I had nothing to say. I felt like everything I had believed about humanity was wrong. People aren’t good. I watched people get busted for shoplifting many times a day, road rage assaults, murders on the news & my neighbours got robbed.My house got egged. And I waited for a conversation that I was told he wanted until I realized it was just another manipulation to keep me hanging on to nothing. Everything I had ever staked my beliefs on felt wrong.


Then, little things happened to help me see that most people are good & not to let some bad apples spoil that. My girls & I started attending a new church here in the city. We were welcomed with open arms. My teenager attends youth group. She’s learning and growing. The pastor drove her home because it rained. Suddenly, we felt like part of the community. My district manager, who did everything she could to make my work life tolerable, pulled me aside on one particularly trying day and said “I sought you out to hire you because you are a strong, talented, energetic, genuinely kind hearted person. If he can’t see your value, then he’s missing out.” My new manager did all he could to make me feel welcome. He’s been great fun to work with. My teenager’s teacher went above and beyond to help her with math. My coworker drive me home after working 15 hours. And when my cat went missing this past week, my neighbours formed a search party to help me find my beloved kitty. Each day, something new happened that helped me see that people are good.

If you live in Edmonton, keep an eye out for Peachy
Each day, I saw a little more kindness from people. The cab driver that didn’t charge me because I looked tired. The coworker who gave me a hug because I was so drained I burst into tears at work. The crossfit coach who called me the day after a hard class to check on my hip. The stranger who walked an old lady down the street. The principal who consoled my nine year old when she got sick at school. All restoring my faith in humans. How could you not have faith in the planet with so many cool people around?!


Finally, this weekend, I saw how truly good people could be. After a forest fire displaced many of my fellow Albertans, I saw kids with lemonade stands. People paying for the groceries of the person behind them. A man donating $200 to Red Cross. The same people who were cussing each other out in the street were helping each other. WWE Superstars Kevin Owens & Tyler Breeze created a GoFundMe to help bring people together to raise funds during their personal time (Mr. Owens once did an amazing thing for my daughters during a WWE Live Event last year, so I already knew he was a great guy). And my dearest Bree reminded me that humanity is good, I just need to remember where to look.

This is the wisest person that I know
It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring out the best in humanity. We should all aspire to be good to each other every single day. And we also need to not lose sight of the good things people do for us, who’s there for us, the random strangers who have your back. Don’t lose sight of them because of a few bad people. Don’t let the bad people of the world take away your belief in humanity. People are good if you believe they are good. And even if they aren’t, be a good person because it costs you absolutely nothing to be a good person, but you will gain so much from it.

Humans ARE good. Yes, some are bad. Some are good, they just do dumb things. But you’ve gotta look around & see the good. It’s there; you’ve just gotta make sure you see it…and live it.

True Colours

Last night, a dear friend of mine showed us her “truth” on our Mommy group.  It was an honest statement about how sometimes it feels like she’s the only one who doesn’t have her shit together because on Facebook, everyone has their shit together. Oh Lordy, let me tell you, that’s a big nope. 

It’s funny, because it came on the heels of a trip I made to my daughters’ school for a Mother’s Day event & some of the moms were so over the top about their perfect lives while I sat in my work uniform & live texted my best friend & the other “bad moms” sat on a bench beside me. It was a lot of Zumba & freezer meals & Chevy Tahoes & hubbys that work late and vacays to Spain & getting a blow out before attending an event for fourth graders. I can’t imagine how exhausting it is to be “on” all of the time. 

I’ve often mentioned how much I hate social media, despite having a lot of it. I actually cut off quite a bit of it, leaving only my Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. The rest I use to rant about TV or post positive happy shit, because I figure if I have a platform to connect with people, I should use it to help encourage and build up others. I find my life is much more peaceful without the need to share my every move with the universe. I like my privacy. But I also want to be my most authentic self, which means admitting I do NOT have my shit together. 

I don’t post everything on social media. I don’t talk about my personal life or my counselling sessions or the like. But I also do my best to keep my authentic self in a world of snapchat filters & Facebook highlight reels (I’m just as guilty, as my FB photo has a filter). Sometimes I feel like we live in a strange world of narcissism & masks. We all have carefully constructed personas. We have a Facebook life, a work life, a personal life, a parenting life, etc. and it made me wonder “Does anyone really know anyone anymore?” Or do we just know the masks we wear. I often wonder if we wear different masks around different sets of people. This way everyone will like us…well, not us. Our pretend character, our selfies, the lies we put out there to make sure everyone likes us. 


I guess that’s the one thing I decided to drop a few years ago. I used to blog about abstract stuff that popped into my head, but I’ve tried to keep my world very authentic & honest. Masks are exhausting, I don’t want to remember what personality to put on today. I just wanna be MHC. So, I started writing about me; my victories, my struggles. My joy. Everything in real time. My FB became a series of honest observations about the world around me (& the odd humblebrag because sometimes I wanna be validated too. I’m human), my kids, my life. It may not be pretty, but it is honest. Not everyone needs to like it, but it’s who I want to be. Yes, my house is a mess that I do a huge clean up during my days off only to find it in the same condition when I get home the next day so I can repeat. I’m not a perfect mom. I’m not a perfect employee. I’m not a perfect friend or human…& I don’t want to be. I don’t want to wear masks or have personas. Maybe the reason I’m good at my jobs in retail & media is because I don’t want to be a pretend human. I just want to be me & relate to people on a human level. 

Maybe the soccer moms were living their authentic lives. Maybe some people on Facebook really do have perfect lives & fairy tale marriages & spotless homes & the like. And I’m so happy for you if you do…but I don’t. And I’m not going to pretend I do. The world would be a better place if we chose to focus on how we treat people, not how we appear to people. Reputation only goes so far, but your character is what really matters & no amount of “likes” or carefully constructed personalities will make you a better person. 


Maybe it’s time we ditch the filters, the shares, the prayers for (insert disaster here), the “work voice,” the different personalities & just be human beings. Maybe not everyone will like us. Maybe that’s okay. The people who matter will love us, which is much better than a thumbs up or an emoji or a replay of a snap from someone we don’t really like anyway. 

Never Ending

About 2.5 months ago, something happened that changed my life a little bit. I’ve addressed it briefly in bits & pieces, but now it’s time to discuss the elephant in the room. 

I have arthritis & I’ve fallen off the fitness wagon. Completely. 

The gym used to be part of my every day life. Now it’s sporadic at best. I haven’t been in almost a month. The holidays & commute threw me off & now it’s fear. Fear of damaging my hips further. Fear of injury. Fear of crossfit. But part of who I am is fitness. I gained 15lbs at my old store. And it’s bothered me. The new gym hasn’t been as welcoming as WLCF. It’s cold & running in the cold scares me. I’ve got a ton of excuses, but not enough motivation. And working near the chips isn’t helping. I asked my friend to send me a pic of his disapproving face to help me get back on track. 

  
I’ve been so mad at my body for betraying me. I’m good to it! I feed it kale! I exercise, cut out most processed junk, etc. Of course, that’s been for two years. Most of my adult life was eating shit food & wondering why I was depressed. Lack of exercise & lots of junk food. Our bodies crave real food, not chemicals, soda & alcohol. The more we put this in our bodies, the sicker & more depressed we get. I’ve felt like shit because I’m eating like shit. So, imma gonna stop eating like shit. I need to stop being afraid of pain and go through it so my hips will get stronger & hurt less. I’ve never been afraid of anything. But permanent injury freaks me out. Who will work? Who will raise the girls? It’s us vs. the World. 

  
So I flipped the script. Who’s gonna take care of the girls if I have a heart attack because of Doritos? Who’s gonna work if my hips get so sore that I can’t stand? Who’s gonna take care of me if I don’t? You’ve gotta love yourself to do the right things for your body. To be a good parent, you’ve gotta set the right examples. So I’m gonna get up and go to the gym. I’m gonna go running (you can view my results on Twitter lol). I’m gonna eat kale. And my body will thank me. 

  

Holding on For Life

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

  

And sometimes, life likes to fucking test me. 

 

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

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

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

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

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THIS BAG IS

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

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

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