Eraser

Oh hey. I swear I didn’t die. 

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


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

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


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


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

False Alarm

Let me tell you a story. 

I have an online dating account. I’ve had it forever. I used to use it to troll creepers. Now I use it to (kind of) try to meet people. I’ve been getting to know the guy we’ll call the stage five clingy soldier for awhile now, but that’s a story for another day, when I feel like talking about my love life. I got kind of burned so I leave my relationships out of my blogging life. 

Anywho, back to the actual story. Most of my adventures in online dating look a lot like this: 


Or this 


Or this

Or this 


My personality is rather snarky on a good day & my guard is up after being led down the yellow brick road and left alone in the woods to find my way home alone, but again, another story for another day. But I can be polite too. However, today’s story involves a man I said no to, & why some women struggle to say no. 

See, I said no to a guy awhile back. Then he mocked my career. So I questioned his being self employed. After some harassment, I blocked him. Tonight, I was met with him (on a new account) seeking me out and sending this gem. 


This is just part of it. There’s a bunch more, including threats to ruin my career, etc. All because I told a guy no. 

Sadly, this is a harsh reality women face when they are dating. No can turn into a dangerous situation (here’s a link to a story about 14 other women who found themselves in far more dangerous situations). People ask why women don’t say no/stay with their abusers/go back to their narcissistic exes, well here’s why.  No can be dangerous. No can lead to violence. Smear campaigns. Verbal abuse. All because we said no. 

The end of my story is simple. I told the guy off, blocked him and laughed about  it on Twitter. But for a lot of women, that’s not an option. They’re stalked. They’re harassed. Bullied. And people defend this behaviour. So I decided to share this story as a harsh reminder of the realities that women face when they say no. Not all men do this stuff, but all women have a story like this one. Whether it’s a catcall, a stranger telling her to smile, or the guy who follows her down the street, every woman has a story about a man who didn’t take no for an answer. So, before you say “not all guys are like this” or “why don’t women say something,” take a moment and remember that this is why. 

I hope the take away from this story is that threatening to ruin a woman professionally isn’t the way to her heart. Also, that apparently editors are very wealthy. I didn’t know this. When I was an editor, wealthy was not the word I would have used (unless he has pictures of Spider-Man. Maybe that’s why he’s rich?). Perhaps try tact. Or not being a raging doucher. I know, strange concept, but try it, it might work!

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. 

My Reply

Sometimes I read stuff & get cranky & pull a Peter Griffin & play “What Really Grinds My Gears.”

  
Today’s edition: why women are catty bitches & I’m so over it. 

Last night, I watched the Golden Globes because I have worked as an entertainment reporter for many years & I like pretty dresses God dammit. I could comment on the show, Ricky Gervais, but instead, I’ll address why women are catty bitches & why it drives me nuts. 

Actor (& super hunk if you ask all of my friends) Jason Statham & his girlfriend of five years, Rosie Huntington-Whitely announced their engagement at the event last night, with full attention on Ms. Huntington-Whitely’s sparkly new bauble. As always, the comments on this story included why Statham, 48, shouldn’t be dating Huntington-Whitely, 28, because the age difference is gross & of course, why the ring was too small, ugly, etc. I’m sure Ms. Huntington-Whitely cares so much that random women online hate her ring, but it was sad to see few positive well wishes, just women taking shots on another woman. Similar things happened when photos of Blake Lively’s engagement & wedding ring hit the Internet, only that ring was too big, gaudy & why was it pink?! Kevin Costner was forced to address the price tag of the ring he chose for his wife Christine Baumgartner (Joan Rivers famously made Baumgartner cry by mocking her ring, prompting her husband to purchase her a much larger one). But why does it matter to the masses? Unless Ryan Reynolds or Jason Statham is buying you an engagement ring, it doesn’t matter. Those rings are gifts from them to their wives, maybe we should back off. Even on FB, I see people snarking at women about the size of their wedding rings, their homes, their Pinterest crafts. No building each other up, just a sick game of one up-manship. Why? I know when the time comes, I wouldn’t care what my boyfriend bought me, or if it met my “dream ring” criteria (if I really had that. I’m so indifferent hahaha). If he picked it out for me, it could be a garbage tie & to me, it would be the most beautiful thing on the planet because he bought it for me & wanted to marry me & much like thee women, I wouldn’t even notice the cattiness. 

 

We live in a society where wage inequality is still a thing, women’s rights are being marginalized in my neighbour’s land, Planned Parenthood is under attack. Women are still being forced to choose between career & family & told to “keep their legs closed” to prevent sexual assault or unwanted pregnancy. Girls are sent home because their clothing might distract boys, we blame women for their own sexual assaults & child support gets clawed back, leaving women in a cycle of poverty. Meanwhile, instead of taking up for one another, we are belittling each other for things that don’t matter & superficial bullshit that means nothing at the end of the day so women can feel like they’ve “topped” each other. Women are even attacking each other for such things as feeding their babies, as Alyssa Milano learned when talk show host Wendy Williams (who made headlines when she claimed actress Jennifer Lawrence deserved to have her privacy violated and her private nude photos leaked online last year) told her that breastfeeding should not be done in public, as breasts are meant for sexual enjoyment. Ms. Milano shut her down, by why are women constantly defending their basic rights or things that should bring them joy…to other women?

Even when women are successful, we tear them down. Look at the comments about Taylor Swift representing the wrong type of feminist because of her friends. They build each other up, celebrate their uniqueness. So, we cattily tear them apart for being friends because they’re too pretty, they’re models, etc. Okay. 

 I don’t compete with other women. I teach my daughters that we don’t compete with other women. I compete with myself to be a better woman. When I see women belittling other women, I often wonder why they are so insecure that they can’t celebrate the achievements of other women. Women wonder why we’re still fighting the same battles, it’s because of us. We’re attacking each other! Either because we’re the wrong type of feminist, or because they fed their kid or they may possibly have something you don’t. If women spent half as much time building each other up as you did questioning if they understood what feminism means to you or snarking about looks, fashion, etc. women’s rights wouldn’t be something we were still fighting for. 

  
I’m sorry for the rant, but I guess I’m sick of seeing women have their joy trampled by catty women, women who should be supporting other women, famous or not. Perhaps if you can’t be nice, maybe you should just be quiet. 

  

Focus

When I went home to visit, I swore that I wouldn’t want to come back. 

After all, I had been so incredibly homesick that I was sure I’d be so happy to be home that I would start plotting my return. But, by day three, I missed my littles & my love & even my cat. I texted my boss saying I was excited to come back to work. I was working on an article. I was ready to go back to “real life,” while also trying to stuff my best friend in a suitcase.  

Aren’t my friends beautiful?
 

It definitely wasn’t because I wasn’t having fun. I was having a blast! My friends & I had the best time. There were drinks (including my boyfriend buying me a drink from two time zones away, because he’s adorable), Cards Against Humanity, bad movies & great conversation. But, with the exception of my old gym, where I felt right back at home, I realized that life moves on when you do & my place is in Cow Province. 

 

Oh, and I did this thing
 
My best friend is planning her own cross country venture. My other girlfriend is running a business with her husband. Everyone has their lives now & we’re settling into them. And me? My life is here, with my littles & my writing & (at the risk of scaring myself back into my groundhog hole & him away) my love. I’m stealing his words to explain how I feel about my life, I hope I don’t get sued for plagiarism. One night, I asked him to find more time for me, then promptly apologized because I am me & he is busy & works so hard. I told him I didn’t want him to take away from his actual life for me, to which he told me that his daughter & I are his “actual life,” and as long as he has us, that’s what matters. Visiting is fun, but I want to live my actual life with my daughters & my writing & with him because that’s the life that matters. 

I like my job. I make good money & my team is super rad. The Federal Election jaded me on my profession quite a bit, with their political bias, so I could be content freelancing for magazines while I work full time…for now. I still apply, but I could be content having the best of both worlds like Hannah Montana did back in the day. My girls are such awesome tiny people & I feel like I’m setting a good example. It’s not perfect, but it is my actual life & it’s pretty rad.  

More beautiful friends…& a bitch
 
But the best part of being home was talking to my friends about their lives. My best friend is so excited about her potential opportunity. She’d have a new position & better earning potential & she’d be really happy. My other close girlfriend & her husband are so deeply in love & it’s so awesome. My other girlfriend is helping her family find a new office for her family law firm. My former coworker & his girlfriend just bought a house together. My old coaches are thriving in their personal and professional lives. I believe the best part of life is watching others succeed & seeing so many of my friends thriving in their lives warms my heart. Keep on kicking ass my dearest friends, even if I didn’t get to see you. I love that you’re all living life & killing it. I loved catching up with all of you. 

And for me, it was a nice break from the stress of balancing motherhood, working two jobs, a personal life & sanity. My kids were safely in the care of the person that I trust most in this world. I got to enjoy much needed grownup time with all of my most favourite people. But when it was over, it was nice to cuddle up with the person I love most in the world & prattle away about my vacay (while half asleep) as we drove home…

…back to my awesomely awesome “actual life.”

  

While We’re Young

Have you ever just looked at your life & thought “yup, this is kind of rad?” 

That’s me right now. 

I’m working on the coolest assignment for one of the magazines I work for. I’m really good at my new job & I love my coworkers (and I won’t lie, one of the managers is like, ridiculously hot), the girls are doing well in school, and I have never been more content in a relationship. I don’t even stare at my surroundings and wish I was at home anymore. This feels like home now. Of course, I’ll also be home with my best friends in just a few days. I may only have $150 to spend while I’m there, but I’ll be home God Dammit. It’s going to be nice.  

I’ll be seeing these peeps!
 

But I’m feeling very settled into my life. I don’t know if settled is the right word, but it’s the only one I can think of. But my life feels very much the way it should be I guess. Things that used to freak me out don’t bother me anymore. I just feel like the pieces are falling into place & life is really kind of rad. 

I guess it’s nice because for years I’ve tried to piece my life together & it never seemed to work. My professional life would be good, but my personal life was a mess. Or my personal life would be good but I wouldn’t have a job. Or there would be chaos in my life. Things weren’t just chill & calm & dare I say easy. Things right now have challenges, like my commute can be long & a pain in the ass, but they’re all things that have an easy fix. My bills are paid, my family is healthy & I’m in a healthy relationship with someone that loves me as much as I love them & I feel very much in control of my future.   

I guess I feel very fortunate right now, because even though things are busy & sometimes stressful, my life is actually so lovely. My girls are thriving here. They’re doing well at school & have made positive friends & they no longer feel dejected when their dad doesn’t bother to call or text. I guess my best friend Melissa was right; the abandonment is easier to swallow when he’s two time zones away, not in the next city where he could easily pick them up & he just doesn’t. They don’t even ask about him coming for Xmas anymore. They’re focused on their own lives & not that he’s chosen not to be part of it. I’m really enjoying my writing here. My audience really likes what I’m doing. Now that I’m focusing on friendships here, I feel like I have some connections. I know restaurants now. This seems stupid, but I love being able to tell my boyfriend “this place has great wings, remember? Let’s go there.” And my boyfriend shows me how much he loves me in a million small ways. He works so many long hours, devotes his free time to his daughter, but still finds time to spend with me to make me happy. Even when I know he’s exhausted, he still plans date nights for us, or picks me up from work to give us 20 minutes together. He’s so kind and thoughtful, he spoils me, is attentive to my feelings, and for the first time in the four years that I have loved him, I feel like we are equals. He’s not afraid to be blunt with me. And I don’t feel like he’s going to leave me any second. I feel loved & every time he does something that seems so small to the outside world to make me smile, I fall even more in love with him. And for the first time, normal relationship things, like him spending the night with me doesn’t scare me. It just feels like that’s how it should be. 

I don’t feel like an island anymore. I have good friends who are a lot of fun. I am starting to finally enjoy my new gym. I feel like I belong here in Cow Province & this is home. 

 

My #YEG friends are totally rad.
 
So, for once in my life, I’m not going to be afraid of the future, what could go wrong, panic & fear, because my life is just so good. Every single thing about it is good. And I’m going to just enjoy how awesome my life is & look forward to the next chapters…& seeing my friends in a week. 

 

Distance

I envy you chill people who never worry about anything. 

As someone who has long suffered from anxiety, I envy how you can just adapt to new situations. I wish I was that person more than you know, because I can’t. 

If I switch jobs, I panic because I’m back on probation & could end up unemployed & then what happens to my girls?

If I move, I worry about how I’ve ruined my life. 

When I’m in a relationship, I worry that if I’m anything less than the perfect, understanding girlfriend, he will leave. 

If I’m ever the unpleasant, bitchy friend that doesn’t want to hang out or isn’t completely understanding, I will have no support system. 

Welcome to my mind. 

Generally my mind is a happy world of unicorns & rainbows & everyone is happy. Kind of like the world of UniKitty in the Lego Movie. I revel in positivity.  I pride myself on my optimism. I just want to be happy & for everyone around me to be happy. 

my spirit animal

But then there is the other side that I control with fitness, nutrition & sleep (all of which I haven’t been keeping up with) that becomes terrified that everything will go wrong. The side that overthinks, over analyzes, reads too much into things & seemingly sabotages her own life. 

I remember on Saturday apologizing to my boyfriend for feeling overwhelmed & struggling to explain why all change freaks me out, and not being able to. I apologized for wanting time alone with him & even last night I was talking about why I shouldn’t ask for much from anyone because I can go through periods of anxiety & they can be taxing. Yes, they can. And I love my good friends & family so much because they’re there when I need them. And it works in reverse. I love that my boyfriend understands why I get this way & loves me enough to see that the person I am, that loves him so much & tries to be good to him means more than the fact that I struggle with trust. But I shouldn’t have to devalue myself or apologize for feeling a certain way. But I do. And I need to stop. 

I am not perfect. I am never going to be. But I’m pretty rad. I would like to think I’m a decent parent. I would like to think I’m a good friend. I think I’m a good partner & treat my boyfriend the way he deserves. I absolutely deserve to be happy. And yes, nothing about my life was what it was four months ago. And yes, that scares me. Sometimes it scares me a lot. But I would like to think all of the good that I offer far outweighs the times that I’m anxious & scared. And I’m tired of apologizing. 

Women are conditioned to apologize for EVERYTHING.  We apologize for wanting random flowers or to be told we’re loved (I pride myself on being the anti-girl, but sometimes I want those things). I actually apologized for being alive this week. We’re taught it’s to defer power, but I don’t want to defer mine anymore. I’m a little nuts. That’s okay. But I’m not sorry. It happens & the more I try to pretend it doesn’t, the more it happens & the more I write about trying to fix it, the less it gets fixed. So, I’m going to accept it while continuing to do the things I know that help; fitness, nutrition & proper sleep. Oh, and the power of positivity.  I’m not going to worry about what if, I’ll focus on what is. And that is what I tell myself when I feel this way, that I have three rad kids, awesome friends, an amazing boyfriend, a job, a roof & a skill I’m passionate about. And I’m not going to hide from anxiety anymore. I’m going to be friends with it. I’m going to hang out with it, let it have its voice, but also explain that the other emotions need to be in control, like Joy. But most importantly, I’m not going to apologize anymore. I’m MHC & I’m too damn nice. I talk too much & I care way too much about current events & pop culture & sometimes I worry about nothing. But I refuse to keep trying to stifle the thing that sucks to try & be perfect, because then I’m not giving the people I love a chance to love me for me. 

So, here’s your chance kids. 

  

Gold in the Summertime

I’ve started to realize that when you’re in love with someone, there are various types of love.

There’s the super giddy, romantic, “Oh my God you are so incredibly perfect,” love. There is the super sad “I miss you so very much” love. There is the unconditional love that comes from realizing your lover isn’t perfect but you embrace their flaws. There is the friendship love that comes before you are in love, and now I’ve discovered a new one;

The “I like living my life with you” love.

It’s no secret that I don’t do relationships well. Or commitment. Or love. Or anything involving feelings. I hate feelings. They’re dumb. They make me anxious. They freak me out. Just the mere mention of marriage makes my teeth clench up a little bit. However, I’ve realized that I’ve always skipped steps in relationships & I don’t want to skip them anymore. I want to enjoy every single phase of my life with this person & let things evolve organically. 

Previously, my relationships were fast paced. I was engaged after three weeks. We didn’t live together before the wedding, but we worked together and he was at my house pretty much every waking second except to sleep…and all we did was fight. Or I cried about the fighting. So, I always equated that part of a relationship where the honeymoon stage ends and you just get comfortable as “omg he’s losing interest, he doesn’t love me anymore because we’re not all lovey dovey and pukey and what is wrong?” Or “Dear God, what happens if we get in a fight? It’ll get violent or ugly or he’ll leave!” I was terrified for the chaos, the fighting, the violence. The only love I’ve known was chaotic, except for the person I am with now. I didn’t know how to effectively convey that I was afraid of that and I had never been in a relationship that just progresses when we are ready and not because it was essential. My friends at the time were all fast movers when it comes to love, so they too had skewed views of relationships. The questions of “it’s been six months, have you had the talk about where this is going?” This exacerbated my fears of what marriage represents to me, which is fighting and anger and a loss of identity. My married friends tell me that the right person will fix all of these things. But why do they need fixing? I feel like the right person gets that the piece of paper just freaks be out. I don’t want to talk about it, I want to live life until we’re ready to make a change. And my love should mean more than a piece of paper that signifies commitment. Does that really make me selfish? 

Anywho, I’m rambling on. Let me get back to my point.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent time with my partner doing domestic-type stuff. We bought a table from Ikea for my home & put it together. He drove me to the gym. We spent a good hour laying in each other’s arms not talking, just enjoying that moment. I enjoyed it immensely, but it helped me realize something very important; that I finally understand that comfortable “I’m in love with you, but I genuinely just enjoy your company,” kind of love.

I am crazy about my significant other. There is no one else I would rather be with. He is smart, he’s funny, he doesn’t find my random bouts of panic or crazy frustrating, he thinks they are just a part of who I am. He’s loving and kind. He listens when I talk. He’s affectionate. He knows how I think. He respects my boundaries and understands that my fears when it comes to love are very real and he’s patient enough to walk through them with me. But I have no desire to marry him. I have no desire to change any aspect of this right now. I love right now. Right now is wonderful. We are building our respective careers. I am adjusting (sometimes very poorly) to my new province. I want to work on my portfolio and learn to drive & have built a successful career at my day job. I like that I get my space to do my own thing sometimes. But I no longer fear the “this is good, let’s stay here.” I like here. I like that here will progress when we are ready to move from here and it’s okay that I have no idea when that will be. Truthfully, I don’t want to know, I don’t really think about it, I want to be just as surprised as you are. I like random days of nothing. I like that we don’t talk every day, but when we do we pick up the conversation right where we left off. I like that we can talk about everything from our careers to our deepest thoughts, or laugh about stupid things.

 

❤️
 
But mostly, I like that I’m not afraid.

For the first time in my romantic history, I am not afraid. I cannot promise that this will continue forever, or even until next week, but in this exact moment, I am not afraid. I am not afraid of the future, because I know who I’ll be with. I’m not afraid of the present because it’s a really lovely present. I’m not afraid of the past because I know things are very different now, not just with him, but with me. I was afraid, but when I was overwhelmed with my life & terrified that he’d leave, I turned to him & he listened & helped me feel loved & for the first time in my romantic life, I feel safe. I understand that men resent this label, but I think it would be the best thing. I feel secure with this person. He builds me up. Celebrates my accomplishments, from fitness (even though he thinks Crossfit is dumb) to my career. He helps make me the woman I want to be. And I’m really happy with him. And because I am happy, I want to enjoy being happy. I don’t need to change anything. Not every moment needs to lead to something deeper. Sometimes it’s just a good day or a great conversation. 

You can love someone very much, you can know you belong with them, but also not be ready for the end result. I always thought there was something so wrong with that, but now I know there isn’t. I know who I should spend my life with, but that doesn’t mean that has to start right now. Right now, I just want right now. I don’t just love my boyfriend; I like him. I like his company. I like talking to him about mundane, day to day things. I like joking with him. I like that I can tell him anything & vice versa. I like all the coupley stuff we do. But I learned that not every relationship needs to be a whirlwind. Sometimes it can just be a gentle breeze that guides you along, and that suits me just fine.

Life Lessons Learned The Hard Way

After the week of suck, I’ve done something I haven’t done in a long time;

I broke down. 

There was an attempted robbery at work. My teenage daughter is so resentful of her dad’s lack of interest in her life that she has decided she never wants to talk to him again & won’t pick up if he calls anymore. My hip has been injured so I’ve been hurting. My youngest has been ill and I had  to ask my eldest to leave school early to watch her until I got home. By the end of my shift, I was just miserable. I ended up crying all night, feeling isolated and alone. I felt like I’m alone in the universe, with no real friends here. For years, I’ve handled everything on my own like some kind of warrior, and every one tells me how I’m so strong. I didn’t want to be strong anymore. I just wanted someone to shoulder a part of the load with me. 


I cried all night. I cried all morning. I just didn’t want to be homesick or alone anymore. I didn’t want to be the single mom who handles all the decisions. I didn’t want to go to work. I didn’t even want to be a parent for an hour, because I don’t get the luxury of being a parent when I want women to think I’m sensitive or because my parents ask where my kids are. I was literally broken. 

But I learned I wasn’t really alone. My best friend Melissa texted me until very late her time trying to help me feel better. My other best friend Erica, my Texan PIC called me from the road enroute to Dallas for surgery to check in. And my wonderful boyfriend sat on the phone with me for an hour, despite being sick as 100 dogs to remind me that he loves me, he is right here in the city and he will do his best to make this easier. My mommy message board told me how hard I was trying. My oldest friend Gleason offered encouragement & Damanda offered to book my flight home hahaha. 

  
Suddenly, I realized that while I am far away from most people, I’m not really “alone.” I have the best friends in the world who are still right by my side even though they are a zillion miles away. I have friends I’ve never physically met who are always there. I have a loving & gentle man who always knows how to deal with my bouts of lunacy in a way that makes me feel safe & loved. He protects me by reminding me that I can do anything, but on days when life beats me down, he’ll be there to help me back up. I am a very fortunate person. And that helped remind me that while it can be a hard road, I’m the only role model for these three girls. I’m their only parent, their lifeline. I’ve gotta get up & put on pants & kick the world’s ass until I’m the most amazing MHC I can be. So I did. 

I may be weathering the storm alone sometimes, but I’m certainly not alone in the trenches. My people are right there with me, whether it’s to calm my addled mind or to tell me I’m the effing sun, like we’re Dr. Meredith Grey & Dr. Cristina Yang, I’ll never really be alone as long as they are there. 

  
 

Raised On It

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been reading about the Ashley Madison hack and I find it completely hilarious.

I’m not one to revel in the misfortunes of others, but watching guys like Josh Duggar, who for years have tried to make LGBT families, divorcees and anyone who doesn’t fit into their traditional mold of marriage feel like they are somehow deficient try to squirm their way out of this makes me giggle. Watching them try to blame Satan for their hypocrisy warms the cockles of my tiny black heart.

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However, the fall of the Ashley Madison website brings me a personal joy for a more personal reason. During my year as a newlywed, my former husband & I had a million and one problems, most of which stemmed from the fact that we were far too young and not ready to be married. But he worked midnights and my roommate and good friend had discovered that this website was real. So, we looked it up and were horrified at the number of people we knew that were on this site trolling for affairs, one of which was my ex husband. In the infancy of our marriage, maybe even before we had said our I do’s, had been looking for an affair. I chose to stay with him for the next seven years, and I’m glad I did as we later had two beautiful children, but the shock and betrayal stayed with me, as our marriage was marred by a lack of trust, which was pretty valid as he cheated on me pretty much all the time. After our first year of marriage, I discovered that the weekend he sent me to visit friends in our hometown was so he could meet a friend in a hotel for a tryst. About two years ago, he admitted to me (while heavily drunk) that he had slept with the stripper next door. I received an email from his former friend’s wife confirming they had been sleeping together while I was pregnant and on bedrest with our second child. And he was once banned from working as a photographer at two separate bars in our old hometown for sexually harrassing the staff. These all stuck with me for years, negatively impacting my future relationship. I would remember the female friends who weren’t platonic friends, the comments about how if he didn’t think I’d get mad, he would be trying to get with our female friends, or the time he propositioned my best friend to have a three way with him and our friend Sarah. It bothered me so much that I didn’t know how to trust a man who said he loved me and it took three years of therapy to feel okay and accept that not every man on Earth was out to hurt me or cheat on me.

I sent an email to the creator of Ashley Madison and blasted them for providing this service. I asked them how could they sleep at night knowing that they were making it easier to break the hearts of so many trusting souls. The reply I got was that maybe I should have been a better wife and lover, and my husband wouldn’t have wanted to stray, a sentiment he would tell me when I would put him on blast for his flirting, or whatever I caught him doing (that he would always say was misunderstood, or he was misunderstood, because he was the victim and why wouldn’t I just do *insert sex act here* and he wouldn’t have to want to cheat?).

This is why I laugh when I see the cheaters on Ashley Madison squirming and crying about their privacy.

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I feel for the victims, and by victims, I mean the actual victims. The spouses who used the tool on Wired and got the unfortunate surprise of “Guess who’s email address was compromised?!” or the stammering conversations where they explain their behaviour. I don’t feel the tiniest bit badly for the “victims” who’s privacy was breached. Oh, I know the dark side, this could happen to anyone and boo hoo and credit cards aren’t secure and the like. But a bunch of horrible people are going to be exposed for betraying their spouses and I’m glad. I hope they feel violated and like their integrity is compromised and awful. You know, the way their spouses have felt for months when they have suspected for months that their partner was cheating, or when they found out the truth.

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I have had a few friends who have said to me that since I was a staunch defender of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence when they had their private photos leaked online last year, I should take the same stance on this. I disagree. There is a big difference between private photos that were meant to be viewed by one person privately (such as Jennifer Lawrence’s photos for then partner Nicholas Hoult) and cheating on your mate. While yes, cheating isn’t illegal and having your credit card information compromised totally sucks, you were betraying your partner, and in the case of a guy like Josh Duggar, you were doing it while condemning other people for not living life according to a belief system that you yourself weren’t following. So, I don’t feel totally badly for these “victims,” just the people they have been victimizing, for having to learn that the person that they are with actually sucks in such a public way. Even if you didn’t pick anyone up on Ashley Madison, you had an account, the intent was there and you sir or madam are a raging douchebag. Your partner deserved a million times better and you should feel violated, because you are walking a mile in their shoes and I hope you wear them well.

  
Maybe I’m biased, because I know how it feels to find out that your spouse has an account with a website designed to help him cheat on you and I know how people like Anna Duggar feel. I hope Anna Duggar takes her kids and leaves him and finds happiness with a man who recognizes how beautiful and special she really is, but I doubt her religion will allow it. Ironically enough, her church will likely badger her with the same answer that Ashley Madison gave me and she will stay with her unfaithful husband. If she does, let’s not shame her or call her stupid. We are not walking in her shoes. We don’t know what her “church” has done to devalue her. But for all of those who are scrambling to “save” their marriage and blaming the Ashley Madison hack, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, because you already destroyed your marriage when you strayed (or attempted to stray) from your partner; it’s just now everybody knows you were doing it.

  
And to those encouraging people not to check the list for their partner; I disagree (although I haven’t for reasons that make sense to me). Chances are, you won’t be shocked by the answer. My Texan bestie looked up her own email & hubby, even though she knew the answer just for the lolz. But most people who are checking are either;

a) bored like me or

b) confirming an answer they already knew subconsciously, an answer they have every right to know.