People Like Us

Sometimes, life is super rad and everything is awesome & you look at life like “damn, life is so awesome!”

…this is not one of those times.

I’m telling you kids, this month has been a struggle. First, I asked to reduce my workload as a result of a personal issue. My super awesome boss was all “yeah, for sure,” at first, but then he was like “LOL JK you run two stores now.” I’m not complaining. I’m grateful that I get to prove I can handle more responsibilities. My kick ass ASM’s are a big help, and it’s double money, so I’ve been planning a girls weekend with some girlfriends and the kids to go to Jasper at the end of October or early November. Hopefully, my best friend can come with, depending on her work schedule, because my best friend is moving to Edmonton. DID I MENTION MY BEST FRIEND WILL BE LIVING IN EDMONTON WITH ME (well, not in the same house, BUT VERY CLOSE TO ME)?! Hard work means I can save up for Xmas, and go on a little mini vacay to see mountains. But, I’d really like to find time for the gym. I love the gym.

LOOK HOW HOT MY BEST FRIEND IS

I’ve been struggling with some personal stuff. Sometimes it’s hard to put personal struggles aside and focus on the work. But, you’ve gotta do it, even when it feels like everything is crushing you and the weight of the world is breaking your heart. But you gotta push through. Your family depends on it & you have to do what’s best, even if it’s not popular. Sometimes that stress bleeds in at work and you’re crying in your back room because you don’t know how to navigate a situation like this. Fortunately, I have a great team of people that work with me. I have a great support team of managers and an understanding boss. So, we make it work somehow & the work is paying off. We won our “Holy Grail.” Every month we get a little better. Even when everything sucks, you’ve gotta smile and keep on moving.

Not pictured; the other half of my team. Also, my desire to look cute in a picture

Somewhere between the added workload, and article deadline, declining a writing opportunity I really wanted to take advantage of (and hopefully will in the near future, when I have more time), I sat on the glasses I need to wear at all times to read and drive and broke them. Again, look on the bright side MHC. Fix em with super glue. You have benefits. You can get new ones. The new ones are Coach. They are Hella cute. They aren’t scratched. Yay! So, let’s take a deep breath and be positive.

Which brings me to the story of my car.

I love my car. I have an unnatural attachment to my car. Her name is Wanda Maximoff. I refuse to let my car get below half a tank of gas. You can not eat or drink inside of my car. You must wipe your feet before getting inside my car. I’ve already booked my oil change/service, because it’s been almost six months. I freak if it is even a little bit dirty. Yes, I love my car. I’m also a SUPER cautious driver. I drive five below the speed limit at all times (unless it’s raining, then it’s ten). On my way home from an impromptu trip to West Edmonton Mall, I went through a roundabout, dropped my speed (it was raining), hit a pothole, and PUNCTURED MY FUCKING TIRE. MY BRAND NEW CAR HAD A FLAT TIRE.

That was it. The last straw. Everything came crashing down; my broken heart, my work stress, my lack of time management which meant no gym, and now my car had a flat tire. I was so angry. I’m a decent person. I work hard. I’m a good mom. I do my best. I try to treat people well. I am a ridiculously cautious driver. So, why was life continuing to fuck me without even buying me dinner first?! I could have spit blood. I was just so sick and tired of trying to be nice and be happy all of the god damn time only to have people stab me in the back and betray my trust and do hateful things to my family while the universe seemed to fuck with my peace of mind and MY BRAND NEW CAR. I did not want to “find the silver lining.” I wanted to throw shit and scream.

But, fortunately for me, the universe won’t let me wallow in self pity. I have to see the good, like my friend getting down on the wet ground to help me change my tire and helping me get my car to Canadian Tire to get it replaced. He also reminded me that my busted tire is a metaphor for life. I did everything right; I was cautious. I signaled. I slowed down to be mindful of the slick roads. I did everything you’re supposed to do and still hit a pothole. That’s life. You can do everything right, but something could still go wrong. The important thing is we learn and still look for the good. I had good friends who spent the evening with me while I replaced my tire. My staff helping me balance my time. My friends back home offering their love and support. Sometimes, you’ve gotta just search for that one good thing about your day & use it to be happy, otherwise you become a miserable sad sack incapable of finding joy.

When life craps on you, you’ve gotta find good. Sometimes it’s as big as the fact that you have a job, a family, great friends, and two kick ass cats and you can work your dream job while also working full time at a job you enjoy and feel empowered at. Sometimes it’s as important as having your friend teach you how to change your tire. Sometimes, it can be as little as you discovered a Taco Bell 12 blocks away & Becky Lynch is the Smackdown Women’s Champion. There’s something good in everything. It’s up to us to find it.

So, even though life is not ideal right this second; it will be. Everything gets better. While we are plugging along, I’ll remember that it’s okay to be stressed and sad, there’s still a lot of good to be found. Maybe it’s harder to find, but if you look hard enough, and make it a point to find it, you will.

No Tears Left To Cry

So, for those of you that have been readers for awhile, you know the backstory; I went from an emotionally abusive marriage to a super controlling string of relationships where I would walk on eggshells so they wouldn’t leave me. I’d trip over myself trying to obey and after years of therapy, fitness, and focusing on discovering who I am, I am doing things on my own, my way. Life is pretty good when you know who you are and what you want out of life. Once you like yourself, you can open yourself up for someone else to love you & you can love them in return. I’ve talked about this many times…

…this is not one of those times.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, there are two things that I’m absolutely terrified of; the dentist…and geese. Geese are evil Canadian fuckers that need to all fuck off. They ruin my running routes, they ruin my afternoon walks. They are all probably actively plotting to kill me. Geese are the absolute worst.

The only thing I hate as much as geese is the dentist. I’m terrified that they’ll pull all of my teeth out. I have no idea why. Maybe the early nineties ruined dentists for me when Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS was threatening to pull out Bret Hart’s teeth for some reason. Maybe I had a vivid nightmare as a child of my teeth falling out. Maybe that excerpt from the Vampire Diaries where Elena’s teeth fell out scarred my fragile tween psyche. Maybe it’s because my best friend was married to a dentist and he’s an ass. Either way, screw the dentist.

Last week, I had a filling fall out. It’s been there for years, nothing hurts, and I had knocked it loose some months ago when I slipped at work and smacked my face against a desk. But I feel really self conscious about it, so I made an appointment with my dentist to have it looked at and replaced. Turns out I need a root canal! What fun! Obviously, I overcame my irrational fear of the helpful dentist and I’ll be perfectly fine.

Nope.

While I enjoy my life on my own, I’m also not an invincible super hero. I get super scared sometimes, especially of stuff that involves my mouth being numbed and someone drilling into my face. It’d be nice to have someone pick me up and bring me home and maybe make me a cup of tea after my mouth is no longer numb. It’d be nice to have the option to take time off from work (my company would give it to me no problem because they rule) but I know I can’t afford to take an extra day off. In times like this, I wish I had someone around to help, or convince me that the dentist isn’t an evil monster who’s going to ruin my face.

I suppose the upside of dealing with unpleasant things on your own is that you master handling unpleasant things so you’re not relying on others to do it for you. That way, even when you do have a partner, you’re emotionally equipped to handle trying times. While it sucks right now, in the end, you’ll be better for it. So, you tough it out, even if it’s terrifying. So, I’m going to be a brave role model to my kids and get the scary root canal and everything will be fine. I’ll also be scared shitless and will need a hug and reassurance because while I can be brave, I am also a huge baby. It’s about balance.

Ashes

GUESS WHAT GUYS?! I BOUGHT A CAR!

That’s right! As of July 20/18, I will be the proud owner of a 2017 Hyundai Elantra. It took me six months, but I finally did the thing & I bought the car!

Meet Wanda Maximoff the car!

Yesterday I was super excited; I texted everyone I know except for my boss, mostly because I’m sure I drive him crazy enough, I don’t need to be like “HEY YOU HAVE IMPORTANT STUFF TO DO, LET ME INTERRUPT IT TO TALK ABOUT ME.” I felt like a responsible adult. I asked my friends Paul (who works at TD Insurance. He’s knowledgeable and super rad), and Damanda (who works in a law firm that specializes in traffic violations) for suggestions, test drove them, asked owners of those models of vehicles for reviews, drove the dealer nuts asking more questions (Also, HUGE shout out to Jade from Automaxx for setting me up. If you’re in the area and want a pleasant, knowledgeable, passionate person to help you find a car, go see her), and decided on a vehicle. I was so excited that I made this major purchase on my own & chose what was best for me & the girls. I started thinking about how much easier groceries will be, and traveling to the mall, or work. I won’t miss out on classes at the gym because I was late leaving work and didn’t catch that bus. Now that I own a car, more journalism jobs are open to me. Yup, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

But, after the initial excitement wore off, I did that thing I always do when I make a major life choice; panic.

What if my store stops doing well and I cannot afford to pay for my car? What if I can’t afford gas?! Sometimes I’ll zone out while listening to music; WHAT IF I ZONE OUT AND CRASH MY CAR?! WHAT IF I CRASH MY CAR WITH THE GIRLS?! What if I forget how to back out of my driveway and my car is stuck in it forever?! WHY WON’T PEOPLE ACCEPT THAT PINEAPPLE DOES GO ON PIZZA?!

(You all laugh, but I am very concerned about all of these things).

I guess I’m just scared. Shit just got real. I’m a car owner and a driver. How does one get over the fear of killing yourself and everyone you know with your shiny red death machine so you can enjoy driving? I want to enjoy my car. I’ve waited my entire life to buy one. But I’m also terrified that I’ll kill my self by crashing into a semi or something. Is this a normal concern when you become a full time driver? How do you get more confidence? Is it like, running, where the only way to get better is to just keep running?

I’m sure once I get driving, I’ll feel fine. I’ll probably really enjoy it. But right now, I just feel like I’ve made a major investment and, as you all know, that is both exciting AND terrifying, leaning more towards terrifying right now.

Perhaps by the time I can drive my car, I’ll feel differently. I’ll be super excited to drive it again. I just have to focus on the positive aspects of driving, and not just, everything is about to go horribly wrong.

Somebody’s Love


After eight months, I’ve said goodbye to the world of major retail big box chains. 

Peace out.

I left my manager & DM thank you notes, as well as the store manager. Much like when I left the St. Albert location, my coworkers were gifted a bucket of snacky foods and a thank you letter, although this time, there was a welcome letter for the new hire, who has been a good friend to me since I started. I feel it’s important to make sure that those who worked hard with you during your tenure know you appreciate them. I’ve been fortunate to work with a strong manager and a District Manager who is a role model for all women in wireless. She loves her team, works hard for those who work for her and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. I hope that I can lead my new team with the same level of integrity and success that she has.

I’m so freaking excited to be moving forward. In this past month, I’ve taken my new position and I’m so excited to get started. I was under the impression that I’d be shadowing the manager for my probationary ninety days, but he’s made it clear that my new store will be “my baby” after two weeks, and a crash course in wireless leadership. That’s both awesome and frightening, but then I remind myself that they’re trusting me with this because I’ve proven that I can do it. My work history demonstrates that I can be a capable leader. So, it’s about calming the nerves, taking a deep breath and stepping up to the plate.

My writing career is booming too. My first article under my new editor was a success, which makes me happy. When I started with Great West Newspapers, I was afraid to pitch a story. I didn’t think I should. What do I know about Alberta and the lifestyles of people here? I accepted my assignments as they came and when a story idea that I carefully crafted was given to another writer, I wanted to give up. I felt like a fish out of water and maybe I’m not the talented journalist I always thought I was. But when I got the email that there was a change of the guard, I decided to suck it up and be brave. I came up with two ideas and pitched them both. My new editor replied with that both were good, but one was a better fit for the summer months. So, I got to work and when I got the email saying that there were no revisions necessary and it was being printed, I was elated! One of my pieces for My Trending Stories was very well received and I’ve mentioned it before, but the editor of a major Edmonton newspaper told me my blog was witty and clever and he couldn’t wait to read my published work. All of a sudden, I felt very much like the person I have worked my entire life to become. Pitching stories is such a huge part of what I do, so my lack of confidence, much like my lack of driving, has held me back.

Nothing holds me back anymore.


When the editor of a local newspaper set out a call for freelance writers, I brainstormed with a friend (who also happens to be as passionate about radio as I am about writing) and we came up with an idea that could be really interesting. I drew up a little proposal and explained why I thought readers would like it and sent it off. I haven’t heard back yet, which I’m taking as a positive sign. Had he hated it (or required more pictures of Spiderman), he would have just said so. But when some friends asked me about my idea, I told them, and as I was saying “You’ll think it’s silly…” they replied “That sounds really interesting!” I’ve booked interviews already. I’m so excited about how this is turning out. Maybe he won’t want to run with it. If not, I’ll finish it and sell it to another magazine here in YEG. Because why not? The more publications that print my work, the better it is for my career.

Don’t we all Mr. Jameson

I guess I need to stop being so damn timid whenever I feel out of my element and just go out there and kick ass and be a bad ass. My body of work speaks for itself, so I need to stand behind it. I need to stop being afraid that I cannot do something and just focus on the fact that I can and I will do well if I work hard, treat people with kindness and respect and believe that I can be the best journalist and cell phone boss lady that I can be. So, it’s one day off to recharge the batteries then it’s back into the cell phone game as the lady of the house, while getting those crossfit workouts, thrice weekly runs and interviews for my next article done.

It’s a busy, beautiful life and I’m so grateful to be the one who gets to live it.

And I have this one on Team MH. She’s good people

Begin Again From The Beginning

For the last five years, I have revelled living on my own. I like that my space is my own; I decorate, I’m responsible for it, it’s MINE. But I have to admit that lately, I don’t like living alone. 

I chose my house without viewing it. I keep telling myself that it’s just one year & in the summer, I’ll find a place in a better neighbourhood. My commute home has been dangerous sometimes, with me texting friends expressing fear that I was going to get hurt. Then, my teen daughter ran an errand for me (a friend was supposed to go with her) & she was nearly robbed.  After we filed the police reports & I asked my friends how to break my lease to find a safer home, my daughter expressed how much she wished we didn’t live alone, because we’d be safer if my boyfriend were here full time. And I won’t lie; there are nights I get home from work & wish he was there because I would feel safer if he were. 

  
I kind of feel like I failed as a parent. Parents protect their kids. My child was in danger & I indirectly put her there by asking her to run an errand. Yes, she did the right things. She called the police. She ran. She screamed for help. Most of her anguish stemmed from the passer by’s ignoring her pleas for help. She didn’t lose anything of value, but she’s lost a little bit of that innocence. Suddenly, she’s felt like every other woman has felt at some point. The police asked her why she didn’t give the muggers her phone, did she call attention to her device? She was being forced to apologize for being victimized. She was forced to learn the reality that women are often forced to explain why they didn’t deserve to be victimized more than why the bad people shouldn’t be attacking people. There was her loss of security. My daughter started looking up dogs on kijiji, big ones (we found this one. We have the perfect name for it!). Despite my firm belief in gun control, I suddenly wanted a gun. Or a husband. Or all three. I just don’t feel safe in my neighbourhood anymore. I don’t feel like my kids are safe & for the first time in five years, I worry if a single mom living alone with three young girls & a cat is a target for stranger danger. I fully intend to move when my lease is up, maybe sublet this place in the interim, but right now, I worry about us going out at night. 

*Mama Bear is also in full “let me find these people & cut a bitch” mode, but that’s not constructive & I’ll let the police handle it*

  
I guess I just hate that my kid had to discover that the world can be a scary place for a woman at the young age of 14. I hate that the police asked if her dad was home, so she & her mom wouldn’t have to be alone in the house, as ladies shouldn’t be left alone. But mostly, I wish neither of us felt like we wanted a man to be here to protect us, but we both do. I have never wanted my boyfriend to be here at night than I do right now, because somehow, the physical nearness of him would make this alright (she insisted on calling him tonight, as he would make this okay somehow). 

But instead, tomorrow we will learn the importance of reclaiming control. She is not a victim; she is a bad ass. And she will not hide in her house afraid that someone will hurt her. We will do the shopping. We will live our lives. She will not let anyone who does her harm have power over her & direct her life with fear. Obviously, we have a plan about her going out at night (which is rare), but we’ll need to be more mindful. Her faith in humanity has taken a hit, but hopefully, in time, it’ll be restored. Sadly, every woman has that moment when they realize the world isn’t as safe as they’d hoped it was. She will bounce back. 

In the interim, both of us (sadly) feel like damsels in distress, wishing we had someone here to protect us tonight. 

  

 

Shut Up & Dance

Sometimes when you’re closing the door on one part of your life to open the door to what comes next, you need to stop & sit & absorb the enormity of what comes next. 

So I did. 

I sat & listened to a bunch of music & took a deep breath & prepared myself for what comes next. 

 

  I sat here. Isn’t it lovely?
 Things are changing. New job (I know…AGAIN?! But it’s technically a better version of the same job. With a raise. And a company phone. And a title. And power), new opportunities, new everything. The next 30 days will be insane; training, interviews for another job that will pay more (which is more a plan B as I like my current job) and reminding the same newspaper that I want to work for them (for the fifteenth time since October. They keep saying I’ll be considered if I was closer. They don’t know me very well. I get what I want). All of these things will be nuts but when it’s over; I’ll be right where I need to be to get everything I want in my professional life. 

Oh & I’m scared shitless. 

Fear is not an emotion I acknowledge. I pretend that I fear nothing. But I’m terrified. 

My mind is muddled with worries. What if my new gym isn’t as amazing & welcoming as my current one? My new employer said my references set an expectation that I’m a strong leader & a record setter. What if I can’t meet that standard? There’s the fear that I won’t make an impact in my field & I never get a full time job at that newspaper or any newspaper or magazine because I’m not good enough (BAHAHAHAHA that’s bullshit, I’m super talented & determined. These editors best prepare, they’ve never met anyone quite like me; I know what I want & I’ll get it).  What if the dad continues to alienate himself from his children with his valid but angry reaction? What if this ends up like when I moved here, where it didn’t go according to the master plan (not that I had one)?

 

 When in doubt, I turn to the Queen
 The truth is that I could go down in flames. 

But…

The reason my coworkers set that expectation is because I proved I could do it.   The reason I got offered three jobs (with the prospect of two more) from only 10 resumes is because I work hard & I’m good at what I do. The reason my new editor said my articles were good is because they were. I earned these opportunities & I need to keep doing what I did to earn them to maintain them & make them grow. Maybe my new gym will be full of douchebags, but I’ll kill some overhead squats & rock the WOD & I’ll prove I belong there. 

 

 This has little to do with anything, but I felt it kind of fit with this paragraph & this is legit what my friends & I talk about 
   

Last time I made a big change, I was running away from a person & a life that I’d lost (& it found me anyway). This time I’m running towards something that I’ve worked my entire life for (although putting a country between that life (& person) & I doesn’t hurt), because the universe will put what is supposed to be together if it’s what’s meant to be. But it’s okay to be afraid. Change is scary. My first day @ West London Crossfit was terrifying. My first day of college was intimidating.  My first seconds as a mom were frightening, because I could screw it all up for this tiny person. But it could all be awesome too. 

So, I’ll accept that the next thirty days will be scary as all get out, but it’ll be completely worth it in the end. 

Or I’ll fuck up my life. But I’ll have learned a lesson, right?!  

Day 10: My Biggest Fear

I’m afraid of lots of things.

I’m afraid that I’ll never fall in love again.

I’m afraid I’m not the best mom I can be.

I’m afraid I’ll never reach my fitness goals.

I’m afraid that I’ll never work in media again.

I’m claustrophobic, I’m afraid of mice & I’m not terribly fond of snakes. But my biggest fear is the most horrifying creature on Earth. The source of all terror. To demonstrate the most evil being alive, I shall post the photo that my friend Dawna made for me & posted on my Facebook.

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