So It Goes…

I’m a very lucky human being, because I’ve had a core group of friends to see me through most of my life.

There’s something so comforting about the fact that my best guy friend at thirty something is the same one I had when I was 17. That my roommate at 21 is still my friend today. That my best friend at eight years old is still someone I connect with on social media while we navigate the world of single parenting three girls. It always makes me feel like I can’t be that bad of a person, because the people who knew me then still like me now. It’s nice to know that the people who saw you when you loved Barbie, or listened to KoRn, or went with you to get eleven different piercings have evolved with you and you still love each other.

Also, look how cute we were at prom.

I will also be the first to admit that I once relied too heavily on people to look out for me. My wonderful friends did that, mostly because my track record with life choices is pretty terrible. They still do, and I love them for it. Last week was a shit show (which I mentioned here), and every one of my friends (save for one), suggested that I move home. Sometimes I even think about it. But the teen has her heart set on attending a university here, and my job as a mom is to help her get to where she wants to go in life. But, after a long chat with the best of all the guy friends, I realized why I need to stay with the Cow People in the Cow province.

He casually brought up someone that I used to know, who I haven’t thought of in months. I called him “the Dude.” Mostly because for a good two minutes, I couldn’t remember his name. I once believed that the dude was my happily ever after; now I had to pause to remember his name. I’ve realized that I have no idea who my soulmate is, because I have no idea what I want in a mate. I know what I don’t want; but I’ve spent so long listening to what people think I should want that I have no idea what I want. But I know I need to stop getting caught up in a type and just let what’s meant to happen strike like lightning. Maybe instead of a Seth Rollins, I belong with a Dean Ambrose (gross). Maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.

However, I do know that my adventures to the land of cows have helped me realize that life evolves when you do; the thing you wanted a million years ago, might not be anything you would recognize now. I don’t want to be the person pretending on FB, posting the happy family pics to pretend I’m happy when in reality, I’m not because I’m walking on eggshells. You know what I mean, one half of the couple has everything about how in love they are and happy photos and the other, not so much, and you KNOW neither one is happy. I don’t want the complacency of my life in London; where I was content at my job and didn’t really push to get my written work published because meh. I don’t want to be the person who settled: for the house on Felix, for the call centre job because it paid the bills, for the husband that made me cry because no decent human would want me. I don’t want to be the woman that relies on her friends to prop her up; I want to be a person that can stand on her own while holding up others.

In the Cow Province, I don’t settle. I grow. I wanted to achieve my goals and I am. I am growing as a journalist; my Great West Newspapers editor is really helping me evolve as a writer. I want to move up at work; not just because a promotion means more money, but because I want to be challenged. I want to develop into a better leader and coach. I want to push myself to be better, so the friend who knew me at eight, or dated me at 17, or lived with me at 21, can be proud of me. More importantly, so I can be proud of me.

I needed to go on my grand adventure so I could learn how to push myself harder. I needed to learn that my weirdo personality is not for everyone; but I need to own it. I needed to learn how to stop being some simpering victim and own my shit. But most of all, I needed to learn that every single thing that pops up on FB memories about my life from this time a few years ago isn’t the life I really wanted at all, and I don’t miss any part of it, except the house I lived in while in London, and that my friends lived in same area code.

As much as I sometimes want to go home and settle back into Ontario life, I realize that for me to become the type of person I want to be, I need to follow the path I’m making, not the one anyone built for me. Maybe this grand adventure was a lesson in throwing my very sure and certain guidebook for life out the window and actually work to become a better person. Maybe I needed to change for the better, and the things that stayed (Crossfit, journalism, an unhealthy obsession with pancakes) were meant to stay, along with my best friend in the eighth grade, the friend I met working at Target, or the hippie that dragged me to college with her, and always reminded me that just because it’s not the path everyone would have taken, doesn’t mean it’s not the one I’m meant to follow.

For Now

In the never ending story that is my life, we’ll call this chapter “the time everything absolutely fucking sucked.”

I’ll keep the major details to myself, as there are a great many things that I still choose not to share with the internet, but trust me when I say this week absolutely fucking sucks. Because it sucks, I’m seriously contemplating functional alcoholism (despite the fact that I rarely drink), or maybe full Brie Mode (for those of you that don’t watch Total Divas, click here for the definition of Brie Mode).

Despite the fact that I have the most amazing friends back home, sometimes I feel like I can’t talk to anyone, because they all tell me “you’re so strong, you’re Superwoman.” I want to be a superhero, and that bad ass woman they all tell me that I am, but am I? I don’t feel very super. I feel more like “pitifully average human who is drowning under the pressure to be a good mom and a good writer and a good employee and a good Crossfitter and pay bills while still looking pretty and maintaining a social life, despite having one friend that isn’t a coworker.” Being a one woman operation is tough kids.

We live in a FB filtered world; no one wants to admit that their life isn’t perfect and maybe they aren’t the superhero that their inner circle thinks that they are. No one wants to admit that they sometimes think they’re a shitty parent or looks at their bank statement, which is currently negative $36 and wonders how Xmas will be wonderful when cheerleading fees need to be paid and the gas bill is due and one kid needs new glasses and another has a field trip & it all costs money. No one wants to admit that sometimes they just want a night off from trying to be the best and just go out with friends, but since you don’t really have any, it’s hard to go places (sometimes I feel like I’m in the ninth grade again, where I wonder if people actually like me, or if they just want me to help them with the grownup equivalent of helping them with their English homework). No one ever admits that they feel like their very personality is somehow deficient, and you are somehow too weird or annoying for people to actually like, so you feel like you can’t really be yourself around anyone. These are things we just don’t do. Instead, everything is perfect. Everything is fine. Life is awesome.

In my life, everyone is counting on me to be so damned inspirational. Spoiler alert: I’m not inspiring; Beyoncé is inspiring. I’m just me. I’m a mostly unimportant writer and kind of okay assistant cell phone manager who talks too much.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s not socially acceptable to admit you’re not killing it at life right now. That maybe you’re lonely, or stressed out, or you just don’t really feel very good about yourself. Wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to say “I hate literally everything. You ever felt like that?” And someone relate to that? Maybe then we wouldn’t feel like it’s somehow not okay to have moments of self doubt, or sad, or stressed. Instead, we push ourselves to be the superhero we’ve made ourselves out to be and you don’t want to let anyone down. I think it’s harder for women, because we’re taught at an early age that we’re in competition with each other to be the prettiest and the smartest, meeting all of the Game of Life checkpoints while also never getting angry, or feeling less than confident, and God forbid you aren’t a size six! So, we all kind of compete for the best highlight reel and you can’t really live up to the hype.

Sorry guys, I’m not Wonder Woman. I’m just little old me; a plain, boring human who struggles with self esteem and time management, and sometimes is overwhelmed by the enormity of her responsibilities. I’m actually not sorry. If I’m going to be some inspirational ray of fucking sunshine, I need to be an authentic human being. Authentic human beings sometimes hate everything and feel like they suck at everything and look to someone they think has their shit together and goes “man, I wish I had my shit together and was half as awesome as they are.” I look at another manager in my company and wish I was half as cool as she was! She doesn’t care what people think; she just does her thing. She doesn’t second guess every word or thought, hoping she didn’t do something wrong by being herself. She just slays. Who knows? Maybe she gets days where she feels like I do too and looks to someone else to inspire them. Maybe it’s Beyoncé. Who knows?

So, if you ever feel like that, let me be the first to tell you it’s totally okay. Humans are not meant to live by the standards of social media. Humans are messy, complicated beings who sometimes aren’t happy. So, embrace those moments where you feel like the world is crushing you. Allow yourself to feel it, so you can get back up again. It’s okay to feel down; it’s just not okay to stay there, not even for me. In order to be on top, sometimes you’ve got to slide back down a bit. Since I’m feeling down, there is nowhere else to go but up! So, I’ll focus all of my energy on accomplishing all of the things that I’ve set my mind to…

…if not, there’s always functional alcoholism, right?! Brieeeeee Mooooodeeee!

Anyone Else

I get asked a lot why I love crossfit. Let me tell you a story. 

Thursday, I went to the gym. The workout was tough. I had to scale some of the movements & weights. I was huffing and puffing through the WOD, envious of those who can get there every day, and were executing handstand push-ups flawlessly. Halfway through, I questioned why I was even there. But as they finished, they were rooting for me and congratulating me for making it through. That kind of teamwork, along with the results I see at Crossfit is why I continue to go. We celebrate each other’ successes and support each other. It’s such an amazing thing, to see people coming together to help everyone succeed.  That success helps me in my day to day life. The next day, I went to work and had a great shift. Then I really pushed myself and managed to run 0.4KM more than my Tuesday run. When I feel good mentally, it helps me push myself physically. It’s a cycle of wellness.  

But crossfit has also helped me embrace my body. I’m never gonna be a size six again. My thighs are always gonna be big. I’m gonna have a booty from squats. That teeny waist and dress size isn’t a realistic goal for me. But part of loving yourself is loving your body. I may never be thin, but I will be strong. My fellow crossfit ladies are strong, sexy, beautiful women. They have powerful bodies that are healthy and ideal for their body type. My goal is to get to their level, but with my body. I can’t worry about a scale number, or the size on a clothing tag. Just my own health. I will teach my girls that being healthy is more important that a body type. As their mom, it’s important for me to be the role model. I can’t have low self esteem & teach them to love themselves. I have to embrace my curves, my thick thighs. It’s been a hard road, but I’m getting there. 

I’m so glad that we are now celebrating healthy body types of all sizes, and not a “one size fits all” sort of beauty. We’re celebrating healthy, active, strong women. For the longest time, Nikki Bella was my fitness inspiration. She still is. Maybe I won’t have her body, but I can develop her commitment to fitness, her enthusiasm, the way she supports all women & wants everyone to succeed. I think we all need that type of attitude. We need to love our bodies. We need to build up other women. We need to get excited about fitness & health.  I may never be a size four like Nikki, but her journey as an athlete inspires me to continue to work on my own health. 

But lately, I’ve found myself really inspired and motivated by WWE Superstar Nia Jax. Her IG feed is loaded with body positivity. She doesn’t look like the average WWE woman. She’s strong, powerful, and unlike the Bertha Faye’s & Bull Nakano’s, she’s presented as more than just a one note monster character. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, witty, and assertive. Nia Jax is not a personality free monster designed to prey on the beautiful ingenues. She’s a fleshed out character, focused on her goals, which is to be a champion. My own daughters are big fans of Nia (and while they rooted for Bayley & Sasha, were LIVID that Nia didn’t get a special Wrestlemania entrance like her opponents. They said she deserved Tinashe singing her theme, and fireworks like the others). They think she’s beautiful, strong, and funny. When I was a kid, she’d be a mute monster. But my girls get to see a powerful woman portrayed as smart, sexy, as well as dominant. 


But more importantly, she’s not like most girls. She’s strong, athletic. She is in the best shape of her body type. And representation matters. Not every woman looks like Nikki Bella, and that’s totally okay. Some women are built like Nia Jax. Some women work their asses off like I do with the knowledge that size four is never gonna happen. Instead of feeling embarrassed, women should embrace their healthy. That’s why women like Nia Jax are so important. It’s important to see that healthy and fit mean something different to everyone.  

But that’s why I love crossfit. I remember working out at the GoodLife gyms, and hearing the snickers while I was on the treadmill or when I set my machine to a lower weight, as I was a beginner. I heard the giggles in the change room, as if a fat girl had no business there. It kept me out of a gym for four years. I don’t hear that at my gym anymore. It doesn’t matter if I scaled the workout, or finished last. There’s no mockery, just encouragement and acceptance. I’m sure women like Nia hear your mockery too. They see your tweets calling her fat, calling her Nia Snacks, etc. A friend of mine has come back to wrestling fandom after 10 years off and he called her “the fat chick.” His wife (who works in fashion), commented that she looked like a strong, powerful, woman. But those comments are why women like Nia are so important. We need to teach little girls that every woman’s body is different. A dress size or a scale number can’t be your goal (My Fitness Pal said my goal weight should be 118lbs!), but being in the best shape for your individual body should be. 

If you’re a woman who is actively working on her health, celebrate that work. Celebrate your body and what it can do. Celebrate your strength, your movements, your accomplishments. Hell, even celebrate that cheat day where you ate a large pizza with extra cheese. But celebrate your body, not the number on your dress tag or on a scale. 

Sorry Not Sorry

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my coworkers are pretty much the raddest people ever. I’m so lucky to work for a company that encourages growth from within, a one team mindset, and celebrates individual accomplishments. There is no “follow my coaching and become a mini me.” My boss encourages everyone to learn from everyone else until they become a superstar. It’s refreshing to see a team so focused on helping everyone succeed. 


The women on the leadership team know we are islands in a male dominated industry. We know we’re the minority. We have our own unique challenges (our trainer, who is arguably the most intelligent and interesting person I’ve met since moving here, was recently given sexist feedback by an ASSOCIATE), and we’ve stuck together. We celebrate each other, stand up for each other, and we’re fortunate to have each other. But most recently, I’ve learned more from one of these amazing women about self love in one night of cocktails then I have in a long time. 

There’s no denying that I’m an odd duck. I talk a lot. I like a lot of nerdy things. I’ve been known to live tweet WWE PPV’s. I tell bad dad jokes. But that’s who I am and it took me a long time to get comfortable in my skin. My colleague marches to the beat of her own drum. She’s unconventional, over the top, creative, and driven. I once said she was like a living meme; she drives the point home in a hilarious manner. At our last training, she said that if she could be an animal, she would be a giraffe. Why? So she could be majestic, but also eat her grass and mind her business. She’s also successful af & super interested in helping the business grow, so I love learning from her. 

As we were downing shots of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey (I may not drink often, but I drink whiskey now. Somewhere my high school bestie is so proud), I mentioned how I was told by a manager to turn down my personality so that I could better fit in. She straight up said “fuck that.” 


She then tells me about how she felt the same way when she had to go to her first manager’s meeting. What if they didn’t like her ideas because she was new? What if she was too over the top? What if no one liked her? When she told her boyfriend, he told her “show them you belong.” So, she showed them she belongs. And she did it by not giving a fuck and being herself. 

I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin, but there are times if I wonder am I  just too much or not enough? Am I ever going to be good enough to get that promotion, find the right person, achieve that 200lbs back squat at the gym? But my coworker’s “show them you belong” mindset reminded me that if I’ve changed everything about who I am to get that promotion, to meet someone, then I’m settling. I should be earning these things on account because of who I am, not through becoming a lesser version of me. If you sell out your authentic self to win a person or a job, then it’s a false victory. I’m not about that. So, instead, I’m going to put on my big people pants & show the world that I belong. 

I promised on Twitter that this gif would be in my next blog post, regardless of context. Pretend it has context

Whether it’s at work, in your personal life, or any other aspect of your life, show the world that you belong, that you are valuable, and that you can be successful and happy exactly as you are (unless you’re a racist or a serial killer, then you should probably go to jail). The best times of your life will come when you embrace who you are and use your strengths to your advantage, instead of hiding them behind a wall. So, shine your light, and show the world that you belong. 

Green Light

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not one for complacency. 

I can’t just sit in the same place, with the same life, the same relationship, the same friends, the same old TV shows, etc. I’ve been known to chop off all of my hair just because I could. I moved across the country on a whim. Sometimes I contemplate jetting off again. I look at jobs in Vancouver or Victoria & contemplate moving. Sometimes I think about packing up and moving to New Brunswick. But this is the longest I’ve stayed in one spot since I got a divorce. Perhaps there’s enough adventure here in the province of cows to settle my gypsy heart for awhile. I’m still discovering cool buildings and interesting things. The photo below I took while waiting for my favourite co worker before the Lumineers concert. Edmonton is a rad place y’all. 


But I still get bored and want to switch things up. I want to change my hair, my look, meet new people and introduce them to my old people and build a tribe. I want to learn a million new things and then share my knowledge with others. I want to constantly grow and evolve and expand my horizons. But I can’t just pack up my life and find a new city every time the urge strikes me…can I? 

No. Kids need roots. I need a support system. But I also need constant change. Maybe not constant change, but constantly working towards goals. I’m feeling very complacent in my life right now. I love my day job, but right now, I’m not seeing a lot of room to grow. I know there will be, but right now, I’m in a holding pattern. I am fortunate enough to have a manager across the hall that can help me learn everything to know about manager-ing, which is nice. When you have someone in close proximity who’s super rad at their job, you take the time to learn. My biggest mistake at my old mall was not taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from someone who’s really good at their job. I love freelancing, and I love fitness, but I’m at my best when I’m working towards a goal. But what goal? What’s something that could help me feel super motivated and help me accomplish something without just packing all of my shit and moving halfway across the planet?

I found my answer today while mindlessly scrolling Twitter en route to work (PS if you’re not following my boring ass on Twitter, you probably should do that);


Yes! A triathlon! I write for a fitness magazine, obviously getting healthy and staying healthy is important to me (PS; check out YEG Fitness. It’s pretty amazing). And I loathe running, but I need to do something on days I don’t go to crossfit. I was much better at staying motivated when I had a goal to work towards. Now I do. I’m going to train for a year, then my friend & I are gonna tackle the Edmonton triathalon (give him a follow over at Lift Bitches)! This also inspired me to look at buying a bike and riding to work on nice days. I’d save money and really enjoy it. Of course, I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time, how hard can it be? 

So, tomorrow starts my preparation. Eating better, working smarter, and working towards this goal. I can’t wait to show my littles how to work towards a goal and stay healthy, and I’ll save money by packing a lunch every day. I write for a fitness magazine and go to a great gym, I have a bunch of resources at my disposal to get ready. Not to mention that working towards a goal will improve my self esteem! I’m really excited about it. 

A year is a long time, but it’s just the right amount of time to get ready. By going for a long term goal, I’ll be less likely to get discouraged. And I have a friend to keep me accountable. All exciting things, and this excitement will bleed into the rest of my life; improving my work performance, my writing, and my interactions with others. I’ll get in better shape. There is literally no downside! It’ll be a great challenge and I can’t wait to tackle it. 

The Danger In Starting A Fire

Moving is stupid. Never do it.

Over the last few months, I’ve gone through a plethora of emotions ranging from euphoric to miserable. This past week has just been beyond stupid. I’ve considered closing my blog because I wasn’t comfortable writing about my feelings & I sometimes wonder if I’m using my writing because I’m rather lonely out here in Cow Province & I miss regular chats with friends back home. I had this grand vision that I would get out here & my editor would love my work, I’d land a full time gig & my new gym would be as awesome as my old gym & everything would be perfect.

Yeah, nope. 

Instead I’ve been miserable at my gym, hating my job & trying to overcome years of mistrust in a day. So, I’m homesick & sometimes contemplate just moving home in the spring (my friend Damanda is sending a U-Haul). But, I realize I’m not giving myself any time to adjust to anything. Like, at all. 

I’m such an ambitious little creature, that I assume it’ll be easy to adjust when most people say it takes a year to adjust to a new community. I get better at trusting people, but it’s a process & I can’t rush that process. I’ll warm up to the gym, it’ll take time. There are some cool people & some not cool people. But I’ll get used to it. It’ll never be as awesome as my old gym, but still good. My new job isn’t journalism, but again, new audience, it’s a process. 

I keep trying to rush to get to the part where this feels like home, but it’s gonna take time. The difference is I’m going to allow myself that time to get used to how things are done here. If you’ve ever switched provinces/states, you’ll understand. Some days it just feels weird. And I just want to fit in with the cow people (maybe I should stop calling them cow people). But I realize it’s not as easy for some people. And I’ve got to allow myself time to get used to my life here. It’s okay to feel homesick. It’s okay to feel lonely. It’s okay to miss my gym & my friends & DECENT DAMN PIZZA. WHY IS THERE NO GOOD PIZZA?! But I kept trying to think it was wrong to go through periods of sadness. My birthday was a great day, but I’ve been lonely ever since. It was the first year it wasn’t a clusterfuck, which was nice. But it was also the first year I didn’t have belated drinks with Melissa, or dinner with Rena & Damanda. And it was just kind of sad. And over the past few days, as things have been sucky, I realized how much I missed having nearby friends who could watch the older kids while I took the littlest to the Voodoo Witch Doctor, as she’s allergic to every medication ever made, or Bree hugs. Or the fact that people here call shopping carts baskets. NO. THEY ARE SHOPPING CARTS.  But I didn’t want to adjust to the culture shock. I wanted to be awesome. Now, I’m going to focus on making Cow Province my home…& maybe stop calling it Cow Province. 

***However, I have only seen geese once, so good job Cow Province****

  
Same with everything else, I need to give myself time to open up, time to build trust, time to get comfortable. And it’s okay to want to do that slowly. It’s okay to not want to rush. It’s okay to have moments of doubt or fear. All of these things are fine. People who love me understand why I’m a bit batty & love me anyway. They get it & will let me muddle through on my own until I get to a place where I can fully trust people the way I want to. But it takes time. 

  
The good thing about time is we have a lot of it. Every day is another day to make awesome. So, that’s what I will do. Make tomorrow awesome. And the next day. And the next. But the only way to make this place home is to work on it. So, I’m going to put up curtains, pictures & BUY A DAMN KITCHEN TABLE NEXT WEEK. I’m very excited about my table. And each day I wake up I’ll feel better & better about living here, until one day, it’s home. And everything else will come in time, so I won’t rush the process anymore. 

  

The Document Speaks for Itself

A lot of times, when I write about my life, I get weirded out. 

There are always valid reasons for my weirded out-ness, such as “I hate talking about myself in a way that makes me feel vulnerable.” There is the “people I know read this shit & will text me about it or they’ll think I’m totes crazy.” I also feel like I spend a ridiculous amount of time writing lately because I am fretfully lonely for my Windsor/Sarnia/London friends. I’ve made some rad friends here so far, but I find myself missing home, so I use my blog as sort of a security blanket. This brings about the concern that people would rather read about me than engage in conversation or stay connected to me, like I’m some sort of zoo animal. Yes, I analyze literally everything.

I have a point, I promise.

I’ve decided that since I’m just going to keep using my one outlet as my way of feeling less isolated from almost everything that I love, I may as well use it to be a better person. So, I’m being more open about all the things that make me less than perfect MHC. Why? Because I want to be a better person. I want to be some kind of hybrid of the person I am and the person I was before. Still bad ass, but nicer. I really feel like the whole purpose to being alive is to grow and evolve and be kinder and gentler to our fellow man, etc.

Anywho, I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about why I suck at trusting people. I guess that was the first step to me actually being able to do it. But again, I felt weird because people I know read this crap. People I love. People who mean a great deal to me. And my mother (waves to my mother). I don’t want the people I love most to read about my thoughts on my blog. I want them to talk to me (although my good friend Gleason thinks it might be good for people to read my weird thoughts, it’ll help them understand my mind better and therefore make those relationships stronger). I don’t want them to think that I don’t trust them or that they need to coddle me or make me feel secure, because I don’t want that.  I honestly just write stuff because I feel happy when I write stuff! When anything bothers me in the slightest, I write about it & feel better! It’s like an extension of who I am as a person or something. Also, people I do not care for in the slightest read my blog (waves to ex husband) & I don’t want them to make my attempts to grow & become a more confident person fuel their narcissism. I began to worry. People I know read this. People I care about read this. I do not want people I care about to get upset that I am writing about my life in great detail because I’m lonely and homesick and I write about stuff to fill the void. Instead, I got texts from my friends, who said they could relate. They feel the same way sometimes. They struggle with trusting people. They’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. They just didn’t know how to tell people without feeling crazy. Suddenly, I felt very sane. Which was nice. Thank you, fellow crazy people for helping me feel united in our crazy. 

  
But I guess the best feedback I got was from my friend Gleason. He basically told me how I’m always putting the needs of my daughters, my friends, my lover, my mother over my own and it’s perfectly okay to feel insecure or like all the things that went wrong before will again. But I’m very lucky to have the ability to be self aware enough to start to fix the things about my personality I want to improve upon without it destroying my life in the process. So, I should be proud of myself for having a talent that makes others think and want to improve. And I can appreciate how fortunate I am to have an amazing family, a loving boyfriend and great friends and find happiness on days where there are none. By being able to see all of the wonderful things I have helps me continue to be positive when things aren’t and he’s lucky to have me as a friend. All of these things are totally rad.

So, thanks fellow crazy people for reading my blog & telling me that I’m not crazy. Pretty sure I am, but I’m pretty sure that’s okay. Because even though I go through periods of loneliness or rejection (by newspapers), that’s all part of life & I can turn all of those things into positives to improve who I am. Yay! 

And if all else fails, I provide y’all with entertainment. 

Also here is this penguin. You literally cannot be sad while looking at a penguin

Fire Meet Gasoline

Have you ever had a moment where you’re like “eff this, I’m going to move into a hobbit hole & cut off communication with the outside world forever?”

Because that’s me right now (well, not really. I don’t eat enough to be a hobbit & I like human interaction too much. Also, living in a hole would freak me out because claustrophobic).  

I feel like I’m failing in my professional life. My rep sent me the most disrespectful email, complete with claims that I’m irresponsible because I didn’t come in on my days off & explain something. The other quit because I am “mean.” It’s impossible to work when your team respects you so little that they feel comfortable calling you names in the body of a corporate email. But I feel like quitting will seem like I can’t hack it. So, I cry because I had to leave my kid’s birthday party to deal with something that I’m not 100% sure means I’m a bad manager. But two weeks in & my team says I’m a bad manager. I’m too hard on them. I expect too much. I don’t really know what to do. But, maybe I’m too sensitive because I actually take it personally. It’s reached a point where I loathe my job. And the logical part of my brain says, “if you hate it, quit!” But I don’t want to be a bad person & leave my company in flux. Sigh. 

However, my week of stupid has helped me realize something (actually, I realized it last night after I met Seth Rollins. None of this has anything to do with anything, I just wanted to point out that I met Seth Rollins, because I am a giant child);

 

I AM SUCH A GEEK
 
Maybe it’s because I’m a woman & we’re taught to apologize at work a lot, but I struggle to accept my feelings, or my difficult days as valid. 

I would like to stress that this is not a learned behaviour from my inner circle. I have great people in my life & they love me. This is just a weird quirk I’ve noticed. As my professional life continues to challenge me & I continue to struggle to settle into a routine here, I find I don’t talk to my friends or love as I should. In fact, I’ll do everything but; I’ll make small talk, I’ll crack wise, anything but express fear that I’ve made a mistake, or my writing career isn’t going well & my professional life is a mess & I feel like a Mighty Morphin Failure Ranger. I always make an excuse. Today, while talking to one of my best friends who finally demanded I talk about why I haven’t been texting much or talking much or whatever, he asked if I had called my beau to express why I’m so frustrated with my job & that I’m lonely & homesick & I basically said he’s working & busy & felt badly enough about his schedule & I shouldn’t bother him. This isn’t something he does to make me feel that way;  If anything; he’s the MHC whisperer. He loves me even when I’m being overly dramatic & whiny. He gets me when I’m in a tizzy & knows how to make me feel better without being a condescending dickbag. He’s the one person on this planet who knows how to deal with bitchy, frustrated me in a way that makes me feel loved & respected.  But I simply said “he’s so busy & he works so hard & I’m not going to bother him with my overreacting to my professional annoyances & my missing my friends. These things are stupid.”

This applies to all of my friends. Damanda is busy at the law office, Melissa is swamped with work & her own life. Sarah is working with her husband to get her business going. Gleason Table has a family & a power plant. I can’t bother them with my petty annoyances at my non-important job. They have important stuff to deal with! All of my friends are amazing. They would totally listen to me rant. As would my brother. I’d do the same for them. But instead, I’m like “Nah, I got this,” and then cry. 

Maybe it’s because for years I felt I had to cultivate an image of someone who never gets angry or upset. Maybe it’s because my alleged best friends stopped talking to me when I went through a weird phase a few years ago where I was so dissatisfied with my professional & personal life that I just became a huge downer. They basically told me had I faked it & just kept my feelings to myself, we’d still be friends. Maybe I just need to feel like I can handle everything myself, like no one can kick you while you’re down if no one knows you’re down. Or somewhere, I just decided that everything I feel that isn’t happy is actually stupid & unimportant & therefore isn’t worth discussing. People love positive MHC. I love her too & I strive to be that person, but because I like who I am; the rest of y’all can deal. I am awesome. But pretending that I don’t have weeks where I feel scared, lonely, inadequate or insecure isn’t good for me. These emotions are actually normal. It’s okay to feel them. They are valid. It’s okay to talk to someone you love about why you hate everything & let them help you figure out your next move. It doesn’t make you less bad ass, I swear. 

Now, you’re probably thinking “MHC, this was a terrible life lesson, you’re just writing, you’ll never actually give up on the idea that you’re the eternal optimist or actually build a support system!

But, admitting you need to work on something is step one. I need to recognize that being grumpy does not detract from my eternal optimist, happy sunshine shines from my behind personality. Not to mention walls that one has put up aren’t so easily torn down. They come down slowly, a few bricks at a time. And I’ve done fairly well in letting people in past them, but there’s always a couple of bricks we hide behind. And those who love me will understand that I’ll probably write about my feelings before I’m ready to talk to them. They get it. They’ll let me sort out my frustrations on my own & let me decide when I need someone to talk to & help me figure out how to get through & that I need to muddle on my own for a bit. But they respect that this is my way & to let me figure out for myself what I need. 

So, I’m going to sort out my professional life while also learning how to sort out that it’s okay to be mad, sad, or just plain bitchy. Maybe I’ll watch Inside Out with the littles & learn what happens when feelings have feelings, because feelings have feelings too. 

  

Wildest Dreams

I can only describe this week in one word;

Stupid.

Yes, this week was stupid.

Every single thing about my week (professionally) was super stupid. Between hiring and interviewing and being challenged by my editor, I honestly just kind of wanted to punch something in the face. Add in the realization that I’ve gained 10lbs since I moved here because my fitness mojo has been all off and you had a down right bitchy MHC (just ask one of my reps when he told me “I think I know why you’re gaining all of your weight back,” while I was eating a piece of banana bread. He’s still alive, I promise).

Fortunately, my spirits were lifted today with a series of events that made today not stupid, from snuggles with my five year old, and early access Pumpkin Spice Latte and a helpful pep talk with Matty the Bastard, my journalistic BFF. I even got my replacement cell phone boss lady phone, complete with a screen protector, because apparently you break ONE phone with your ass and Sony doesn’t trust you or something.

 

DO NOT put a Sony Z3 in your back pocket. Just DON’T DO IT
 
I guess I didn’t realize how much pressure I was putting on myself to be successful, and that caused me to make rookie mistakes that a nine year journalism veteran like me should know not to make. The hiring process at my store had me on edge. I mean, hiring the right person feels like it should be some kind of precise science and hiring the wrong person could spell disaster. And if I screw up either of these things, then I pretty much uprooted my family for nothing!

(If you’re thinking, Gosh MHC, I feel like you’re being a little bit melodramatic. I’m going to assume you’re new)

This made me pretty much the least tolerable human being for most of this week. I don’t like venting to people about why my life feels stupid. Hell, I don’t even like it when my significant other tries to pay for milk (although it’s very sweet and I need to learn to be more appreciative of his attempts to do nice things for me and not just flip out because I’m independent God damnit), so I’m especially not going to go crying like a little baby because I’m feeling overwhelmed about stuff that is largely made up and actually stupid. I need to handle stupid stuff on my own, without being melodramatic or crying. Why? Because I’m a grown ass woman, or so I’ve been told.

Instead, I decided to focus on finding GOOD in this situation. This involved changing my thinking. If this magazine doesn’t work out, there are others. I wouldn’t be the first writer to realize the first magazine offer I got isn’t the right one for me. I need to think of my editor calling me out as a positive thing. After all, she must see some potential in my writing to challenge me to do better. Otherwise, she would have just cut me loose. Freelancers are easy to come by. I should be grateful that she is trying to get my best out of me, because when she gets it, I’ll be a better writer! It’s okay that I’ve gained a little, this helps me remember why I started going to crossfit in the first place; to get in better shape and be healthier. Maybe I needed that bitchslap from the scale to get some motivation mojo, as I’ve been so bummed that the new gym isn’t as welcoming as my old one. Also, the girls will be in school, so I won’t feel guilty that I missed a month of their lives so I feel like if I go to the gym before work, that makes me a bad mom.If anything, I’ll be teaching them good habits that make me a good mom. I was chosen to be the boss, I need to act like it and start making decisions and standing by them.

But most importantly, I need to stop thinking that everything I do here, good or bad, means this whole thing was for nothing. I did this to better my family and that’s what I’m doing. I’m gaining management experience, which I can use to continue to move up in the world and earn a better living for my daughters. I’m growing as a writer and improving every day. I’ve made some rad new friends and I’m really happy with the current state of my life. I just need to stop worrying that if I don’t become the most successful person that I know, then I’ve somehow ruined my life. My success as a person is not defined by how quickly I became the best writer in Western Canada. My success as a person is defined by my being a good person and role model for my daughters, so that’s what I’ll do.

Success is rad, but success comes when you work for it, not stress over it. So, I’ll put in the work and the effort and the success will come when the work is done and in the interim, I’ll take stupid days and find the positive, even if it seems like there is none to be found.

  

Leave The Night On

All of my deadlines are met, my articles are submitted, I totally forgot to FaceTime Matt Bastard & I’m tired af. 

Yay! (Unless you’re Matt Bastard. BUT I HAD A DEADLINE)

Sometimes when you burn the candle at both ends, you run out of wick & you start to feel it, which is me right now, but whatever, I get a day off soon, so there. This week is busy af as it requires some major choices about my current job sitch. Do I do what’s best for me or continue to be a nice person? The struggle is real. 

Speaking of jobs, hey guys, remember that time I got offered a job in my field & I couldn’t take it because I didn’t know how to drive?! Because Pepperidge Farm remembers. And today, IT HAPPENED AGAIN. 

 

I was actually caught in the rain, but the despondent look remains
 
I was offered a job in a place called Golden BC (I need an atlas because I never know where these places are. I assume they are small & have no Starbucks & probably scare me). They asked me to relocate, so I said “I did that not even two months ago. My children would kill me. I signed an 18 month lease. Uhhhhh…why don’t I work remotely building my portfolio because sleeping is stupid anyway?” I haven’t heard back yet. This may have prompted some kind of childish rage tantrum because for the second time in a year, I couldn’t take the job I want more than I want air. 

You’re probably thinking; MHC, aren’t you overreacting just a little? The answer; Duh. Have we met? Overreacting is where I’m a Viking. 

If this popped up a year from now, the girls & I would likely be headed even further west, but it hasn’t even been 60 days. So here I stay. I found a temporary maternity leave contract that I applied for, and we’ll see how that goes. But I’m determined & I’m so over the Universe’s cock teases. 

 

I’m nothing else, if not honest.
 
So, I look at the positives, because that’s my thing. Obviously, Western Canada has opportunity for an ambitious little creature like myself. And I have never lacked ambition. Or tenacity. I’m on the right track, as I keep getting offered jobs. In 47 days I can have a Cow Province license & learn to drive on the cow roads. And I can continue to reign as the Queen of cell phones until I reach the goal, as reigning over my phone kingdom gives me money. And I love money. 

 

This has nothing to do with anything , except this is how an Ontarian & a Eastern Canadian talk about my home

So, I’ll learn that these random things that make me want to scream & throw things are actually reminders that I am a good writer & I am someone that a reputable publication will hire & I am in the right part of the world (sort of) to do just that. I just have to keep building my portfolio & plugging away and I’ll finally reach the goal.