Shake It Off

Happy Birthday ASH Multimedia!

I started this bliggity four years ago today and I wanted to thank all of you for going on this crazy ride known as my life with me. I’m not going to review all of the ups and downs, just thank you for reading my thoughts and feelings as life happens and hope you kept the laughing @ me to a minimum. I once had an audience of one and that meant everything to me; now I have a much larger audience and that’s really awesome. I’m so excited to see how my little creative outlet has grown.

Every year on this day I try to impart some kind of wisdom that I think will help with daily life. Today is no different.

***Disclaimer: I am a moron. Helpful wisdom is for entertainment purposes only***

I’ve always believed that some of us were put on this Earth to change the world and accomplish amazing things. My daughters are three of those people. I once told someone very important to me that his destiny was to accomplish great things & I just wanted to be by his side while he did.
Now, I like to think I am one of those people, but then I remember, not likely. I write puff pieces & this blog. But I think we all have some kind of purpose on this planet and sometimes that purpose is hard to see when things kind of suck. For a long time, I didn’t really give myself credit for my life’s accomplishments, only my failures. But when I sit in my little house by the creek, with my punch clock job & my new media job & another media project a friend is starting, my happy and healthy children and my 65lbs weight loss, I realize that we as humans need to let ourselves feel pride in who we are. It’s okay to be selfish and say “I did this,” because we need to feel competent and successful. I know what I can do & how strong & successful I can be & I’m proud of that. I no longer need to see my worth in being beside someone; I have worth for being me.

But that’s not my wisdom.

My wisdom is a simple lesson I had to tell myself when I felt completely alone and miserable. I had felt betrayed, like an idiot, and so completely alone and humiliated. But, when I woke up in the morning, I looked in the mirror and said “I’m still here.” Those three words got me through all of the bad times from that day on. Obviously, whatever was bothering me, whatever thing that I thought was life altering and heartbreaking couldn’t be that bad, because I’m still here. I’m still here on this Earth to raise my daughters and accomplish something important. At various points in my life, like all of you, I would lay my head down on my pillow and sob and wish I wouldn’t wake up in the morning…but I did and I’m so glad that I did, because now I get to live my raddest life. I’m still here, on this planet, to make some kind of difference, so I plan to live my raddest life, and be happy, and be positive, and be the person I’ve always want to be so I can teach my daughter how to live their raddest lives.

So, if you’re in the “everything sucks” part of your journey, it’s okay. We all have that part of our story and you’ll soon learn that it’s actually one of the most awesome parts of your journey. No, I’m not insane. All of that bad, horrible crap that rips your heart out and brings you to your knees will help you see how strong and brave you can be. You’ll learn that while in those dark moments, maybe you didn’t handle them with grace or maturity (I know I didn’t), but that’s okay; anyone who says that they handled every single thing in life with poise & grace & has never gone a little bit crazy is a big liar. However, you endured and when they’re over, you’ll have the joy of knowing that you are strong and powerful and brave…and no one can ever take that away from you unless you let them. You are in control of your feelings, how you see yourself. If someone is crushing you, you’re letting them. Take control by telling yourself every day that you are worthy of living the best life. By reminding yourself that this life altering, soul crushing blow wasn’t the end, it’ll help you to keep moving on & when it’s all over & you’re succeeding & thriving; you’ll know that it’s because you learned from the bad.

So, thanks for reading four years of my drivel. I hope to amuse you for four more. I hope we get through lots of really cool stuff together. Maybe I’ll get to tell you about how I met my soulmate and I just knew. Maybe I’ll announce I got the best journalism gig ever (although I really love the one I just started) or another awesome move & of course, how my girls become women. Maybe someday I’ll write my book on love (working title is “I attract Losers”) and you can be hipsters & say you knew me BEFORE it became big & turned into a romcom starring Jessica Alba & Adam Levine. And we’ll laugh. And we’ll cry. And we’ll be strong and amazing people, because we’ll all still be here.

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Closing Time

Normally, my song title blog post titles are just as random as what I’m listening to at the time. Today is different. I deliberately sought out this song for one line, which sums up this post nicely;

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Much like every part of life, this Windsor chapter has been about beginnings & endings. I started over after my first attempt to get a post secondary diploma didn’t go according to plan. I succeeded, graduated & became a writer. I welcomed my youngest daughter & watched her grow into a bright & happy young girl. I obtained a second post secondary diploma when my dearest hippie friend called me & suggested we both needed a change. I started a retail, johnny punch-clock job (even though I swore I’d rather be shot) to support my family & found that it wasn’t so bad. I made great friends & found I was pretty darned awesome @ this real people job thing. I fell out of love with my husband & closed the door on my marriage. I fell in love with a man & had my heart broken. I kept longing for a person who couldn’t or wouldn’t ever love me back. From that experience, I became closed & guarded, terrified to let anyone in again, even my closest friends. I was alienating anyone near me for fear of getting hurt by another person, but I’m slowly stepping out of that shell, taking Gigi’s advice to go out & live again, spend time with friends & even go to some “meetings” (first dates) & be the beautiful, strong & vibrant woman I was meant to be (she’s a wise woman, that Gigi. Meghie also suggested to pick the opposite of what I usually would, but Meghie doesn’t mince words). Truthfully, I haven’t been happy with my Windsor life for years. I often mentioned to Drew that I wanted to get as far away as I could, but there was always one thing that appeared & made me stay & I kept romanticizing this life. Much like “How I Met Your Mother’s” Ted Mosby ignored his incompatibility with former love Robin, overlooking her faults even in the closing moments of the series, I chose to ignore my unhappiness. I pretended not to notice how I let friends dictate everything, including the colour of my living room, while borrowing money & dragging me down with their negativity & chose to ignore that the continued attempts to take over my life were making me passive aggressive & bitchy. I also didn’t notice my own dragging down a good friend, allowing my broken heart & fear of starting over without his guidance & the person I truly believed was the love of my life with me to choke the life out of one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. I ignored my professional dissatisfaction at the magazine, because I was living my dream so I had to suck it up. I ignored that I didn’t care for my neighbourhood & wanted more out of my life, I had been so happy in that life that I was afraid to let it go, even when it was gone. I wanted to go back to that life, with those friends (even though they weren’t perfect, they were my life mates), with that man (even though I knew he’d always hurt me), with that little girl & my own girls, that I couldn’t see that old life wasn’t where I belonged, all I felt was the pain because it didn’t exist anymore. I needed to let go of the life I wanted, the one I’ll never have, to get the life I truly deserve. Much like when Ted finally let go of Robin, he found true love with the titular mother (I’m not acknowledging the last five minutes of the show because I’m trying to make a point), one random September day, I decided to let it all go & just leave town & start over. I got sidetracked by a person & their cruelty, which left me leaving them in a bar in tears, sobbing to the Gleason Table. But that helped me remember that I need to do what’s right for ME. So, I set a timetable, found a house, focused on my personal goals (including a 31lbs weight loss!) & I have been happy. But we all do this at some point; we hold onto nothing because what was once there was amazing, even when it wasn’t. Most of those friends were toxic, that house not the place you want to settle into forever. That man probably wasn’t the beautiful person you remember. Once you realize that (sometimes if you listen to Wide Awake by Katy Perry 100x times in a row, it’ll speed things up), it’s easy to cut that cord & move forward. But don’t feel badly if you struggled or if it took you longer to heal, because all humans heal on their own time. But you’ll get there. We all get there.

But today is the last day & one can’t help but be nostalgic on the last day. I will turn around tomorrow to look back at my empty home & face the flood of memories. I’ll take that instant to remember the birthday parties, the Christmas get together’s, the St. Patrick’s Day I made corned beef even though I didn’t like it. I’ll remember the night he asked me (indirectly) 15 different times to marry him, the cold night air against my face when he showed up late at night, held me in his arms, called me his salvation & said my smile healed his pain, and the night I leaned against my bedroom door & broke down sobbing for hours until I mercifully passed out on the floor because he walked away. I’ll remember MH & Drew’s grand adventures, the nights we were late for the movies because he got watching Maury, needing him to light my barbecue because I was afraid of it, shopping for an iMac, the great ostrich debate & any conversation that ended in “Right?!” I’ll remember blinking back tears as two of my babies started school, sidewalk chalk artwork & all of the times the pirate princess demanded to feed the “gooses” in the yard. I’ll remember school projects, silly songs & clean up days singing Taylor Swift into my mop while my children laughed. I’ll remember a little girl who ran to me & always embraced her little friend like they’d been separated by war every time they met. I’ll remember rushing home from my office to my home office to interview Penn Jillette, my happy tears when my musical hero Amanda Marshall said I was a good reporter & the two am revisions passing out on my computer because I know if I read it over ONE MORE TIME, this time it’ll be perfect. I’ll relive every emotion & then I’ll take a deep breath…& let it all go so I can make a new fresh start & make it a good one.

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Why? Because every new beginning in comes from some other beginning’s end. This chapter of my life has come to an end & the London chapter is a blank page. It’ll be interesting. I’ll find another magazine & tell more interesting & exciting stories that I hope people will read & love. Maybe I’ll fall in love again & finally meet the great love of my life, but that’s not really a priority. Maybe I’ll keep moving towards the GTA & finally land that sweet job in a PR firm or a magazine. But whatever happens, it’s time to stop being afraid & see what happens next, because it may very well be everything I’ve ever wanted.

So, goodbye to this life & welcome new adventures. Let’s see what you have in store for me.

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