Woman Like Me

My best friend moved to Edmonton a few months ago and it is, without a hint of hyperbole, the absolute fucking best.

She’s getting the hang of our business, our team is dope af, and WE GET TO GO TO THE IKEA! I’m moving next month and it’s been nice to have someone here who’s super excited to organize and decorate my new house (also, WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE MY NEW HOUSE IT IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE EVER), have Thursday coffee with, and talk in the same time zone. I am so proud of this woman for taking huge risks and having it pay off, and I get to watch her do it all from across the hall! There is literally none downside, unless you count when she decides to be my wingman.

See, I haven’t been on a date since early June, when I went out with Mr. I work for the Government, I’m super important, so I’m always late and super arrogant. Barf. I almost made a date with the guy who pretended to be a customer to get my business card and then charmed me until he told me to go on break and hook up with him in the bathroom of Sherwood Park Mall. Know your audience bro. The rest is boring Bumble dudes who annoy me and my longstanding crush on the super hot security guard at my work (not the one that told me I looked pretty & my 11yo told him “Dude, I am right here!” The other good looking one hahaha). But, I made a joke that I was bored at work and too bad the security guards weren’t doing their routine visits. She points out;

  • He’s not wearing a ring
  • She works shifts I’m not there and can do recon
  • She knows my number, my work cell number, all of my social media handles (which are here, here, and here), where I live, and my work schedule

And she’s not above playing wingman. After all, it’s time I got out there & I could always talk to him myself…

…but why?

You have to TALK to men now?! Ugh!

I’m not good with dating. Or talking to attractive men. I become all weird and awkward and it’s super awful for everyone, especially me, who pretty much wants to crawl into the floor and die.

Besides, no security guards wear wedding rings for work purposes, and super attractive security guards generally have girlfriends, you know, with the being attractive, funny, and have a good job and such. That’s generally what women look for, along with “don’t be a raging fucking asshole.” I am a potato who doesn’t know how to talk to men. I mean, I make attempts, but it’s all “so…do you like…stuff?”

The thing is, my BFF is right. Maybe I should be more open to communicating with men. The pieces of my life have been falling into place all year. I’m finally successful at my job & I’ve held my position for a year. I bought a car. I’m moving to a house that I’m proud to live in. I’ve built a strong support system and have established strong friendships in YEG. I’m focusing on ways to improve my physical and emotional health and both are working. My work performance is improving every day. I’ve been happier than I’ve been in a long time because of the changes to my living situation and more time at the gym. Maybe now that everything else seems to be falling into place, I’m finally ready to consider dating more seriously than “three dates and you mildly annoy me so I don’t want to date you anymore.” That’s how it works. You get the rest of your life figured out, and then you meet someone & it works and you’re happy…

…or you just become the cat lady!

But, apparently, you need to actually talk to men, and interact with them, and like, pay attention to them and stuff, which is apparently where I’ve been going wrong. I’m always so focused on making life better for myself and the girls that I don’t really do that. I live in a bubble where I parent, go to work, and go to the gym, and no one meets their soulmate at work or the gym (or in Sherwood park in a mall. Trust me. Just no). So, I guess I’ll need to start doing that…

…mostly because I don’t really have a choice, as my own personal wingman will force me into the dating world kicking and screaming, but it’s for my own good hahaha.

Real Life

Time for some big changes y’all. For those of you new to my world, let me remind you how well I do with change.

My lease is up at the end of January, which means it’s time for a new place. I’ve never been in love with my house. I moved in sight unseen. It’s perfectly adequate, but I’ve had repair issues, other struggles, and truthfully, I’ve been unhappy with the place for over a year. It’s time to rip off the bandaid and move on. I had planned to try to stay until June, but it’s not gonna work, so I’ll be welcoming the new year in a new home…wherever the fuck that is. It’s gotta be near work, by a good school, near my gym, that allows cats and offers parking. Easy. Right?

(No I am not moving back to Ontario. No one has ever improved their life by going backwards or running away from their problems. That’s what cowards do. You have to move in a positive direction, and there is nothing positive about Ontario. Just high crime and Doug Ford. Gross)

I’ve got a bunch of appointments to look at houses, and we’ve already started purging and downsizing, which is therapeutic af. I’ve long outgrown this neighbourhood. But much like when I long outgrew my Windsor home, I hung out too long and let myself get miserable and fat for no reason. Same thing here. I’ve allowed the events of the summer to impact my job, my relationships, my friendships, and my life. I’ve been too depressed to go to the gym and throw myself into my work, while simultaneously falling behind at work. I’ve been a Debbie Downer at work. This isn’t healthy for me, or my family. We can’t just be miserable when things go wrong. That’s a terrible example to set. So, the universe agrees it’s time to rip off the bandaid. No more living in a house that is “good enough” or “okay.” We deserve better. So, I’m gonna find us a house that’s best for us, even though I was STILL considering staying, just because it’s easier. I’ve never been the person who hangs out in the comfort zone, so it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and get shit done.

I’ve also gone back to therapy. I see no shame in admitting I’ve had a bit of a rough go and I need to give my mental health a tune up. Therapy is fucking magical and anyone who says they’re against therapy is dumb as fuck and you should never listen to them. Therapy is super helpful. It allows you to listen and be heard. It allows you to learn how to cope when life throws you for a loop. This life thing is hard guys. It’s even harder when you’re riddled with anxiety and can’t enjoy it because you’re making shitty choices and whining like an emo baby. I lost some very good friends because I was like that; always playing victim. Always whining. Being depressed and obsessing about circumstances I couldn’t change. I don’t ever want to go back to that person, so the minute I feel myself even slipping, I get my ass to therapy to make sure that my mental health is in a good place.

I look at my life and there’s so much good. You can’t lose all that good because things haven’t gone well, or because you’ve let yourself fall into a rut. 2018 has mostly been rut; work, minimal social life, fighting to get to the gym, feeling like an outsider and gauging my social interactions so I’m “fitting in.” Never standing up for myself and letting people make fun of me. Gaining weight back and being okay with it because I’m too damn tired to work out or eat well. And it sucks. It’s time to let go of old patterns and old shit and old places I’ve outgrown and forgive people for what they’ve done because holding on to that anger is sucking the life out of me. My life is too good to have the joy sucked out of it. Therapy helps me see the joy in my life, by giving me the tools to find it. I’ll use those tools to fight for my dreams of building a better life for myself and the kids, no matter what.

The next few months is all about growth. Growth towards a new home. Growth towards improving mental health so I can be the best version of me. Growth so I don’t feel like an outsider everywhere I go, even when no one is making me feel that way. Growth towards building a better home and future for my family. But most importantly, growth that is long overdue, that’ll make me a better person.

Party For One

Remember when I refused to drive and hated driving and was never gonna drive? Remember when I bought Wanda Maximoff and was terrified to drive? Yeah. I was dumb af.

While I’m still a new driver and am still getting comfortable driving, I can’t even get over how much driving improves one’s life. I get to the gym more often. I get to and from work faster. I have so much more freedom. Last night, the littles and I went WEM for ice cream just because we could. Oh, and also to pick up my trophy;

My company has a contest each month where the top store wins this neat trophy. This month, my team & I won the neat trophy! Quelle excite! I know it’s stupid to you, but to us, it’s validation that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Everyone wants to feel valued at work, especially because I work long hours to support the famjam. I want to feel like my employer recognizes my hard work. The trophy shows not only that they do, but they appreciate that my team & I work hard. So, I’m gonna be a big child who’s super pumped about winning this for the next little bit. I got to drive out to WEM to get this bitch, so my team & I can properly display it. I got more time on the Henday. Which brings me to my original point; driving kicks ass (although my 11yo tells me I have the most cordial road rage on Earth when people don’t signal. Seriously. Just. Fucking. Use. Your. Signals).

But driving full time has made me a more confident human. Also, I’m stupid proud of my car. Wanda is going for her first oil change this month, because I follow the service schedule to the letter. I also don’t let my gas fall below half a tank because I am a crazy person. I try to be cautious because I’ve spent a lot of money maintaining my car. That’s the point; car ownership is a major responsibility. I know people who never take their cars in for oil changes or servicing and then wonder why their cars break. My car is an investment in my career, personal life, and credit rating. Because of that, I’m always afraid of making a mistake when I drive. Which brings me to my latest driving related conundrum;

Am I brave enough to go on a road trip?

My 11yo super adores WWE Superstar Becky Lynch. She once waited in the snow all day to meet Becky Lynch so Becky could sign her replica women’s titles. When Becky didn’t appear, she wrote a strongly worded email to WWE, explaining why promising her Becky Lynch and not delivering Becky Lynch is wrong. WWE is coming to Calgary, and on the card is none other than the SD Live Women’s Champion; Becky Lynch.

She’s pleaded with me for tickets, but that’s three hours away. In winter! What if i hit black ice and we all die?! What if we get in a car accident and we all die?! What if Becky Lynch isn’t even there and we get stuck watching a bunch of people that absolutely suck! Everyone says Calgary is terrifying to drive through. WHAT IF I GET LOST AND WE ALL DIE?! I’m okay driving through snow, but that’s a long drive through snow, because I live in Alberta and it’s always fucking snowing. So, I’m trying to decide, am I brave enough to do a three hour drive to take the girls somewhere that would make them happy (especially since our girls weekend went bust due to scheduling conflicts)? I work a lot over the holidays, so it’d be nice to plan a weekend with them. But. But. DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY SOUNDS SCARY.

So, I guess I have to face another driving fear. I mean, driving on the highway is just like driving on the Henday (which is a freeway), but for a really long time, right? And I can Uber to the arena once I get there, and Apple Maps will help me out. But more importantly, the kids will be so happy to have more time with me during the longest time of the year. My big goal after my long July was to prioritize time with the family. I always made sure time was quality, but also to help make memories that they’ll cherish forever. Maybe a road trip to see St. Becky Lynch is just that.

Or we’ll end up in a ditch and I’ll kill us all, excuse me. I need to go breathe in a bag.

Sky Full Of Song

A couple of years ago, I was starting a new job, which was kind of an old job. I was going back to a company I loved & I was gonna kill it. I was going to do a great job. I was going to be the best cell phone boss lady in the whole world. Except that I wasn’t, and I was actually demoted after four months. So, I cried in my bathtub with a bottle of wine, wallowed in self pity for an hour, then resolved to get better. I did, got promoted again a year later and now I’m running my store much better than I did before. Sometimes the best lessons come from failure. I wasn’t prepared for the job and I wasn’t very good. It’s a blow to the ego, but sometimes you’ve just gotta take the L and learn from it.

This was the lesson I had to remind myself of this week when every single thing went wrong in my life. I struggled with EVERYTHING, including my road test to upgrade my license. I was feeling discouraged and miserable, like I let everyone down. I injured my foot, so walking was a chore. My feelings of sadness and inadequacy were impacting my work, my life. Fortunately, my best friend Erica is the most bomb ass bitch alive and reminded me that we grow from failure. No one grows as a human from kicking ass all of the time. No, we grow when things suck.

Also, how hot is my best friend? Like, it’s not fair to the rest of us.

I think the universe recognizes that I need to constantly be growing, which is why it kicks me in the face sometimes. We all need that moment where life tells us that we ain’t shit. Otherwise we’d simply float through our lives as stagnant humans. I don’t want to be stagnant. So, I needed that smack with the reality stick to help me stay humble and refocus. That momentary setback will help me become better.

I know it sounds weird, welcoming setbacks? That’s so stupid! They suck! This is true. They do. Trust me, it was soul crushing! My ego was bruised, my self confidence was shattered. But if you wallow in that feeling of defeat, you don’t grow. I wasn’t going to get better sitting around moping. All of the best decisions I’ve made for my life came from being kicked in the proverbial dick. I went back to school after my divorce & met some of my best friends. I moved to London after I let depression get the best of me, and finally found my independence. I moved to YEG after Target closed & I decided to put my writing career first. I learned to drive when my personal life fell apart and I realized my failure to learn was holding me back. I became good at my job after I was told I was bad at my job. All of these setbacks this week are just stepping stones to get better, whether it’s driving, managing, reporting, or fitness. By embracing failure, I can become more successful.

You’re probably thinking “sure MHC, it’s easy for you to say that failure can be positive, but I’m depressed & failure is all that’s happened to me. What then?” Well, I’m not a therapist or professional, but my hippie friend once told me that a mistake will repeat itself until you learn what the universe wants you to learn. Maybe your life is a series of fuck ups because you didn’t learn what you needed to do to evolve, so you have to take the test again. I wouldn’t assume I’m right, but I do know that, in my life, setbacks have gotten me to brilliant destinations. So, I choose to be the eternal optimist and see the good in the worst sorts of things (including Mr. Emotionally Unavailable…call me 😉).

So, I’ll keep on plugging away and keep on trying to get better at every part of my life. Sometimes it’ll all work out. Sometimes it won’t. But the important thing is that I’ll learn how to become a better person along the way. Sometimes things just have to knock you down, not just to test your strength to get back up. Sometimes you need it to remind yourself to be humble and grateful of the opportunities you’ve been given, so that you’re ready to take on more.

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.

Vega

This morning, I did the normal day off routine; get kids off to school, take a nap, leisurely skim Twitter (if you’re not following me on Twitter, feel free to click HERE. Mostly fitness, bad WWE takes, and rambling about current events), then empty stomach cardio because winter has finally gone back to Hell where it belongs. Anywho, this morning, one of the trending topics was from a man giving real life “love advice.” It was obviously so great and not at all terrible. Here, let me show you & you can see for yourself.

Great, right?

This is always so irksome to me, because it’s always so one sided. It’s always about how women should learn men’s interests and hobbies, and let them teach us how to do stuff, because men aren’t happy unless they are exerting their intellect over stupid, stupid women, right?

Barf. Barf. Barf.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sharing in your partner’s interests. But this guy perpetuates the idea that women only like sports and video games to attract men. They obviously wouldn’t do it because they like it! Also, it’s one sided. It’s always about how women should learn about their man’s interests and learn to love them, but never the other way around. I have never once read where a man is told to learn about his lady’s interests, or pick up a fashion magazine and learn all about how to pair a skirt with a cute pair of heels.

I’m sure a lot of women can relate to the idea that we must always be interested in what our partners like, but our interests are considered secondary. I remember reading the Sword of Truth series, but I don’t recall my ex husband ever picking up Gatsby, or any of my favourite books. I tried Grand Theft Auto and Halo, but they never played Zelda past the Great Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time. Throughout my life, I have sat through hours of baseball games, listened to Drake albums, and watched One Tree Hill because I wanted to take an interest in my man’s hobbies and interests. But never once have I gotten an offer to play Street Fighter, read a book I recommended, come to a Crossfit class, or watch Wrestlemania (of course, even if they did offer to play Street Fighter, they’d get mad if I won). Some of it wasn’t all bad; I developed my love of the Lord of the Rings after my ex husband asked me to go to all of the movies with him (I later read the books and loved them). While there are lots of great guys out there who really care about their partners and take an interest in their hobbies and interests, the general consensus is always it’s up to women to sacrifice, change, support, adapt. We must giggle and twirl our hair and ask men to teach us how to understand sports, while they never need to learn anything about our interests or hobbies or what we do to make us happy.

Relationships are supposed to work both ways, but you rarely see men encouraged to read Pride & Prejudice, or listen to their girl’s favourite band, or watch Mean Girls and learn the entire dialogue. It’s always up to us to embrace their hobbies and assimilate into their world. But I think it’s just as important that a guy should want to get to know his mate’s interest. I don’t expect you to love it, but I do expect any potential mates to at least take an interest in some of my hobbies. Ask how my class went at the gym; maybe even check out a class with me & try Crossfit. Attempt some yoga with me. Stream some Taylor Swift and Breaking Benjamin on Apple Music. Ask me about the articles I’m working on or my day at work. But I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who expects me to take an interest in their life and take no interest in mine. Relationships are about compromise. If you don’t, then you’ll end up like John Cena, who refused to budge on anything and lost his fiancée (or it’s all a ploy for Total Bellas).

So, don’t expect a woman to pretend to give a shit about your fantasy football league if you’re not going to watch the Bachelor. Women like to feel respected and valued just as much as men do. In fact, you’ll likely find that the more invested you are in what she enjoys, she’ll probably show more interest in yours. Then you’ll actually be merging your lives, instead of asking her to stroke your ego.

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Gorgeous

Oh, Hello. Happy New Year!

I hope you enjoyed the festive holiday break! I worked like a dog through it! But, it wasn’t all for naught. I love my jobs, even if journalism had to take a backseat for the month due to the craziness of the season. Fortunately, I’m working on an article that I’m super excited about, with some pitches out there. Things are quieter at the day job. 2018 is already amazing & I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.

My professional life is already off to a rocking start. As many of you know, last year I was asked to step down from my position and work as an assistant manager. It was demoralizing as fuck, but I wasn’t ready for the job. I had so much to learn and I actually saw it as an opportunity to learn how to be a good manager. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and become better. So I did. Thanks to a lot of guidance from my District Team Leader (whom I call my Jedi Master), I was recently transferred to a new location as acting sales manager! I’m pretty excited about my new role within my company. My staff is amazing and I’m so proud to have them as my team. Don’t worry though, I held onto that old nametag because I was pretty sure I’d use it again.

Meanwhile, my personal life is going pretty okay. I have the best friends who are with me through of the best and worst times. 2018 brings visits with them, including my friend’s wedding to her soul mate. Her joy makes me smile. I’ve been adopted into the best gym community. There’s no one else I’d rather hate my life during a WOD with. My kids are amazing and they’re super pumped for our trip to see Taylor Swift this summer. Breaking Benjamin has a new album coming out this year and my friend/favourite former co-worker are going to see them live in February, so that’s pretty awesome too. 2018 is gonna be rad yo.

My love life will always be ridiculous. I’ve been casually dating a guy we’ll call the teacher for about a month. He’s nice, attractive, we have a ton of things in common, and I should be head over heels…except I’m not.

I wanted to like him, but instead, Meh. The first red flag was that he goes dutch on every date, which is fucking rude. Before you get all “But MHC, you’re a feminist, what about equality?! I can’t believe that this bothers you! Think of equality!” Well, Captain jerkface, let me tell you something; except on very rare occasions; my platonic friends and I don’t even go Dutch on nights out. The person who invites pays. Why? Because it’s called having manners, asshole. Tonight I went out with my friend Carissa & I paid because I invited her. The guy asked me out every time. But every time, we split the bill. This to me screams lack of effort. If you can’t treat your guest, and make them pay for half the plate of nachos and a mojito, what effort will you put into a relationship? Not to mention it sends a mixed signal. Are we on a date? Are we dudebros? Life is too short for games in the early stages of dating. But more importantly, everything has a negative twist. EVERYTHING. Working late, not having plans on Friday, the Far Side. Everything had this dark attached to it. I look at the bright side of everything so the sigh and pessimistic side to everything was kind of meh. But we kept talking. I kept agreeing to go out again. I kept the conversation going. It was constantly me putting in the work & it bugged me. Unless he’s having a bad day, I don’t hear from him. Why do I bother? I guess I thought that you can’t ask for everything to be what you want. So what if he’s cheap, and kind of emo, and says things like “it’s too people-y out?” He’s interested and nice I guess?

Sure, I didn’t get butterflies, or kind of excited when he texted me. Just meh. But I’ll grow into romantic attraction, right? When was the last time the butterflies led me in the right direction anyway (if you need a friendly reminder of my horrible dating choices, click HERE)? Obviously it’ll be the right choice, I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Then I ran into the hot guy from my gym while I was out and about one day. I tried to talk to him once before. I tripped over my own barbell and contemplated dying there. Everything else can be summed up by my lord and saviour Jesus Swift by clicking here.

But we had a nice chat and said we’d see each other in class. Told my best friend; she may be planning the wedding because she was so excited that I’m so attracted to a human being. I’ve literally spent a year telling her about why the hot guy from my gym is so hot. This random interaction gave me an epiphany (& no, it’s not what one of my fellow managers thinks and that Jesus was showing me that I should make a move. Hot guys at the gym always have girlfriends, because they’re hot. And cool. And I’m a potato that sucks at burpees). I realized that I was wasting my time with the teacher.

I keep settling because I feel like I should date, or want to date someone, even though I don’t really care. Then I hate them after like a month because I realize they’re assholes. I choose guys (to shut people up) that I think are more “my league.” You know, losers, not “quality mans”. I always think maybe if I was in better shape, or wasn’t awkward and weird, I could land a great guy who would make me happy like in the movies. But I am, so I should choose guys more my level. You know, the guy who doesn’t pay for dinner and turns everything into an emo sigh.

Between well meaning friends and family who want me to meet someone, and my own feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my life, I keep settling for guys so I can be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. It’s not some item I want to check off of a bucket list, like the triathlon I want to participate in, or going to Vegas, or finally trying a donair. It should be because I genuinely want to spend time with someone. I’m tired of selling myself short in relationships. So, I likely won’t see the teacher again. I keep replying to be nice, but I can’t see accepting another date. Maybe we can be friends, or acquaintances? But a relationship is definitely out of the question. So is hot guy from the gym, because that would require actually talking to him, and I literally cannot do that.

For me, 2018 is about elevation. Elevating my team, empowering other women, including my daughters, building people up and watching them thrive. It’s obvious that I need to start with myself! Get to the gym more and have some work life balance. Attend the events we hold at the gym! Spend time with my friends, and make loving myself a priority. The more I love myself, the more I will see men like hot guy at the gym as “my league.” After all, I’m pretty dope. Four out of five Wireless sales managers would agree that I’m kind of cool. And I’m pretty when I make an effort. I’ll keep losing weight and build up my confidence and kick some ass at life & stop lowering my standards just to say I have a date. I deserve better, and I’ll need to remember that.

Maybe I need to look in the mirror and see a “quality womans,” and then I’ll stop wearing my “I attract losers” sign when I go out. Or learn how to talk to guys without looking like an idiot. Or both. Whatever.

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. 

This is What You Came For

Let me tell you about my good friend Gleason. 

We have been friends for 20 years (Dear God). We’ve been friends through the best of times, the worst of times, marriages (both of us), divorce (mine), kids, depression, and that heartbreaking time that Hulk Hogan joined the nWo. I’m very fortunate to have maintained such an awesome long term friendship. We used to talk about TV & sports. Now it’s kids & fitness & life. 

Why Hogan…Why?

But when you’ve known someone as long as I’ve known him, they’re more apt to tell you when you’re not living up to your potential. Or, in my case, when I’m being a doormat. 

Awwwww!

For years, I’ve told him about my life, my kids, my plans, goals, etc. and the one question he’d ask me whenever I would talk about stuff is “Is that what Mary-Helen wants?” 

I know the hubby thinks you can afford that Van, but what do you think? What do you want?

I know he’s talking marriage, but is that what you want?

I know you say you’re fine with that schedule, but is that really what you want? Will it really work for you?

So you’re giving him what he asked for, despite him having no respect for you whatsoever. When does he care about what you want?

I would answer that I was doing what I wanted, because I was writing & crossfitting & doing my thing. But was I really getting what I wanted? I often said that I didn’t want to rock the boat at work, or make the Dad angry. Blank & I were together & happy & he worked so hard that I didn’t want to upset him. I would always say “I don’t want him to get mad & leave me,” and when I did assert myself, I would be afraid of the disappearing act. So, maybe I wasn’t. Or was I? I don’t even know anymore. 

I spend so much time making people happy that I end up sacrificing what I want. I would try to stand up for myself, but when it didn’t make things better, I’d stand down. Give in. Maybe I need to be more assertive and stop taking stupid people’s stupid shit. 


But, since winter turned into spring, I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. What does MHC want? What do I want for my life, my kids, my future? I’m in control of my life & deep down, I always have been. I just let my fear get in the way of that. And like a good friend, or Glinda, my friend wanted me to figure it out on my own. 

the first person to photoshop my friend Gleason’s head on Glinda’s body gets a cookie

Maybe I need to stop worrying about what everyone else wants and do what I want. I need to stop worrying about what the Dad wants & what my friends want & what he wants & focus 100% on what my kids & I want. And we want to continue to live our quiet life. Go to church. Go to Starbucks. Tomorrow we’ll go see Captain America. I want to go running after work every night. I want to crossfit & gains. And most importantly, I want to be the best damn writer & role model I can be. And with the awesome new changes at my magazine, I’m excited about what kind of writer I am going to become. And I’ve already taught my girls about forgiveness and compromise. Now I need to focus on teaching them how to stand up for what they want &I make their voices heard. If people don’t like that, then oh well. Your time in my story is over. I no longer stress about that. I have a world to conquer. 


Sometimes it takes reminding, but I do have a voice & I need to use it to stand up for myself at work, in life, and to myself. Because what I want matters too…and I intend to get it. 

Just Like Fire

Ever since I moved out here, I’ve had well wishing friends asking me when I’m going to come home, back to Windsor or London, with them, where I belong. 

The short answer; never. 

I bought a drill this week. I’m going to hang curtains on my day off. This isn’t my permanent home, I intend to find another house when my lease is up next January, but for now, it’s where I live. I’m going to make it cozy & mine. It’ll be nice. I’m back into running, and it’s still horrible, but the scenery is lovely. And I’m back at crossfit & my hips hurt so much less. I make time for lakefront yoga. You can’t ask for better than that. 

 

If you ever need to find me, check my Instagram. I am probably here @ Beaumaris Lake
 
And I’m not sure what my future holds yet. I don’t really like to think long term, when I do, it blows up in my face. Some people, myself included, cannot handle thinking of the future. For all I know, I’ll end up in Iceland writing for some Icelandic magazine. But I’m teaching my girls to be fearless in pursuit of their goals & to work hard & trust their instincts. I’m doing well as a writer here. I do well at my job. I’ve made some awesome friends. My 9yo has an army of bunnies. The kids are thriving & we are enjoying our lives. 

  
But this is the first spring that I’m not planning to uproot my life. Maybe that’s a good thing. I kept running away from something & the universe kept saying “No!” I thought about running home to the safety of Melissa & Doug & familiar, but I’m not really that person. I’m the person who would rather face the scary new challenge than run away. I ran twice & it backfired twice. Maybe it’s time I accept that the universe has a plan for me & I’ll just let it play out. I’m sure it’s probably really rad. Maybe it involves marrying Seth Rollins. 

  
Recently, I was put in a really crappy situation, but instead of crying and moping or running away like a pussbag little bitch & ignoring the problem, I turned it into a positive. My family is better for it. Struggles are not about crying. They are opportunities to be better, do better. I pity the people who cannot see hard times as a chance to evolve & just bail (or lay down & wallow in self pity & blame your depression). You are denying yourself a chance to be the best version of yourself & you end up disappointing yourself & everyone else & stuck wishing you could take it back & hounding their best friend to try to apologize to the party you’ve wronged like a coward. You’ve denied yourself the best part of you & shown them how much better they deserve. The good thing about meeting challenges head on is you have no regret; you know you tried. I refuse to live like a coward, full of regrets. I’m going to grow & become amazing & be the woman I’m meant to be. 

  
I have no time to waste waiting for opportunities or anything else to knock on my door. I kick doors down. I don’t take scraps; I deserve the best life has to offer, the same best I give out. As my girl Brie Bella says, I run it, I rule it & ill make my own happiness out of nothing because I can. 

   
Yes, the fall & winter were a struggle. But part of forging your own path means that sometimes you’ll trip over a root. There is no well worn ground for me to follow. I’m hacking through the branches & finding my way on my own. But at least I can say my journey is mine. It’s not a path someone made for me or the socially accepted life that was dictated to me. I am living for me & teaching my girls to forge their own paths & not follow the herd. They will be strong & fearless warriors & I’m so proud to watch them emerge as strong women. Never be afraid when there is no path. It’s your chance to create one & build the life you deserve.