Fall On Me

Oh, hey everyone.

Anyone been outside? Enjoyed life? I hope you have been. It’s been nice. Kids and I have been driving to St. Albert to enjoy our favourite trail. It’s been nice to get out and enjoy the sun, which as you know is my favourite thing. I’ve been doing a lot of walking to get my Vitamin D fix. In the province of cows, we only get so many nice days, gotta make em count.

I haven’t been sharing much, mostly because nothing much has changed. I’m back at work, but my mom has been struggling with her health, I stayed inside a lot, and I’m hella depressed. Quarantine has been tough tbh. Can I admit it’s tough? I’m a social person by nature and being home all the time with no one to hang out with has been hard. My gym was closed until this week and workouts at home are hard when you have kids that need all of your attention. When you are a person that takes pride in your work, not having a lot of work to do is a stressor. Skip the dishes is easier than cooking and I’ve gained weight. I’ve been really depressed and disengaged from my life. I’m normally very positive, but lately, I haven’t been. I just kind of want to do nothing, which is what I do.

I feel guilty even talking about this. The world is full of real problems. There is a plague. People are unemployed. There are people getting killed for the colour of their skin. There could possibly be murder hornets. My mom isn’t well. My friends are worried about money. There are real issues plaguing the Earth and mine feel very small. In the grand scheme of things, they are very small. I think lately I’ve been caught up so much into my life, that I’m missing that it’s all very small. Sure, there’s big stuff, like caring for an elderly parent and the stuff that goes with it. But the rest is so small. Money worries, work worries, feeling fat and inadequate, all small things. There is so much going on in the world that needs our attention, and our assistance, that this stuff is just small shit that can work itself out. As lonely and isolated as I feel, or helpless and hopeless, it’s still so small. The world just feels very dark right now, and I guess it’s taking a toll on my mental health. I’m burned out and emotionally exhausted & I feel just very hopeless about the world around me & I don’t really want to participate in the universe right now.

If my friends called me and told me they were depressed and felt like they were a lonely speck in the universe in a sea of real issues, I would remind them that the only way to help the world heal is to make sure you are healthy enough to make a difference. I wouldn’t let them sit miserable while they let the best of themselves fall behind. But that’s what I do to myself; I put myself last. My kids, my mom, my job, it all comes first. So, now I’m trying to give from nothing. Guys, I’ve got nothing to give. I’m exhausted and my self esteem is so low it’s sad. I can’t empower others if I’m eating chips and wishing I wasn’t completely apathetic towards my own life. So, right now, I need to pull myself out of the depression spiral and try to get back to me again.

My gym reopening will help. I’ll get an hour three times a week where I don’t need to be “on.” I don’t need to be super mom or the daughter doing everything or whatever. I can just be an athletes doing exercise things. I need to make time to go running and not just binge watch Naruto. These things are how I re-charge my batteries so I can live my life. The only way to be mentally well is to stop putting garbage in my body and actually take care of it, and allow myself time for me.

I’ve also taken up cooking because it’s cheaper and healthier than Skip. Some of its been good. Other stuff needs work. But it’s something to keep me busy and help me live better. Also, food tastes better when you make it all yourself.

The world does have a million problems, and sometimes it’s hard to see that there’s still good in the world when it’s hidden by the plague, the fact that people of colour are still being targeted for hate, or the Tracker Jacker murder hornets. It’s hard, but we all need to summon all the strength to do our best to show up and be present so we can do more together. Let’s all be good to each other…

…and wash your damn hands.

Can You Feel My Heart?

Happy New Year everyone!

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m pretty excited for the new year. I’m so excited for new adventures, new changes, kicking ass, setting new goals. It sounds magical. The holidays were amazing. I spent lots of time with family, held my annual holiday party with some great friends, and my store did really well! Lots of things to be excited about as we head into the new decade.

I even won some kick ass ski passes at work! Raising money for Stollery Children’s Hospital is my favourite part of my job. I love it so much. There’s something so awesome about knowing I’m helping the community in some small way. Normally I recuse myself from participating because I’m the captain of the charity program. But I threw my hat in the ring because our Stollery representative insisted, and because I really wanted to win them to take one of my best Alberta friends snowboarding because she loves it. I knew that this trip would mean a lot to her, and I got to do so much good for Edmonton children. Now, she and I and another friend who won the other passes are going on a super fun snowboarding adventure!

Related: I have never ever been skiing. Or snowboarding. Or anything winter sportsy. In fact, I have actively rejected winter sports. So, I may die.

That’s where I’ll be found

But I’m pretty stoked. I haven’t gone on a kid free trip in years and it’ll be nice to spend time with my friends. There will be female empowerment (or getting drunk in a hot tub with Prosecco) and possible death on a mountain. So fun! But then while we were in the group text, someone mentioned they should all bring their SO’s. Everyone has a significant other. Everyone…except me.

So, when I pointed this out, I was offered up some coworkers (which I would never date a coworker again) and the prospect of a random dude. All jokes of course. Also, for my friends to find the most “quality mans” on my Tinder and set us up. After all, I wasn’t gonna find a guy on my own. Then I realized that all of my friends had recently cracked the same joke about when was I gonna meet a quality mans because I’d been alone FOREVER. EVEN MY 10 YEAR OLD SAID SHE WOULD GET MARRIED BEFORE I REMARRIED! I just felt very small and sad, to the point where I cried at work a little bit. Is this how people see me? The loser who can’t get a plus one? The forever alone cat lady? The completely repulsive loser who is unloveable?!

I was heartbroken. Sure they were joking and it’s still a girls weekend, but it really stung. I never log into my Tinder because I just forget. The only place I go to other than work is the gym and I’m either working out or chatting. I haven’t had a love connection. Almost of my friends are paired off. I’m just that weirdo at the singles table with no dance partner. It was the first time in years I had considered settling for the first guy who messaged me online just to have a partner. The last two times I felt that way it ended up horribly, horribly wrong. But, the whole universe keeps asking why I’m not with someone, which translates into “what’s wrong with you? Are you too fat/ugly/crazy to land a man?”

I don’t like that feeling, like I don’t have any worth or value unless I am happily paired off. But that’s how I felt last night. Like my failure to meet someone and my refusal to settle for Mr. Whatever was ruining everyone’s fun. I even contemplated skipping the ski trip and giving them the passes so they could have super happy couple time. Their trip shouldn’t be ruined because I suck at dating. I ruined it by being single.

However, it was New Year’s Eve so I split a bottle of wine with my best friend and hashed it out. She reminded me that this is the first time I’ve really loved myself without conditions (partner, weight loss, etc) and because of that, I’ve built a solid career, moved to a nice home, learned to drive, and all of the things I refused to do for years out of fear and insecurity. This is the time in your life where the universe brings love to you, which is what I’ve said all along. You’ve just got to be open to finding it. So instead of being upset over something that was unintentional, open up your mind to the possibility of that all encompassing, healthy, Jack Pearson sort of love. It’s what I want and it should be what I get.

Which brings me back to the ski trip. Old MHC would have declined to go and let everyone have fun without me, I decided to be honest and tell people that this line of commentary hurt my feelings and I will meet someone when the universe says so, not some random so I have a plus one while skiing. And because my friends are the best, they apologized for making me feel like a third wheel, even if I did promise to let them fix me up a time or two (they’ve decided my “type” is the male equivalent of my best Alberta friend, so a sarcastic, snarky, borderline mean weirdo with an engineering degree that likes to argue about stuff. Or there’s always the “hard working Conservative Oil Man” that my relatives suggested, with whom I would argue with about everything until one of us died).

A moment of silence for the Conservative Oil Tyler

2020 is going to be an incredible year. I’ve committed to 300 workouts, and I’m running my third 10k. I intend to participate in another CrossFit Open. I am going to learn to ski. There’s a ton of opportunity at my job to learn and grow. My kids are growing and becoming amazing young women. There is so much to be excited about, which is why I’m going to focus on all of those things. The more I grow as a person and become the best version of me, the more likely love will come. Also, I look super cute and I’m in love with my darker hair. I won’t let one missing piece destroy my whole outlook. After all, missing pieces always turn up, but not until you open your eyes and are ready to find it.

I Swear This Time I Mean It

Have you ever been so tired that you feel it in your soul? Because that’s how I’ve felt lately.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been working non stop and work has been pulling me in a lot of different directions. I’m trying to help everyone and run my store and work on articles and there just isn’t enough hours in a day to make everyone happy. I’m trying to give all my time away from work to the famjam, which requires binge watching Fuller House (BTW Fuller House is absolutely terrible).

Maybe it’s because I’m getting over the flu, so I’m living on a lovely diet of Cold 911, DayQuil, and NyQuil. Either way, I’m just tired & it’s impacting every aspect of my life.

One of the things I’m trying to work on is learning how to stop giving so much of myself and not taking time for myself. One of the things I’m most guilty of is trying to help everyone; the girls, my friends, my co-workers, and I always take a backseat. That means the gym (which is so important for my mental health, although I did sign up for DeadBoys Fitness so I can at least WOD from home on non-gym days), personal time to unwind, dating, writing, etc. Everything just takes a backseat to helping everyone else. I keep saying I’ll work on it, until I find myself bogged down and exhausted and feeling like I have no energy. So, I’m learning how to take that time to recharge, and refocus so I can be someone who people can count on to be there for them. But I have to learn to be there for me too.

I think as women, we are conditioned to think that any form of self care is selfish; you need to always put your kids, mate, job, house first. But eventually you just get exhausted because there’s no energy left to pull from. It’s like trying to drink from a water bottle that’s empty. For years, I would just keep pouring until I had shaken the last drop of energy from my body. But I’ve learned that isn’t healthy for me or my family. My kids need a mom that is there for them. I can’t be there for them if I’m too tired to function. I can’t work until I’m dead on my feet. I can’t be everyone’s sounding board. It’s okay for me to withdraw for a bit & focus on my needs. It’s okay to go to bed early, or take a long bath, or say no, I cannot take on that right now, I have too much on my plate. It doesn’t make me a bad person, it doesn’t make me mean. It just means that I need to refill my pitcher. Sometimes, we all just need to be alone with our thoughts to relax.

At my house, you are never truly alone.

However, when you’re a working mom, you sometimes have to power through until you can take a rest. So, I’ll use the gym and DeadBoys Fitness as my personal time until I can take a real break, which comes in the form of a four day weekend in April, where I can hang with the kids, eat pizza, and watch Becky Lynch main event WrestleMania. You know, priorities.

I used to think I needed to be around people because being alone was scary. Now I’ve learned that being alone isn’t scary; it’s necessary to recharge your batteries, and to love yourself. If you can’t love yourself enough to spend time with yourself, doing things you love for yourself, how are you going to love anyone else enough to give them what they need? If you can’t love yourself enough to give you what you need, all you’re doing is letting others exhaust you until there is nothing left of you. I haven’t mastered this, but I’m learning, and I’ll get there.

Maybe You’re Right

FINALLY, the last few weeks are ALMOST OVER!

Hooray!

It has been a long ass month of sales, training a new hire, packing, getting ready to move to my dream home, and pretty much never sleeping ever. I’m hosting a housewarming party at the end of this and we’ve unpacked (with many stuffed mushrooms), because I’m literally in awe of my home. All my life I’ve wanted a home that I could be proud of, that the girls could be proud of, and in London, we had one, but not much else. Here, I have a job I’m good at, a freelancing career, a car, and the house I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl and I’m so grateful that my girls & I get to call it home.

I’m working with a renewed sense of purpose, because I have the house of my dreams, I have to take care of Wanda Maximoff, and now I’ve got to save up for some trips to Ontario for the summer, as well as a trip for my birthday. I was planning a trip to Vegas, but with Britney taking a hiatus, why even go? Exactly! No point at all!

Since Vegas is out, I’ll go to the one place I’ve always dreamed of visiting; New Orleans. I’ve tried to go twice; once for my Honeymoon (we didn’t go anywhere because he lost his job right before the wedding…twice) and once with an ex boyfriend (we broke up). Perhaps the lesson is to stop trying to do kick ass stuff with shitty men. So, whether I go alone, or find a travel buddy, imma try to save up and go to NOLA! I’ll need to fritter all my extra pennies, and buckle down at the gym (I’m down 12lbs since December), because I want to do this vacation, but also feel good about myself while I’m there.

One part of feeling good about myself is trying to make dating an option and actually mean it this time. For years I’ve kept myself closed off because I’ve been afraid of getting hurt. Then I’ll go out on a few dates, decide the guy is probably just an asshole and leave before I get hurt, rinse repeat. But my BFF’s keep reminding me that when I take risks with my work and other aspects of my life, they pay off. I took my kick down the ladder at work and worked hard to prove myself to be a capable manager who CAN do a good job. I took risks with my house hunt and I now live in the most awesome house in the whole wide world. Why don’t I take risks with my love life, and I don’t mean Tinder.

I mean actually making moves to let men know I’m interested in them, or at least make eye contact.

For this, and other pearls of wisdom, follow me on SC @ashmhc!

I keep telling myself I’ll meet a guy organically, but I also don’t do anything to do that, like leave my house to go anywhere except work, the gym, and Starbucks. Then while at those places, I refuse to acknowledge anyone outside of a quick greeting and retreat into my insecurity and lose myself in my phone. I refuse to even approach the hot security guard my best friend swears is flirting with me because I say he’s definitely not flirting, he’s just being friendly. He’s hot with an accent and hilarious. I am…me. I can look at my life and think “Damn I’m so awesome,” until it comes to dating. Then I instantly think

  • Too old
  • Too Fat
  • too weird (definitely too weird)
  • Too much baggage
  • Too loud
  • Too basic (My personal and work cell phones have matching pink sparkly cases ffs!)

I always just look in the mirror and think;

What self respecting man wants a single mom of three in her thirties that talks too much, swears too much, is WAY too bubbly, watches wrestling and loves Crossfit, Taylor Swift, and thinks that nachos and mojitos is the best date ever? None. That’s who.”

Let’s be real; there are beautiful women in their twenties with careers, cute friends that take insta photos of their feet on tropical islands, no kids, no divorce, wearing a size four. An attractive, intelligent man would definitely be more interested in. Why? Because they’re awesome! I’m not knocking beautiful twenty something women. They’re the coolest! They have jobs and visions and deserve to be praised for being amazing & deserve to be loved and appreciated just like anyone else.

Women need to stick together and they aren’t to blame for my insecurities. I am. It’s my fault that I refuse to make eye contact. It’s my fault that I feel awkward and weird and like I’m not good enough…and it’s up to me to fix it.

When I carry myself with the same confidence I have when it comes to my job, people notice. Men notice. They talk to me, smile, and even flirt. But I’m so concerned that I’m not good enough that I close myself off from meeting, as my ex boss/current friend says, “quality mans.” But that’s not on them, it’s on me. Sure, I have baggage, but I can lose weight if I put in the work, I’ve done it before. I have a good job, a great support system, a car, no criminal record. All good things. Maybe I’m too basic, but I’m also pretty funny. I’m smart. I have strong opinions and I can totally hold a conversation because I NEVER SHUT UP LITERALLY EVER. But for anyone else to think I’m a catch, I have to believe I am. But that’s the problem; I don’t believe I am. I do, until I want to approach a guy I’m interested in. Then I clam up and close off because there’s no way I’d be good enough for him and end up depressed for three days because I’m a lost cause with cats. I’m going to die alone as a spinster…with. cats.

When I get like this, and decide that I’m probably gonna die alone, ugly and fat, with cats, I usually eat ten pizzas and skip the gym and do all the things that don’t improve my life. This time, I channeled my insecurities into something that would make me feel better about myself. I carried on, getting my new house ready. I went to the gym as often as I could. I changed up my sales strategies at work. Went for Korean food with my ASM squad. But most importantly, spent time with the family catching Pokémon or watching the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix and relived our magical evening with our Lord & Saviour Jesus Swift.

A mate can’t help me love myself and I can’t have a mate unless I love myself. So, if I’m going to use 2019 as the year that I FINALLY make my love life a priority, I need to silence my insecurities by making myself a priority. Once I truly love myself, I can let someone else love me.

Maybe I won’t have the courage to ask for the hot security guard’s number, but if I keep working on loving myself despite all of my weirdness, I’ll talk to the right guy. And he’ll think I’m great just the way I am. But the best part will be that I’ll think I’m great just the way I am too.

Last year, I attended a beautiful wedding & I caught the bouquet. I jokingly told my friend that it was hilarious that I caught it, because I’m the one person who will never get married next…or at all. Her new husband told me “if you told me two years ago that I’d be here now, married to (friend) and building a life and family with her and the kids, I’d have laughed at you. But I’m here and I’m so happy. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling you that in two years, we’ll be dancing at your wedding.” It was so optimistic and cute. But maybe he’s right. Maybe all these years I’ve closed myself off because I’ve felt unworthy of love, and I’m missing out on the joy they had. So I promised I’d carry that bouquet as my “something borrowed” at my future wedding. I just have to remind myself that I deserve love and joy just as much as anyone else and its out there if I’m willing to put myself out there.

But I learned you’ll never love yourself if you keep blaming your past, your experiences, acting like a victim, or making no efforts to improve your circumstances. Change doesn’t work unless you do. I keep making changes; I work out to feel better about my body. I found a home I’m proud of. I work hard at my job so I can grow. I’m not a perfect mom, but I’m trying. But if I want to be a person that someone else will fall in love with, I have to make sure that I love every aspect of who I am, and continue to grow. I’m not there yet, but I’m working at it. Maybe, once I fully love me, I’ll meet someone who does the same.

Everything I Need

It’s that time of year. You know, New Year, New Me, and that bullshit. This year was something. I learned that to be the person my family needs me to be, I have to make sacrifices. I learned that people will exploit those sacrifices to manipulate, and exploit your kindness to try to hurt you as much as they can just out of spite. But, I learned that you need to forgive those people, because family trumps all.

I learned how to reconcile with my past relationship failings and move forward as a healthy, happy, human being, so that I can finally be emotionally available in a relationship. I learned my priorities will always be my family, my job, and Crossfit and that’s okay, because I don’t need to change for anyone.

I also finally reached a point in my career where I feel successful enough to make changes. I bought a car. I conquered my fear of driving. I have a new home. 2018 was a year of learning. 2019 will be the year that the lessons I’ve learned blossom into joy; professionally, personally, and mentally.

As always, here’s a snapshot of my year, featuring photos that don’t involve my children. 2018 was a magical, painful, challenging year. But I hope I always keep growing, optimistic for the future.

Finally got to see Breaking Benjamin!

We don’t discuss this evening

Another cover story!

I did not panic (lies, I’m panicking now). My new home.

After five years of never making hair changes, I finally did something different to my hair.

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.

Stay With You

As I’m starting to settle into my life here, I’m realizing that I need to scale back on my social media.

Last night, my daughter asked if our cat could have an Instagram, and my older daughter is now the cat’s social media manager. This kind of made me realize how dependent we have become on social media. Maybe we are way too invested in it, keep people on our Facebook accounts that we don’t like for no apparent reason or we post our whole lives, etc. 

 

feel free to follow my asshole cat @peachy.the.cat
 
I’m super guilty of this, especially since the move. I’m on social media & blogging far more than I used to, mostly to stay connected. But perhaps I’m also inviting negativity into my home, which is causing me unnecessary anxiety. I am blessed with amazing friends. I am also friends with those who love to be right, at the expense of my happiness under the guise of helping. And by inviting people into my personal life as much as I do, perhaps I’m allowing them access to make me feel less than happy with my life. 

I refuse to walk on eggshells. I want my life to be positive and joyful & happy. So, I’ve started distancing myself from people who do not make me happy, including family members. If you do not contribute to my life, my home in a positive way, then you are welcome to leave. I know who contributes positively to my life; Erica, my best friends Melissa, Doug, Sarah, Gleason, Bree & Damanda. My brother. My boyfriend. All of these people enrich my life & make it better. Crossfit enhances my life. But, my heavy social media presence is allowing others to analyze my life. Same with my blog. I write because, to be honest, I don’t have much else to do. But perhaps I need to be more mindful about what I put out there. I write about my failings because I’m human. I feel like being honest about my humanness will help people see me the way I want to be seen; as a resilient, beautiful, kind hearted person who is not perfect. And they can love me in my imperfections, because people on pedestals fall down. I just want to be a regular person who tries her best & makes mistakes & is deeply loved by those she loves. And those I don’t know personally can take some refuge in the fact that others are not perfect either. But, I also don’t want to be analyzed like a specimen or my blog used as a substitute to engage with me. Maybe I invite that by writing about my life so candidly. So, perhaps I need to scale back my social media involvement & keep more of my life offline. 

Maybe this is a sign that I’m finally starting to embrace this as home. I don’t need my lifelines at home to make me feel connected to human beings. I have a great life here, I was just too afraid to see it, because I was afraid to lose it. I love my work. The stuff I’m writing is so cool. And I’m building contacts, which will help me later.  I’ve gotten rave reviews for some of my articles & even my editor is impressed by my growth as a writer. My kids love it here so much. They love their school & their friends. I’m making friends. My new job is both exciting and terrifying. And for the first time ever, I’m really happy in a relationship & I’m not analyzing every move wondering if it’s gonna fall apart. I trust him completely & it’s such a good feeling to know you’re with someone & they make you happy & even months later you’re happy & you’re content with where you are. I have never had this & it scared me, but now I’m just so happy. And maybe, because I’m settling into my life, I don’t really need to advertise on social media that I’m doing well. Maybe I just want to do well. 

 

Maybe I need to focus more on this instead of social media
 
However, social media is an addicting thing, so I’ll probably still post on my FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr & Snapchat (all of which you can find &  follow by clicking here), but less frequently. I want to catch up with friends, but we can text. And if we can’t text, maybe we aren’t that super close. Either way, I will not damage my happy life with doubts or negativity. I’ve worked too hard to make my life epic. Even if you don’t agree, just be happy with me, because that’s what I want for everyone I know. 

 

But You Won’t

I’ve struggled to talk about this with anyone but my best friend Melissa & friend Paul, and Erica, but she knows everything all of the time.  It’s been a source of great guilt for me, but I guess I’m sharing it because I wonder if other moms have been in this boat. 

Last week, I made a very important decision about facilitating a relationship between my kids & their dad; I’m going to stop trying. 

When we moved out here, I tried to make it easier. I called with updates, sent photos, and offered to cover the entire cost of travel for him to visit his kids for Xmas. I also told him if he wanted to move closer (as he is currently unemployed) & take a job here, he wouldn’t have to pay child support & we could split custody, where he could have them most weekends (as they are at the age where they want slumber parties with friends, etc) & I could have them during the week. He said he’d think about it. 

Meanwhile, the excuses started coming. Already he couldn’t afford to come for Xmas, as he wasn’t working or if he got a job, he wouldn’t be allowed any time off to see them. As flights are already filling up for holiday travel, I started texting, asking when he wanted to fly out, so I could book it. No reply. Second reminder. No reply. More excuses to the girls as there was just no money for him to come, maybe March Break. Or next summer. But not Xmas. That’s when I realized, no matter how easy I make it, he just doesn’t want to see them. He doesn’t care enough to be a dad. 

  
So, I wondered if by pushing the girls to call, to continue to facilitate a relationship that he’s made it clear doesn’t matter, am I hurting my children? After all, they get hurt when Dad doesn’t bother to call or visit. When we lived in the same city, every visit ended early. When I let him take them for March Break, he brought them home on Wednesday, because he was too busy. When they spent the summer with his mom, he rarely saw them, instead spending time with a girl he was seeing & drinking (according to my eldest). He doesn’t care to make that effort, so why should I? Why am I saving money for him to come here & see the kids when he can’t even tell me what day he wants to come?

I find myself offering him mental health support, which I did again this week, and for what? To be on the receiving end of his rage when I ask him once again to be a parent or tell me when he wants to come see his girls on my dime? Why do I keep trying to help this person? So my kids can have a dad? Shouldn’t that be his job? Shouldn’t he be making his kids his number one priority? Maybe my constant attempts to remind him to be a dad are hindering him from wanting to make his own efforts to be a parent. 

So, the flight I was going to pay for, I offered to his mom for March Break. I’m not sending any more photos or updates unless he asks me for them. I’m not going to ask the girls to call unless they choose to. I can’t keep trying to force someone to do what they can’t be bothered to do; which is be a parent. He doesn’t want to be a parent, so I’m not going to try to make him into one. It’s sad because I have friends who just want to coparent and spend as much time with their kids as possible & he won’t even come see them when it’s free for him to do so. 

  
But I’m done trying. It’s up to him to be a parent now. Maybe he’ll step up & be the kind of parent my kids deserve, calling every day & asking about school, life. Maybe he’ll save up to visit & spend all his time with them. Maybe when they fly to visit family next year, he will devote all of his time to his children. But if not, it’ll be on him. 

As for me, I’ll feel guilty, because that’s who I am. But I won’t keep trying to be nice & include someone who doesn’t want to be included & I will focus on raising strong women. 

  

She Ain’t You

This week has been super crappy. But also very therapeutic.

2015/01/img_8492.jpg

As I packed up Target Mobile into boxes & shipped it all back to head office, I paused for a moment & burst into tears. The overwhelming enormity of what was happening, which I ignored because I had it under control hit me; while I had a job, my friends, my coworkers, they weren’t set. They had families too. My heart was breaking for them. Then, as I do, I took a deep breath & kept going. I also took this time of upheaval to be the sassiest bitch to rude guests. My coworkers joked about how I had become Squidward. I regret nothing.

IMG_8776

I pulled some strings & start my new job on Tuesday. I’m getting a generous severance (although I haven’t been fully explained the details just yet, but if my former boss says its generous, it must be) & I’m going to use it to plan a nice little trip for myself once I’m done training. I’m calling it a friend vacation, where my girlfriends & I are going to enjoy some R&R. I need that. I’m still not 100% happy MHC, but I’ve managed to feel better.

One of the things I’ve had to do is remind myself that the life I want may not be part of the plan (my hippie friend is so proud). That job was a stepping stone to a better job. This new job is a great Johnny punch clock job but my future as a writer awaits if I ever feel comfortable writing again (It’s just easier to let people know en masse what was up with this sitch). I need to keep trusting that the universe knows where I belong & it’ll happen when the time is right & enjoy the moment I’m in.

2015/01/img_8493.jpg

 But in order for change to happen, you need to change what you’re doing. I used to write obsessively about nothing when I’m hurting. So, now I write almost nothing & I’ll continue to write nothing until I feel okay. There are reasons I stopped & until I feel okay about them, I’ll just stay quiet. I always tell my best friend that I’m an emotional eater who makes bad life choices. But am I really gonna undo 100lbs of hard work because I lost my job? NO. So, while there were slip ups, I stuck to eating right & when I felt stressed, I grabbed my Stratusphere yoga DVD & FitGloves & found some zen. I went to my crossfit classes & improved my personal best for overhead squats. I can lift heavier, that’s progress. Progress is rad. Moping when bad shit happens or choosing not to deal with emotions (aka the old MHC way) won’t get me to the next phase in my awesome journey known as my wacky life. So, I changed how I cope. I had a huge cry. I texted Erica & Paul & the Psych Major & Damanda & freaked out. They listened without judgment because they’re the best. I ate a large pizza. I listened to Flight by Lifehouse 100 times in a row. I wrote my most raw feelings in a password protected post. Then I got up off my ass & worked out. Endorphins cure all. Suddenly, things didn’t feel so shitty anymore. This morning, things felt optimistic & bright. That couple of days of saying goodbye to my job & my coworkers were hard. But now, it’s time for the next chapter.

Maybe that’s the lesson in life; while people travel with you, there’s always a next chapter. There’s always the next job, the next adventure. There’s always the next lesson. While I don’t believe that should be applied to people, it does apply to events & this one is over & the last two months haven’t been the most awesome, but I bet the next two will be. Why? Because I said so. There is a new job, new coworkers & a really cute pair of jeans I bought a size too small so I could work to fit in them. All of these things will be exciting & I’m looking forward to them all.

2015/01/img_8486.jpg

It Takes Two

My friend recently posted this to her FB page & it got me thinking (because I am a weirdo who analyzes memes);

20140625-213630-77790320.jpg

As the poster child for “taking too long to heal from a bad relationship,” this made me sad. So, I sent her this text;

20140625-213924-77964245.jpg

The reality I learned is humans choose to make themselves happy or miserable. We choose who we become & no amount of bad relationships can “turn” us into anything. I chose to be miserable & believe my former friend’s lies that it’ll all work out it I wait. I chose to mourn for the life I thought I wanted. I chose to ignore the fact that he is too closed off emotionally to give that life to me & I needed to heal from my emotionally abusive marriage to be in any position to build a life; I just missed the idea of what I thought we were building. That’s what we miss when a relationship ends; the idea of the life we were supposed to have, because we never really have it. If I had that life, we would have talked about our feelings instead of me hiding my concerns because he’d leave me. I shouldn’t have had to be afraid he’d leave if I breathed wrong or asked for my feelings to be validated or to be made a priority. If that life had been real, I would have felt safe & happy. I thought I did, but now I realize I didn’t, because I was so afraid he’d leave, because he did, all the time. What I missed wasn’t real & what made my friend feel like the graphic wasn’t real. She’s too sweet to ever do it, but if she becomes a bitch, it’s her choice, just like I chose to be miserable. I made that choice & then I un made it. I decided, much like when I mourned my marriage, that I wouldn’t mourn a life that wasn’t real. I mourned this family that wasn’t real. Reality was an emotionally defeated mom, and three little girls who were afraid of their angry father. I needed to focus on why I make bad choices, which is that I choose broken men. I choose them because I want to make them happy so I can feel happy knowing I bring someone joy. I do this because I was unhappy with my weight, my lack of byline, my insecurities about who I am. If I make these broken men happy, then I’m doing something right so I have value. So, I choose to bring myself joy, give myself value & then I won’t need to choose broken men & keep up that cycle. The only reason the cycle in the graphic exists is because we allow it. When my teen daughter mentioned the emotionally abusive relationship of Damon & Elena on The Vampire Diaries was romantic, I had to think about what I had been teaching her. I had been teaching her that women in love allow men hurt & manipulate them & it’s their fault for not loving them enough. I don’t want my daughter in that cycle, so I had to break it, for myself, for my daughters. Again, that’s a choice I’m making for us, to teach them what a healthy relationship is.

No one can “make” you a bitch or an asshole. You chose that. You chose to crush the heart of that person that loved you. You chose to let someone crush it. You made those choices & you chose to dwell & let it warp you. Why choose to destroy joy? I was destroying my own joy & for what? Nothing. So, I choose joy. I choose my happily ever after. It’s right now, in this moment. I’ll fix what makes me feel weak & make myself happy, because then no one can rip it away. But in the moment it’s hard to see that reality & seeing my friend’s pain (albeit in snippets with her talking about binge eating, etc.) made me realize something I didn’t for a long time. I understand why my ex-BFF lied for so long. I was crippled emotionally by the on & off, the intense togethers & sudden splits & the consistent rejections that I couldn’t think. I went to school & raised my kids but my friend saw me broken, so very broken. He just wanted to make the pain go away. Hearing her pain made me want to do the same thing. But we have to choose the path of reality & allowing someone time to figure out what they miss isn’t real & the real happy ending is around the corner is much kinder in the long run.

My friend is an amazing & strong woman, mother, performer & friend. She will choose joy & meet her match & live a beautiful life. Even if she doesn’t, she’ll live a beautiful life with her son. Because happy is a choice, not a situation.

20140625-215502-78902830.jpg