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

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;

20140423-164203.jpg

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.

20140425-194224.jpg

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.

20140423-164553.jpg

Day 23: My Thoughts on Television & How It Affects Our Lives

Confession time: I am an entertainment reporter who rarely watches TV.

I have had some friends recommend Dr. Who for me, as well as Supernatural and Reign. I’ve given the latter a try and haven’t been able to get into them. Even Law & Order: SVU is hit or miss for me without Stabler. I’m just not a big TV person, I get too bored or annoyed and quit watching. The only show I almost watched to the end was Dawson’s Creek and even then, I gave up after season six.

thedawsonandthejoeymessedmeup

I pretty much only watch TV two days a week, which is Monday and Thursdays, when I watch Monday Night Raw with my daughters and The Vampire Diaries with the sometimes angry Tween.

courtesy wwe.com
courtesy wwe.com

I used to love WWE as a kid and as a grown up it became my favourite soap opera. All of the camp of real soap operas, but much better looking men! However, the storylines are getting lame (or I’m growing up) and the only thing that interests me are the Divas, who get very little love from the WWE writers. However, watching my children laugh and get invested in their campy characters (the overlord has long joined Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement and the angriest tween of course idolizes AJ Lee) and get happy or angry with it, knowing it’s fake all the while.

courtesy the CW
courtesy the CW

The Vampire Diaries was my favourite book series as a tween. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing as (SPOILER ALERT) Elena died @ the end of the Fury (and later was resurrected in Dark Reunion). However, the show (which was a staple for seasons 1-3) has strayed so far from the novels that I loved as a young girl that I can’t seem to get into it anymore. But I must admit that the chemistry between Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Nina Dobrev’s Elena sucks me back in periodically. I sometimes wish I could enjoy the show again, as I used to love it so much and there is still one scene in the season three opener that gets me every time.

I think I struggle with this show because season four & five have Elena spurning her compassionate & gentle suitor Stefan in favour of “taming the bad boy” in brother Damon. Sometimes, the angry tween will tell me that love can fix the broody bad boy, BUT IN THE REAL WORLD, IT DOESN’T. I’ve learned after my last few relationships, all with broody, emotionally stunted bad boys & want to be players, love does not turn a bad boy good. A bad boy has to want to be a good man & he has to want to do it for himself. Too often, a TV shows teach girls that love tames the bad boy. Carrie converted Mr. Big. We all swooned over Jordan Catalano (I still do. Jared Leto. Sigh) & Joey Potter abandoned nice guy Dawson Leary to reform Pacey Witter. Maybe the reason we women spend so much time crying into our Ben & Jerry’s is because we’re conditioned through these love stories that we can love a man into wanting to grow up & be a good husband & father. In reality, it’s up to him to look @ the people he claims to love, look @ his children & look in the mirror & if he wouldn’t want his son to be just like him or his daughter to date someone like him, he needs to become that person. But he has to love himself first. A man will never love a woman enough to better himself for her; he has to love himself enough to be the good man that lives in every bad boy.

Women need to stop being so simpering (especially me) & realize that the bad boys aren’t good for us. We need to find the Stefan, not the Damon that will chew us up & spit us out, strangle the life from us & leave us for dead the minute it gets too hard. We need to marry the Aidan, not Mr. Big. It may not be as thrilling, but at least we won’t be abused & neglected & crying in our ice cream or driving our friends nuts wondering why we weren’t enough to tame the bad boy. Because TV is TV & reality is much uglier. We are good enough. We are all good enough to be loved by the right person. But we’ve got to also recognize that love isn’t enough to make someone want to treat you better. You’ve got to love yourself enough to sit back & wait for the right person & not let the fact that the bad boy didn’t see the good in you ruin that. This is a lesson every woman learns the hard way at least once.

So ladies (& guys), let’s stop letting the romance novels & TV shows sway us into believing that we were put on this Earth to reform a bad boy & our love is powerful enough to make him a good man. It’s not. Instead, let’s accept that our self love is enough to make us good people & the rest will be better than any passionate & stormy TV romance on Earth.

Day 20: What If?

I used to wonder this a lot.

What if I had been more understanding of my ex husband’s mental illness? What if I had treated my boyfriend better? What if I had just spit the words out by the water? What if I hadn’t befriended that person on Twitter? What if I hadn’t introduced our friends? What if I had been nicer to people? What if I had kept my big mouth shut? What if I had stood up for myself? What if I hadn’t wanted my kid to spend their first Xmas with their dad? What if I had kept going to the gym? What if I had tried harder to be a better friend? What if I hadn’t have walked out of that exam? What if I had just switched seats on the way to the art gallery? What if I hadn’t entered that contest, even though my intentions were good? What if I hadn’t left the bar?

It went on & on. Then, one day…I stopped.

While I was wondering “what if?” my life was passing me by! My girls were growing up & I was missing it! So, I stopped wondering, as none of it would change the current outcome. But what would was coming to terms with it, hence my summer of cathartic blogging. I got it out & I refocused my energies on me & my girls & I don’t wonder anymore. It’s helped me become a happier person.

If things are meant to turn out a certain way, they will & nothing will change that. Nothing I do will change it. The universe will make it happen. So, I’ll just continue to be happy & let it go, just like Queen Elsa of Arendelle told me to do.

20140215-235336.jpg

The universe will put things as they should be & I’ll just ride out life while pursuing my dreams of being the best mother & journalist I can be while the universe puts everything as it should be. When that day happens, I’ll understand why everything else happened & it’ll all make sense. But until then, I’ll just enjoy the ride.