Helium

You know what I love? Women who build up other women. I am all about that. I effing LOVE seeing women succeed. Love. It. When my girl friends succeed, I am like “THAT IS MY GIRL!” Life is too short to be catty. I can’t be that person. I want my women to run shit. 

Speaking of women empowering women, I missed all kinds of girl power at the Grammys tonight. I usually love them, but I was watching Naomi win herself a Women’s championship at the Elimination Chamber! While I admit, I am late to the Nao Mob, I respect women who hustle & girl certainly did. Congrats Naomi, you deserved this moment. Proud of you. I was even more proud to see all of WWE’s warrior women hitting up Twitter to congratulate her. I love the Smackdown live Women’s locker room. These girls build each other up. Love it so much & more women could follow this example. 


But let me get back on track. 

I love when women build up other women. I’m sick of seeing women torn down for no reason. I’m sick of seeing people tear down Taylor Swift because it’s the in thing to do.


 When people like Frank Ocean claim that she didn’t deserve Album of the Year, it’s a sign of men once again marginalizing the talent of women. When women support this narrative, we are allowing it to continue. We need to stop being catty and build each other up, which is why I freaking love Adele. 

Adele’s brilliant effort 25 won Album of the Year, making her the second female in history to win the award twice (the first being Taylor Swift), beating out Beyoncé. But instead of just thanking her fans and collaborators & walking off, Adele took a moment to lift up Beyoncé & acknowledge her impact on music. Adele took her moment and used it to empower her fellow female artists & she did it well. More women need to build each other up like Adele, she’s a class act all the way. 

Adele showed that women can compete and not be Total bitches. You can respect each other. Adele winning doesn’t make Beyoncé’s album bad. It’s just how the Grammy voters saw it. But these two women showed class and sisterhood, which we need more of, especially in this climate where we see people tearing down successful women! Look at the attacks on Taylor. People calling Beyoncé a racist primadonna. Instead of congratulating Lady Gaga for slaying the Super Bowl, people called her fat! It’s even more important that women build each other up.


Some women, however, need a refresher in how to build up other women, like Katy Perry. 

Before I start, let me say I’m a huge fan of Katy Perry the artist. I think her voice is amazing. I think she has a great message of female empowerment. Her new single Chained to the Rhythm has a great message about stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning about your planet. But you’ve gotta back that shit up, or it’s just hollow words. 


Tonight, on two separate occasions, Katy Perry said she took a hiatus for her mental health and it worked, because she didn’t shave her head yet, which appeared to be some thinly veiled shade at Britney Spears, who’s 2007 nervous breakdown made headlines. Katy Perry made several comments about feeling victimized by the song Bad Blood, and how Taylor Swift was calling her out for this type of catty behaviour unjustly. But it’s hard to call it unjust when you used a serious mental illness for punchlines. 

Britney Spears is reported to have bipolar disorder, and that’s no joke. This requires medication, counselling, and for some, even watching their diet. This needs to be done every single day. When left untreated, Bipolar disorder can lead to some dangerous and even fatal situations. It’s not funny. It’s scary af. Katy Perry says she’s a feminist. A feminist does not take someone’s darkest hour and use it as a joke. If anything, let’s all give huge props to our girl Britney. She manages to raise a family, co-parent in a healthy way, perform a regular show in Vegas, all while continuing to treat her illness so she can be bad ass. That takes strength, resolve, tenacity, & we should commend Britney. I love Katy Perry’s songs, but for her message to have meaning, she’s gotta walk her talk. 


In a world full of catty Katys, be like Adele. Build up your sisters. Celebrate their talents. Be that woman who builds up other women. When you empower each other, you feel better about yourself and they feel better about themselves. There is no downside. So, before you make that snide comment, think of how much better it would feel to be kind. 

How Far I’ll Go

Sometimes, I think the universe kind of likes me. 

Last week, I was met with some disappointment at work. I was feeling depressed, despondent, and ready to peace out of this place (okay not really. Moving is expensive and I’m too lazy for that shit). 

But I felt like I sucked at my job. I felt under appreciated and seriously contemplated getting hammered in my bathtub and crying like a little bitch. 


But before I went to the liquor store to buy the booze required to get drunk in the bathtub, I got a lovely Facebook message from a lovely young woman named Rachel Woznow. I wrote an article about her last year. She’s a beautiful and talented woman and you should probably buy her song Firestorm on iTunes (I listen to it when I go running). But she told me she’s been following my career and my life through my blog and she was inspired by my journey to finally become the reporter I was meant to be. I cried. In the moment where I felt least valued professionally, a random message popped up telling me that someone thought that I talent and deserved to go far. 

courtesy: rachelwoznow.com

Next came an email from a publisher in rural Alberta suggesting that I apply for a temporary contract position with their newspaper! Had I known how to drive, I would have jumped all over that. But alas, I’ve had to wait until the new year to learn to drive because driver’s ed costs money & requires time and I pretty much live at my store. Hachem did offer to teach me, but he’s busier than I am (& also a pain in the ass and would likely piss me off more than anything else), and I don’t like asking people for help with stuff because I’m a boss ass bitch who does it for herself. But I figure six months is enough to learn to drive before my road test. It won’t be THAT hard, right?

Regardless, once again, the universe reminded me that I am where I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be here, writing articles and creating interesting stories. I’m meant to be here, with my good friends and my girls. If I keep working hard & building my portfolio (and possibly bribe the editor of the Journal with delicious baked goods), I’ll finally get to where I want to be. No matter how hard things get, the universe will remind you that you’re in the right place and on the right track (& maybe kick your ass to learn to drive a car). 

I guess it’s all about outlook. My day job had to potential to be a disaster, but I went in to this new development with a positive attitude and a determination to learn. I’ve gained a lot of positive feedback from my peers, but more importantly, an ally in the workplace and a great new friend (seriously she’s so awesome). I may not always feel like people are reading my work or care, but obviously someone is and they kind of dig it. And the only person holding me back from success is me & my lack of driving skills…and car. But if you go into life or a situation feeling like shit and claiming it’s all doom and gloom, you’ll never get anything out of it. Even when things are super shitty, there’s an opportunity to make it not shitty. You’ve just gotta allow yourself that time to feel your anger, sadness, etc. And then listen to the world around you. It’ll let you know if you’re on the right track. 


As for me, I’ll keep going down my path, which doesn’t have much of a path. It’s more of a jungle that I have to navigate through. But it’s my path & mine alone and I’m excited to see where it’ll take me. 

The Divine Zero

Despite my fascination with pop culture, I must admit I do not keep up with the Kardashians, mostly because everything they say and everything they do annoys the shit out of me. 


From Kim’s baby talk to Kris’s whining, whenever I see them on social media or TV, I immediately flip to something else. If I had to pick one that didn’t annoy me to no end, it would probably be Kendall, as she at least to have a job of some kind, as well as some talent or a skill (modelling is a skill). I feel like Kendall may also be smart. The rare times that I hear them speak, she seems to be the only one that has her shit together. So, good for Kendall. 

I googled “Kendall Jenner” and saw lots of pics, but this one stuck out. She looks so fresh faced and lovely

Now that I’ve made it clear that I don’t keep up with Kardashians, I am also late to the party when it comes to their “projects.” I casually flipped over to People Magazine’s website to read the gossip (because celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure, fight me) and I discovered that Khloe Kardashian has a show called “Revenge Body!” Basically Khloe plucks people from obscurity to teach them health and fitness tricks so they can get a slamming body to get back at an ex boyfriend, mean parent, or childhood bully. Wait till they see how HOT YOU ARE?! THAT WILL TEACH THEM!

What. The. Fuck. 

As a someone who worked to lose a ton of weight, gained some of it back and am working to lose it again, it must sound weird that I’m saying this show’s concept sounds bloody God awful. Well, here’s why. The concept of a “revenge body” is fucking stupid. Do you really think a shitty ex boyfriend is gonna magically say “I shouldn’t have been the shittiest boyfriend ever because she has a fantastic squat ass!” No. He’s probably playing house with the girl he was cheating on you with while you were trying to save the relationship or on Tinder swiping right. You shouldn’t give a shit about what that guy thinks. Or your high school bully. Or your douchebag dad. Why? Because not a single one of these people matter in your life. “Shamers” are not real. Words only have power over you if you allow them to. And besides, by losing weight to “shut them up,” they’ve won! They made you feel badly until you changed! Don’t be that person. Change to grow. 


When I chose to get healthy, I chose this to be a role model to my girls and for me. Not the shitty ex husband who abused me. Not the shitty ex boyfriend who treated me like shit and abandoned me. Not the shitty guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl. Not the asshole coworker who shit talked me when I left the room. Not the girl who bullied me in grade nine math so much that I refused to try out for basketball because she made me feel badly. Why? Because these people are irrelevant. They are simply chapters in my life that I’ve closed. I wanted to get in shape for me. I wanted to live longer. I wanted to look cute in leggings. I wanted to feel more confident. I wanted to be the best MHC ever so that I was happy with me. But it was my choice for me & I want everyone in life to be confident in their choices for themselves. When you need revenge, you are letting someone else take up space in your mind. Every second you waste on them is a second that you could be loving yourself. Why waste those seconds on shitty people who treat you badly when you could use them on yourself!

Still a work in progress, but always progress

Maybe I’m totally off base, and Khloe Kardashian is helping these people let go of their painful pasts and focus on their incredible futures, but the promo shows people announcing who they’re getting “revenge” on. But from one human to another, the best revenge is letting go, moving on, and investing in you, for you. You don’t need revenge. You need to love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Because if you do it for revenge, once you get the killer body, you’re still empty. They still treated you badly. You didn’t get back at them, or get them back. Chances are you don’t really want them back because they are sucky people! The shamers won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll piss on you for something else. Then you’ll go right back to your destructive, unhealthy habits because nothing changed. You need to change. Change your habits and your mindset so that you can be better for yourself. When you do that, you’d be surprised at how far you’ll come. 


Khloe herself admits she started working out to stop people from calling her the fat & ugly sister and stick it to them. That’s so sad. She’s a beautiful woman and while I don’t keep up with her or her family, I believe everyone is good somewhere. She’s a sister, aunt, friend and tried very hard to make a toxic marriage work. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just hope she’s found better motivation.  Maybe she’s learned to love herself. But I’d hate to think that with all of her success, loving family, wealth and the like, she’s letting faceless internet trolls or the ghosts of husbands past rent space in her mind.

So, screw the idea of the revenge body. How about we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts?! I’m gonna keep working on mine. I hope you work on yours too, but because you want to, not to stick it to someone else. 

Bulletproof 

The magic number is 16. 

Before you ask what the magic number is for, it’s for many things. 16, the number of articles I’ve published this year. 16, the number of activations required for my store to reach its goal. 16, the number of assignments and tests my teenager received 80 or higher on this school year. The magic number is 16. 

AND I FINALLY GOT REAL BIDNESS CARDS LIKE A BOSS.

To you, this means nothing. To me, this means everything. This means that all of the work I do each and every day to become a role model for my daughters and a successful human being is working & I am so proud of my team, my store, my kids, and myself. 

Still Disney Princess

I think about who I was when I switched jobs last year & how terrified I was every day of doing the wrong thing, making someone mad, their reputation, etc & how that was the absolute fucking worst. I feel confident in my choices. I am in control of my life, and I’ve learned that I need to continue to grow to be a whole person, someone I’m proud of. No more walking on eggshells for fear of pissing off unreliable people who do not see my value. I see my value. But most importantly, I can breathe, knowing that I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not to please coworkers I don’t even care about to make life easier for everyone but me…AKA how I learned to love my life by not giving a flying fuck about what anyone thinks of me. 

I tell my friends who get upset that Prince Charming hasn’t ridden in on his white horse that their lives are not deficient because they don’t have a plus one for weddings. Your value is determined by you alone. I’ve found mine by living my life MY way. I built my writing career my way. I lose weight MY way. I run my store my way. I parent my way. I wear my hair my way. I’m in control of my life & success and failure is determined by me alone. Too often, people blame their parents, mental illness, their past relationship failures for why their lives suck. But it’s all on you. I used to be one of those people who said being in a rut was permanent, change is impossible, and climbing out would be too hard, but it’s not that hard at all. It’s a matter of taking one step & then the next. For example, getting healthy for me was eating right one day, then exercising. Then doing it the next day. No long term goal, just “I did it today, now I’ll do it tomorrow.” Same with work. We had a good day today. Let’s do it again tomorrow. But the biggest thing was reminding myself that no one has to power to tell me I’m not good enough or not smart enough or somehow bad or broken. I determine my value, not a boss or a friend or a partner or a doctor. I do. And I choose to see great value in myself. I’m smart, witty, unintentionally funny & maybe even kind of pretty. But I refuse to allow any human being to detract from my accomplishments, my success, my work, & my worth. The only person who’s opinion of me matters…is me. 


They say pride goes before destruction, but I’d rather be destroyed than swallow mine. I have worked too hard and too long to build myself into the person that I’ve become for any person who cannot see it to try and undermine it. Which brings me to the not giving a fuck. If you are someone who doesn’t see me for the person that I am; strong, tenacious, brave, talented, witty, clever and the best damn MHC in the whole world, you do not deserve to have any part in my life. If you leave my life, bye, I will continue to kick ass like you never existed. You are erased (I’ve erased quite a few people). Why? Because I refuse to allow anyone to tell me who I am anymore. I have a mirror to tell me my worth. 


This goes for everyone; why do you waste your time trying to win the approval of toxic friends, parents, lovers, when you could surround yourself with people who want to build you up, support you, and think you’re amazeballs. Those are the friends that I have. They’re the kind that encourage you, are proud of you, don’t make you feel like less than & also know their worth; they know how awesome they are so they surround themselves with people who want to build them up. If everyone surrounded themselves with only the people who truly loved them and wanted to make them happy & stopped seeking validation from toxic people who are incapable of love or self introspection, perhaps those toxic people could see how their self hatred has caused them to project hatred and maybe look at cleansing their soul through self love, wellness and opening up to truly love one another. Wouldn’t that be so much better? I choose to surround myself with friends, family, who want to build everyone up. I don’t care if you’ve been my best friend since we were in high school or family or whatever, if you are someone who puts me, my kids, down or refuses to respect my choices, you are erased (except Erica. She stays forever). 


Once I stopped trying to be someone everyone liked & started being myself, I started attracting people who choose to be themselves. You may not have all the friends, but you’ll have the right ones. And the more I was myself, the happier I was about who I was and the less I gave a fuck about those who didn’t like me. Why? Because I liked me. And the more I like me, the better I become. A better writer. A better mom. A better athlete. A better woman. A better MHC. 

True Colours

Last night, a dear friend of mine showed us her “truth” on our Mommy group.  It was an honest statement about how sometimes it feels like she’s the only one who doesn’t have her shit together because on Facebook, everyone has their shit together. Oh Lordy, let me tell you, that’s a big nope. 

It’s funny, because it came on the heels of a trip I made to my daughters’ school for a Mother’s Day event & some of the moms were so over the top about their perfect lives while I sat in my work uniform & live texted my best friend & the other “bad moms” sat on a bench beside me. It was a lot of Zumba & freezer meals & Chevy Tahoes & hubbys that work late and vacays to Spain & getting a blow out before attending an event for fourth graders. I can’t imagine how exhausting it is to be “on” all of the time. 

I’ve often mentioned how much I hate social media, despite having a lot of it. I actually cut off quite a bit of it, leaving only my Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. The rest I use to rant about TV or post positive happy shit, because I figure if I have a platform to connect with people, I should use it to help encourage and build up others. I find my life is much more peaceful without the need to share my every move with the universe. I like my privacy. But I also want to be my most authentic self, which means admitting I do NOT have my shit together. 

I don’t post everything on social media. I don’t talk about my personal life or my counselling sessions or the like. But I also do my best to keep my authentic self in a world of snapchat filters & Facebook highlight reels (I’m just as guilty, as my FB photo has a filter). Sometimes I feel like we live in a strange world of narcissism & masks. We all have carefully constructed personas. We have a Facebook life, a work life, a personal life, a parenting life, etc. and it made me wonder “Does anyone really know anyone anymore?” Or do we just know the masks we wear. I often wonder if we wear different masks around different sets of people. This way everyone will like us…well, not us. Our pretend character, our selfies, the lies we put out there to make sure everyone likes us. 


I guess that’s the one thing I decided to drop a few years ago. I used to blog about abstract stuff that popped into my head, but I’ve tried to keep my world very authentic & honest. Masks are exhausting, I don’t want to remember what personality to put on today. I just wanna be MHC. So, I started writing about me; my victories, my struggles. My joy. Everything in real time. My FB became a series of honest observations about the world around me (& the odd humblebrag because sometimes I wanna be validated too. I’m human), my kids, my life. It may not be pretty, but it is honest. Not everyone needs to like it, but it’s who I want to be. Yes, my house is a mess that I do a huge clean up during my days off only to find it in the same condition when I get home the next day so I can repeat. I’m not a perfect mom. I’m not a perfect employee. I’m not a perfect friend or human…& I don’t want to be. I don’t want to wear masks or have personas. Maybe the reason I’m good at my jobs in retail & media is because I don’t want to be a pretend human. I just want to be me & relate to people on a human level. 

Maybe the soccer moms were living their authentic lives. Maybe some people on Facebook really do have perfect lives & fairy tale marriages & spotless homes & the like. And I’m so happy for you if you do…but I don’t. And I’m not going to pretend I do. The world would be a better place if we chose to focus on how we treat people, not how we appear to people. Reputation only goes so far, but your character is what really matters & no amount of “likes” or carefully constructed personalities will make you a better person. 


Maybe it’s time we ditch the filters, the shares, the prayers for (insert disaster here), the “work voice,” the different personalities & just be human beings. Maybe not everyone will like us. Maybe that’s okay. The people who matter will love us, which is much better than a thumbs up or an emoji or a replay of a snap from someone we don’t really like anyway. 

Hello

I think I’m finally starting to settle into my life. 

I’ve decided to make the next focus of my life here to establish a set of friends, more of my own interests & a continued focus on the interests I do have. Crossfit. I’ve started reading, something I used to really enjoy until my ex husband mocked my book choices (while my favourites are classics & The Hunger Games, I often favour VC Andrews style brain trash. However, I’m currently reading Harry Potter). My oldest friend Gleason has suggested meditation & I am enjoying it. I’m doing yoga again.  Sometimes I worry that almost every aspect of my life here revolves around my mate. I must stress how absolutely grateful I am that he was here for me during my transition to Alberta. He has been so supportive. But he’s often my only adult companion. He & I now work in the same building. I do not ever want him to see me as someone he needs to take care of or protect. It’s important to me to keep our relationship, myself & him healthy, which means maintaining separate interests, giving ourselves some space sometimes, etc. I cannot stress how much I fear being dependent on anyone, so I really need to maintain my own identity, and allow him his. This doesn’t mean that I’m not in love & excited for our future, but I always want us to be equals. The best way to do that is to continue to build a strong life for myself & my girls, so that I will always feel like I am doing my best to be my best. I think you should allow yourself time to miss each other sometimes. And, if the two of you are capable of building lives for yourselves, imagine how strong the foundation will be when you start joining them together! 

Also, it’s important for me to start building relationships & a life here. It’s important that I start forging ahead & making this place home. So, I’m doing that. There is nothing wrong with focusing on oneself. I always want to try and learn how to be better, more loving, kinder, treat people better. I want to always be somehow better than I was yesterday, while I get comfortable in my own skin. Most importantly, I am the mother of daughters. I want to teach them that women are strong and capable of doing anything. I want them to see that you can be an independent bad ass, and even when you’re with someone, a good man will support your desire to do well, not hinder you.  But as I focus on making this place home, I’ve noticed I’m becoming a lot more comfortable allowing people into my personal life. I’m comfortable with him interacting with my closest friends (Erica is so happy to have someone to sports with, as I don’t sports), I’m comfortable with photos (but very few) on my social media (thanks to some friends asking my best friend at work about my love life).  I’m slowly letting the walls I built up so high for so long down…

…this is lies. They didn’t come down slowly. They crashed to the ground. 

The past two weeks were the first time in years that I was suddenly without walls. Everyone knew me before I met them. All of my nervous talking too much or just plain idiocy couldn’t be hidden because I was a faceless new person. And EVERYONE knew everything about me; how many kids I have, who I date, when I moved here, my journalism career & I felt very naked & exposed & just plain terrified.  I wanted my walls back. I wanted the safety they bring. But they were gone. I had spent years making sure that all anyone knew about me was parenting, fitness & cell phones. I maintained a very detached personality. People didn’t know about my personal life, my feelings, anything but I had kids, went to the gym & hated geese. But nope. All gone. And that scared me so much.  But after the panic, I felt…okay. Better than okay. I felt pretty awesome. I wasn’t really afraid of anything; losing, being left alone. It was more of a “this is my life now, so let’s keep making it work for me.” I felt confident about things I hadn’t felt confident about in years. Perhaps the fear that holds me back from truly being happy was trapped in the walls that I built to “protect myself” from pain. I still won’t invite people into my relationship, as there isn’t room for you with the kids & penguins and such, but if you ask, I won’t change the subject anymore. I’m going to start letting (select) people in. But vampires still can’t come in. They aren’t invited. 

I guess the lesson here is when you build walls to keep from getting hurt, you keep all the horrible feelings inside. The hurt, the mistrust, the fear. You also make it impossible for anyone to love you, as no one should have to work to tear those walls down. Eventually, they’ll feel like they’ll never get through to you & give up. By letting them go, I feel more confident about my future than I ever have & it’s really nice to no longer have that nagging feeling that it’s all going to go away. 

And somewhere, Erica is saying she told me so. Whatever.   

General Admission

I had an epiphany. 

I SUCK AT TIME MANAGEMENT. 

The root of all my anxiety is simply a lack of time management, or mom guilt. 

I was talking to my best friend Melissa after having a complete meltdown about I’m not even sure. Like, nothing in my life is wrong. I have a pretty rad life, but here I am bawling that my life is stupid & falling apart. But it’s not. My life is good. And I displace my anxiety into irrational fears that have no basis in reality, because those are fears I know, things I’ve experienced & I panic. But as I got talking to Melissa, I realized that what’s bothering me makes a lot more sense;

I feel like I have no time. 

My days are long, so I try to balance my time for my kids & myself. But I feel guilty, if I go to the gym because that’s my time for the girls. But then I get stressed because I’m not taking time for me. When I first got here, I found time for me. I spent time with nature. I went to Crossfit. I went running. I found time for myself. But as school started and then I switched jobs…AGAIN (which I think upsets me for fear of lack of follow through, which I then displace into fears about my personal life, even though I’m actually afraid I’m hurting my long term earning potential by jumping ship so much), I found that I’m constantly juggling time with the girls & time for myself & I am finding less & less time for myself in the pursuit of money, something that doesn’t really motivate me, but I find myself worrying about more and more as winter is coming. 

  
I felt like this once before, back when I was working two jobs & struggling to find time to do anything & during that time, I was doing just what I’ve been doing now; panicking about things that aren’t real; analyzing everything, stressing about the move. Again, because of money. Every time my life focuses on money, I feel like I have to sacrifice pieces of my life to find time for other pieces of my life & in the end, I end up stressing about money, which is my least favourite thing in the world. But because my life has a strong foundation for the first time in forever, I start panicking and wanting to shake the walls to make sure they don’t fall down. Erica called me on it tonight, telling me that I’m almost trying to drive away the people I want in my life (including her) because it’s what I do when I’m stressed out, push people away. But in reality, it’s simply that I feel like I’m juggling my life and dropping balls. I missed my deadline for my magazine because I was working so much & it sent me right over the edge. I came here to write. Why was the thing I hate most (my real people job) getting in the way of my journalism career, time with my family, Crossfit? My trip home might be delayed because of work. The job that makes me money to live seemed to be destroying all of the things about my life that I love most, but I have to tough it out because my resume will suck. I literally couldn’t deal or explain it to anyone. It just came out that I feared change or fear of abandonment. I just couldn’t adequately explain that I felt like my professional life is taking me further from everything most important to me. 

literally me

I’m constantly pushing aside the things that make me happy to try and make more money, which is the antithesis of my personality. My life is about being optimistic & happy & building my best self. The past two weeks I’ve been my worst self (and to those who have listened to my incessant whining & crying, I love you so very much. Thank you for being in my life & loving me) because I feel like I’m sacrificing the best parts of me to support the most important people in my life. But I won’t be a good mom if I’m damaging my psyche to support them. I know that the more I sacrifice my emotional needs, the more I’m damaging my abilities to be a good mom & person. 

This week, I started shifting my focus back to the bright eyed optimist I was when I got here, and was just excited to spend time with my family & my loves. I did this by shutting out everyone. It was very deliberate & not because of hurt feelings or anger. It was a way for me to recharge my batteries so I could be the best MHC I could. I got a massage. I went for a walk near the river valley. I mostly avoided social media (except Snapchat because my kid is using it again so I use it to pretend I’m not just watching her snaps) & all calls & texts. I just needed a break from life so I took it. I’m making it a point that I’ll be in the gym a minimum twice a week. Every night I’ll spend 20 minutes doing yoga & focusing on positivity. And my day off while the kids are in school will be spent enjoying nature & coffee & Crossfit & writing & all MHC things. Why? Because I need to focus on my independence and ability to keep in control of my own life & set a good example for my girls. I’ll focus on my writing, as my blog is generally for me, to keep me sane. I’m glad people read it & love it, but it’s my outlet to help me understand my emotions, nothing more. 

I’ve changed literally every aspect of my life in the last 10 months, sometimes several times. I’ve switched jobs five times. I’ve switched provinces. I went from very high walls to shut people out to tearing them down & sharing my life with someone. I always managed to keep some sort of constant during these changes; like I kept my job when I moved here, just a different store. But now everything is all new. Learning to navigate through these changes can have its ups and downs, especially when you’re someone who struggles with change. I need to slow down & just remain in this stage of my life for awhile, with no need to move from here.  But, if I allow myself to make myself a priority, then I’ll be able to focus on what I do best; being awesome. So, I’m making myself a priority, somewhere after the kids, journalism & the cat because she’s a needy bitch. 

  

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. 

 

Bright Lights

I have a confession to make.

Despite my attempts to get in shape, I no longer weigh myself.

I know I’ve gained a little bit of weight since I moved and attempted to adjust to a new time zone and schedule and gym, etc, but I don’t worry about how much. Instead, I focus on making little changes here and there to ensure that I’m staying healthy. Packing lunches, working out, etc.

  
I used to weigh myself every single morning. My day would be made by what that number said. That was the first six months of my weight loss journey. Every morning, that number. But I realized that I was letting that number define me instead of my progress. My pants were smaller, my face was thinner. I had more energy. My back no longer hurt. I don’t get migraines as often anymore. Why did that number mean more than all of those things? So, I stopped weighing myself and focused on building a healthy body in a way that still promoted body positivity for my daughters.

  
I believe in health, not thin, or “fat positive,” as I keep seeing on Tumblr. I think we as women need to buck society’s image of beauty, as it is skewed on both sides. Being morbidly obese or too thin is not good for you. We need to stop focusing on those numbers and focus on the healthiest body type for us. When I started going to crossfit, I wanted to work to be thinner. After a few months, I realized that wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted my aesthetic to be strong. I like the feeling of knowing I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. When I finish something that a year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do, I feel very proud and I love that feeling and I like working towards that feeling of accomplishment. But I’ve also learned that strong =/= thin. I had to change my thinking. So, if my thighs are bigger, or my arms not quite lithe, that’s okay. I will never be the fashion industry definition of “thin.” But, I will be healthy and strong and a good role model for my daughters, as I’m not just embracing my body, I’m loving it enough to put good food into it (most of the time) and work on it to keep it running so I’ll be a part of their lives for a long time.

  
Which is why I ditched the scale. That number was hindering my progress. I was letting it define me instead of why I started working out in the first place; to build my self esteem and like myself better. If that number was hindering my progress, and becoming the source of my self worth. I’ve long made it clear that only I determine my self worth, not my friends, my boyfriend, or a number on a scale. Me. So, I decided that I didn’t care. I’d just keep on doing what I wanted to do in order to feel stronger and be healthier and that scale could just gather dust. As long as I’m happy in my own skin, that’s all that I need.

  

Gold in the Summertime

I’ve started to realize that when you’re in love with someone, there are various types of love.

There’s the super giddy, romantic, “Oh my God you are so incredibly perfect,” love. There is the super sad “I miss you so very much” love. There is the unconditional love that comes from realizing your lover isn’t perfect but you embrace their flaws. There is the friendship love that comes before you are in love, and now I’ve discovered a new one;

The “I like living my life with you” love.

It’s no secret that I don’t do relationships well. Or commitment. Or love. Or anything involving feelings. I hate feelings. They’re dumb. They make me anxious. They freak me out. Just the mere mention of marriage makes my teeth clench up a little bit. However, I’ve realized that I’ve always skipped steps in relationships & I don’t want to skip them anymore. I want to enjoy every single phase of my life with this person & let things evolve organically. 

Previously, my relationships were fast paced. I was engaged after three weeks. We didn’t live together before the wedding, but we worked together and he was at my house pretty much every waking second except to sleep…and all we did was fight. Or I cried about the fighting. So, I always equated that part of a relationship where the honeymoon stage ends and you just get comfortable as “omg he’s losing interest, he doesn’t love me anymore because we’re not all lovey dovey and pukey and what is wrong?” Or “Dear God, what happens if we get in a fight? It’ll get violent or ugly or he’ll leave!” I was terrified for the chaos, the fighting, the violence. The only love I’ve known was chaotic, except for the person I am with now. I didn’t know how to effectively convey that I was afraid of that and I had never been in a relationship that just progresses when we are ready and not because it was essential. My friends at the time were all fast movers when it comes to love, so they too had skewed views of relationships. The questions of “it’s been six months, have you had the talk about where this is going?” This exacerbated my fears of what marriage represents to me, which is fighting and anger and a loss of identity. My married friends tell me that the right person will fix all of these things. But why do they need fixing? I feel like the right person gets that the piece of paper just freaks be out. I don’t want to talk about it, I want to live life until we’re ready to make a change. And my love should mean more than a piece of paper that signifies commitment. Does that really make me selfish? 

Anywho, I’m rambling on. Let me get back to my point.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent time with my partner doing domestic-type stuff. We bought a table from Ikea for my home & put it together. He drove me to the gym. We spent a good hour laying in each other’s arms not talking, just enjoying that moment. I enjoyed it immensely, but it helped me realize something very important; that I finally understand that comfortable “I’m in love with you, but I genuinely just enjoy your company,” kind of love.

I am crazy about my significant other. There is no one else I would rather be with. He is smart, he’s funny, he doesn’t find my random bouts of panic or crazy frustrating, he thinks they are just a part of who I am. He’s loving and kind. He listens when I talk. He’s affectionate. He knows how I think. He respects my boundaries and understands that my fears when it comes to love are very real and he’s patient enough to walk through them with me. But I have no desire to marry him. I have no desire to change any aspect of this right now. I love right now. Right now is wonderful. We are building our respective careers. I am adjusting (sometimes very poorly) to my new province. I want to work on my portfolio and learn to drive & have built a successful career at my day job. I like that I get my space to do my own thing sometimes. But I no longer fear the “this is good, let’s stay here.” I like here. I like that here will progress when we are ready to move from here and it’s okay that I have no idea when that will be. Truthfully, I don’t want to know, I don’t really think about it, I want to be just as surprised as you are. I like random days of nothing. I like that we don’t talk every day, but when we do we pick up the conversation right where we left off. I like that we can talk about everything from our careers to our deepest thoughts, or laugh about stupid things.

 

❤️
 
But mostly, I like that I’m not afraid.

For the first time in my romantic history, I am not afraid. I cannot promise that this will continue forever, or even until next week, but in this exact moment, I am not afraid. I am not afraid of the future, because I know who I’ll be with. I’m not afraid of the present because it’s a really lovely present. I’m not afraid of the past because I know things are very different now, not just with him, but with me. I was afraid, but when I was overwhelmed with my life & terrified that he’d leave, I turned to him & he listened & helped me feel loved & for the first time in my romantic life, I feel safe. I understand that men resent this label, but I think it would be the best thing. I feel secure with this person. He builds me up. Celebrates my accomplishments, from fitness (even though he thinks Crossfit is dumb) to my career. He helps make me the woman I want to be. And I’m really happy with him. And because I am happy, I want to enjoy being happy. I don’t need to change anything. Not every moment needs to lead to something deeper. Sometimes it’s just a good day or a great conversation. 

You can love someone very much, you can know you belong with them, but also not be ready for the end result. I always thought there was something so wrong with that, but now I know there isn’t. I know who I should spend my life with, but that doesn’t mean that has to start right now. Right now, I just want right now. I don’t just love my boyfriend; I like him. I like his company. I like talking to him about mundane, day to day things. I like joking with him. I like that I can tell him anything & vice versa. I like all the coupley stuff we do. But I learned that not every relationship needs to be a whirlwind. Sometimes it can just be a gentle breeze that guides you along, and that suits me just fine.