Power Over Me

The suckiest part about training for a goal is the part where you realize you have a fuck ton of work to do to reach it and you cannot give up or you have to go back to the beginning.

While training for my 10k, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I gained weight last summer and driving means I don’t walk as often. So, getting back into the running groove has been a challenge. But, I’m gonna keep pushing, keep posting to my fitstagram (because no one wants to be bombarded with my fitness junk, but if you wanna follow, click here. If you’d rather follow along where I actually look nice, click here), and get better. Unfortunately, the only way to run faster is to actually just run more. And running is awful. But, imma push through until I’m 10k ready!

This is the time to beat!

I promised myself that nothing would stop my progress. Not weather, not my own insecurities, not even nature’s douchecanoes; geese. But, I never realized that my ego could still be easily bruised. I was running, already frustrated by my pace, when some boys that know my teenager walked by and said loudly enough for me to hear over my music, “isn’t that (redacted)’s fat mom? Why is she running?”

Full stop.

Fat. Mom. Fat. Mom. FAT. mom. Every single aspect of my life was reduced to those two words; fat mom. Mom I don’t mind, I like being a mom. I get to be with my favourite humans. Their existence drives me to be better. Everything I do is to give them more and better than I had. But fat. WTF? I worked so hard not to be fat anymore and here I was, fat again. Who was I kidding? I’m not gonna make it 10k! I’m fat! So, like a mature adult, I sat on the curb and cried.

I don’t know why it bothered me so much. They’re teenage boys who my kid doesn’t even like! But it broke me down and here I was, a grown ass adult, crying like a little bitch. So, I went home Drove to Walmart. Ate a family size bag of Ketchup Chips. I ran a bath. I got in it and bawled. Every insecurity came pouring out; too old, too ugly, too slow, too weak. Sure, I ran 10k last year, but now I’m too fat! I’m a fat mom who is probably also ugly & is embarrassing to be seen with in public because of the ugly. You know, completely rational behaviour.

Pretty sure am not ugly, but oh well

Once I was done being a little bitch, I stopped crying. After all, there is a scientifically proven method to stop being fat; do active shit and stop eating bad for you shit. Eating Ketchup Chips will not help me become less fat. Yes, I’m a stress eater, but there was a plethora of healthy, yummy things in my kitchen that I could have eaten. I let a group of teenage boys stop my run. So, the next night, I got up, and ran my 4km training route.

Was it my best? Hell no. But did I do it? Hell yes. Tonight I ran my 3km training route. Tomorrow is 5km. Still going to Crossfit three times a week. I’m going to do these things for me, while silencing the voice that says food is the answer, because it never is.

Words hurt, but only if you give them power. I control my body image and right now, I may not be happy with it, but it’s up to me to change it. I don’t go to CrossFit to impress teenage boys. I don’t run to impress men. I do these things because I want to look and feel healthier. I want to live longer and be a good example for my family. In order to do those things, I have to shut out stupid people who don’t actually matter to me in the long run, throw on PVRIS, and do the work. Absolutely nothing will ever get accomplished in life without doing the work.

My pace may not be what I want right now, but it’ll get there, because I am more than a fat mom. I’m a pretty good mom. I’m the okayest cell phone boss lady there is. My friends and cats seem to like me. And I may be a slow, weak crossfitter, but I’m still the 29681 fittest woman on Earth God Dammit. I am not going to let myself be defined by a three letter word anymore. I’m going to keep working to love my body instead.

But maybe the biggest takeaway here is that if you do see the fat person at the gym, or on their morning run, don’t be a dick to them. Don’t be a dick to that super ripped dude crushing the weights. Don’t be a dick to anyone actively working to improve themselves. Anyone who mocks someone trying to be better is actually a pile of insecure human garbage. If you need to resort to mocking someone who’s out there putting in work to be their best, maybe you should look in a mirror and figure out why you need to project your insecurities onto a person out there busting their ass. It will always say more about you being awful than them working hard.

Sucker

It’s funny how things will change for you when you put what means most to you first.

I was working at a trade show this weekend with a friend/colleague and he told me he was so proud of how I’ve grown into my life over the last three years. I’ve learned a house, moved into my new home, really grown into my position, and built strong roots here. I mean, I guess. But isn’t that normal, to evolve as time goes on?

But one thing I have really tried to do is make my needs a priority. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. How do you make time for what you want to do/improve as a person without feeling selfish and evil? It’s been a work in progress, as I still have trouble saying no and leaving work on time, but I’m getting better every day.

I think it’s a mom thing. You always feel like you shouldn’t want time to go for a run, go to the gym, or even meal prep! Yes, I started meal prepping! It’s been great for my waistline and my wallet. It was also something “I just didn’t have time for” a year ago. Now, I make time. The kids help me make my lunches for work. They’re learning helpful skills and I’m getting stuff done. All good things. But we’re all taught that wanting time alone or wanting to make ourselves a priority is selfish, wrong, bad. This is beaten into us until we feel like even taking a bubble bath is taking time away from the family. But everyone deserves to live their best life, and sometimes that means you can’t put everyone else first.

I’m realizing it’s okay to say no, I need to focus on me/my family/my career. I don’t have to be “on” all of the time. I can absolutely take an hour to go to the gym. I can absolutely go for a run and answer the three calls that came in during my run when I’m finished my run. I can meal prep before bed. I can take my day off and clear my schedule to watch Becky Lynch main event Wrestlemania and win the Raw & Smackdown Women’s titles because the kids want their mom to hang out with them and cheer for Becky Lynch. I’ve finally learned that it’s okay to make myself a priority.

The more I take those few moments to make myself a priority, the more that happiness spreads into other aspects of my life. I’m happier at my job. I’m more confident when I’m out and about. I don’t get as anxious anymore. It seems stupid to think something as little as meal prep or 15 minutes of nightly yoga can improve every facet of your life, but it does. It’s another way of reminding yourself that you matter and you are important. If you don’t feel like you matter enough to give yourself value, why would anyone else?

So, don’t be afraid to take that time to do things that make you happy, and don’t be afraid to say no when your cup is empty. You don’t need to give all of yourself to everyone all of the time, because very few people would do the same for you. You can’t run yourself down to please everyone else. Whether it’s taking the family for ice cream, going to the gym, or just sitting and reading a book, take time to put yourself first, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong or selfish or bad. You deserve it.

Breath

Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just wide awake coughing thanks to the never ending flu.

I’ve missed two weeks of Crossfit right before the Open, so I’m probably going to die. Of course, the last two weeks, I’ve felt like I was going to die. I’ve lived on a steady diet of NyQuil, soup, and tea. If you never learn anything from my blog, please learn to get a damn flu shot. You don’t ever want to feel this damn shitty. Forgetting my flu shot is my greatest regret in life right now.

However, I didn’t let a little thing like a super flu get in the way most of my life. I didn’t call in sick. I didn’t miss the Breaking Benjamin concert. I still took the kids to the movies & watched Olympic figure skating. I only missed the gym because it’s really hard to get anything done when you’re coughing until you puke. But I can’t afford to take time off from work. I can’t lay in bed and miss a valuable day off to spend with the kiddos. Breaking Benjamin rarely comes to Canada! Not to mention Adam Rippon is a damn treasure. I have to finish Driver’s Education. So much to do and I’m just one person.

But, whenever something like this comes up, I’m always reminded that I’m more fortunate than most people who are sick. I live in a country with free health care. I’m fortunate enough to have friends and coworkers that look out for me, whether it’s my boss kicking me out of my own store to cover the last four hours of my shift, or my friend driving the girls & I home from the mall, or the friend that insisted that we still go to Breaking Benjamin because they’re my all time favourite band. A member of my gym made it a point to tell me he couldn’t wait to see me at the gym next week. Even my 11 year old loaned me her stuffed bunny. I was feeling like crud and everyone tried to help in their own way.

I know you’re probably thinking that none of these gestures seem very significant. But one of the things I’ve been trying to improve upon over the last few years is to be grateful when someone does something to help me out. I think about how dark the world seems sometimes, especially when you read social media comments, or watch people interact in public. Everyone seems so cold. What happened to the days when people were there for each other and we really valued each other’s efforts? Maybe the world would be a little kinder if we all recognized that an effort to help you was a sacrifice on someone else’s part. My boss coming in to help me took time away from his work and delayed his Valentine’s Day plans. My friend risked catching the flu. That ride home took my friend out of her way. That’s how it works. Maybe if we really appreciated each other and looked out for each other, the world would be slightly less sucky.

Or, maybe I’m still really sick and babbling nonsense in my NyQuil induced haze.

Sick or not, I think we should all try harder to be more appreciative of the things people do for us. They’re going out of their way to make our lives easier. But don’t forget to pay it forward either. Help them when they need it. Be a good friend to those who need it. Help a stranger. Donate money. Don’t be a dick. The more we try to work to help others, the better place the world would be.

So, thanks again to all of the people in my life that go the extra mile to be a good friend to me and the girls. We appreciate how awesome you are. It’s always important that when things aren’t their best, that you find the things to be grateful for, so you can see life is always pretty rad.

Look What You Made Me Do

Happy birthday to my blog! 

It’s been seven years of crazy stories, a name change, three cities, two provinces, 19 million jobs, and for some reason, you’re still reading! That’s awesome! That’s also longer than I’ve ever been able to commit to a human being, a house, a city, pretty much everything but my cell phone company. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my adventures these past seven years. I know I’ve enjoyed every step of them, as they helped shape who I am as a person. I’ve learned to live life on my terms, and that it’s okay to march to the beat of your own drum & do things your way. I’m sorry I don’t have some inspirational junk, but I’m not really an inspirational person. I’m just a regular human, trying to raise a family, be a decent person, and super loves Taylor Swift. But I hope you’re all living life on your terms as well, and I hope it makes you happy. 


I guess that’s what we all need to do; live life for us. On our terms, & if people don’t like it, fuck em. Maybe my life isn’t the way you want it to be, but it’s mine and I’m so utterly in love with my life, my family, my job, and my portfolio. It’s mine and I made it for me, my terms, my way. When people feel the need to question your choices, or call you names, you’ve gotta remember that’s all that they have; talk. While you’re out there doing your thing, they’re talking. I used to care about the talk. I tried so hard to bend to please everyone; friends, lovers, bosses. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve learned that while I’m doing stuff, they’re just talking. While I’m raising my kids, writing my articles, working, exercising, and living life to the fullest, they’re sitting in bachelor apartments calling me a cunt on Tumblr whining about things that don’t matter instead of moving forward or doing something about it. I recently had this same conversation with my middle daughter, when she wanted to return the shoes she asked for because kids would make fun of her. I reminded her that people who talk about you aren’t friends. You’ve gotta be who makes you happy; not your friends, not your sisters, not even me. In the end, an insult is just a word. It only hurts if you let it. Much like Taylor Swift embraced the insults her detractors threw at her & will use those monikers to make a fortune, everyone should remember that the best revenge is living well. I choose to live well & set a good example for my girls. 

My girl Pink summed it up so nicely at the MTV VMA’s, in her beautiful speech to her daughter Willow. No matter what you do, people will talk their shit. But every one of us is meant to change the world, whether it’s redefining beauty standards, using their voice for change like Pink, setting an example as a strong female artist like Taylor, or just making a difference to your inner circle. We all have it in us to make things better. But to do that, we can’t alter who we are to fit society. We change to become who we’re meant to be to make society better. So, as Pink said, take the gravel and pressure and become a pearl. Let them whine on Tumblr with their funions. Do your thing; shine your light.


Maybe that’s why I like to keep up the blog; maybe I like reminding myself that while my life isn’t perfect, it’s the life that makes me happy. I get to see how I’ve evolved. I’m not inspiring, that’s Beyoncé. But I hope you’re all living your happiest life too. 


Thanks for reading this for seven years. I hope to entertain you for seven more, even if it is just you feeling better about your life because it’s not ridiculous like mine. 

Brighter

So, a really important thing happened today that I need to share with all of you. 

I’m going to post a photo & I will leave you to figure out what it is. I know I swore it would never happen, but I guess I never realized how much it was something I really wanted and needed. It came about in a way that was VERY unexpected & super fast, but I’m sure once I tell the story, you’ll see that it was the right time & it’s the right thing. 


Still stumped? I’ll explain. 

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But first, let’s listen to the song selection that titled today’s blog post.

 

(BTW, every blog post will be titled by songs by Against the Current or PVRIS for the forseeable future)

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That’s right guys; I FINALLY GOT MY COW PROVINCE DRIVER’S LICENSE. 

I’ve been afraid to drive for YEARS. I once promised it would be a cold day in Hell before I ever bothered to drive. My ex husband once threatened to divorce me if I didn’t learn to drive by my 25th birthday…and my 30th. Oop. I don’t really like it when men tell me what to do. I always meant to out here, but I always got sidetracked, what with the infected kidneys & such. After awhile, I started to doubt that I could. But after I was offered my third journalism gig that I had to turn down because it required the occasional commute to another town, I got fed up & realized I’m holding myself back from my dreams! I came here because I’m a damn good journalist who works damn hard. I have devoted my entire life to this & I am letting jobs slip through my fingers because I won’t learn?! Stupid. 


So I got the book. I studied during downtime @ work. My manager quizzed me. I took the online tests. I corrected the typo in the book. Then, when I felt ready, I went for it & I FAILED. Yup, I failed on the first try. So, I texted my best friend & told her how stupid I felt & that driving was dumb & I wasn’t gonna do it. I even contemplated moving home; obviously this wasn’t where I belonged. She told me to shut up & take it again, because her best friend needs no man, no encouragement, nothing but her own wherewithal. So I did & I passed & I can now learn to drive like a big person. Pretty cool, huh?

GOOD JOB PROVINCE OF ALBERTA. THERE IS A TYPO IN THE BOOK.

But, much like everything else in my life, I did it on my terms, my way. I got it when I was ready & because I wanted to, and not a moment before. I no longer allow anyone to tell me what’s best for me. I know what’s best for me. I know what I want & what works for me & I intend to get all of it. That means learn to drive & get that kick ass media job I’ve always wanted, because dreams are meant to come true & they only work if you do. 
And it’s nice to have photo ID again. I have a passport again too! I can prove who I am!


I don’t know if Hell froze over, but if it did, I’m not sorry. I have a career to continue building, dreams to make reality. You know; stuff. 

In The Night

I can’t sleep so I had a thought. 

It’s nothing important, but it’s something I’ve wondered. 

For those of you new to the party (and maybe need to be brought up to speed), all of my blog posts are titled with the title of the song I’m listening to at the time. Sometimes they make perfect sense. Sometimes they don’t, not even a little bit. Either way, the format isn’t changing. Sometimes, there’s a song that makes me think of a specific idea or person, but those generally have a password (more on that here). Often I heard something and it stuck out, as nothing speaks to me more than music. If I’ve ever told you (or tweeted) that a particular song was everything, chances are it had a deep meaning to me at the time. 

But I’ve often wondered if anyone actually looks up the song titles & listens to them.  I don’t imagine anyone does. But I’ve wondered if anyone does.  Or if they pick the right song. Like, if I title something In My Head, I mean 12 Stones, not Jason Derulo. Superman is Rachel Platten, not Eminem. And literally everything involves the Lumineers. And if anyone looks them up, would they think they could understand what I’m thinking because of a song? Isn’t that a hilarious thought. 

Maybe I’m vain. Or maybe it’s because it’s something I would do if I knew anyone who titled something after song titles. Maybe I would discover something new. A new artist, a new song. Maybe a song by the Lumineers I hadn’t found yet.  But maybe I’m the only person that takes my music that seriously. Oh well. 

  

I Wish You Would

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have an almost childlike love of Taylor Swift. 

I adore all things Taylor Swift. I preordered her album the second iTunes would let me, I rock out to her discography daily & I may have paid some criminal @ StubHub almost $1000 to replace my Toronto tickets with ones more local to the new city & on August 4/15, the girls & I will get to see our Queen. We’re all very excited. The girls have a countdown, the not always angry teen has her outfit ready, the overlord has looked up the setlist & my IG has an amazing video of my five year old’s epic performance of Bad Blood. We REALLY like Taylor Swift. 

Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.
Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.

I also REALLY like Apple. During a job interview for the Apple Store, I was asked what set me apart from other candidates & I said I’d give them a kidney. When new Apple products launch, I sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I am a proud iSheep with my gold iPhone 6 & I regret not one thing. So, imagine my basic white girl horror when my favourite artist & favourite brand appeared to have an issue (I may have cried. Okay not really. But I thought about it). 

To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone
To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone

When Taylor Swift wrote her open letter to Apple, she said what everyone who considers themselves an artist has always thought, but never been able to drive home; expecting artists to work for free for the exposure is ripping them off. We should all be compensated for our work, whether it’s digging ditches or selling out stadiums. 

I have had the pleasure of getting to know many indie artists over the years, and I would suggest you check them out. I built my career interviewing these artists & they are all talented & creative people & I’m so grateful that I was afforded the chance to get to know them. Check out Mic Lordz & Sauce Funky, Inoke Errati, Gypsy Chief Goliath & Cowboys in Cardigans (front man Jamie Reaume’s Way Back Home is still one of my favourite songs). Most of these talented artists are on iTunes. But they wouldn’t have been paid had you streamed their music. Taylor was right when she said it wouldn’t affect her, but that’s a lot of free streaming for the artists above. These guys have homes, families. They worked hard. Why shouldn’t they be paid? 

You wouldn’t ask your doctor to work for free, or a lawyer. You wouldn’t tell your hairdresser that your free cut & blowout would help them get business. So, why do it to those lucky people who are willing to risk it all for their one goal of entertaining you? Seems like a jerk move. 

And Taylor Swift knew it. 

Taylor Swift is aware of her power. She knows how influential she is & that she has the power to speak for the guys playing open mic nights on the weekend while recording awesome new stuff…

…and she used it. And Apple will pay artists. Taylor Swift brought change. 

All hail the Queen
All hail the Queen

Call her greedy. Call her selfish. Call her whatever you want, but you missed the point. Taylor Swift’s motives may not be 100% altruistic (but I believe they are), but she spoke up & made things change. She used her voice, something so few of us do. She saw something wrong & called the big bad company out on it (I’m sorry Apple) & made a difference. She opened discussion about why artists deserve compensation for their work. One person made a difference. 

But most importantly, Taylor Swift is a role model to millions of little girls all over the world, including mine. My eight year old daughter thinks “Queen Taylor changed the world yesterday!” Maybe not, but she taught millions of girls that when something is wrong, you stand up & speak out & one girl CAN change things. One person can spark change so don’t be afraid to be that one person. 

So, thank you Taylor. Thanks for defending your fellow artists. Thanks for showing little girls to use their voices. You’re a true role model & inspiration & I’m glad my kids look up to you. But most importantly, thanks for being someone deserving of that praise. 

  

Where I Come From

Lately, it feels like I’ve been so busy, I can barely keep up with my own life. 

Of course, that’s kind of what happens when you find yourself juggling a lot of things; a 67 hour work week, crossfit, yoga, raising my family and researching my latest article with my new media company (I’m actually writing for two different magazines under the same banner, which is a lot of fun. I always wanted to get into a company where I could “flip” from one project to the next, and grow as a writer). I’m not writing entertainment pieces; I’m writing stuff that means something. I’m writing about people, about current events, about things that actually matter. It’s been so rewarding and literally everything I could ever want, aside from maybe getting to do this full time. But it’s a start, it’s a foot in the door, which is super rad. This current position has the potential to lead to so many amazing journalistic opportunities for me, and now I can even (sort of) legally drive! How cool is that kids? 

 However, there is one teensy, beensy, little snag. It’s still on the other side of the country. And I’m still no closer to any kind of decision. Why? BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN COMMIT TO A TV SHOW FOR A FULL SEASON, HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO MAKE A MAJOR LIFE CHOICE OF ANY KIND?

This is my confused face. Actually, this is my resting bitch face, so my every day face

I haven’t really talked to any of my inner circle about this, and when I do, I’m non-committal and flip. Most people are opposed or are also non-committal and flip. How does one pack up their lives and their kids and find a job and lodgings and get said stuff to said place and literally start their lives over (Yes, I’m well aware that I did it last year, but then I had a job that I brought with me and it was only two hours away), even if it for almost everything you’ve ever wanted. I think about what a disaster this move turned out to be, with the kids hating their school and not liking the city we live in and the bullying issues and I worry that this could be a disaster for them too. Then I remember how much of a pain even moving here was and my hippie friend reminding me that when one runs away from something, the universe won’t let you, because it will find you, because no matter how many times you run from something, the universe will put what is meant to be where it is meant to be. I don’t believe that, but this would be me going towards something; a goal, something I have wanted since I was eight. This would be a much better example for the girls (I think) and if Hippie friend is right, then the energy would be better…I think. 

 But then I think about my daughters and their relationship with their dad. He’s barely present now, would he check out completely if we moved (so far my best friend says “yes”). I know I said I wouldn’t concern myself with him or his lackadaisical parenting, but I do have to concern myself with my daughters and their psychological well being. They’ve already felt abandoned by his failure to call, failure to text, half assed visits, etc. If we move and he checks out of their lives completely, which most assume he will, that’ll be on my head. I’ll have severed their relationship with their dad. Do I want to be the one who did that? 

 There’s also that the cost of living is higher. I just started at my job and they generally don’t approve transfers for a year. I don’t really know how to cross country house hunt. I pretty much have no idea where to start. 

However, my landlord has set a timeline for me without meaning to. He wants me to renew my lease at the end of the month. Obviously, I’ll need to either renew and stop freelancing, or go on the big adventure and finally get almost everything I’ve ever wanted. 

My friend Reiva says I should just do it. I deserve the adventure, and I’m damn good at what I do. The girls will thank me for giving them the opportunity to do more than just stay in one place, and that my weird, gypsy spirit, the one that rests in the heart of this eternal optimist & hungers to move mountains and achieve all of my dreams, even though life should have beaten them out of me by now will be happy because I finally showed my girls that if you work hard, be kind & love everyone, you can do anything, but most of all you’ll be happy. 

And the one thing I have been this past month is happy. I love my new jobs; I feel valuable and like an important part of the team. Maybe I’m afraid of finding a new job and ending up back in the place I was back in January, hating my job, dreading when I go to work and feeling so miserable when I go home because I was drained. I’m busier than ever, but I love where I work. I have great coworkers and bosses. As for my media job, I can’t stress enough how happy that makes me. I love learning about the people I’m interviewing and telling their stories and helping people get to know people in their community that are incredible and have accomplished so many great things…and most of their neighbours just see them as a regular person! It’s amazing and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do as a writer…and there are so many opportunities if I would just make up my damn mind…

…which I’ll do eventually, right? If not, I’m open to outsourcing my major life choices. Maybe Erica can take this one, she’s seen first hand the messes I can make. If not, maybe someone can email me an action plan? Help.

 

indecision

Blank Space

Because my life will not be allowing me to do a lot of writing for the foreseeable future (sigh), I’m adding my annual “year in photos” early!

This year was amazing. Full of lessons & beginnings & endings & new challenges & growth & it was another year that I got closer to being the most amazing MHC that I can be. So, as always, I’m going to post snippets of my year, the things that meant most to me & my daughters (that do not include photos of my daughters) & I hope you enjoy them.

While ASH Multimedia may be on hiatus for a bit, as I have two jobs, three kids, & an event to train for. I’m also not in the right headspace to be writing. My heart isn’t in writing right now, I keep deleting posts because I don’t feel comfortable sharing them, so I’m gonna stop. I hope you know how much I love all of you reading my garbage. It means the world to me. Thanks for that. I hope I made you smile as much as knowing you read it made me happy. Always be happy. That’s the big lesson in life.

Happy holidays from me!

MHC’s 2014!

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My favourite electronics teammate gives me team cards in Italian!
My favourite electronics teammate gives me team cards in Italian!
The view from my new home.
The view from my new home.
My daughter knows me so well.
My daughter knows me so well.

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Queen!
Queen!
The Prismatic world tour made my life better.
The Prismatic world tour made my life better.

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I don't post photos of my daughters, but they were very excited for "Bellaslam."
I don’t post photos of my daughters, but they were very excited for “Bellaslam.”
Ed Sheeran made all of my dreams come true
Ed Sheeran made all of my dreams come true

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The talented Gavin Michael Booth, my first movie review in so long!
The talented Gavin Michael Booth, director of Scarehouse! My first movie review in so long!

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Even though I won’t be updating ASH Multimedia for a bit, you can still follow my adventures on Twitter & Tumblr! It’s mostly positive & happy gibberish, but enjoy all the same & thanks again for being so rad.

– MHC

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Out of the Woods

I love Taylor Swift.

I know, grown women in their 30’s likely shouldn’t admit this, but I do. She’s beautiful & talented with wisdom beyond her years. Her album Red is one of the best written albums I’ve ever heard & if you listened to All too Well & didn’t cry the first time, then you have no soul.

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Taylor Swift writes about her life, which is likely why her music resonates. She writes about her joy, her pain, her adventures. Of course, people choose to dissect her lyrics to find the call out to her former loves (Red was widely speculated to be about Jake Gylenhaal), often to hilarious results (like the speculation that I Knew You Were Trouble was about One Directioner Harry Styles, despite their relationship beginning AFTER the single was released). Recent interviews with Swift show her continuing disenchantment with the world; she hasn’t dated in two years so she won’t be a punchline. She has security with her at all times & you must surrender your phone to enter her apartment building. This young lady has become jaded & I don’t blame her.

One thing Swift has stressed when promoting her latest effort 1989 (which hits stores 10/27) is that she’s sick of being labelled as the girl who writes diss tracks about her exes. Swift writes about her life. Sometimes she sees things a certain way. Swift was also quick to point out that famous men like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars are universally praised for penning songs about their exes. Sheeran’s album + was written about a young woman he dated before fame, whom he writes about again on his latest effort x. But it’s his song Don’t, which he verbally assaults a former lover who cheated on him (later confirmed to be Ellie Goulding) that generated praise for his honest songwriting & fans took to social media to put Goulding on blast. Meanwhile, the same fans & reporters attack Swift for “calling out her exes” & her immaturity, often defending the alleged exes & claiming Swift deserves mistreatment from men because she writes songs about them. Swift took Entertainment Tonight to task for this & she wanted the music to speak for itself. So, when she released the track list for 1989, naturally they responded with excitement about the album, right?

Oh.
Oh.

I guess I understand Taylor Swift because I’m a writer. I write about my life. I write about my attempts to navigate through life without screwing it up, which happens almost never. If you are part of my life, I have probably written about you. The greatest compliment I’ve ever received was when someone told me reading what I wrote inspired them to be a better person (ironically enough, it was the person who once said the cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me). Although I don’t believe I have that power, it was nice to think that my endless drivel meant something to someone. But yes, I write about the people in my life. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes I’m not so nice. But, I write about my life, how I see events, the world around me. I try to keep it cute, but I wouldn’t be a very authentic blogger if I didn’t write about my life honestly.

However, I think it’s to a lesser degree than people think. A couple of years ago, I wasn’t happy. So, I wrote about my jaded feelings towards a belief system I no longer had (which I’ve reclaimed, albeit a bit smarter). I wrote about losing my faith in love (which I reclaimed by loving myself) & my ability to trust & songs on the radio & whatever caught my fancy…because it made ME feel better. But everyone thought it was about them; friends, family, former loves, everyone. But the truth is, none of you crossed my mind. I’m sure Taylor Swift isn’t thinking “that’ll teach him,” when she’s penning a song. She’s probably thinking “This makes me feel happy.” I know it’s weird, but not everything is a calculated dig. Writing is my therapy; it doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes I just need to put words out because when I’m doing it, I’m very at peace with myself. The same seems true for Taylor Swift. But for some reason, she’s painted as terrible & fans take up for Harry Styles & his innocence (meanwhile, Ellie Goulding remains on blast).

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The most beautiful art comes from real life. The character of Daisy Buchanan was inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda. Most of Edgar Allen Poe’s work was brought about from his feelings after the deaths of his parents, foster father & wife at various points in his life. The greatest songs were written about a concept or person that the writer was passionate about. Life inspires great works because it’s authentic & real & people understand it.

It’s funny, for all people do to dissect & discredit Taylor Swift, there’s at least one song we all relate to (my current one is Come Back…Be Here) & listen to when we’re feeling down, or romantic, etc. That’s because the emotions Taylor sings about are real. So, let’s stop wondering who she wrote about & listen to what she’s singing & enjoy her music. After all, music was written to be enjoyed, not analyzed.

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