Turn it Up

Today, I’m gonna write a piece I call “the Ballad of Bayley.”

Last year, I told you about my teenage daughter’s love for Sasha Banks, today, it’s my younger two daughters and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley. 

The character of Bayley is arguably the most relatable character on TV. She’s a fan that got to live her dream. My 10 and 7 year old adore Bayley and everything she stands for. They once waited in the snow for six hours, in their hugger shirts and Bayley tassels just to catch a glimpse of their TV best friend (and hugs. Their goal in life is to get a hug from Bayley). My Twitter feed is dominated by photos of them in full Bayley cosplay. Bayley’s character was dismissed as being “Just Bayley.” She wasn’t special; just ordinary. But this mantra of “Just Bayley” was so important to her fan base of little girls. My own daughter is painfully shy. She struggles to make friends and when picked on for her small size and quiet demeanour (she’d rather read and do math than play sports), she decided she was “just her,” and that was enough. After all, Bayley was just Bayley and she became a champion. Being yourself is cool! While adults complained about Bayley’s character and direction, kids got the message; Bayley is herself and that’s enough, and if you just be yourself, you are enough. 


When Bayley made her way out at Wrestlemania 33, my two small girls squealed with joy, as their hero was finally living her dream. They sat in their Bayley gear and side ponytails, imitating her entrance. They cheered her on loudly from home, and big sister even joined in (after her beloved Sasha Banks got eliminated) & all three jumped up and down and cheered when Bayley retained her championship. They cried with her, their best friend won. My oldest, who wants to be a wrestler herself, said that she couldn’t wait for her moment like that, while the little two were so happy that their best friend Bayley won and when they got to school, they could talk about it with their girlfriends. 


Which brings me to why I adore this character so much. It isn’t just because she’s a good role model for my girls, or she’s relatable. It’s because I feel like she’s an overlooked but key reason why so many female fans are watching WWE. Yes, you have the Bella Twins, who introduced wrestling to the mainstream, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, who made history, but Bayley is just as important, because she’s just Bayley. 


Just two years ago, my girls & I were among just a handful of women who watched WWE. This past October, we were among dozens of little girls with their side ponytails and tassels, screaming the lyrics to Bayley’s entrance song. While yes, there were other women who helped usher in a new era, the character of Bayley opened up a new world to little girls that had been previously excluded from. I remember when little MHC wanted to play wrestlers with her brother and his friends, with a Miss Elizabeth action figure in one hand and an Andre the Giant in the other and the boys laughing, saying girls can’t play. Teen MHC was mocked mercilessly for my HBK posters on my wall, while the boys said I only watched pay per views with them because I wanted them to like me. My own girls were picked on at live events by grown men because they chose Nikki Bella & AJ Lee shirts over male superstars. But the character of Bayley allowed little girls to feel included in a world they were originally banned from. The world of NXT, originally for die hard fans, became the world of Bayley. Each week Bayley brought her brightly coloured world to the ring, another little girl realized they belonged too.  Bayley allowed little girls to feel like they belonged, and she did it by being just Bayley. 


Representation matters. You can preach equality all you want, but unless you can see it, it’s not there. There are a great many women who helped pave the way for female fans to find role models, but for little girls, it took a best friend to give them a hug and tell them that they belonged anywhere they wanted to be and they deserved it by just being themselves. I sometimes think that we as adults get so caught up in our perception of promo quality or what we think that we miss the lesson; that it’s okay to just be you. Because of that, I think we don’t realize just how important or powerful a character like Bayley truly is. No gimmick, no catchphrase. She’s just like us and that’s just enough. 

Happier

Welp, another Crossfit Open in the books! 

LOOK AT THIS PERSONAL BEST. LOOK AT IT. LOOOOOOK

I can officially call myself the 26187 fittest person on the planet. That’s up 32K places on the leaderboard and I’m pretty proud of this. Last year, I had to miss the Open because I was sick af and the arthritis in my hips made everything unbearable. This year, I went in just wanting to get to know my gym family. I did, but I also pushed myself and remembered how strong and confident I can be. I’m feeling so inspired that I entered a crossfit competition designed for novice members. I may place last in everything, but it’ll be a fun day. It was so nice to have members suggest that I register because they wanted me to feel welcomed. So, I’ll bring the girls and crush some fitness (& then introduce them to coconut chips. Seriously, so good)!


This confidence has passed over to my work. I’m getting more confident when it comes to pitching stories (and out of the box ideas at work). I’ve always been a believer that no one will see the value in who you are if you don’t. So, I decided to take control of my career. It’s been working so far, as most of my kooky ideas have been successful. The store is growing. The team is successful. When I’m not here, I’m just writing for magazines. There is no downtime. When there is, it’s for the girls and crossfit. This is my life and it’s rad. 


I know when I last posted, I was struggling with how to tow the line & be true to myself. It’s hard when people tell you that being yourself somehow makes them look bad or detracts from their role. But I’ve realized after a chat with one of my bestest friends in this city that one person cannot dim someone else by encouraging them, or by trying to elevate others. You can only dim a person’s light by holding them back. I’ve been with people who hold people back. I’ve been with people who credited themselves with my cover stories, people who credited the respect I received from coworkers to “they must really want to make me happy at work.” I’ve been around friends who wanted to feed negativity under the guise of “telling it like it is.” One doesn’t dim by suggesting improvements for their workplace or being bubbly. I don’t deny that I’m a difficult human being with my stubborn streak, passionate opinions, and fiery temper. I’m sure my scatterbrained thought process & random singing in public places is frustrating to the super serious types out there, but I’d rather be unapologetically myself before I become someone else. 

Even though I’m a grown up, I still struggle with self esteem just like everyone else. Some days, when it seems like people don’t like you, just because you’re you, it can feel frustrating. You’ll doubt yourself and think you can’t. My friends and family can tell me I’m awesome, but I’ve got to believe it. It’s up to me to build myself up, not those around me. Too many people think if they have a relationship, they have a car, if they have the right job; they’ll be happy. But the truth is that they’re settling for unhappy relationships, unhealthy relationships, and unhealthy senses of self. My happiness is an inside job. So, when I start wondering if I’m enough, it’s my job to look self doubt in the face and give it a sassy ass stare down. 

But I don’t mind moments of self doubt. They’re good reflectors. And each week at the Crossfit Open, I would push myself a little harder. And through that I reminded myself that I am totally capable of being super bad ass. No one was lifting those weights or doing those walking lunges for me. I did it, on my own. And I used that feeling of accomplishment in that part of my life to help with my emotional strength. This paid off at work, with my writing, and even building my interpersonal relationships. 

So, don’t feel badly if you spend a couple of days thinking you suck and can’t do it. Just find whatever it is that you use to help you find your mojo. I use crossfit. A dear friend of mine hikes. My best friend hits the gym. Another friend paints. But find the thing that brings out your “youness” and embrace yourself, with every difficult part of you, flaw, and imperfection. 

Eraser

Oh hey. I swear I didn’t die. 

I think I fell into a rabbit hole. I took my staycation to unwind and recharge…and save the magical land of Hyrule from Calamity Ganon. I also dyed my hair rose gold to match my phone. That’s a thing that I did. 


But mostly, I’ve reached a point in my life where I may be too busy. I’m currently working on several articles, including one highlighting an upcoming event for the city, which is really cool. I’m integrating into my new store (with the coolest staff EVER). I’m a hands on single mom. I’m crossfitting. I’m juggling a lot of stuff, and most of it actually pays me. So, the writing that pays me takes  priority to the writing that does not & my blog fell off of the map a little bit. Of course, so did my social media. So did anything that wasn’t journalism, my kids, my store, and crossfit…or my Nintendo Switch. I’m very focused on my goals and in order to achieve them, everything else needs to take a backseat. Sorry not sorry. 

I’ve built my life to my perfect specifications. My writing career is coming along wonderfully. My phone career is getting there. When I’m not at work, I’m doing interviews and writing. Even on weekends. Literally every day of my life involved pitching, researching, writing articles. My team and my colleagues respect me & that means the world to me. My kids are doing well. I finally found a gym where I’m happy and I’m not willing to let anything upset the apple cart. This means sometimes things get neglected because I’m simply too busy, like my blog, or that hockey game with my coworkers, or that date with the guy who works at my old mall. My girlfriends tell me that I’ll never find a mate because I never put the guys I’ve dated recently first. I don’t. In fact, the last guy I dated back in the fall was so low on my totem pole that it’s why it didn’t work out. But the kids, my career, and fitness all come first. Everyone and everything else needs to take a backseat. I’m not going to expand my portfolio, help my store reach target, or hit a 200lbs back squat if I’m putting things or people who don’t matter, or can wait, ahead of it. Truthfully, I’ve never really been “wife” material. I’m not the “surrender my identity and goals at the altar of a man to be Mrs. Not my last name.” I want to be more. I want to be a role model to my girls. I want to be someone that achieves her goals and is changes the world in some way. I want to be seen as someone who is strong, brave, tenacious, and not someone who settles. As a wise woman once said, “I want so much more than some provincial life.” I have goals and I’m not going to waste my time on frivolous things when I could focus my energy on achieving those goals. 


I’m sure that I sound like a super bitch. Truthfully, I don’t care. I’m finally putting all of the pieces together to build the life that I want for myself and I’m not willing to settle for substandard or mediocre; whether it’s people or performance. I’m not going to let anyone in my life unless they are amazing. I’m not going to devote my time to any projects unless I think that I can do an incredible job. I’ve stretched myself pretty thin, so I’ve prioritized my life to make sure that the things that matter take precedence over stuff that can wait, because my kids, my goals, they cannot wait. 


But there’s nothing more exciting than working towards your dreams. I am so in love with my life. I’m getting everything I’ve ever wanted, I have the best family, I have made the most supportive friends. It’s awesome. I’m so happy. So, while I may fall down the rabbit hole sometimes, you can still find me on Twitter if you need to know what’s up with me. Chances are, I’ll be overjoyed with life while continuing to build it the way I want it. 

Shape of You

Let me tell you the story of MHC’s terrible, awful, no good, very bad day. 

Actually, it’s probably been about a month of terrible, no good, very bad, but let’s focus on today. 

Today, I woke up, fully planned to kick today’s ass. I really did. I had my game face on, I was excited. Truthfully, despite some personal setbacks, I’ve been super jazzed about life. I’ve been writing some really great articles. I’ve been pitching some awesome stories. I’m currently working on something I’m really excited to share with the community. I’ve been transferred to another location as part of a business restructuring and I’ll be starting at my new store in March. It’s closer to my house and the girls’ school. And then I’m treating myself to a week’s staycation to rest and recharge from my crazy February schedule. I’ve been enjoying the gym. It’s been awesome. 

Which brings me to today. 

Today my kid had an epic tantrum. Like EPIC. I left for work feeling a shitty mom, a shitty neighbour, and a shitty human being. I spent all day in kind of a funk because I felt like the WORST MOM EVER. I work so damn much to keep us fed and clothed that I feel like I’m not giving enough time to them. I mean, I pay someone to clean my house now because I want it done and I have no time. Then they act out sometimes because they are kids & kids do that sometimes. And sometimes I yell back because moms yell sometimes. And in the end, I just feel like an asshole. 

Sometimes I get caught up in the social media trap. I see everyone’s seemingly perfect kids and lives and no one worries about money, their kids always behave and everyone’s house is immaculate and I think “why can’t I be that person? Why am I not the person with the dream job and the perfect car and kids who never ever talk back?” Sometimes I just feel like I can’t measure up. I’ll always be white trash trying to make good. My self esteem takes a hit and I just feel awful. Good moms balance. They do it all right. No mistakes ever. Not like me, who just keeps fucking it all up. 

Then I come home, lay in my tub, do some yoga, and recognize that this is total bullshit. 

Everyone has a bad week or month. Everyone has one of those days where they took a time out to bawl their eyes out because they are so burned out and feel like they handled it all wrong and sit up late at night thinking they are a horrible parent/partner/friend. But if you keep thinking really positively and focus on the good things while making changes, you’ll make it through. 

Today, I was lucky enough to have my friend Paul call me to help me feel better. Bad days happen. Shake it off. Another friend texted me a positive affirmation. My best friend Melissa texted me positive Seth Rollins memes because she gets me. But when I asked each of them why I was failing as a mom, they all reminded me of a time that they did not win parenting. Or housekeeping. Or relationships. Or jobs. It’s easy to feel like you won’t measure up when you’re constantly comparing yourself to invisible competition and FB highlight reels. But I’m not failing as a mom. Or a person. It was just one no good, very bad day. 

When I feel like the world is gonna crush me, I immediately think of everything good that has happened, big or small (a trick I learned from Katniss Everdeen). I think of the nice ladies at Hudson Bay who gave great customer service. I think of the feel good story I found on Reddit. I think about the cool things my kids do. I think about how much I’ve improved at the gym. How rad my friends are. And suddenly, I don’t feel like my life is garbage anymore. 


There’s no instruction manual on how to juggle single parenting, career, home, and being a decent human being. Sometimes I’ll get it right. Sometimes I won’t. But I can’t spend my days beating myself up about the days that I don’t. If I do, I’ll never have any good days. So, the next time there is a no good, very bad day, I’ll take thirty seconds to remember that I’m not competing with the highlight reels, it’s okay to not know how to handle everything and sometimes you just need to learn on the fly and forgive yourself if you didn’t do it right and learn for next time. 

Goodness Gracious 

Every once in awhile, I interrupt my normal adventures to mention something that really grinds my gears (I promise we’ll return to the regular format of “today I made choices that weren’t completely awful” later). 


Today’s topic: why douchebag people need to stop being douchebags about other people’s kids. 

This past week, Ryan Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife Blake Lively and his two daughters, James and her sister, who’s name has not been made public. The internet was delighted to see the rambunctious two year old running around and clapping. She even dropped the mic when she decided the ceremony was over. The entire display was adorable as all get out. But of course, the sanctimommies were out in full force to criticize James’s dinosaur coat, her out of control curls, her behaviour, and her name. To those people, please do shut the fuck up. 

(Before you ask why there are no photos of James and her sister accompanying this post, it’s simple. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have asked that their children be sheltered from the public eye as much as possible. As a parent who does not post her own children’s photos here to protect their privacy, I feel it would be inappropriate to post photos of their children. If you want to see them, you’re welcome to Google)

These horrible commenters are the very reason that Reynolds and Lively opted to shield their daughters from the public eye. They have stated repeatedly that they want James and her sister to have a normal childhood. That James & her sister did not choose a public life; their parents did. They are under no obligation to tell the public their children’s names, show you photos or justify why they named them what they did. They don’t need to justify why their daughter wore a dinosaur coat. They’re not ugly. And anyone who can spew venom at a two year old and her three month old sister needs to get some serious help. 

I can understand why people who are dissatisfied with their lives could have an issue with Ryan Reynolds or Blake Lively. Here are two attractive and successful people who have found a great love and have a lovely family. But that’s no reason to project your bitterness onto them. I read such classy comments that the pair must have wanted boys, look at the “boy clothes” they were dressed in and James’s name. First of all; James was in a dress. Hardly “boy” clothes. Secondly, there are no boy or girl clothes, just clothes. And most importantly, Reynolds named his daughter for his beloved father, who passed away shortly before her birth. And even if Reynolds & Lively named their kid Princess Banana Nut Muffin, it is none of your damn business what Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively named their kids. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT RYAN REYNOLDS OR BLAKE LIVELY NAME OR HOW THEY DRESS THEIR KIDS. 


I love pop culture, but kids should be off limits. Paparazzi shouldn’t photograph celebrity kids. If celebrities choose to post photos of their kids on social media, and you must comment, leave the same comment that you would leave on a friend or family member’s social media page. If you can’t be nice; be quiet.  Would you tell your friend or family member that their kid has a stupid name or they were dressed poorly? Would you Shame a friend for not breastfeeding or belittle them? This happened to Kristin Cavallari and her husband Jay Cutler when she posted a family snapshot. Her choice to give her kids a vegan diet was questioned, with people accusing her of starving her kids, saying they needed a cheeseburger, etc. While I do not agree with her decision to not vaccinate her children, I respect that she is their mother and it’s her call. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT KRISTIN CAVALLARI AND JAY CUTLER FEED THEIR CHILDREN. 


Kids didn’t choose to be in the public eye. They are not “fair game” because their parents are famous. This argument was common online when WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens’s wife Karina was forced to delete her Instagram account because bullies insulted her son Owen & daughter Elodie. They used the justification that since Owens is a bad guy on TV and uses his social media in character, that it was “fair” to insult his eight year old son and two year old daughter and harrass his wife. Karina is not famous. She lives a quiet life with her family in Quebec. She didn’t deserve the abuse. That would be like someone insulting you because your husband got drunk at a family gathering and pissed them off. Isn’t that stupid?

Let’s all say it together; YOU DO NOT GET TO INSULT KEVIN OWENS’S FAMILY BECAUSE HE BLOCKED YOU ON TWITTER. 


I know celebrities seem larger than life, but they’re people too. They love their families. They want the best for their kids just like you or me. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t owe you access to his kids (so you can call them ugly) because you went to see Deadpool AND the Green Lantern and you watched all six seasons of Gossip Girl so Blake Lively best share every gory deta of her birth stories. They have every right to protect them from trolls and bullies, just like you would protect your family from online abuse & mean strangers. 


So, the next time you feel the need to question a famous person’s parenting, ask yourself how you would feel if someone did it to you, because I bet someone has and it super pissed you off. I always tell people that the world would be an infinitely more wonderful place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. Let’s try not being an asshole. 

Playing With Power

Last night, much like all of you, I watched in stunned silence as Donald Trump, a man with no political experience, who ran a campaign of hatred, bitterness and racial division, became the 45th President of the United States of America. 

As my 15 year old daughter cried, asking how the smartest woman could lose to an unqualified man & what hope was there for her to succeed, I reminded her that we have to keep trying because we can never succeed if we don’t try. But my seven year old sobbed because what if Mr. Trump builds the wall & her cousin Kristen and Aunt Erica are trapped on the other side? What if her Uncles can’t be married anymore and her Uncle Dan has to go behind the wall? Her older sister said that we needed to ask the rental agency about Aunt Erica’s dogs so they could come to Canada too. 

Even Erica’s Dog is confused.

I was floored. I couldn’t imagine being a woman in America right now. Or a person of colour. Or LGBTQ. How disillusioned you must feel. As a Canadian watching from the outside, I read so many statements from people who said they feel like they don’t matter to their own country. They feel betrayed by their neighbours, friends. Victims of sexual assault feel like they will never be believed, as their president-elect actually said that they weren’t attractive enough to be attacked and THIS WAS A VALID DEFENSE. The girl who was assaulted now is less likely to report. LGBT families sit in fear, wondering if their family is still a family in the eyes of the government. And little girls…they watched a woman who wanted to lead be crushed by a man that is grossly unqualified because she might have done something that isn’t really a crime that no one could prove she actually did and sexual assault only matters if you are conventionally hot. And Gold Star families only matter if they are white. This is the new world and it scares the fuck out of me. 


As someone who gives too many chances and believes everyone is good, this is such a bitter pill to swallow. The majority of citizens voted for an alleged fraudster who doesn’t pay taxes and ran with a partner who supports conversion therapy. This kind of world, where this man leads a world super power is terrifying. But after I cried for my neighbours and friends and their terrifying new normal, I realized that much like America used their voice, I can use mine. 

I’m just one person in 7 billion, but you only need one voice to help another use theirs. And another. I couldn’t use my voice as I’m not American. But I CAN use it to promote goodness, kindness and love for each other. And I will do that. 


I may not respect your decision America, but I respect that it was yours to make. For those who are disillusioned and hurting, know that you are loved. You are loved by your friends, your family and even me, some random Canadian you’ve never met. Know that you have value. Know that you can change the world. All you have to do is use your voice. The thing about standing up for others is that it isn’t easy and people don’t always listen. But don’t sit down. Don’t stop trying. Hate only wins when love stops trying. So keep on loving. Keep being good to each other. Show hatred that while they won the battle last night, they didn’t win the war. 

I know we all woke up to a scarier world, but we can counter it with respect. If someone you know voted for this government, do not attack them. When you stoop to their level, hate wins. Respect that they chose and treat them the way you would want to be treated. Remember that they are also disillusioned and when we lose faith in each other, that is how monsters sway rational thinking human beings into supporting things they would never dream of. Do not validate their bigotry. That’s what they want. I know it’s hard when your entire way of life is being threatened, but try. Love will always win in the end, as long as we practice to love each other, even those who hurt us. 

And finally, I hope that you all choose love. Do something good for someone else today. Be kind to someone. On Facebook, I’ve challenged my friends to compliment the person above them, even if they don’t know them. This is how we drive out hate; with love. 

You Want It Darker

AKA confessions of a former catty bitch. 

I was once a catty bitch. I mocked celebrity clothing choices, I criticized women wrestlers who were hired as models, I compared myself to other women. I talked about girls behind their back in high school, etc. But I was an insecure, jealous, girl. I was jealous of the popular girls in high school & in the workplace. I was completely jealous of Gwen Stefani’s seemingly perfect life. In 2011, I was jealous of Brie & Nikki Bella’s looks and success. It wasn’t until I grew up (figuratively) and found myself that I realized that I made these statements because I was jealous and insecure about myself. I was projecting my feelings of self loathing onto them. Now, I can look at Gwen Stefani and see a talented singer. I can look at Brie & Nikki Bella and see hard ass work & women who empower other women. I can respect women who wear what they want. You want to rock those booty shorts? Work! I love seeing other women get up and do their thing & kicking ass at life. But there is one thing that I cannot stand, and that is an unreformed catty bitch. 

Look at these women.

Recently, my daughter lost her Snapchat privileges. Not because of the reason you would think. It was because I found out that she was insulting other girls by calling them bitches. I want to raise strong women. Strong women don’t call their friends bitches. They don’t belittle each other. They work to build each other up. I won’t allow my daughters to treat their fellow human beings like crap, so until she could learn to speak with respect, she didn’t need social media. 

But I see an influx of memes on social media where women criticize other women. They mock each other for wearing makeup, their shorts, their clothes, their marital status, their looks, etc. And every time I see a woman call down another woman, I have only one question;

Like, come on ladies. We have to work twice as hard for half of the recognition and THIS is how you want to treat each other? With this kind of childish name calling?

Holy shit shut up

I mean, we live in a world where we are smashing through glass ceilings. Women can be the CEO of Fortune 500 companies. The most successful athlete in history is Serena Williams, a woman. We are watching a powerful, bad ass woman running for the presidency of the United States and we are still ridiculing each other for who we date, what we wear, whether or not we drank too much at the party & if we are telling the truth about domestic violence. Why are we continuing to belittle each other?


Why are we still having these conversations? It’s 20 freaking 16. So we really want to teach the next generation of women to be catty bitches? I know I don’t. Sorry, but I remember the girl fights in high school, the petty drama & how much I do not want to be part of that anymore, nor do I want my daughters to perpetuate it. And one thing I’ve learned from being a reformed catty bitch is that I’ve been so much more successful now that I’ve stopped worrying about what other women are wearing & doing. Now that I’m not trying to tear down other women, I’m focusing on how I can improve, not how to be better than that bitch. And by competing only with myself, I’m becoming better than I ever was. 


The biggest thing that women need to learn is by tearing each other down, we are giving men permission to tear us down. We all sit aghast at the things Donald Trump says about women, but then belittle a coworker in the next breath. By calling a woman a bitch or a slut, or questioning her qualifications to lead a country based on her pantsuit and not her resume, you are basically giving disgusting creatures like Trump the power to say the same thing about all women. When women tear each other apart, we are giving men permission to mistreat us, belittle our abilities, make vulgar and misogynistic statements about us. Every time we call a woman a slut, we are no better than people like Donald Trump. 

But mostly, you’re telling the world that you are insecure, petty, jealous & intimidated by the success of others. Why would you want to project that? When you belittle other women, you show people how small and petty you really are. Why not take that energy and put it into making you successful instead of putting down others all of the time? It just seems like a more constructive use of time. 

You would have so much more fun if you built your friends up

We have the power to be better, treat each other better, and empower each other. Why waste your time and energy bullying each other about things that don’t matter? Every time you put down a woman for her clothes, her hair, her choices & her makeup, whether she chooses a hijab or not, whether she chooses a traditional family or to reject societal norms, you are doing the equivalent of getting angry about someone putting the peppers you don’t like on the sandwich you aren’t going to eat. It’s not your sandwich. Instead of getting mad or calling them down, just eat your own damn sandwich and let the woman enjoy her peppers. 


If more women chose to build each other up, we would have more women leaders, more women heroes and more women making history. If we unite, there would be no glass ceilings, as we would have kicked them down decades ago. So, in a world where in five weeks we will (hopefully) see a strong, bad ass, intelligent woman elected the leader of the free world, let’s make a commitment to stand together to end the stereotype that all women hate each other and show future generations that women can empower each other, no matter what we are wearing, thinking, or doing. 

Beautiful Birds

Today I got to spend some much needed time recharging in nature & enjoying fall. 

Unlike those who hashtag every season as their favourite to get those social media likes for the external validation that they need to feel whole, fall really is my favourite season. The colours, the cold breeze and the warm sun, sweaters, and yes, pumpkin spice lattes, there’s something about fall that makes me so happy. There’s no deep meaning, I just super like it. I’ve always loved apples (I wear apple perfume every day of my life), Halloween, and the geese go back to Hell from whence they came. 
Fall always represents endings to people, but to me, it always feels like a beginning of sorts. School starts & all the social missteps of the year before were forgotten by the summer; months of not speaking. Now it’s just compliments of hair and shoes and a new start. My birthday sometimes lands on the first day of fall, so maybe because my life actually began on the first day of fall, it represents a new beginning, the next chapter in my crazy life. 

Today, while I wandered through the scenery, I was purposely ignoring my work phone, because as much as I love my job, I need work/life balance. That helps me focus when I am in the building & can support my team. This month we are the most successful team for our banner in the district. Not too shabby for a team that was second last a month ago! My boss told me he was proud of me. I told him I didn’t do anything. I just told the team I believed that they could. My DTL tells me to stop downplaying my role & embrace my role as the leader, but I’ve seen too many managers take credit for successes and blame the team for failures and how it impacted the team (it happened often at Walmart, mostly about their credit card applications & the team would HATE their managers after awhile. I never want my team to feel that way about me. They don’t have to like me, but they do have to know we’re all working for the same goal) & I never want to be that kind of boss or person. But I didn’t realize how comfortable I was in my role until this week. But not just at work; I’m comfortable in my world, in my place in the universe as MHC. 

The evolution of MHC

I used to wear a lot of eye makeup to play up the only feature I thought was pretty. I used to fake my personality to please my friends, my partner, whatever. But over the two years, I’ve rejected that. I’ve changed what I didn’t like and embraced what I did like about myself. Crossfit helped me get physically stronger while helping me feel accomplished whenever I finished a workout and lived (that’s exactly how I feel when I workout). And I got healthier; physically, mentally. And for the first time in my life, I am completely in love with my life, with my personality. I see myself as a whole person, that needs no mate, no human, job title, or reputation to complete me or make me into someone I’m not. I’m just me. And because I’m okay with being just me, the right relationship, the right friends, the career goals will all be there. In fact, my professional life has never been better. I’ve never been this successful as a writer or a leader. My role as mom is improved because I learned from the commute from Hell the importance of work life balance. And I look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman. I no longer feel like I’m missing something. The more you love yourself, the more successful you become, because your happiness no longer relies on it. You are happy simply because you make a conscious choice to be happy. 

I used to be defined by my marriage. I was defined by my occupation. I let my friends define my value. And finally, after many years and struggles and victories, I define my worth & I love the woman I’ve chosen to be so much. She’s smart, and strong, and brave. She’s damn near unbreakable. She’s learned to be patient. Let life happen on its own time. She’s kind. Gracious. Forgiving. And I know where I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be here; writing, working, teaching my girls how to become women that change the world. The only way to do that is to believe that I can change the world, even if it’s in a small way that impacts maybe one person. But lead by example. Be active. Be brave. Be a warrior in a world that wants women to sit quietly & not be heard. That is who I want to be, so that is who I will continue to become. 

Mine will be both.

For the first time ever, I’m in complete control of my life & my destiny. That’s not true, I always was, but much like Dorothy in Oz, the power was always in me, I just didn’t realize it at the time. But I do now. And I intend to use it to continue to kick ass at everything I set out to do with the knowledge that no one can take that power away. After all, I create my own happiness, simply by choosing to be happy every day. What I build for myself, no person can ever take from me. 

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. 

Say I Am

I acquired another freelance gig this week. 

Before you say “MH! STOP EFFING WORKING SO MUCH,” I’ve dropped a couple of places to focus on local magazines and My Trending Stories. And I’ve still got my cell phone gig to keep food on the table, because Mama’s gotta support the fam jam. And besides, any of you who know me in my day to day life know that I simply cannot stop working so much. No one ever got anywhere by sitting on their ass and bitching. You’ve gotta get up and work. 


Anywho, back to my new gig. I’ll be writing for YEG Fitness, a local fitness and lifestyle magazine. I caught them on my Twitter feed & thought that I could combine my two favourite things; journalism and fitness! So, I got in touch and pitched an article. But not just ANY article. THE article. The one I pitched to a bunch of newspapers & while one editor liked the idea, he wasn’t sure it would fit. Buoyed by the idea that I was on the right track, I reached out & they liked it. The article has been done for months, so I just turned it in. The editor said it was good & submit a bio for the website! My story idea is going to print! 

I’m so excited; I worked so hard on this & it’s gonna see the light of day. I’ve built a little network by chatting up the reporters of the Edmonton Sun on Twitter as well. The editor is amazingly cool (and once said my blog was good, so there is that) and another is an unapologetic WWE fan like me (even if I did jinx Bray Wyatt). But I’m getting to know colleagues in my field. This is something that never happened in London. It’s not real networking; its talking common interests, but it’s cool to see that the Edmonton journalistic community is full of rad people. Once I learn to drive the car, I can apply for bigger positions and produce a portfolio of story ideas that I created. I’m so happy. 

I’m sorry Bray Wyatt

It’s all coming together. The risk of packing up my life to do this was worth it because I AM SUCCEEDING. I’m publishing work. I am maximizing my opportunities. And if I keep working hard, I can only accomplish more. 


In the interim, I’ve got my cell phone business. In 30 days, my store has gone from second last in the district to trending 97% to target. My team is a great group of people. They want to succeed as much as I want them to. My hard to please DM came to my store the other day & told me he was pleased with the 180 & asked how I did it. I told him I didn’t; they did. I just believed in them. Sometimes faith that someone can do it is all they need & it pays off. I’m so proud of my little store. We’ve worked so hard & it’s showing. 

My life is almost exactly the way I want it. I have almost everything I’ve ever wanted. My writing career is the most successful it’s ever been. My wireless career has never been more successful. My friends here are supportive and rad (even if Kymo did leave me to go to Vancouver). My kids love their schools & friends & my eldest loves her high school. I’ve found my niche at crossfit here. I couldn’t be happier with the way things are. It’s almost perfect. But I won’t stress the almost. I’d rather focus on the pieces of my life that work than the piece that isn’t here. This little quest to get my story published taught me about patience and perseverance. When it’s the right thing, it’ll happen & I need to stop obsessing about timelines and “back up your words right now” for fear that it’ll go away & just go with it, because it’ll work out in the end & if it doesn’t, it wasn’t the right thing for me & the next project, relationship, job, will. Just work hard, treat people with kindness, show respect and in the end, everything will work out rhe way it’s supposed to. So, I’ll just keep on focusing on making my life shiny and beautiful & being the woman I can face in the mirror & the mom my daughters deserve. 

Am still Disney Princess