Love Again

Part of growing as a human means being able to look internally and evolve. 

For me, it means recognizing that over the last year, I’ve sabotaged almost all of my potential relationships. 

I’ve really enjoyed casual dating. It’s been nice to go out, spend time with someone and be picky enough to cut things off if I don’t see it going anywhere. I’ve never been a casual dater. Just a relationship gal. So, this is all new territory for me. An old friend of mine once told me I needed to do that. That’s how you get over toxic boyfriends; you date. Maybe they aren’t the one. But by meeting “not the one” a whole bunch of times, you’ll also realize how much toxic boyfriend was also not the one. You’ll be able to look back objectively and go “man, that guy was a controlling prick. I don’t need that. I want qualities X, Y, and Z.” Sometimes I wish that I could message that old friend and apologize for not seeing it sooner. But he’s moved forward and so have I. We have mutual friends. Maybe we’ll check each other’s FB and see we’ve grown into cool people and reconnect. 

But I’m off topic, aren’t I? Let’s bring it back in. 

I’ve enjoyed my non committal dating. It’s helped me figure out what I do want and what I don’t. Then when I meet someone with these qualities, I can venture into a more serious relationship. But there have been times when I was really into the guy and when he pushed for us to be more serious (meet the kids, meet the family), I kind of balked and the relationships fizzled. I’m a bit gun shy. I don’t trust well. And it’s hard for me to let my guard down around men. 


I was telling one of my good girlfriends about this today. I was getting to know a guy, and I was really interested in getting to know him better. But then he asked for more personal information and I instantly clammed up & asked to keep some boundaries. I gave a high level explanation about how important moving slowly is, and I’ve had some bad experiences with men moving too quickly and then becoming awful people literally overnight. I just need some more time to get to know him while I have my guard up. He said he understood, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is no more interest on his side. That sucks, because he was a really nice guy and I was looking forward to getting to know him a bit better. 

Because I mentioned her, look how cute my friend is
I wonder if this is normal, that feeling of wanting to get to know someone, but afraid that if you let them close to you, they’ll become a bloody fucking lunatic, and then stalk you for years. Or is that just something I worry about? I know I’m capable of long term friendships. I know I can attract a partner if I wanted one. But I feel like I question my own judgement. I mean, I have a neon sign over my head that says “I attract losers.” Am I just assuming that I don’t know how to choose a partner because my track record is a who’s who of the mentally disturbed. But I’m probably cutting out really great guys because I’m so scared that someone is going to hunt me down, tell me they love me & they won’t take no for an answer, and pick out an engagement ring and then stop talking to me two weeks later with no explanation, then stalk me. Or cheat on me with a coworker. Or be abusive. Because that’s what I pick. I have a bad habit of falling too hard, too fast. I look through rose coloured glasses and all of the red flags just look like flags. Now I look through scared bunny glasses, assuming every one will hurt me, so if I stay behind the safe wall, that won’t happen. 


Maybe it’s about balance. Maybe you need to have a combination of scared bunny glasses and rose coloured glasses. Maybe having that independent self and boundaries are important, so when the right person comes, they’ll respect those boundaries and I’ll be able to see if they have qualities “X, Y, and Z.” Maybe those boundaries are important because it helps me see what their intentions are before I’m in over my head and being dragged down, but so in love that I’m excusing the worst kind of behaviour because I’m madly in love and ignoring their true, horrible personalities. 


Now I need to learn how to balance the scared bunny feeling and avoid the rose coloured glasses. Find the “look at someone through the regular, you wear them every day glasses.” The one good thing casual dating has taught me is that “the one” isn’t the guy that walks out, or the guy who doesn’t take no. He’ll be the one who stays, is willing to put inthe work, and look at you through human eyes, not rose coloured glasses. The good thing about all of the “not the ones” is that they’ll prepare you for the actual one, who’s worth letting your guard down for. 

Maybe this is about trusting my judgment again. Letting go of this fear that only psychopaths and narcissists are capable of loving me because there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I need to start believing that really good men would be interested in me. After all, I like me. I have three jobs, three great kids, my bills are paid because I make my own money. I go to the gym, have no criminal record and most people like me. And I guess I’m kind of pretty. On the catch scale, I’m a solid 7.5.  Maybe I’m holding myself back because I’ve allowed myself to believe that nice guys don’t want me, I’m just catnip for psychos. I think it’s time I let that belief system go. There’s nothing wrong with me & I am not unworthy of a great guy. Because of this, I can slowly learn that I don’t need to be afraid of every guy, thinking he’s just going to hurt me. But, it doesn’t hurt to keep your guard up a little. Because protecting yourself is never a bad thing. 

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. 

My Reply

Sometimes I read stuff & get cranky & pull a Peter Griffin & play “What Really Grinds My Gears.”

  
Today’s edition: why women are catty bitches & I’m so over it. 

Last night, I watched the Golden Globes because I have worked as an entertainment reporter for many years & I like pretty dresses God dammit. I could comment on the show, Ricky Gervais, but instead, I’ll address why women are catty bitches & why it drives me nuts. 

Actor (& super hunk if you ask all of my friends) Jason Statham & his girlfriend of five years, Rosie Huntington-Whitely announced their engagement at the event last night, with full attention on Ms. Huntington-Whitely’s sparkly new bauble. As always, the comments on this story included why Statham, 48, shouldn’t be dating Huntington-Whitely, 28, because the age difference is gross & of course, why the ring was too small, ugly, etc. I’m sure Ms. Huntington-Whitely cares so much that random women online hate her ring, but it was sad to see few positive well wishes, just women taking shots on another woman. Similar things happened when photos of Blake Lively’s engagement & wedding ring hit the Internet, only that ring was too big, gaudy & why was it pink?! Kevin Costner was forced to address the price tag of the ring he chose for his wife Christine Baumgartner (Joan Rivers famously made Baumgartner cry by mocking her ring, prompting her husband to purchase her a much larger one). But why does it matter to the masses? Unless Ryan Reynolds or Jason Statham is buying you an engagement ring, it doesn’t matter. Those rings are gifts from them to their wives, maybe we should back off. Even on FB, I see people snarking at women about the size of their wedding rings, their homes, their Pinterest crafts. No building each other up, just a sick game of one up-manship. Why? I know when the time comes, I wouldn’t care what my boyfriend bought me, or if it met my “dream ring” criteria (if I really had that. I’m so indifferent hahaha). If he picked it out for me, it could be a garbage tie & to me, it would be the most beautiful thing on the planet because he bought it for me & wanted to marry me & much like thee women, I wouldn’t even notice the cattiness. 

 

We live in a society where wage inequality is still a thing, women’s rights are being marginalized in my neighbour’s land, Planned Parenthood is under attack. Women are still being forced to choose between career & family & told to “keep their legs closed” to prevent sexual assault or unwanted pregnancy. Girls are sent home because their clothing might distract boys, we blame women for their own sexual assaults & child support gets clawed back, leaving women in a cycle of poverty. Meanwhile, instead of taking up for one another, we are belittling each other for things that don’t matter & superficial bullshit that means nothing at the end of the day so women can feel like they’ve “topped” each other. Women are even attacking each other for such things as feeding their babies, as Alyssa Milano learned when talk show host Wendy Williams (who made headlines when she claimed actress Jennifer Lawrence deserved to have her privacy violated and her private nude photos leaked online last year) told her that breastfeeding should not be done in public, as breasts are meant for sexual enjoyment. Ms. Milano shut her down, by why are women constantly defending their basic rights or things that should bring them joy…to other women?

Even when women are successful, we tear them down. Look at the comments about Taylor Swift representing the wrong type of feminist because of her friends. They build each other up, celebrate their uniqueness. So, we cattily tear them apart for being friends because they’re too pretty, they’re models, etc. Okay. 

 I don’t compete with other women. I teach my daughters that we don’t compete with other women. I compete with myself to be a better woman. When I see women belittling other women, I often wonder why they are so insecure that they can’t celebrate the achievements of other women. Women wonder why we’re still fighting the same battles, it’s because of us. We’re attacking each other! Either because we’re the wrong type of feminist, or because they fed their kid or they may possibly have something you don’t. If women spent half as much time building each other up as you did questioning if they understood what feminism means to you or snarking about looks, fashion, etc. women’s rights wouldn’t be something we were still fighting for. 

  
I’m sorry for the rant, but I guess I’m sick of seeing women have their joy trampled by catty women, women who should be supporting other women, famous or not. Perhaps if you can’t be nice, maybe you should just be quiet. 

  

While We’re Young

Have you ever just looked at your life & thought “yup, this is kind of rad?” 

That’s me right now. 

I’m working on the coolest assignment for one of the magazines I work for. I’m really good at my new job & I love my coworkers (and I won’t lie, one of the managers is like, ridiculously hot), the girls are doing well in school, and I have never been more content in a relationship. I don’t even stare at my surroundings and wish I was at home anymore. This feels like home now. Of course, I’ll also be home with my best friends in just a few days. I may only have $150 to spend while I’m there, but I’ll be home God Dammit. It’s going to be nice.  

I’ll be seeing these peeps!
 

But I’m feeling very settled into my life. I don’t know if settled is the right word, but it’s the only one I can think of. But my life feels very much the way it should be I guess. Things that used to freak me out don’t bother me anymore. I just feel like the pieces are falling into place & life is really kind of rad. 

I guess it’s nice because for years I’ve tried to piece my life together & it never seemed to work. My professional life would be good, but my personal life was a mess. Or my personal life would be good but I wouldn’t have a job. Or there would be chaos in my life. Things weren’t just chill & calm & dare I say easy. Things right now have challenges, like my commute can be long & a pain in the ass, but they’re all things that have an easy fix. My bills are paid, my family is healthy & I’m in a healthy relationship with someone that loves me as much as I love them & I feel very much in control of my future.   

I guess I feel very fortunate right now, because even though things are busy & sometimes stressful, my life is actually so lovely. My girls are thriving here. They’re doing well at school & have made positive friends & they no longer feel dejected when their dad doesn’t bother to call or text. I guess my best friend Melissa was right; the abandonment is easier to swallow when he’s two time zones away, not in the next city where he could easily pick them up & he just doesn’t. They don’t even ask about him coming for Xmas anymore. They’re focused on their own lives & not that he’s chosen not to be part of it. I’m really enjoying my writing here. My audience really likes what I’m doing. Now that I’m focusing on friendships here, I feel like I have some connections. I know restaurants now. This seems stupid, but I love being able to tell my boyfriend “this place has great wings, remember? Let’s go there.” And my boyfriend shows me how much he loves me in a million small ways. He works so many long hours, devotes his free time to his daughter, but still finds time to spend with me to make me happy. Even when I know he’s exhausted, he still plans date nights for us, or picks me up from work to give us 20 minutes together. He’s so kind and thoughtful, he spoils me, is attentive to my feelings, and for the first time in the four years that I have loved him, I feel like we are equals. He’s not afraid to be blunt with me. And I don’t feel like he’s going to leave me any second. I feel loved & every time he does something that seems so small to the outside world to make me smile, I fall even more in love with him. And for the first time, normal relationship things, like him spending the night with me doesn’t scare me. It just feels like that’s how it should be. 

I don’t feel like an island anymore. I have good friends who are a lot of fun. I am starting to finally enjoy my new gym. I feel like I belong here in Cow Province & this is home. 

 

My #YEG friends are totally rad.
 
So, for once in my life, I’m not going to be afraid of the future, what could go wrong, panic & fear, because my life is just so good. Every single thing about it is good. And I’m going to just enjoy how awesome my life is & look forward to the next chapters…& seeing my friends in a week. 

 

Distance

I envy you chill people who never worry about anything. 

As someone who has long suffered from anxiety, I envy how you can just adapt to new situations. I wish I was that person more than you know, because I can’t. 

If I switch jobs, I panic because I’m back on probation & could end up unemployed & then what happens to my girls?

If I move, I worry about how I’ve ruined my life. 

When I’m in a relationship, I worry that if I’m anything less than the perfect, understanding girlfriend, he will leave. 

If I’m ever the unpleasant, bitchy friend that doesn’t want to hang out or isn’t completely understanding, I will have no support system. 

Welcome to my mind. 

Generally my mind is a happy world of unicorns & rainbows & everyone is happy. Kind of like the world of UniKitty in the Lego Movie. I revel in positivity.  I pride myself on my optimism. I just want to be happy & for everyone around me to be happy. 

my spirit animal

But then there is the other side that I control with fitness, nutrition & sleep (all of which I haven’t been keeping up with) that becomes terrified that everything will go wrong. The side that overthinks, over analyzes, reads too much into things & seemingly sabotages her own life. 

I remember on Saturday apologizing to my boyfriend for feeling overwhelmed & struggling to explain why all change freaks me out, and not being able to. I apologized for wanting time alone with him & even last night I was talking about why I shouldn’t ask for much from anyone because I can go through periods of anxiety & they can be taxing. Yes, they can. And I love my good friends & family so much because they’re there when I need them. And it works in reverse. I love that my boyfriend understands why I get this way & loves me enough to see that the person I am, that loves him so much & tries to be good to him means more than the fact that I struggle with trust. But I shouldn’t have to devalue myself or apologize for feeling a certain way. But I do. And I need to stop. 

I am not perfect. I am never going to be. But I’m pretty rad. I would like to think I’m a decent parent. I would like to think I’m a good friend. I think I’m a good partner & treat my boyfriend the way he deserves. I absolutely deserve to be happy. And yes, nothing about my life was what it was four months ago. And yes, that scares me. Sometimes it scares me a lot. But I would like to think all of the good that I offer far outweighs the times that I’m anxious & scared. And I’m tired of apologizing. 

Women are conditioned to apologize for EVERYTHING.  We apologize for wanting random flowers or to be told we’re loved (I pride myself on being the anti-girl, but sometimes I want those things). I actually apologized for being alive this week. We’re taught it’s to defer power, but I don’t want to defer mine anymore. I’m a little nuts. That’s okay. But I’m not sorry. It happens & the more I try to pretend it doesn’t, the more it happens & the more I write about trying to fix it, the less it gets fixed. So, I’m going to accept it while continuing to do the things I know that help; fitness, nutrition & proper sleep. Oh, and the power of positivity.  I’m not going to worry about what if, I’ll focus on what is. And that is what I tell myself when I feel this way, that I have three rad kids, awesome friends, an amazing boyfriend, a job, a roof & a skill I’m passionate about. And I’m not going to hide from anxiety anymore. I’m going to be friends with it. I’m going to hang out with it, let it have its voice, but also explain that the other emotions need to be in control, like Joy. But most importantly, I’m not going to apologize anymore. I’m MHC & I’m too damn nice. I talk too much & I care way too much about current events & pop culture & sometimes I worry about nothing. But I refuse to keep trying to stifle the thing that sucks to try & be perfect, because then I’m not giving the people I love a chance to love me for me. 

So, here’s your chance kids. 

  

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. 

 

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.

My Life For Hire

It’s time for me to admit something about who I am as a person in the hopes that admitting it will help me grow from it. I don’t like admitting that I have flaws, or that I’m anything less than the most bad ass person on the planet. But if one of my best friends can be open about his bipolar diagnosis & work to recover, then I can accept my flaws. 

Ladies & gentlemen, I am a very damaged person & I have trust issues. 

I trust exactly four people in this world. Everyone else, I try, but I struggle. I refuse to blame my past relationship failures because then I’m giving them the power to continue to hurt me & I choose my destiny, not the things that went wrong.  It’s something I need to work on & I don’t actually know how. 

  
I build my life & I get to a point where I’m happy, really happy. The past few weeks have been awesome. I’m getting back into my gym groove. The kids love school. My eldest is taking her grades seriously & seeing results. I’ve accepted a new job that is a lot like my Target job. I’m excited because my bank account should be back where I was last year, where I don’t have to constantly tell the girls “I’m sorry, we can’t afford it.” My birthday was incredibly lovely & I’ve never been happier or more content in my relationship. 

But I’ll admit it’s hard when some of my best friends at home text once a week and ask if he’s left yet, because they’ve got their “I told you so” all ready. It chips away at the fragile trust I build in anyone & suddenly I question everything & my mind starts thinking;

Why did you hire me? Are you really going to promote me if I’m good, or are you going to wait six months & then the company will close. 

Why do you keep saying you love me & you’re here for good? We both know you’re lying. Please just go & get it over with, but please don’t actually go. 

Why are you my friend if you seem to delight in my potential misery? Why can’t you be happy for me?

I refuse to blame the marriage. I refuse to blame what happened before. This is me. But how do you tell someone that while you feel completely safe & at ease with them, they make you extremely happy & you trust them as much as you can, btw I still worry you’re going to walk out on me the minute I’m not the most understanding or nicest person alive. Can you please have enough patience to give me time & understanding & let me go two steps forward & one step back while I figure out how to navigate sharing my life with you. How do you tell friends you don’t invite them into the more personal parts of your life because you don’t trust them to be happy for you. You’ll just hurt their feelings. 

Erica always tells me it’s normal to feel this way, after all, trauma doesn’t go away because you’ve come to terms with it. But no one wants someone that’s damaged & has baggage & doesn’t really know how to be happy without wondering when it’s all going to go to Hell, even though we all have baggage. So, I need to come to terms with my own insecurities about my job, my parenting, my life, my relationships so I can rebuild the trusting part of me that I lost over the years. 

So, I started to do just that. I focused on meditation & yoga, also to heal a strained hip flexor that has plagued me for a week. I compiled a list of all the things that scare me about being with someone. Then I laughed at it because 99% of it was ridiculous. I reminded myself that I may not trust everyone, but I trust the right people. My closest friends love & respect me. My boyfriend absolutely loves me & understands how I got this way & will let me figure it out, but wants to help me get there. He isn’t going to leave me because he loves me, crazy and all. And my own gut instincts tell me I am fine. My life is beautiful. My new job will be successful & my writing career will continue to flourish & once my hip stops throbbing, I’ll continue to focus on health & be a bad ass MHC. 

But the thing is that we always expect someone to fix us, make us better, etc. But I don’t want that. I want to make me better. I want to be comfortable with trusting people for myself, not for my friends or my boyfriend or whomever. So, it’s a struggle sometimes. But I guess admitting it is the first step to moving forward. And the best way to learn if you can trust someone is to trust them, and every day I get better. There will be moments of doubt or whatever, but the more time I put in with someone, the more the doubt will go away. 

So, I’ll keep doing what I do; focus on my happiness & making my family & partner happy. And trolling Erica about baseball. And Crossfit. And making every day the raddest day. 

  

If It Means a Lot To You

So, I switched jobs again. Haha. 

Shocking huh? This is my fourth job since the demise of my beloved Target. But I think this one may stick. The pay is better, benefits & more advancement opportunities for me. It’s not media, but it’ll do. 

You’re probably wondering why I keep switching, but it’s because I have vowed to be the happiest girl in the world, like my homegirl Ruby Gloom. I’m also a sole support parent, so I need to always make sure that I’m doing my best for my girls. So, I need to continue to focus on ensuring I’m earning the most that I can for them. This requires making choices to ensure that I’m earning to my potential & my sanity is intact.  My job asked me to travel more than I was able to & still support my family. I’m making just enough to live, but not enough to save for college, for vacations, etc. I need to make changes & now I’ll be happier.  

I haven’t given up on the reason that I am here; writing full time. But that requires a few things, so I’ll work on those things while building my career at my new job. This isn’t the job I intend to spend my life at, but it’s a good experience builder for my future. 

I think sometimes it’s easier to get frustrated about our job, especially when it’s not where we intend to spend the rest of their lives. But sometimes we lose sight of the fact that these steps, these jobs that we hate, are all steps towards the future we want. I’m building experience in two different fields & while I wasn’t happy at my most recent job, I learned things that I can apply to my new job & keep growing as a manager. Yes, time is tight & I have to keep juggling my life to make time for my girls & my partner & even myself. Finding time for the gym can be tedious but it needs to be done. Balancing time for the girls is a priority. And my partner & I find time to be together when we have it. Sometimes there isn’t much, but that quality time is just that. We make it count. We support each other’s career aspirations & share the vision for our future with our children. While right now, my current life requires a lot of time management, I know this is all for the greater good for my long term future. 

Everything is temporary. This chapter in my life may seem hectic, but soon it’ll die down & I’ll be able to enjoy my downtime. But in order to get to that place, I’ve got to keep working towards my goals by putting in time & building experience. 

 

Smile & think about how it all affects the greater good

I guess I just like to remind myself that everything leads to the good things I’ve got and the good things I will continue to gain. In order to build the future and family I want, I’ve gotta keep working & sacrifice some things in the short term to achieve the long term goals. Sometimes I can’t spend as much time with my partner as I would like, but I remind myself that we have our whole lives, so one night isn’t going to be the end of the world. We have other nights & when the time is right, we’ll have every night. I had to miss parent/teacher night, but I was there to play Barbie & watch movies & guess which one they’ll remember more. 

I know a lot of people will tell me that the future isn’t guarenteed. It’s not; I could die tomorrow (except I promised Erica I would never die), my partner & I could split up tomorrow (although I doubt it). But why push myself to death because the future is promised to no one? That would mean I’d lose my patience for my life. Then all of a sudden I’m frustrated because things need to be rearranged, which leads to fighting & conflict & stress. I’d rather be able to understand that yes, I need to work, sometimes my partner can’t be there when I want him & that we can always make time another time, so that we can make that time count, whether it’s with my daughters or my mate. 

So, I’ll keep being optimistic that the choices I’m making will boost my short term joy & build my long term happiness, enjoying each and every day of my wacky life. 

  

From Here to Zero

I’m a strong believer in my personal privacy.

I post pics of my kids on my social media, but never on my blog because while I choose to write about my life, I also respect that they do not choose to do that, so I don’t post their names or photos. My number one pet peeve in life is those parents who post literally every personal milestone of their kids lives (photos of them on the potty, telling stories of them smearing poop on the walls) on social media. I try to limit stories about my kids to when they are doing hilarious things. Adversely, I blog about my personal life, as I write to sort through my own feelings. I’ve been through a lot when it comes to my interpersonal relationships and I know I still have some growing to do, I still need to learn to trust better and I need to stop fearing the idea of a legally binding lifetime commitment because fear only holds us back from truly being happy. Writing about it helps me find my way. But I never post it on social media (that’s not true, there are TWO photos on my Instagram).

There was a random mention of my significant other on my Facebook on my birthday, when I excitedly wanted to show off his adorably thoughtful present to me. When I first moved here, I was beyond excited to find penguins in the West Edmonton Mall, as penguins are the most awesome animals on the planet. One night, when I was dreadfully homesick, he sent me a text message, telling me that I would adjust, it would be okay, he loved me so and he would do whatever it took to help me feel at home here, including find me a penguin to be my pet. My penguin may be cuddly and stuffed, but the gesture was very sweet, and now my penguin sleeps with me at night (judge me, I don’t care). I had a couple of people ask me about my significant other and overcthe past few months, some of my closest friends challenged me on my comfort level about my relationship because I never mention it online. But it’s not for a lack of faith in my romantic life that keeps me mum on the details of my romance online or to the masses, it’s quite the opposite; I keep it mine because it’s mine.

 

Isn’t he the cutest?!
 
It’s not a secret who I am dating. My friends and family know who I’m seeing and his friends and family know as well. But the seriousness, the depth of our commitment, the things that are personal are not for public domain. Obviously my closest friends are in the know (So Erica, Melissa and the Gleason Table), but I really don’t feel that the general population needs to know the ins and outs of my love life. That is mine. It’s a part of my life that is very important to me, much like my career and my children. Obviously, I wouldn’t post my job satisfaction on the internet, or personal things about my children, so why would I post things about my love life on the Book of Face?

I used to, but I also see that before I was VERY insecure about my relationship. I was always afraid the relationship would fall apart, so I thought if I said I was happy, then I would convince myself I had nothing to worry about. I see now that was actually stupid. I was inviting the peanut gallery into my relationship. That brought about mistrust, which combined with my insecurities and his fear of long term commitment (and mine) prompted the relationship to implode. I see people all the time on FB talking about people poking into their relationships and telling their friends/family to mind their own business and I often think, then don’t constantly put your business out there with memes and statuses and stuff. But, during the evolution of MHC, I realized that in order to be a decent partner, things needed to change. One of the things that needed to change was my reliance on the acceptance of others. It doesn’t matter if my friends like my boyfriend; I am in love with him. It doesn’t matter if he posts a million cutesy things on Facebook, in fact, we rarely interact on social media. We communicate away from social media. We talk, we text, we cuddle. I learned that to keep a relationship healthy, you need to keep your relationship in house. Facebook does not need to know that I love my boyfriend: he does. Every time I see these over the top FB declarations of love or passive aggressive statuses or the constant switch from “single” to “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.” Yuck. Why do you need to convince the planet you’re in love? 

 There are exceptions to every rule. I have some friends that post the odd cute photo & they radiate love & you feel happy for them. My two favourite coaches at my old gym are those people. My friends Nic & Sarah as well. But again, these are vacation photos, rare snippets in time. Not an all out assault of “LOOK HOW IN LOVE WE ARE.” They are sharing small snippets of their lives, which is the point of social media. It’s about small pieces of your life, but the story is for you alone. Sometimes I think about how people like Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds recently had to cut a friend out of their lives to protect daughter James’s privacy. Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux had to hide their wedding plans & take their guests cell phones to protect their privacy. WWE interviewer Renee Young put fans on blast because a harmless photo of her & fellow broadcaster Corey Graves taken on her birthday was misconstrued, followed by insulting comments asking about the whereabouts of her longtime boyfriend, WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose. She chooses to keep their relationship private, and fans get angry that she isn’t sharing photos. All these people want is to enjoy their private moments. Then we regular folks abuse the very same privacy by putting it all out there to be analyzed & get angry when people do. 

  
Maybe someday I’ll feel comfortable sharing snapshots of my life. Maybe not. But until I reach that place, I choose to protect my personal life & my children’s privacy. You do not need to know when my child used the bathroom. You do not need to know the intimate details of my personal life. But the little bits I do share, I enjoy sharing with you, as I enjoy those rare snapshots of your life as well.