Something Just Like This

It’s time for another round of “Things that Really Grind my Gears.”

Today’s topic; why people who hack phones and steal photos are disgusting people. Also, if you look at them, you’re fucking gross too. 

This week, a round of personal and private photos and videos made by WWE superstar Paige hit the internet. These were four years old. She was 19. But most importantly, they were hers. I will not link those photos. They are none of my business. I haven’t looked at them. Why? They’re none of my business. I had the privilege of meeting Paige a few years ago outside of a WWE live event. She was sweet and lovely to my 10 year old daughter. She told her they were best friends and gave her a hug. My daughter has never forgotten that day and tells me all of the time that she can’t wait for her best friend Paige to feel better and get back into the ring to win championships. Maybe it’s because I met her and saw a sweet young woman who adored her little fans that this whole thing upsets me more than usual. I don’t know her, but I caught a glimpse of Saraya Jade Bevis (Paige’s real name) that day and she was the sweetest and most authentic human being. She didn’t deserve this. No human being deserves to be violated and humiliated like this. I hope she has the support of family and friends and her fiancé & that the legal action she is pursuing protects her. 


Then came the memes. People sending the photos to Paige’s mom, Saraya Knight, her fiancé, & the wife of one of the men in the video. Then jokes were made. After all, this is just so funny, right? It’s not funny. It’s awful. If you follow me on social media and share this garbage, please unfollow. There is nothing funny about kicking someone while they’re down. 

The next day, WWE Superstar Summer Rae was threatened with badly photoshopped “leaks,” which forced her to respond. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough to humiliate one person; we needed to invent pretend photos to feel powerful and tear down a woman. 


 The women and men involved in these, real or doctored, are victims of a crime. They’ve been humiliated (or someone has tried to humiliate them). To the person who does this, you are fucking disgusting. If you are distributing them, you are just as bad as the people who stole them. 

Fun fact; I work with cell phones. I sell them for a living. I troubleshoot them when they get messed up. I see your search history and your photos. Glass houses friends. I see a lot of people claiming that they should know better, they shouldn’t take these photos. That this is what you get. Wait. What? Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s like me saying that if you bought a house and then got robbed, that you should have known better than to buy nice stuff. You did not have permission to see Paige naked. You didn’t have permission to see Summer Rae naked. Doctoring photos to pretend you saw Summer Rae naked is the equivalent of lying in high school about sleeping with a girl that said no. Every time you view these personal photos, or in the case of Summer Rae, pretend photos, you are just as bad as those who stole them. You are actively participating in the degredation of a human being in the attempt to humiliate them. When you post memes or jokes about the situation, you are basically saying that you’re cool with a gross invasion of someone’s privacy, or lying about another human being for your amusement. It’s wrong & gross. I’m pretty sure if the contents of your phone were dumped online, or those personal things you’ve sent your partner, you wouldn’t like it. So why would you be okay with it because it’s a celebrity? They’re humans, not trained zoo animals who owe you their dignity. 

When I go off on my soapbox about this (like I did a few years ago when this happened to Jennifer Lawrence), creeps always tell me that if a male celebrity’s nudes leaked, I’d be all over it. Well, you would be wrong. When WWE Superstar (& my celebrity crush) Seth Rollins’s private photos hit the internet, I made it a point not to look at them. Why? Because Seth Rollins didn’t want me to see him naked. Those photos were for his girlfriend, not me. I don’t want to participate in the degredation of a man who’s career I enjoy watching on TV. So, I refrained. It’s not that hard. It’s just called being a decent human. 


So, to my fellow browsers of the internet, I implore you; don’t be a douchebag. Stop making fake nude photos to attempt to humiliate someone. Stop distributing personal and private photos to humiliate somebody. Stop making memes to make light of the fact that someone was violated and the victim of a crime. Stop sending the photos to the victim’s mom, fiancé, etc. Stop throwing stones to shame these victims while hoping no one ever checks your glass house. Just be a decent human being. It’s not even hard. Before you look, think of the most humiliating moment of your life. Now, imagine if you’d want the entire world to be a part of that. 

I know it’s probably really tempting to go see a celebrity you think is attractive naked, but had they wanted you to see them naked; they’d have posed nude publicly. We need to stop acting like we own famous people and have the rights to their bodies, their privacy, their dignity, even their most personal moments. Everyone deserves dignity and control over their body. Stop taking it away from them. Don’t look; log off. 

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. 

White Noise

I think it’s time for me to admit that I do really stupid things.

I wouldn’t necessarily say stupid,  but maybe “I have no chill” as the cool teenagers say.

Because my journalism career is picking up all kinds of steam, I decided to separate my personal social media from my professional one. I figured it might be better to separate my work from my social media, where I discuss super important things like crossfit, why I think running is stupid, and of course, the return of Seth Rollins and my childlike crush on Seth Rollins. It’s honestly really boring and why I have any followers, I will never know (speaking of which, follow me on Twitter and read about my boring life and teenybopper crush on Seth Rollins!)

Still say that this is where MiTB ended. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

So, I opened up this super cool professional Twitter account, which you can totally follow here if you want to read my latest articles! My next article should be up in the coming weeks, so I’m excited.

I’ve also been offered an opportunity to contribute to a new news and popular culture blog (check out my writer profile HERE). That’s kind of exciting. And one of my blog posts was extremely well received by readers, including some fitness writers! Not too bad for a story about a goose.

But the editor for some of the many newspapers I applied for jobs with read this blog and then told me he thought it was really good! Naturally, when responding to the compliment, I managed to do in a way that can only be classified as “completely awkward asshole.” That’s how I deal with compliments folks. Like an asshole. Of course, I DID make an impression, so next time there’s a posting at the Examiner, I can apply with “Hey, remember that time you complimented my work and I asked if you were being sarcastic like a douche? That was me, I swear I’m talented and have the education and portfolio to back it up. Please give me a job.” But it was such a big deal to me. Someone who’s body of work I admire and I hope will someday be my editor complimented this mishmash of thoughts. It was like a big sign that said “You are on the right track MHC.” This silly compliment made me so very proud & it took everything in me not to text everyone I know that the editor thinks I don’t suck. But most of the people in my life are sick of the play by play about my career, the stories I’m working on, the emails I’m sending, etc. I sometimes forget that this is actually only really important to me, and that the eye rolls I get are perfectly natural. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person who gets this passionate about what they do and who they want to be.
That same night, another freelance opportunity presented itself and I applied. Then I sent a message on LinkedIn asking if there was more I could do to help with my application. That’s when I realized that while in my personal life, I have infinite patience, in my professional life, I have NONE. No chill ever. In my personal life, I am the giver of chances, I am the person who wants to offer love and forgiveness and the opportunity to prove that you can be the person you are capable of being if you would just try really hard to stop doing dumb ass shit (until I reach my limit, then you’re erased). I want my children to learn from my example; how to be healthy, mentally healthy, strong, brave, and determined. I give them chances to grow. I’m patient with them. I listen. But when it comes to my professional life, I become so impatient. Reply right now. Interview right now. Let’s get started. Let me write right now. The position I interviewed at Great West won’t even be available until the fall. So, here I am, trying super hard to be patient, because I’m starting to realize that my eager beaver ways might be putting off potential editors. While I think it would be awesome to have staff that wanted a job as much as I want one, maybe others disagree. So, I am going to try this patience thing. I’ve heard it works in some circles. I’ll wait the proper seven days and then call and follow up. Hopefully, I will get in and can proudly announce the next paper I’ll be writing for so my friends and family can all pretend to care and roll their eyes again. I’ll apply the patience that I give to those I love the most to the world I love the most and see if it pays off.

I’m just so excited. The more places I can published & the more time I can put in a newsroom, the closer I get to the thing I’ve worked my ENTIRE life for. And I get ahead of myself. And then I do and say stupid things which doesn’t help. Sometimes I swear I’m a cartoon character.


If not, I’ll find a happy balance between “aggressive bitch” and “wishy washy passive.” It’s gotta be in there somewhere.

Cheap Thrills

I work in customer service and media relations. I pride myself on my level of customer service. At my last workplace my customer service score was 100%. During my Target Mobile tenure, one of my customers sent an email to Target Canada’s head office praising my service. During my management team’s follow up calls, they tell me how my customers praise my empathy, genuine interest in them & product knowledge. There’s a reason my friends call me in the Cow Province instead of their cell providers in Ontario; because I take pride in my job & my ability to do it well. They call me “Cell Phone Jesus” (although I prefer the title “Queen of Telecommunications” as is in my Twitter bio). Thanks to this, I may never need to apply for a job again, for I’m often contacted by recruiters for open positions. In fact, I’m currently in the interview process for a new position that will help me transition my wireless career into a wireless/public relations career. I REALLY want this job, so if you could send all the happy thoughts, love, trend the #HireMHC tag on Twitter, prayers or sacrifices to Cthulu, that’d be GREAT (yup, I humblebragged. Fight me). 

Flashback to when Bossman Adam bought me a tiara

But customer service is super important to me, because as both a customer service representative & a person who buys stuff, I expect it on both sides of the counter. So, when I see an example of poor customer service in my travels, I tend to want to comment. 

This past week, lovable WWE jerk Kevin Owens made a comment online about a restaurant called Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce, claiming he waited quite some time & he and his wife Karina ended up leaving when they were told to wait even longer for their meal. The staff then proceeded to take catty shots on Twitter in a manner reminiscent of Owens’s in character tweets to fans & then somehow, the story ended up being relevant enough to be discussed on Ariel Helwani’s podcast, prompting Owens to post a rebuttal. While right now, it’s a source of annoyance for Owens, it’s a helpful lesson in good customer service. 

I always tell my team that we are representing a company and cellular brands. We are the face of them. If we do a good job, they tell their friends. If we don’t, they tell EVERYONE. Go to any restaurant or cell company’s Facebook & see the comments of “I went into _____ location & they were dicks!” Or ask someone what cell company/restaurant to recommend. They will lead with “don’t go here, they suck.” Why? Because humans naturally gravitate towards the negative. When I think of my first cell phone & the bad customer experience I received (I won’t name names), I know that bias slips into my work, as I lead with Rogers phones, as I’ve had great service with Rogers. Once again, that level of positive service reaps rewards. I’ve never met Kevin Owens, but I do know based on this, I won’t go to Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce next time I’m in Montreal either. Not because of the complaint, but the response & the continued attempts to embarrass Mr. Owens afterwards. That’s just bad customer service. That night, he wasn’t lovable jerk Kevin Owens; he was thoughtful husband Kevin Steen, a guy that really just wanted to take his wife out to dinner. He got poor service & made a comment about it on social media, you know, like everyone else ever. 


I think I empathized with him because I know how seriously Kevin Owens takes his role as brand ambassador for WWE. Last September, my mom bought my kids & I WWE live event tickets to celebrate my youngest’s sixth birthday (& mine, which is 10 days later). My youngest, dressed in her Nikki Bella gear from head to toe carefully made a sign saying she wanted to meet her hero, as well as her favourite wrestler, Seth Rollins. However, Nikki Bella was injured, but fellow Diva Natalya helped my child get a birthday wish from Nikki, which she did & is still on her IG. However, when Kevin Owens arrived, my then eight year old rushed over to the fence to try and get an autograph for her uncle, who’s birthday had just passed & a shy eight year old was drowned out by the “it’s still real to them” crowd & he didn’t hear her. She cried. My oldest suggested we put it on Twitter & maybe it could be funny promo fodder or we’d get a snarky tweet because she finds them funny. After all, it was an accident. Even my eight year old knew it was an accident & had moved on to seeing if she could wave to Cody Rhodes. Owens tweeted back asking what had happened, and even though I stressed it was an accident, she was fine, no harm done, he arranged for the girls to go backstage to the meet & greet, where they got to meet Seth Rollins (& they all nearly died of joy) & messaged a belated birthday wish to their uncle. By the end of the night, my eight year old was crying again, because she didn’t get to meet Owens to thank him.  But to say it didn’t stick out is an understatement. Many of my wrestling fan friends already liked Owens for his in ring ability, but his commitment to the fans made them respect him more. My kids adore Kevin Owens & can’t wait for his action figure to arrive (although it DOES have to apologize to their Sami Zayn for the whole being a jerk to Sami Zayn thing) & I have no problem lining his coffers with my purchases of Kevin Owens merchandise (even though I’m sure his gesture has more to do with him being a father of a child close in age than my buying his merch). The guy running the Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce Twitter could learn from him. 

For my family, Kevin Owens isn’t just a wrestler; he’s a guy who did a really cool thing for my kids. He didn’t have to do anything. But he did & my kids are forever grateful. Nikki Bella didn’t have to wish my daughter a happy birthday. She wasn’t even there! But she, Natalya & Owens went above & beyond & it’ll always stick out & I’ll never tank them enough. THAT is being a brand ambassador & something too few people seem to care about. Both situations started with a tweet about an experience. The difference is that Owens represented his company well & Notre-Boeuf-De-Grâce didn’t. 


It costs you absolutely zero dollars to be a good person, but being a douche can cost you many dollars. While the customer may not always be right, they are a person too & should be respected, even if the answer isn’t one they wanted to hear. A simple “sorry you had a bad time, did you want to DM us what happened?” Could have gone a long way. In this day and age of social media, restaurants can’t afford to be sassy to anyone because by day’s end, the universe will know & you will only have yourself to blame when your business looks bad. 

We all work with people every day. Treat them like they were your best friend, not like just another customer, or chances are, you won’t have any more. 

True Colours

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Dangerous Woman

Hey all!

I’m not dead!

I’ve enjoyed my respite, but it’s time for me to do what I do best; write happy shit. 

I guess I should clarify why I took my downtime. My commute had me exhausted, I felt like I had overexposed my life like a Kim Kardashian nude selfie & I honestly just wanted a few weeks to do some yoga, hang out @ home & reacquaint myself with MHC. 

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Sometimes I feel like I share too much of myself. I’m a very loving & open person & I just want to love everybody. I want to be nice to people. I want to love my girls, my friends, the people I love, even my cat. And I always want to share my happiness with everyone because I assume they are also super happy. That gets me into trouble, as there is always that one or two miserable people who make everything ugly in an attempt to bring you down to their level of misery. I won’t allow it though. My happiness doesn’t come from people or jobs or possessions. It comes from a conscious choice that I make to be happy, simply because I can.  You cannot take my joy, as I create it myself. You cannot ruin someone’s happiness when it can be found in her children, writing, Heavenly Hash ice cream, nature, cute puppies, hot baths, and the ability to change a day with a smile. 

  
My reputation means little to me; my character does. I don’t let gossip or public perception skew me. I would rather focus my attention on being loving, kind, forgiving & compassionate. Those who know best know who I am & who I aspire to be. I won’t let anyone take that from me. 

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I also hate attention except from my kids & like one other person. I would make a terrible celebrity. I hate when people talk about me when I’m not around or stare at me. When people do that, watch me from afar but don’t talk to me, it makes me feel unnerved. I figure if you’re watching me or talking about me, you should come and talk to me, say hi! I don’t even understand why I’d be interesting enough to talk about & I feel like some kind of test subject & it makes me self conscious. Like, I write about my life, but I’m a faceless weirdo to most people. I think I’m the only extroverted person who literally hates attention from strangers or large groups. But during this period, I realized how few people are like me & just want to he happy & love everyone & how much of that unwanted attention I bring on myself by trusting everyone, including the wrong people & sharing so much of myself. I will never stop being kind, patient, understanding & when the world feels dark, it’s important to me to say that I will not allow it to sap my strength & tenacity, my belief in humans & my determination to be kind, understanding & loving, even if no one else is. So, when I feel any kind of edge to me, I decide to retreat so I can retain the best of me. 

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I give so much of myself to the people in this life that I love that I forget to love myself sometimes. I devote so much of who I am to trying to make everyone happy that I end up forgetting to love myself! So I decided to pull myself out of that by kind of internalizing stuff. I didn’t tweet much. I ditched like 60% of my social media & downsized the rest. I kept InstagramFacebook & Twitter, but posted very rarely. I kept my life to myself, save for my nearest & dearest. They knew about how I was adjusting to my new workplace (Someday I will write a damn book about what I see there hahaha), my kids, crossfit (& my distress at missing the open), and my joy that the Overlord & I each own a pair of Becky Lynch goggles. All of the most awesome things.

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But I found that the more I kept my life to myself, the happier I was! I liked that my personal time & space was MINE. I liked not sharing it. I liked that if you wanted to know how I was, you needed to call or text me. And I learned that certain friends didn’t, despite my always being there for them. Nothing was wrong, but I’ve been checking in on them since I moved but I realized how one sided these friendships were. And it didn’t bother me. I don’t need that in my life. You wanna be around me? Make an effort. 

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But the big thing was that I was learning how important it is to maintain my privacy & not blindly trust everyone who seems friendly. It’s important that I create separation for myself, keep my personal life mine, maybe my whole life. That’s not to say that I won’t write about stuff sometimes, but I really enjoyed having that down time to really connect with myself & enjoy that if I was out with friends, or my kids, or even enjoying a cup of coffee by the lake, that was my time. I liked that people had to ask me what’s new because they didn’t read it on FB or Twitter. I felt like I was having real conversations with people again, like in the before time, before social media took over our lives.   

I’m sorry that you’ll see fewer of my Instagram pics, or random Twitter musings, but I really like keeping my life to myself a little more. Maybe the last few weeks were a really good lesson in shut the fuck up. I don’t really see difficult weeks or situations that suck as bad things, I see them as super rad opportunities to evolve as a woman & learn to be a better woman, mom, daughter, sister, partner & friend. I like being able to turn situations I don’t like into super amazing ones (LIKE THE FACT THAT MY TRANSFER = I MAKE SO MUCH MONEY NOW. SO MUCH. IT IS SO STUPID AWESOME HOW MUCH MONEY I MAKE). But like I said, I always want to be a bubbly optimist. So, I needed to get some sleep, spend time listening to bomb ass music & enjoy being that bubbly optimist, as I’m the only MHC on Earth, and I kind of dig her. 

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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. 

  

Away

I used to be that person who was way too open with my life online. Then I got burned & now I’m not. 

My personal life isn’t “out there” on FB, with memes & sap. I’m not that girl anymore. There have been random tweets, but again, this is rare. In fact, I don’t even think I tell my friends when I’m dating someone (aside from my closest friends). I’m very guarded about my life, whom I trust, because it’s something I struggle with. This is why it weirds me out when people put their personal lives all over the Internet.

WWE Superstar Darren Young took some heat from fans this week when he posted screencaps of an Instagram DM (which can still be found on Young’s Twitter), where a cameraman for the E! series Total Divas sent a shirtless snap to the former Tag Team Champion. He then sent back a photo of his partner & put the man on blast for trying to “break up his happy home.” Young defended his airing of his dirty laundry in some other tweets after fans called him out on his poor behaviour. As my friend Matt Bastard & I discussed jealousy & whether it means a lack of trust in your partner, I thought this whole thing was sad & really embarrassing for Darren Young. 

  
I used to be a bit jealous. Not much, but there was one friend of my boyfriend’s that made me feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was the fact that they used to date. Maybe it was the fact that she was overly flirtatious. I’m not sure. But it bugged me. Now, I’m indifferent. Somewhere along the way I became more confident in who I am as a person. This helped me realize that he loves me. It doesn’t matter if she’s pretty, if they used to date, if they were neighbours, or if she hypothetically showed up at his house naked. He loves me & chose me. And he respects me enough to be faithful to me. I’m sure he notices pretty girls, but in the end, he loves me & chooses to be with me & demonstrates this with his actions.  And I need to be confident in his choice & trust him. After all, my being insecure in his choice makes him feel like he needs to do more to prove that I’m his choice. My questioning his choice makes him question it. Lack of trust brings more mistrust. Now, I understand that he chose me because he loves me & I have no reason to question this, because I know he feels it’s the right one. So, instead of being insecure; I’m proud to be the woman he chose. 

I’m sure lots of women hit on him. He’s a good looking, intelligent man who works around people all day. I’m sure girls send him flirty Facebook messages & texts. But he loves me, so it doesn’t matter. However, I would question his character if he put these women on public blast, instead of just politely telling them he has a girlfriend. This would show me a lack of respect for people on his part & an even less respect for me. If you need to put a human on blast to prove your home is happy, then your home isn’t that happy. I don’t know Darren Young or Nick Villa, his partner. But I do know that they don’t seem terribly secure, as they had to put humiliate a stranger to validate their love. Maybe this cameraman wasn’t aware that Young was in a relationship. I’m not married, I don’t wear a ring. I’ve had men ask for my number because there is no obvious indication that I’m with anyone. So, I tell them & life goes on. A simple “thanks for the invite, but I have a boyfriend,” would have sufficed. Maybe they could have become platonic friends? Now, some poor guy has been shamed & humiliated for what could have been a simple misunderstanding. 

The only thing I took away from Darren Young’s tweets was that his relationship appears to be full of insecurity, jealousy & a lack of trust. So much so that he needed to humiliate a total stranger to prove how “happy” he is with his partner. Anyone who needs to go to such immature lengths to showcase a happy relationship can’t be that happy. The fact that these two make such a public front to appear happy makes me think their private is actually stressful. 

A little bit of jealousy is normal, everyone who loves someone might feel a small pang of jealousy from time to time. It means you are protective of your relationship & (when discussed) can help you & your partner find a comfortable place. But when your jealousy & possessiveness leads to you attacking someone & hurting someone else to defend your “happy home,” then you need to evaluate your partner, because there is obviously no trust there, and you can’t have a successful relationship when you’re looking over your shoulder wondering who’s looking at your mate. 

  

Raised On It

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been reading about the Ashley Madison hack and I find it completely hilarious.

I’m not one to revel in the misfortunes of others, but watching guys like Josh Duggar, who for years have tried to make LGBT families, divorcees and anyone who doesn’t fit into their traditional mold of marriage feel like they are somehow deficient try to squirm their way out of this makes me giggle. Watching them try to blame Satan for their hypocrisy warms the cockles of my tiny black heart.

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However, the fall of the Ashley Madison website brings me a personal joy for a more personal reason. During my year as a newlywed, my former husband & I had a million and one problems, most of which stemmed from the fact that we were far too young and not ready to be married. But he worked midnights and my roommate and good friend had discovered that this website was real. So, we looked it up and were horrified at the number of people we knew that were on this site trolling for affairs, one of which was my ex husband. In the infancy of our marriage, maybe even before we had said our I do’s, had been looking for an affair. I chose to stay with him for the next seven years, and I’m glad I did as we later had two beautiful children, but the shock and betrayal stayed with me, as our marriage was marred by a lack of trust, which was pretty valid as he cheated on me pretty much all the time. After our first year of marriage, I discovered that the weekend he sent me to visit friends in our hometown was so he could meet a friend in a hotel for a tryst. About two years ago, he admitted to me (while heavily drunk) that he had slept with the stripper next door. I received an email from his former friend’s wife confirming they had been sleeping together while I was pregnant and on bedrest with our second child. And he was once banned from working as a photographer at two separate bars in our old hometown for sexually harrassing the staff. These all stuck with me for years, negatively impacting my future relationship. I would remember the female friends who weren’t platonic friends, the comments about how if he didn’t think I’d get mad, he would be trying to get with our female friends, or the time he propositioned my best friend to have a three way with him and our friend Sarah. It bothered me so much that I didn’t know how to trust a man who said he loved me and it took three years of therapy to feel okay and accept that not every man on Earth was out to hurt me or cheat on me.

I sent an email to the creator of Ashley Madison and blasted them for providing this service. I asked them how could they sleep at night knowing that they were making it easier to break the hearts of so many trusting souls. The reply I got was that maybe I should have been a better wife and lover, and my husband wouldn’t have wanted to stray, a sentiment he would tell me when I would put him on blast for his flirting, or whatever I caught him doing (that he would always say was misunderstood, or he was misunderstood, because he was the victim and why wouldn’t I just do *insert sex act here* and he wouldn’t have to want to cheat?).

This is why I laugh when I see the cheaters on Ashley Madison squirming and crying about their privacy.

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I feel for the victims, and by victims, I mean the actual victims. The spouses who used the tool on Wired and got the unfortunate surprise of “Guess who’s email address was compromised?!” or the stammering conversations where they explain their behaviour. I don’t feel the tiniest bit badly for the “victims” who’s privacy was breached. Oh, I know the dark side, this could happen to anyone and boo hoo and credit cards aren’t secure and the like. But a bunch of horrible people are going to be exposed for betraying their spouses and I’m glad. I hope they feel violated and like their integrity is compromised and awful. You know, the way their spouses have felt for months when they have suspected for months that their partner was cheating, or when they found out the truth.

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I have had a few friends who have said to me that since I was a staunch defender of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence when they had their private photos leaked online last year, I should take the same stance on this. I disagree. There is a big difference between private photos that were meant to be viewed by one person privately (such as Jennifer Lawrence’s photos for then partner Nicholas Hoult) and cheating on your mate. While yes, cheating isn’t illegal and having your credit card information compromised totally sucks, you were betraying your partner, and in the case of a guy like Josh Duggar, you were doing it while condemning other people for not living life according to a belief system that you yourself weren’t following. So, I don’t feel totally badly for these “victims,” just the people they have been victimizing, for having to learn that the person that they are with actually sucks in such a public way. Even if you didn’t pick anyone up on Ashley Madison, you had an account, the intent was there and you sir or madam are a raging douchebag. Your partner deserved a million times better and you should feel violated, because you are walking a mile in their shoes and I hope you wear them well.

  
Maybe I’m biased, because I know how it feels to find out that your spouse has an account with a website designed to help him cheat on you and I know how people like Anna Duggar feel. I hope Anna Duggar takes her kids and leaves him and finds happiness with a man who recognizes how beautiful and special she really is, but I doubt her religion will allow it. Ironically enough, her church will likely badger her with the same answer that Ashley Madison gave me and she will stay with her unfaithful husband. If she does, let’s not shame her or call her stupid. We are not walking in her shoes. We don’t know what her “church” has done to devalue her. But for all of those who are scrambling to “save” their marriage and blaming the Ashley Madison hack, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, because you already destroyed your marriage when you strayed (or attempted to stray) from your partner; it’s just now everybody knows you were doing it.

  
And to those encouraging people not to check the list for their partner; I disagree (although I haven’t for reasons that make sense to me). Chances are, you won’t be shocked by the answer. My Texan bestie looked up her own email & hubby, even though she knew the answer just for the lolz. But most people who are checking are either;

a) bored like me or

b) confirming an answer they already knew subconsciously, an answer they have every right to know.