Maybe You’re Right

FINALLY, the last few weeks are ALMOST OVER!

Hooray!

It has been a long ass month of sales, training a new hire, packing, getting ready to move to my dream home, and pretty much never sleeping ever. I’m hosting a housewarming party at the end of this and we’ve unpacked (with many stuffed mushrooms), because I’m literally in awe of my home. All my life I’ve wanted a home that I could be proud of, that the girls could be proud of, and in London, we had one, but not much else. Here, I have a job I’m good at, a freelancing career, a car, and the house I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl and I’m so grateful that my girls & I get to call it home.

I’m working with a renewed sense of purpose, because I have the house of my dreams, I have to take care of Wanda Maximoff, and now I’ve got to save up for some trips to Ontario for the summer, as well as a trip for my birthday. I was planning a trip to Vegas, but with Britney taking a hiatus, why even go? Exactly! No point at all!

Since Vegas is out, I’ll go to the one place I’ve always dreamed of visiting; New Orleans. I’ve tried to go twice; once for my Honeymoon (we didn’t go anywhere because he lost his job right before the wedding…twice) and once with an ex boyfriend (we broke up). Perhaps the lesson is to stop trying to do kick ass stuff with shitty men. So, whether I go alone, or find a travel buddy, imma try to save up and go to NOLA! I’ll need to fritter all my extra pennies, and buckle down at the gym (I’m down 12lbs since December), because I want to do this vacation, but also feel good about myself while I’m there.

One part of feeling good about myself is trying to make dating an option and actually mean it this time. For years I’ve kept myself closed off because I’ve been afraid of getting hurt. Then I’ll go out on a few dates, decide the guy is probably just an asshole and leave before I get hurt, rinse repeat. But my BFF’s keep reminding me that when I take risks with my work and other aspects of my life, they pay off. I took my kick down the ladder at work and worked hard to prove myself to be a capable manager who CAN do a good job. I took risks with my house hunt and I now live in the most awesome house in the whole wide world. Why don’t I take risks with my love life, and I don’t mean Tinder.

I mean actually making moves to let men know I’m interested in them, or at least make eye contact.

For this, and other pearls of wisdom, follow me on SC @ashmhc!

I keep telling myself I’ll meet a guy organically, but I also don’t do anything to do that, like leave my house to go anywhere except work, the gym, and Starbucks. Then while at those places, I refuse to acknowledge anyone outside of a quick greeting and retreat into my insecurity and lose myself in my phone. I refuse to even approach the hot security guard my best friend swears is flirting with me because I say he’s definitely not flirting, he’s just being friendly. He’s hot with an accent and hilarious. I am…me. I can look at my life and think “Damn I’m so awesome,” until it comes to dating. Then I instantly think

  • Too old
  • Too Fat
  • too weird (definitely too weird)
  • Too much baggage
  • Too loud
  • Too basic (My personal and work cell phones have matching pink sparkly cases ffs!)

I always just look in the mirror and think;

What self respecting man wants a single mom of three in her thirties that talks too much, swears too much, is WAY too bubbly, watches wrestling and loves Crossfit, Taylor Swift, and thinks that nachos and mojitos is the best date ever? None. That’s who.”

Let’s be real; there are beautiful women in their twenties with careers, cute friends that take insta photos of their feet on tropical islands, no kids, no divorce, wearing a size four. An attractive, intelligent man would definitely be more interested in. Why? Because they’re awesome! I’m not knocking beautiful twenty something women. They’re the coolest! They have jobs and visions and deserve to be praised for being amazing & deserve to be loved and appreciated just like anyone else.

Women need to stick together and they aren’t to blame for my insecurities. I am. It’s my fault that I refuse to make eye contact. It’s my fault that I feel awkward and weird and like I’m not good enough…and it’s up to me to fix it.

When I carry myself with the same confidence I have when it comes to my job, people notice. Men notice. They talk to me, smile, and even flirt. But I’m so concerned that I’m not good enough that I close myself off from meeting, as my ex boss/current friend says, “quality mans.” But that’s not on them, it’s on me. Sure, I have baggage, but I can lose weight if I put in the work, I’ve done it before. I have a good job, a great support system, a car, no criminal record. All good things. Maybe I’m too basic, but I’m also pretty funny. I’m smart. I have strong opinions and I can totally hold a conversation because I NEVER SHUT UP LITERALLY EVER. But for anyone else to think I’m a catch, I have to believe I am. But that’s the problem; I don’t believe I am. I do, until I want to approach a guy I’m interested in. Then I clam up and close off because there’s no way I’d be good enough for him and end up depressed for three days because I’m a lost cause with cats. I’m going to die alone as a spinster…with. cats.

When I get like this, and decide that I’m probably gonna die alone, ugly and fat, with cats, I usually eat ten pizzas and skip the gym and do all the things that don’t improve my life. This time, I channeled my insecurities into something that would make me feel better about myself. I carried on, getting my new house ready. I went to the gym as often as I could. I changed up my sales strategies at work. Went for Korean food with my ASM squad. But most importantly, spent time with the family catching Pokémon or watching the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix and relived our magical evening with our Lord & Saviour Jesus Swift.

A mate can’t help me love myself and I can’t have a mate unless I love myself. So, if I’m going to use 2019 as the year that I FINALLY make my love life a priority, I need to silence my insecurities by making myself a priority. Once I truly love myself, I can let someone else love me.

Maybe I won’t have the courage to ask for the hot security guard’s number, but if I keep working on loving myself despite all of my weirdness, I’ll talk to the right guy. And he’ll think I’m great just the way I am. But the best part will be that I’ll think I’m great just the way I am too.

Last year, I attended a beautiful wedding & I caught the bouquet. I jokingly told my friend that it was hilarious that I caught it, because I’m the one person who will never get married next…or at all. Her new husband told me “if you told me two years ago that I’d be here now, married to (friend) and building a life and family with her and the kids, I’d have laughed at you. But I’m here and I’m so happy. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling you that in two years, we’ll be dancing at your wedding.” It was so optimistic and cute. But maybe he’s right. Maybe all these years I’ve closed myself off because I’ve felt unworthy of love, and I’m missing out on the joy they had. So I promised I’d carry that bouquet as my “something borrowed” at my future wedding. I just have to remind myself that I deserve love and joy just as much as anyone else and its out there if I’m willing to put myself out there.

But I learned you’ll never love yourself if you keep blaming your past, your experiences, acting like a victim, or making no efforts to improve your circumstances. Change doesn’t work unless you do. I keep making changes; I work out to feel better about my body. I found a home I’m proud of. I work hard at my job so I can grow. I’m not a perfect mom, but I’m trying. But if I want to be a person that someone else will fall in love with, I have to make sure that I love every aspect of who I am, and continue to grow. I’m not there yet, but I’m working at it. Maybe, once I fully love me, I’ll meet someone who does the same.

Woman Like Me

My best friend moved to Edmonton a few months ago and it is, without a hint of hyperbole, the absolute fucking best.

She’s getting the hang of our business, our team is dope af, and WE GET TO GO TO THE IKEA! I’m moving next month and it’s been nice to have someone here who’s super excited to organize and decorate my new house (also, WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE MY NEW HOUSE IT IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE EVER), have Thursday coffee with, and talk in the same time zone. I am so proud of this woman for taking huge risks and having it pay off, and I get to watch her do it all from across the hall! There is literally none downside, unless you count when she decides to be my wingman.

See, I haven’t been on a date since early June, when I went out with Mr. I work for the Government, I’m super important, so I’m always late and super arrogant. Barf. I almost made a date with the guy who pretended to be a customer to get my business card and then charmed me until he told me to go on break and hook up with him in the bathroom of Sherwood Park Mall. Know your audience bro. The rest is boring Bumble dudes who annoy me and my longstanding crush on the super hot security guard at my work (not the one that told me I looked pretty & my 11yo told him “Dude, I am right here!” The other good looking one hahaha). But, I made a joke that I was bored at work and too bad the security guards weren’t doing their routine visits. She points out;

  • He’s not wearing a ring
  • She works shifts I’m not there and can do recon
  • She knows my number, my work cell number, all of my social media handles (which are here, here, and here), where I live, and my work schedule

And she’s not above playing wingman. After all, it’s time I got out there & I could always talk to him myself…

…but why?

You have to TALK to men now?! Ugh!

I’m not good with dating. Or talking to attractive men. I become all weird and awkward and it’s super awful for everyone, especially me, who pretty much wants to crawl into the floor and die.

Besides, no security guards wear wedding rings for work purposes, and super attractive security guards generally have girlfriends, you know, with the being attractive, funny, and have a good job and such. That’s generally what women look for, along with “don’t be a raging fucking asshole.” I am a potato who doesn’t know how to talk to men. I mean, I make attempts, but it’s all “so…do you like…stuff?”

The thing is, my BFF is right. Maybe I should be more open to communicating with men. The pieces of my life have been falling into place all year. I’m finally successful at my job & I’ve held my position for a year. I bought a car. I’m moving to a house that I’m proud to live in. I’ve built a strong support system and have established strong friendships in YEG. I’m focusing on ways to improve my physical and emotional health and both are working. My work performance is improving every day. I’ve been happier than I’ve been in a long time because of the changes to my living situation and more time at the gym. Maybe now that everything else seems to be falling into place, I’m finally ready to consider dating more seriously than “three dates and you mildly annoy me so I don’t want to date you anymore.” That’s how it works. You get the rest of your life figured out, and then you meet someone & it works and you’re happy…

…or you just become the cat lady!

But, apparently, you need to actually talk to men, and interact with them, and like, pay attention to them and stuff, which is apparently where I’ve been going wrong. I’m always so focused on making life better for myself and the girls that I don’t really do that. I live in a bubble where I parent, go to work, and go to the gym, and no one meets their soulmate at work or the gym (or in Sherwood park in a mall. Trust me. Just no). So, I guess I’ll need to start doing that…

…mostly because I don’t really have a choice, as my own personal wingman will force me into the dating world kicking and screaming, but it’s for my own good hahaha.

Real Life

Time for some big changes y’all. For those of you new to my world, let me remind you how well I do with change.

My lease is up at the end of January, which means it’s time for a new place. I’ve never been in love with my house. I moved in sight unseen. It’s perfectly adequate, but I’ve had repair issues, other struggles, and truthfully, I’ve been unhappy with the place for over a year. It’s time to rip off the bandaid and move on. I had planned to try to stay until June, but it’s not gonna work, so I’ll be welcoming the new year in a new home…wherever the fuck that is. It’s gotta be near work, by a good school, near my gym, that allows cats and offers parking. Easy. Right?

(No I am not moving back to Ontario. No one has ever improved their life by going backwards or running away from their problems. That’s what cowards do. You have to move in a positive direction, and there is nothing positive about Ontario. Just high crime and Doug Ford. Gross)

I’ve got a bunch of appointments to look at houses, and we’ve already started purging and downsizing, which is therapeutic af. I’ve long outgrown this neighbourhood. But much like when I long outgrew my Windsor home, I hung out too long and let myself get miserable and fat for no reason. Same thing here. I’ve allowed the events of the summer to impact my job, my relationships, my friendships, and my life. I’ve been too depressed to go to the gym and throw myself into my work, while simultaneously falling behind at work. I’ve been a Debbie Downer at work. This isn’t healthy for me, or my family. We can’t just be miserable when things go wrong. That’s a terrible example to set. So, the universe agrees it’s time to rip off the bandaid. No more living in a house that is “good enough” or “okay.” We deserve better. So, I’m gonna find us a house that’s best for us, even though I was STILL considering staying, just because it’s easier. I’ve never been the person who hangs out in the comfort zone, so it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and get shit done.

I’ve also gone back to therapy. I see no shame in admitting I’ve had a bit of a rough go and I need to give my mental health a tune up. Therapy is fucking magical and anyone who says they’re against therapy is dumb as fuck and you should never listen to them. Therapy is super helpful. It allows you to listen and be heard. It allows you to learn how to cope when life throws you for a loop. This life thing is hard guys. It’s even harder when you’re riddled with anxiety and can’t enjoy it because you’re making shitty choices and whining like an emo baby. I lost some very good friends because I was like that; always playing victim. Always whining. Being depressed and obsessing about circumstances I couldn’t change. I don’t ever want to go back to that person, so the minute I feel myself even slipping, I get my ass to therapy to make sure that my mental health is in a good place.

I look at my life and there’s so much good. You can’t lose all that good because things haven’t gone well, or because you’ve let yourself fall into a rut. 2018 has mostly been rut; work, minimal social life, fighting to get to the gym, feeling like an outsider and gauging my social interactions so I’m “fitting in.” Never standing up for myself and letting people make fun of me. Gaining weight back and being okay with it because I’m too damn tired to work out or eat well. And it sucks. It’s time to let go of old patterns and old shit and old places I’ve outgrown and forgive people for what they’ve done because holding on to that anger is sucking the life out of me. My life is too good to have the joy sucked out of it. Therapy helps me see the joy in my life, by giving me the tools to find it. I’ll use those tools to fight for my dreams of building a better life for myself and the kids, no matter what.

The next few months is all about growth. Growth towards a new home. Growth towards improving mental health so I can be the best version of me. Growth so I don’t feel like an outsider everywhere I go, even when no one is making me feel that way. Growth towards building a better home and future for my family. But most importantly, growth that is long overdue, that’ll make me a better person.

People Like Us

Sometimes, life is super rad and everything is awesome & you look at life like “damn, life is so awesome!”

…this is not one of those times.

I’m telling you kids, this month has been a struggle. First, I asked to reduce my workload as a result of a personal issue. My super awesome boss was all “yeah, for sure,” at first, but then he was like “LOL JK you run two stores now.” I’m not complaining. I’m grateful that I get to prove I can handle more responsibilities. My kick ass ASM’s are a big help, and it’s double money, so I’ve been planning a girls weekend with some girlfriends and the kids to go to Jasper at the end of October or early November. Hopefully, my best friend can come with, depending on her work schedule, because my best friend is moving to Edmonton. DID I MENTION MY BEST FRIEND WILL BE LIVING IN EDMONTON WITH ME (well, not in the same house, BUT VERY CLOSE TO ME)?! Hard work means I can save up for Xmas, and go on a little mini vacay to see mountains. But, I’d really like to find time for the gym. I love the gym.

LOOK HOW HOT MY BEST FRIEND IS

I’ve been struggling with some personal stuff. Sometimes it’s hard to put personal struggles aside and focus on the work. But, you’ve gotta do it, even when it feels like everything is crushing you and the weight of the world is breaking your heart. But you gotta push through. Your family depends on it & you have to do what’s best, even if it’s not popular. Sometimes that stress bleeds in at work and you’re crying in your back room because you don’t know how to navigate a situation like this. Fortunately, I have a great team of people that work with me. I have a great support team of managers and an understanding boss. So, we make it work somehow & the work is paying off. We won our “Holy Grail.” Every month we get a little better. Even when everything sucks, you’ve gotta smile and keep on moving.

Not pictured; the other half of my team. Also, my desire to look cute in a picture

Somewhere between the added workload, and article deadline, declining a writing opportunity I really wanted to take advantage of (and hopefully will in the near future, when I have more time), I sat on the glasses I need to wear at all times to read and drive and broke them. Again, look on the bright side MHC. Fix em with super glue. You have benefits. You can get new ones. The new ones are Coach. They are Hella cute. They aren’t scratched. Yay! So, let’s take a deep breath and be positive.

Which brings me to the story of my car.

I love my car. I have an unnatural attachment to my car. Her name is Wanda Maximoff. I refuse to let my car get below half a tank of gas. You can not eat or drink inside of my car. You must wipe your feet before getting inside my car. I’ve already booked my oil change/service, because it’s been almost six months. I freak if it is even a little bit dirty. Yes, I love my car. I’m also a SUPER cautious driver. I drive five below the speed limit at all times (unless it’s raining, then it’s ten). On my way home from an impromptu trip to West Edmonton Mall, I went through a roundabout, dropped my speed (it was raining), hit a pothole, and PUNCTURED MY FUCKING TIRE. MY BRAND NEW CAR HAD A FLAT TIRE.

That was it. The last straw. Everything came crashing down; my broken heart, my work stress, my lack of time management which meant no gym, and now my car had a flat tire. I was so angry. I’m a decent person. I work hard. I’m a good mom. I do my best. I try to treat people well. I am a ridiculously cautious driver. So, why was life continuing to fuck me without even buying me dinner first?! I could have spit blood. I was just so sick and tired of trying to be nice and be happy all of the god damn time only to have people stab me in the back and betray my trust and do hateful things to my family while the universe seemed to fuck with my peace of mind and MY BRAND NEW CAR. I did not want to “find the silver lining.” I wanted to throw shit and scream.

But, fortunately for me, the universe won’t let me wallow in self pity. I have to see the good, like my friend getting down on the wet ground to help me change my tire and helping me get my car to Canadian Tire to get it replaced. He also reminded me that my busted tire is a metaphor for life. I did everything right; I was cautious. I signaled. I slowed down to be mindful of the slick roads. I did everything you’re supposed to do and still hit a pothole. That’s life. You can do everything right, but something could still go wrong. The important thing is we learn and still look for the good. I had good friends who spent the evening with me while I replaced my tire. My staff helping me balance my time. My friends back home offering their love and support. Sometimes, you’ve gotta just search for that one good thing about your day & use it to be happy, otherwise you become a miserable sad sack incapable of finding joy.

When life craps on you, you’ve gotta find good. Sometimes it’s as big as the fact that you have a job, a family, great friends, and two kick ass cats and you can work your dream job while also working full time at a job you enjoy and feel empowered at. Sometimes it’s as important as having your friend teach you how to change your tire. Sometimes, it can be as little as you discovered a Taco Bell 12 blocks away & Becky Lynch is the Smackdown Women’s Champion. There’s something good in everything. It’s up to us to find it.

So, even though life is not ideal right this second; it will be. Everything gets better. While we are plugging along, I’ll remember that it’s okay to be stressed and sad, there’s still a lot of good to be found. Maybe it’s harder to find, but if you look hard enough, and make it a point to find it, you will.

Sky Full Of Song

A couple of years ago, I was starting a new job, which was kind of an old job. I was going back to a company I loved & I was gonna kill it. I was going to do a great job. I was going to be the best cell phone boss lady in the whole world. Except that I wasn’t, and I was actually demoted after four months. So, I cried in my bathtub with a bottle of wine, wallowed in self pity for an hour, then resolved to get better. I did, got promoted again a year later and now I’m running my store much better than I did before. Sometimes the best lessons come from failure. I wasn’t prepared for the job and I wasn’t very good. It’s a blow to the ego, but sometimes you’ve just gotta take the L and learn from it.

This was the lesson I had to remind myself of this week when every single thing went wrong in my life. I struggled with EVERYTHING, including my road test to upgrade my license. I was feeling discouraged and miserable, like I let everyone down. I injured my foot, so walking was a chore. My feelings of sadness and inadequacy were impacting my work, my life. Fortunately, my best friend Erica is the most bomb ass bitch alive and reminded me that we grow from failure. No one grows as a human from kicking ass all of the time. No, we grow when things suck.

Also, how hot is my best friend? Like, it’s not fair to the rest of us.

I think the universe recognizes that I need to constantly be growing, which is why it kicks me in the face sometimes. We all need that moment where life tells us that we ain’t shit. Otherwise we’d simply float through our lives as stagnant humans. I don’t want to be stagnant. So, I needed that smack with the reality stick to help me stay humble and refocus. That momentary setback will help me become better.

I know it sounds weird, welcoming setbacks? That’s so stupid! They suck! This is true. They do. Trust me, it was soul crushing! My ego was bruised, my self confidence was shattered. But if you wallow in that feeling of defeat, you don’t grow. I wasn’t going to get better sitting around moping. All of the best decisions I’ve made for my life came from being kicked in the proverbial dick. I went back to school after my divorce & met some of my best friends. I moved to London after I let depression get the best of me, and finally found my independence. I moved to YEG after Target closed & I decided to put my writing career first. I learned to drive when my personal life fell apart and I realized my failure to learn was holding me back. I became good at my job after I was told I was bad at my job. All of these setbacks this week are just stepping stones to get better, whether it’s driving, managing, reporting, or fitness. By embracing failure, I can become more successful.

You’re probably thinking “sure MHC, it’s easy for you to say that failure can be positive, but I’m depressed & failure is all that’s happened to me. What then?” Well, I’m not a therapist or professional, but my hippie friend once told me that a mistake will repeat itself until you learn what the universe wants you to learn. Maybe your life is a series of fuck ups because you didn’t learn what you needed to do to evolve, so you have to take the test again. I wouldn’t assume I’m right, but I do know that, in my life, setbacks have gotten me to brilliant destinations. So, I choose to be the eternal optimist and see the good in the worst sorts of things (including Mr. Emotionally Unavailable…call me 😉).

So, I’ll keep on plugging away and keep on trying to get better at every part of my life. Sometimes it’ll all work out. Sometimes it won’t. But the important thing is that I’ll learn how to become a better person along the way. Sometimes things just have to knock you down, not just to test your strength to get back up. Sometimes you need it to remind yourself to be humble and grateful of the opportunities you’ve been given, so that you’re ready to take on more.

The Night We Met

What could be better than your computer requiring a system restore the night before a deadline, so you have to wait to proofread it before submitting it?! What, being punched in the face?! Perhaps!

Actual footage of me vs. my computer tonight

Oh well, while I wait for the system restore, I’ll just sit here in my bathtub wearing a detoxifying mud mask because this skin isn’t gonna look healthy on its own. I’ll also take this time to ask a question that’s been the subject of an argument between myself and my friends (& my teenager, who is determined to marry me off to some handsome hunk so her little sisters have a father figure in their lives & she can convince imaginary new stepfather to buy her a puppy);

Is it possible to be too busy to date?

My friend is getting married this August, and I’ve been asked back home if I’m bringing a plus one. I haven’t been on a date since December so…no. Besides, who brings someone they’ve dated less than six months across the country to meet everyone & attend a wedding? That’s way too soon! I’m constantly asked when I’m going to finally meet someone, or start dating someone seriously, and I always ask myself “Excuse me, when am I going to have time for this?!” I mean, I work 50 hours a week at my store, then I’m writing articles for three publications. The only places I go to outside of work is the gym or Starbucks. No one meets their soulmate at the gym or at Starbucks, despite what romcoms tell you…do they? Personally, when I’m at the gym, I’m just focused on not getting injured. Seth Freaking Rollins could walk in and propose and I would likely be too focused on my kettlebell swings to notice.

I work six days, I hit the gym three days a week, go running three days a week, work on my articles in the middle of the night, and use my one day off as family day for the girls. Where exactly am I gonna fit “develop a functional interpersonal relationship?!”

I keep being told to “make time.” But I don’t want to unless I’m making time for someone of value. Otherwise, it’s straight up wasting my time. People say I’m not willing to give men a chance, but in reality, I’m not willing to give all my time and attention to some Tinder dude that hasn’t proven himself worthy of my time yet. I’m busy. I’m not gonna drop a gym class to go out for drinks. I’ll gladly make plans in advance with you, and if you’re not willing to make them, then chances are you don’t respect my time. Why should I lower my standards like that? If I asked to make plans, and the dude said he was busy, I would understand he has a life too. But women in general are expected to fall head over heels because a guy showered them with attention.

The other issue I take is “MH, you’re a single mom. You have baggage. You can’t be expecting to land a charismatic, successful, career focused man. You need to settle.” Bitch, no I don’t. Kids aren’t baggage. They are part of the package. Unless they have chosen to remain child free (a decision that should be respected BTW), we’re in our thirties. Lots of divorced single parents out there. Much like I had to learn to embrace that I might be a stepmom (something I was previously not open to, because of past experiences), most men in my age group understand its part of the deal. Why are single moms supposed to reduce ourselves to emotionally unavailable jerks because “the good ones won’t want a single mom.” Then how are they “good?” A good person embraces every part of you, and that includes kids. I always want to scream that I’m not too busy to date; I’m too busy to settle.

Every relationship I’ve ever been in was me settling for someone I thought would love me because I’m obviously so difficult to love. When my old blog post pop up on my Facebook memories, and I re-read about how grateful I was that cowardly, spineless, twats “loved” me because I was so impossible to love, I want to puke. Not just because it reads like a pathetic wimp, but because I allowed myself to think that I didn’t deserve to be happy with someone because I sucked as a person. Everyone deserves to be happy. That is a basic human right. And everyone deserves a relationship that helps them feel good about themselves. A relationship where you feel like you have to be grateful they’re with you because you suck isn’t one of those.

I don’t want to look at myself in a negative space anymore. So, I refuse to waste time on things or people that will only bring negativity to my life. Instead, I fill it up with things of value; my girls, my job, my career, Crossfit, a 10k run, my best friends. You know, stuff that really matters and will help me improve as a person, so I can be a better role model to the girls. Settling isn’t really doing that.

I guess when I say “I’m too busy to date,” I also mean, “I’m too busy to settle.” I’m also too busy, mostly because I only go to work, Starbucks, and the gym (which we have established are not ideal places to meet people), because I’m trying to do my best to live a life I’m proud of, while teaching my daughters to live life on their terms and be happy with themselves, so when they’re ready to love someone, they’ll be capable of a mature, healthy relationship without the trial by fire that we all had. Maybe if I meet someone who is also busy, and wants to compromise with me so that we fit into each other’s lives comfortably, things will change, but until then, I’ve gotta focus on the girls, that 10k run, my byline, and helping my store succeed.

This Town

Time sure flies when you’re on an adventure. 

It’s been two years since I decided to pack up my life and move across the country to build my portfolio. Its been a interesting journey, full of highs and lows, victories and defeats, but through all of it, I’ve met some of the best people and gotten to do some of the coolest things. I’ve accomplished so much and (until the next adventure calls) this feels like home. 

Because it’s home, I have a life here. So, today, I’ll be going to my favourite salon so my girl Tess can brighten up the blonde. If you need a YEG stylist, feel free to email me & I will give you some deets, because there is no better stylist than Tess and the rest of the stylists at my salon. If not, then check out some photos of my various adventures in YEG (without photos of my children to protect their privacy). It’s been quite an adventure, but I wouldn’t trade the friends I’ve made, my beloved coworkers, and the lessons I’ve learned for anything. 



Since we’re talking about Tess, here’s a look at how she keeps me looking fab




The Lumineers 😍
I’ve met some of the best people here

That’s What You Get

I am starting to think that I am simply afraid to be happy.

I understand that all humans have a basic right to be happy. I am generally a happy person. I find ways to be happy even when everything is actually stupid. I pride myself on this. But when things play out in a way that makes me truly happy, I start to feel guilty, like do I deserve this? Is it fair that I’m so happy when other people aren’t, etc.?

I lead a very charmed existence. My life used to be very challenging & I’ve worked very hard to build myself in a way that I can be happy regardless of what’s happening in my beautiful life. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with three wonderful children. I have a talent I am passionate about and I’m growing as a writer every day. I’m building connections and career opportunities in my field and I’m super excited about that. My home is slowly becoming a lovely little house where I can raise my family. The girls love their new surroundings and like to chase the bunnies in the yard, they’ve already made friends their own age, and are always outside enjoying their new hometown. Business is even picking up at my day job, so I’m worrying less and less about money and focusing more on becoming a good manager and leader. You know, why I was hired in the first place. My friends back home are always supportive and my friends here are super fun. My girlfriend & I are setting up a playdate with her boys and my girls once the boys get home from camp. My frazzled nerves are often soothed by three words, sent by text message almost every day. They give me peace & security. I’m beautiful and smart and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel anxious and my self esteem doesn’t suck.

But I also find myself worrying that something is going to go terribly wrong. I find myself feeing increasingly sorry for the Dad, who seems to be miserable and that’s my fault. I know you could rationalize that if he wanted to see his kids, he would find a job here, or he would have actually spent time with them when he had them for the month, but I can’t help but feel badly that his life has gone so far downhill and mine seems pretty rad. Kids deserve two hands on parents and I keep hoping he’ll finally get it together and focus on being a good father for his children, but it never happens. And I just keep thinking that I’ve ruined his life somehow. I worry all of the things that are making me happy will suddenly be taken away and it won’t be here anymore. I hadn’t planned for certain developments, and now that they’re in play, it scares me that the other shoe will drop and it’ll go away & the thought scares me so much. I worry that maybe they prefer me as a zoo animal to be observed & watched than a woman to be loved & respected. I can see the girls are adjusting nicely, but I’m still worried that they won’t be happy or that I’m making choices that will impact them in a negative way, despite everything being positive. I also wonder WHY I feel badly that he’s miserable. If the shoe were on the other foot, he would revel in my misery. But I keep worrying that he won’t handle the transition okay, which causes me to distance myself from other aspects of my life so that I can try to help him adjust.

 

I understand all of these feelings are super normal. I understand that change is scary and letting people in is terrifying and trusting people is hard and people have free will and they choose to love you and they can choose to self destruct and there’s nothing you can do about it. I guess it’s all part of the adjustment; learning to trust your gut instincts (which currently tell me to relax and enjoy my life, it’s the overthinking that gets me) and learning to accept that feelings of self doubt and even fear are normal; especially when every other time you’ve been really happy, it seems to go away. You’ve just gotta remind yourself that it won’t go away. I’ll just continue to focus my efforts on raising my girls, self improvement, and most importantly, the written word. I apply for jobs I’m grossly underqualified for, just so I can get my name out there while I continue to work with my current magazines. I’ll continue to revel with my time with my girls. I’m doing every day crossfit, which means my body hurts like mother effer, but I’m feeling more like myself which means I’m much happier here. It finally feels like this is home. London never really felt like home. It felt like a stepping stone to someplace else. Maybe this was that someplace else? Or maybe this is a stepping stone to someplace else and in two years or so I’ll end up in BC working at some rural newspaper in some hick town, or I’ll actually go to the arctic. Who knows? All I know is I need to do what my Queen Taylor Swift says and “shake it off” and not allow guilt or feelings that the other shoe will drop spoil the happy life I’m building.

But it’s easier said than done & it’s something I need to work on to help me be a more confident person. But as we slowly adjust into a comfortable routine here, and as time passes, it’ll be easier for me to settle into my comfortable place & just be happy.   

Wait For Me

My house is oddly quiet, except for the prattling of the not so angry teen who is currently enjoying a warm reunion with…her clothing.

My children are home and my heart is full. I can’t remember the last time I have been this happy. I revel in my role as mom, I love being there for my children and raising them and spending my days with them. They’re my favourite people in the entire world and after 28 miserable ass days, they are finally home where they belong, although two of them have been fast asleep since they got home. But they’re resting and recouping after a long journey. Even the cat is happy.

Now we can focus on the adjustment period, where the girls adjust to the new time zone, the new house, etc. I wanted to do this during the summer so they have time to feel comfortable. I sort of flung myself into everything and ended up feeling overwhelmed and a huge emotional wreck. Fortunately, I had friends (home and away) that have been there or me, whether it’s FaceTime chats, or texts, or sobbing phone calls, or even just holding me and reminding me that everything will be fine and they’re right here beside me and they’re not going anywhere. I want my children to have an easier transition. So, I want them to have time to play at the park, learn their way around, enjoy the city, etc. Then we can add school and friends and life. Oh, but first, our audience with Queen Taylor.

Now, our lives in cow province can begin. I’m excited to build a comfortable routine with my daughters. Something where we can be happy and have adventures and enjoy our little existence. It’s going to be nice to have “our” lives again, not to mention it’ll be awesome for them to learn more about our country by living in more than just Southwestern Ontario. They’re excited for the next chapter of our lives and I’m excited too. I used to just be terrified, but the fact that they are here and I no longer have to worry about what’s happening with them makes it easier. I no longer have to wonder about if they’re around something questionable, are the caregivers drinking to excess, are people smoking near them, are they being kept up too late? Now we can go back to our happy life of tea parties, learning and adventures. I start back at the gym full time on Wednesday, so the girls will see a normal schedule again. All of these things are essential to helping them adjust, which is my primary focus right now.

Being reunited with my children makes it easier to focus on why we are here; to continue to build my career. I like my day job and I understand it’s essential, but I came out here for a full time gig. Rome isn’t built in a day, so it’s time to continue to focus on building that portfolio so I can get a permanent position…and learn to drive. You know, perfectly normal things. But I’m very thankful that I have even this sliver of opportunity to build my dream career. I went to school and worked hard and have continued to work hard to get this far. Now, I just need to keep working. Of course, part of that means I need to stop being so hesitant to consider a long term career in entertainment media. I know I want to write human interest stuff and stuff that I feel makes a difference, but I’m really good at music reviews, and editorials about pop culture. Maybe that’s what I’m meant to do? I guess I need to stop bucking the idea and just enjoy writing! Maybe I’ve been a bit of a snob and felt like pop culture wasn’t a long term career plan. Maybe I need to just focus on finding that solid writing job and let the rest fall into place. After all, I guess as long as one person is reading my drivel, it means I’m a success, right?

In the interim, I’m going to enjoy my life. I have always led a pretty charmed existence and each move I make seems to make it better. I have beautiful children, I’m making strides in my career, and I finally know what time it is. I’m blessed with wonderful people who love me. My house is looking pretty nice. Not a bad gig. And I’m going to enjoy watching it play out and see what wonderful things happen next.

  

Shake It Off

Happy Birthday ASH Multimedia!

I started this bliggity four years ago today and I wanted to thank all of you for going on this crazy ride known as my life with me. I’m not going to review all of the ups and downs, just thank you for reading my thoughts and feelings as life happens and hope you kept the laughing @ me to a minimum. I once had an audience of one and that meant everything to me; now I have a much larger audience and that’s really awesome. I’m so excited to see how my little creative outlet has grown.

Every year on this day I try to impart some kind of wisdom that I think will help with daily life. Today is no different.

***Disclaimer: I am a moron. Helpful wisdom is for entertainment purposes only***

I’ve always believed that some of us were put on this Earth to change the world and accomplish amazing things. My daughters are three of those people. I once told someone very important to me that his destiny was to accomplish great things & I just wanted to be by his side while he did.
Now, I like to think I am one of those people, but then I remember, not likely. I write puff pieces & this blog. But I think we all have some kind of purpose on this planet and sometimes that purpose is hard to see when things kind of suck. For a long time, I didn’t really give myself credit for my life’s accomplishments, only my failures. But when I sit in my little house by the creek, with my punch clock job & my new media job & another media project a friend is starting, my happy and healthy children and my 65lbs weight loss, I realize that we as humans need to let ourselves feel pride in who we are. It’s okay to be selfish and say “I did this,” because we need to feel competent and successful. I know what I can do & how strong & successful I can be & I’m proud of that. I no longer need to see my worth in being beside someone; I have worth for being me.

But that’s not my wisdom.

My wisdom is a simple lesson I had to tell myself when I felt completely alone and miserable. I had felt betrayed, like an idiot, and so completely alone and humiliated. But, when I woke up in the morning, I looked in the mirror and said “I’m still here.” Those three words got me through all of the bad times from that day on. Obviously, whatever was bothering me, whatever thing that I thought was life altering and heartbreaking couldn’t be that bad, because I’m still here. I’m still here on this Earth to raise my daughters and accomplish something important. At various points in my life, like all of you, I would lay my head down on my pillow and sob and wish I wouldn’t wake up in the morning…but I did and I’m so glad that I did, because now I get to live my raddest life. I’m still here, on this planet, to make some kind of difference, so I plan to live my raddest life, and be happy, and be positive, and be the person I’ve always want to be so I can teach my daughter how to live their raddest lives.

So, if you’re in the “everything sucks” part of your journey, it’s okay. We all have that part of our story and you’ll soon learn that it’s actually one of the most awesome parts of your journey. No, I’m not insane. All of that bad, horrible crap that rips your heart out and brings you to your knees will help you see how strong and brave you can be. You’ll learn that while in those dark moments, maybe you didn’t handle them with grace or maturity (I know I didn’t), but that’s okay; anyone who says that they handled every single thing in life with poise & grace & has never gone a little bit crazy is a big liar. However, you endured and when they’re over, you’ll have the joy of knowing that you are strong and powerful and brave…and no one can ever take that away from you unless you let them. You are in control of your feelings, how you see yourself. If someone is crushing you, you’re letting them. Take control by telling yourself every day that you are worthy of living the best life. By reminding yourself that this life altering, soul crushing blow wasn’t the end, it’ll help you to keep moving on & when it’s all over & you’re succeeding & thriving; you’ll know that it’s because you learned from the bad.

So, thanks for reading four years of my drivel. I hope to amuse you for four more. I hope we get through lots of really cool stuff together. Maybe I’ll get to tell you about how I met my soulmate and I just knew. Maybe I’ll announce I got the best journalism gig ever (although I really love the one I just started) or another awesome move & of course, how my girls become women. Maybe someday I’ll write my book on love (working title is “I attract Losers”) and you can be hipsters & say you knew me BEFORE it became big & turned into a romcom starring Jessica Alba & Adam Levine. And we’ll laugh. And we’ll cry. And we’ll be strong and amazing people, because we’ll all still be here.

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