Don’t

Let me tell a story.

In January 2013, Justin Timberlake announced his 20/20 Experience tour. As a long time Timberlake fan, from back to his Mr. Noodle headed N*Sync days, I frantically called my now former best friend and told him we were going. He flatly said he wasn’t a big enough Timberlake fan to go, so no, we weren’t. It wasn’t worth his money, even though I thought it’d be fun.

Fast forward to a few months later, when the Great Gatsby, one of my all time favourite books, was released on film. I begged all of my friends to go with me, pleaded & maybe even whined. To this day, I have not seen Gatsby, as anyone who knows me knows I prefer the movie theatre experience so I rarely watch movies @ home. I was so disappointed that no one would attend the movie with me, just because it wasn’t their film choice.

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I have a point, I promise.

Three days before I moved, Ed Sheeran announced his concert pre-sale. I love Ed, and have even written entire blog posts dedicated to my love for him. I actually took out a cash advance (which I’ve since paid off) so I wouldn’t affect my moving fund to buy the tickets. Zero effs given. I offered up the ticket & was met with the usual “No, I don’t like him. I’m not going. I don’t care that the ticket is free.” My good friend Shannon agreed to go but couldn’t at the last minute. With the exception of an old Sutherland friend, a coworker, & Damanda (who all had scheduling conflicts), I had no volunteers. I was about to sell my tickets on Kijiji, when my good friend the Texan suggested I just go anyway. I thought about it. I had been excited for six months, and booked my travel & hotel. Why not?

So I went. I went shopping, I saw Ed & my life was complete (until the next live act I need to see goes on tour).

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But how many times have we all done that, skipped something we really wanted to do just because we don’t have a friend or partner to go with us? I can think of so many movies I didn’t see because my friends or person I was seeing at the time didn’t want to go, so I missed out. I’m a social person; I love company. But, seeing as all of my London friends either a) work crazy hours like me or b) work the same shift as me because they work with me, I needed to get over the idea that I need someone to come to a movie with me to keep up some kind of appearance to strangers. Who cares? It’s no one’s fault but mine that I missed Gatsby. I could have just gone, right? But I didn’t. And had I sold my tickets, I would be kicking myself for missing Ed. Instead I went shopping, brought home great gifts for my girls & swag for my coworkers & a great shirt to wear to my birthday party tomorrow. But most importantly, I saw a great concert & had a wonderful time. Now I’m heading home to work a short shift & enjoy my family. All good things. Did I mention I sold my extra ticket & made a nice profit? Because I totally did.

So, don’t let messed up plans or lack of interest deter you from what YOU want to do. Go to that concert solo, go to that movie. Dinner for one? Heck yes! The only person who will miss out is you, so suck up the insecurities & have a blast!

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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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Run For Your Life

Every other morning, my alarm goes off @ 7am & I haul my tired ass out of bed & go running. I turn on my Runkeeper app & my angry white boy music & run for 35 minutes in the hope that I’ll get closer to my goal of a 6 minute mile. I’m hoping to participate in a 5K zombie run with some friends this autumn, and cardio is a big part of my weight loss plan.

However, I kind of hate running. Like, a lot. It’s tiring and sweaty & makes my hamstrings sore & crappy. But, I do it because I have a somewhat masochistic relationship with running, because when my Runkeeper app says “activity complete,” and my time was faster than the day before & I ran further than I did that day, I’m sickeningly happy.

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My masochistic relationship with running has been helping me cut out my love of garbage food. After my month of no junk food, I kind of went on a bit of a binge, and my weight loss has stalled (the three pound loss this month, bringing the total I’ve lost to 63lbs hammers that point home) & I have to realize that, like everything in life, I need to be accountable for what I put in my body.

There was a time, just four months ago, that I couldn’t run for a minute without being winded. When I started Couch to 5K, that one minute killed me. But I kept at it & I can run almost 5K. As is with everything in life, little victories, get us to where we want to be. That one minute turned to three, then five, to where I am now. Everything requires work & perseverance, & then you’ll get there.

This brings me to my masochistic relationship with running & my love of junk food. When I eat that donut, I’ve just erased that run…that horrible, horrible run. That twisted sense of accomplishment when I’ve gotten better than I did the previous run was just undone by a freaking donut. Why would I torture my body for the sick thrill of that victory just to ruin it because donuts are really yummy?

So, it’s time that I break up with junk food. Healthy living is 80% diet & I’m probably only doing 60% & that’s just not good enough. I have health & fitness goals & I’m not going to achieve them if I’m not giving them my all.

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So, I’m sorry donuts. While I’m sure we’ll get together every once in awhile, every couple of months or so, I have goals to reach & long term health to think about so it’s not you, it’s me. I’m thinking about what’s best for me, my body & what I want to teach my daughters about food choices & donuts, they don’t include you.

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Something Great

I watched WWE as a kid & still dig the camp factor. My daughters love it though, are very invested in the storylines & I’ll have to keep my two eldest in neutral corners as their faves AJ Lee & Paige compete for the Divas title tonight @ the Summerslam PPV event (yes, they are well aware it isn’t real, it’s all scripted & they’re all friends in real life, but you can get hurt if you try it. My middle daughter will tell you this is the best cartoon on TV & Daniel Bryan is everything).

However, I often complain at the lack of proper representation for their female characters. The Divas (until recently) were one note characters, either kind of trashy or innocent ingenue & their only storylines were bad girl wants good girl’s Divas title or is jealous of good girl. The only exceptions were the long & storied feud of Trish Stratus & Lita & the mean girls style antics of Laycool (Michelle McCool & Layla El). As a parent of daughters , it bugged me that there were no characters they could really get behind or rally around. Well, it’s as if Stephanie McMahon (the company’s principal owner & mom of three daughters) heard every mom’s concerns & did something about it.

The women have complex characters now. Divas Champion AJ Lee went from one note man eater jealous of the girls from the reality show Total Divas (on the E! Network) to complicated heroine struggling to keep her composure after an onslaught of machinations created by her “friend”. Newcomer Paige is a sweet young girl…or a master manipulator. The Bella Twins went from wooden bad girls to heroines protecting each other & their family (namely Brie’s real life & legitimately injured husband Daniel Bryan) from the aforementioned McMahon. Nikki put up with unfair advantage week after week believing that she could overcome & Brie, having had enough, challenged McMahon to stand up for her family & Brie vs. Stephanie is going to headline tonight’s PPV.

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That’s right: the main event is two women! Something unheard of in the sexist & misongynistic world of wrestling. Women are normally relegated to less than 10 minutes & put in the spot known as the “death slot,” so you can get nachos before John Cena appears. My daughters were heartbroken @ Wrestlemania XXXI when they waited all night for the first Divas title match in the history of the event, only to see there were no entrances (save for AJ Lee) & their match was shorter than the time it took for the Undertaker to walk to the ring. The Divas disappear from TV for weeks while little girls sadly hope for a glimpse of Brie or Nikki & last year, a Divas t-shirt was a mythological thing. If little girls wanted something to represent their idols, they had to make it themselves.

But not anymore.

Seven women have merch for little girls to buy. There are two women’s matches a night. TWO. The women have actual storylines & Brie Bella, who’s match was famously pulled off a PPV to make room for Machine Gun Kelly to play John Cena to the ring is considered more important than the men. My daughters pleaded for their Bella shirts & I relented (& got one too) & they are excited for tonight like it’s Super Bowl Sunday with their Fearless Nikki & Brie Mode shirts. They’ve counted down the days for Bellaslam as they call it & tonight, they all get to stay up late to see if their beloved Brie can defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon.

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While to those who don’t watch, it doesn’t seem like a big deal; it’s just a campy, stupid TV show designed for rednecks & children, but to every girl who was told that they only watched wrestling for the hot guys or for the soap opera like atmosphere, this is our moment. For once, the girls we cheered for aren’t being marginalized in a dumbed down storyline that makes women look like shrews or like they only care about pleasing men or like women secretly hate each other & it’s all about jealousy. This is the equivalent of A Disney Princess grabbing the sword from Prince Charming & saving herself, or the Cubs going to the World Series. Fans waited so long & gave up hope that the day would ever come. Suddenly, for every little girl who aspires to be a Diva (including my 13 year old daughter), the main event, the star of the show, is an option. It’s attainable & kudos to WWE for realizing that girls can kick ass, girls do have feelings, & girls can star the show & people WILL care about them. Between this & the successful reality show Total Divas, it’s like WWE finally gets what they seemed to have forgotten since Trish Stratus & Lita retired; women are people; strong, resilient, confident, brave & emotional people & not just objects for men to ogle.

Now, I’m well aware that WWE will likely screw this up & break up the Bella Twins or something & turn this into a one note jealous sister storyline & remind me why they are sexist & can’t write for women, but right now I’m feeling very girl power for them & for my own kids, who get to ask to stay up without saying “if they don’t get cut” or “it’ll only be five more minutes,” because for the first time ever, the Divas are the star of the show.

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Happiness

I’ve been seeing a lot of people on my Facebook news feed with “100 Days of Happiness” (one friend went all out & decided to do 365!). I didn’t do it because I annoy enough people with my blog pluggery & Fitspo posts. But I love the idea of someone taking 100 days to remind them why life is beautiful. My friend the Psych Major said I remind her of Uni-Kitty from the Lego Movie because I’m always upbeat & positive & oh so happy! It’s not a state of mind; it’s a choice I make every second of my life to be happy, even when the world is a shit show. I do this because more gets accomplished when you’re happy than when you give into the shit show.

Anywho, with that being said, I’m going to post a list of 100 things that make me happy.

***Before someone points it out in some snide comment; my daughters, friends & cats are not things. They are people***

1. My bliggity bloggity. I need to write to feel happiness. I write more when I’m unhappy or stressed as writing is pretty much my everything. But it’s the only way I know how to express myself properly. So, my blog makes me happy as creating ideas makes me happy.
2. Birthday Cake Donuts. I have to run 5k every day to earn the bastards, but they’re so good. Mmmmm.
3. Yoga.
4. My house. I’ll love it more once I paint it.
5. I’m taking the Overlord to see her first IMAX movie on Sunday. She’s going to face her fear of loud noises to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m excited for her.
6. The fact that my manager doesn’t object to the amount of casual swearing I do at work.
7. Listening to the Fray in sweater weather.
8. My phone’s autocorrect because it’s funny as Hell.
9. My Ed Sheeran tickets & no, I still won’t sell them to my manager.
10. Getting to play with the new cell phones at work.
11. Pop culture as I’ll be making my livings thanks to celebrity obsession again.
12. Seth Rollins because he is really hot. Celebrity crush FTW.

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13. My hair is finally a colour. Well, two colours. But I don’t need colour correction anymore. Yay! (Check it out in the About Me section)
14. I saw Queen two weeks ago & it was the best concert ever.
15. The song “Explosions” by Ellie Goulding because I swear it sounds like it was ripped out of my journal. I would like royalties Ellie, because you stole my thoughts.
16. Every single thing Taylor Swift does and says. Always.
17. Red freezies. The superior freezie.
18. I have finally mastered winged eyeliner so I no longer resemble a panda in public.

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19. My one on one dates with my girls. I love that I’ve mastered time management enough to give them the attention they need while working to support us.
20. Pikachu
21. Oscar Wilde
22. The fact that Trish Stratus & the Imagine Dragons follow me on Twitter
23. My neighbour. He’s rad.

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24. Somersby. I don’t drink often but when I do, that’s it.
25. Katy Perry. The sometimes angry teen is so excited about our trip to see her.
26. The fact that my 4yo daughter is perfectly capable of saying l’s & r’s but chooses not to because she thinks it’ll get her out of stuff.
27. Reese’s peanut butter everything
28. Clouds that look like stuff
29. Pancakes. All the time. Everyday
30. Post exercise soreness. That means I did it right.
31. My 7yo’s determination to grow her hair as long as Rapunzel’s.
32. My amazing box of stuff.
33. Adam Levine.

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34. An old, beat up copy of Julius Caesar I bought for someone & never got to give to them. Now it’s mine & I like to keep it around to inspire me to achieve my goals. Something something One Tree Hill. ( I watched the show once. It sucked. But I do love the show’s version of “When the Stars Go Blue” better than the Corrs version I heard originally).
35. The song Timber. Suck it, it’s good.
36. Chicken wings from a Windsor pub called Hurricane’s. There are none better.
37. Terrible movies. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus is a fantastic one. I’ve been told Sharknado is worse. I may need to check it out.
38. The number of times that I will stare at my phone after I’ve unlocked it with the fingerprint sensor as if I expect it to continue to do stuff.
39. Skipping in lieu of walking. It’s more fun to skip. Try it, it’s really fun.
40. Stars. I have a really deep & intense reasoning but I’ll save that for later. But I love them more than life, have four tattooed on my wrist & want a crap ton more.
41. My tattoos. I’m proud of them & can’t wait for the next one.
42. People who quote the Simpsons in their everyday speech.
43. Brown eyes. They’re sexy.
44. The book Flowers in the Attic. It’s so bad it’s good.
45. The colour electric blue.
46. Disney movies
47. Pixar
48. Cat gifs.
49. The number of people who pick up my mannerisms. It makes me feel influential.
50. Old people celebrating their 40th or more wedding anniversary.
51. The fact that years later, people still choose my parents’ wedding song for their first dance @ their own wedding.
52. Jillian Michaels. She’s so great.
53. Any story the Psych Major tells me about her son.
54. Everything about my future.
55. My friend’s new writing project that I may be a part of.
56. The creek in front of my condo
57. Cilantro, only because the Overlord will always correctly identify when the dishes on the cooking shows need it.
58. All of the dishes I’ve created with Red Bull as an ingredient.
59. Red Bull.
60. My iPhone.
61. Soccer hooligans.
62. Skateboarders that fall down.
63. Slapstick comedies
64. Unicorns. Shut up, they’re amazing & you’re wrong to suggest otherwise.
65. The genius who thought to put cookie dough in ice cream. My hat’s off to you sir.
66. My teen daughter’s obsession with the DIY network.
67. The knowledge that I do not have a Pinterest & have no desire to get one.
68. Sitting down after my shift.
69. The knowledge that I’m immature enough to laugh hysterically right now.
70. The fact that I’m in my 30’s & I still don’t get dirty jokes.
71. The fact that my 4yo asked for “All the Things” for her birthday.
72. Lumpy Space Princess
73. Archer. It’s so funny.
74. Moustaches
75. Pickles
76. Stuffing things into cookies (ie s’more stuffed cookies)
77. Pictures of Yorkies dressed up as Harry Potter
78. Cats with people names
79. My dimmer light switch for my chandelier
80. My Instagram account
81. My fireplace
82. Any time my friend Amanda throws a fit & demands chocolate like she’s a small child
83. Sleeping
84. Squats
85. Camping
86. People who say they like my writing.
87. Laughing until I cry
88. Dressing up my cat Peachy for Halloween
89. Football, but only The New Orleans Saints & only when my 4yo explains the rules.
90. The knowledge that I’m going to enter a fantasy football league, let my preschooler draft all of our players & when we win, tell the wannabe jocks that they lost to a child in kindergarten.
91. Hockey.
92. My Little Pony
93. Texting The Texan screencaps of morons who message me on online dating.
94. Maroon 5’s new album V
95. The Fault in our Stars. If you read it & didn’t bawl, you have no soul.
96. Punny puns.
97. The alarms I set to remind me to exercise.
98. My teen daughter’s exaggerations.
99. Toblerone.
100. French bulldogs.

That’s my list! I hope you got a good laugh & maybe some of these make you happy too! But the joy of life is that stupid little things can make you happy every single day, even this list.

Paper Heart

This weekend I had the chance to attend a good friend’s wedding and it was a lovely affair.

I’m not really big on weddings, as I’ve said many times before, but this wedding was different. My dear friend Sarah had waited a long time for a guy like her darling Nic. She’d been through Hell and back, as she said in her wedding speech, and with him, she felt whole.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!

As the single girlfriend attending stag, I think I was supposed to be super jealous or something. I always read blogs from single women who whine that it’s not fair that they don’t have a plus one and I knew a girl who whined when anything good happened to a friend, especially a pregnancy, because it wasn’t about her. But I really wasn’t. I couldn’t wait for this wedding…and I hate weddings! Sarah deserved this day. She is a person who gives to others, who loves completely, and watching her find her other half made my heart burst with joy. We laughed, danced, drank, toasted the couple and chatted animatedly with my best friend the Psych Major as we talked about a project that could really take my career to another level. It was arguably the most wonderful day I’ve enjoyed in a long time and I thank them for their hospitality.

The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.

The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.

As lovely as Sarah looked, there was one moment that stood out for me and I was lucky enough to snap a pic of it. As Nic danced with his mom, Sarah looked on, watching her new husband and her face radiated so much love. It wasn’t just love; it was respect, admiration, adoration, every positive emotion you can possibly feel. In that moment, there were flashes snapping, happy chatter, but for Sarah, there was nothing else going on in that room but her husband and he was the most beautiful thing in the world. I actually teared up seeing her looking at her husband, because it was just such a lovely moment in time. I once saw a photo of a couple on FB and saw that same look and it inspired a whole other blog post of mine (the one that I am most proud of) because it was just such a beautiful photo.

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I think everyone wants to feel like Nic and Sarah, two people who have finally found each other and know that even if things get rough, they have each other. There aren’t a lot of people in this world who I think are in it for the long haul, but they are. I’m so grateful to them for reminding me that happy endings are real and I’m lucky to have watched them start their lives together. Sometimes, when we’ve had our hearts broken a bunch of times, we get cynical and it’s hard to picture that there could be a happy ending. But, we need to remain optimistic and hopeful and continue to be ourselves so that when it becomes our turn, we get to be the person looking at our partner with so much love. If there is anything I could wish for everyone I love, or anything I could hope everyone I love gets in their lives, even for a moment before we as humans eff it all up, is to have that moment where someone loves you like my friends love each other and for someone looks at them the way Sarah looks at Nic. Everyone deserves to have that kind of love even once, that unconditional, I don’t care who you are and what you did before me, because you are the very best thing that’s ever happened to me kind of love and I won’t lie, I tell my friends I don’t date because I’m holding out for that Nic and Sarah kind of love. I think we should all hold out for that kind of love and if we’ve found it, we should cherish it and enjoy it for as long as we live.

So, single gals & guys, instead of being jealous that we don’t have that plus one or that maybe it feels like our time to find our soulmate is over, take a moment to really watch the happy couple, because I promise all of those jealous pangs will go away (well, it depends on the couple. I’ve been to a couple of weddings where I didn’t think they’d last two years). They’ll go away because you’ll get a chance to see love in it’s purest form and you can rest comforted in the knowledge that your time will come in the right moment in the right way, even if right now it seems like it’s never going to happen or you blew that one chance with your soulmate. Because maybe that wasn’t your soulmate, maybe you haven’t met them. Or maybe you both needed to grow up and fate will put it back when the time is right (I doubt it, but hey, Nicholas Sparks has made a fortune on that theory). Or maybe it’s that friend you’ve never looked at like that, or that message in your online dating inbox that you’ve never bothered to read. One place you won’t find it? THE BACHELORETTE. But no one deserves less than that Nic and Sarah kind of love and you’ll know you have it when what’s hard seems easy and when you know they look at you like you are the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.

It Takes Two

My friend recently posted this to her FB page & it got me thinking (because I am a weirdo who analyzes memes);

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As the poster child for “taking too long to heal from a bad relationship,” this made me sad. So, I sent her this text;

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The reality I learned is humans choose to make themselves happy or miserable. We choose who we become & no amount of bad relationships can “turn” us into anything. I chose to be miserable & believe my former friend’s lies that it’ll all work out it I wait. I chose to mourn for the life I thought I wanted. I chose to ignore the fact that he is too closed off emotionally to give that life to me & I needed to heal from my emotionally abusive marriage to be in any position to build a life; I just missed the idea of what I thought we were building. That’s what we miss when a relationship ends; the idea of the life we were supposed to have, because we never really have it. If I had that life, we would have talked about our feelings instead of me hiding my concerns because he’d leave me. I shouldn’t have had to be afraid he’d leave if I breathed wrong or asked for my feelings to be validated or to be made a priority. If that life had been real, I would have felt safe & happy. I thought I did, but now I realize I didn’t, because I was so afraid he’d leave, because he did, all the time. What I missed wasn’t real & what made my friend feel like the graphic wasn’t real. She’s too sweet to ever do it, but if she becomes a bitch, it’s her choice, just like I chose to be miserable. I made that choice & then I un made it. I decided, much like when I mourned my marriage, that I wouldn’t mourn a life that wasn’t real. I mourned this family that wasn’t real. Reality was an emotionally defeated mom, and three little girls who were afraid of their angry father. I needed to focus on why I make bad choices, which is that I choose broken men. I choose them because I want to make them happy so I can feel happy knowing I bring someone joy. I do this because I was unhappy with my weight, my lack of byline, my insecurities about who I am. If I make these broken men happy, then I’m doing something right so I have value. So, I choose to bring myself joy, give myself value & then I won’t need to choose broken men & keep up that cycle. The only reason the cycle in the graphic exists is because we allow it. When my teen daughter mentioned the emotionally abusive relationship of Damon & Elena on The Vampire Diaries was romantic, I had to think about what I had been teaching her. I had been teaching her that women in love allow men hurt & manipulate them & it’s their fault for not loving them enough. I don’t want my daughter in that cycle, so I had to break it, for myself, for my daughters. Again, that’s a choice I’m making for us, to teach them what a healthy relationship is.

No one can “make” you a bitch or an asshole. You chose that. You chose to crush the heart of that person that loved you. You chose to let someone crush it. You made those choices & you chose to dwell & let it warp you. Why choose to destroy joy? I was destroying my own joy & for what? Nothing. So, I choose joy. I choose my happily ever after. It’s right now, in this moment. I’ll fix what makes me feel weak & make myself happy, because then no one can rip it away. But in the moment it’s hard to see that reality & seeing my friend’s pain (albeit in snippets with her talking about binge eating, etc.) made me realize something I didn’t for a long time. I understand why my ex-BFF lied for so long. I was crippled emotionally by the on & off, the intense togethers & sudden splits & the consistent rejections that I couldn’t think. I went to school & raised my kids but my friend saw me broken, so very broken. He just wanted to make the pain go away. Hearing her pain made me want to do the same thing. But we have to choose the path of reality & allowing someone time to figure out what they miss isn’t real & the real happy ending is around the corner is much kinder in the long run.

My friend is an amazing & strong woman, mother, performer & friend. She will choose joy & meet her match & live a beautiful life. Even if she doesn’t, she’ll live a beautiful life with her son. Because happy is a choice, not a situation.

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I Almost Do

I don’t mind being single. I don’t mind living alone. In fact, I revel in it.

I’m kind of hermit like, and as I told my friend Steph, it’s because I have very little to contribute. People I know live exciting lives; I do a lot of yoga & sit-ups. That’s my life in a nutshell; work, raise family, yoga, run 5k, sit-ups. I find it rewarding, but I know that it’s really boring. Only the Psych Major, her husband & my friend Sarah love sit-ups as much as I do. But I revel in my boringness (I don’t think that’s a word). I love that I do whatever I want. I’m a starfish in bed, I hog it so well even the Pirate Princess (the champion bed hog) would be proud. When I decided to lighten my hair to it’s current light brown & blonde ombré, I didn’t ask for an opinion; I just did it. I pick the movie, & I really don’t care when I hog the couch blanket. I’ve only been making my own decisions for a year, so it still amuses me. I actually enjoy living alone more than I should. I’ve even given up on ever seeing a dime in child support (thanks to our flawed system in Canadaland) or that I’ll ever have an effective co-parenting relationship with the dad. I’ve accepted that I’m doing this life thing by myself & my girls & I aren’t just surviving; we’re thriving & I’m living as an example for them. I’m getting pretty good @ it too. Between meal planning & a schedule, my house is clean, my kids are eating healthy all of the time & most of the time, I’ve got life under control.

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But, I will admit, the latest development in my life makes me wish I didn’t live two hours away from everyone I know & love (one hour from my Sarnia peeps). Because I am actually a moron, I forgot I had two wisdom teeth. I forgot for YEARS, mostly because I had no benefits & couldn’t afford to have them removed. I had the other two pulled years earlier when one got impacted. Well, one of these bastards decided to remind me that they exist by shattering in my gum & getting infected. My face looks really fat & it hurts like a mother effer. But I’ll have surgery & be back to work the next day. Why? Because I can’t afford the time off. Being a sole support parent means sacrifice. But you do what you gotta do.

I won’t lie; I wouldn’t mind a supportive hand to hold to tell me the dentist isn’t scary & an offer to make me soup. I wish I had someone to watch the girls so I didn’t have to condense the teen’s slumber party. I just don’t want to do another sucky thing alone. I get that this is part of independence, but sometimes it’d be nice to have an ally. I know if I still lived in Windsor, I would have friends right there to be a help, but when one moves hours away, you don’t have these things. I guess maybe this broken tooth is helping me realize that while I can do everything on my own; maybe I don’t particularly want to all of the time & that’s okay.

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Not wanting to live forever me against the world doesn’t make me weak; it makes me human. I think I’ve held onto to this belief that I need to be completely independent to prove some kind of point, but maybe I don’t need to prove it anymore. Maybe it’s time I let people help when they offer it. Maybe it’s okay to let people offer comfort, be a friend. Maybe it’s okay to want a partner in life someday. Or maybe I’m whacked out on painkillers & rambling. That’s entirely possible & maybe, that’s okay too.