And I Love Her

Today is #BellLetsTalk day, where Bell Canada has promised to donate five cents for every text sent on the Bell network, every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk or shares the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook posts. The goal is to open conversations about mental illness so that people aren’t afraid to speak out. So, I’ve decided to open up some conversation!

For those of you new to my world, I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. I had low self esteem, so I made poor friend choices, poor relationship choices, poor life choices. I suffered from post partum depression. I would get panic attacks that would cripple me for hours to the point where I was afraid everyone would leave me. I felt unworthy of love, that no man would ever love me because I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve to be happy because I was a bad person. I couldn’t tell people I wasn’t happy, because then it was how I wasn’t trying hard enough, I had kids, why wasn’t I more grateful? I blamed myself for everyone’s poor treatment of me. Had I been a better friend, lover, wife, they wouldn’t have left me, hit me, cheated on me. I stopped caring about anything & focused only on my beloved words because they were all I knew. But the less I cared, the more my self esteem plummeted from these bad choices, & the more anxious & depressed I got…

…until one day, I got sick of it. I realized I was setting a bad example for my girls & I needed to be their role model. If nothing else, I had to be the living image of what they would aspire to be. After all, they’ll learn how to be women from me!

I went into therapy. I stayed for three years. I had strides & setbacks, but I got better. I made dietary changes. I cut out soda. I all but quit drinking. I started exercising; yoga became my life. I lost weight; the number one thing that made me feel uncomfortable about myself. I was blessed with amazing friends who stood with me while I got my life together. I cut out toxic friends, my FB block list has about 47 people on it, but you don’t get access to me & my life if you are someone who hurts me, or lies to me, or is overall a negative person. I care about my friends & family & if you will not show me the love & support I’ve shown you, get jealous of my accomplishments or belittle me into doing things for you while you treat me poorly, you have been erased. No longer was it okay to tell MH she wasn’t good enough; because she was & she is & she always will be. I deserve to be happy & I choose to be happy. I focus on morning positivity & the hope that everything will work out if I just try a little harder. I realized that I was only unworthy because that’s how I saw myself. Through therapy, better diet & exercise (endorphins. fix. everything), I now look in the mirror & know I deserve to be loved, by myself & by the people I let in my life.

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Why am I telling this story? Because it’s important. Until I learned to be strong enough to admit that I didn’t like myself; I couldn’t find the tools to learn to like myself. It wasn’t until I stopped being afraid to say “I do not feel like I should,” that I got a chance to get the help I needed to be the woman I should be. And if more people say “you know what? I get depressed too! I have anxiety too!” People will sit in the dark & not love themselves or see their talents or the fact that they make the world better by being in it because they feel alone. So, I want you to know that you aren’t. You’re not “crazy” or the only one, or an embarrassment & you don’t need to just snap out of it. You can conquer this though, & there is a world of people who will help you if you say the word.

Which brings me to the reason for this post today. If you feel ugly, worthless, stupid, crazy, like a bad person, like no one loves you, like no one could ever love you, like you’ve ruined everything, you suck, that everyone will laugh if you say you need help; stop. You are amazing. You are strong & brave & bright & everything you could ever hope to be. Maybe you don’t feel that way right now. Maybe you need medication to get there; that’s cool! Lots of people take medicine to help with physical ailments, right? What if you had asthma? You wouldn’t feel badly that you had an inhaler, right? Same deal. Maybe you’re in counselling. So? Lots of people go to doctors once a week or month. If you needed to see a dermatologist every few weeks, you wouldn’t feel badly, right? Maybe you need to cut out chemicals & eat really healthy so you can feel better! Even better! Junk food is poison! But keep at it, and if you haven’t started, it’s cool to start today too! But one day you’ll look in the mirror & think “I am amazing,” & you’ll mean it & it’ll be the best day of your life.

And no matter what, if you feel like you have no one. You have me. I may be a weirdo blogger from Canadaland, but you can email me any time & I’ll answer & listen as best as I can. But I bet you’re pretty amazing & even if you don’t feel that way right now, I promise that’ll change with hard work, commitment & you’ve got the strength to do it. I believe in you.

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She Ain’t You

This week has been super crappy. But also very therapeutic.

As I packed up Target Mobile into boxes & shipped it all back to head office, I paused for a moment & burst into tears. All of the things I’ve been feeling since November; the breakup, the sabbatical from writing, all of the things that I had suppressed came out. The overwhelming enormity of what was happening, which I ignored because I had it under control hit me; while I had a job, my friends, my coworkers, they weren’t set. They had families too. My heart was breaking for them. Then, as I do, I took a deep breath & kept going. I also took this time of upheaval to be the sassiest bitch to rude guests. My coworkers joked about how I had become Squidward. I regret nothing.

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I pulled some strings & start my new job on Tuesday. I’m getting a generous severance (although I haven’t been fully explained the details just yet, but if my former boss says its generous, it must be) & I’m going to use it to plan a nice little trip for myself once I’m done training. I’m calling it a friend vacation, where my girlfriends & I are going to enjoy some R&R. I need that. I’m still not 100% happy MHC, but I’ve managed to feel better.

One of the things I’ve had to do is remind myself that the life I want may not be part of the plan (my hippie friend is so proud). That guy may not be a great guy, he actually maybe sucks (somewhere Erica is cheering, although I don’t believe he actually sucks). That job was a stepping stone to a better job. This new job is a great Johnny punch clock job but my future as a writer awaits. I need to keep trusting that the universe knows where I belong & it’ll happen when the time is right & enjoy the moment I’m in.

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But in order for change to happen, you need to change what you’re doing. I used to write obsessively about nothing when I’m hurting. This time I took time to untangle my feelings for a person from the love for my work (truthfully, I’m still not completely comfortable writing again. It’s just easier to let people know en masse what was up with this sitch. Aside from random moments where I feel it’s important, I likely won’t be writing much). I always tell my best friend that I’m an emotional eater who makes bad life choices. But am I really gonna undo 100lbs of hard work because I picked a toxic man (again. I just pick the same one over & over) & lost my job? NO. So, while there were slip ups, I stuck to eating right & when I felt stressed, I grabbed my Stratusphere yoga DVD & FitGloves & found some zen. I went to my crossfit classes & improved my personal best for overhead squats. I can lift heavier, that’s progress. Progress is rad. Moping when bad shit happens or choosing not to deal with emotions (aka the old MHC way) won’t get me to the next phase in my awesome journey known as my wacky life. So, I changed how I cope. I had a huge cry. I texted Erica & Paul & the Psych Major & Damanda & freaked out. They listened without judgment because they’re the best. I ate a large pizza. I listened to Flight by Lifehouse 100 times in a row. I wrote my most raw feelings in a password protected post. Then I got up off my ass & worked out. Endorphins cure all. Suddenly, things didn’t feel so shitty anymore. This morning, things felt optimistic & bright. That couple of days of saying goodbye to my job & my coworkers were hard. But now, it’s time for the next chapter.

Maybe that’s the lesson in life; while people travel with you, there’s always a next chapter. There’s always the next job, the next adventure. There’s always the next lesson. While I don’t believe that should be applied to people, it does apply to events & this one is over & the last two months haven’t been the most awesome, but I bet the next two will be. Why? Because I said so. There is a new job, new coworkers & a really cute pair of jeans I bought a size too small so I could work to fit in them. All of these things will be exciting & I’m looking forward to them all.

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Like You Ain’t Even Gone

Oh, hey guys. Did something happen recently?
Like a big thing? Could it be that my company went under & we all found out on the Internet? Wait. That’s it (well, I didn’t find out on the Internet. I found out from my friend Paul. THANKS PAUL. THANKS A LOT).

That’s right kids; Target is closing and we, their employees (well, I worked for Glentel) found out on the damn Internet. Y’all probably knew before I did. I was getting ready for a conference call with my fellow managers to find out that we were all likely losing our jobs. Hey, cool! I’m still waiting to learn what Glentel has for me, but if nothing comes up, I’ll move into my new job that starts February 9/15. Phew.

I feel for those who are not in my position, with a job and a safety net lined up. I was already prepared because I had become disenchanted with my phone career back in November & applied for a new job. Then I was offered a promotion to stay on. So, when this came up, I just called the other job to see if they’d take me. So, you may all stop asking me what’s up, there’s been some uncertainty & there still is, no matter what, I have a job to go to. I am good & I thank you all for the concern.

However, most of you know that. I am REALLY good in a crisis. Really good. On the morning of the bombshell, my best friend the Psych Major texted me & said “you have a plan. What’s your plan?” My mom said the same thing; it had been two hours, obviously I had a plan. For those of you who haven’t seen me much & remember the sad girl who would rush to Drew’s couch & cry in the fetal position; she is long dead. Now I’m the friend who gets the calls of “HOLYSHITMHTHISISHAPPENINGHELPMEWHATDOIDO?!” while I talk them down. I’ve become the rational & logical one…& my mom & my closest friends knew:

1. I had a plan
2. I was already on step 6 of the plan
3. I probably already had another job and two offers.

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My personal life may never be what I want it to be, but my professional one is always successful. I am a double college grad with sales, management & public relations experience. The number of sick days I’ve taken at Target Mobile is zero. I’m never late. I’m highly employable. I know what I’m worth to an employer & I make sure they understand that. Egotistical? Maybe. But I’m competing in a job market with a lot of people, a number that just went up by 17599. You’ve gotta set yourself apart somehow & for me, that’s flat out saying “I am an asset. You know it, I know it. So hire me.” So I do. And they did. I have the security of knowing my family was taken care of 24 hours after I was told I was losing my job…by my friend Paul, WHO READ IT ON THE INTERNET. I’ll always thrive in my professional life and get what I want in the end. When it comes to my working life, I will always be successful. I’ll always rise to the challenge and weather minor crisis just like the bad ass that I am.

So, crisis averted in 24 hours. I will have no period of unemployment and my apologies to Damanda, but I won’t be coming home any time soon, not to visit, not to live, not for a long time. But I DO know my children are provided for and that’s all that matters to me in the end.

I won’t lie; it kind of feels like life has kicked me in the teeth. Two months ago, I had everything I had ever wanted. I had my job, my writing career taking off, my family & the person I’ve always felt is the love of my life. Then it all got slowly chipped away until I didn’t even have a job. But the thing is; sometimes life does that. It sucks, but you get back up. I used to feel like “omg why me?” But I am no victim of life’s bullshit. I am Mary-Helen & I’m pretty bad ass. I used to lay down & die when bad things happen, but now I thank the universe for them. No, I am not crazy. Obviously, God, the universe, fate, etc. feels that I am strong enough to weather the storms & get through the bad times. So, thanks for having faith in me! Besides, they never last. I had a few days of uncertainty & things came together because I had a plan. The good times will always be more amazing because I got through some bad crap to get there. I’ll always be that eternal optimist finding the shiny happy lining when everything sucks.

But maybe that’s the secret to getting through life; following the brilliant lessons laid out in the campfire song about the lion hunt. When you find the tall grass, you can’t go over it or under it, you gotta go through it & then you’ll be fine.

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Blank Space

Because my life will not be allowing me to do a lot of writing for the foreseeable future (sigh), I’m adding my annual “year in photos” early!

This year was amazing. Full of lessons & beginnings & endings & new challenges & growth & it was another year that I got closer to being the most amazing MHC that I can be. So, as always, I’m going to post snippets of my year, the things that meant most to me & my daughters (that do not include photos of my daughters) & I hope you enjoy them.

While ASH Multimedia may be on hiatus for a bit, as I have two jobs, three kids, & an event to train for. I’m also not in the right headspace to be writing. My heart isn’t in writing right now, I keep deleting posts because I don’t feel comfortable sharing them, so I’m gonna stop. I hope you know how much I love all of you reading my garbage. It means the world to me. Thanks for that. I hope I made you smile as much as knowing you read it made me happy. Always be happy. That’s the big lesson in life.

Happy holidays from me!

MHC’s 2014!

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My favourite electronics teammate gives me team cards in Italian!

My favourite electronics teammate gives me team cards in Italian!

The view from my new home.

The view from my new home.

My daughter knows me so well.

My daughter knows me so well.

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Queen!

Queen!

The Prismatic world tour made my life better.

The Prismatic world tour made my life better.

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I don't post photos of my daughters, but they were very excited for "Bellaslam."

I don’t post photos of my daughters, but they were very excited for “Bellaslam.”

Ed Sheeran made all of my dreams come true

Ed Sheeran made all of my dreams come true

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The talented Gavin Michael Booth, my first movie review in so long!

The talented Gavin Michael Booth, director of Scarehouse! My first movie review in so long!

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Even though I won’t be updating ASH Multimedia for a bit, you can still follow my adventures on Twitter & Tumblr! It’s mostly positive & happy gibberish, but enjoy all the same & thanks again for being so rad.

– MHC

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It’s A Good Life

Unless you’ve lived under a rock since October, you know all about my latest obsession: crossfit.

That’s right bitches; MHC is gonna be more bad ass than usual.

I know there are people out there who claim it’s dangerous, I’ll die, it’s expensive, but you can’t fake results, which I’m getting in spades. I can already lift 40+lbs more than when I started & I completed my testing with sore muscles & a sense of accomplishment.

95lbs down since January!

95lbs down since January!

My greatest accomplishment came yesterday, when the owner of my gym was going to skip the WOD, because she hadn’t done one in a bit & it was challenging. She said that the whole time…until I finished it. I’ve only been going for two months, and I finished the whole damn thing. I didn’t just finish it; I finished it with a score comparable to those who have been training for over a year. She said there was no excuse for her now & was impressed by my ability to go out & work my ass off (literally) to finish it.

This is the story of my life; I get up off of my ass & earn stuff. I think that’s why I’m more determined than most; I have never been given anything. I earned the right to be a mother in a court of law. I earned my education by fighting tooth and nail just to attend school. I earned my portfolio by never taking no for an answer. I earned my current punch clock job by telling my boss that I wasn’t leaving the interview until I got it so he may as well just hire me. Nothing for me has ever come terribly easy, either because I made dumb choices or because I trusted bad people. But either way, I got through it all & I’ve been blessed with my beautiful life. I think that’s why I’m always determined to find happiness where there is nothing, because I know what it’s like to have nothing. Because of this, I find ways to push through ugliness & get what I want in the end. I set goals & achieve them; the end.

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My friends say I’m impossible because I know what I want & I go get it, and if I can’t get it, I focus on all of the many other things I want to achieve before my time expires. There’s always “there’s something else, someone else, plan B.” In my life, there is no Plan B (let’s all ask my legal professors how well Plan B goes). I wanted to be a published writer, and I am. I wanted to get in shape, so I did. I wanted to be free to live my life without abusive or controlling people, so I did. You get the idea. I know what I want & I get it. If it doesn’t work the first time; I try again. Once I get my mind on that’s where I belong, there’s not much changing it, mostly because I’ve tried to change it myself & my gut doesn’t lie. If I feel that strongly, it’s because there’s facts, evidence, and my beautiful heart is telling me to follow it, so I do. 99% of the time I’ll get what I want. It’s not a flawless victory, but it’s still a pretty amazing success rate.

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So, much like my masochistic relationship with running, I’m going to continue my masochistic relationship with crossfit while setting goals, achieving them & repeat. I will never be the girl that quits. I will always be the girl that succeeds, and I will never understand why that’s a bad thing to some. Maybe I am impossible. Maybe I do need a Plan B. But I don’t really understand why. Things only don’t work if you don’t work for them. Things only fall apart if you don’t try. And even if they do, there’s another Plan A in another part of my life that needs my attention & if I’m right about where I should live, who I belong with, the job I should have, the rest will work itself out in time. So, I’ll focus on all of the other millions of things I want to accomplish, so when my life is over, I can say I lived it well & got almost everything I wanted. I would hate to be thinking “what if.”

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In the interim, I’ll just continue to achieve everything else I want in my beautiful life, & my daughters will learn from me how to be self reliant, brave & successful, as well as grateful for what life has afforded them. It may be impossible, but it’s a beautiful lesson, & I like it better than “meh. You tried. Settle for something less.” They’ll have learned even if it’s hard, you finish the workout. You try one more time for that dream job. You reach for that brass ring. If you don’t get it, then reach for it again. And eventually all of your dreams will come true.

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Lie To Me

When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a reporter.

When other little girls were playing house with their baby dolls, little MHC was dropping her dolls off @ baby doll daycare & covering a fire. Little MHC played “Desert Storm” & she would write articles on loose leaf paper based on CNN coverage. All of my friends thought I was a freak (this has never changed), but this was my calling, not a career. I was going to inform the masses. I was going to make them think. They were going to ask questions of the world, themselves. They were going to trust the information I worked to collect & present & society would be better because people would learn & evolve. After all, people should always be learning, asking questions, collecting information & growing. I was going to change the world by showing people what the world really was & people would want it to be better. I was going to reach someone & make them think & grow. I actually apply this principle to everything in my life. If I stand by something & tell you I believe it with all that I am, you should probably investigate it, because I have & I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t something I believed was gospel.

Alas, I have done none of these things. I write puff pieces & this blog. Little MHC is probably ashamed. I always justify my entertainment reporting with the idea that I write smart, snappy & honest articles. I only sold my soul a little. But my calling remains; I will be a writer & I’ll try to show the world what the world is really like so it’ll change.

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I have a point, I promise.

Little MHC had one idol growing up; Barbara Walters. This woman asked hard questions. She spoke to world leaders, war heroes. She was bringing the world information that would change how they saw the world. She was a bad ass, no nonsense lady who wasn’t afraid to put these powerful people on the hot seat & make them accountable. I even forgave the existence of the View because it was a good idea in theory. But this woman was literally everything I ever wanted to be (well, professionally. I always kind of knew I’d never have a person, because they’d have to love my writing as much as I do & understand my need to inform & be moved by my writing & care & even suggest things for me to write about).

Even though they’ve gone downhill, I still look forward to her Most Fascinating People series. I don’t always agree, but she always conducts such compelling interviews. This year, she chose Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) as her most fascinating person of 2014. Interesting choice. Her reason? Clooney’s wedding to her husband, Academy Award winning actor George Clooney was “really one of the greatest achievements in human history.”

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What?

Mrs. Clooney is a fascinating woman. She is educated and uses her education to bring attention to human rights issues. Her focus as an attorney is human rights and extradition. She represented Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) & Yulia Tymoshenko (the former president of Ukraine). She met with world leaders before Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. She cut her honeymoon short to attend a case in Greece involving the reparations of ancient statues. Mrs. Clooney is definitely a fascinating woman. But she is considered fascinating because she married a playboy actor, not her body of work.

As an entertainment journalist, I know I am part of the problem. We have put so much focus on Kardashians & ScarJos & J.Los & treat these people as fascinating instead of leaders of men, visionaries & average people who just want to make the world better. Walters completely devalued Mrs. Clooney’s body of work, her dedication to helping her fellow man, her education by claiming her greatest moment in life was landing George Clooney. Because after all, no woman can have any real accomplishments greater than marrying a rich and handsome man.

While yes, celebrities can be fascinating (Taylor Swift), there are so many more people in the world. Of her list of 10, the only non celebrities were Mrs. Clooney & Elon Musk. In a world where Ferguson is happening, there is political unrest in Russia, the American political system continues to be flawed, where planes disappear, discrimination is still rampant, sexism is real & racism is fatal. We live in a world where, despite all of these things, beautiful acts of heroism & kindness happen. We live in a world where beautiful people try to make it beautiful every day. All of those things produce fascinating people & someone’s ability to land a man shouldn’t make her the most interesting person in the world. It makes me so sad that Barbara Walters, a pioneer for women reporters has fallen in line with the celebrity worship that she no longer sees the fascinating people among us, the peacekeepers & the leaders & the thinkers.

I guess it makes me sad that we live in a world where our media focuses on keeping up with Kardashians, their own political bias or forgetting that news doesn’t stop just because it stopped trending on Twitter. We’ve stopped informing people & making them think. We’ve allowed ourselves to blame the media for our skewed way of thinking, because we aren’t. We just mindlessly listen to a network who feeds us whatever & a differing opinion is just bias. That’s why John Oliver & Jon Stewart are most people’s go-to for news. But they’re comedians, not reporters.

Before you read anything, even my drivel, open your mind & be willing to think. Then think. Then question. Then read a contradicting opinion. Then think again. Ask more questions. Expect the media to work for you & get the answers you need to know. If you’re satisfied with the answers, then you need to think harder. Because we work for you, to inform you, to make you think, not the other way around.

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Into the Nothing

I write about my life with pretty candid honesty.

I have a lot of people tell me that they relate to me. I’m not sure why people seem to relate to me. I think I’m an idiot. That’s not true; I think I’m brilliant. I’m strong. I’m beautiful. I’m determined & talented & sometimes funny. I’m witty & charming & I have a great gift in that I can show compassion to literally anyone, even those who have hurt me. But I’ve always talked about my life, my experiences & felt better about who I am.

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This time…I’ve said pretty much nothing. I’ve written stuff that I’ve deleted. I’ve written cathartic things for me. But I haven’t really said anything about my life to anyone. Not even Erica & she’s my person. She knows everything. But here we are.

I guess it’s because I’ve felt…nothing. I’m not shattered. I go to work. I go home. I go to the gym. I go home. I do yoga. I raise my family. I sleep. Repeat. I live my raddest life as I did before. I continue to get whatever I want in my professional life. I continue to succeed in my fitness goals & kick crossfit’s ass. Life did not stop. No, it kept going & I kept going & I did a damn good job. But I had nothing to say. Mainly because there’s nothing to say.

Actually, there’s lots to say. There’s the guilt I feel. I did a lousy thing to a very good person. Erica will comment underneath with an opposite stance, but that’s how I feel. I was a hypocrite. I did the thing that hurt me the most to a person I care most about in this world because I was mad. Then I was hurting because we don’t talk. Duh, we don’t talk because of ME. It’s not their job to talk to me, it’s my job to ask forgiveness! I miss a person I love very much. I didn’t count on missing them this much. I rationalized how long they weren’t in my life & I could do it again, no big! I was wrong. I just want to talk to them, hold them, be near them. When the general awesomeness that is my life happens & something amazing happens & I’m proud, I go to text them because I want them to be proud of me too. But, I can’t. Sometimes I just want to hear their voice…& I can’t. And that hollows me out even more. I keep feeling like this ending is the wrong one. Like, no world could be so cruel as to put something so wonderful back into my life just to have it snatched away & gone forever again. No human heart, even one of steel like mine can handle that blow. This didn’t have to be this way. Maybe one conversation could have turned it around, one I didn’t have because I was livid. But worst of all, I feel like I hurt someone who I abhor the thought of hurting. But I also don’t want to give anyone I know the satisfaction of knowing I am hurting. I am invincible, remember? No one hurts me! I’m an impenetrable force, which means nothing bothers me ever. I’m also not one to whine about things I cannot control. They ran, I acted like a stupid bitch & cut them out. This didn’t likely show them that they do need me. It just hurt…me.

There’s the damage in doing to my own psyche in the name of self preservation. Anyone who knows me knows that the silent treatment is (for me) the worst form of torture. Even if I elected the silence, it makes me sick. I’d rather have my fingers broken. Erica said that obviously my position was something I felt so strongly about that I was willing to put myself through my own personal form of Hell to prove it. But all I proved is what everyone told me for a year; I had become a different girl.

I thought if I kept people away from me, and pushed them away when they hurt me, I wouldn’t get hurt anymore. I thought if I moved far away from everyone, I’d be alone & no one could hurt me anymore. I had built up these huge walls so no one could hurt me anymore because I didn’t want anyone to be able to hurt me anymore. I had become so afraid of getting hurt that I was orchestrating my own hurt. I shut out anything that might hurt me because I was afraid. I didn’t want my beautiful heart to be hurt anymore by anyone. It had endured enough & I wouldn’t allow it. I wanted to be alone, so no one could ever damage me again. But I had lost the ability to work through things with compassion. I had lost my patience, my understanding. Literally everything I loved about myself was gone. Now I’ve lost the one thing I couldn’t bear to lose & the guilt & the feelings of cowardice bother me. I refuse to let them interfere with my beautiful life, so I do what I do best every day: thrive. I succeed. I put on my happiest face & I am fine.

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But, there’s also the tarnish on the shiny coin of my life; it doesn’t matter. I can’t shake that I don’t matter. I am not valuable. These words do not matter. They’re just words on a screen, of no value of importance to anyone, not even me. The feeling that you do not matter, nor are you missed by someone you miss tremendously should be skull crushing. But in the end, it feels like nothing. So, I didn’t write, because it felt like nothing, because I generally don’t feel particularly strongly enough about anything to write about. But I promised one of my dearest friends I would try, for if I had my heart’s greatest joy back, maybe I’d feel like myself again.

But in reality, I just want a phone call that can’t come through from a person who probably doesn’t miss me in the least & has never been known for bravery that I hid from because I’m a coward. And the fact that I brought all of this on myself so that I will never have that is the cruellest nothing of all.

You’re probably thinking “MHC, you are a boss ass bitch! If this is bothering you THIS much, stop being a huge effing baby & pick up the damn phone & call & talk & figure your shit out! What about trust your instincts, be brave, follow your heart?! Stop being such a God damn emo baby & take that step.” I know because that’s what I tell myself. It’s what I always tell everyone. But, I don’t know how to get past the fear; of rejection, of having my heart torn apart in a manner most cruel, or worse, the silence of getting voicemail, hearing a voice & knowing you won’t hear it again. I used to be very brave, then someone who’s opinion I valued said some very terrible things to me, claiming they laughed at me & I was a joke to them. This crushed my spirit in ways no one could ever understand. So, the very thought of putting myself out there made me panic. It terrifies me & I don’t think I’ll ever be able to adequately explain it. I want to call, but I’m afraid they won’t answer. I want to send an email, but I’m afraid of getting a cruel reply or worse, no reply. I want to unblock them on FB, but I’m afraid they’ll shut me out. I hold my phone & legitimately panic like I saw an army of geese because I’m so scared they won’t answer. So, I sit in the silence. I can’t let the walls down, because I might get hurt. I want to get past it. I don’t know how to get past it. I’d love for someone to tell me.

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The other one I hear is “MHC how many chances can you give someone to hurt you?” (This voice has a Texan accent) My answer; as many as they need. For I know how good they really are & what it’s like to be them. So, I want to be good to them & (irony alert) show them they have nothing to be afraid of if they would just let me into their life. Because that is the very core of who I am & I need to love myself above all else. So, I love that part of me & I never want to lose it. This goes for everyone; if you were once my friend & you need one, then I will be here for you. It doesn’t matter what you did. I’ll be there. I wouldn’t want to be any other kind of person.

So, there’s nothing. Just living. Succeeding. Being a good mom. But nothing all the same. But I do know I need to start facing my fears & letting people in, before I do more damage to my beautiful life. I’m just not sure how.

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Homesick

I haven’t had a good late night/early morning blog vent in awhile!

For the first time in the six months that I packed up & ran away, I’m actually homesick. Not even just a little homesick. Like I want to call someone at home & cry like a little kid at summer camp homesick.

I love my new home. I love that I’m surrounded by nature. I love my gym. I love the air & I love the city. But the more I invest in my writing again, the more my professional dissatisfaction at my regular job grows because I want to be writing full time. It was easy to love my johnny punch clock job when I wasn’t writing. But now that I’m in the field again, I’m growing more and more restless, because I want to be working in my field full time. I want to be on the front lines when things happen & ask questions & bring people news. I want so badly to write something that makes a difference in someone’s life & resonates with them & makes them think & grow. I have a talent & I want to use it to impact the world in a positive way. But then I feel guilty because I should be thankful that I have a job. After all, the unemployment rate is skyrocketing & I’m fortunate enough to have a job & I should be grateful, right? But truthfully, my job is a very fine job. They pay me well. They are good to me. But I think about how I wanted to bring people news that would make them think & ask questions & better their communities. Or I’d help people think so they’d become their best selves & happy. And I get so sad because I do none of those things. I sell people high priced luxury items. But I don’t want to be the person who’s aggressively selling phones to the waitress at dinner or all we talk about are how we’re going to sell more phones. I want a career that’s meaningful, that I’m proud of, where I make a difference in someone’s world, anyone’s. And I’m not doing that.

Also, the girls are getting bullied at their school. The angriest teen wants to go back to her friends. And I don’t blame her, because sometimes I’m lonely too. I miss my friends, who are like family to me. With the exception of one coworker & a couple of old classmates, I haven’t made a lot of friends yet & I find myself missing my Windsor people so. I feel like I spend a lot of time telling people that I miss them, mostly because I kind of hope that they miss me too & I just kind of want to hear it. That might sound stupid, but when you’re lonely, sometimes it’s nice to hear that someone wishes you were with them. It makes you feel like you’re important, that you matter. I’m a social person & I love company & I don’t have any. I spend most of my time alone & it’s kind of lonely. I used to pretend it didn’t bother me, because I was so bad ass, but sometimes I wish I could just call up someone for a last minute coffee after work. I love living alone. I love having my independence, but I miss my friends from home more than I’ve cared to admit & some nights I find myself missing my familiar skyline, the one I looked at every night for 13 years & meant home.

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But I know “going home” isn’t really an option, despite my friend Amanda telling me it’s a really great idea. Yes, I have friends, but the root issues are still the same, which is a lack of strong career prospects in my field, which is my only real dream. The punch clock job was supposed to be temporary until I found a media job. But then I stopped looking until I started at Cineklik & the excitement of working in my field as well as the support from those who know me best made me miss it all, more than I should. I just sometimes feel on an island alone with the girls. All of the people I love the most are hours away in Sarnia or Windsor & all of the places hiring in my field are hours away in the other direction in Toronto. And I’m in the middle, feeling very removed & alone.

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I hate to sound so negative, because running away was a really good plan, because I’ve learned so much so far. I’ve learned I can put myself in an unfamiliar situation & I can thrive. I learned that I can be on my own & I can handle stuff without anyone’s help, everything from dental surgery to getting lost & everything in between. All of these things have made me even more bad ass than I was before, because I can adapt to new & different situations better than I did before. There are so many good things that have come from this experience & I need to focus on all of them & not how not everything has gone perfectly.

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Truthfully though, it’s not the city I miss; it’s Saturday breakfasts with the legal assistant ladies. It’s going to dusty old bookstores with my favourite person in the world & last minute adventures with Rena & Amanda to 8 mile. It’s the people I miss & I miss them so. But I also know that part of life’s journey means being separated from our loved ones sometimes. I’ve learned which friendships will prevail through periods of absence & which won’t. I’ve learned that some affection can withstand ages apart, and once put back together, it can be wonderful. And I learned that I can survive on my own, which is a lesson I lose sight of when I do get homesick & just want to hear a friend’s voice or see their face because it’s comforting & makes me feel happy.

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Tomorrow I’ll feel better & I’ll make it a better day. Tomorrow I’ll focus on finding something to enjoy about where I live now. And I’ll remind myself that it’s okay to feel lonely, or sad. Not everything needs to be pretty or perfect all of the time. As long as you make an effort to make the next day a better one.

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