I Wish You Would

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have an almost childlike love of Taylor Swift. 

I adore all things Taylor Swift. I preordered her album the second iTunes would let me, I rock out to her discography daily & I may have paid some criminal @ StubHub almost $1000 to replace my Toronto tickets with ones more local to the new city & on August 4/15, the girls & I will get to see our Queen. We’re all very excited. The girls have a countdown, the not always angry teen has her outfit ready, the overlord has looked up the setlist & my IG has an amazing video of my five year old’s epic performance of Bad Blood. We REALLY like Taylor Swift. 

Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Remember when Target (RIP) had a Taylor Swift selfie stand & I dedicated large chunks of my shift to posing with it? Because Pepperidge Farm remembers.

I also REALLY like Apple. During a job interview for the Apple Store, I was asked what set me apart from other candidates & I said I’d give them a kidney. When new Apple products launch, I sing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I am a proud iSheep with my gold iPhone 6 & I regret not one thing. So, imagine my basic white girl horror when my favourite artist & favourite brand appeared to have an issue (I may have cried. Okay not really. But I thought about it). 

To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone

To keep things fair, I also sometimes pose for photos with my beloved iPhone

When Taylor Swift wrote her open letter to Apple, she said what everyone who considers themselves an artist has always thought, but never been able to drive home; expecting artists to work for free for the exposure is ripping them off. We should all be compensated for our work, whether it’s digging ditches or selling out stadiums. 

I have had the pleasure of getting to know many indie artists over the years, and I would suggest you check them out. I built my career interviewing these artists & they are all talented & creative people & I’m so grateful that I was afforded the chance to get to know them. Check out Mic Lordz & Sauce Funky, Inoke Errati, Gypsy Chief Goliath & Cowboys in Cardigans (front man Jamie Reaume’s Way Back Home is still one of my favourite songs). Most of these talented artists are on iTunes. But they wouldn’t have been paid had you streamed their music. Taylor was right when she said it wouldn’t affect her, but that’s a lot of free streaming for the artists above. These guys have homes, families. They worked hard. Why shouldn’t they be paid? 

You wouldn’t ask your doctor to work for free, or a lawyer. You wouldn’t tell your hairdresser that your free cut & blowout would help them get business. So, why do it to those lucky people who are willing to risk it all for their one goal of entertaining you? Seems like a jerk move. 

And Taylor Swift knew it. 

Taylor Swift is aware of her power. She knows how influential she is & that she has the power to speak for the guys playing open mic nights on the weekend while recording awesome new stuff…

…and she used it. And Apple will pay artists. Taylor Swift brought change. 

All hail the Queen

All hail the Queen

Call her greedy. Call her selfish. Call her whatever you want, but you missed the point. Taylor Swift’s motives may not be 100% altruistic (but I believe they are), but she spoke up & made things change. She used her voice, something so few of us do. She saw something wrong & called the big bad company out on it (I’m sorry Apple) & made a difference. She opened discussion about why artists deserve compensation for their work. One person made a difference. 

But most importantly, Taylor Swift is a role model to millions of little girls all over the world, including mine. My eight year old daughter thinks “Queen Taylor changed the world yesterday!” Maybe not, but she taught millions of girls that when something is wrong, you stand up & speak out & one girl CAN change things. One person can spark change so don’t be afraid to be that one person. 

So, thank you Taylor. Thanks for defending your fellow artists. Thanks for showing little girls to use their voices. You’re a true role model & inspiration & I’m glad my kids look up to you. But most importantly, thanks for being someone deserving of that praise. 

  

Not Gonna Die

I know I write a lot about my love of healthy living, most notably about crossfit, so I’d like to reference you back to important things about me & my blog, one of which is “huge douche about my love of crossfit.” It’s important to me to stick to my goals & improving at the gym helps me live better & be happier. Endorphins keep anxiety away which helps me look at my life & see what a charmed life I have & helps keep me grateful for how lucky I am to live this life. 

But I digress. 

Anywho, I was surfing the Facebook this morning & I saw this random post about a runner encountering an overweight woman running & how he was really proud of her for starting her journey to health. It made me think of my first day at my gym & how nervous I am about switching gyms because of the move (despite the one 10 minutes from my new house offering UNLIMITED CROSSFIT. *Homer drools*). 

West London Crossfit is full of cool people. Despite what you’ve read about crossfitters being elitist douchebags, they’re pretty much the raddest people. My first month there, I was so intimidated. These people were athletes; I am me. I am barely coordinated & overweight & not strong. So, I often hid in a corner & hoped no one could see me struggle through my burpees & power snatches & sometimes I was so embarrassed that I was trying to do what the bad ass athletes could do that I wanted to quit. However, they did see me. And one day, about five weeks in, while going through a workout, huffing & puffing, all of these athletes were cheering & encouraging me to keep going, I was doing great! I finished, but most importantly, I came back & I kept going back. I stopped being afraid. I entered the open. I tried really hard. And now, when new people come, I’m the one encouraging them, which isn’t as meaningful as someone who’s lifting twice their body weight, but I want to pay that forward. Hopefully, the new gym knows what big shoes they have to fill, because the good peeps at my gym helped me realize what I was capable of. 

Which is why I’ll never understand the idea of people bullying the fat person on the track or at the gym. They’re trying! They’re working & struggling & hoping to reach healthy goals. Yes, they may not be doing what you can do, or they’re using the equipment you needed, or worse, are the dreaded resolutioner, but I bet you were once one of them. You didn’t come preprogrammed to rock fitness. Why not smile, or offer a small encouragement? That might be the thing that gets that person back tomorrow, instead of quitting & feeling like they couldn’t do it & shouldn’t be there. I’ve always been fortunate to have support because my best friends are personal trainers. But for others without that support, your smile or eye roll may be what keeps that person coming or why they quit. 

And what you do influences the next generation. I’ve mentioned in the past that my kids come with me to the gym often. I often hear them encouraging the people just starting out & that they’re doing great. And just yesterday, while I was finishing a workout, climbing a rope (which I hate & is really hard), I was pulling myself up & struggling. Then I looked over to see that my kids had made encouraging signs, which made all of the difference. 

 
We were put on Earth to help each other, not tear each other apart. Let’s not tear each other apart when we are at our most insecure and exposed. After all, you wouldn’t want someone taking your flaws & picking you apart for trying to change them. 

   

Take Your Time

Let me tell you what happened this week, because I’ll rank it among the top five most utterly heartbreaking moments of my adult life. 

All my life I’ve worked for one goal; to be a reporter, in an office, with a beat & headlines. I’ve dedicated my entire professional life to this goal, despite learning I’m really good at selling cellular phones & leading people. This is my calling, my passion, my entire reason for being (as well as raising tiny humans, but raising tiny humans is far more important). 

So, imagine my joy when I was contacted by a headhunter & offered a position with a rural newspaper…

…AND I HAD TO TURN IT DOWN. 

That’s right! I HAD TO TURN IT DOWN. Because it’s a rural newspaper, I would need a fully valid driver’s license (and I need to get one for the province I’ll be moving to) & a serviceable vehicle; two things I do not have yet. While it’s on the to do list & the editor was impressed enough with my body of work to consider me for future opportunities, saying that “no, I will not take the only job I’ve wanted since I was 8 years old,” was soul crushing. 

(If you’re thinking “Gee MH, aren’t you being a little overdramatic?” The answers are:

1. Have we met? Duh. 

2. Of course I am! When it comes to achieving my professional goals, I’m very serious, maybe overly serious)

Fortunately, it’s not like I’m screwed & stuck in a job I hate. I really like my job. Once I meet my new team & integrate myself into my official workplace, it’ll be really nice. I’m building a career & valuable management experience that will take me far in life. All good things. I refuse to let one kick in the teeth stop me from the goal. It’s just a helpful reminder that my years of being super stubborn & couldn’t see that my refusal to learn to drive was affecting my ability to reach the goal. This begs the question; could I have been doing this, working in my field this whole time, had I just done the obvious & learned to drive (of course, what’s best for us is generally the thing that was right in front of us the whole time, that we ignored or worse, pushed away, but whatever). 

So, I’ll just resolve these hiccups while working at becoming the best darned cell phone manager lady ever. It gives me a chance to settle into my new surroundings, build my life, tailor my writing to my new demographic. I mean, yes I’ve been doing it for months, but you can never get “too good” & you can never work to be the best at your job too much. 

 

In the interim, I’ll focus on becoming the best in my cellular sales field. As a “manager in training,” I’m learning how to lead a team, which will only bring about positives for me professionally. I like my job. I like sales. It’s unique & allows me to be charismatic & charming while learning about business & market trends. Not to mention cell phones will NEVER GO AWAY so I’ll always have earning potential. Yay wireless! 

But the most important thing to me is that this showed me that I AM heading in the right direction. I’m writing & working & it’s all been an easy transition (well, until I put my cat on an airplane in three weeks. I feel like that may have some challenges) & I have a chance to achieve all of my goals once I learn to drive (so I WILL make sad puppy faces @ my friend Kristina & convince her that being my driving tutor is a good idea). This may be the ticket for me to achieve everything I want for my professional life, which sounds pretty rad to me. 

  
Erica says that this was a sign from the Good Lord that I’m on the path to success once I LEARN TO FREAKING DRIVE. SERIOUSLY, WHO CAN’T DRIVE IN THEIR THIRTIES?! (We may have this conversation a lot) I don’t know if that’s what the universe is trying to tell me, but I’m going to assume I’m on the right path & keep on going. 

This sassy & confident pose seemed fitting. Also it has a lovely view of a serial killer hotel I stayed in. And my Avengers shirt. All good things.

Fearless 

 I’m going to post an unpopular opinion. I’d apologize for posting my unpopular opinion, but I’ve always kind of said what I wanted and if you don’t like it, too bad.  As much as I love hate mail, you were warned. 

Here it is. 

 

For the next four days, I will be finishing my tenure as a retail associate for a large department store chain. During my time here, I have gotten to listen to people as they check out. Two magazine covers got people’s attention. So I’ll post them & some of the comments I heard: 

 

“Oh she is so brave.”

“Finally, a REAL woman on the cover of a magazine. That’s what a woman is supposed to look like!”

  

“Ugh. One step forward. Two steps back.”

“Soooooo photoshopped.”

“It’s like they want me to hate myself.”

First of all, BOTH of these women look great! (And they were both likely photoshopped) The smiles, the confident poses, the hair! These women look great! 

But why does Jennifer Lopez have to feel guilty for being in shape? And why does Tess Holliday have to have her dress size announced to make you feel good? Why do we have to tear one woman apart to make you feel better about you? Why is “body positivity” “body positivity if you’re fat?”

(Yup. I used the F word. Oh no. It’s a word. It’s a body type. It does not define you)

As someone who worked hard to lose 100lbs, I know I will never be conventionally thin. I currently float between a size 10 & 12 & I’m happy there. But my goal isn’t “thin.” My goal is “strong.” Jennifer Lopez’s taut tummy does not make me feel badly. She looks hot! Tess Holliday doesn’t make me love my body more; she looks great! But they look great because they love themselves, something women struggle with because we are taught to compete with each other. Fat girls tear apart thin girls to feel powerful. Thin girls mock fat girls to hide their own insecurities. Everyone mocks girls who want muscles. And we all credit celebrities with our self worth. 

Jennifer Lopez didn’t make you feel badly about your body; you did. Tess Holliday didn’t make you feel good about your body; you chose to feel acceptance from her appearing on a magazine. But you looked the same yesterday. You probably looked hot then too. But you’ve given your power to them. My fitness inspiration is WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella. Her commitment to being strong & not necessarily thin in a world where looks are everything is cool to me. But Nikki is not the reason I love my body. I love my body because I can squat over 100lbs. I love how strong I feel. Self love is the sexiest thing on a woman. So is health. I do not weigh myself anymore. I focus on eating well, keeping active & doing what I like to do to keep active. Are there thinner girls at my gym? Yup. And they look great! 

 

No, I did not pick this photo of Nikki because Seth Rollins is in it. okay, yes I did.

 
Women, take your power back. Stop with the “real men love curves” or Fat shaming jabs. Embrace that every woman has a unique body & learn to love your own. 

Let’s all repeat this:

All women are beautiful if they are a good person. I will not belittle another body type or transfer their perception of themselves or what makes them beautiful to feel badly about myself. I will respect differences & appreciate that we are unique. If I don’t like myself, I will commit to changing what I don’t like in a healthy way & not put down others to feel better. I will be a woman who builds up other women.

Because loving yourself & others looks better than a great pair of jeans or a bikini. 

  

Shut Up & Dance

Sometimes when you’re closing the door on one part of your life to open the door to what comes next, you need to stop & sit & absorb the enormity of what comes next. 

So I did. 

I sat & listened to a bunch of music & took a deep breath & prepared myself for what comes next. 

 

  I sat here. Isn’t it lovely?

 Things are changing. New job (I know…AGAIN?! But it’s technically a better version of the same job. With a raise. And a company phone. And a title. And power), new opportunities, new everything. The next 30 days will be insane; training, interviews for another job that will pay more (which is more a plan B as I like my current job) and reminding the same newspaper that I want to work for them (for the fifteenth time since October. They keep saying I’ll be considered if I was closer. They don’t know me very well. I get what I want). All of these things will be nuts but when it’s over; I’ll be right where I need to be to get everything I want in my professional life. 

Oh & I’m scared shitless. 

Fear is not an emotion I acknowledge. I pretend that I fear nothing. But I’m terrified. 

My mind is muddled with worries. What if my new gym isn’t as amazing & welcoming as my current one? My new employer said my references set an expectation that I’m a strong leader & a record setter. What if I can’t meet that standard? There’s the fear that I won’t make an impact in my field & I never get a full time job at that newspaper or any newspaper or magazine because I’m not good enough (BAHAHAHAHA that’s bullshit, I’m super talented & determined. These editors best prepare, they’ve never met anyone quite like me; I know what I want & I’ll get it).  What if the dad continues to alienate himself from his children with his valid but angry reaction? What if this ends up like when I moved here, where it didn’t go according to the master plan (not that I had one)?

 

 When in doubt, I turn to the Queen

 The truth is that I could go down in flames. 

But…

The reason my coworkers set that expectation is because I proved I could do it.   The reason I got offered three jobs (with the prospect of two more) from only 10 resumes is because I work hard & I’m good at what I do. The reason my new editor said my articles were good is because they were. I earned these opportunities & I need to keep doing what I did to earn them to maintain them & make them grow. Maybe my new gym will be full of douchebags, but I’ll kill some overhead squats & rock the WOD & I’ll prove I belong there. 

 

 This has little to do with anything, but I felt it kind of fit with this paragraph & this is legit what my friends & I talk about 

   

Last time I made a big change, I was running away from a person & a life that I’d lost (& it found me anyway). This time I’m running towards something that I’ve worked my entire life for (although putting a country between that life (& person) & I doesn’t hurt), because the universe will put what is supposed to be together if it’s what’s meant to be. But it’s okay to be afraid. Change is scary. My first day @ West London Crossfit was terrifying. My first day of college was intimidating.  My first seconds as a mom were frightening, because I could screw it all up for this tiny person. But it could all be awesome too. 

So, I’ll accept that the next thirty days will be scary as all get out, but it’ll be completely worth it in the end. 

Or I’ll fuck up my life. But I’ll have learned a lesson, right?!  

Ready, Aim, Fire

Ugh. 

Sorry, no amazing lead, and my journalism teacher would kick my ass for that, but that’s the best that I can do, as I am so very tired. 

 

Remember that time that I got to wear regular clothes & had a day off? that was a great day…a month ago


I always tell people that I am a bad ass and a force to be reckoned with. I can move mountains & I am the strongest & most dominant woman that I know. I say this because self love is super important. I used to base my self worth around others. Now, I take it from my own belief that I can do anything. However, for the last two months, I’ve had to prove it. 

When my most awesome (& well paying) job ended, & my ex husband lost yet another job (which begs the question, how many jobs must one get fired from before they are completely unemployable?), this mama needed to do whatever she could to pay the bills, as I’m once again a sole support mama. This means working a full time job, a part time job & writing remotely (PS check out my latest articles here & here). It’s a lot of hours & juggling & sometimes swapping shifts & rushing from one job to the other all to make ends meet & build up my savings & all that good stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s what’s happening. It’s tiring & almost too much, hence why changes are being made. My manager at one job has tailored my schedule so I can get the kids to school & go to the gym. I’m also interviewing for a position this week that would give me more income & allow me to work only one job. More changes need to be made, but it’s a start. I’m being pulled in a lot of directions & it seems like I’ll be heading in a way I wasn’t planning on, but life never goes according to plan, that’s why you roll with punches & move along.

My incredibly hectic life is one of the reasons I’m so glad I have crossfit. Yes, I’m a huge douche about my love of fitness, and in five weeks, I apologize in advance if you’re on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, as I will be flooding your timeline with crossfit “this is my one rep Max, watch me lift heavy things” douchebaggery, but strengthening the body helps keep one focused, especially when focusing on a lot of things at once. 

 

it also keeps me looking fantastic!

 
Between crossfit twice a week, walking to work, yoga three times a week & running when I can, I use fitness to clear my head. It helps me, whether I’m stuck on a story or I’m trying to organize my thoughts & get a lot done all at once. With trying to balance three schedules, raising a family & writing with a time zone difference, I’m grateful that I have an outlet that keeps me grounded & level headed. Listening to music during a good run will help me focus & organize my thoughts long enough to plan what’s coming next. Yoga helps me center myself so I can let go of some of that “MHC type A” attitude & help me let the universe sort out where I belong. And nothing helps you feel like you can conquer a mountain & reach your life’s goals like lifting heavy stuff & realizing the weights are getting bigger because you’re getting stronger. The past few months have felt like I’m clawing towards a goal & I’m in over my head, but the things that once crushed my soul have not impacted my life in any negative way thanks to my fitness regime. Whenever I felt over my head, or sad, I did the only thing I’m good at, write. But this time I added fitness & the endorphins & those things kept me focused on the goals & kept me positive. A few more weeks and something will have changed & life will be even better, because that’s what everyone is hoping for, right? A way to make things better? 

So, I’ll keep plugging away, and keep my focus on my family, my writing & fitness so that I’ll reach my latest goal & while this part of the journey may suck, it’ll make reaching it that much better. But most importantly, I’ve learned that I really am the force to be reckoned with and bad ass woman I’ve always claimed that I was, and that feels pretty damn good. 

  

Blasphemy, Myself & I

Today, I took two hours out of my super busy life and did something that I wanted to do.

I know, holy crap, right?!

(Today also featured a series of unfortunate events that forced me to call into work for the first time in nearly six years. This troubles me, but I can’t sweat it; it happens. Life sometimes messes things up. I’ll be back on the normal “this would kill a lesser woman” schedule again tomorrow)

I attended a super rad seminar hosted by gym about eating. As someone who spends 97% of her life working and the last 14 months dropping 100lbs, this is super important to me. I can’t undo all of this hard ass work by eating garbage food. After all, it’s not like I have a lot of time for meal prep, but when I do I prep the crap out of stuff. I have worked too hard to be amazing to let a little thing like “working literally every second of my life” undo it.

I'm big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC

I’m big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC

But part of the seminar reminded me why I love crossfit so much; which is the belief that there is no limits to what you and the human body can do.

The seminar stressed that we need to change our thinking in order to progress. You can’t just run on the same treadmill or eat the same foods or think the same way. We as humans need to grow and evolve. The crossfit mentality is there is literally no limit to how strong you can become, how fast you can go. There are no limits to what the body can do. Isn’t that super rad? There is something so exciting to me about the idea of growth, of evolving, of changing and growing. While yes, I am stubborn as a damn mule and I know what I want and will not settle for anything less than the life that I deserve, the career I want, or what I think is the right thing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to improve things, change things, learn, grow, try things from a different perspective, etc. I bore easily unless it involves my children, journalism, yoga or crossfit. I can’t do the same things over and over. That’s why my career speaks to me so much. I never write the same thing twice and that’s really kind of exciting to me.

But part of eating right and living well means thinking well. In order to become the person we are meant to become, we have to believe that we are capable of being the person we are meant to become. We need to think we are amazing, extraordinary, we have a purpose, we deserve to be loved the way we’ve always wanted and we have a purpose.

purpose

Purpose isn’t something I lack, as I’ve known what I was meant to do my entire life. I was meant to be a good mother and a good person and a good writer. I was meant to be a kind person who gives to those who aren’t very kind, to themselves or others. I was meant to find positivity in less than pleasant circumstances & lead by example and raise compassionate, kind hearted and strong women. I was meant to kick life’s ass. This has been my purpose and I’ve been pretty passionate about it. In fact, unless it involves my children, Great West Newspapers, my various retail gigs or crossfit, I probably haven’t really paid much attention to it (unless you visit my tumblr, which is pretty much just a shrine to Seth Rollins at this point. I’m a huge fangirl. I regret nothing)! My drive to fufill my purpose has blessed me with opportunities to achieve my goals, three amazing daughters, a fitness program at a gym with some pretty rad people that feel like I do; that there are no limits to what a boring human being on her pink couch can do if she puts her mind to it, focuses on things that are positive and enrich me and walk with the purpose that I’m meant to achieve all of my dreams.

While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I'm actually a confused little creature with no idea what's happening around me.

While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I’m actually a confused little creature with no idea what’s happening around me.

Maybe I need to stop playing it so safe with my life. Maybe I need to start focusing on doing the things that I need to do to make me happier and fufilled, professionally and personally. My current life, while it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things, is burning me out. I don’t have time to do the things I truly enjoy doing; raising my family, writing (well, I do have a couple of articles submitted to various magazines) and crossfit. I rarely have time to enjoy my girls, or even a good sweat sesh. I can afford to live, but what kind of life do I have when I can’t enjoy my life? Clearly I need to think of some changes in order to live the life I was meant to have. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but the next few weeks will require some major changes (& a major decision needs to be made) so I can enjoy the life I’ve worked so hard to build.

But no matter what happens, I know there are no limits to what I can accomplish. During my workout last week, I was using a 20lbs kettlebell for my Turkish Get Ups (look them up, they were invented by Satan himself), but the first time I did them, I injured my leg doing them…and that was with a five lbs dumbbell! My coach and I giggled a little bit through the memory as I plugged through the set of three unbroken reps, amazed at how strong and coordinated I’ve become. Every time I can do something more, I get excited because it means I’m getting stronger. This has a domino effect; I can get much deeper into my yoga poses and hold the more complex ones longer. The endorphins and healthy eating have improved my physical health; no longer am I experiencing migraines and rarely am I ill. I can remember a time when I was constantly having blood taken to figure out why my iron was low or my blood sugar or why I was always tired. Those days are gone (well, not the tired, that’s totes present in my day to day life, especially because I’m giving up caffeine for thirty days to help improve my eating habits). This improves mental wellness. I haven’t had a panic attack in 19 months. The events that used to cripple me were bumps in the road & my persistent optimism remained. These things improve my professional life; my job performance improves, I never call in sick (well, except today, except I’m not the one that is sick) and my writing has been pretty solid. All of these things help me live out my potential and fufill my purpose. A few changes and the right frame of mind goes a long way. You can do it too. There is no limit to what a human being can accomplish if they just try. You can be extraordinary and you can find your purpose and live out your dreams.

quotes-find-path-barbara-myerhoff-600x411

Where I Come From

Lately, it feels like I’ve been so busy, I can barely keep up with my own life. 

Of course, that’s kind of what happens when you find yourself juggling a lot of things; a 67 hour work week, crossfit, yoga, raising my family and researching my latest article with my new media company (I’m actually writing for two different magazines under the same banner, which is a lot of fun. I always wanted to get into a company where I could “flip” from one project to the next, and grow as a writer). I’m not writing entertainment pieces; I’m writing stuff that means something. I’m writing about people, about current events, about things that actually matter. It’s been so rewarding and literally everything I could ever want, aside from maybe getting to do this full time. But it’s a start, it’s a foot in the door, which is super rad. This current position has the potential to lead to so many amazing journalistic opportunities for me, and now I can even (sort of) legally drive! How cool is that kids? 

 However, there is one teensy, beensy, little snag. It’s still on the other side of the country. And I’m still no closer to any kind of decision. Why? BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN COMMIT TO A TV SHOW FOR A FULL SEASON, HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO MAKE A MAJOR LIFE CHOICE OF ANY KIND?

This is my confused face. Actually, this is my resting bitch face, so my every day face

I haven’t really talked to any of my inner circle about this, and when I do, I’m non-committal and flip. Most people are opposed or are also non-committal and flip. How does one pack up their lives and their kids and find a job and lodgings and get said stuff to said place and literally start their lives over (Yes, I’m well aware that I did it last year, but then I had a job that I brought with me and it was only two hours away), even if it for almost everything you’ve ever wanted. I think about what a disaster this move turned out to be, with the kids hating their school and not liking the city we live in and the bullying issues and I worry that this could be a disaster for them too. Then I remember how much of a pain even moving here was and my hippie friend reminding me that when one runs away from something, the universe won’t let you, because it will find you, because no matter how many times you run from something, the universe will put what is meant to be where it is meant to be. I don’t believe that, but this would be me going towards something; a goal, something I have wanted since I was eight. This would be a much better example for the girls (I think) and if Hippie friend is right, then the energy would be better…I think. 

 But then I think about my daughters and their relationship with their dad. He’s barely present now, would he check out completely if we moved (so far my best friend says “yes”). I know I said I wouldn’t concern myself with him or his lackadaisical parenting, but I do have to concern myself with my daughters and their psychological well being. They’ve already felt abandoned by his failure to call, failure to text, half assed visits, etc. If we move and he checks out of their lives completely, which most assume he will, that’ll be on my head. I’ll have severed their relationship with their dad. Do I want to be the one who did that? 

 There’s also that the cost of living is higher. I just started at my job and they generally don’t approve transfers for a year. I don’t really know how to cross country house hunt. I pretty much have no idea where to start. 

However, my landlord has set a timeline for me without meaning to. He wants me to renew my lease at the end of the month. Obviously, I’ll need to either renew and stop freelancing, or go on the big adventure and finally get almost everything I’ve ever wanted. 

My friend Reiva says I should just do it. I deserve the adventure, and I’m damn good at what I do. The girls will thank me for giving them the opportunity to do more than just stay in one place, and that my weird, gypsy spirit, the one that rests in the heart of this eternal optimist & hungers to move mountains and achieve all of my dreams, even though life should have beaten them out of me by now will be happy because I finally showed my girls that if you work hard, be kind & love everyone, you can do anything, but most of all you’ll be happy. 

And the one thing I have been this past month is happy. I love my new jobs; I feel valuable and like an important part of the team. Maybe I’m afraid of finding a new job and ending up back in the place I was back in January, hating my job, dreading when I go to work and feeling so miserable when I go home because I was drained. I’m busier than ever, but I love where I work. I have great coworkers and bosses. As for my media job, I can’t stress enough how happy that makes me. I love learning about the people I’m interviewing and telling their stories and helping people get to know people in their community that are incredible and have accomplished so many great things…and most of their neighbours just see them as a regular person! It’s amazing and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do as a writer…and there are so many opportunities if I would just make up my damn mind…

…which I’ll do eventually, right? If not, I’m open to outsourcing my major life choices. Maybe Erica can take this one, she’s seen first hand the messes I can make. If not, maybe someone can email me an action plan? Help.

 

indecision

Failure 

When I’m dealing with a million things at once, like major life choices, I don’t sleep. 

Like, at all. 

When I don’t sleep, I think about random crap, ranging from my plans for my rare day off tomorrow (as I’m currently employed four times over, two regular jobs & two freelance jobs, my LinkedIn profile makes me look like a machine) to my deducing that my insomnia stems from burnout. Maybe I work too hard, put too much pressure on myself. Maybe I take the random people who call me their inspiration seriously & I feel like I need to be the pillar of strength & grace all of the time or I’ll fail them (might I suggest a better inspiration? Beyoncé is a good one). Or how I feel like a failure as a writer as of late, despite my blog & other endeavours appearing to be successful. Or the fact that my best friends think I work too much to avoid actual feelings. I told them I write my feelings where they can’t be found; in plain sight but hidden. Look at me pretending I’m a riddle. Or just failure in general. 

Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to what I think about when I don’t sleep. 

May I present the face of insomnia

Failure.

 (Don’t worry kids, the title is still a song title. Insomnia doesn’t prevent my sometimes flawless musical timing)

I’ve spent so much of my life with something to prove. I need to overcome the shit childhood; the poverty, the emotionally draining relationships, the foster home, the stigma. I need to succeed, because for so long the sins of those who should have protected me were on my head. I refuse to do that for my own children, so I spend a lot of time trying to be better, smarter, healthier, wiser. I used to fear failure. If I failed at anything, it was a tragedy. I couldn’t handle it. Tests, work, all of it, it had to be perfect. 

Part of my growth as a person has been to accept that I’m not perfect & sometimes I mess things up. Like this past month, when I got fired from the job I hated more than I hated geese (almost). My spotless employment record, ruined. Old MH would have had some kind of epic breakdown. As my daughters asked what would happen next (& I learned that I need to be more mindful of my speech because my five year old said she missed my old Target Mobile boss because he’s not a “raging doucher”), I very calmly told them I’d have a new job in a week. I was wrong; I had a new job in two days. I had TWO new jobs in a week. I may never have a successful personal life, But I dominate my professional life like a dynasty sports team. 

I’m so close to having almost everything I’ve ever wanted. I couldn’t let the fact that my boss couldn’t see my worth to the company (I later learned I was one of only three people meeting the company standard) & the fact I lost a job I actively hated deter me from the goal. So, I stayed the course. Focused on the goal. I needed to show the girls that Mom had it under control…& she did. I can’t obsess about the fact that I didn’t succeed at a random retail job I won’t put on my resume. I HATED IT. I won’t succeed at something I hate & if I just continue to work & focus on my new jobs (which I love so much more) & freelancing in another time zone, I’ll get what I’ve worked my whole life for. 

  

So, I’ve learned there’s no shame in failure. It’s when you don’t get back up. So, I’ve accepted I’ll never be Laycool flawless. But I’ll get back up & try again. And again. And I’ll teach my girls the lesson I learned the hard way; its not failing because you didn’t succeed; failure comes from giving up.

  

I guess that’s what I love most about life; even when I have no idea what direction I’m heading in or what to do next, to the point where I don’t sleep & I’d really like to, I’m still learning & growing. I’m still evolving into the kind of woman I want to be & that’s pretty rad. And eventually I’ll figure this life thing out & hopefully it’s not before life removes me from the game…& maybe after I get some sleep.