Manifest

The view from my balcony is always breathtaking. I feel very lucky to live here.

Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of attending Camp Reset. If you’ve never heard of Camp Reset, you should really head over to the site to read more about it. It is life changing for many people who attend. I have to be honest, it wasn’t life changing for me… it was something better: life-affirming. I had been working on shaping my life using similar philosophies to that which can be found at Camp Reset and it was so wonderful to see it in action.

For far too long in my life, I’ve lived in worry and fear. I had convinced myself that I needed to worry about something or the worst possible outcome would surely come true. How naive was I? I have to admit that when I started the endeavour to eliminate worry, anxiety and fear from my life earlier this year, I had no idea what I was doing1. I had no idea whether simply pushing it away in those moments when I was too weak to face said fear/worry/anxiety would have the same effect as properly dealing with all those thoughts and emotions… but I must have done something right because I feel like I have been rewarded for all my hard work and patience. I think the key is to take the time to face those fears, hold them in your hand/mind/heart2, let them bring about all the emotions that they are going to bring out and then let them go. I won’t pretend to know if this will work for you, but I know that every time I have done it I have felt so fucking free.

Life is better than it could ever be, and yes, part of that has to do with the fact that I met someone amazing who I can call my partner and best friend. Before meeting him though, life had been pretty good already. It was a huge relief not to worry about every little stupid thing I might have said or forgotten to say to someone. It has been a huge relief to be able to own my choices and to not apologize for anything3, and to only take responsibility for what I am capable of controlling – my actions, and not someone else’s reactions to my actions.

This shift in my attitude helped me see the beauty in life no matter what I was going through. There was a lot of pain I had to process from my last two relationships4, and it would have been really easy to fall back into a depression. The shift made it so I could still enjoy my life, and only have moments when I needed to hole up myself up in my room, shut the curtains and all the lights and just cry into a couple5 glasses of bourbon. I’m happy to admit that those dark moments only needed said outlet every 3-6 months in the last year and a bit that I spent trying to fix or figure out all of that.

And now? Now, I’m free to enjoy the swooning that comes with a new romance that has begun with a ferocity I’ve only ever seen in the movies. We know we’re not perfect, but we seem to be perfect for each other, and most importantly we-talk-about-everything. Actually, perhaps even more critical is the fact that I don’t seem to have to say very much to him at all – I can say a few words, and he knows exactly what I am trying to say; no need for long explanations or anecdotes. Though we enjoy those at times as well.

Before I met him, I had been on the dating apps again for a few months. I had been on dates. I was even seeing someone (very) casually. They were all toads. Every single one of them. I like toads, don’t get me wrong. They’re cute in their own right but they’re flighty – and don’t leave any notes once they’re gone. All the while, I was ready to give up. Almost. I decided to employ the same attitude I had given to the rest of my life: don’t give a fuck, and just focus on what you can control. I could only control my attitude and how I approached each ‘date’ I went on. Remain in the positive.

How was I going to meet someone amazing if my attitude was less than so? So I focused on thinking about the kind of person I wanted to meet – kind, sweet, romantic, funny6, intelligent, hard-working, active, true (to their word), trustworthy, dependable, confident, generous and so-fucking-hot7…I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. I almost feel like Sandra Bullock’s character (Sally) in Practical Magic after she tore up her wishlist and was gifted with Aidan Quinn’s character (Gary)… minus the actual magical capabilities8. We are crazy about each other, are on the same page about what we want, and how we want to spend our time, and we talk about everything… soul-fucking-mates.

I know it doesn’t sound like it but I do try not to get too carried away… we are still brand new. There is a lot we have yet to learn about each other. I know better than to think we know everything about each other by now. My last relationship taught me that: no matter how well you think you know someone because you’ve spent almost every day together for a month, they can still shock you and show you their true colours. I have no red flags like I have with every other new start – mind you – nothing to make me think something similar is going to happen with Troy9, but I also know I need to protect my heart until I can really be sure. That will only come with time, however, I am extremely confident I have nothing to fear with this one.

What does that have to do with the title of this blog post? Just this: Believe that you deserve the life you want, and you will have it. Yes, you have to put in the work but you also have to believe it will happen or all your work will be for naught.

Footnotes:
  1. here’s a hint: for the most part, I still don’t[]
  2. whatever suits you best[]
  3. given I wasn’t actually hurting anyone[]
  4. both of which went horribly wrong[]
  5. okay, maybe four[]
  6. fucking hilarious actually[]
  7. that last one is NOT a joke[]
  8. though a girl can dream[]
  9. so not his real name[]

An ode to high waisted pants

Photography by Ryan Hollinrake

I’ve always been a skinny girl1. Even when I gained weight, I managed to carry it well. Growing up though, I thought I was fat and I blame the kind of jeans that were available to me: low riders. They sit on your hips, and don’t care if you have a little bit of a paunch going on where your reproductive organs are2.

I bathroom selfie because I can

This room isn’t going to look like this for much longer. I can’t wait for the change.

In the last two years, a fashion trend has come around in way that has allowed me to buy high-waist jeans at extremely reasonable prices and I could not be more grateful. I just can’t believe how much I used to hate my body, all because I didn’t have the right clothes available to me.

I just hope I can buy enough pieces now that I can keep for the rest of my life because I’m sure it will go out of style again. All I know is, I’m eternally grateful for whoever it was that made it possible for them to be in style again3.

For more outfit photos, you can make a request to follow me on Instagram.

[This lighthearted post has been brought to you by the fact that I need a good laugh]

Footnotes:
  1. except for my booty, that thing has never known when to quit[]
  2. evidently where I store my fat first[]
  3. just so I can get my hands on some really nice pieces[]

I think I left all my fucks in 2016

I’m still that girl: Emotional, sensitive, dramatic1; I haven’t changed, but something else has: I no longer want to change that part about me.

One day, as I turned the corner from an tea date this was on the ground and it was just the most perfect thing I could have happened upon

I used to. I used to want to try to be less emotional, less sensitive, less “dramatic”. Many people2 have called me dramatic over the course of my life. Many people have said that I’m too emotional, or too sensitive. They’re not wrong. It’s true: I am all those things; I feel things very strongly and I’ve never been good at hiding my feelings3. I’ve learned how to identify the right time and place for certain things, sure, but I’ll be damned if I will pretend [they don’t exist], or hide my strong4 feelings about something.

With all the feelings came a lot of thoughts, insecurities, and questions about whether my behaviour was ever going to hurt someone. Along with all these feelings comes this ability to feel the same things that someone I cared about was feeling as well5. On top of that, I really hated feeling any sort of negative emotions and I fought them with such fervour, and of course that only made things worse. So I would worry, and try to predict situations and attempt to prevent hurting other people’s feelings. Naturally, whatever it was that I was trying to avoid was exactly what would happen and then I would be devastated. And I would blame myself; forever.

EFF THAT NOISE

I’ll be honest that I haven’t always treated every single person I’ve ever met with the utmost respect; I was a teenager once too. And in my adult life, I had a lot of learning to do but once I learned the hard lessons I have always tried my best to be as respectful as possible. I’m also overly considerate; sometimes to a fault. I don’t even try to be. It’s just there. One example I can think of would be the sidewalk dilemma: You know how, when you’re walking on the sidewalk and there is a couple or a group approaching you going in the opposite direction, the onus really should be on them to make room6, I used make myself so much smaller for no other reason than I wanted to be nice. Of course that would often backfire on me and make my walk that much more uncomfortable. I don’t do that anymore. I own my space. I walk on my side of the pavement, with a smile on my face and people always graciously move out of my way.

It’s only a small example of the changes I’ve seen in myself. And I am honestly just that much happier. I just can’t believe how much I used to worry about. I have to admit, I wonder how long this will last. It didn’t start over the holidays; I’ve felt this way since I turned thirty-five in early November. It feels pretty fucking fantastic. But I can’t help but worry that it will all change once I fall in love again. That’s always been my Achilles heel, if you will; it’s almost as if falling in love just rips me so wide open that I no longer know how to function. I just become a puddle of mush. It really sucks because I do so love being in-love. Thankfully I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon, and at the very least I know better now than to let things get out of hand too soon like I have been for the last 20 or so years. If he can’t fucking wait, that’s his own damn problem, isn’t it?

There’s a part of me that hopes that the girl I remember being is really gone for good. There’s another part of me that is sad because there was so much about her that I really loved. How much and how deeply I cared about things and people. But then again… oh how I cared; to the point where the pain was unbearable when someone hurt me. I’m sure that at some point in my life I will find something to care about that will be worth that pain, but until then I’ll be happy living a fuck-free life focusing on only those things that make my heart soar, and my soul sing7.

Footnotes:
  1. if I had a dollar for every time that someone has called me that in a negative light, I’d have some extra spending money[]
  2. not just the recent ones who I have since quietly cut out of my life[]
  3. that is kind of a lie, if I wanted to be disingenuous I could be but I simply have no interest in misleading people[]
  4. an important distinction to make[]
  5. I know you’ve heard of empathy[]
  6. because logic[]
  7. speaking of singing, I’ve been doing a lot of that too. Hoping to write an update on that soon-ish[]

The last of the lie

This is an ode (to the last of the lie).

When you start to get to know someone; when you start to build a foundation for your relationship, you create certain stories together – most of them are true, at least in the context of your lives when you’re building.

When a relationship ends, after the turmoil, the pain, and the grieving is over sometimes there is this hope that remains. Hope that there was something about that foundation you built that is strong enough that maybe one day you could share that same bond again,  or any bond – perhaps something that resembles a friendship1.

Sometimes though, the stories are too far from the truth and you just have to let go of the last of the lie. This doesn’t make either of you a bad person. The lies were true when they were being told. They just weren’t truths you wanted to keep, so you let the truths go. And you begin to live other truths that sometimes contradict the truths you once owned.

And then there are other times when there’s something about that ‘lie’ that’s sticky. It clings on to the core of you and insists on providing you with glimpses of hope that the lie is worth holding on to. So you wait it out. And you wait, and wait. You find other things to focus on because as the light of the ‘lie’ grows fainter every day, you need other light sources. So you look forward, and fill your life with the light of things that don’t remind you that you once allowed someone to treat you like you deserved anything less than respect.

One day, you’ll be ready. You’ll look back on the ‘lie’ and be able to wish it the farewell it deserves. And you’ll be free to really move on.

Unti then, just breathe.

Footnotes:
  1. something to truly be treasured. It isn’t a consolation prize to romance[]