92. Maybe I just need to take a step back.

“25 years & my life is still
trying to get up that great big hill of hope
for a destination…”

What’s Up, 4 Non Blondes

Well, I’ve had my semi-annual meltdown, & now that it’s out of the way & I’ve emerged relatively unscathed (thanks to two lovely ladies in my life for putting me back together — you know who you are)… I’ve got time to reflect on what made me go down the Rabbit Hole in the first place.

I know what brought it on this time — my well-meaning mum reminded me that I’m one-third of my way to being 25. The good ol’ quarter of a century… & I’ve nothing to show for it but a pair of Louboutins & half a degree.

Depressing, am I right?

I mean, one look at my Facebook feed & my lack of success is immediately apparent. People are graduating, getting engaged (or even married), buying homes… & here I am, broke & alone & living with my parents.

Sigh.

Thanks to the crushing realization that I am making my unsuccessfulness a habit, & my neurotic personality traits that enable me to go from 0 to mental breakdown almost instantly for little to no reason, I have been out of commission the last week or so.

I’m too close to my problems, & that makes it all too easy to catastrophise. Luckily, I managed to wrench myself away, take a step back, & re-evaluate what the heck is going on with my life.

Turns out, I really don’t have it that bad. Yeah, I am not making six figures writing professionally… but that’s okay. I’m working on it. I’m a student, & I’m still writing even if nobody wants to pay me for it (yet), & even though I’m not doing EVERYTHING that I could be doing to snag my dream job… that’s still okay. Because, guess what, I’m not ready for my dream job yet.

I could drop everything & move to the big(ger) city, & take my chances on landing some sort of writing gig, & just hope like hell that it all works out. But that’s impractical, & it’s scary, & I would more likely than not have a serious mental breakdown & have to hitchhike home with my tail between my legs.

I mentioned to my BFF the other day how sometimes I wish I could fast forward to being a successful, full-grown, responsible human being just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of being an unsuccessful 20-something. Which seems like a wonderful idea sometimes… But it’s really not.

Hitting fast forward takes all the fun out of it. I have become so focused on some imaginary destination in my life that I’ve stopped enjoying & just experiencing the actual journey.

It’s better to take it slow. To make a plan. To figure out my personal steps to success, & follow them.

All I needed was to take a step back, take a deep breath, & just relax. I will get there when I get there — wherever there is.

91. Maybe it’s because I’m desperate?

There is a fine line between honesty & desperation.

& I toe that line.

Often.

Now that I’ve poured my heart out, I’m having second thoughts about it… Because maybe it makes me come off as kind of desperate &, you know, crazy.

It’s just hard to gauge how much is too much when it comes to divulging feelings to the other humans. I’m the type of person who is rather guarded with her heart (to put it mildly) so when I want to tell someone how I feel… it can be a bit of an emotional monsoon. I need to carefully consider the balance between saying nothing & saying everything. & sometimes I miscalculate, over-share, & look like a stalker. We all make mistakes though, & apparently expressing emotions in a normal, non-creepy  fashion is something I need to work on.

I mean, other people do it… right? So it can’t be that hard. For now, I’m going to leave the heartfelt, creepy, & mildly stalker-esque post up as a reminder of how not to communicate with boys, & hopefully moving forward I can develop a less… intense means of expressing my devotion.

Less is more, people.

So, my chances are probably shot with my dream boy thanks to my over-zealousness, but let’s just chalk it up as another one of life’s many lessons… & I’ll pledge to just do better next time.

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90. Maybe I need to take a risk.

I like this boy, & I have liked him for a while now.

In my eyes, he is perfection. He is funny, handsome, mildly successful, & whenever I see him, I just can’t help but smile.

I turn into this mushy, giddy, smitten version of myself whose brain refuses to function… I blush (read: turn bright red & start sweating profusely) & seem to be unable to string words into coherent sentences. I literally lose control of my body when he is around.

It must be… love?

Normally, I would say yes, but at the risk of sounding like a total creep… He has absolutely NO idea. He actually probably thinks I’m some weird girl who can’t talk & doesn’t know anti-perspirant is a thing.

I know, I know… Y’all are going to classify this as an obsession… or tell me it’s just a crush. But it’s more than that. I think that we have a connection, & the reason I feel so strongly is because I’m convinced it’s kismet.

You can’t fight fate, right?

The universe wants us to be together. I won’t see him for a while & just when I think all hope is lost… He will pop back into my life. Like, that shit doesn’t just happen. There’s got to be a reason why he keeps showing up.

I have gotten second, third, fourth, going on fifth chances to spill the beans about how I really feel… but every time I have the opportunity, I chicken out. I can’t do it.

But the only way that something is ever going to happen between us is if I get over my irrational fear of rejection & actually do something. Maybe he will be interested, maybe he won’t be… But I will never know if I never get up the courage to ask.

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89. Maybe it’s my bun?

As a girl with long hair & an unbridled passion for sleeping in, I spend a lot of time with my hair up in a bun. So much time in fact, that my bun has become one of my most identifying features: it’s a part of me. Most people who know me can probably count on one hand the number of times they’ve seen me with my hair un-bunned, & sans bun I am actually practically unrecognizable.

Now that temperatures are rising in good ol’ Edmonton (it’s 24 degrees out right now but it feels like 34 degrees, aka it feels like heaven), I have been rocking my signature coif more than ever. I mean, it’s just too hot to have my hair down, & buns are so quick & convenient — who can blame me for avoiding the possibility of permanent neck sweat?

Perma-sweat is just so unpleasant for everyone involved.

On days like today, there ain’t no way I am messing around with a blow dryer, straightening iron, or any other piece of over-heated styling equipment. Why bother? I honestly didn’t think my hairstyle of choice drastically effected my chances of landing a man, but when one of my co-workers commented on my appearance in a not-so-positive fashion (she now lovingly refers to me as Elton John) it made me reconsider the negative effect my state of constant bun-ness might be having on my romantic chances.

Might I remain single because of my overt fondness for easy up do’s & dramatic increase of lazy hair days?

According to my grandma: no. She prefers my hair up & out of my face. However, the rest of the planet may not agree. I actually recently received a surprise compliment about my hair (it was running wild & free at the time) & it made me consider liberating it from its bun more often.

So perhaps one of these days I’ll make like Rapunzel & let my hair down — watch out Prince Charming, here I come.

Happy Birthday, Canada.

I love being Canadian — it’s great. I mean, yeah, the television is sub-par, & our weather usually sucks, & the shopping is far better across the border, but free health care, freedom in general, & just being Canadian more than makes up for it.

This big, beautiful country is so amazing — the mountains, the prairies, the oceans & lakes. Physically Canada is gorgeous — she definitely doesn’t look 147 years old.  From coast to coast, the true North strong & free is ripe with natural beauty, & no matter how many times I see the sun set over the prairies or drive the winding roads through the  Rockies, I will never get sick of it.

But being Canadian is more than farmland, mountains, & lots of snow. It’s more than hockey, being unnaturally polite, & inadvertently ending sentences with “eh” — it’s a concept. Being Canadian is being allowed to be yourself, & July 1 that’s what I am celebrating.

I am celebrating a country that let’s me be me, & looks damn good doing it.

Bring on the beer & fireworks everybody, & let’s show our country how much we love her, eh?

Happy Birthday Canada!

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88. Maybe it’s because I’m a dog (person).

As anyone who follows me on Instagram is well aware, I spent some time last weekend cat-sitting for friends.

I had a great time hanging with my new pal Baby Louie (aka Baabaas, aka Bubs) & my best girl Daisy. It was fun to be an honorary cat lady, but I have to admit I did miss my pups at home.

Yeah, they kind of smell, & they shed a lot (my wardrobe is permanently covered in fur)… & Teddy really enjoys ripping up tea towels (much to my mother’s chagrin) but I can’t help but love them. I mean, everybody has shortcomings right?

& they’re just so cute.

I’ve always had a soft spot for animals, but that spot is particularly mushy when it comes to canines.

I love dogs — I love most dogs more than I like more humans, to be frank. & most dogs seem to like me more than most humans — especially lately.

I sometimes wish getting a dude to like me was as easy as scratching behind his ears, or giving his belly a quick rub. Alas, I have to rely on conversation & not-so-natural charisma to win over the men in my life.

Obviously, that’s not really working too well for me. Maybe my comfort conversing with four-legged companions is preventing me from monopolizing on opportunities to talk to adult men.

I mean, walking my dogs, or running in the river valley seem like pretty optimal places to meet men. & I have seen more than my fair share of studs in Edmonton’s parks, but I am usually more focused on greeting their dogs than taking the time to let them fall in love with me.

Perhaps I should abandon my passion for canines & put that energy into meeting (& conversing with) dudes?

I mean, I guess I could get used to the company of an adult male human — as long as he loves dogs.

87. Maybe it’s my baggage…

I’ve been hauling some pretty heavy baggage around. All the leftover hurt feelings, all the emotional scars, all the irrational behaviour from past relationships has lingered around me for a long time. It’s coloured my actions in current relationships, it’s effected potential relationships, & it’s even prevented me from being the best version of myself on more than one occasion.

The hurtful words of relationships past play on a loop inside my head. Telling me I’m not pretty enough, or thin enough, or just plain good enough.

Well, at least, they used to. But, now, I’m cleaning out my closet. I’ve always been a borderline hoarder of material goods, & it appears that I hold the same sentimentality when it comes to my emotional baggage.

I have been holding on to this garbage since my very first romantic encounter — a sloppy kiss at a high school party. It was my first party, he was my first boyfriend, it was my first kiss, & he broke up with me shortly after.

I was devastated. & that experience set the tone for the rest of my romantic career.

There’s been so many dudes waltzing through my life, & I haven’t felt good enough for any of them. Dating is a slippery slope when you’ve got low self-esteem, trust me. I was constantly looking for validation; I constantly needed to be reassured that things were working.

For the record, projecting your insecurities onto your significant other isn’t the best way to maintain a healthy relationship.

I just wanted boys to like me… whatever the cost may be.

That cost is usually self-respect. & self-worth. & self-love. &, you know what? That cost is just your god damn self.

Searching for a boyfriend, that constant need to have a guy in my life, made me lose myself. I became overshadowed by the emotional baggage I insisted on picking up along the way.

It’s taken a really long fucking time to even start to find myself again, but I needed to go to that place, to meet all those losers & try to get them to like me, so that I could get to the place I am now. So that I could be the person I am today.

I wish I hadn’t had to deal with all the late nights & the limp dicks. The uncomfortable car sex & the shameful mornings after. But I guess I did so that you don’t have to.

If a boy texts you after 11 o clock, he doesn’t like you. If he doesn’t at least attempt to feed you the next morning, he doesn’t like you. If he never asks you how you’re doing, he doesn’t like you. If you wake up to him humping your buttocks… well, I’m not really sure what that means to be honest.

I used to be weighed down by a lot of baggage. I had a lot of negative thoughts bouncing around in my head — I had myself convinced that I wasn’t good enough… I let myself believe that I would never be a girl any worthwhile guy would be interested in. I refused to even consider pretending to be a confident individual. I would skip conversations in favour of fooling around because I thought if a guy got to know me well enough, he might realize just how lame I actually am.

& is that why I’m single?

It used to be.

There’s a valuable lesson to be learnt here, & I guess I have all the losers in my life plus my beautiful BFF, plus myself to thank for it. Boys don’t really mind a woman with a little extra meat, or a crooked nose, or a twisted sense of humour — as long as that woman doesn’t mind them either.

Love yourself, & other people will too.

 

86. Maybe it’s my Dad.

Growing up, I was the only girl (barring my mama) in a house ripe with testosterone. Sandwiched between two boys, & being Daddy’s little girl meant that my love life came under a lot of scrutiny.

Tons.

I’ll always remember the one (& only) time one of my high school boyfriends came around to the house. It was late June, he was my grad date (we were in Luv), & can’t remember what we were doing but for some reason he insisted on coming inside.

Rookie mistake, high school boyfriend, rookie mistake.

Not only was my dad sitting at the kitchen table, drinking, but it was a rare moment when both my brothers were home, also drinking, & my Grandpa was there too. It was the least opportune moment for this poor kid, but I couldn’t stop it. I let it happen.

I mean, it really is the ultimate test: can you run with the family? Can you handle an 80 year old man asking whether your pants are long-shorts or short-longs? Can you deal with my brothers asking you questions about soccer (aka football, in this house) of which you have no clue? Can you manage my dad’s incredibly dry sense of humour as he pokes fun at you for having no idea what the heck is going on?

So far, no guy has been able too. & that’s fine — my dad has gotten pretty good at keeping his little girl single, & he’s probably a big reason why I’m alone… But I don’t care. I don’t want a man in my life who can’t handle the men in my life.

The standard has been set high for my future mate, & is that really a bad thing?

So thank you dad, for lots of things: feeding me, clothing me, sheltering me, taking care of me, & weeding out the loser boyfriends in my life.

Happy Father’s Day, folks!

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85. Maybe it’s because I can’t dance.

I like to think I can dance like all white girls think they can dance.

I’ll have a few drinks, hear “my song”, & decide to hit the dance floor. I think that the way I am moving & shaking is an accurate re-creation of Shakira’s moves from that terrible yogurt commercial, but in real life it probably looks like all my body parts are moving independently of one another… Rhythm ain’t my thing, okay?

Now dancing doesn’t make or break relationships. Most dudes aren’t great dancers themselves. I once knew a guy who thought the wax on, wax off movement circa The Karate Kid in time to the music (kind of) worked as a dance move (it doesn’t). But we all know that those girls who hit the dance floor, & who hit it well, are the ones beating off eligible (& not so eligible) bachelors with sticks. Or stilettos, depending on the situation & their outfit choice.

I love to dance. It’s the sole reason a senior citizen like myself actually still visits the clubs, & although I am not the best dancer, what I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.

I was out dancing over the weekend with some of my girls, & we were catching our breath, when a couple of dudes approached us. They were obviously drunk, & obviously at a  bachelor party, & one of them was obviously getting married, but they were deadset on dancing with one, or all, of us.

We politely declined. However, the groom-to-be & his wing/best man wouldn’t take no for an answer & before I knew it an average-looking drunk guy was swinging me around the dance floor.

It was going okay. We were both trying to lead which wasn’t really working, I had a wave of nostalgia that made me tear up (I don’t think he noticed), & at one point I accidentally sacked him with my handbag, but all in all it seemed successful.

The song ended, & I managed to free myself from his drunken, sweaty palms, & move on with my life. The music kept playing, the drinks kept pouring, & I kept dancing. I was probably dancing poorly, & I was definitely freaking a lot of people out with my spastic moves, but I didn’t care. My friend put it to me this way, when I commented to her how absolutely free I felt with my arms flailing & my feet tapping & my bangs sticking to my sweaty forehead: everything is more fun when you don’t give a shit what other people think.

So, am I alone because I lack rhythm… & have sadly dishonest hips?

Who cares. I don’t. I want to be with a dude who loves all of me: both my left feet included.

 

84. Maybe it’s my perspective.

I have had some really wacky things happen to me lately.

I can’t pinpoint when it all started, but I’ve been noticing strange little things (& some strange big things) occuring.

It’s not anything bad… but it’s not exactly good, either. It’s kind of just… weird.

Weirdly positive. I don’t know — I just got to reflecting yesterday & there seems to be something strange going on.

I think it all started when I got t-boned by a cyclist… & just kind of escalated from there.

(We were both fine, by the way).

Shortly after that was when I started seriously taking care of myself — healthy eating, running, avoiding lactose (for the most part). Not so weird sounding until you take into account how lazy and, well, unmotivated (& addicted to icecream) I have been traditionally (my BFF can vouch for that… I spent a lot of time “stretching” at the gym if you know what I mean). I had a near-life experience — I guess — & since then all I’ve wanted to do is run & do stairs & eat the appropriate amount of food every day.

Weirder still… I don’t want to lose weight. Or fit into my skinny jeans… I just want to feel better. Stronger. Faster. Fitter.

So, that’s happening… & I am feeling good about it. Then, the other day, I lost something fairly valuable. Not something crazy expensive, or incredibly sentimental… Just something that when misplaced creates unnecessary cost & inconvenience.

Normally, losing stuff would send me into a panic attack, complete with a  full set of inconsolable tears… but I just brushed it off. I took a quick peek, couldn’t find it, & got on with my life. I thought: if it turns up it turns up… If not, well, that’s life. Things go missing; the world keeps turning.

& you know what… it turned up. A week later, I was grabbing something from my car… Looked down & whoop: there it was.

Weird, right?

Wait — it gets weirder.

A couple nights ago an errant cyclist actually apologized to me (an absolute miracle on Edmonton city streets) & yesterday I accidentally came across my spirit guide when I fell ass over tea kettle running up a muddy hill.

I was struggling hard to make it to the top — gravity is a fickle bitch — when my spandex-clad spirit guide stumbled upon me.

He bestowed upon me this nugget of wisdom: “the worst is behind me”. Confused? I was too. I asked him for clarification (twice) but all he did was repeat himself (twice) & after I mumbled a disgruntled thanks, he carried on his merry way.

I mean, I was hoping for more paper towel & less philosophical mumbo-jumbo, but as I was attempting to wipe the clumps of mud stubbornly clinging to my hands off on the cleanest grass I could find (my apologies to Highland Golf Course), I found myself pondering what my spirit guide had told me.

Instead of thinking of that particular hill, I thought of my entire life as a hill. Because it is (& it’s a pretty steep one) & I struggled to climb up it this past year. I reviewed all the garbage I’ve dealt with this year (it’s been tough) & thought about how despite everything… I am okay. I made it through. I persevered.

The worst is behind me.

So, I don’t think that these things happening to me are that weird… I think it’s just that I’m looking at them differently. I’m the one who’s weird — in a good way. My perspective has changed: challenges don’t phase me the same way they used to. I’m coming at my life from a different angle, & it has made me happier, healthier, stronger (physically & emotionally… I have muscles now, & I haven’t burst into tears unnecessarily in a couple weeks. It’s weird) & I just feel lighter.

Thanks spandex-clad spirit man for pointing out to me what I already kind of knew. The worst is behind me, which means the best is in front of me — if I want it to be.  

 

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