Panic Mode

I’m going out on a limb here and am getting straight up vulnerable with you guys because to me, it’s important, and I feel like we need to have more conversations and topics discussed about real life situations that more of us can relate to. There are sooo many topics that people sweep under the rug and hide away and that makes it so difficult for others to open up because they feel like they’re the only ones to ever go through it.

Well guess what? It’s not always sunshine and rainbows and despite what you see on social media, everyone struggles with something. We are all human, I don’t care if you post the most beautiful, staged pictures on Instagram, I know for a fact that behind closed doors you probably deal with the same shit we all do. When we only show one side of our lives we make it pretty damn easy for comparison to start and feelings of low self worth to creep in and overwhelm us. It’s time to get real and show that’s it’s OKAY if you don’t live a perfect life and that we can actively talk about our fears, failures and short comings without worrying about receiving backlash for it.

Being transparent is scary, I get it, but it could also be the one small step that opens doors for so many other people. When people go through a rough patch, are experiencing loss or are looking for ways to rebuild their lives, they more than likely want someone to relate to. Someone who has gone through the same thing and came out okay. They want to be able to connect to another human and say, “I know exactly what you’re going through”. As people, we crave those kinds of connections and desperately want that reassurance. We want to know that we’ll be alright when everything is said and done. Even if what we’re experiencing in the moment is the hardest thing we’ve ever dealt with. So when people open up, share their experiences and give a platform for conversation, it can make all the difference. So here it goes…

Most of you know that I went through a separation/divorce in 2016 and it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to maneuver through. The decision to leave was easy, but it was the after effects that really did me in. I was back living with my parents with a 10 month old baby, I had no job, no idea what I was going to do with myself and was full of a lot of emotional grief. Nobody tells you what it’s like when something like that happens or how you go through so many stages of healing or the fact that it can take YEARS to get that shit sorted out. You go through all the feelings of devastation, anger, sadness, hopelessness etc. and things can get pretty dark pretty quickly.

I remember I used to dread going to bed at night because that’s when allllll the emotions would hit me. Of course being a mom and being around people you lock that shit up and carry on because there’s no time for tears! Not to mention it’s difficult being openly emotional in front of others (I’m working on that by the way) What would end up happening is that I’d basically cry myself to sleep and exhaust myself because I didn’t know how to properly deal with not only what I was feeling, but also with how to heal and move on properly. Again, it’s not something that people actively talk about so I was at a loss for available resources I could open up to. So many people go through divorces and they all seem fine! I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard on me, especially given the circumstances and that it was an obvious “good” choice.

Nobody tells you that after something like that happens that you can easily fall into a depression and not even know it. You have to force yourself to get up and shower and put on a brave face because hey lady you have a kid to tend to! Nobody tells you how emotionally wiped you’ll be and how you try to ignore it and pretend that life is good! I’m happy! All while having this sinking feeling in your stomach that you’ll never get your shit figured out and you don’t know how you’re going to manage things on your own. And the best part is that nobody tells you how it will affect you when you enter a new relationship, even if it’s years later.

Which brings us to my current situation. First, let’s be clear, I’m very grateful for this relationship and am genuinely happy with it. I feel like the stars aligned and that this was supposed to happen at the exact timing it did. But recently, after a few things happened I was triggered by past feelings and events and it was both shocking and scary at the same time. I really thought my past was finally far enough behind me and that I had neatly dealt with it and packed it away. But I was wrong. I panicked. I started looking for an out and was overcome with these intense emotions that I was going to repeat the same pattern and end up in the same situation I was in before (even though this came nothing close to it, and I am in fact with a very great guy) I felt like I had worked so damn hard to get to where I am that I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes as before. My walls were up before I even realized it and I completely shut things out.

I overreacted, I can see that now, but at the time I was overcome with straight up panic and fear. Which I wasn’t expecting. I was scared that I had let my guard down and that heaven forbid I had allowed myself to get close to someone. It was a weird thing to go through and honestly made me take a good look at my reaction and dig a little deeper.

Obviously I now know better than to tolerate the negative things I had dealt with in my failed marriage, but it’s crazy how quickly a person can shut down because of them. I had to reflect on it A LOT and make peace with my past AGAIN. The thing is, you never really know what’s lurking beneath the surface and you can’t fully prepare yourself for what’s about to show up. Things were going great and it was as if one little event triggered a whole emotional response from me. It just goes to show that when you think you’ve fully dealt with something, you could be wrong. You might have some residual baggage left to tend to. And it ain’t pretty. It’s a process I’m telling ya.

Thankfully, communication lines are very open with this person and he’s been extremely understanding and patient. I’m going to be a work in progress, which is no surprise given the history I have, but I feel like this little speed bump opened my eyes up to allow more healing to happen. I need to allow myself to be open, to let someone in and to not run at the first sign of real life issues. Everyone is different and just because your ex acted a certain way DEFINITELY doesn’t mean others will do the same. Relationships take work, duh, and I’m committed to trying this whole being with someone thing again, even if it means I have to work on my own shit along the way. Past relationships don’t have to define your current ones and if you take the time to dissect why these feelings are coming up, then you’re more likely to carry on a lot more easily and can build up the relationship you have now. You can’t bury those feelings away and hope they’re gone for good. Face them head on, get real with yourself and look at the bigger picture. It’s difficult to do but if you want to create a better foundation for what you have now then you need to be willing to get past those old fears and doubts. It’s uncomfortable, that’s a given, but once you pick away at the layers it eventually gets easier and soon they will be old memories you won’t have to revisit.

So here’s to me pouring it all out for you guys and hopefully giving someone somewhere a little glimmer of hope that you can have a fulfilling relationship after divorce. Talk it out, understand that some things can resurface and that you have to be willing to work through them when they do. Being alone isn’t always the answer, and if you have a good thing going then I highly suggest you do your best to find a way to communicate and express what you’re going through. It’s so worth it.

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Trial & Error

Welp. It finally happened. I’m very happy to announce that this year’s Christmas was my absolute favourite (so far). And to me, this was a huge feat. I absolutely love the Christmas season and one of my biggest dreams as an adult was to be able to share it with the people I love and to make it magical for Case. Starting our own traditions, waking up with excitement and being surrounded by laughter, happy kids & endless sangria is my idea of the perfect way to spend the day. And this year, I got to check off every one of those things. I’m confident in saying that I’m #blessed

This holiday season reeeeeally got me thinking and reflecting on how my year went, simply being because I had no idea it was going to end this way. I’ve spent a lot of previous Christmases wishing they were different (or being too wrapped up in my head to enjoy them) and this time I finally sat back & allowed myself to savour each and every second of it. It was perfect.

This whole year was a whirlwind and in this past week I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to 2018. It’s funny how your year can start off so, so differently than how it ends and to me, that’s what makes life so dang exciting. I couldn’t have guessed in January that this was how I’d wrap up the year and it’s pretty incredible to look back on all the changes, highs & lows, big milestones and life events that took place. There were definitely some tough times, tears, frustrations and exhaustion mixed in there, but with all that came some much needed growth and learning opportunities that I totally credit for getting me to where I am today.

No matter how your year starts off, it always has a chance of ending exactly how you wished it would. This is such a hopeful, reassuring time of year because it gives you an opportunity to look back and realize that you survived & made it through everything that 2018 threw at you. It’s like you can breathe a sigh of relief because there’s a whole new year ahead to experience all the things you’ve ever wanted or hoped for. And that really gets my blood pumping with excitement.

Now, before I go, I wanted to quickly leave you guys with a few things I learned/realized this year. I started the year out in my first “new to me” house in town, I was very single, and was trying to figure out how to maneuver through running a business. I’m now ending the year in another “new to me” house in the country that suits us wayyyy better, I’m very much in a great relationship, and well on my way to creating a successful business. There’s been some HUGE steps in the right direction over the last 12 months & I thought I’d share some tidbits…

18 Things I Realized in 2018

  1. Do things for YOU. Not anyone else
  2. Delete Tinder. Nothing good comes from there. Trust me.
  3. If something feels “off” it likely is
  4. Stop comparing your life to others, it won’t get you anywhere
  5. Trust the process. Everything that happens to you is meant to. How you react chooses which direction you’ll go in
  6. Learn from your mistakes & stop fearing failure
  7. Be patient. The perfect person/job/house etc. is out there for you, don’t worry
  8. Don’t be scared to take some risks. It builds character
  9. If you didn’t listen to #2, for the love of god don’t add someone from Tinder on Snapchat. You’ll thank me later.
  10. Say how you feel. Don’t wait for the “perfect” time. Time isn’t promised & we all could be a little more transparent
  11. Be present. Especially around kids & grandparents.
  12. Say yes. Go on those random trips with friends & make memories. It’s so freaking worth it
  13. Stop worrying about your to do list. There’s so much more to life than checking tasks off
  14. Make yourself a priority. Ditch those bad habits & anything that makes you feel shitty. You deserve to feel your best
  15. Don’t worry about following “timelines”, everything will come to you at the exact moment it needs to
  16. Support your people. Build them up, be there for them, applaud them & be their biggest fan
  17. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We’re all trying our best and struggling with our own baggage through life. You’re only human
  18. And lastly, believe in yourself. Believe that you can accomplish anything and put the effort in everyday to make it a reality. You’d be surprised at how quickly things can change when you start loving yourself first.

I could go on, but I will stop there. I hope you take a moment to think about all the good things you compiled this year and focus on those pivotal moments rather than the tough ones. There’s always going to be an ebb and flow of great times & trying times, so choose carefully on where you direct your attention.

I wish you all the love, abundance, happiness and good health that 2019 has to offer and that the next 365 days are ones that will propel you towards your goals. Have a wonderful New Year’s and don’t forget to set those intentions and open yourself up to all the possibilities that are awaiting you. It’s going to be an amazing year!

Act Now

I’m going to keep this short and cut to the chase. Today was hard. I’m emotional and my way of coping is to either type it out or put it on paper. I chose the first option. Obviously.

A year ago today we lost someone very near and dear to me and my heart breaks as much now as it did then. It breaks for the family left behind and for all those who adored him. They’re some of the strongest people I know and I honestly wish I could just piece it all back together for them.

You never really know how much time you get with someone and these difficult reminders really put it into perspective. We’re never guaranteed a lifetime with the people we love, and it really makes you stop and appreciate all those little visits and time spent together. Things can happen so suddenly and your whole world can be turned upside down in a day.

We need to stop worrying about mundane things, skipping outings because we’re “too busy” or have “so much to do” and just go spend time with the people we care about. They’re not always going to be there. And that’s a harsh reality to accept. The housework, emails and errands will all still be there tomorrow, but the people we love might not be.

Tell people how you feel about them. Genuinely tell them how they brighten your day or how much you love them. We take these moments for granted everyday, when really we should be telling the ones we care about how happy and lucky we are to have them in our lives. As cliché as it sounds, life is so, so short. Anything can happen tomorrow, and as frightening as that is, it’s also a good reminder to really be present with those around you. Stop brushing off your friends and flaking out on your family. Be there. Make time for them. Go enjoy their company and laugh until you cry. Things can change in an instant and you’re going to wish for those opportunities again one day.

Don’t be scared to reach out to those who you haven’t talked to in a while. Chances are if you’re thinking about them, they’re likely thinking about you too. Say yes the next time you get invited out and enjoy every moment of it. Make new memories with your family, take pictures and sit back and soak it all in. We think that we have so many chances ahead of us to do all these things, when in reality none of it is guaranteed. It’s scary, but it’s also a good kick in the ass to appreciate those around you and to be actively present with them. Sometimes we just need that reminder.

Don’t get so caught up in your life that you miss out on quality opportunities with those you’re closest to. You just never know…

I know this post has a bit of a different tone than my others, but life isn’t always sunshine and positivity. Sometimes it’s honest and somber, and that’s okay. All I’m getting at is that time is extremely precious. We need to stop waiting to do things tomorrow, and quit putting things off as if we’re promised more time down the road. If someone means something to you, tell them. If you get a chance to spend time with family or friends, do it. It’s that simple.

Make a point of reconnecting with someone or even dropping a quick text to someone you care about. A simple gesture can go a long ways and you’ll be glad you did it. It’ll brighten both your days, I promise.

xoxox

That’s It, That’s All

Currently reeling in the fact that it’s December and that there’s only a couple weeks left of 2018. This year has felt like an eternity, but at the same time, I can’t believe it’s almost over. I feel like so much has happened over the course of these 12 months, that I’m in slight awe of how this year is wrapping up. It might be different for you, but for me, I didn’t expect to be where I’m at, with the things/people that I have.

This year has sprung so many ups and downs, lessons and challenges, successes and disappointments, that I am excited to say goodbye to 2018, but also slightly grateful for everything that did come from it…even the not so great parts. I mean, I’m ending the year in a great little house with a happy and healthy kid, a cute (needy) dog, a wonderful person by my side and my family and friends near me. Not to mention work has been incredible (and busy) and for that, I’m extremely grateful. I’ve met so many great people through clients and customers, that I feel as if this was a huge stepping stone in the right direction.

It was definitely a year for growth and discovery, in ALL aspects of my life, so I’m quite alright with accepting the challenging times and just being extra happy about all the good that has come my way. I believe that it’s important to reflect on the year and use it as motivation on how you want it to end. I know for me personally, I learned so much about myself this year through all my trials and errors, especially when it came to my personal life, that I’m using that now to accept any struggles that may come my way in the future. I can look back and realize that all those frustrating and difficult moments I endured this year were just a way for me to get more focused and to ultimately figure out exactly what I wanted. Yeah it sucked at the time, but I got through it, survived it and moved along. Then the next time something similar presented itself, I was able to handle it better and breeze through it more easily. You almost have to be thankful for those tough times because you always come out of them so much stronger and better prepared. You can’t learn if you don’t fail. So I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be scared of failure, you need it if you want to progress. I probably could’ve just said that, but we’re already here so just roll with it k?

I’m not overly a fan of looking back on the year and deeming it as “good” or “bad” because I think there’s just too many factors and honestly, it’s as good as we make it. Yes, there’s times when things happen that you wish didn’t, but a lot of times those situations will help you decide which direction you want to go in. There’s always going to be losses and wins. It’s just the way life works, and I feel like if we can look at the bigger picture and push forwards through it all (with help of course), then we can endure it a lot more gracefully. Although there are a few things that I will leave behind in 2018, such as:

  • Worrying about what others think. This year I was able to develop a “thick skin” and focus on my own shit. And guess what? My stress was GONE instantly because of this.
  • Stop comparing my journey to others. This was a big one. I had gotten into the habit of comparison, and it made me feel like a loser. Which I am not. Just because I’m at a different stage in life than others my age doesn’t mean I’m “behind” or “failing”, it just means I’m doing things my own way. And that’s fine.
  • Insecurities. I am saying goooood bye to worrying about being insecure about EVERYTHING. I’m owning it all. This is me, and you can take it or leave it. I’m finally comfortable with every aspect of myself and if someone doesn’t enjoy it, then peace out. This attitude has honestly brought in so many great people & I have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner.
  • People pleasing. I’ve never really been a huge people pleaser but I found that I was doing things that I didn’t wholeheartedly want to do, just for the sake of others. Now I’m perfectly fine with saying up front whether I’m into something or not and am okay with turning things down and doing things that I prefer. To me, that’s self care.

I’m sure there’s more but you guys don’t need to read a novel of the trials and tribulations of Dani’s 2018. All I’m getting at is that if you haven’t found any areas to grow in over the course of a year, then you need to sit down and re-evaluate and do some reflecting. There’s always going to be moments that allow you to better yourself, and if you haven’t found them yet, then maybe you need to broaden your awareness. I mean, only if you want to, no pressure.

I did have a slight moment the other day where I thought, “Why did I have to go through all those shitty encounters this year? I really could’ve done without those”, but then the more I thought about it…no I really did need those. I had to deal with them and get a sense of what was good and what I could do without.  I honestly don’t think I’d be in the situation I’m in now if I hadn’t dealt with all that. And yes, I am talking about relationships here. Because we all know that’s the juicy part that people like to talk (read?) about. Don’t even act like it’s not. I’ll keep it brief, but all those shitty dates, let downs and awkward meet ups really helped me to set my boundaries and to learn how to not put up with any BS. After so long, you finally realize your worth and then if someone doesn’t measure up, you have no problem letting them go. I got to the point where I was just focusing on myself and didn’t give a rat’s ass (sorry not sorry for the language) about finding anyone. And it worked. Because a few short weeks later I got roped in by my new favourite person and the rest is history. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to read about this, but hey, you can’t date a blogger and not expect to wind up in a post. Just doing it for my readers! Ha!

Anyways, I hope you all are looking forward to the new year (and the holiday season) and have learned some valuable lessons in 2018. You have total control over how you endure the upcoming year and how you react to the situations that will ultimately be thrown at you. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that you’re a bad ass and set your sights on some goals to chase in the next 12 months. That’s something to be excited about.

Talk soon xoxox

Timing is Everything

Mountains have my heart and make my soul happy, so in true Dani fashion, writing about my recent trip to see them and the revelations that came with it were on my priority list today. Yes, I’ve seen them a million different times, with many different people, but they just never get old. I’m still that person who will point out the window with excitement at the first glimpse of them. That’s just something that is never going to change. And if you say that mountains don’t make you sit back in awe, then you’re lying. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy them, whether you’re close to them or love them from afar, they’re a universal attraction. There’s just something about them that feels so peaceful. They’re pure magic I swear. Anyways, enough about the most magnificent creation Mother Nature has ever made, I do have a topic for today…

Life is crazy. All the time. There’s so many ups and downs, good weeks, bad weeks, emotions of all sorts, unexpected circumstances and sometimes just pure chaos (moms know what I’m talking about). We all deal with these curve balls and sometimes just as we’re at our breaking points, we get a break. Whether it’s something small, or something huge, I think we can all agree that those breaks always come right at the moment when we need them the most. You know, those moments when you’re about to lose your shit and have a full blown meltdown and all of a sudden you get good news, your day turns around, you get a compliment that warms your heart or someone reaches out to you and makes your day.  It really doesn’t matter what kind of life you’re living, sometimes timing can have such a big impact on us that things can get shaken up (hopefully for the better) and never really return to the same frequency they were at before.

It’s almost as if we have to endure some tough times in order to really enjoy and embrace the good times. I know I’ve said it before, but everything is temporary. The good times aren’t always going to be there (as much as we wish they would be), but the bad times won’t last forever either (thankfully). We have to understand that everything we go through has a purpose and it sets us up for something spectacular down the road. Which, yes I know is annoying and hard to hear when things aren’t going well, but you can’t lose faith or hope in yourself during those times. You have to accept that we all go through waves of struggles and successes and that it’s never linear. This is also why it’s so important to never compare your story to anyone else’s because 9 times out of 10 you don’t see another person’s struggle and you only see their successes. Life isn’t easy for anyone, but that’s a totally different topic for another day.

Back to timing. Timing can be a bitch. I know this firsthand, and let me tell you, I never thought it would ever be on my side again, or ever really. But there comes a time when you sit back and think “oh, this all makes sense now” and you see the bigger picture and why things didn’t work out the way you wished they would’ve in the past. It’s pretty common to hear people say, “the timing just wasn’t right” when they were so close to achieving something or reaching a goal or even trying to start a relationship (been there, done that). Even though that’s a tough pill to swallow, sometimes you just have to accept it. You can’t force good timing, and if it’s off, it’s not meant to work out that way. Trust the process yo.

On the other side of it, sometimes the timing lines up and things all start to fall into place just as you’d hope they would. This usually comes after a time of self reflection, working on bettering yourself, working your butt off to reach goals that seem so far away, etc. Timing has a way of making you persist right up until you feel like giving up. It’s almost like a reward for all your hard work. You’ve done all that you’ve can, you’ve proven your commitment to whatever you were working on and just as you’re about to throw in the towel, things start to align and work out in your favour. You can never exactly pinpoint when this will happen, and more often than not it’ll take you by complete surprise and you’ll be so happy that you didn’t give up. You’ll likely feel overwhelmed with (possible) happy tears when you come to the realization that the Universe actually does have your back and that you finally reached what you were aiming for. It’s always a bittersweet moment and one that should be soaked up. Don’t rush through it. Allow yourself to sit back and enjoy it for as long as you can. It doesn’t happen often, so be present and appreciate it for all that it is. I highly recommend sitting outside with a glass of wine while you reflect on this “feel good” moment…it works like a charm.

Now not to get too sappy, but that’s exactly what I did this weekend. I don’t generally like to dive into those kinds of *emotions* or get ahead of myself BUT I have to admit that it was pretty freaking cool to enjoy some time away with someone, especially when a few months ago I would have never seen it coming. Things have a funny way of working out sometimes, and I’ll likely dive into this a bit more down the road to give you guys some background on it all. I could easily be getting ahead of myself, which if that’s the case I’ll let you know, but I like to be honest and open so I’m just going to roll with it. Timing really did play quite the role in everything, which is both parts hilarious and straight up mind boggling…and maybe slightly terrifying. Now fingers crossed the timing keeps everything together *insert nervous laughter* and I can enjoy this for a while. Be prepared for a new approach on blog posts in the future, things have definitely taken a turn (for the better obviously) and I’m quite new to this whole other chapter in life. Of course I’ll probably have to hash it out here and there as I maneuver through it all, so lucky for you guys you’ll get a sneak peek into my trial and errors! Oh what fun!

Anyways, moral of the story, you have to trust the timing of your life. Don’t rush anything. Don’t panic. As hard as it may be, you need to loosen up that grip of control and just let things play out. Power through those tough times (they build character) and remember to take a moment and really appreciate those good times. Don’t be scared to take a leap of faith or try a totally different approach to something, it might just be the best thing for you.

Talk to you soon xox

Airport Thoughts

I just polished off a massive plate of steamed veggies with goat cheese and chicken and a lovely pale ale (so boujee now) at an airport pub and when you have 3 hours to kill, you start to ponder things. And when I contemplate my little life, I obviously have to write about it. It’s science.

Anyways, I realized this is my 4th time in the Montreal airport, which isn’t a huge feat but never did I think that’d I’d feel comfortable flying on my own, let alone getting the opportunity to travel around so much. The last few little trips I’ve accumulated have been great and it baffles me how things can happen in your life that you never expected. I used to be notorious for having things SO.PLANNED.OUT that I never really left any room for spontaneous or unexpected circumstances. I would say “no, I can’t” to a lot of opportunities before because they didn’t follow my strategic plans (or were too last minute) and I still shake my head about it. What was I thinking?!

This year I’ve said yes to so much. And because of this I’ve done more things in this past year than I have in the last 5. It’s a weird feeling to realize that sometimes you’re sabotaging yourself from experiencing things and sometimes playing it safe 24/7 isn’t always the way to be.

You have to agree to those random trips with friends (don’t worry about the cost, the memories are worth it), you have to say yes when your kid wants to go on a spontaneous adventure (even though you’re exhausted and have dishes to do), you have to go and spend an afternoon with family once a week because one day you’ll wish you spent more time with them, you have to put yourself first sometimes and allow yourself to enjoy good company and an extra glass (or bottle) of wine because you work your ass off and are allowed to let your hair down. And you have to say “let’s see where this goes” when someone crosses your path and sparks your interest because you just never know how they might impact your life. Basically, you have to live.

You can’t guilt yourself if you stray from doing all the mundane things and veer off your routine. That’s not how we’re supposed to enjoy life. And I know this first hand because I’m one of those people who will beat myself up for being “irresponsible” and heaven forbid, allowing myself to let loose and do something for ME. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I have to work 24/7 and when I’m not working I have to be the best parent/friend/daughter/whatever”. Screw that. Don’t put that pressure on yourself and just LET THINGS BE. You can’t be 100% all the time and honestly, once you start accepting those invitations to trips, outings, gatherings, dates, etc. you’re going to realize that it’s so much more fun and interesting than sticking to some strict 5 year plan.

Unexpected moments happen all the time. Embrace them. Don’t resist them. Let them come into your life and if they’re great, awesome! Enjoy it. If they’re difficult, work through it and move on. Everything is temporary (which I’ve said before) so we have to relish the good times and persevere through the tough ones. It’s not always going to be one way or the other, so just live in those fleeting moments and reeeeally soak them in.

We all could take some time to slow down and just be. Think about all the things you’ve done this year. Whether they were good or bad, they’ve added to your life experiences and are now a part of your story. We still have a couple months left of this year and I have a feeling they’re going to be great ones.

Enjoy your Friday guys and I’ll go back to people watching.

An AHA Moment

So yesterday was a pretty interesting day for me. Not so much in terms of what happened during the day (it was pretty straight forward), but more so on the emotional/mental sides of things. August 13th was the day I said “I Do” to someone 7 years ago, and as much as I wish I could just forget and skip that chapter of my life, it’s obviously always going to be a part of my story. Now, I’m not here for a pity party or to look back longingly because, well, I’m glad things have changed since then, but I do want to talk about it a little bit. For the first time in almost 3 years I woke up knowing what day it was and it didn’t even stir up any anxiety, anger or regret. And for me, this was a big deal. Instead of dwelling on the past and beating myself up over it, I woke up with a strange sense of accomplishment and almost chuckled to myself because the significance of the day had finally faded away. It felt like that chapter was officially closed and that I didn’t have to carry it around anymore, which gave me such a huge sense of relief.

I woke up in my cute, perfect for me house, to my even cuter, loyal little pup and had the opportunity to enjoy my coffee outside as the sun came up and while Casey slept. In that moment I knew I was on the right path and that everything that has happened to me in the last couple of years had to happen in order for me to wind up here. I honestly can’t explain the peace I felt and also the sheer disbelief that I was able to enjoy this kind of moment. I would’ve never guessed that life could be so sweet after something so difficult. Plus, I gave myself a pat on the back for simply enjoying what was in front of me and finally letting go of those past memories, which honestly could’ve put me in a piss poor mood for the whole day, but that just seemed like a waste of a good Monday.

I can’t believe I get to have this view #lucky

It was safe to say that with that start to the day, I knew it was going to be a good one. Then of course I listened to my new favourite podcast (Girls Gotta Eat) and their topic of the day really hit home. Basically it looked at how you have the power to change your circumstances, especially on the relationship/dating side of things and if you feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself and dealing with the same men/situations, then it’s time to look at the common denominator: YOU. Which was a little hard to do but definitely made me ponder the thought. I am typically drawn to the same kinds of people and they almost always wind up the same way. Which is never the greatest outcome. Of course I’m no stranger to self improvement so the conversation sparked some interest for me and I’ve decided to make some changes on my myself and on how I approach the dating and relationship scene. Yes, this year has been fun and interesting and exactly what I needed, but now I feel like it’s time for something more. Time to zero in on what it is that I really want and start applying some new ways of doing things.

In order to make a change outwardly, I need to start with myself on the inside (as cliche as that sounds) I need to be more open to different people and to allow myself to stray from my usually “type”, because clearly the ones I’m pursuing are not working out for me, or at least not leading to anything long lasting. Sometimes we have to completely shake things up and do something we’ve never done before to open up a world full of possibilities and new opportunities. Going back to the podcast, the guest speaker explained how she took a whole year off from dating and worked on herself and strengthened her idea of what she wanted and who she was trying to bring into her life. The idea intrigued me and honestly, I may follow her lead and see what happens. I really don’t have anything to lose and the thought of going on another pointless first date that never leads to a second one has me cringing and running for the hills. It might just be time to get out there, do things that I love, try new activities, say yes to more invites outside of my comfort zone and just trust the timing of my life. It’s worth a shot and it’s one that I’m fully ready to take.

I know first hand that big, scary, exciting changes can happen in a year and new people can come in and out in a flash, so the thought of opening up to that even more and just embracing it as it goes is somewhat exhilarating. I mean, looking at this year already there were so many moments and people that I never even dreamed of encountering. You can’t plan for those kinds of things, and for me, the timing feels right to simply work on myself and see how it all falls into place. I’ve seen how setting intentions can help manifest certain things in life so I’m curious to actually apply it to this aspect. Seeds have been planted and now we wait and hope for the best. Yes, there’s a few possibilities that I could pursue, but I’ve done my part and if they’re meant to happen and evolve, then I trust that they will. And if they don’t, well then obviously they just weren’t meant to be a chapter in this little life of mine. Just having that mindset in itself is calming and makes me feel better…who would’ve thought.

Writing this has been cathartic for me, and even though bad days can happen, I’m happy to say that lately I’ve been choosing whether they escalate or not. Yesterday was the perfect example of how my mindset controlled how the day went and I’m pretty damn proud of myself for taking the time to acknowledge it and move on. Time to go put some things into practice and change things up…once again.

So if you’re feeling stuck or like things keep happening on repeat, maybe sit down and take a good hard look at yourself. Could it be that you’re putting yourself into these situations? Is there a root cause deep down that’s making you fall into the same events? It’s tough to do, but at the end of the day it’s so worthwhile. Start small, open up a few layers at a time and just keep working until things finally feel like they’re completed or healed. Don’t expect a drastic change overnight and keep in mind that most of us are always going to be a work in progress. We change and evolve every year and sometimes our needs/wants change as well. Cheers to all of you working on yourselves and bettering your lives one step at a time. You guys are the real MVP’s.

Relax

So I recently took a week off of work and it was the first time I had done that in quite some time. It kind of gave me anxiety to think about because to me, if you’re not working, you’re not progressing. BUT I’ve also come to learn that we all need breaks and we’re really no good to anyone when we’re burnt out. Learned that one the hard way. Oops.

Anyways, it wasn’t a true holiday, I actually ended up packing up our belongings and moving into a beautiful little place outside of town (my dream come true) and then catching up with family and friends who were up from the city and celebrating one of the best two day weddings I’ve ever been to (German’s know how to throw a party) and I’m still finding bits of glitter on me if that tells you anything. So it was definitely a full week, but it was a much needed break. I even stopped myself from answering messages and e-mails during the whole time and took a TRUE break. It was much nicer than I thought it’d be and I highly recommend you do it once or twice a year to just recuperate and take a step back. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle that pretty soon you don’t realize you’re exhausted and have been answering e-mails non stop for days on end. ANYWAYS. On with it, I promise I do have something I want to talk about…

So since moving, between being out of town and having pretty crappy cell service, it gave me the opportunity to reeeeeally chill out. I took a major step back from being on my phone (still needs some work, but it’s progress) and since we have the option of a ton of room outside now, we’ve definitely taken advantage of it. Since moving I’ve also shifted my focus on life a little bit. Everything has calmed down. I’m no longer in a rush for anything. I’m not worried about my relationship status (although I’m pretty sure I met my future husband last weekend, but we’ll save that for another time) I’m not worried about timelines, I’m enjoying the present moment and just basking in the wonderfulness of having our own space out of town. I’m really not sure if it was the move or just having the week off, but I came out of it feeling so refreshed and the most relaxed I’ve been in years. It’s like all the heaviness that built up over the year has been lifted off and to put it quite frankly…life’s just good. It’s a strange and welcomed feeling that’s for sure.

morning

so damn lucky to have this view

Now I know I usually get a better response on my posts when I dive into my personal life and the dating scene (who doesn’t love a chance at gossip right?) I can’t tell you how much better I feel by just allowing things TO BE. I’m not swiping through Tinder anymore (thank god) and I have really come to terms with just meeting people “in the wild” (a term coined by the Girls Gotta Eat Podcast) It’s a nice change, because in reality what are the odds of finding someone you REALLY click with on one of those sites? Yes, there’s a chance, but those first random (fateful?) encounters in person will always trump that. You always get a better sense of someone when you meet them first in person rather than over texting, and more often than not you’ll feel that *spark* that everyone longs for. But don’t take my word for it, I’ve been known to be wrong before aaaand this is just my experience. Alls I’m saying is that the moment you take a step back and stop over-analyzing things, THAT’S when the magic happens. Once you say to yourself, “You know what, I’m not really looking anymore, whoever is meant for me will eventually turn up” is when things can finally start to fall into place. Not saying this has happened to me in that exact form, but I did tell myself to just chill out and now things seem to be flowing much more easily and there are a few doors that could potentially be opened. Time will tell on those though. Stay tuned.

What I’m getting at is that we don’t have to have EVERYTHING figured out all the time. That sometimes we just have to keep plugging away and working and staying optimistic because eventually it will all come together. I’ll be the first to admit that this year was a complete shit show with so many highs and lows that I feel tired just thinking about it. And I was one of those people slightly panicking that summer was ending and that nothing miraculous had happened to me yet. But that was a few weeks ago and this past week has proven to me that I don’t need to stress or worry so much. Things are falling into place and all my hard work and positive thinking is taking shape. Which I know is hard to see sometimes, but then there’s moments when it’s like, YES I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS and those little moments are the ones to keep working towards, and they will come…you just can’t lose hope on them yet. I don’t know how many times I wanted to quit, in all areas of my life really, and I basically had to take it one day at a time and hope for the best. Looking back now, I’m so glad I didn’t throw in the towel. This week was proof that good things come to those who don’t give up and that’s enough motivation for me to keep on truckin’.

Keep your chin up and if things feel like they’re falling apart and you’re losing faith, take a good look at how you’re coping. Are you allowing things to evolve or are you pushing back and trying to control & stress over every tiny aspect? Everything is temporary, whether we like to admit it or not, and your current situation won’t always be like this and things will always be changing one way or another. Take a deep breath, sit back and relax and watch things start to make sense. It’ll happen.

Just Be Patient They Said

I was unsure about writing this, but after hearing some other people talk about their wonderful world of dating I thought I should share my experiences thus far. It’s bound to give you a good chuckle I’m sure. In the past, lets say almost 2 years, I’ve had quite the time with this whole dating thing and some of the stories are just too good to not share. I’ve learned to laugh at the mishaps and take everything with a grain of salt, because there’s really no point in spending too much time agonizing over failed attempts of dating amiright? I apologize in advance to the guys who read this and who may or may not be the inspiration for this post. I won’t use real names obviously, but just know I’ve enjoyed this little journey and hey, no hard feelings okay? You’re all one of a kind. Also, you might want to get comfy, this post might be a *tad* longer than usual…

Anyways, before I dive in I should explain that I’m extremely picky, I have a tendency to fall into the same patterns with men and I’ve honestly never been more befuddled by the opposite sex in my whole life. This has been such an eye opener for me, considering I never did the whole dating thing when I was younger, so having to meet new people and realizing that not everyone is raised with common sense or decency has been quite the time. Not to say that every encounter has been awful, because they haven’t been, but after each failed date they have helped me to realize what I do and do not want in a potential partner. So that’s a step in the right direction. Right? Right.

Alright, so I know you’re waiting for some hot goss but bear with me here, I have some more to talk about before I get into the nitty gritty details. Let me first explain that dating is dating. You don’t have to settle and jump all in with the first person you go for supper with (yes that took a while to learn) and you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about going on a few dates in a short period of time. Or even chatting with a few people at once. We’re allowed to see what our options are and until someone drops the whole “hey are we exclusive” talk (do people still do that?) then you’re free to explore and have awkward conversations over a good old vodka water *with a slice of lime*. You’re kidding yourself if you think I agree to these dates without something to take the edge off. Come on now.

Now that I have a solid 20 couple, maybe more dates under my belt (not literally, keep your heads out of the gutter) I’d like to think I have a better idea of how this dating game works. Or at least I’ve come to see some patterns and themes, which is likely more on me than the well meaning men who attempt to take me out. I’m still laughing as I type this by the way. Please try to remember that this is not a serious post and is more a chance to find some humor in my dating misfortunes.

Okay, on with it. So THEMES. Well for one I’ve been prone to plan a date with someone, where it either crashes and burns within the first 10 minutes and I can’t wait for it to be over, or they don’t show up (yes this happens) and all of a sudden out of the blue it’s like a magnet…BAM some random person who I didn’t expect to see or hang out with, shows up and attempts to sweep me off my feet. Or I do the sweeping, it’s really a toss up. It’s like an internal alarm goes off within single men that I’ve briefly met before and they’re like “That girl there! She needs to have fun tonight…It’s my time to shine” and they proceed to waltz in and turn my night around with one strategically placed compliment after another. Keep in mind these men generally don’t stick around, they’re more of a “I’m here for a good time, not a long time”, which gives you a short lived confidence boost and leaves you scratching your head the next day going, “Wow, I did NOT see that coming”. I’m sure my initial date shared the same thoughts, but I really can’t say for sure because well, he didn’t make it to phase 2 of keeping in touch. Poor fella. This has literally happened more times than I thought it would. Which is another reason to not take dating seriously. You just never know what will happen. So much fun right? I hope you committed people are appreciating your person a little more right now…

Alright, ANOTHA ONE… I have the tendency to get involved with people who live far away. It’s ridiculous. And I’m working on it. Sort of. Okay, maybe not that hard, but that’s not the point here. It’s always by chance that I meet these people, hit it off with them and catch them damn feelings before taking into account that they live FREAKING FOREVER away from me. I kid you not, this has happened at least 5 times. I don’t know if it’s because I like a challenge, or the fact that it’s someone not from here and that’s exciting? But it never works out. At least it hasn’t yet. Still might give it a few more tries (haha why am I like this). My guess is that we all want someone who would put distance aside and make it work. They would show their ultimate commitment by not letting a few hours of travel stand between you and them and eventually they’d move in with you and you’d live happily ever after. I’m not asking for much here guys. It’s a modern day fairy tale. Getting the chance to say, “Oh so and so just liked me so much that he decided to move to be closer to me and give our relationship a chance” wouldn’t be awful. Crazy, yes, but definitely wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. I’ll let you know how it works out when it finally does happens. Standby.

Okay, the last pattern, which hopefully you still want to hear about because damn this post is getting long and I’ve barely scratched the surface. So there’s two main types of men out there that you have to maneuver through in the dating world. First one being the “I know it’s only our first date but I want to create a life with you and make this official right now” kind of guy (who let me be clear, creates a sense of PANIC in me), and then there’s the second one, the “I’m going to talk to you lots, we’re going to hang out and have fun but I’ll likely tell you some BS excuse a month or two later that this can’t amount to anything” kind of guy. Both are suuuuuper fun to deal with (I really hope you’re picking up on my sarcasm right now) and I honestly can’t decide which one is worse because they both bring on their own sense of awkwardness and mixed emotions. The first one is usually hard to get rid of (that’s a whole other story for another time) and the second one generally disappears faster than you can say “Hey I’ve had a great time we should do that again…” It’s really a wild roller coaster ride out there people. Most times I’m stuck with thinking “How in the eff am I going to get out of this situation without hurting his feelings” or “Wow, that DID NOT pan out how I thought it would, was sure great meeting his friends and family though…” 

The best part though is that in between those two extremes are the ones who are there to just make you feel like a million bucks. You know, the ones who you have a mutual understanding with that this isn’t going to go anywhere but we might as well make the most of it right? They’re the fun guys. The ones who are ridiculously good looking, they’re hilarious, easy to be around and leave you wishing you could lock them down for the long haul. But alas, they’re just not meant to be that person for you. And you’re fine with that (kind of). These guys are usually the ones who give you that confidence boost that you need after a string of bad dates. They’re your *whispering* great white buffalo. They’re the ones who you’re just grateful to have been around and when you think about them you can’t help but smile. Of course you’ll likely not see them again, but the memories are good ones. These guys are few and far between and show up just when you need them to. You’ll get that extra motivation to stay in the dating world after meeting them because they remind you that you are a total catch and that there are good guys out there who are single too. Also, I should note that these guys usually live far away too…go figure.

Now I could keep going, but I’m going to cut it off there because wow, this post is LONG. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you got some entertainment out of it and hopefully you can or can’t relate to it, depends on where you’re at in life I guess. I could definitely go on a lot longer about each dating trial I’ve been on in the last 2 years, but maybe I’ll save that for a book idea later on. All in all, just know that if you’re in the dating scene, we’re all struggling through it and hoping that every time we swipe right or make eye contact in a bar that we’ll miraculously find our soulmate. So keep up the good fight and I hope all you single people out there have some fun this weekend. Enjoy your time alone, your routine, and the fact that you can do whatever the hell you want. As for you people who are coupled up, do us a favour and stop telling us to be patient and find some single friends to hook us up with already! We need all the help we can get.

…to be continued…

Let It Go

There comes a time when you have to take a deep breath and move forward. It’s not easy, a lot of times it’s uncomfortable, fairly scary and the urge to stay within what’s familiar is SO STRONG. Recently I’ve had to let go of quite a bit. Mostly emotional stuff (thankfully) and as much as I didn’t want to, I’m glad I did. I’ve had to let go of a few people from my past, the picture I had in my mind of where I wanted to be by this age, my fear of the unknown, my self doubt and my idea that I had to do this all on my own. What I’ve learned is that when we finally loosen our grip on things that are no longer serving us, we allow so many more great opportunities to pour in.

But, the hardest part is recognizing that it’s time to let go. We often get stuck in the “oh if I just hold on a little longer, it’ll all work out how I want it to”, and more often than not, this just isn’t the case. Sometimes the things we cling to are the things that are slowing us down and stunting our progression. They’re familiar. They’re comfortable. And they’re all that we’ve known. Sometimes we don’t realize that we need to break loose and be open to the unknown chances laid out ahead of us. Getting comfortable can be the biggest downfall when it comes to personal growth and living out our full potential. You don’t want to “settle” and you sure as shit don’t want to be stuck living out a life you thought was supposed to be amazing when in reality it’s mundane and predictable.

In the midst of this I’ve also noticed that sometimes taking a risk and taking a break from future planning can do wonders for a person. If an opportunity comes up that seems incredible and fun, then just do it. Don’t think ahead, don’t stress about the future implications and just see it for how it is. If it makes you feel like a million bucks, then who cares. Let go of that need to control every situation and dragging it out longer than it needs to be. Embrace the moment, be present and then let it unfold at it’s own pace. Don’t put a ton of energy and time into something that wasn’t supposed to last a lifetime. Have some faith that if things are supposed to progress, then they will. This will minimize soooo much stress and unnecessary worry and will allow you to look at the bigger picture more easily. You shouldn’t have to force anything and you definitely shouldn’t put more effort into something than what you’re getting back. If it’s unbalanced and unequal, that usually is a good indication to take a step back and see how things play out. More often than not, once you retreat you’ll have better clarity of the situation and this will also determine whether it’s something that is meant to stick around or not.

All in all, you have total control of how you want to feel and what you want your life to look like. Do you want to be waiting on something/someone from your past and be missing out on all the great moments currently happening in your life? No. Do you want to be stuck settling for something/someone because you’re too scared of what the future holds? HELL NO. Trust yourself and know that sometimes the best thing you can do is put down your baggage, leave it in one spot and walk away from it. Go after what you want, you deserve it.