November 17, 2009 was a long-assed time ago. So was August 14, 2014, which was when I made my last blog post. Whoops.

I’m attempting to start blogging again regularly, so I figured I’d do a bit of a throwback/update to a list of “101 Facts About Me” that I wrote for an old (and very cringe-worthy) blog that is not this one. Some are still true. Some are very, very untrue. Let’s consider this a re-introduction to me and my life. 🙂

1. i hate seeing misspelled words and incorrect grammar. however, i refuse to use capital letters. i think they look ugly.
Poor spelling and grammar do still irritate me; However, I have overcome my aversion to capitalisation.

2. my daughter is my world, my reason for living, and my inspiration. she has taught me so much, and helped me to become the person i am today.
This is still 100% true. She is now eleven years old and an absolute gem.

3. i’m terrible at blogging. i usually make about 6 entries and give up. hopefully, this will last longer than that.
I feel like I have done better with this blog than with others, but still not as well as I would have liked. I’ve re-started this blog multiple times. I am hoping this will be the last “do-over.”

4. i love starting projects, although i’m not so good at finishing them. i recently started a project 365, and aim to watch 100 movies i haven’t seen before in 2010. i’ve achieved my goal of reading 30 books in 2009.
I succeeded with my 2009 Project 365 and my 100 movies in 2010. Since then, I have also done another Project 365, and a 365 Selfies challenge. I’m also 73% of the way through my goal of reading 30 books in 2017 – 22 down, 8 to go!

5. i’m terrified of spiders, insects, fire, drowning, getting old, getting fat, being alone and something terrible happening to those i love.
I am still terrified of spiders and tragedy striking those I love. I don’t LIKE insects, but they don’t freak me out anymore. As well, I am well aware of how problematic fat-phobia is, and am truthfully a bit ashamed at my blatant display of internalised misogyny.

6. my ideal career is to be a stay-at-home mom. i have honestly never wanted anything more.
I am currently in my ideal career – insurance. I have a supportive partner who is currently a stay-at-home parent, and I’m loving the stereotype reversal!

7. i often stay up way too late, doing nothing important only to find myself exhausted the next day.
I’ve been on vacation for the past two week, so while this is currently true, I’ll be back to my regular 10:30 pm bedtime the day after tomorrow.

8. i feel that fact #7 has greatly influenced my gross addiction to caffeine and energy drinks.
I rarely drink energy drinks or coffee anymore, and usually only have a single cup of tea in the morning.

9. my best friend is my boyfriend.
This is still true. However, the boyfriend in question is a different person, and is actually my fiancé.

10. i currently have six piercings – two lobe piercings in each ear, left tragus and right nostril. i have retired three nipple piercings, a navel piercing and a tongue piercing.
I got my navel re-pierced in 2011, and haven’t retired any others, so my piercing count is now up to seven.

11. i have four tattoos: kanjis for destiny and love, a family birthstone tattoo, and a domestic violence survior tattoo. i plan to get another for my daughter in the spring.
I now have ten tattoos: the aforementioned four, my daughter’s name in script, an anchor and spool tattoo for my grandparents, a rebel alliance starbird, an x-wing in a bottle, and a panda Ghostbuster in honour of a deceased friend.

12. i believe in love at first sight because i’ve experienced it. i believe in love at first conversation, too, because i’ve experienced it as well.
I don’t know that I believe in LOVE at first sight/conversation anymore, but I do believe in total attraction at first sight/conversation.

13. i hang on too long to things that shouldn’t matter as much as i feel they do.
I am working on this! Purging things and people that no longer fit my life and who I am is difficult, but so rewarding!

14. i can be kind of anti-social. i don’t get along well with many girls because i just can’t do the flakey, superficial bullshit.
The internalised misogyny in this statement makes me cringe. I am still fairly introverted, but this is just a facet of my personality. I have worked past the societal stereotypes that fueled my hatred of other women, and am now happy to say that I am easily able to get along with other women.

15. i can be quite shallow, though. appearances mean a lot to me.
This is still something I struggle with. I am better than I used to be, but I do still tend to make assumptions based on appearances.

16. i live my life in the paradox of being ridiculously cheap, but having a shopping problem.
I have finally learned to balance this. I still love to shop, but now it’s all about the deals. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for, well, anything.

17. paganism has attracted me since the age of 8. i finally came to terms with who i am when i was 20.
I am not actively practicing right now, but I do still follow the basic tenets of Pagan spirituality and have developed a belief system that resonates with my soul.

18. i have survived more than most people can even fathom. it has made me stronger, though it has created a lot of mistrust in human beings.
I have survived so much more in the past seven years, and it has most definitely made me stronger. I am working on being able to trust others more easily. Although I have a long way to go, I am still very proud of my progress so far.

19. i honestly believe that people should need a license to procreate. there are far too many stupid, neglectful parents who can’t give up their own selfish pursuits long enough to raise their children to have morals, ethics and self-worth.
I struggle with this statement. I do still feel that there are a lot of parents who put their own wants and needs ahead of those of their children. With that said, I do know that there is not only one way to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children. While I do wish that more children had involved parents who put the child’s needs before their own, this statement reeks of judgment and I feel pretty crappy knowing that I put this out into the Universe.

20. i hated highschool, and would only ever do it over to tell the people who made my life a living hell  where to go.
Highschool was awful, but I did meet some amazing people who are still in my life. I wouldn’t want to re-live it, but it definitely has helped shape the person I have become.

21. pink is my favourite colour. if i’m given the choice of pink or another colour, no matter how heinous the shade, i will ALWAYS pick pink.
Ehh. Pink is still my favourite colour, but I’m past the point of picking heinous pinks just because they’re pink.

22. i take too many pictures and criticize my work excessively. i know i’m not the best, but i like to pretend.
I take fewer photos than I used to, and I don’t criticise them as much. Photography now is more for fun than for art, and I’m completely fine with that.

23. i used to think girls wearing sweatpants was the most unattractive thing ever. then i bought a couple pairs. now they’re not just pajamas… i even wear them in public.
I haven’t worn sweatpants in years. I do love my yoga pants, though!

24. as of late, i’m addicted to jodi picoult books. they always make me cry, but i just can’t put ’em down…
This is something I’ve grown out of. I still enjoy a good Jodi Picoult novel now and then, but my taste in literature has really changed over the past few years.

25. cinnamon scented candles are my favourite! they make a house smell so comfortable and homey!
I still love cinnamon candles. ❤

26. i’m disorganized, but clean. my house may have clutter, but there’s no dirt!
This has REALLY changed, mostly because my home is a whole lot bigger now. I’m hyper-organised, as well as being a clean freak.

27. i could while away an entire day on my laptop. literally.
TBH, I usually just use my phone now. But the internet is full of endless fascination.

28. i work in the office at a scrap metal recycling yard. it’s the most stressful aspect of my life… but it’s okay money and benefits, so i’d be stupid to leave. i’m sure it will one day give me ulcers, though.
I left the scrap yard in 2013 and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself! Now I work in insurance, specialising in habiational and travel, and I love it!

29. i think 99% of tv is crap. i hate to see people mindlessly using it as a babysitter for their children, or as a source of entertainment.
Again with the judgment…. Past me was not very nice. 😦 There’s a lot of TV that is mindless, but people do deserve a little mind fluff once in awhile. I don’t agree with kids watching a whole lot of TV, but at the same time, it’s not my place to decide how much is “too much” for other people’s children.

30. i’m so liberal, i’m practically stalin’s neighbor. conservative beliefs often upset me, as most of them are based off of a religion that most of the world doesn’t follow, and therefore, should NOT impact the legality of anything.
I am still incredibly liberal when it comes to social issues. As far as governance… let’s just say I’m not a fan of capitalism.

31. i am extremely outspoken when it comes to politics, natural parenting, feminism, GLBTQ rights and domestic violence. i WILL tear your head off if need be. you have been warned.
I’ve found that you attract more flies with honey. I’m still outspoken about issues close to my heart (all of the above, plus animal rights/veganism), but I’m not nasty about it any more.

32. i am continually amazed at how stupid, selfish and inconsiderate the human race has become.
This one is still true. I try to love people despite this, but it can be hard at times.

33. i’m pro-marijuana and would love to see it legalised. i’ve seen (and experienced) its effects on chronic pain, and think it’s stupid to neglect to utilize such an amazing plant.
This is still true, as well, though Canada’s policies on such things have evolved greatly since 2009.

34. i love reading, and hope to instill that love in my daughter as well. we are currently reading the “little house” series by laura ingalls wilder.
Success – my daughter loves to read, too! She is currently making her way through the Harry Potter series, and adores anything scary.

35. i’m extremely picky about what goes into my daughter’s body. she got her first “junk food” (organic angel food cake) when she was two. she’s had chocolate milk once in her life. she’s never had pop. she loves vegetables and fruit! i try to buy organic and keep her away from commercial cleaning products. i also don’t vaccinate.
I’m a little more lax on junk food now, but I do still focus on healthy, whole, organic foods and natural cleaning products. And I still don’t vaccinate. I’m learning to be more upfront about discussing my reasoning behind the lack of vaccination so as to keep the peace with ardent vaxxers.

36. female singer/songwriters speak to me on so many levels. tori amos, liz phair, kate voegele, ani difranco… i love ’em.
I will never lose my love for amazing female musicians. Hell, this blog is named after a Patti Smith song.

37. i have a terrible habit of buying dvds and then never watching them. probably half of my collection has never been seen.
Netflix and CraveTV have rendered this habit obsolete. Thank gods for streaming!

38. i hate americanised spellings… ‘z’s where ‘s’s belong, dropping ‘u’s… it’s contributing to the stupidity of the masses.
I find it hilarious to see all the Americanised spellings that I didn’t notice in the original blog post. I do still stick to the Queen’s English, though.

39. i may sound cynical and negative… i prefer to think of it as having a low tolerance for bullshit and idiocy. i’m actually an extremely happy-go-lucky person.
Looking back… I *was* a cynical and negative person. I am definitely improving in this regard!

40. i’m ridiculously self-conscious and rarely feel attractive, or even less than ugly.
Thankfully, this has changed tremendously, and my self-confidence has greatly increased.

41. i can define every moment of my life, every emotion, every thought and every experience in song lyrics.
Music still plays a huge role in my day to day life.

42. i LOVE being canadian. i love maple leaves, hockey, gordon korman books, the tragically hip and saying ‘zed.’
I’ve more or less grown out of the Hip, but I do still love being Canadian!

43. i love diet coke. regular coke is too sweet. coke zero has a weird aftertaste. both pepsi and diet pepsi are too sweet AND have a funky aftertaste. diet coke is all that makes sense in the world.
This will never change.

44. i would love to have more children… but i don’t know when the time is going to be right. i’d love to have another little girl, for sure!
Funny enough, I DO have another little girl! She may not have been borne of my body, but I am pretty thrilled to be her Stepmama.

45. i count calories ridiculously, but it pays off. i’m smaller, healthier and in better shape than i’ve ever been AND i’ve had a kid…
It’s been a hard road, but I’ve learned not to restrict myself. I make healthy choices, and am able to indulge without going wild or feeling guilty. Going vegan has definitely helped improve my relationship with food!

46. i refuse to own a cellphone that isn’t pink, and hate when people think i’m a twinkie because of it.
I have a silver iPhone 6. My last phone was a white iPhone 4s. I don’t even have a pink phone case anymore.

47. i firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, no matter how shitty it is and how long it takes you to see the reason for it.
I’ve had a little more life experience since I originally wrote this, and I’ve come to realise that sometimes things just happen. Trying to see a “reason” behind everything is exhausting.

48. i don’t believe in regrets, only learning experiences.
I most definitely do believe in regrets. I don’t let them ruin my life, but they are there.

49. i don’t think that everyone deserves second chances, and it blows my mind that some people give them so freely and repeatedly to the same people, only to be hurt over and over again.
Pot, meet kettle. I have given so many undeserved second chances. It’s hard to see when you are the one doing it!

50. i worry excessively about EVERYTHING. it’s slowly getting better, but i still panic when people say they’ll call and don’t, or are late with no explanation, or hurt themselves, or hang up the phone/walk away/make me leave angry…
In 2013, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Depression. Pretty sure this is just a symptom of mental illness.

51. i think snails are cute.
Still do!

52. pretty much any song i hear reminds me of someone, something or some random sequence of events.
Isn’t this more or less the same as Fact #41?

53. this isn’t what i imagined myself doing at 24, this isn’t where i thought i would be, who i would be or who i would be with… but i have never been happier.
If I had only known at 24 that the years ahead would be full of so much more joy and happiness…

54. it’s impossible for me to do housework without music on.

55. i curse like a sailor and have made truckers blush with my language.
I’ve been working on this. My default is no longer a constant stream of curse words, though I definitely am able to bust them out when need be.

56. i hate edward cullen with a passion. i’d fuck jacob black in a second, though.
Ah, Twilight. So 2009. Jacob Black wasn’t exactly a great guy, either, though Taylor Lautner is still a babe.

57. this one time when i was like 12 or 13, i was watching jumanji with my brother and for some reason, i ate an entire cabbage. raw. i shit you not.
I think I was really stretching for ‘facts’ at this point.

58. i’m extremely analytical and search for hidden meaning in everything, even when there is none.
Another symptom of mental illness masquerading as a personality quirk.

59. i would love to be on the amazing race!
I would still love to travel the world, but I do question whether some of the challenges on this show are culturally insensitive or appropriative.

60. i’m addicted to the badges on… wednesday = badge day = don’t interrupt me! lol
I left Pogo back in 2009 with my Twilight books.

61. i’m completely a cat person. there are very few dogs i like.
I’m still adore cats, but am now evenly divided in my love. We adopted an APBT/Husky cross puppy in April 2016 and he is the best!

62. romance novels are a guilty pleasure. i feel stupid reading them, but they’re serious brain candy!
I can’t remember the last time I read a romance novel. I’ve taken to re-reading Anne Rice novels when I want something less mentally taxing.

63. my phone is always within arm’s reach. even when i’m sleeping.
Usually still true.

64. i’m a helluva good shot. i’ve never missed in the two years i’ve been shooting.
I haven’t been shooting since 2011, so I doubt my skill is still up to par.

65. i have an irrational fear of cops, although i’m a law-abiding citizen.
True. It saddens me to think how much more this fear would affect my life if I were not afforded my privileged place in society.

66. mike’s hard pink lemonade is amazinggg. whiskey is my first love, though.
I quit drinking on January 1st. I don’t miss it.

67. i feel most at peace in nature, near water. rivers, creeks, lakes, oceans… whatever. i love them all.
Forever true!

68. i’d love to travel the world. ireland, mexico, russia, kenya, australia, china, japan, brazil, chile, sweden, england… there’s pretty much nowhere i don’t want to see.
I haven’t crossed anywhere off my travel list in the past seven years, but I am planning a hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for my 40th birthday!

69. i’ve changed so much in the past three years that i doubt i’d even recognize myself. all changes have been for the better, though.
The change over the past seven has been even more intense, and exponentially more rewarding.

70. i think that jason mewes is the sexiest man on the planet… besides my boyfriend, of course!
He’s still a babe, but Ian Somerhalder has taken over as my number one.

71. i have a shelf full of books i haven’t read, yet i feel the need to always buy more.
I just weeded out a tonne of books, but I still have dozens I need to read!

72. i love the really twisted post secrets. they make me feel more normal.
I don’t think I’ve even read Post Secret since 2009. Is it still a thing?

73. i’m a carb addict. bread, pasta, chips, rice… i love ’em.

74. my favourite holiday is beltaine.
I’d say Beltaine and Samhain are tied.

75. i often start to read a book or watch a movie, only to discover half way through that i’ve already read/seen it.
In 2009, I started keeping a list of all the books I read and the movies I watch. It cuts down on unintentional duplication, and allows me to use up some of my vast collection of notebooks.

76. kevin smith is a genius. every single one of his films has impacted me in some profound way that sounds really pathetic when explained… but really, they’ve changed my life.
Some of his newer films don’t impact me the same way (*cough*CopOut*cough*) but Silent Bob’s speech at the end of Chasing Amy will always hold a special place in my heart.

77. i’m either really hot or really cold 99% of the time.
Let’s be honest… I’m usually cold.

78. my boyfriend is three years younger than me, and friends with my litle brother… who actually was the one who set us up!
That guy and I broke up in 2011. I met the love of my life in July 2013, online. He’s a year and a half younger than me, and we bonded over our love of Star Wars. We moved in together in 2016, and got engaged at Emerald City Comic Con on March 3rd, 2017. We’ll be getting married on Star Wars Day – May 4th, 2018.

79. i can’t wait to buy my first house.
I bought my house in June 2013, and I still love it.

80. i have no credit cards. none. i’m debating getting one, but i’m afraid my severe shopping problem may cause financial problems.
I have one now, but I’ve managed to keep my spending under control and always pay off the balance. I have yet to pay interest on it.

81. every day i discover something new about myself. i’m learning to love the person i’m becoming.
This has never been more true than it is right now.

82. i’m very old-fashioned when it comes to relationships and the like. i don’t ask guys out. i don’t put out right away. and if YOU ask me out, be a man and pay for it!
Gender roles suck. Obviously, this is no longer applicable in any way, shape, or form.

83. i love skirts. they make me feel incredibly feminine.
I still love skirts. I’d say 90% of my workplace attire is skirts.

84. i have minimal tolerance for red meat. i love white meat and seafood, though!
I went vegetarian in May 2011 and vegan in June 2011, and haven’t looked back since!

85. i have weird issues with numbers. for example, i constantly keep track of how many pages i’ve read in my current book, and figure out the percentage of pages i’ve read so far. i do this every single time. or when i do my counts at work, it makes me angry if a larger denomination bill/coin works out to a lesser amount than a smaller bill/coin. like, if there’s $2 in dimes and only 75 cents worth of quarters.
Hahaha… this is weird, even for me. I don’t do this anymore.

86. i obsessively check my phone for texts when i’ve been away from it for a bit, even when i know i haven’t heard it ring.

87. my toenails have been painted black constantly since grade 9.
They’ve been various shades of red for the past three years.

88. i love showering – i could stay in the shower indefinitely. however, i hate actually MAKING myself get into the shower, and leave it till the last possible moment.
Still accurate.

89. i love freaks & geeks and could watch it every day and never get bored. i can proudly say i crushed on james franco and seth rogan before they were popular, haha.
I still love Freaks & Geeks, but Jason Segal is my favourite.

90. i’ve kept a handwritten journal since i was nine. i love going back & re-reading old entries, even though they make me cringe.
I had a hard road with journalling after my partner moved in… I didn’t want to “seem like a teenage girl.” I gradually fell out of the habit, which I am a little sad about. I started bullet journalling in September 2016, though, and am starting to get a bit of my journal mojo back.

91. nothing pisses me off more than young moms who abandon their infant children to go out drinking every weekend. unfortunately, i know far too many people like that.
Again with the judgement, ugh. 2009 me was not a very nice person.

92. i’m pretty much a white trash redneck, and i’m pretty damn okay with that.
In 2009, I thought being white trash was pretty much the coolest thing in the world. I cringe when I recall this. Thank gods I have grown since then.

93. i love spicy foods, especially anything with jalapenos.
Spicy is still my favourite.

94. i moved out at 19, left an abusive fiancé at 21 and have been making it on my own with no help ever since. and yes, that DOES make me proud. how many single moms make it on their own without massive debt, or daddy footing the bills?
I definitely am proud of my accomplishments, but I don’t know why I felt the need to put others down…

95. you know that song “tequila makes her clothes fall off”? well, journey makes my clothes fall off. yes. journey. best baby-makin’ music of all time.
Journey still is the best sexy-time music ever, followed only by Slayer.

96. i’m addicted to cream soda. it’s so terribly bad for me, yet so incredibly tasty!
Cream soda is an occasional treat now, but not something I’d drink on a regular, or even semi-regular basis.

97. i had an ‘emergency’ c-section with my daughter and still haven’t quite gotten over it. i honestly feel that my doctor’s vacation (booked for the day after i was induced) may have played a part in my “need” for the aforementioned procedure.
I have made peace with the fact that my C-section gave my my daughter. It is still not what I wanted, and I do mourn the lost experience of natural childbirth, but I am no longer traumatised by my journey.

98. i can do most basic maintenance and swap out certain parts (oil filter, air filter, starter) on my vehicle… but i haven’t in almost two years. my boyfriend’s a mechanic, why the hell should i do it?!?
I do a lot of the maintenance on both my vehicle and my boyfriend’s vehicle now. It works for us.

99. i think rugby players are fucking HOT.
No argument there.

100. i have a terrible habit of cracking my knuckles, back, neck, hips, toes, and any other body part that feels like it needs it!
I still love the feeling of cracking my joints.

101. i will never apologize for who i am or what i have to say. don’t like it? tough shit.
I’m not as aggressive about it anymore, but I definitely will not apologise for being who I am.


Anxiety and Instability

The toughest part of living with depression and an anxiety disorder is the constant state of instability.

Some days are good. Some days I can just breathe and take life as it comes. I can look at the challenges I’m facing as small stepping stones and work through them without having an episode.

Then there are days like today.

I should have known I was gearing up for one of those days when I had an anxious fit last night because my boyfriend DARED to go to bed early. Since we are in a semi-long distance relationship (3-ish hours round trip travel time), trust is a huge part of the equation. I trust him unequivocally. However, his “goodnight” phone call at 9:30pm made me feel anxious. Why, I don’t really know… Which is pretty much the crux of anxiety issues, isn’t it? No rhyme or reason or anything beyond the famed Star Wars line, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Anyway. I digress.

I texted my best friend (who is also coping with anxiety issues and is a beacon of love and support through these episodes) and she talked me down from the metaphorical ledge. I took some deep breaths, meditated awhile, and finally felt calm enough to sleep.

This morning, I woke up to a sweet text from my boyfriend, and I thought that maybe I was on the right path to working past my lingering anxiety and having a good day. Then, it seemed like everything fell apart. Carefully made plans fell through. Money issues reared their ugly head. Words were exchanged with no sense of context or tone to temper their reception. All the hard work I’ve done lately to work towards inner peace and happiness and pretty much everything beyond being a depressed, anxious mess seemed to fall down at my feet. All I wanted to do was cry because I’ve been doing so well. I went from feeling like I’m actually getting somewhere and improving my mental state to a sobbing heap of anxiety and insecurity in less than 24 hours.

THIS is what I can’t take.

When things are good, I can cope. I’m learning how to cope when things are bad. But I can’t handle the constant back and forth. I can’t handle the ups and downs. I like stability. I like structure. I like order. The lack of these things makes me anxious, and being anxious leads to a lack of stability, structure, and order. It’s a vicious cycle, and I don’t know how exactly I am supposed to stop it, only that I need to stop it.

Maybe it’s time to revisit my treatment options. Maybe I should bite the bullet and consider medication, even though I’m unemployed and have no form of prescription coverage. Maybe, as several people have told me, I should just “get the fuck over it” and “stop being a headcase.”

Or maybe, right now, I should take a hot bath, make some tea, and have a good cry, hoping tomorrow will be a little brighter.

Three Hundred & Sixty-Five.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
“Seasons Of Love” – Rent

One year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred and sixty five days… And I’m still as twitterpated as the day we met.

Oh, sure, the novelty has worn off. We don’t text all day, every day. We don’t shower each other in compliments or “I miss you”s after an hour apart. Most of the time, our “romantic” date night consists of picking up the week’s new comics and watching Star Wars in our underwear for the eleven billionth time. I no longer try to avoid offending you when we disagree. Hell, I’m quite happy to call you an asshole on a regular basis.

But you know what? You ARE an asshole. And I love you anyway.

The past year has been full of growth for the two of us, both individually and as a couple. You’ve held my hand through some pretty major career changes, and I’ve picked up pieces I don’t think you even realised were broken. I don’t want to say it’s been easy – we’ve fought, we’ve upset each other, we’ve struggled with the distance every step of the way – but it’s never been difficult. I’ve always known that whatever happened, we’d face it together. Since day one, it’s felt like it has always been, and always will be, the two of us taking on the world.

I laugh to think that just a year ago, I had no idea how my life would change. How a shoe store on a Friday afternoon could be the catalyst to the most incredible love I’ve ever known. How one date could leave my head spinning, my heart racing, and my lips knowing that I wanted you to be my last first kiss.

Through thick and thin, we’ve weathered the storm. Angry, sad, scared, and happy (so happy!) – you have seen me through it all. I couldn’t ask for a more amazing person to share my life with. Jeff Gordon, you are my superhero, my wonderwall, my big picture. I am so blessed to love you and to be loved by you. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

Love always,

I’m Just The Stepmom

I’m tired of taking the high road, making the tough calls, putting my family’s needs second. I’m tired of catering to an overgrown child with no sense of responsibility – one who can’t keep her promises when the possibility of a party is in the cards. I’m tired of aching for her child, of stepping in and knowing that no matter how much I love that baby girl, Mommy will always win out in the end. I don’t want accolades. I don’t want applause. I want that little girl to be more important than booze and boys and music festivals. I want that little girl to know that her mommy chose her, and continues to choose her, no matter how difficult or boring and responsible that choice may end up being.

But I’m just the stepmom. While I love her with the same fierceness that I love my own daughter, it will never be enough. So I will always go the extra mile. I will change my set in stone plans to cater to the whims of a 20-something party girl, I will plan a family picnic on our anniversary, and I will spend my summer weekends making sure that child learns to read. Why? Because when I chose her daddy, I chose her. For better or for worse, she is my daughter by circumstance, and I will make sure she knows that every day I choose her again.

Your Perception Of Love Is Bullshit

Someone once told me that true love means 100% happiness. That it means perpetual beauty. That your true love will never make you feel less than perfect.

To be blunt, that’s utter bullshit.

As young girls, we’re lead to believe that one day, Prince Charming will appear. He’ll be strong and handsome and will tell us how beautiful we are every day. It’s implied that he’ll do his share of dish washing and laundry folding and won’t leave wet towels on the bedroom floor. He won’t snore, or stay out late on poker night, and he will never make us feel like anything less than the lust-inspiring vixen we have worked so hard to become. (Thanks, media!) Prince Charming, you see, will be perfect for us, because we deserve him.

Now, I’m not saying that we should be settling for less. Nobody – male or female – should be with someone who treats them poorly, disrespects them, is unfaithful or abusive or is an asshole in any other imaginable way. I think a lot of us stay in bad relationships because we don’t want to give up – but that’s a whole different tangent.

Simply put, I’d like us to re-asses what “true love” means. Does true love mean blind devotion, even in the face of betrayal? Does it mean surrendering the right to be one’s authentic self for the pleasure of the other? Does it mean repressing our feelings or avoiding arguments because that would indicate imperfection?

I’d venture to say it means none of those things.

True love is about being the most authentic, disgusting, absolutely bare-souled version of yourself and having someone still think you’re rad. It’s helping them break down their walls and discovering that they’re breaking down walls you didn’t even know you had. True love isn’t perfect. Sometimes it means bickering. Sometimes it means full-on fights where you don’t even want to look at them because you’re so angry. But true love means knowing you’ll work through it. True love means having someone know all your quirks and habits and flaws. It means that they will sometimes point these flaws out, and you will feel stupid and ridiculous and probably a little hurt. But true love means they’ve pointed it out as a means to help you own the behaviour, whether or not you change it is immaterial.

True love sometimes means wanting to spend every waking second next to them. Sometimes, it means you want your own damn space without them all up in your bidness and knowing that they will understand if you don’t want to cuddle right now. True love is dirty dishes and mortgages and fighting children and being so frustrated with each other that you want to scream.

True love is a choice you make every day to cherish and support your partner through both good and bad. True love is not 100% happy. It’s not always beautiful. It’s not about how perfect they make you feel. It’s not the faerie tale ending you’ve dreamed of. True love is blood and sweat and tears and sacrifice. It’s realising that the flaws that make us human are what make us capable of love. And it’s knowing that, despite the flaws, you’d pick them all over again.

The Way You Love Me

The way you love me is understated. It’s silent, rarely spoken, never hidden but likewise never flaunted. It’s buying sriracha and not gagging when I liberally douse everything I eat with it, and only laughing a little when I eat too much and my stomach hurts. It’s playfully teasing me about my veganism but sending back my veggie burger with cheese when I’m too shy to bug the waiter.

The way you love me is under the blankets, my cold feet pressed up against whatever warm body part I can find. You’ve never complained about it – not once, not even when I wore ridiculously cute shoes that were incredibly inappropriate for the weather and lamented my frozen toes for hours afterward. It’s pushing me to the far side of the bed even though we both know we’ll wake up pressed together with limbs entangled.

The way you love me is a quick fix of my skirt’s hem when I didn’t even notice it was tucked. It’s your eyes scanning me over, drinking me in, and the appreciative “you look great” that I would doubt coming from anyone other than you. It’s taking so damn long in the shower that I eventually give up and just hop in with you. Once I do, it’s in your expression watching me scrub myself – such a mundane action, but your shy half-smile makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.

The way you love me is a lazy Saturday with no kids and no pants and a marathon of classic movies we’ve never seen. Steve Martin is running around as The Jerk and your head is on my chest and everything in the world seems to stand still. The movie ends and I notice how regular and even your breathing is, and I feel so blessed to have this moment – this little flash of perfection.

The way you love me isn’t loud. It isn’t flashy and those who don’t know you would completely miss its existence. But to me, the shine in your eyes is as unmistakable as the sun; it’s always there, even when I’m not looking for it.

Untitled – January 5th, 2014

Your hand reached into my chest long before I noticed your grip on my heart. I’ve been hurt so many times before; I never wanted to trust you. Yet, somehow, that beautiful smile and those honest eyes made me believe. When I told you my darkest secrets, you held me close and whispered in my ear that the worst was over and that I would be okay. And I believed you. When I finally gathered my courage and told you that I love you, you said it back, then kissed me and told me you’d been waiting for me to say it. You never gave me any reason to doubt you, yet the back of my mind always prickled with a sense of caution in regards to her. One cold January day, my intuition lead me to a place I didn’t want to go. It was then that I noticed how your fingers had encased my heart, how the very essence of you was coursing through my veins. I cannot unsee what I have seen. I do not know if you will pull when called out; if you will rip my heart out like so many have before. Scar tissue does feel pain, you know. But unlike the others, you have become a part of me. Though you may move on, I will never truly be able to be rid of you. Every time I feel throbbing in the empty hole where my heart once was, I will think of you. Every time you cross my mind, I will weep as only one who has lost a love like ours can. One day, the pain will become nothing but a dull roar, a manageable yet chronic ache that I will be able to cope with. But you will never be gone. Your soul is forged with mine, and I will never be free of that chain.