These Truths I Hold to Be Self Evident.

I woke up this morning to a world crystallized in ice.

As many of you know, I am not a huge fan of winter, yet, the sight of this silver, twinkling world made my heart light.  I continued to make my coffee and sit down in front of the tv for a moment to enjoy the first bit of my cup, which is my normal routine.

When I flicked the tv on, I was compelled to watch a movie.  Not just any movie, but because this particular movie was on, I found myself stuck to the couch, enjoying all of the smiles and tears that came with watching this particular story (the name of the movie is not the point, so no, stop wondering, I am not going to mention it.)

Somewhere between the bottom of a cup of coffee, the sound of a still sleepy puppy’s breath and the spotted window pane that separates me from the icy world outside, the following things occurred to me.

I am almost 35 years old.  My heart, on the other hand, is hovering somewhere around 6.

I believe in fairy tales.  Maybe not the fairy tale ending so much, but definitely all the magic.  I know that love is work.  I know that prince charming doesn’t actually come in on his white horse and sweep you off your feet and then you live happily ever after.  I know that there is no fairy god mother that brings some handsome, romantic prince to your door, and it’s not all candle light and roses.  I’m not delusional.  But as long as people continue to write fairy tale romances, I think that in their hearts, it exists, the potential is there and people still have the ability to deeply and entirely love another person, and that gives me hope.

I believe in mermaids, magic, and all of the wonder and excitement that comes with them.  I believe in glitter, red lipstick, beautiful shoes and all the glamour of the 40s and 50s.

I want to live in a big farm house, with a wrap around porch.  Because I think it’s romantic.  I think about how I could decorate it for Christmas, or sitting on the porch swing in the summer and feeling the breeze.  I love the idea of barn board floors that creak when you walk on them, but only when you are trying to be quiet.  I love the idea of big windows in big rooms, that hold years and years of family dinners.  Rooms full of laughter and smiles, and memories that fill a lifetime.

I still believe that some people still have the ability to see the beauty in simple things, and that one day someone will see me, and think I’m beautiful, just for who I am and not who they think they can make me.

I still cry during movies, in moments of great joy or sadness.  I always thought that these things would change.  That I would “grow up” and that I would lose these beliefs for more “adult” ideals.  I know now that I won’t.  I will always feel this way, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Because it’s who I am, and there are worse things to believe in than a little magic.

Dark clouds breed determined people.

I’ve become an unhappy person.  I am not sure if it happened over time, or all at once.  I couldn’t pin point it to one event in life either.  However it occurred, it did and I’m not happy about it.  Is that redundant?

I don’t like my weight or my body.  I don’t like that I have no one to hang out with.  I don’t like how broke I am.  All in all, it’s just a generally unhappy situation.

Out of my dark, Eeoyre like cloud, I have discovered something.  It’s not a silver lining, it’s more a decision.  A decision to be determined.

I cannot change that the people that I used to spend all of my time with seem to have moved on without me.  People change, situations change and life happens.  I can decide not to dwell on it.  I am learning to go to movies by myself, go to dinner, or the pub or window shop in the small towns that I love to wander through, alone.  It’s not the end of the world.

I am hell bent on being healthy.  I normally eat fairly well.  I stay away from food that really make me feel ill (such as wheat or anything deep fried) and try to be mindful of the things that I put in my body.  My issue came when I had a bad day, especially at work.  I would get frustrated and turn to a muffin, or a cookie.  I would not pack a lunch the night before (and not leave enough time in the morning) because I work at the mall and it’s easy to just get something there.  I would intend on a salad, then something would happen and I would turn to fries, or Jimmy the Greek, or even worse, A&W.  I would feel like death for the rest of the day, not sleep that night, be exhausted, and then it would become a vicious circle.  No more.  I will not eat from the food court.  I will not stop for a muffin on the way to work.  I am perfectly capable of making a smoothie for breakfast, or precook some oatmeal and pack a lunch the night before.  No more stopping for chips on the way home because I’m starving and eating the bag for dinner.  I won’t get where I want to be by telling myself “just this once”.

I am going to start taking all of those “work out at home” tips that I pin on Pinterest, or that I follow on Instagram, and I am going to use them.  I feel like I am trapped somewhere between “I haven’t been out of my bed in years” and not swimsuit model, but definitely trimmer than I am.  I need to change it and tip the scale in my favour.  I don’t need to work for Victoria’s Secret, lord knows I like food way too much for that.  But I need to be happier in my clothes and out of them.

Now comes the super hard one:  Changing how broke you are.  I need certification in something to get a really good career, but I can’t afford to go to school, then comes in the whole what do you take to maximize your employment potential.  I had always thought that I would have a husband and we would both have incomes and we would make things work.  I never expected to be paying everything on my own.  It’s hard.  I’m not bad with money.  Quite frankly, I don’t have money to be bad with.  Just making ends meet is difficult and having spare money ontop of it is next to impossible.  Please don’t tell me to “save your money”.  There isn’t anything left to save.  I have a plan, I’m not sharing it, but I’m hoping that it will work out in my favour.  That’s all I have to say about that.

In short.  This is my declaration post.  My “someone can hold me accountable” post.  If I put this out there, someone can come back to me and say.. “How’s that work out going” or “Are you actually leaving your apartment and doing things”?  I have decided that the only way that I can hope to be happier, is to make it that way.  No one is going to help me.  If I want someone to “look out for #1”  I need to make myself #1.

I think that sometimes people hit a dark spot.  It feels a lot like sinking.  It’s hard to keep your head above water.  Sometimes things happen when people stay hopeful and those things help them out of the dark place.  Sometimes, nothing happens unless you change how you face the world every day.

I will probably still cry more than I should.  I will probably hesitate to leave my apartment and opt to stay in the safety of secret cookies and rented movies over taking myself to the theatre (although I love the theatre).  But hopefully, over time, I will be able to push myself and really face the world head on.  “You can’t push me down forever, I will fight back, and you, world, will be sorry”.

The difference between having an opinion and being an asshole

It’s that time again kids.  Enter Rant mode:

I think Facebook can be a great tool.  I also think it’s become a great way for people to stalk others, and feed their own egos.

I’m all for having an opinion, don’t get me wrong.  I have a hard time keeping mine to myself, most of the time.  However, forcing your opinion on someone is an entirely different matter.  Let’s look a some case studies.

My friend Cathy posts on her Facebook… Dur… it’s sort of the point.  Cathy happens to be one of the lucky ones to have water frontage, including a dock, on her property.  Imagine the views.  Pure bliss.   Lately, there have been some fisher-people enjoying their ‘sport’ directly off the end of Cathy’s dock.  Now, legally, they have every right to be there.  Having said that, I grew up on the water, and there are unspoken boating ‘rules’.  You wave when you pass another boat, you slow down going by cottages even if there isn’t a ‘no wake zone’ sign up, and you don’t fish (or anchor) off the end of someones property.  I mean, to be fair, legally I can photograph you in your home, with or without clothes, as long as I can see you while I am standing on public property.  But I don’t.  Because that makes me a creep.  See the point?

The point is not even these people and their rude fishing habits that has gotten my goat.   Honestly.

Cathy has posted some photos of them (they are far enough away that you would never know how they are, before anyone gets into a huff about it), tagged them as #bassholes (dear lord, gets me every time) and made some commentary about them being so close to her dock/ property.  Then come the comments.  Todays set me off the edge.  One ‘friend’ of Cathy’s posted: “i’m sure you do not own the water and you made the choice to live on the water. so just sit and have a drink”.

Okay people:  It’s one thing to make a comment about someone else’s post.  It’s another to be a completely condescending C- word about it.  Oh, You bet I said it.  C-WORD.

Cathy recently made a comment about a screaming child in one of our largest “big box” stores.  One of those stores that sells everything in jumbo size and has way too many people and way to much crap that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it on the shelves at the low cost of:  whatever.   You know it.  She may or may not have said something about slapping the child.  Anyone who knows Cathy knows a few things;  She doesn’t really like children, she would never hit anyone (EVER) and she doesn’t like Christmas (this comes into play later, and no, she is not the anti-Christ).

This distaste for screaming children caused a comment thread, not unlike many I have seen on Cathy’s page, but unlike anything that happens on anyone else’s page.   People stuck up for the child and blames the mother, making me think that they are in fact, defending the poor behaviour of their children in public, and in fact just blaming themselves?  Regardless.  This is when Cathy did it.  She made the comment ‘apologizing’ for her comment.

Enter my two cents:  My Facebook is just that, MINE.  You have either asked me to be privy to what happens on it, or you have accepted my request, and knowingly opened yourself to whatever thoughts I want to share.  Sure, have an opinion, on your own damn page.  Sure, if you have something to say about a comment I make, say it.  Just don’t make me out to be the villain on my own page because I am expressing my feelings.  Make me a villain on your page, where I can promptly delete you.

Here’s how my system works.  Cathy makes super sour posts around Christmas time (making the anniversary of when she lost her Mom), so I block her (sorry Cat).  I love Cathy, I know why she dislikes the season, I completely understand that.  She can express her opinion until she is blue in the face, I just don’t want to see her grinchiness all the time, so I block it.  I check in with her page and see what’s up sometimes, and once the holidays are over… Cathy’s back in the news feed!  Easy peasy.  Don’t look at me like that, my own cousin blocked me because he doesn’t like how much I post about Tallulah.  That’s his call.

In conclusion,  don’t ever apologize for expressing your own opinion.  Absolutely comment on your friends posts, but don’t chastise them in their own space for the opinions they express.  There is a time and place for your self expression.  Freedom of speech is one thing, being a snarky biatch is another.

 

Words Left Unsaid

Dear Matty;

I don’t think you realize what an amazing person you are, and just what a role you have played in my life.  I feel like these are things that every person needs to know.  Someone should tell you what you mean to them, even if you hear it all the time, it’s good for your soul.

You were all out my first love.  You showed me how someone should treat me, and how I should treat others.  Although it didn’t work out, you found your absolute other half, and thats when you taught me that sometimes you need to step back and look at WHO you are and sometimes those two people mesh as amazing friends, but not as forever.  And that’s ok.  In this case, an old boyfriend made the greatest friend I could have.

You have always been my biggest cheerleader and voice of reason.  You always tell me how great I am, how beautiful I am, how some guy is going to be so lucky to have me.  You are so convinced that I can conquer the world.  That I will be some great, whatever it is that I want to be.  That I will be world renowned, I can take on anything and come out the other side shining.  Maybe I know these things, maybe I don’t.  Sometimes I’m not sure and you have this magical way to tell me and I just believe it.  I never sounds like you are trying to “make me feel better”, you just believe it, and you make me do the same.

YOU are wonderful.  You have this infectious laugh, and when you laugh I can’t help but laugh too.  I love that you laugh at your own jokes, because even if they aren’t funny, it makes me laugh too.  You are my kindred dorky soul.  I know that I can tell you anything that I think is amazingly cool, and no matter how ridiculous it is, you will be excited too.  I’m not even sure if you think it’s cool, if you are acting, you’re convincing.  And your smile.  Dear God that smile.  I don’t know anyone else who smiles and means it like you do.  It’s like you are just so happy about something it has to pour out in your face and everyone around you can’t help but feel your kind of happy, right there with you.

You are truly magnetic.  People are drawn to you.  Your larger than life personality, your laugh, your energy.  You walk into a room and draw them in, every time.  Of course you rose to the top of your class at RMC, you are a natural leader.  It’s easy to look up to you, and you make it look easy to be on the top.

I will never forget that day.  I had to work, my alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but Mandy had called me twice; what the hell was so important so early?

The click of my alarm always woke me up before the radio actually came on.

Click.  “The names of the victims are: Captain Matthew J Dawe of Kingston….”

My mind went numb.  My world spun.  Thats why Mandy called.  No.  It’s someone else.  It’s not you.  It can’t be.  So I call my Dad.  Dad: “hello?”  me:  “Hi”  Dad: “I just got the paper, are you okay?” me: “I have to go”….. Oh my god.  It’s true.  It was you.

But we are only 27, Lucas is only two… isn’t today his birthday?  But you just emailed me and told me that this was your last tour, you were days away from coming home and never going back..  You were moving home and hoping to teach at RMC.  You were days away from coming home and never going away again.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t go to your funeral.  I haven’t been to your grave.  I avoided the whole thing.  There were too many people and it became such a media circus, your family didn’t need that.  They didn’t need to have their grief forced out there for everyone to see.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I didn’t call you like I said I would.  I just kept emailing.  I figured I’d call more when you were home, when I could just meet up with you guys somewhere and have a coffee or BBQ or a drink on a patio.  I was a bad friend.  I contacted you when I needed you, and not just to “shoot the shit”.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I miss you so much it hurts.  Seven years and eight days.  My heart still breaks.  I can’t hear your voice so easily anymore.  I don’t remember what you used to tell me all the time.  I can’t watch The Princess Bride anymore, it’s not the same without you reciting it, it’s not funny anymore, it just makes me miss you more.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all of this when I had the chance.  I was so sure we had time.  I was so sure that we had the rest of our lives, and I would tell you sometime when I saw you and we were feeling nostalgic.  I didn’t think the rest of your life would stop so soon.  I should have just told you.

Matty, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that Tara became a widow so young.  I’m sorry Lucas will grow up without you.  You were an amazing father.  I hope he has some of your joy.  I’m sorry your parents out lived you, and that your brothers have lost you so early.  It isn’t fair.  (I know, “Life is pain highness,  anyone who says differently is selling something.”)  But still, good people don’t deserve this kind of pain.  No one does.

You know, I look for you everyday.  Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone who looks like you driving in a car beside me on the way to work.  Sometimes, when I need to talk to you, The Princess Bride comes on TV.  Sometimes I see a passage from the book of Matthew on Pinterest or a Matt and Nat bag out shopping.

My niece was born on your Birthday.  She’s an April Fools baby too.  She has your dance moves and terrible jokes.  But, she too laughs at them, and you can’t help but laugh with her.

The truth is I miss you.  I need you.  Some of my biggest regrets are that I didn’t tell you how much you mean to me when I had the chance.  I hope you are at peace.  I hope I find a way to remember your voice.  I hope that some day we can have that BBQ.

Always,

Ratalie.

 

Finding role models in the most unexpected places.

It should be no surprise to anyone that I am addicted to Pinterest.  Wether it be decorating my dream house, collecting ideas for a dream wedding or finding sayings that soothe my soul; it seems that if I am awake, I’m pinning.

Recently, I have seen a few pins that say “You become like the five people you spend the most time with, so chose wisely”.  It’s not a new sentiment, I know I have heard it before.  But lately, it’s really making me think.  I have taken a step back and really looked at some of the people that I hold dear, and how they make me feel.  This really hit home for me on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, I had a friend over for breakfast.  She has moved to Toronto and it has been way longer since I had seen her than I would like to admit.  However, even though years have past and lifetimes have happened since I saw her last, we sat on my balcony and talked for hours, as if I had just seen her last week.  When she left, I felt as though a small piece of my self had returned.  It also makes me think that people need to understand how lucky I am to have met the incredible people I get to call my friends.

Let’s start briefly with the ones I am related to by blood.  And I mean brief because I am sure that, very shortly, they will get an entire post of their own.

I have four cousins I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Now, in total I actually have 12 cousins (and that doesn’t count the 10 second cousins that are still close family), but these four really stand out for me.  There is my second half, who thinks the exact same and I do, and is completely the white to my black.  The warden, who always keeps me straight and will always “mother” me and let me know when she thinks I’m being ridiculous (but I need that).  My friendly abuser, who always makes fun of me and calls me names, and I to him, but at the same time, I know will always have my back.  And last but not least, my hero.  The kid who has been through hell and back, and will always be an inspiration to me to look my fears and obstacles in the eye and then spit in their face.  I am so very thankful that I was graced with these people in my family, it only means that they have to put up with me and there is no escape for them.

The following will be spoke of in short paragraphs, only so you, the reader, doesn’t get insanely bored.

The “Selfie Queen”.  This girls takes the greatest looking selfies I have ever seen, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s so much more than her infectious laugh and ever smiling face.  It’s so much more than her constant encouragement and love.  It’s what I see in those selfies.  It’s the fact that she is never shy or embarrassed by the way she looks.  Now, disclaimer, she is really gorgeous.  Honetsly beautiful, in a paper bag or an evening gown, doesn’t matter, she is just a natural beauty.  But for me it’s those photos.  Wouldn’t matter if she were 100 pounds of 300 pounds, no makeup, professionally done makeup or just woke up with the worst hangover and racoon eyes known to man.  There will be a selfie and she will be smiling and she will not hesitate to post it online for all the world to see.  It’s her total confidence and light that I adore and envy.

The “Southern Belle”.  Oh yes.  Always laughing, always singing, it’s like knowing the fairy that lives in your garden and there is something about her that is pure magic.  She makes me see that people can not only have joy, but can really be joy.  I really can’t say enough about her, and yet here I sit, with no words.  She is a force, she lights not only the room, but the whole building and I am so fortunate that our paths have crossed.

The “Cupcake Diva”.  Not only am I in complete awe of where she has gotten herself, fought tooth and nail and worked her hiney off to build an empire of cupcakes and whoopy cakes; but she was the one person who single handedly let me know it was okay for me to be me.  No matter what that looked like.  She introduced me to punk rock music, purple hair, and tattoos.  She shows me daily that it doesn’t matter how many tattoos you have, what music you listen to, what you eat, what clothes you wear or music you listen to, you are okay as you.  Even better, you are great, and there will always be someone who loves you.  She is an absolute force to be reckoned with and I am so incredibly proud to call her my friend.

The “Mother”.  She scolds me, doesn’t like anyone I date and won’t give me an inch.  She also brings me cans of peas (because she knows I love them) and worries herself sick over me.  She can make it to Kingston from the GTA in about 45 minutes and would be here in the blink of an eye if I ever really needed her to be.  Usually a phone call where she tells me how ridiculous I am being solves the issue.

Last, but not least, “The Sister Friend”.  We all have one, that “friend” who is so much more.  So much more than a friend, so much more than family.  That one person who really sets your soul straight.  Who completely understands where you are coming from all the time, even if the things you say would sound horrible to other people.  If I had to chose one person to emulate myself after, it would be her.  She is creative and loving, gentle and kind.  She is the girl that would give you her last dollar without even thinking of it and never expects anything in return.  She is one of those truly beautiful people, inside and out.  She has so much love to give and spreads it so freely, it’s really a gift.

These are not the only people I hold close to my heart, I could write pages and pages about the incredible people I know.  The women who keep my connection to my childhood self and love the 80’s as much as I do.  The ones who had children surrounded by tragedy just out of high school and have over come it all to become unbelievably strong, successful woman and mothers that I could only hope to be like one day.  The women who had horrible childhoods that they fight with daily, and still manage to give love and wear smiles that I know at times are a struggle.  I have bonds with them all, a love of old movies, or Michael Jackson and the muppets.  There is a part of my heart that connects me to the people who have crossed my path and I am grateful that I have met them.

I am glad to envy these people.  I am  blessed to be able to look up to them.  I am fortunate that these are the people that have been given to me to show me the way and that I might be able to model myself after.

 

 

I deleted all my “friends”

I have moments of clear as mud (in)sanity and do a massive clear out of Facebook.  I can go from 180 friends to 80 in the blink of an eye.  People have commented that they wish they could be as cold and calculated as I am about clearing out their lists.  What no one seems to understand is why/how I get to that point.

If you have ever fallen victim to one of my clear outs, please do not feel it’s because of some cold, sinister plot and you just “didn’t make the cut”.  If you have seen the status update about me cleaning house and made some comment about how you “made the cut again”, please know how close I was to deleting Facebook completely.

By the end of this post I hope that you will understand what is actually happening when I seemingly delete people out of my life.  Let us begin.

Recently, I have run into some people that I used to ‘know’.  They used to be on my Facebook, but at some point have been deleted.  I used to work with them, or went to school with them, or at some point saw them fairly regularly in a social setting.  Then my life fell apart and everything changed.

I was drowning and lonely.  I had 200 ‘friends’ and was never more alone.  My heart was broken in so many ways, by so many people and I decided to do something about it.  I removed everyone from my Facebook that I felt wasn’t there for me.  I removed everyone that made me feel like they didn’t really want me around in the first place.  I urge you to not be offended, and to continue reading.  This is not what you think, I promise.

I really was at the point where I would have deleted my account completely.  It felt like everyone was too busy to include me, or just didn’t want to.  I started to feel like there were all of these people who had access to my life, my photos, to me, and only used it for entertainment purposes.  Now, having said that.  I couldn’t delete my account.  Not because I am addicted to Facebook, but because it keeps me in touch with family and friends that live across Canada.  I love to see their photos and know what’s going on in their lives.  It was also the only connection that I felt like I had with other people.

Recently, a few things have occurred to me.  People are busy.  Maybe it’s not that they don’t want me around, but it’s not always easy to fit people in when you work, have families and other friends.  It’s hard to fit in your 34 year old single friend.  There’s no kids to play with your kids, no significant other to keep your significant other entertained.  It’s an awkward pair off.  This is not a woe is me, this is a realization.  People lead really busy lives, and once you have fallen out of the regular routine with them, it’s incredibly difficult to get back into it.

I have started to add people back.  Maybe I don’t see them all the time, that’s ok.  I can wait.  I’m just thankful to have people in my life that are happy to see me when they do bump into me, and are willing to add me back as a ‘friend’ and not begrudge me for deleting them in the first place.

All I ask is that when you have a little time and are heading down to market, out to a patio or just want to have a cup of tea at home.  Remember me.  I am happy to run errands, hang out at the park with your kids, or anything that you might want a tag-along for.  I know that I have failed as a friend, but I am making amends and working on a better me.  Some things just take time.

 

 

These things I have learned

I lost who I was.

I became who I thought someone else wanted and needed me to be.  I became who I thought I needed to be for that person.  And somehow ‘Nat’ got lost in the shuffle.  It’s no ones fault, sometimes you just lose yourself in the chaos of daily life.  Sometimes you lose yourself in being madly in love with another person.

Now that I have spent so much time with myself, there are things that I have (re)learned.  Like them or not, they are who I am.

I’m awkward.  I know this, it’s not news to me.  I’m sure it’s not news to anyone who knows me either.  I can’t explain it, I don’t know why I’m so odd.  Trust me, if I knew, I would change it, or at least tone it down a little.  I feel like part of it is that I wear my emotions like a cartoon character.  There is never any question as to what I am feeling, you can see it clearly in my expression.  This also ties into that if you tell me something that I don’t know how to react to, I just don’t react.  At all.  I apologize, it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved.

I will do anything I can to make the people I care about happy.  I really don’t like it when people are sad, especially the people who mean the world to me.  I may not try to ‘fix’ the unpleasant situation, I know that I am not superwoman.  I know that I cannot make this not happen, and I cannot take away what has made people unhappy.  But I can make you your favourite cookies, or do something that I know will make you laugh, or just sit and listen and constantly remind you how beautiful, special, wonderful and loved you are.  That’s my job.  I am a friend.  I have a big heart and I will hand it to you on a platter.

I love road trips.  I really don’t even care where we are going.  Although if we end up in some little town somewhere, with neat shops and some great pub for lunch, I will be one of the best days ever.  I really just love to be in the car, music cranked, coffee available and on the road.  The trip is sometimes the best part of the adventure.

Coffee mugs.  Yep.  I have what I am realizing is quite the collection.  My mood in the morning or whenever I open the cupboard, determines what mug I use.  They are not just mugs, they are mood enhancers.  And yes, I have a couple of mugs that no one is allowed to use but me.

I have curly hair.  This may seem fairly obvious, but I feel like it’s an ‘issue’.  I hear so often how much people (especially guys) like my hair straight.  Great.  Curly hair is what you get with me, as much as I say that I cannot change that, I know I can.  I could permanently straighten my hair.  The truth is that, while it’s great to have straight hair for a couple of days, and I feel so beautiful when it is straight, after a while I start to not feel like me anymore.  Straight hair is not ‘Nat’, curly hair is.  Wild, unpredictable and romantic.

Now the ugly truths.  I was bullied in school.  Told that I was too ugly to be friends with the ‘cool’ girls.  Words stick.  They scar and those scars are deep.  Yes, I still feel like that kid that no one likes.  The ‘uncool’ kid that has nothing to offer, she’s still here.

I feel like I am suffocating in this life.  I can’t explain it.  I’m spinning my tires and can’t seem to move forward.  I need to move, but where?  Everywhere else seems so expensive and it’s just me a my dog.  My fear is not being able to care for her and being stuck somewhere that I have no help.  But something needs to change.

IMG_1295I like my house clean.  Really clean.  I take pride in where I live and want it to be inviting.  I love when my friends ‘pop in’, and try to have my house ready for it all the time.  I have been told in the past that people didn’t like coming over because my house was too clean and it made them uncomfortable.  I used to have anxiety about leaving my house with dirty dishes in the sink or a floor that needed to me mopped or vacuumed.  I have gotten over these things.  However, if my house is so clean that you are uncomfortable, you need to get over that.

These things are all summed up fairly easily.  Being in the car on a nice day belting out some of my favourite tunes will always make me smile.  I love my friends and family above all else.  Their happiness makes me happy and I will do everything I can to contribute to that.  I love my dog like she is a child.  She has a ton of personality and has done more for my heart and emotional state than any human ever could.  She is not “just a dog”.  I work everyday to be a happier, better person, and day by day I am coming closer to being her again.

 

 

Like it or not, it’s all a leap of faith

Two years ago the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath me, and since then I have been running damage control.  Financial, emotional, physical, it’s all been about repair.  My faith was shaken, terribly so.  Faith in love, faith in friends, faith in my ability to obtain my dreams, repair my heart and live out the rest of my life without carrying this hurt with me.

The truth is, life is a leap of faith.  Every move you make, every friendship, every relationship, even the education that you take, or the job that you accept.  It’s a blind step, hopefully forward, that you choose to make every time you get out of bed.

It’s no secret that my lifetime of leaps have pretty much all ended in scraped knees, broken hearts and some tears.  For the past two years I have shied away from taking any leaps.  Tried to take the safe road.  Tried to avoid putting myself out there to get hurt again, by anyone.  Guess what?  It doesn’t work.

It was suggested to me to have a list, somewhere that I would see it, of all the traits I want in a partner.  It’s been on my mirror for 5  months.  The idea is that I will draw someone with these traits to me.  That I will put this idea out and I will not settle for less than my list.  It’s not an outrageous list, never the less, it’s coming down.

I have a new plan.  New leaps of faith.  I have discovered that, at least my, happiness depends on other people.  I am not a solitary person, I was never meant to be alone in life.  I like to have friends and family around.  I love giving love, being in love and everything that entails.  But sometimes you have to let go.  Let go of the friends who have no time or interest.  Let go of the family who make you feel so distant. Let go of the dream of the house with the porch, the kids in the yard and the man who kisses your forehead and smiles at you on sunday mornings over coffee.

The list is being replaced with reminders.  Reminders that I’m worth someone making time for.  Reminders that people making me feel bad about who I am is not a reflection of me, but of them.  Reminders that I deserve someone to make me feel like I am worth their love and attention and I shouldn’t settle for less than that.

The list is being replaced with determination.  Determination that I will be okay without someone.  I will take courses to have my dream job, even if there is no market for it.  I will try not to be sad or sorry over the friends that I have lost, nor will I keep trying to make them have time for me.  I am determined to not have this same life forever.  I will not always worry about money, or feel so alone.  I refuse to let that happen.

I am going to take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other, and leap.

I have to regain my faith that I will again have great laughs with good friends.  That money may not be plentiful, but at least it could be more easily accessible.  I must have faith that no one’s life is meant to feel like mine does now.  This is a start to the end.  The end of who I have become to make way for who I know I am.

 

 

Put on some pants, I beg you

Consider this a public service announcement.  It is not a discussion and is not open for such, it is more of a reiteration of the rules of human decency.

I work in the mall.  My desk sits with a direct view of the stairs, so it happens that I get to see, not only the people who walk in front of the clinic, but also the people walking up the stairs and partially across the upstairs “hallway”.  This allows for my day dreaming during slow moments at work to be cut short rapidly by the visions of the general public that pass into my view.

So, here is comes.  The part that is not open for discussion.  Jogging pants. STOP wearing jogging pants.

I dislike all jogging pants.  This includes the infamous pyjama pants that were all the rage in the 90’s.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for these “comfy” pants, but the general public is not it.

No, I’m not done.  Yes, we are going to delve into this a little deeper.

Mens, light grey, elastic bottoms.  Those are the worst.  They almost bring out an anger from the pit of my stomach, it could also be nausea, but for now, let’s say it’s anger.  I could never figure it out, what about them bothered me so much.  Until one day a friend of mine at work said “it’s like a bag of baby mice”.  That’s it!  If it doesn’t dawn on you what that might be referring to, just stop thinking about it, it’s for the better.  Let’s leave a little to the imagination boys, even if it is “a little”.

So, where are jogging pants acceptable, you ask?  In your own home.  When you are sick and leaving the house to go to a) the hospital b) the clinic c) the drugstore.  I’ll even accept when skating, or walking in the woods, camping, summer cottage evenings.  You get the point right?

“But Natalie, what about people who can’t afford other pants and have those pants donated to them?”  I have a soul, I understand, but for the most part I think the general public should be able to put on pants, actual pants, before leaving the house.  Have no mirror?  Don’t know that you look like you have given up on life?  I don’t accept that as an excuse, for no makeup, or for your makeup looking like you put it on in the dark, sure, maybe.  You have no mirrors or reflective surfaces in your dwelling and are still trying to look like a functioning member of society, I congratulate you on your effort.  But no mirror is no excuse for no pants.  You can look down and see that you have a sorry excuse for pants on.

In short.  The way you dress and present yourself shows the world the level of respect you have for yourself.  I am all for being casual, but I think some of you have taken it a little too far.

Everybody does it

Poop.  We all do it, there is even a children’s book about it, but most people don’t talk about it.

Now, before we start, let’s make it very clear that I have never really shied away from the topic.  I get some of my best thinking/pinteresting/facebooking/texting done while on the throne.  My friends are all parents, once that happens, it’s amazing how much you talk about something that you would have never mentioned before.  And I mean, full conversations.  I have also had my fair run ins with doctors, who always seem to be overly interested in what happens in your bowel.  Then I should probably mention  my favourite Southern Belle.  She’s a pooper, but she makes it classy, and has no qualms about letting you know when it’s happening.

In my family, poop has been the topic of most conversations for a couple of months now.  Why?  Is someone sick? No.  Have we made new friends with a GI specialist or nutritionist? No, although those people love to ask you about your poop, so be careful.  The short answer is, we have Rory.

Rory is my almost, three year old niece.  She is a spunky little girl, that has the memory of an elephant and loves to sing and dance.  Like most almost three year olds, she has the ability to brighten your day with just a smile, and comes out with the craziest sayings at the most random times.  Needless to say, from the moment she was born, she rapidly became my favourite human.

Rory is now potty training, and I’m not sure any of us knew what we were in for with this one.

First Rory was almost afraid of poop.  She pooped in the tub once and screamed so loud and frantically you would be sure someone was trying to kill her.  Then, possibly thanks to a little boy at daycare, she was obsessed with poop.  I mean obsessed.  “Rory, what would you like for dinner?”  “POOP!”  “Rory, what’s your favourite colour?” “POOP!” Everything was poop with her, everything, except what she was willing to do in the potty.  Then she would actually have to call people and tell them about her poops.  “Rory, how are you today?  Did you and mommy do anything fun?” “I pooped!  It was a big mushy one.”  Seriously.

Now that we are over that, and Rory having massive potty successes, if find that we are still talking about poop as part of regular dinner conversation, even when Rory isn’t there to bring it up.  Last night, I was at dinner and my parents tell me that now, Miss Rory reads the flyers on the toilet.  Yup, she likes the Farm Boy one the best.  She sits on her potty, and opens that big ol’ flyer, and tells you all about all the fruits and veggies on sale.  Oh, and her doggie (Gertie) has to be there too.  The kid who used to be afraid of poop, now makes it a family event.

All in all, yes, everybody poops.  But only Rory can make it an event.