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Showing posts from 2015

Beautiful and True

In Blue Like Jazz, Don Miller writes the phrase "beautiful and true" a lot. I've always loved that. I think the truth is always, in some form, beautiful, and I love the idea that there are life moments that teach us what those beautiful and true things are.

My friend and I sat on my couch in my Ottawa apartment as the clock struck midnight on 1 January 2015. My friend and I toasted, as I had every year before, to "hoping this is the best year yet!"

If you read my last blog post, you know that 2015 was not the Best Year Yet. We could, if we're speaking in superlatives anyway, say it was probably one of the worst. At 12:01am on 1 January, I received a really crappy email from a boy I wanted to be dating, and everything kind of went off the rails from there (I won't rehash it all here, but you can see my last post for the nitty gritty, where I laid out my woes in great detail).

About two months ago, everything in my life almost instantaneously reversed. I …

What You're Worth: Why Everything is the Absolute Worst Right Now, But I'm Still Trying

I have been having violent and terrifying nightmares lately. These dreams cause me to wake up covered in tears and sweat, and look around my room to make sure men with knives and guns aren't standing over my bed, waiting for me. It's made me dread sleep, which has made me a daytime zombie.I've talked to a few people about these terrifying dreams, including my doctor, and the general consensus is that I am unsettled in my waking life. And that's not surprising: to be honest, everything is the worst right now. I'm unemployed, and have been underemployed ever since 2012. In a few weeks I will be homeless in Ottawa. My beautiful pink couch has gone to a new home. I have no money and few job prospects. I've never had a successful relationship, and I've actively avoided speaking to single straight men for approximately 9 months. I've fallen so far behind on my training schedule for a 10k race in October that yesterday my running app asked me if I was still al…

Fifteen of my Favourite Feelings

A little while ago, Hank Green posted a video called 15 of My Favourite Feelings. In the description of the video, he says:
When we're confronted with negative experiences, we want to analyze them and think about them and remember them for future use. But with positive emotions, we often just feel them and enjoy them, which is wonderful, but also leads to us putting less weight on them and it seems like they take up less space in our minds. [...] Recognizing and harping on the positive experiences we have is a great way, I think, to both have a better outlook on life, and have more positive experiences. I think he's right. I could use a little boost right now, so I decided to spend some time thinking about fifteen of my favourite feelings.

When someone I really respect tells me, unprompted, that they really respect me. When someone tells me that something I said to them a long time ago, and I've long since forgotten having said it in the first place, has stuck with them, and…

Supine Butterfly

Sometime mid-June, my friend convinced me to sign up for a month of yoga. This was a huge deal. I had spent a very long time scoffing at women in yoga pants at the grocery store. I was pretty sure it was just a hipster fad, which meant it was 100% not for me.

But I had been running for six months, and I was becoming a bit disenchanted with it. I had pain in my hips and shins, and I started to feel like I needed something to supplement running, if for no other reason than to give my pedicures a fighting chance. I had some friends who were not hipsters but also really loved yoga, and invited me to come along for one Saturday morning class, just to see how I felt. With a promise of brunch to follow, I tagged along.

The class - hot yoga vinyasa flow - was a bit strange (who actually thinks that much about their breathing?!). The poses were foreign to my body and so much more difficult than I had anticipated. I spent a lot of time in child's pose, recuperating. Most significantly, I ha…

What a Long Way You've Come

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I was 2.1k into my run this morning, and I was really struggling. I had more than half of my distance left to go, and I just couldn't do it. My legs hurt, it was humid, my face and hands felt bloated. I hadn't slept well, I didn't stretch properly, and I hadn't eaten anything before setting out.

Everything about this morning was hard, and I was discouraged. I was furious at myself for not having prepped better. I was discouraged that I wasn't able to run faster and for longer intervals. I considered unplugging my headphones, stopping my run app, and slowly dragging my feet home in time to shower and eat before going to work. As I was walking begrudgingly home, sluggish and stewing in my cloud of frustration, I could just feel it in my body that if I made it home in this mood, I would feel defeated for the rest of the day.

I sat down on a bench, turned off my music, and took long, deep breaths. I reminded myself that a year ago, I couldn't run for 100m, let alo…

Lead with Good

I suspect most people reach a point in their lives where they need to step back and assess why they are attracted to certain types of people. I have long known that the sort of people I seek out and intentionally befriend are people who are very smart and very funny. As early as elementary school, I can remember strategically placing myself on choir risers next to girls who made me laugh so loud I got in trouble. In every class I took in my undergrad, I would sit back for the first few weeks while, in answering profs' questions, the critical thinkers separated themselves from the blowhards before deciding who I wanted to hang out with after class. 
I have never taken a psychology course, but I don't think I'd be too off base in surmising that my attraction to funny, smart people stems from my desire to be like them. I think we're all copy cats, in that we reflect the qualities we most want from the people we most want to be like. And my whole life, I've desperatel…

Love Stories

In March, a YouTuber I follow announced on her blog that she and her husband were separated. I was devastated.
I’ll be honest: my reaction surprised even me. 
I’ve followed Louise’s blog and YouTube channel for over 5 years. When I first found her videos, they were 10 minute unedited sprawling streams of consciousness. She was a new mom with a complicated past and a passion for both lipstick and stationary in equal measure. Compared to most of the beauty vloggers I had in my queue, each poised and posed and prepared, Louise was a mess. But she was real. She loved her little family, and she loved making videos, regardless of how blurry her closeups were. Her unapologetic rawness drew me in, and I knew that if I met her someday, we’d be good friends. 
But what particularly warmed me was Louise and her husband’s love story. It was the sort of narrative I’ve dreamed for myself a thousand times - they met at university and were friends for a while, until one day, in the middle of writing …