struggling.

Blogging is weird. It’s Live Journal* for the masses but it can also be used to sell us stuff, teach us how to bake, knit, weld, whatever you want to learn, and show us the world. Is this an ad for blogging? This sounds like an ad for blogging. The title says “struggling.”, let’s get to the point.

I’m struggling right now.*** I have been diagnosed many times in my life with various illnesses. Being told you have something wrong with you doesn’t get easier. It’s not a round of golf that you can practice. Although, if you go into an anxiety-induced thought spiral, you can practice feeling shame and dread over and over again in your head. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? My mental 200 yard swing is looking pretty good these days. Don’t hit the golf ball cart, they don’t like that.

It’s hard to write those words. I’m struggling. When I spoke those words to certain people in my past, I’d be met with some sort of invalidation. I’m too sensitive. If I had just started sooner, I wouldn’t feel this way. I let it get to this point so deal with it. Get a thicker skin. Come out of my shell. Say how I feel, but not like that. Take a break, alone. Sit over there. Get used to it. I’m ugly when I cry. Why am I like this?**

I was apprehensive about being assessed for ADHD. I would usually go into detail about the process and how I felt throughout but I’m not going to do that in this post. I’m tired of doing that right now. I will though because my experience is valid and people have asked me to share it.

Anyways, I was apprehensive about having to convince multiple medical professionals that I did indeed have ADHD. Here are the facts, over and over again. Please believe me. They did. I found the pros that listened and cared and was able to get diagnosed fairly quickly because I was able to pay $300 to get assessed. Is this blog post trying to sell you an ADHD assessment? NO. It’s a comment on private healthcare. You figure out the comment. I’m feeling rather sarcastic today.

There’s dealing with the diagnosis itself and then there’s dealing with the reactions to the diagnosis. Who do I tell? I’ve already told the internet so who is left? Should I even write this post? What is my blog about? What do you, dear reader, even want to read? I’m off-topic again. See? struggling. I have ADHD but it does not define me. I need to take the time to forgive my past self for not knowing any better and to show her grace and respect for dealing with it all. She gave herself bangs so many times and still didn’t learn how to make them look good. Poor thing.

*LiveJournal is Russian owned? WHAT?

**Yes, these things were said to me. No, not by everyone in my life.

*** I will be okay. I have a support system that loves and respects me. I have a health system that is looking out for my needs. I will be okay.

vacuums don’t make good hairstylists.

This is going to sound like child abuse but it’s not. I promise. It was an unfortunate accident that we can all laugh at now instead of just my sister cackling at it at the time.

It is the 30th anniversary of my dad ripping out a quarter-sized chunk of hair from the top of my head with a vacuum. At least, I’m pretty sure it is. I was 7 or 8 so let’s just say it.

I know what it sounds like, why on earth would he do that? I’m stubborn and the part of his brain that deals with logical reactions suddenly shut down. I refused to move from my puzzle that was on the living room floor so he nudged and nudged and remembered how funny it was to put a beaterless vacuum on my sister’s head. She’d laugh and laugh as her hair was gently sucked up into the vacuum, leaving every strand of hair still firmly attached to her head.

My hair, on the other hand, did not stay in my head. My head whipped back and I screamed so loud. I’ll never forget the look of sheer terror on my best friend’s face. I don’t remember where she went after this incident. I’m pretty sure my mom called her mom and she was swiftly picked up from our house that day.

All I remember is mom ushering me upstairs and her shouting “Don’t laugh!” at my sister and her group of friends over and over again. They were 16 at the time and laughing because whose sister gets a chunk of hair ripped out of the top of her head?

My dad felt terrible. I’m pretty sure he apologized multiple times. My poor dad. He will never live this down either. We remind him of this at least yearly.

Here I am with the hairstyle I had to wear for months after.

Scratch that, mom is working on a birthday card and cannot look for a picture right now. You’ll have to wait.

that wasn’t a fart.

Okay, listen.

I’m very good at embarrassing myself. Olympic level good. I’ve learned to laugh at myself because the shame was getting to be too much for my level of expertise. Can’t be normal? Laugh at yourself. I’m really funny, guys.

Back at the beginning of 2018, my life essentially fell apart. It just crumbled right before my eyes. My grandma died two days before my birthday. My cat started getting sicker and sicker. My upstairs neighbours were getting louder and louder. School became a burden overnight, out of nowhere. My anxiety was at an all-time high. It was shit.

Speaking of shit, I got some sort of flu in the middle of all of this. My poor boss was just like “Are you okay?” and I said I was but that I had to call the vet about my cat.

I walked into the warehouse and hid between a stack of pallets. I called the vet and she told me that Bella, my cat, was slowly dying and that there wasn’t much they could do aside from cutting her lower jaw off. I had cried so much at this point that I didn’t really cry when she said this. Instead, I farted. I thought it was a fart, at least. But no. It was a shart. I shit my pants at work while hiding in the warehouse.

I ran to the bathroom, took off my thong, washed it in the sink, decided that a wet thong is worse than going commando, and threw out my underwear. I sat down at my desk, now commando and wondering what else was gonna come out of my butt. I left twenty minutes later.

The moral of this story is thongs can keep in a shart but using these is much better.

*This blog post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. When you click on the link and buy through it, I may make the tiniest amount of affiliate commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.

notebooks, pens, & things.

I wrote about having no motivation this week and received quite a few “I feel the same way too.”s. It made me feel better and a little worse. We’re all struggling with something. Or many things. There are ways to self-motivate, sometimes. One of those ways for me is using notebooks, pens, and things that I find useful and don’t actually have to think about at all.

I’ve said from the very beginning of starting this blog that I would be transparent with you, my dear reader. You are important to me and I don’t want you to feel like you’re at one of those awkward MLM parties that your co-worker, Pam, invited you to while reading my blog. Sorry, Pam but those parties are awkward. I’m sorry to all the people I’ve made go to those parties.

This blog post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. When you click on the link and buy through it, I may make the tiniest amount of affiliate commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.

I buy beautiful notebooks, am gifted even nicer ones than I buy, and still don’t use them as much as I use a 3 subject notebook by Hilroy. The pages are smooth, the lines are the right height, and I can write nicely in it with my left hand.

Speaking of being left-handed, The R.S.V.P. pen by Pentel is one of the only pens that doesn’t smudge and is thick enough to be held comfortably in my small hands. Thin pens don’t feel right to me. I asked for these at Christmas, I like them so much.

I had this brilliant idea that a bullet journal would get me organized and productive. I was wrong but the journal is lovely. If you’re able to continue on with a bullet journal or just want to see what it’s all about, I suggest starting with this one by Panda Natura.

I bought these dual ink doggo pens last year and love them! Aside from being adorable, they don’t streak and they have black and red ink which is what I use daily. I’m not a fan of blue ink. Sorry, blue ink.

This Daily Planner Tear Off Pad by Bliss Collections has been so handy for me. I don’t always use it because, duh, I forget I have it but when I remember! Look out tasks, you’re getting done!

I also turned an old framed picture into a whiteboard that I use for my to-dos and goals. I use a weekly calendar whiteboard when I remember to, that I found at the dollar store. Honestly, I usually use my notebook to write my weekly to-dos. It looks like I’m organized! Here is a similar one on Amazon.

All of my markers are stored in this space themed pencil box. It’s sturdy and holds so many markers.

I may or may not have some things listed on Redbubble… Okay, I do. Check them out here.

These supplies aren’t fancy really. They’re functional and reliable. I need reliability in my life especially in my office.

What products do you swear by? What gets your nerdy office supply heart beating?

shoulds.

I have so many ideas swirling around in my head about what to write here. I have none of the motivation to sit down and write.

This is a much bigger issue than just not feeling motivated. I feel no motivation. None. Every task seems daunting. Every line on my to-do list is overwhelming. But why? I wasn’t like this before the pandemic! Or was I?

Did I thrive in the 9 to 5?

No. I didn’t. I struggled. I burnt out. I became cynical and distrusting. Conforming to the 9 to 5 eventually ruined my passion for working. Losing the structured routine of 9 to 5 has also affected my ability to function. So something’s wrong. It feels wrong. Will I go back to a 9 to 5 job? Not right now. I have no interest in working full-time for a company right now.

Do I feel shame in saying that? Yes. I was taught that working and working hard is the marker for success. Making bank is the life goal. Live to work. Having money is the only way to thrive.

It’s true, that a person can’t truly thrive in today’s society without having at least a little bit of money. So creating my own job, and my own way of living seems wrong. It seems odd not to have the drive to hustle. I don’t wake up at 6am like I should in order to be successful. The ‘shoulds’ are plenty when you’re trying to be an entrepreneur.

Maybe my brain doesn’t work the way it ‘should’.

Sad songs for sad hearts

CW: mention of sexual abuse, PTSD

Hello there,

It’s been a while. It’s nice to see you again.

The saying goes:

Don’t listen to your favourite music when you’re sad. It will ruin it forever.”

~ Someone important

Your body remembers how you felt and will always remind you of it when you listen to it again.

I did this to Dan Mangan.

He got me through so many tough times with his albums. I cried so many tears listening to Postcards & Daydreaming while figuring out if I could ever love myself after certain mistakes I made. I did eventually love myself again. Thanks, Dan.

There is one song of his that is really really good. I can’t listen to it anymore.

Troubled Mind was playing just before a man I didn’t know too well stole my sense of security, my self-love. He didn’t listen, he didn’t realize. He apologized after, it felt sincere. I’m over it but I still can’t listen to Troubled Mind. I’m sorry, Dan.

I’m not going to go into the details because the details are for me to smooth out and be okay with. I’ve put them away in a jar in the garden and they will stay there along with his memory. I’ve changed the locks on the door.

Listen to Troubled Mind for me, will you?

What should I name my anxiety gremlin?

I’m writing hangry except I’m not angry. Okay, so I’m just hungry. Anyways, I’m writing. That’s what I said I was going to do. I’ve stared at many blank pages over my lifetime. Some pages were for writing, some were for marketing campaigns, and others for art. The marketing campaign pages don’t stay blank for long. The writing pages, however. Those pages tend to induce a daydream or a zone out on an entirely different topic than the one that needs to be written. This particular blank page that is no longer blank had me stumped. The old anxiety gremlin crawled on my back and whispered falsehoods into my ear.

No one wants to hear what you have to say.

That’s simply not true, anxiety gremlin, I want to hear what I have to say.

I’m going to leave this here as a reminder to myself to keep writing, even if it is short and about gremlins.

Welcome.

I had a blog once. It’s still live, you can read it and come back here, if you like. If you cringe at what I’ve said in that blog, just know that I have also cringed while rereading it. I’m 37 years old now. My views have changed. So has the world. It’s March 22nd, 2021, we’re all in the throes of a global pandemic. That’s a whole other post, or ten. Reading through my old blog posts highlights what I already know. I’ve been repeating the same thought patterns, actions, and reactions, for over a decade now. I haven’t dealt with my high-functioning depression because I’ve been able to keep my carefully crafted walls up. Somehow, it’s harder to keep them intact when I’ve had barely any social interaction in a year. Actually, that’s exactly why the walls are crumbling, I’m out of practice.

I bet my views will change in another ten years. I haven’t been able to think about the future since March 17th, 2020. The big picture part of my brain can’t see past the current month. It’s a problem. Here I thought I’d save the pandemic blues for another post. There is no escaping it.

Why am I starting up another blog? Because I love writing. Being able to tell a story, my story, to other people who want to hear it? That fills my proverbial happiness cup. Is that narcissistic? It can’t all be bad because the world needs storytellers. Historians, especially. Hey, I’m just helping them out. I’ve kept journals and still do but I noticed a recurring pattern to my physical journal keeping. I only write in times of stress. This makes all of my journals sad, energy zapping relics from my past. It makes me seem like a joyless person. I am far from that. I also would never want anyone to read those, ever, so here we are. Welcome.

I want to be transparent with you, dear reader, on my intentions with this blog. I plan on adding affiliate links to some of my blog posts. I will eventually have ads on this blog too. The ads that you might see on my site now are actually powered by WordPress. I don’t make any money from them, WordPress does, because I haven’t paid for the pro version yet. I promise you that I will always preface any paid content with a disclaimer first. You can choose to digest that paid content or not. I would like to make a living wage using my online presence and digital content creation. I also want to be genuine and authentic in what I’m writing and putting out into the world. I thought long and hard on becoming an Amazon affiliate partner and have decided that it’s a necessary evil to succeed. Don’t tell them I said that. I’m giving serious thought to whether or not I want to allow retargeting ads on my site. I’ll write a blog post about that too someday.

My main topics will be my maternal family history in Canada, storytelling exploration, and my love for typography. I plan on writing one blog post a month on my family history. I’m unsure of what this will unearth, and I may stop if my family asks me to. I’m ninth generation Canadian and I think that makes me an ancestor of Canada’s settlers. The word “settler” isn’t as nasty as “colonizer”, but aren’t they interchangeable? Settlers and Colonizers are considered to some to be one and the same. Colonization created mass suffering for the Indigenous peoples that lived here before us. I want to explore what it means to be a settler-colonizer ancestor and how I fit in to today’s narrative. I might not like what I find but I feel a need to find it. My goal is to blog about everything else twice a week.

Leave me a comment with your thoughts and I will try my hardest to answer in a non-awkward way.

Living and working on the unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the Kwantlen, the Katzie, the Semiahmoo, and the Tsawwassen Nations.  

Learn more about territory acknowledgments here. Find which territory you live in here.