i’m a writer.

Content warning: suicide, paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 9.

My Dad called just now to see if I wanted to go to the CultureCrawl with him. Of course, Dad. I’ll go with you.

He’s reading this sentence now, wondering if I’m going to call him out on something he’s done in his past. Dad, you are a wonderful dad. Do I talk about you in therapy? Yes but I don’t want you to feel bad about that. I talk about Mom too. But mostly, I talk about myself. Obviously. Without therapy, I wouldn’t be alive (also love, family, weed and meds, and cats). We don’t talk about that though, you and I. I am now because I want other people to know they’re not alone. If I failed, they can too.

We don’t have to talk about it. It’s okay. I don’t mind you thinking that I’m just as stable-minded as you. It’s nice. One of my past colleagues told me that he’s never had a headache. I was speechless. How can someone never experience a headache? I have a headache at least once a day. It must be so hard for him to fully understand what a headache feels like. He might never find out.

What’s it like not having intrusive thoughts? To have a brain that doesn’t spiral into nothingness so quickly you don’t even realize you’re crying or frozen in place? What’s it like not having written that note?

Why am I writing this? Is it some sort of public catharsis? I’m compelled to write about it. I’m driven to sit at my desk and type whatever comes to mind. It’s raw and vulnerable and makes people angry with me sometimes. And yet, here I am.

I’ve volunteered for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference for 4 years now and every year I get asked what I write. What am I writing? What am I working on? I have a blog, I say sheepishly. What’s it about? I don’t know, me? Typography and storytelling. I guess? Calling out my family on their past regressions? I didn’t say that last part. Don’t worry.

Usually, I come away from the weekend newly inspired and energized. The workshops spoke to me in some way. This year was a bit different. I loved being there, seeing everyone again, and meeting new people. Watching others be inspired. It’s always magical. It still was but not in a writing way for me. Except when I sat in a workshop about changing your writing style and still keeping your current readers. The instructor said emphatically,

“You’re not an aspiring writer, if you write, you’re a writer.”

Susanna Kearsley

I feel like she was staring directly at me when she said this. She wasn’t but that’s okay. I felt it. So now what? I can’t just pretend I’m not this. I can’t just pretend I don’t have a mental illness(es) either. I can’t just pretend I’m normal. I should say I can’t keep pretending. Instead of feeling inwardly uncomfortable, I now make other people uncomfortable. I’m still learning. Imagine me but with grace. How does she look?

If you have intrusive thoughts, you’re not broken or a bad person. You don’t need or deserve to suffer through them. Please speak to someone you trust about them.

Talk Suicide Canada – Hours: Available 24/7/365 for calls; 4 PM—12 AM ET for texts; Languages: English, French. Learn more. Phone: 1.833.456.4566 SMS: 45645

cats, not babies.

Content warning: Infertility.

This is hard to write about because I thought I was over it. I had convinced myself that I was so why am I crying?

I’ve written about this before and from the content warning above, you already know what I’m about to say, except not. These are new emotions for me. I’m older, I’m at the end of the biological motherhood road. It feels like I took a million years to get here and yet, I was 18 just yesterday, holding my nephew and wondering about my own.

I’m not going to mention how my husband feels in this post. I can’t tell you how he feels about all of this, only he can and he won’t so, sorry. Just guess and know that his babies would be the cutest babies you have ever seen.

A lot happened last weekend at the conference I volunteered at. I noticed that my feelings and attitude towards pregnancy, babies, and children were jovial. I was genuinely happy to see my pregnant friend and I wanted to hear all about everyone’s kids. None of their stories made me sad. I was even asked multiple times by different people if I had kids and my answer didn’t hurt.

I have cats.

I say cats, plural because multiple cats make people feel better about me being childless somehow.

I’m pretty sure the reason why I was so calm and collected was that I was secretly hoping my period wouldn’t show up on Saturday. It didn’t. It didn’t show up on Sunday either and when Monday rolled around and it hadn’t made its presence known, I took a pregnancy test.

Not Pregnant.

Just like all the other tests. I told myself to wait until today. I knew my period was coming, I just like to torture myself with hope sometimes. I tried the whole “stop trying” thing. It was supposed to work. Everyone tells me it works. The thing they don’t say after is that sometimes it doesn’t work. Never say never except when it’s never.

I want to go back in time, pick myself up and drag her to my husband. Plop her down in front of him and say “Here! He’s right here! Have his baby before it’s too late!” I wonder if his past self would have been on board. So now what? I guess I have his houseplants that are actually mine, his coat rack, his fancy knife, and the clothes he leaves in the hamper when he goes away for weeks at a time to make our ends meet.

I want to stop trying. The disappointment of it all is too much for me. Annie gets what Annie wants* isn’t always true. And I know what you’re thinking. AH HA! That will be the moment you get what you want but that kind of hope is soul-crushing.

Please don’t stop telling me about your children. The way your face lights up when you tell me how you picked their name, your exasperated look when you explain that the blue cup is to never be used. You have their tiny shoes, their little dimpled hands to hold, their teeny voices saying “I love you.” Please share with me.

*There is a story here, of course, but that is for another time.

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.

is dust mitt a bad word?

The memories function on Meta (cringe) likes to remind me of the time I was in an MLM scheme in 2015. My smiling face holding up a dust mitt like it’s the best dust mitt I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Truth is, it was the only dust mitt I’d ever seen and it was pretty good but $25.99 good? No. Join my team so I can make more money off of you good? No.

I sunk way too much money into that MLM. Not nearly as much as some though and I felt bad for those ladies. Thousands of dollars in product and marketing materials. The products are good! they’d all exclaim because they were good, still are. Why can’t they just be sold in stores then? Could they still sell a dust mitt for $25.99 at Canadian Tire? I don’t know, let’s see. A quick google search for “Dust mitt” shows this:

A screenshot of a google search window for "Dust Mitt". Four shopping listings are shown: $5.68 for a Tough Guy Duster Mitt, blue. $8.43 for a Tough Guy dust mitt, green. $28.95 for a "Fred Ass Wipe" Dusting Mitt, a mitt shaped like a donkeys face with a donkey face on it. $9.54 for a Tough Guy Cleaning Mitt.

I’ll admit that $28.95 for a donkey dusting mitt is a steal. That’s going on my wish list, for sure.

Okay so, back to the dusting mitt in question. As we can see from this screenshot of a Google search for “Dust mitt”, the average cost of a microfiber dust mitt is around $7.88, excluding Fred, he’s in a class of his own. What do you get from the $25.99 dust mitt? You get a desperate woman trying to sell you stock that she’s had forever OR she’s trying to meet her monthly minimum so she can stay in the MLM without having to pay a fee to join again. It doesn’t even have a donkey face on it.

Granted, this quick Google search led to a commercial cleaning supplies supplier so fine, you can’t just walk into a Canadian Tire and buy one for $8 but that’s what I’m getting at, you should be able to.

I’m about to go use my expensive dust mitt and I’m going to remember sitting in a weekly meeting with fellow MLM members, feeling like it was all wrong for some reason. Knowing that they had spent quite a bit of money to be there and they might be feeling the same way. Like something wasn’t quite right about all this.

I still have friends who sell MLM products. I don’t look down on them. I have bought products from them because the products are good and they don’t hound me like their Leaders tell them to. What I really want is for these MLM products to be sold on store shelves and for the MLM companies to admit to being pyramid schemes.

Wishful thinking, hey?

If you made it to the bottom of this weird discussion on dust mitts and are wondering if it’s a bad word, it is not, according to Urban Dictionary. I did not click on the other “mitts” though. That’s fun for another day.

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.

It’s a lot.

CW: Abortion

It’s all a little too much, isn’t it?

That’s what I’ve been asking myself since November 2016. I cried the night Cheetoh King was elected. How can one man cause so much destruction? What else could possibly happen? And then it just kept happening. Layers upon layers of catastrophe.

But you’re Canadian! You say.

Well, yes I am and I’m able to weep for my sisters to the south of me. I wept for them because I knew Roe V. Wade was on the chopping block. It’s surreal watching the country right next to you crumble slowly. Our foundation is showing similar cracks in Canada. We’re not free of this madness. Is the party you voted for pro-choice?

I haven’t needed an abortion. I’m pro-choice. I’m pro healthcare. Public health saves lives. Abortion saves lives. Abortion is safe. This isn’t about murdering babies, this is about restricting women and people who have uteruses. Why are we still fighting this war on people’s bodies? Why does it seem like only cishet men have body autonomy?

It’s all a little too much, isn’t it?

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?

Consistent, I am not.

Oxford Languages says:

con·sist·ent/kənˈsistənt/adjective

  1. acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate. “the parents are being consistent and firm in their reactions”
    • unchanging in nature, standard, or effect over time. “he is their most consistent player this season”
    • compatible or in agreement with something.

If you do any sort of research into being successful at social media and the digital world, one of the first steps is being consistent. Posting consistently, being online all the time, giving the people what they want. What they want changes constantly but if you’re consistent in giving it to them, you should succeed.

But what if you’re like me? A slow artist. An artist that creates only in the flows and not the ebbs. What if the ebb is much longer than the flow? The past 18 months has been one long ebb. There has been moments of flow, don’t get me wrong. I am excited about the ideas in my head. Getting the ideas out in the open is where I struggle. There’s a scene in season three of Schitt’s Creek between Moira and David talking about his penchant for big ideas and very little follow through. I don’t want this blog to collect dust while I dream of what it could be.

CortiSaul and I need to figure out a better way of being consistent even if it looks and acts differently than other people’s success.

How do you maintain consistency in your life? How do you show up every day for the things you dream of?

Someone else’s slogan

What do you say to yourself when you need a pep talk?

I’ve got a few different sayings for different situations.

Wake up = Up and at them!

Do the thing = Just f*cking do it.

Make the call = This is only 5 minutes of your entire life. JFDI.

Now that I think about it, JFDI is the main mantra I say to myself. It works. It also happens to be someone else’s slogan with a twist. Don’t tell them. I’ll let you know if I receive a cease and desist.

When I say it works, I mean it works most of the time. I’m a people pleaser who doesn’t know how to people please herself. This makes me constantly break my own boundaries. I wonder what that particular baggage looks like. I imagine a tiny case for accessories that explodes open when you barely touch the latch. This should be fun to work through.

A close up of a cherry blossom tree that is just outside my house.
This beautiful tree is what I see when I look out my living room windows. How lucky am I?

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.