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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.