I quickly pat my pockets. Then look up in horror.
No. Oh god no.
I feel a surge of adrenaline. Panic sets in.
My camera. It’s gone.
It is circa 2010. And I’ve just gotten off the skytrain in Vancouver. My friends and I are on our way to watch…..the motha fucking Olympics. And somehow. My camera was left behind. On the very train that is now making a B-line down the track. Like a bat outta hell.
Wait a minute.
This is the last stop. Which means the train I was JUST on should be heading in the other direction….mere seconds from now.
I dash over to the opposite side of the station. And what do you know. The bitch is pulling up.
I was in the very last car on the way here. Which means….fuck….what does it mean? The train hits the end of the line, then reverses.
With any luck, my camera should be….in the first car.
The train comes to a complete stop. The doors open. And I sprint into the car like a mad woman.
And there, sitting on the floor, is my camera.
I grab hold of it, not sure whether to scold it, or embrace it….like a child who’s wandered away.
Oh thank god.
What a relief.
The push towards life’s biggest milestones
It is moments like this one, that make you realize…..just how quickly you can take action, when need be.
Typically….we la-di-da our way through decisions.
But when we NEED decisiveness? It’s there for us.
And THIS? Is what plagues us during adulthood.
Because SO MUCH of our lives up until we’re “grown ups” is time sensitive. Getting a degree. Getting a job. Getting married. Having kids.
These are all things that weigh on us. Like a big ominous check-list…..with a socially prescribed “best before” date.
When you’re dating it’s…..when are you getting married?
When you’re married it’s…..when are you having kids?
And at some point, you do all the things. And then low and behold. No one is asking you any more questions.
And if I had to guess…..I’d say….THAT is the moment. The point in life, when many people become dangerously unhappy.
Hell, I became dangerously unhappy.
Because all of a sudden, we are no longer being called upon to “get ‘er done.”
You’ve “made it.”
And that feeling? Will either make you want to kick your feet up, and sink into the la-z-boy of life. OR, it will force you to dig deep, and reach for more.
Feeling “stuck” at the top of the mountain
But the tricky part is? So many of us feel backed into a corner, at this stage of life.
I can’t possibly quit my ho-hum job in order to follow my passion. I’ve got a mortgage to pay. And children to feed.
We trap ourselves in our own excuses. And we tell ourselves….this is the end game. I can’t possibly jump ship.
And so, we try to convince ourselves….I’m happy. This is happiness. I should be happy. Be. Happy.
But I think deep down, all of us desire growth.
And in order to feel fulfilled, we need to keep peeling back the layers of who we are, and take a peak at our own untapped potential.
I think we feel this sense of….obligation…..to be who we said we were….5 years ago, 1 year ago, 10 minutes ago.
And yet. That is the very thing that prevents us from evolving into ourselves.
The lies we tell ourselves…..“I can’t possibly….”
There are days when I look at my kids and wonder…..what would life be like, if I had made a different decision? What if I chose not to have kids?
Are they holding me back from my dreams? Are they tying me down?
And although, there are moments that I resent my role as a mother (oh the demands)…..I have now discovered that my kids? Are the GREATEST source of INSPIRATION for my own growth.
And any stories I have about….."I can’t possibly…..I have kids….” is an excuse. An excuse to keep playing small. And to avoid the discomfort of change.
One of the BIGGEST red flags for me, in the dating world? The guy who complains about how much he hates his job.
(That, and the guy who says he’s obsessed with “Call of Duty.” You’re 37!? Really?!?)
Because this guy? The job hater? Is playing the victim.
And if you hate your job? You shouldn’t be DOING that job. Quit. Do something else. Make a change.
I look at my kiddos, who literally jump into discomfort all the damn time (see “source of inspiration comment above”), and I wonder how adults become so…..averse to it.
My kids beat me into the water, every damn time, when we go to the beach. There I am. Slowly wading in, one inch a time, cringing at the coolness….as they run in, full tilt, creating fire-works with their careless splashing. They count me down….”come on, mom!! 5,4,3,2….”
And forget about over-committing to an identity. Last week? My daughter Clara devoured a plate full of broccoli. Literally a plate full. Today? “I don’t like broccoli.”
Life does not get better by chance
The next level of your life? Always demands a different version of you. But at some point, when it seems as though all the levels have been conquered? We need to start getting creative, and demanding more of ourselves.
We need to start inventing our own levels. And defining our own version of success.
We need to remind ourselves that life does not get better by chance. And that change is not as impossible as we make it out to be.
Uncomfortable? Yes. Impossible? No.
Even for us adults, who “have it all.”
Ding! The elevator door opens. Ground floor.
But before I move an inch, I start to wonder. Wait a second. Am I looking into a mirror?
On the other side of the threshold, I see a single-mom. Two kids. A boy and a girl. She’s towing a wagon. And it is FULL of beach paraphernalia. Towels. Pool noodles. Pails. Snacks. She looks exhausted.
I’ve seen this woman before. And although I’ve only ever given a polite smile, or a quick “hello,” I wonder. How do you feel about being a single-mom? Are you resentful? Angry? At peace? Relieved?
Were you blindsided? Or did you cut it off?
Was it hard to break it to your parents? Or did they rejoice in finally ridding themselves of that dirtbag?
It never seems like the right time to make friends. But I fantasize about asking her all these questions.
Because everyone is SO keen to talk about falling IN love. And yet….when it comes to falling OUT of love, people tend to sweep it under the rug. It’s messy. And uncomfortable. And there is so much…..”oh you poor thing….” and an underlying sense of “thank god it’s not me.”
But being someone who has experienced it myself….falling out of love, that is….I can tell you. The realization is scary as fuck.
But what’s scarier? Is the WORRY you subject yourself to over the repercussions of that realization. How will I tell people? What will my friends think? Will my children be ok? What if I end it, and he turns into a monster? How will I support myself? Will I regret it? Will I get stuck with the shitty Ford Focus?
This fear is enough to keep MANY people in relationships that they KNOW they shouldn’t be in anymore.
Which….in the end….is it’s own variation of hell.
How to take the leap despite fear
And so how do you find the balls to DO the thing that scares the shit out of you? How do you grab your worry by the shoulders and yell, “get a hold of yourself!”??
Whatever thing you are on the precipice of doing. Whether it’s getting a divorce. Quitting your job. Starting a business. Growing your family. Booking a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Or deciding...YES. Fuck it. I am going skydiving.
The key to making yourself ACTUALLY do it? Is to visualize what it is you want. And to realize that doing this thing will get you there.
It is that simple.
Because at that point? The decision just becomes….logical.
And worrying about it? Becomes….a waste of time.
You start to see.
Worrying is like going to the beach in the middle of August, wearing a snowsuit….because you have a sneaking suspicion….there’s going to be a blizzard.
It’s ridiculous. VERY unlikely. And extremely uncomfortable. For everyone.
Worrying takes away your peace. It destroys “now.” And it is a ruthless dream killer.
It’s like the creepy guy from the movie Halloween. You know who I mean. White mask. Walks really slow. But somehow….he always manages to come out from behind the shadows, just when you think you’ve outrun him.
How to face the ghosts in the room
Just the other day, Liam was having trouble falling asleep….scared out of his mind at every little sound.
“Mom? I think there’s a ghost in here.”
“Don’t be silly. Ghosts aren’t real, sweetheart.”
“But I heard….like a…..mmmmmm sound.”
“Do you KNOW there’s a ghost in here? Like, are you 100% sure?”
“No. I just think there MIGHT be.”
“Do you want to feel sleepy, and warm, and safe?”
“Then let’s go with what you KNOW. And choose to think about what you WANT to happen. Rather than what you DON’T want to happen. Think about yourself, fast asleep. Safe as can be.”
This kind of thing? Doesn’t work all the time. But when you start to realize that your reality is a creation of your mind, you start to be able to control it.
We give so much power to negative possibilities. Yet spend precious little time obsessing over the positive possibilities. So why not choose the positive?
The importance of trusting yourself
I was SO scared to get a divorce. And yet, I was crystal clear on what I wanted. And my marriage was not it.
Going through with it was tough. But having the vision of WHO I WAS on the other side of it? Gave me the courage to do it.
It feels like a bit of a gamble…..betting on your ability to bring your vision to life. But if you want it bad enough, and you know exactly WHY you want it….you make it happen. No matter what.
Don’t get me wrong. Worry still tackles me to the ground sometimes. But the more I remind myself to stop thinking about what could go WRONG, and to start thinking about what could go RIGHT…..the calmer, and more confident I am.
Yes. I did get stuck with the shitty Ford Focus. But even still? I’m happier than ever, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
My parents are obsessed with 3 things:
They call each other to the kitchen window, like it’s a real-life santa claus siting.
Every single day. It’s “would you look at that?!” Binoculars in hand. Amazed. Bewildered.
In the winter? It is a vendetta against the squirrels who squander the birdseed.
In the spring? It is a race to see the first robin.
And in the summer? Particularly THIS summer? It is a non-stop “awwwww” fest over 3 wild kittens.
I’ll give it to them. These kittens? Are adorable AF.
So adorable? That just yesterday, my tough-as-nails dad hung a ball from a string, on one of the pine trees.
“Batting practice,” he said.
But what amazes me about these cats, is their skill at surviving….and thriving…on nothing but their own scrappiness.
I can just envision Darwin high-five-ing these cats. Survival of the fittest, baby. “You’re nailing it!”
The funny thing about humans (our ego gets in the way!)
Every species on the planet reaches for it’s fullest potential.
And yet humans? Only sometimes do.
Sometimes? We’re all Steve Jobs. And we blow everyone’s mind.
But sometimes? We shrink back into the shadows. “I’m fine. No really. You go ahead.”
We’ve all been given MASSIVE gifts to share with the world. And yet only some of us cultivate them.
Because it is SCARY to put yourself out there.
Fear of rejection
And for some? It is scary to leave that comfortable, familiar, safe rock….in order to leap to the next one (which COULD be covered in moss, or bird shit, or….mossy bird-shit).
Many people worm their way into the least threatening crevice of life. Then defend their territory to the death. Change is the enemy.
The other side of the coin? Those who change partners, homes, and careers almost as often as they change their toilet paper roll.
Just the other day, I bought a new couch, and the salesman laughed when I asked about ware and tear. “Just replace it in a few years. Who cares.” I should note that said salesman also tried to peak my interest in a throw pillow that he’d “gladly deliver to my apartment….personally” (gag). So….likely not the best salesman to begin with.
Nonetheless. It is the Tinder effect. The….. “don’t worry, if this doesn’t work out, I’ve got 3 other options lined up.”
BUT! What’s fascinating, is this over-willingness to jump ship? It is JUST as much a reflection of a FEAR OF REJECTION, as is cowering AWAY from change.
For many, this throw-away mentality is simply a way of avoiding discomfort.
At the first sign of an injured ego, they bail. “Can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread man!”
The greatest breach of your own human contract (gasp!)
But what many of us are missing the mark on (whether you’re a trench digger, or a fence hopper), is that NOT sharing your gifts with the world? NOT leaning into your own unique potential? Not seeking your BEST life? Is the GREATEST breach of your own human contract.
It’s like saying F-U to the universe.
And it is a massive disservice to you and the people around you.
Pablo Picasso once said, “the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
And for those who are unwilling to reach for their fullest potential?
The world needs what you’ve got! Choose to be your true self. Everywhere you go. And stop trying to CONVINCE other people that you have value. Believe that you have value. And then let those who see it, bask in it.
The world is filled with people who, no matter what the hell you do, will not like you. Just as there are people in the world who will love you savagely.
And it is those people who love you savagely (and have yet to love you savagely) who are relying on you to do your thang.
We are told that to chase money, to chase success…..it is greedy. And there are many Audi driving assholes who give the “high life” a bad wrap.
A new perspective on raking in the dough
But what if wealth and abundance were simply a reflection of your willingness to go after your gifts?
What if money was simply a return on the investment you made on yourself?
What if affluence was simply a measure of the value you were willing to share with the world?
What if your bank account was was simply a reflection of how much you love yourself?
Like ferrel cats, we have it in us to stalk our best lives. And yet, so many of us choose to play small. Because we’d rather avoid pain.
But rather than thinking about the cost of chasing that crazy dream of yours…..think about the cost of NOT chasing that crazy dream.
The lives you will NOT impact.
The change you will NOT affect.
The inspiration you will NOT create.
How grateful are we to JK Rowling, Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Jerry Seinfeld….that they chose to live a life true to themselves, and their own talents….DESPITE criticism?
They are some of the richest people in the world. And some of the most impactful.
Dare to envision a rich life
“Ya, but I'm me. I'm nothing special.”
Pfffffft. I call bullshit.
You’ve got a crazy concoction of you-ness that no one else has. And NOT digging into that? Is the equivalent of avoiding an overseas flight to the destination of your dreams…..simply because, well, you get really uncomfortable with turbulence, you never seem to be able to fall asleep sitting up, and you hate when someone else steals your armrest.
You can choose to focus on the pain, and avoid doing the AMAZING thing. Or you can suck it up, and trust that the shitty part won’t last forever (and actually….probably isn’t THAT shitty).
And like…..REALLY…..do you.
Then dare to envision a RICH life. Because if you are willing to cultivate your own potential (despite the discomfort), you will see the payoff.
We walk in the front doors of the apartment building. And as always, I am carrying 10,000 things at once. A bag of groceries. A Starbucks coffee. An iPad. A sparkly pink ball-cap. A basketball. And two stuffed animals under each arm.
My sunglasses are slipping off my nose. And as we pass the mailbox, I get my daughter Clara to dig the keys out of my pocket so she can open it up.
She slips the key in the lock, just as my son Liam turns around to see the horror.
“Noooooo!!!!!!!” he yells. Tears instantly start pouring down his face.
“It was MY turn to get the mail!”
I roll my eyes.
“Come on, Liam,” I say. “It’s not THAT exciting to open a mailbox!?!”
Then he lays aaalllll his 7-year old wisdom on me. And it makes me stop dead in my tracks (and feel horrible).
“Maybe not to you!”
Huh. He’s right.
There is absolutely zero thrill in opening a mailbox. To me. But to this little boy, it is like opening a pirate’s treasure.
I see the potential for flyers. Bills. And a picture of some lame-ass real-estate agent with way too much hair gel.
He sees the potential for scratch cards. Envelopes with money in them. Mysterious packages.
Happiness is a choice
Ah yes. Perception.
It truly defines reality. One man’s treasure, another man’s trash (after all).
And THIS is how I feel about happiness.
Happiness is a choice.
And ultimately? It is a choice in perception.
And maybe that’s a bit of a loaded statement. But I believe it to be 100% true. And here’s why.
When I was in the depths of despair….hating my 9-5 job….wanting out….I knew that in order to be happy, I needed to quit.
But quitting required effort. A change of routine. Risk.
And it was sooooo much easier to just….be unhappy (and complain about it), than to somehow find the energy to create a new path. And risk failure.
But like souring milk, unhappiness has a way of intensifying over time. And the more you tell yourself (and everyone else) you hate your job, the more you find reasons to prove it to be true.
“Did you see that snicker?!? Pam from HR is totally talking behind my back!!”
“Paper jam?!? I told you! This printer is out to get me!”
“Seriously Jon? Tuna for lunch?! Again?!”
The danger of letting your own unhappiness simmer
But the moment we start to swim in our own woe….and get angry that life has handed us this god-awful lemon….is the moment we give up our own power. AND our own happiness. For the long haul.
When I leapt from the cliff of my life-sucking job, I did so, with a hell of a lot of fear. But the discomfort of that fear was only outweighed by the discomfort of my unhappiness.
It was that bad.
But need we let it get to that point?
Sometimes, I think we let unhappiness simmer for while. Just to make sure it’s turning into a true unhappiness stew.
And sure, it’s probably a good thing to give shitty things a chance to de-shit (the last thing you wanna be is that person who continually chases shiny objects).
But “weighing your options” often happens for waaaayyyy too long. And we just linger there. In misery.
We question ourselves….am I really unhappy? Or did I just have a bad day? Am I really unhappy? Or did I just not get enough sleep last night? Am I really unhappy? Or did I eat one too many bean burritos?
Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop.
Then OK. We call it. We decide. Yes, I’m unhappy.
At which point…..we need a bull-shit exit strategy. A transition plan. A guaranteed safe landing. Before we can jump ship.
And the unhappiness? Continues.
The plus-side of unhappiness
In the meantime….you get all kinds of sympathy for being “stuck” in a job you hate. Your mom drops by with cookies to cheer you up. Your best friend checks in with you to see how you “survived” your week. And you get to ditch that house warming party you were ho-hum about attending anyways, because you’re “just not feeling up to it.”
And admittedly….it feels kinda good.
Until we realize. Damn. This unhappiness ain’t going away. And these band-aid solutions? Aren’t cutting it.
Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to snap us into awareness of our own power.
Other times (like it was for me)? It is a gradual awakening to the simple, yet profound truth. We can absolutely choose our own happiness.
Just like we can choose to see opening a mailbox as the most magical thing on the planet.
We have the power to take on a different perspective. A different reality.
And it starts with making different decisions.
You must be willing to stop at nothing to cultivate your own happiness
Sometimes, we sit around, waiting for happiness to somehow come to us. Like a ship in the night. But happiness is not something that is bestowed upon us. It is not something that happens to us. And it is definitely not something that is on the other side of the bridge.
Happiness is a choice. An active choice. The alternative path to unhappiness.
And if you are truly in pursuit of it, you will stop at nothing to cultivate it.
And that’s the kicker.
You have to be dedicated. And willing to…..talk to a therapist, journal your heart out, get active, eat healthy, go to bed early, give up complaining, have the difficult conversation….or whatever it looks like for you to DO THE WORK.
You have to be willing to prioritize your needs, your wants, your passions, your desires. And you need to be willing to sacrifice the predictable path. Which (yep, I get it) takes a hell of a lot of trust in yourself….and the universe.
Happiness is the scarier path. Because it is the one that demands more of you.
But it is also the more fulfilling path. The one that will leave you looking back at your life, thinking, “Holy shit! I did that!”
Bring the magic
For the longest time, I was the person counting down the hours to the weekend. Agonizing over my boring job. Living for Friday night.
Until I wasn’t anymore.
Because I chose not to be.
Also? I am now embracing the mailbox magic.
I have turned myself into the mailbox fairy. And have started leaving little trinkets for the kids to find.
Because why not?
It is waayyyy more exciting than real-estate.
“Cannon baaaalllllll!” I watch from the opposite end of the pool as my son bravely careens into the water. The other adults in the pool (who are all trying not to get their hair wet) scoff at the massive wave of water they just got hit with.
They see a “little kid.” Young and naive.
I see my son. Who, at one point in his life, hated water so much, he protested baths for a week.
Kids are allowed to change. They’re allowed to grow up. In fact, we expect them to.
But for some reason, we decide that….at some point…..they’re done. They reach 18….or 21…or “married-with-kids,” and they’re “all grown up.” They are who they are.
Sure, we may not continue to mark their height on the wall. They’re done shooting up like a beanstalk.
But that doesn’t mean they’re done growing.
It’s just….that growth….is no longer physical. It’s no longer measurable in pencil marks.
But here’s the thing. Humans love SAME. CERTAIN. And PREDICTABLE.
We cling to KNOWN QUANTITIES. And we resist change.
Once we decide so-and-so is such-and-such, we leave it at that.
Box that shit up, and tie it with a bow.
Why? Well, if I had to guess….I’d say it’s a serial case of disappointing-ice-cream-itus.
What the hell is that?
It’s the experience of going to Dairy Queen, and ordering the same Smartie Blizzard. Every. Damn. Time.
I do this.
And I do it, because I know it made me happy in the past. And guess what? I want to feel happy again. Therefore, I order it. For the thousandth time.
Because, heaven forbid, I order something new, and it’s a disappointment….and I’m sitting there, stuffing my face full of disappointing ice cream…..wishing I had ordered the thing I KNEW I would love. For sure.
It’s a combination of hedging my bets on the surest outcome, not wanting to experience regret…..and pure motha-fucking LAZINESS.
The trusted brand of happiness
OK. But am I the only one? And does it stop at ice-cream?
We all do this kind of thing. And disappointing ice-cream? Can take many forms.
My parents, for instance.
They live in a house that could be the set of a 1980s movie. The bar in the basement literally has beer on the shelves, from 1983.
Their lives could be defined as a struggle for homeostasis.
Anything that throws them off of “same old same old” is like a real-life Pac-Man invader. They try so hard to outrun change. Clinging to the same brand of happiness that they’ve trusted their whole entire lives.
In fact, my mom was wearing an outfit the other day, that I can remember her wearing when I was in Kindergarten…..30 years ago. White turtle neck underneath a red Northern Reflections sweatshirt. Again. 80s.
So for them, it’s the physical STUFF in their lives. Artifacts that remind them of how they defined happiness in the past…..and therefore…..how they define it now.
Not that they’re materialistic. Not at all. They just....don’t see the need for change. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
The pain of loss
But the ironic thing is….we only ever lose what we cling to.
Mind blowing. Right?
That’s Buddha’s wisdom. Not mine.
But it is SO true. We try SO desperately to make things…people….places…experiences…OURS. And yet, the more we OWN them, the more we are disappointed when they inevitably change, evolve or die.
We actually experience MORE pain when we hold something close (then lose it)….than when we simply allow things to drift in and out of our lives.
And trust me. I don’t think that means we should never experience things deeply. I think it just means….we shouldn’t ATTACH ourselves to the things we feel deeply about.
Easier said than done. I know.
The temptation to turn NOW into FOREVER
Take relationships, for example.
Some of them? Amazing. Others? Become familiar security blankets.
I mean, tell me it isn’t true that A TON of people are staying in their current relationship because, well…..disappointing ice-cream.
They don’t want to get out of their shitty relationship, because their next relationship could be even shittier. And they’d rather bathe in shit, because they know what to expect from it….rather than chance the unknown.
I am convinced it is one of the reasons marriage even exists at all. The very human desire to turn NOW into FOREVER. No questions asked.
Marriage is a declaration. You are mine and I am yours.
And trust me. There is something sooooo romantic about that. I know. It feels so fucking good to be “chosen.”
But when it ends in divorce….like my relationship did….the pain is immeasurable. Because there is a sense of betrayal.
“What do you mean I’m losing you?! You PROMISED I wouldn’t lose you.”
I think good....healthy....relationships are out there. And they are the kind that encourage growth and change....despite the fear of growing apart.....but I don't think saying "I do" (or not) is what makes them great.
The freedom of allowing happiness to change form
To me, the art of living does not consist of clinging to a familiar kind of happiness….just for familiarities sake. The art of living is in allowing happiness to change form, without being disappointed by that change.
Happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.
This is one of the reasons why I live in an apartment. It is one of the reasons I plan to lease my next vehicle. And it is also one of the reasons why my Tinder profile is set to “casual.”
There is so much pressure in society to OWN. To possess.
But I actually really like the idea of being able to ride the wave. Then to catch the next one.
There is beauty in release. And sometimes we don’t even realize how hard we are gripping onto something. Until we let go, that is. At which point, we notice how weird it is NOT to hold onto that thing anymore.
But truly, it is the moment when we have nothing to lose….that we become the most courageous. We are only timid when there is something we can cling to.
And it is my mission to jump off as many cliffs as I can. Not out of reckless abandon, or a refusal to commit. But rather, to allow my own happiness the opportunity to CONTINUALLY grow.
There are certain foundational elements to my life that will always be there. Love, for instance. Particularly, the love for my kiddos. But I am open to experiencing that love in ever-changing ways. And not just getting into a rut of....this is how I love you.
Cultivate your own happiness
Because I am a happiness junky. And I realize that in order to cultivate that happiness to its truest potential, I’m gonna have to push myself to keep growing.
So here’s my promise to you (and I’d love for you to do the same). The next time I go to DQ? I’m gonna order a flavour I’ve never had before.
And yes. We’ll all be chancing the experience of disappointing ice-cream. BUT! It may just be the best decision of your life.
Cinderella is a badass. And you wanna know why?
Cinderella? Made. Shit. Happen. She Drake-ed it. She started from the bottom….and Toosie slid right into the life she wanted.
Now, you may be tempted to argue here. After all. There was magic involved.
But just wait. Let me bat your scepticism outta the park.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a hardcore believer in manifestation.
WTF is manifestation?
A kind of…..co-creation between the universe, and your own mind….in order to invent the life that you truly want.
Which is less bibbity-bobbity-boo than you think.
I am more fulfilled than ever. Full of love. Driven. At peace. And living my purpose.
I’m no longer “getting through” my days. No longer working for the weekend. And no longer fighting deep-seeded, bone-chilling unhappiness. In fact, I was on a date, just the other day, and one of the first things the guy said to me was…. “you’re really happy aren’t you? I can tell….you’re really happy.”
Fuck yes I’m happy! And thank you for noticing!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not “done.” There are SO many things in my life that I want to create. Baaaddd. But knowing what I know….about how I got to even….THIS point?! I know it’s just a matter of time.
Cocky? Maybe. But that’s the first rule of manifestation.
1. Believe that you CAN manifest AT ALL.
The universe will match whatever vibration you put out. And in order to raise your vibration, you’ve got to believe that everything is available to you.
Now, Cinderella was in a baaaad place, man. She mopped floors for a living. And aside from ridiculously adorable mice….her only friend was her OWN REFLECTION in the bubbles from (yep!) dirty mop water.
But IMO, Cinderella got the keys to the kingdom (literally), because she NEVER PLAYED THE VICTIM. And this? Is the second rule of manifestation.
2. Believe that you are EMPOWERED.
Not once does Cinderella ever say….. “Oh for fucks sake. What did I ever do to deserve this?! My life is ruined. I’m done for.”
She was victimized. But she was never a victim. And she never let her circumstances define her.
She never mopes. She never pouts. And she never writes herself off.
She never lets the fact that she’s a servant, get in the way of her dreams.
I can remember getting this exact wake-up call from one of my best friends. In the midst of my divorce, I would spill my guts out in chapter-long texts, and anytime I would dip into…. “woe is me,” she would remind me that I was empowered to choose my perspective. And that I was empowered to choose my future.
Which brings me to the next rule of manifestation. Know what the fuck you want in the first place.
3. Define what you want (and be prepared to get it)
Oftentimes, people have only a vague idea of what they want out of life. I wanna travel. I wanna be a good mom. I wanna be happy.
All good things.
But Jesus. Those goals? Are the equivalent of asking someone to go to the grocery store and get you…. “food.”
That person may well come home with a single head of broccoli. Or 17 cartons of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
I write in a journal every single morning. What do I write about? Things I want in life. And let me tell you. When you’re sitting on the balcony of your own 2 BR apartment, and you flip back to page 1, and see that one of the things you wanted, was a….. 2 BR apartment with a balcony. It kind of blows your mind.
Get specific, girlfriend. Otherwise the universe ain’t gonna know what to serve up.
Did Cinderella know what she wanted? You bet your ass she did. The very second she heard about the ball, she started thinking…..what the hell am I gonna wear?! (like ANY woman naturally would). And she drew up the blue-print.
She started making her own dress. And only when the time clock was running out, did her animal friends step in and finish it for her.
If you want something in life, you have to let your imagination run wild. It is the preview…the “coming attractions” of your future life. And the more specific you get, the better.
But wait a minute. You can have rules one, two AND three nailed….and still not get what you want….if you don’t take ACTUAL steps in the right direction.
Rule number four?
4. Take inspired action
Remember when I said your reality is a co-creation? Ya. It’s a cooperative project. And let me tell you. I have come up with some WILD dreams….only to fail in taking ANY steps whatsoever to make them happen.
They stay in incubation mode.
And they never seem to get off the ground.
Because, while intent is the seed of manifestation, action is the water that makes it grow. Your actions must reflect your dreams in order for success to happen.
Sometimes? Taking action looks like writing a blog post every Sunday, because you know you want to be a NY Times Bestselling author.
Other times? Success simply looks like SEEING THE OPPORTUNITIES AROUND YOU. And jumping on them.
Cinderella nearly pulls it off. The mice have done a half-ass job of stitching the last bow in place. And then, what do you know? Her ugly step-sisters rip the dress to shreds.
THIS? Is no accident.
THIS? Is what the universe often does, in the midst of our goal-chasing endeavours. She throws a wrench into things….just to see how bad you want it.
Do you back down? Or do you get back out there and make shit happen?!
Cue the Fairy Godmother.
At this point? Cinderella could have very well concluded that she must have just done mushrooms. And gone home to bed. Or! She could have decided that all these hurdles were a sign…she shouldn’t go to the ball, no matter what this kooky wand-wielding Granny had to say.
But no. She accepts help (one of the hardest things any of us will ever do on the path to success)…and she hops in that fucking carriage.
She sees the opportunity that is placed before her. And she takes action.
How many times have we been blind to the opportunities right in front of us?! How many times have we NOT hopped in the carriage that is waiting for us?!
Awareness is part of the formula. Action is part of the formula. But so too, is intention. Which is the last ingredient in this manifestation recipe.
5. Show up with LOVE
If ever you’re acting out of spite, greed, or malice? Your chances of success drop dramatically.
Not once does Cinderella get all “Imma show those bitches who the hottest damn chick in the club is! Das right!”
She shows up with love.
She stays focused on her own goals. And she doesn’t let the opinions of other people influence her agenda.
I can’t even begin to tell you the difference it makes to show up to my dreams with a servant’s heart. Wanting to impact. To inspire. To share. Rather than trying to bamboozle people out of money.
You bring a different energy to the table when you’re acting out of desperation or self-centredness. And the universe doesn’t vibe with negativity. Ever.
Which brings me back to my date.
It went well! There was definitely a happy ending!
And I am 100% convinced it went so well? Because I showed up, already happy. I showed up with love.
And so? I rest my case. Cinderella is a badass. And so are you. Start manifesting what you want in life. And high-five the universe, all the way to bank.
It is 9:30 pm, and I’m nearly asleep. Except, I can hear the sound of marker on paper. A rainbow. A heart. A monster. My daughter is drawing something. And she is entirely focused on making it “just so.”
I’ve told her she can sit at the desk, and colour, if she’s having trouble falling asleep. And like a mini workaholic who can’t shut down at the end of the day, she sits. The desk light playing with her tiny shadow, making her seem way bigger than she is.
This is a girl who knows exactly what she wants. And she’ll fight anyone who gets in her way.
If she ain't tired, she ain’t sleeping. End of story.
Currently? She is in the midst of a kitchen chair protest. She stands at the table for every meal. Why? Who knows why. But she’s decided she’s taking a stand. Literally.
Feisty, this one. And as much as she invites all-out-rage in me, sometimes? I have to applaud her “I want THIS and ONLY THIS attitude.”
She doesn’t settle. And she stands up to anyone and anything that tries to bend her. Including the wind.
I am desperate for her to hold onto this sense of SURENESS. To live by her own rules.
And I want to teach her, more than anything, that doing things a little differently is 100% ok. Different is not wrong. And following your gut…your heart….that whisper in your ear…..it is more important than blindly following the fold, and letting the noise of the world drown out your own voice.
“Rules were made to be broken,” I say. “Just try not to hurt yourself. Or other people.”
Odd advice from your own mother, perhaps.
But what it comes down to? Is self-love.
What is self-love, anyways?
Self-love is about getting quiet enough to hear your own truth. It is about getting still enough to know your own thoughts.
And this? Is what living alone….for the first time EVER…..has made me realize.
When I first told my parents I was getting a divorce, one of the first things they said was…. “but, what if you’re lonely?”
They had my best interests at heart. But honestly?
Being alone has been the most peaceful thing I have ever experienced.
Never in my life have I been so in tune with who I am. And who I am? Is entirely comfortable with being alone.
It’s a kind of peace that perpetuates itself.
And it’s weird, because there’s a part of me that feels guilty for being so happy. Shouldn’t I want a “partner in crime?” A yin to my yang? A Ross to my Rachel?
Must like dogs
Sure. I’m not gonna lie. I’m all about the online dating scene. Partly to get my flirt on, and live out my “20s” in my “30s” on a Friday night. No promise rings please. But also? Partly for the hilarity of the whole shimozzle.
It is entertaining as fuck.
One guy’s profile stated that he “likes his coffee, how he likes his women. Without other men’s dicks in them.”
Wasn’t super attracted to him. But I gave him a right hook anyways, just to commend his blatant honesty and humour. He’s obviously been through some shit.
Another guy? Wanted a girl “who is willing to kill her own spiders.” An immediate leftie. Good luck, man. That is a rare breed. And definitely not me.
Also? It is a fascinating process to try and write your own dating profile. Who the fuck am I? In 2-3 sentences.
Even if you’re not single. I dare you to do it. It’s very telling.
Are you hi-jacking your own alone time?
Living alone….being single….it forces you to get comfortable with your own company. And for some, that aloneness is a red flag…..a shot to the ego that screams…. “you’re not good enough!”
But it’s all about perspective. And in my opinion, there isn’t enough alone-ness going on in society.
People are obsessed with partnering up, as if life is one giant game of rock-paper-scissors, and it’s impossible to play by yourself.
But even if you’re reading this, and you have THE BEST rock-paper-scissors partner EVER, I beg of you to consider what it would be like to spend more time by yourself.
I’m not a divorce pusher. Trust me, I’m not.
Each to their own, I say!
But truly……when was the last time you spent some quality time….ALONE?
I’m gonna guess it was when you were driving to work. Folding laundry. Chopping vegetables.
Or in the shower. This morning. For eight minutes.
And during those eight minutes, you likely:
(b) replayed a conversation (“why did I say that?!”)
(c) ran through your to-do list
(d) practiced an argument you might have (“if he says that, I’m gonna let loose on his ass”)
(e) criticized yourself for a mistake you made
(f) got yourself off
What do all of those things have in common? With the exception of the last one….they are all things that took place in the past, or may take place in the imagined future. And none of them allow you to just BE.
(Side note….I’m also not an orgasm pusher. But please, if you’re gonna do any of those things in the shower, make it f. F all the way).
So if the limited alone time you DO get is hijacked by past-you and future-you…..where does that leave present you? Where does that leave you time to hear your own voice? Where does that leave space for self-love?
The secret to self-love
My opinion? The self-love for dummies version?
You likely don’t have enough boring in your life. Enough “huh….what now?”
Spend time by yourself. And more than just the time it takes for you to snap a selfie.
Because for me, it is in those moments, that I have learned a little more about myself.
I have been able to set down expectations. Demands. And compromise. And I have listened to what I want.
And maybe coffee guy and I have more in common than I think. Because one of the things I’ve realized? Is I don’t like dicks in my coffee either.
I love indie folk (oh ya! I forgot about that genre).
Painted nails make me feel 22% sexier.
I want to learn how to surf.
The smell of cinnamon raison bread baking…..is the best smell on earth.
Discover who you are and what you want
And the more time I spend with myself, the more I realize…..I am a woman who knows what she wants. And I won’t let anyone, or anything bend me. Not even the wind.
Find stillness. Find quiet. Find peace.
Find more than 8 minutes to hang out with yourself. And see what kind of things bubble up to the surface. Who you are. What you want. And how you like your coffee.
The destructive power of self-pity….and the abundance that is waiting for you, when you stop the pity party
As a mom, public humiliation is a near daily occurrence. Especially when you have a drama queen for a daughter.
“Let’s get out of the water, and hang out at the play structure!” I say.
We’re at the beach. And Clara is unimpressed with the suggestion. My son, Liam, is all about it though. So we slowly make our way to the shore.
I help towel Liam off, and look over to see Clara flopping around on the ground….her wet body getting caked in dry sand. She then looks at me in disgust, as if I made her do it.
She’s deliberately making a bad situation worse. And she is pitying herself. haaarrrrd.
Why does she do it?
Partly, it’s attention. But also, it’s a power play. She feels a lack of control. And the best way she knows how to deal with it, is to invite excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness to the party. Because then? Then! Someone might see how forlorn she is….and hand her what she truly wants.
Oh the injustice! Surely, someone will come to her rescue.
The pattern of self-pity
I know this pattern well. Not only because Clara uses it all the time (cue the B-roll footage of the Fruit-Loops vs Cheerios meltdown at the grocery store)…but because I too have used this strategy.
And what I’ve come to realize? Is that self-pity is THE most destructive mindset on the planet.
It is the equivalent of locking the door to your own success. Your own happiness. Your own peace.
Because it takes away all sense of ownership to those things. And worse? It places all the power for change, outside of your control.
Woe-is-me = Woah-is-me
A broken heart? It takes time to heal. But what makes a bad situation even worse, is slipping into “woe-is-me” for the long-haul.
Lately, my theme song is “It’s Raining Men.” Why? Because ’80s disco is highly underrated. Hallelujah, amen!
But also. Because I recently stopped feeling sorry for myself, after being told….. “we had our time, Linds.”
I stopped holding space for the idea that I was shattered….beat up….on the losing side of the battle. Instead? I started to believe that I was worthy of love.
I crave it. I want it. And I’ve set my own thermostat to “looking for casual fun.” Which in turn….attracts casual fun.
And Jesus. That’s all it is. You want abundance? Look for it. Stop closing your eyes. Stop busying yourself with rolling in the sand.
I pity the fool….who throws a pity a party for way too long
This same thing? Has happened with money.
For a long time, I was living from paycheque to paycheque. Buying the discount fruit (only a bit of mold). Drinking the bargain wine (just plug your nose). And getting by with the same underwear I wore in my college years (see “lack of men” discussion above. This may have been a contributing factor).
I’ve been desperate to move into my own apartment….living with my parents apres-divorce (also a likely contributing factor to the same “lack of men” problem above). And although I’ve been teetering on making that happen? It wasn’t until I realized I was pitying myself (look at me, struggling entrepreneur!)….that I could turn my mindset around.
How the fuck did I do that?
When waffling over moving into an apartment (“I don’t know if I can quite afford it”), my best friend gave me the advice…. “you can manifest that shit, Linds.”
I put down the deposit.
And low and behold, in the coming weeks, my income increased. Like….substantially.
I knew I had to make shit happen. But also? I adjusted my internal thermostat (yet again!)….to “looking for money.” Which in turn….attracts money.
You want it? Look for it
My god. This lesson? Has been huge for me.
And yet? It seems too simple.
Can it really be as easy as…..you want it, look for it?
I think it is.
The mind is a powerful thing. Hell, I once heard a story about a guy who thought himself to death, after being locked in a freezer. The freezer was broken (it was room temperature), and yet, the guy convinced himself he was freezing to death. And did.
It’s not a matter of straining really really hard. Wanting something desperately. With every fibre of your being.
It’s also not a matter of tantrum-ing with all your might. And hoping someone will right your wrong.
It’s more like….getting out of your own way.
It’s more like….orienting your mind.
It’s more like…..bringing awareness to the thing you truly want, and ditching the sense of lack that goes along with it.
Create aTinder profile….for you life
I almost liken it to creating a Tinder profile for your life. It takes balls to admit you want something, because shit….if you fail, and don’t get that thing? Zero hits? There’s all kinds of disappointment. And your ego? Ya. Pissed right off.
There’s something extremely vulnerable about admitting “want.” Because in the wrong hands, it could be interpreted as “not good enough.”
(Side note? There is a disproportionate number of “hunters” on Tinder. Or at least, a disproportionate number of men holding trophy carcasses…..which is SUCH a turn-off. And would be, even if I wasn’t a vegetarian).
But if you don’t WANT it….if you don’t LOOK for it….you’ll never get it.
Put it out there!
Looking for: a job I love!
Looking for: a hot bod when naked!
Looking for: a meditation app that doesn’t put me to sleep!
You want it? Stop pretending you’re a special snowflake. Like life is “sooooo haaarrrrd for me….but, like, especially me. Poor me. I’m not getting my way!”
Open the door to abundance
If this past month has taught me anything, it’s that we all have the power to reach for what we want. And if you’re waiting for someone to hand it to you? You’re only gonna end up with sand in your bathing suit.
I am slowly learning how to stop making a bad situation, worse.
And good god. I have never felt more blessed. More lucky. More abundant. More laid. More rich. And more happy.
I stuff my mom’s old wedding dress into my suitcase, and force the zipper closed. Even my suitcase is protesting the idea of marriage.
The celebration? My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. The emotions? Mixed. And I’m not exactly sure how to deal with it.
On the one hand, I feel incredible warmth. These are two people that I love deeply. And Jesus. They’ve shared a journey and a half together! They met when they were teenagers, for god’s sake. And although I’ve only ever witnessed a quick peck here and there….I hear stories about make-out sessions they used to have….my dad’s younger sisters peeking through the crack the in the door. An “education” they called it.
When I was little, I was well aware of the phrase, “opposites attract,” and I always felt that it applied to my parents, perfectly. My dad….tall, quiet, stoically hilarious, and extremely athletic. My mom…..short, boisterous, and could easily make friends with a fly on the wall.
They never seemed “in love,” to me. But love was there. In a kind of….yin yang respectful way. They did their own shit. They settled into their own roles. And they never wavered from them.
To this day….my mom bakes….because my dad has a sweet tooth. My dad calls when he’s gonna be late….because my mom is a worry wart.
They watch tv on different floors of the house. Her? Y&R. Him? Survivor.
But I think I’ve always wondered……have they always been happy together? Like….TRULY happy?
I don’t doubt they would say “yes,” if I asked them. Or some kind of wise variation of “yes”…..you know….the kind of bullshit that people write on post-it notes at a wedding shower. The secret to a long marriage is…..(pick your cliche).
How marriage defines us
When I lived in BC, my dad would come to visit on business. Just him. And we’d go out for dinner. It was a rare occasion to get the guy alone, and it always surprised me that he’d pick Indian, or Thai, or something with bold, bright flavours. My mom hates spicy food. And she’s got a solid rotation of roast beef, stew, meatloaf, and tuna-noodle casserole.
I’d tell my dad about the plans I have to travel to Bali, or South Korea, or Portugal….and he’d chime in, and say…. “You should go to Africa! I would go there in a heartbeat!” But my mom is a homebody. She hates to travel. And so they don’t. Travel, that is.
I’d mention….I’m kind of getting into Buddhism. I like the principles. He’d tell me…. “I actually think there’s something to the idea of re-incarnation.” And yet, he goes to the same Christian church he’s gone to for the last 35 years….with my mom.
As a kid, you always sort of wonder about your parents’ sex life (as vomit-worthy as it is to imagine.) I can remember “walking in on them” once. When I was 5 or 6, I barged into my parents’ room after a bad dream, only to be met with a panic of blankets being tossed into the air (“Lindsay! What do you want?!?”). The next day? My parents installed a lock on their door.
Smart move. And yet….I’m not sure how often it was actually used after that.
Older couples often tell you that everyone goes through a transition in their marriage. You go from being romantic partners…..to companions. Sex stops altogether, and you just…..enjoy growing old together.
And maybe that’s true. But is everyone happy with that?
Fuck marriage….I think
After my own divorce, the idea of marriage has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I can no longer fathom evolving and growing alongside a single person….through ups and downs, twists and turns…..for the rest of my life.
I mean, fuck. I thought I could do it. I followed the formula. I created a replica of my own parents’ marriage (or so I thought)….
And yet, it left me feeling hollow. And unfulfilled. And unhappy.
In the weeks following the initial break of my marriage, I can remember stuffing my brain with books by Esther Perel and Wednesday Martin…..convinced that human beings weren’t meant to be monogamous at all.
“We’ve got it all wrong”….I thought….”These rules of marriage….this promise we force everyone to make….it’s archaic!”
I took a hard swing towards the side of polyamory. Certain that love was not finite. That the heart could withstand connection without ownership, labels, or a sense of possession over someone else.
Turns out….that kind of love is incredibly hard to pull off, and requires monk-like levels of enlightenment that, frankly, I just do not have.
And so, I am left with all kinds of skepticism about marriage. Not sure if I just didn’t do it right, or if no one is doing it right.
Not sure if I want freedom to roam, right now….or for the rest of my life.
Can marriage support personal development?
I can remember the conversation I had with my parents, telling them all the reasons I wanted to get a divorce. None of them making any sense to them.
“You want freedom? You want independence? You want to be inspired by someone who can keep up with your growth (and push you to grow even more)? What the hell do you mean? Those aren’t ‘irreconcilable differences,’ are they?”
For me, levelling up, expanding, pushing the boundaries, realizing your own potential, and evolving….it is the PURPOSE of life. And I think sometimes, marriage can restrain that.
Personal growth is…..personal. And when a shift happens in a dramatic way, it can feel like the other person you are sharing a life with, is no longer walking beside you. And THAT is a scary feeling. Because you don’t know if the person will EVER catch up. And if it’s even possible for them to catch up at all.
It is my worst nightmare to settle into the La-Z-Boy version of who I am. Comfortable. Domestic. Reliably familiar. To no longer reach for a higher version of myself. Simply because, well, my husband needs me to fulfill a certain role.
I think about the life my dad could have had. The way he could have pushed himself outside of his own comfort zone. The way he could have lived with boldness, and abandon. Backpacking the world. Learning how to cook exotic dishes. Becoming a Buddhist.
And yet, he’d probably be the first to tell you, that trading that life….the life he could have had….for the one he was now, would be a definite no.
But then again, his definition of happiness is probably very different than mine. His definition of the purpose of life, is probably very different than mine.
How do we measure the success of marriage?
I raise my glass, and cheers my parents. “To fifty years!” we all say.
I stop and wonder, if there is a different marker of success we can use, when it comes to marriage. Rather than simply….the passage of time.
To me? A successful relationship would be one in which both people grow and evolve…..so much so, that they look almost nothing like the individuals who first entered the relationship. A simultaneous yet independent evolution….like a game of tennis.
But is that kind of relationship even possible?
I’m not sure I trust that it does.
I wander up to my parents’ room, at the hotel we’re all staying at for the big celebration. I chuckle at the locked door, knowing full well that there’s no way in hell I was interrupting anything.
I knock. My dad opens the door. And it’s hot and stuffy in the room.
“I hate the sound of the air conditioner at night,” says my mom.
I wonder……but does my dad?
Maybe he doesn’t give a shit. Maybe I’m projecting my own ideals onto their relationship, and casting judgment in the meantime.
If there’s one thing divorce has taught me, it’s that no one has ANY right to decide what is “right” or “wrong” for another couple. In fact, I’ve begged my family to grant me that same level of acceptance.
Happiness…success….fulfilment…..it is truly your own to define. Even if you struggle to define it.
“Did you put on sunscreen?” my mom asks.
“Yes, I did!” says my Dad.
I hear this exact conversation. Every single morning.
And it drives me nuts.
My dad, being the health nut that he is, goes out for a bike ride, or a walk, at 7:55 am, every day.
My mom, being the caring, over-protective, anxious type that she is, makes it her mission in life to ensure that no one gets sunburnt, no one forgets their keys, and no one puts mushrooms in the pasta sauce (my sister doesn’t like them).
Awwwww. How sweet, you might say.
And yes, it comes from a loving place.
But when you live with someone (day in and day out), who is trying their damnedest to bubble wrap everyone, and everything…..well…..it’s waring.
I know this.
Because for the last 17 months, I have been living with my parents.
And at 37 years old….it is pretty much the last piece of information you want to divulge to anyone.
Particularly the hot guy you go out for nachos and beer with.
“Your place, or mine?” he inquires.
(My high voice comes out in full force)
“Uuuummmmm…..let me see….maybe yours?” (please god, tell me that sounded nonchalant)
But when you leap off the cliff of life…..and you somehow find the balls to “start over”…..it is so often your parents who are there to catch you.
For me? My do-over, is divorce.
And it’s a decision that has made me a bit of an outcast. In some circles.
New beginnings are polarizing. And everyone seems to have an opinion about whether or not you’re making the “right” or “wrong” choice.
My parents? In the “wrong” choice camp. Which makes their support all the more difficult to receive (never mind how difficult it must be for them to GIVE it).
And don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful AF.
But after almost 20 years of independence….it’s….a humbling experience….to have to play by someone else’s rules. Especially when there’s an undercurrent of disappointment in the air.
“I’m in transition.” I tell people.
“My new life is….in the works.”
And there are days when those words feel true….and days when those words feel like a complete lie.
But my god. That’s “starting over” for you.
It’s a free-fall for a while. And more like a tilt-a-whirl than a roller-coaster.
But then one day, you land. And you start to find your bearings.
And the boulder you’ve been pushing, in this uphill battle to reorient your life….it actually starts moving.
And you almost don’t believe it, because well, you’ve been digging in your heels, giving everything you have, for so long. And that thing hasn’t budged.
I am now 2 weeks away from moving into my own apartment. And it scares the shit out of me.
Which is insane, because I’ve wanted it for so long.
But when the thing that’s existed only in your dreams, drops down to earth….it’s almost like….it can’t be trusted.
Movement is scary. Because, strangely, you were getting comfortable with being stuck.
And really? What I’m finding, is that “starting over” is a totally different thing than “starting.”
When you start something? Everyone is psyched for you.
You’re getting married?! You get an engagement party, a shower, a bachelorette weekend getaway, AND an over-the top wedding day!
You’re getting divorced? You get a trip to IKEA by yourself, and months of (literally!) rebuilding your life.
My mom, unsure how to support her daughter through a decision she does not support….got me 2 new frying pans. It’s….I care….but I’d rather you didn’t do this.
People love to celebrate new….but not necessarily new beginnings.
And depending on your perspective, new beginnings either scream “you fucked up” or “you’re growing.”
I have friends who are beyond psyched for me. They’re all….exclamation marks, and party gifs.
But I also have family members who are all…..good for you. Period.
Which…as a people pleaser? Kills me.
But change? It’s personal.
And if you’re gonna play the “clean slate” card (which….my god….it is anything but clean), you’ve gotta be ok with pissing some people off.
I think back to the day I moved into my parents’ place. Convinced that it would be a two….three month stay, tops.
And…..well? We all know how that turned out.
But that’s the other thing. Starting over is almost never…..wham bam thank you mam. It is full of false-starts, and exhausted “I give-ups” and second strength. It takes way longer than you think it’s gonna take. And for a long while, it feels like you’re walking in the dark, hands outstretched, not sure if you’re about to run into a wall, or an open road.
And so, as my reno’d life begins to take shape, I give my mid-air cliff jumping self a hug. Don’t worry, girl. It’ll turn out.
I am FILLED with pure fucking joy.
Even though I know. This summer? I’m gonna get a sunburn or two, and kind of wish my mom had warned me to put sunscreen on before I left home.