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Posts Tagged ‘#selfaware’

Look at how pretty this PSL is! Now I'm going to DRINK IT!

Look at how pretty this PSL is! It can’t be THAT bad for me… right?

The last couple months have been more eventful than I can cover in one blog post. Between health shifts and family drama, my life has been one resurrected evil twin away from a daytime soap opera.

However, that hasn’t been the main reason for my writing hiatus.  No, it’s more due to the fact that I can’t drink coffee anymore. At least, I can’t drink caffeinated coffee which is really the only kind that matters.

A couple months back I figured out that I had adrenal fatigue. Nothing deadly as long as you get it early but it means I had to cut sugar, caffeine, and alcohol right out of my diet. Unless you’re close to death I would never recommend doing this. I’m not going to sugar coat this guys, (haha, sugar coat, get it? Get the pun? *sobs*) not having caffeine or wine in my life has been a major life change. I’m not saying I’m an alcoholic but I will fully admit to being a caffeine-addict.

The thing is, these two things were my basic gifts to me. Neither of them costs a lot (though wowza, it adds up over time) and they both made me happier on bad days and pretty danged spiffy on the good days. I relied on coffee (Soy Americano Mistos with chocolate and cinnamon on top, specifically) and a good glass of wine as my stress relief and gratification for being an adult. Do you know what it’s like to have the two things that hit that pleasure center in your brain taken away??? Sorry, I sound intense about it but that’s because I AM INTENSE ABOUT IT. I essentially had to retrain my brain to deal with stress, sadness, anxiety, and the concept of rewarding myself in a completely different way.

I honestly don't know how parents do it. I can barely take care of myself!

I honestly don’t know how parents do it. I can barely take care of myself!

So now, I watch Bubbles longingly as she drinks wine and I drink decaf coffee. Yes. Decaf coffee. I make sure it’s swiss water organic and you know, it’s not… all bad. I’m not going to tell you that I want to drink it forever but every night I relax with a cup of decaf coffee and I’m grateful to at least have that.

The other downside to not being able to drink real coffee (other than not being able to drink real coffee) is that I really wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to write. Coffee has always been half of my muse. Anytime and every time I wanted to sit down and write I had a good cup of coffee beside me. In fact, I normally went through a couple cups of coffee in one writing session. It got my brain going and my fingers moving. It made me focused and sparked my imagination to create, invent, and breathe life into stories and characters. It opened up whole new worlds of possibilities.

edb6cb91d065fa2c135fcb8f9538d830Without coffee I was worried all the words were going to turn to dust in my head. I wondered if all the voices were going to go silent and all the colors in life would seep away. It terrified me. Writing has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old and probably before. It’s part of how I process and a huge part of how I cope. It also simply makes me happy.

I didn’t even try to write for those first two months. Frankly, even if I’d wanted to I didn’t have the energy to know where to begin. Without my constant stimulant I was exhausted and left to deal with the reality of my energy levels, which were beyond low at that point. Everything was overwhelming. Getting up, getting dressed, and going to work seemed like Mount Everest. The fact that I had to feed myself seemed an unfair and impossible task. I was exhausted. I was also rather grumpy.

But I did it. I started drinking insane amounts of green tea since it was the only thing not banned on the list and I started getting healthy in a way I’d never tried before. I’m not saying I’m quite there yet. I still have at least 3-4 months to go before I can even begin to contemplate having some of my favorite treats again (though I do cheat here and there. Come on, Pumpkin Spice Lattes came back to Starbucks! Cut me some slack! I made it decaf AND half sweet!) but my energy levels are so much better than they used to be that I feel like a brand new person. And that person is less likely to take the quickest answer and more likely to really look for the right solution, even if it takes some time. 

I’ve also learned a lot in the last couple of months. I’ve learned how to slow down and have more patience, not just with myself but with the life around me. I’m beginning to understand that good things can take time and those things are definitely worth waiting and working for. It’s so easy to get into the grind of rushing through things without taking the time to experience life and really appreciate the smaller things. Besides all that it did sort of fit into my, “Learn how to love me” year. No better way to learn about yourself than to take away all the things you rely on.

And that leads us to today, right here and right now as I sit, typing away at my laptop, sans caffeine. Turns out the words are all still there. The wind that my creativity rides on is still flying and frankly, I think

Lighting one bulb at a time ;)

Lighting one bulb at a time 😉

it might be stronger than ever. I have a  little less time to write now as I need more rest and I have to make everything from scratch but things are settling down and fall is here! Nanowrimo is just around the corner (National Novel Writing Month if you’ve never heard of it, http://nanowrimo.org/) and I can’t tell you how excited I am. Bubbles is planning her wedding (Woot!), the training at my new job is almost done, and there are a lot of wonderful things on the horizon. So here we go, Alons-y as the Doctor used to say, and bring on the decaf!

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It’s come to my attention that people actually read this blog. At least two of them. Which I take as an impressive win and is also slightly terrifying, but I’ll get over it.

 

I meant to catch up ages ago, I really did. I’m not the best at organizing my life and my time and something always falls to the wayside, actually a few things tend to get neglected and this time it was my blogspace. But I’m back baby! And I have some fun stories for you.

 

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Beautiful view over the Duquesne Line

First off, I moved! I’m a little closer to the city with an amazing view of Toronto. I love this place. I’m right off the highway for work and right beside bloor west village for fun and I cannot wait to discover all the new memories I’m going to have. My new roomie, Bubbles, is amazing. We’ve been having so much fun and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. We went to Pittsburgh for a wedding recently and I discovered a few things about myself as a Canadian.

 

  1. We apologize excessively. I never realized how much I apologized until no one was saying “sorry” back and some people just stared at me like I might be a little funny in the head. I’m sorry. I’m Canadian.
  2. I have underestimated the states. I have been blinded by tv stereotypes and taken aback by how much they love eagles and the flag. However, Pennsylvania is beautiful. It was a stunning drive with magnificent hilly backdrops, beautiful trees, scenery, and wonderful people. Everyone was so friendly and had an adorable accent. Yes I found bed sheets that were essentially the American flag but I suppose it’s as normal to them as saying sorry is to us. We went up The Duquesne Incline on a rainy Monday and had a wonderful conversation with Margaret, a great grandmother who I bought my Pittsburgh magnet from. If you haven’t been, you should go. It’s about 5 hours away from Toronto and worth the drive.
  3. Cheese sauce. Apparently putting real cheese on fries is a Canadian thing. As someone who doesn’t eat bread I’ve come to rely heavily on restaurants and fast food chains offering poutine. America has cheese fries but let me tell you, not an ounce of dairy is wasted on these things. Stay away. Just say no kids. Just say no.

 

I could gush about my trip and rant about cheese sauce for ages but that’s not what I want to chat about today. Not that long ago I wrote about goals and my drive to discover my own wants and needs and to experience new things. Pittsburgh was definitely a new thing. While we were there we took a trip to Target and bought some drapes for the living room. I can’t explain why that made me feel so accomplished. Bubbles and I each bought a set, the colors match our livingroom perfectly. We put them up the other day and they now accent the edges of the large window, giving the CN tower a beautiful frame. They weren’t overly expensive and they didn’t come with anything special. They do however make me feel… like an adult.

 

For a long time I fought the very concept of making any sort of roots. My parents were either on the verge of splitting up or moving my entire teen life and all I wanted to do as a result was run away to Scotland and mary someone who owned a kilt. (I had high standards). This left me with the feeling that holding on to anything too strongly would ensure that it would leave  me. The best way to live was out of a suitcase and always ready to bolt.

I have this dream that all the guys in Scotland and Ireland look like this. I'm allowed to dream.

I have this dream that all the guys in Scotland and Ireland look like this. I’m allowed to dream.

 

Recently I’ve geared my life towards a much more permanent status. I plan on staying in this apartment for at least a couple years, which in my life may as well be an eternity. I’ve had Bob (my car) for almost two years now, and I’m going on the second year of working at the same company. I know some people need stability and I admire it but most of the time stability felt akin to being tied up and thrown into the ocean. I know, I’m working on it.

 

The thing is, somehow over the last six years or so I’ve made ties and connections that I rely on. I don’t know how I did it, I guess I always told myself I could pick up and move whenever I wanted to, even if I had great friends here. Great friends can be made anywhere. This is still true, if an opportunity that was amazing came along and was in Europe or even other places in Canada I would take it. The difference is I’m not constantly searching for those opportunities to leave anymore. I can have drapes and put pictures up on the wall and make plans for a trip that will happen next year because I’m not running from anything.

 

The wonderful thing about living for yourself instead of constantly finding yourself in other people’s dreams is that you get to have your own dreams. I have a cat now, for better or for worse. I plan on buying my own condo in about 4-5 years. I’m making career choices that will play out over a span of years rather than just taking what’s available and in front of me for the moment. I have a life and it’s kind of beautiful. I have friends who are my family and who I wouldn’t give up for the world. Being a grown up isn’t that bad.

So, here’s to a grown up life! To wine and parties, books and cats, sunshine and balconies and everything that comes with it. Life is ever changing and you can fight the grain or settle in for the ride, throw your hands up in the air and laugh as it speeds down one lane and around the next bend. Thanks for reading.

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I got through the title of this and immediately became distracted by the internet. Seriously, have you BEEN on there lately? It’s a whole world of hilarious comics and cat pictures. Obviously you have since you’re reading this on the internet but honestly, check out those cat pics!

 

Anyways, where was I? Oh ya, changes! I started my last entry with a Pocahontas song, partially because apparently she’s part of my ancestry and also because Just Around the River Bend was a song that basically inspired me as a child. It may also have nourished the idea to never build any “roots” and constantly change my circumstances. Books tell me that’s part of commitment issues but I’m really not here to talk about that today. That comes later!

I promised you a faithful account of my current changing winds and that, my interweb friends, is what you’ll get.

I baked an apple today. Just like on Pinterest, swear to God. I cut out the middle and filled it with granola, put a tiny bit of butter on top and sprinkled it with brown sugar and let me tell you… It. Was. Phenomenal. I’ve always seen it done on Pinterest and dieting websites but i didn’t think it would actually be that good!

Also I worked out! I lasted about 25 minutes before the urge to throw up had me on the couch wishing I was dead but hey, I worked out dammit. This is the second time this week too! See, winds of change!

My idea of barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen

Seriously though, how cute is this!

 

The thing is, I’ve had a lot of pretty intense realizations since I broke up with my ex. I thought he was the one, you know. THE ONE. And I don’t even believe in “the one” as something that exists outside of movies made to make us hate ourselves. We just fit so perfectly as a couple. He never got tired of my “that’s what she said” jokes and he would sent me the most adorable and inappropriate memes. We had so much fun. But then things got pretty serious, we started talking about marriage and as per my last few relationships, that pretty much killed things.

It’s not the relationship ending that has me riding this wave of new beginnings though. Relationships end all the time and (get ready for that Commitment-Phobia – here on in referred to as “C-Phobe”) frankly I kind of expect it (again, we’ll deal with that one later. Let’s start off easy shall we?).

What I realized coming out of this relationship was that I can’t remember a time where I did something for me. I don’t mean that I’m the ultimate martyr here, I have a gold Starbucks card and have no problem getting myself something pretty. I mean I’m always in these relationships that, let’s face it, I don’t honestly believe in, yet for some reason continue to tailor my life around.

For example, my first BF (I was like 19) pretty much expected me to move to Montreal if things worked out between us and I didn’t really have a problem with the fact he expected me to uproot MY life even though he wasn’t willing to do the same thing for me. My second BF wanted me home, pregnant, and barefoot in the kitchen learning how to cook and clean from his beloved mother (shudder), and I went along with it even though I don’t want kids and the idea of having his Euro mom condescendingly teach me how to be her made me want to kill myself. Then we have serious BF #3, this latest one. Adorable and younger than me, also wanted children and to live out in the sticks while he put (here we go again) his mother’s needs before my own. Notice a pattern here? Obviously I need things to hit me in the face with a chair before I take any notice of them.

#I don't use hashtags properly

#truth

So here I am, 27 years old with 30 right around the corner and barely getting a handle on what I really want. As I look back I realize the issue is probably that I honestly don’t know what would make me happy in a relationship so when some guy comes along with this strong image of what he wants I figure, “hey, let’s give it a go!” It’s disturbingly reminiscent of Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, except I don’t have her body and am 5’2.

So this is it, my journey starting at 27. I’m ready to take on the world and my own life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today was baked apple dessert and squats, tomorrow who knows? Every day is a chance to get to know myself better. To get closer to figuring out what makes me happy so I don’t get lost in someone else’s dreams again, only to wake up with a broken heart and a shattered life. I refuse to just ride other people’s motivation. I will search myself, I will search pinterest, and I will find my own damned motivation and carry it with me to the grave.

I do have some ideas for my future endeavors:

 

  • I love Spanish music/dancing so… get more into that!
  • Go to a shooting range and learn all about shiny guns.
  • Finally bake a pie… I don’t know why I never have.
  • Cook something new and different every week – today, baked apples, next week, WHO KNOWS!
  • Finally get that kick boxing bag and set it up in my livingroom.
  • Get to know someone unexpected, someone who I wouldn’t necessarily pick out of a crowd.
  • Maybe finally get some sort of hold on my sugar levels… maybe.
  • Get a freaking bed set, what am I, a college student!?
  • Finally put up pictures in my apartment.
  • Start jogging again. I loved it. I don’t know why I ever stopped.
  • Finish my novel.
  • Start my next novel.
  • Take a self defense class! Hi-ya!
  • Try out braids until I find one that doesn’t make my face look weird.

 

I think that’s it for now. This list is subject to change. I hope you all join me and maybe find something out about yourself along the way.

 

Ttyl beautiful people.

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