It’s okay to not be ON all the time, just as long as you don’t plan to live there

So I’m in a bit of a funk. I’ve gone back and forth about writing and posting this because I don’t want to push negative vibez out into the world. At the same time, I want to be honest.

I don’t want to pretend like everything is always aspirational and motivational AF over here.

Cuz it damn sure isn’t.

I’ve been burnt out before but that’s not what this is. This is different. I have ZERO energy. Well relatively no energy in comparison to the last few months. I don’t feel like talking to anyone or going out anywhere unless I absolutely have to. I don’t feel like doing the things that usually make me happy; like fucking and eating (I’m a simple girl). I don’t feel like working on business shit because I just don’t have the motivation. It’s like my tank is on empty. No my tank disappeared. So I just have enough in the lines to get through the task at hand and then I’m done.

It’s not the same as burnout. This is boredom.

Boredom is way fucking scarier than burnout. No amount of sweet temptations or promises can save me from this monster.

I was on a high for a while. 2017 has been good things (and bad things), but lots of good things & progress to make up for the bad. In the last little while, I’ve hit a wall. Not even close to a subtle kind of way. I mean like I was going 130 km per hour on the 401 and smashed into the back of a transport truck.

I’ve been telling myself that I need time. To just wait it out and it will go away; like any other time before. I’m realizing that it’s not going to be like that this time. Nawww. This time I need a plan.

What kind of plan? Well I’m not 100% there yet but I’m certain it involves changing things up a lot. It requires breaking the monotony that has been my life the last little while.

For starters my workouts are stale. I’ve been resistance band training since May. Lots of progress but yah, I’m bored AF. I’ve gone from training 6 days a week to 4 if I’m lucky. So I’m testing a new workout app this week. Food – I’ve been reintroducing more carbs to see how that makes me feel. Social – Fuck I should probably go out and see my friends who I’ve been avoiding.

So that’s how far I got. Just thinking it out loud I can’t lie, I do feel a bit better. Anyway, like I said – it’s okay to not be ON all the time but I’m not staying here.

Advertisements

What do you mean you don’t want kids?!?!

Yeah. I’m starting the post about not wanting kids with an analogy about kids.  Follow me though…

So you know those kids who constantly ask,

‘But whhhhhhhhyyyyyyyy????’

Well that was me but not literally cuz my mum would have smacked me, but def in my head.  Eventually this little girl grew up to start asking why out loud.  First just quietly to myself and eventually so loud that I could no longer ignore it.

I asked myself WHY I wanted to get married.  Is it to have a wedding? Nope, not into it. Is to declare in front of God, my family, my friends that I’ve found someone I want to spend the rest of my life with? Nawww. TBH I don’t care much about that either.  It’s only important for me to make that declaration to my partner. The rest is just a formality.  We’ll leave it there for now because this post is really about:

Why don’t I want kids?

The short answer is that if I have to think sooooo fucking hard to come up with a reason to want them, then sorry not sorry; I don’t want them.

I draw on all the reasons other people give for wanting kids. One that I get often is, there’s just nothing like it. True. But so long as that’s the case, I don’t know what I’m missing and I’m PERFECTLY cool with that. Because where I stand now, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

It’s def not because I’m afraid to be a mother or think I wouldn’t make a good mother.  Quite the contrary my friend, I know I’d be an awesome mum. And if I had an unplanned pregnancy I would love that kid more than life itself.  Knock on wood, but if that does happen and it’s years from now, and my kid is reading this:

Mofo I loved you from the moment you existed.  You just weren’t in the plan.  You will learn if you haven’t already, that life doesn’t always go to plan but it doesn’t make it any less valuable or meaningful – So fix your face!

I’ve been told by some friends who’ve been around long enough that maybe it’s because of the large age gap between myself and baby brothers.  Because like any big sister, I learned my time wasn’t actually  my own time and I learned to do a lot of things on my own while my parents focused on their babies who needed them most.  Because I was old enough to see my brothers go through the stage where they disrespected my parents and took them for granted.  Able to see my mother hurt from feeling devalued; which I’m sure I did to her too and I’m also sure is not unlike the experience of many mothers.  I know what I’m describing is not unique and of course I’m not telling you about all the moments of pride and joy that I know my parents also experienced.

But none of this changes that I just don’t have that innate desire to want children or marriage or that happy lil’ family unit. Being a mother isn’t on my list of aspirations.  I don’t question your desire for those things.  I don’t ask you why you want them and TBH I don’t give a fuuuuccckk.  Do you boo!  Be happy.  I will however ask myself why? Why do I want those things? And I just can’t find a reason that is truly meaningful to me. Not. One.  If you’ve got a problem with that, well, that’s just what it is…  YOUR problem.  I can I assure you, I lose no sleep over it.

What you might want to do though – if you’re not doing it already; for your daughters, for future boss ass babes, is not put so much energy into making other women feel bad just because they make a choice that’s different from your own.

Where does your confidence come from?

StockSnap_RN1NPCIU8DI get this question often along with…

How do you not let that shit phase you?

How do you not care what people think about you?

Reminds me of something I used to say repeatedly at university when someone threw shade my way.  It wasn’t so much what I said, but the tone in which I said it,

“I don’t give a fuuuuuccccckkk

I mean, I say I don’t care but the truer statement is actually,

I don’t give enough fucks.

Enough to possibly spark some self-awareness and reflection but not enough to lose the value I see in myself.  If I decide to change something, it is exactly that; my decision.

Now I’m at the point where when someone says something negative about me or judges me for my choices, it’s usually pretty easy for me to laugh it off because I think to myself,

This issue really says more about YOU than it does about me.  Girl (or boy) BYE.

So how did I get this way?  There’s really no magic answer.  It’s a combination of my experiences and the way I choose to respond to those experiences.

In my teens and twenties I was surrounded by those who wanted to control me and my path, those who said nasty things to or about me because of my skin, my hair, my clothes, my body – much of which I had no control over.  Those who ignored me or wrote me off because of an ill-informed, preconceived notion of who I was or who they felt I was supposed to be – not unlike the experience of most young people.

Now I could assimilate.  I could pretend to fit in, but even then I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Plus the truth always comes out so that really felt like a waste of my personal resources.  I’d rather be by myself than change what is organically me for acceptance and so my friendship circle was always small (and still is).

Here’s my thought process from the moment the tip of a shade arrow first brushes against my shield…

 1. Bitch please.

(Most often it ends here depending on the source – Example:  A stranger on the internet or the street.  Some THOT that’s a friend of a friend who doesn’t know me, some dude who’s trying to get at my cookie and is failing miserably).

2. What is going on with this person that has them feeling it’s imperative to share this with me?

(We only get to #2 if the source is valid.  Valid sources include:  friends, coworkers, close family, anyone who has both a take AND give relationship with me).

3. Should I find that this is actually about THEM and not me, I will let it slide and if I care enough, ask them if THEY are okay.

4. If I’ve made it to #4 it means that not only did the comment come from a valid source but also one who I care deeply about, who’s opinion I value greatly.  This will lead to some self-reflection, self-awareness and then possibly personal changes.

Put it this way,  I chose to use my previous exposure to shade as a vaccine.  Slowly building up my immunity against hate and negative vibes so that now any exposure cannot rock the foundation of confidence I’ve built.

Negativity touches my shield and barely penetrates my surface layers because my confidence antibodies are like,

‘Nawww B.  Not today.  Get the fuck outta here’.

 

 

When first we practice to deceive…

Shit gets heavy real real quick…

(Title is from a quote by Walter Scott)

StockSnap_2W0L5IENXQ

What is it about some of us that makes it so easy to discount the basic human tendency to look out for one another???  I’ll just add the disclaimer that I have not, repeat, have not lost faith in humanity.  You may have noticed I’ve been gone for a minute;  I’m exploring.  What follows are some observations I’m sorting out.

I’m not even talking about when we pretend we don’t see the homeless person asking for change or when we cut someone off because we just have to get where we’re going one second earlier.  I’m talking about how easy it is for us to switch off our humanity (Vampire Diaries anyone?) and completely ignore or not care about how our behaviour will affect someone we care about – I guess that’s open to interpretation.  Or at the very least someone we know cares about us and would rather throw themselves on a sword before seeing us get hurt.

What makes us cheat?

Is it lust?  Boredom?  Loneliness?  Is it our inability to control ourselves, to keep our desires under wraps?  I’ve been cheated on before. Or I should say I’ve been cheated on and found out about it before in a blaze of anger, ferocity and inexplicable pain while on day two of a ten-day vacation with my partner.  I can tell you that the most unbearable part for me was the feeling stupid part.  Because no one makes JJ feel stupid.  Because she isn’t stupid, not in the least and all I wanted to do was burn everything to the ground.

I’ve also been in a relationship that I knew was over.  Stayed far past the time I should in a situation that lacked passion and sex among other things.  I’m a very sexual person, so to be without carnal intimacy essentially had me not myself.  As hard as that was, I didn’t cheat.  Why?  Well why would I?  What is wrong with you to make you actually ask me that question?  It wasn’t a fear of getting caught.  I wouldn’t do it even if I knew I would never get caught.  That’s not the point.  I have an innate desire to not hurt people.  Don’t you???  But seriously, I want to know, if you believe in your heart (or your lower regions) that cheating is okay, tell me why.

I’ve also, on more than one occasion (far too often really), unknowingly been made an accessory to a cheater.  Now this is some fucked up shit.  I’m wondering if the fact that I don’t want to be in a relationship automatically brands me as side chick…  Naw man.  I want to be free; but that means you should be too.  Polyamory is one thing – however I assume in this case all parties are aware of the stakes.  What’s the most fucked up is not even making me an unknowing participant to the affair.  I can accept the bigger picture here;  I’m nothing but a blip on this timeline.  What’s really fucked up is how one is able to do this to their partner.  Regardless of if the relationship is going well or not, there are expectations.  However unique the nuances of those expectations, I’m certain fidelity is a hard limit.  If you’re not into it, GET.  THE.  FUCK. OUT.

I don’t even need to get into karma.

We know all about it and clearly some of us do not accept its existence.  I’m really curious as to what is wrong with us as people.  Not in a why-don’t-we-do-more-about-those-starving-on-the-other-side-of-the-world kind of way.  I’m talking about how we can so easily ignore what our behaviour does to the person sharing our bed, lives and by all outward appearances, our future?

Why YOU don’t always have to be IG worthy

StockSnap_2HLCI51VQ8Just in case you haven’t read some of my other posts, I’ll give you a quick run down.  I have “untraditional” views when it comes to dating and relationships.  I don’t feel that innate need to have kids and I have no desire to get married.  Click here if you’re interested in more about this.  This doesn’t mean that I’m not open to love or a long-term partnership.  It does make me less susceptible to pressure by family, society, media to ‘settle down’.  Man, fuck that shit!  The only person who has to live my life is me, so you better believe I’m going to make damn sure my choices ensure my happiness.

I will not be a proxy for someone else’s dreams, aspirations or shortcomings.

Alright, rant over.  Single life is allowing me to explore myself and people in ways I never imagined.  The learning is fascinating, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

What you see is what you get with me.  I will say what I want and don’t want plainly (without being hurtful).  Plus my face and my body language read like an open book.  If I’m upset, I couldn’t hide it if I tried.  This stems from confidence and decisiveness.  None of these traits can be helped.  I mean that I couldn’t pretend to be unconfident, indecisive or fake happiness when I’m mad.  I cannot believably pretend to be someone who I’m not because not only can I not imagine ever wanting to do that but I’m just physically incapable and always have been.  And this is where the problem comes in.

If you present as something, the expectation is that is who you are and you mean what you say.  Why?  Well because that’s what I would do, duh!  I have no energy to waste on acting like someone I’m not or saying something I don’t mean.  There is no real and long-term return on that investment so why the fuck would anyone do that?  Here’s what I’ve discovered:

ONE:  They’re playing a short, disconnected game.

Yeah man.  Of course.  Instant gratification.  Who doesn’t want to get what they want right when they want it???  To be present, be in the moment and all that good shit.  But your life is not a series of disconnected snaps.  It’s fucking Game of Thrones.  It’s a series of connected events where every decision you make affects another, whether it’s now or years from now.  I’m playing a long game and while five minute shorts can be intense and exciting eventually you have to ask, how does this serve me?  I’ll stick with the holistic approach.

TWO:  They’re in recovery.

Everyone has baggage.  Everyone.  Myself included.  This doesn’t need to be discussed on a first date or anything but don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist.  We make decisions based on our past experiences.  We compare partners and relationships to past partners and relationships.  It’s impossible not to do; we do it to comprehend this new data (person).  To organize and understand how it fits with us.  So fucking accept it people!  Accepting that we do this is the first step towards not using it to condemn the new person.

THREE:  They don’t really know what they want.

I’m learning about motivations.  That the drive behind what people say they want is more important than what they are saying.  My drive behind saying that I’m not looking for a traditional relationship is that I’ve realized I need to be free.  I’m my best, most creative, happy self when I’m not in a relationship.  While I desire sex, I don’t desire companionship in the way others do.

Now while some say they feel the same way I do, it doesn’t mean their drive is the same.  Their drive to be single may be that they’re still in recovery.  Deep down they actually don’t want to be alone.  So why is it so fucking hard to say that you’re confused, conflicted, lost?  Why does that have to be a sign of weakness?  We say something and then change our mind, that’s cool; own it.

My drive allows me to not be afraid to fall for someone.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t work out, sure I’ll be sad for a bit, but I will get over it.  It won’t define me.  Now if someone’s drive to be single is that they’re in recovery but they really don’t want to be alone, well I’m thinking they’re going to be terrified of falling for someone.  Terrified of failure.

I’m terrified of failure too.  But, no matter how terrified I am, I refuse to let it cripple me.  Every aspect of my life doesn’t have to be Instagram, showreel worthy and it isn’t.  I promise you, yours doesn’t either.  The long-term benefits come from authenticity and I’m not concerned about how this will turn out.

Why your BFF is just as, if not more valuable than the standard Valentine’s day date…

fullsizeoutput_65b
taken at Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan

If you’re single and you don’t want to get caught up in all the cornball, Valentine’s Day mushy-ness then avoid the mall at all costs.  I remember making this mistake back in high school.  I was heading to a volunteering job and killing time at the Bramelea City Center while I waited for a bus to Mississauga.  I was single and the mall was littered with red and pink, balloons, teddy bears, chocolates, flowers and of course young love *gag*.  This type of stuff has little effect on me now, but like I said,

If you’re single and easily susceptible, stay the hell away from the mall on Valentine’s Day.

If you don’t have a romantic Valentine, suck it up because you have the unconditional love of someone even better; your BFF.  Here’s why she (or he) makes such a valuable date:

You don’t need to impress her but you want to.

You get your hair did, put your face on and wear your sexiest outfit for her.  Why?  Because she deserves the hottest date.  Period.  And who better to give that to her than you.  Plus, she will tell you if your outfit looks jacked and you don’t have to spend the whole night wondering about it.

You don’t need to try to be authentic; you just are.

Who better to practice being yourself with than the person who already knows all your secrets?  You’re guaranteed to get some affection at the end of the night because to her, you’re the bossest-ass chick.  No need to be sneaky about what you want.  You want a hug or you need a cuddle?  She’s got you!  Bonus, you don’t have to spend anytime questioning if she’s going to call you because you’ll probably already have a text from her about the cute guy she saw in the parking lot by the time you get back to your car.

A date with her can make you more self-aware.

Two sexy, single ladies, smiling and laughing without a care in the world are fire.  Zero in on the essence of what that feels like so you can push those good vibes to the forefront when you’re out with a dude.  It’s also good practice for you to be present.  You’re playing with your phone or not paying attention to her?  She’ll call you on it.  You get experience focusing your attention on one person with live, unfiltered feedback.

If nothing else, you’re always guaranteed a good time with your BFF.  What better way to celebrate a day dedicated to love than to spend it with her?  The person who has been there with you through all of the trials and tribulations in your search and who loves you all the more for it.

 

How to take a vegan out to dinner (or breakfast)

But what do you even eat?

fullsizeoutput_659
taken at Lola’s Kitchen

I’ve been vegan for over a year now and there’s a couple common questions that I answer again and again.  This post isn’t a rant.  I don’t get tired of answering them.  One of these questions is, “Isn’t it hard to find stuff to eat?”.

Well the short answer is that it really isn’t.  “Vegan food” is everywhere and to be clear it’s not vegan food; it’s just food.  Like Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, “there’s no such thing as a vegan apple, it’s just an apple.”  Of course it’s more challenging if you’re looking for pre-packaged, prepared foods but those make up the minority of what I eat.  The majority of what I eat are whole foods.  Those are easy to find.

The follow-up question is, “okay, but how do you eat out?” or more importantly these days,

Where can a dude even take you out to dinner?

Here are four tips for both the vegan and non-vegan to help you navigate the eating part of your date night, so you can focus on the important stuff like building on that connection.

1)  Know what a vegan is.

This can be a little subjective.  Every vegan is different and being vegan may mean something different to them than it does to someone else.  For example there are vegans who only do not consume animals or animal secretions, there are those who are also cruelty-free in terms of the products they use or the clothing they wear.  There are those that beat themselves up if they slip up and accidentally (or on purpose) consume animals and there are those that don’t.

For the vegan:  If you’re going on a date which involves food you should either be upfront about it and tell the person or if you don’t want to right now, then eat before you go in case you can’t find anything at the restaurant.  Dates are hard enough, don’t make things more awkward than they have to be.

For the non-vegan:  Assuming she’s told you that she’s vegan, ask for clarification on what that means.  I’ve been asked this before and I’m happy to explain myself.  If you’d rather not ask, Google is your friend.  Just keep in mind you may be missing some details that are specific to her.

2)  Check out the menu.

For the vegan:  If he suggests a place, check out the menu before you agree to make sure they have something vegan friendly you would want to eat.  If it’s coffee, I always suggest Starbucks.  I’ve heard that depending on the area some of the other coffee chains will keep non-dairy milk on hand but have never experienced success with this.  Starbucks is always a sure thing.

For the non-vegan:  Pick a place that has vegan options.  Bonus points if you pick a vegan/vegetarian restaurant (Fresh is on point for every non-vegan with a vegan friend I know) or if you do some research and have some suggestions on hand for when the server gives you a few minutes to look at the menu.  Don’t you look like such a thoughtful and savvy gentlemen?

3)  Don’t be judgy.

For the vegan:  Respect your suitor’s choices.  While looking over the menu, I’ve been asked by my date if I mind if he eats meat.  Of course I don’t.  Your choices are your own as mine are my own.  I can appreciate you listening to why I choose to live my life the way I do and I appreciate you standing by your own convictions.

For the non-vegan:  Nobody likes this.  Plus if you want to see this person again it’s not the best idea to tell them their life choice is a phase, to make fun of them or talk about how great meat tastes.  These behaviours only reflect your discomfort in your own choices and they’re not attractive.

4)  Don’t make it a huge deal, at least not in the beginning.

People, at this point you’re just starting to get to know each other.  Being vegan or not being vegan doesn’t have to be the center of the universe right now.  If you both cannot have an open, honest and non-confrontational conversation about it then talk about something else.  I should hope you have other shared interests otherwise you probably wouldn’t be on this date in the first place.  If this isn’t the case then maybe you just aren’t compatible anyway.

BONUS TIP

If you’re staying in for Netflix and chill.  Have snacks.  Vegans get hungry sooner than non-vegans (at least this vegan does) and hungry can turn into hangry real quick!  Some suggestions for vegan snacks:  Go basic – nuts and fruits.  Go junk food – chips and salsa, pretzels.  You don’t have to go all crazy looking for vegan cheese or anything.  There’s plenty of vegan-friendly food that you already eat.