God bless America…

Today is a very sad day. I kind of feel like I’m in the movie Armageddon and we just found out that the asteroid speeding towards the earth couldn’t be stopped. White America has spoken, and the first ever president with absolutely zero military or political experience has been elected to office. Of course on top of being unbelievably unqualified for his new role, Donald Trump is also a racist, misogynist, xenophobic fool who has made his platform hate. Plain and simple, he wants to build walls to keep refugees out, will immediately deport 11-20 million undocumented immigrants, will all but refuse entry into the country for Muslims, and that’s just immigration. He’s also promised to elect a radically right wing judge into the 9th Supreme Court seat, to reverse abortion laws (horrifying fact – more than 200,000 Anerican women died each year from illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade), to cancel Planned Parenthood, to repeal same-sex marriage laws, and just basically disassemble the USA that my American neighbours have been proudly creating for centuries. 

So where did it all go wrong?! It’s really hard to say…in this terrifying video, James Carville says he think the Democratic Party may have dropped the ball, been too confident. I know that when my ex-husband and I were finishing renovations at our house in April, he talked at great length about Bernie Sanders and his new partner’s support of him. He swore that if Bernie didn’t win the primaries, none of his supporters would vote for Hillary. Guess maybe there was some truth to that?! The sad thing is though, the only people who will suffer from that kind of voting (or lack thereof) are the very people Bernie wanted to support the most – women, African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, and the LGBT community. 

I have been a Hillary supporter (yes, as a Canadian) for decades, and my heart hurts for her today. I’ve cried, I’ve gotten a little rage-y and I seriously can’t even look at a picture of her right now without feeling heartbroken. She was supposed to be the first female President of the United States of America. She is absurdly qualified, and 100% the right person for the job. I know she’s not perfect, no politician is, but her career in politics and the law has been incredibly impressive. She should be celebrating with women all over the world today, not conceding defeat to an arrogant woman-hater. 

So where does the world go from here? As stock markets plummet, as currencies around the world nosedive, and as humans who’ve had the horrifying realization that more than half of the world’s  “greatest” nation have enough hate in their hearts to vote for a man who is abusive, disrespectful, bullying, a sexual predator and who spews venom with an ease that is remarkably alarming. That is honestly the scariest part of this all to me, that so many people can want this hateful man to lead them and their country and their CHILDREN for the next 4 years. Cue heart breaking (more). 

I’m out and about right now, been through Downtown Hamilton and now into Burlington and it is a somber day for humanity. Very little talking, just shell-shocked expressions and half-hearted smiles. We all need some time to mourn what has happened, what this will mean for the displacement of power in the world (think Russia, China) but in all this sadness, I have faith that love will prevail. I even wonder if this could be a way for America to heal it’s fractured population? A man so polarizing that all minority groups band together to spread love and light, and protest his actions every step of the way. I know I’m a Canadian and many people will wonder why I’ve written this, why I care, why I feel the right to an opinion. It’s because I am HUMAN and the reign of Donald J. Trump will affect everyone on this planet. So let’s all try and be vessels of love today (and for the next 4 years), and spread the word that one man will not erase all the love, light and hope that exists in the world. Of that, I’m sure. XO

All the feels about dating…

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy last week (yes, I still watch this beautiful relic of a show!) and one of the story lines really resonated with me. It involved two characters, April and Jackson, who used to be married but are now navigating co-parenting while living together, but not being in a relationship…basically lots of great soap opera drama-type stuff 🙂 This week April joins Tinder because she decides on a whim she wants to start dating, and the whole swipe right or left and go on dates thing is a bit hard for her to wrap her head around…sound like anyone else you know lol (read an oldie blog post here for details!)?!

So towards the end of the episode, April confesses to Jackson that her Tinder date was terrible and that she HATES dating and doesn’t know how people do this and I found myself thinking “Yes! Yes, that is exactly how I feel!”. She talks about how all her exes have been friends turned into lovers, or coworkers, or men she just met and fell into a relationship with, and that she doesn’t know how people do this whole dating thing. It occurred to me in that moment that I am still SUPER closed off mentally to the idea of dating, and it kinda got my wheels turning a bit. Flash forward to this past Saturday, and I felt like my anti-dating mindset got even more ammo for it’s ‘fight against dates’ when I caught up with a good friend and she gave me the low down on her latest disastrous rendezvous.

So the story goes that my friend met this guy at a pub last weekend, and he asked her out to dinner a few days later. The disaster started when her date showed up drunk, and continued as he ordered a shot of tequila (along with other drinks) with dinner, called his mom some very bad names, spoke about his ex-girlfriend at great length and told her about his 2 recent DUI charges…just a lot of not so good stuff all wrapped up into one very uncomfortable meal! I honestly sat there completely in shock (and laughing quite a bit to be honest lol) as she relayed the story to me…and I just kept thinking – if I have a free night to have dinner with someone, let it be someone I know and love and whose company I enjoy! Why would I spend a night out with a stranger just hoping that maybe one day I’ll meet the right stranger?!

So I sat on this for awhile, feeling all high and mighty about how I don’t need no man in my life, and then the real deal feelings started creeping in. While I may not want to date RIGHT NOW because I’m hyper-focused on my passion projects and career, I’m sure I will eventually want a partner to share my life with. I think what I’m so scared about when I imagine a new relationship, is the idea that I will lose myself in someone else again, because that has been my modus operandi in every single relationship I’ve ever had.  I can sit behind this keyboard and write all day about how happy I am, how much I love my life, and how proud I am of all that I’ve accomplished since splitting with my husband (all of which is true, true, true), but if I’m 100% honest, inside I am SO scared that I will lose all that if I let someone in again.

I guess what I’ve decided while reflecting on and writing this post, is that I just need more time by myself right now, growing in self love, accomplishing my wildest dreams, and becoming the very best version of myself I could ever imagine, before I partner up with someone in a relationship. I know when the time is right the Universe will put that perfect-for-me person on my path, and until that happens I will withhold my judgment about dating and have faith that the man of my dreams will come along in whatever way he’s meant to, whenever the time is absolutely right. XO

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Rally strong…

Today I want to talk about the importance of your TRIBE. That group of people in your life that keep you going through the down times, who lift you up and make you remember how strong you are, and the people you call your family. They can be your real family – parents, siblings, cousins – or they can be your chosen family, friends who have lasted the test of time, and who have seen you through your best (and worst) days.

During challenging times in our life, it can be so easy to internalize and cocoon ourselves into solitude. We can stop returning messages, stop reaching out to people, cancel social engagements (or not make them at all), and generally disappear from the world outside ourselves. I remember there being times after my husband left that I wanted to literally melt into my couch and never leave the safety of my apartment. There were other times (for me, to be honest, this was most times) when I needed to be surrounded by people who loved me, supported me, listened to me and who reassured me that I was going to be OKAY. That no matter how dark the world seemed in those low, low moments, I would get through it, and that life would (eventually) be better on the other side.

Now, I’ve changed a lot over the past two years, and have become a huge proponent of the importance of alone time. I think we can learn a lot from introspective thinking and taking time to work through life’s challenges on our own, BUT that doesn’t mean that turning into ourselves to escape dealing with our issues is the answer. Last night, a friend reached out to share some hard news that will change her life forever. Within 5 minutes a group of girls who all have very busy lives (but have been friends for decades) rallied together to set a date to get together this weekend. Because we are a TRIBE. Because we love each other. And because one of us needs support. These are the moments when I know that having these kind of people in our lives – this soul family – is more important than we realize at times. Find your tribe, let them fan the flames of your soul, and love them hard. XO

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The travel itch is real…

So as some of you know, the house I own with my ex is on the market right now and we’ve got a conditional sale on our hands…woohoo! As we wait for the conditions to be waived (keep your fingers and toes crossed for me), I’ve started thinking about what it’ll mean to not have this house hanging over my head anymore. It’s been 6 years of financial and emotional struggle with this property, and while I know I should be getting excited about the freedom of not owning it anymore, I find myself struggling with what I’ll do next. It almost feels like I should have some specific fresh start planned, but I don’t really know what that should be. So, I will travel while I figure it out 😉

I’m beyond excited to be planning several trips right now, including some serious overseas adventures that will surely be the stuff dreams are made of! I’m looking at an all-inclusive in June (somewhere warm and sunny and fabulous down South), and then Orlando in July for a work conference, Calgary and Banff in August for a work opportunity and then some mountain exploration and finally a trip around Europe in September. I’m planning to hit up England, Ireland, Scotland, Amsterdam and Iceland (hellooooo Northern Lights bucket list!)…FUN FUN FUN!

There are so many places I want to see in this world, but the flying fear has always held me back (as you’ll know from previous blog entries), but now I really feel like I just need to GO…get on that plane, face the fears of the unknown and GO. So that’s what I’m going to do! As Sir Richard Burton said: “the gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” There are so many corners of the world for us to explore, and I think that while we’re doing that, the most unknown corners of our souls become exposed to us for the first time. I am so ready to uncover those mysterious parts of myself, all while exploring the world, meeting new people, understanding the world in a different way, and becoming a more complete human being.

I will OF COURSE be blogging about all these amazing adventures AAAAAAAND I’ve decided to get back to the original mission of this blog, which was to document all the new things I’ve been trying in my life. I’ve kind of set aside writing about these new adventures because I’ve been so busy enjoying them, but as I come up to my one year anniversary of writing Operation: Passion, I want to bring it all full circle. Stay tuned for some new awesomeness in the coming weeks! First up this week – rock climbing!! XO

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Love yourself most…

So I just finished re-watching Sex and the City, and I have to say that I’m even more in love with Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbs, Charlotte York and Samantha Jones than ever before. Not only does this show keep me crying like a baby more than a decade after it originally aired, but it continues to remind me of something very important. While we can consider ourselves lucky if we’re blessed with incredible parents, siblings and friends who will support us through thick and thin, the very most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves.

I have a friend of a friend who got some pretty awful news today. She found out that her significant other cheated on her. My heart immediately broke for her, because I know all too well the kind of pain that comes along with a realization of this magnitude. And sadly, these things happen to people every day. Like every single minute of every single day there is someone out there whose heart is crushed by the realization that their partner, the person they trust the most in the world, has completely betrayed them. Now dramatics aside, I can say from experience that once you’re through the initial hurt and pain of infidelity you have a really amazing opportunity to learn from what has happened to you, and that’s where the basis of this post comes from.

Loving ourselves is so unbelievably underrated. I feel like people in general are always looking outside themselves to find happiness, fulfillment, and joy, but ultimately we can only truly find happiness outside of ourselves, when we’ve found it within ourselves first. I was always the girl who needed to have people around me, to have plans and keep busy and I’ve realized over the past year that while I truly love being surrounded by the people who love me (and whom I love), that being alone and learning to love being with just me is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. To love yourself is to truly understand the significance of your purpose in the world, and it allows you the strength, tenacity and perseverance to conquer anything that is thrown your way (including an unfaithful partner). When you love yourself that much, you truly know what you’re worth and will allow only the best of the best to enter and complement your life. To love yourself completely is the greatest gift you can give yourself…I’m definitely a work in progress, but I’m more committed than ever to getting there.

I’ll finish up with a quote of Carrie’s last words in the very last television episode of Sex and the City: “The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” Word. XO

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