A Compilation of Childhood Stories

The plan for this post was to write about childhood memories with my siblings and all the shenanigans we got into – but we didn’t have many stories of all of us together, and I’d probably tell the stories wrong anyway.
So instead, I’m going to write about why some people say I was a “devil child” (not actually… but actually) at the very ripe age of 2, onward to about grade 7.
(Also, living for this 90’s look – Brought to you by: Fast Eddies)

It all started when my mother told me she was pregnant with my wonderful little sister. I was not very pleased to no longer be the youngest and the only girl child. So I took it upon myself to wreak havoc on the family, and anyone who came in contact with me, for the next 10 years.

Before I jump into the stories – let me give you a little background on myself.
– I was (eventually) diagnosed with O.D.D (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and A.D.H.D (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as a child.
– Anything with red food dye in it (any red juice, candy, etc) would make me completely bounce off the walls. There was a strict “no red dye” rule to anyone who was watching me… but I found a way to get it anyway.
– I was obsessed with Barney, I thrived on attention, and I saw clothes as optional.

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I promise the following stories are all true, and not a dramatization.
I can’t make this crap up.

Have you ever met someone who got dragged out of church? Hi, nice to meet you.
I was just living my best life, dancing on the table during Sunday School, as one does. And my Sunday School teacher came up to me, to ask me to get down so I didn’t hurt myself. She got on eye level with me, and asked me kindly to get off the table. And I, being the child that I was, wound up and slapped her across the face.
She dragged me to my mother, who was in service praying, and told her I wasn’t welcomed back.
To be fair, she was a lovely lady, I was just not having it that day and wanted to be free to dance where and when I wanted.

This next story involves a girl who I went to school with. I believe we were in grade 2 or 3. She brought this beautiful china doll into school one day, and was showing everyone in the class. I asked her if I could play with it during recess, and she kindly declined, of fear of it breaking, of course. But I did not like that answer. So, when the recess bell rang, I waited behind and when everyone was gone, I took the doll from her bag, brought it outside, and smashed the glass face on the concrete.
What. Kind. Of MONSTER. Does that?
The girl obviously cried and cried, and I had to apologize to her and her parents, and I think my mom made me offer to buy a new one, which the parents declined.

On a less aggressive note; my parents put me in the church leagues for hockey and baseball. My brothers played, my dad coached and refereed, so they thought, “Why not put the kid who can’t focus or behave on the teams as well?”
My childhood best friend, Ashley, who I was attached at the hip with, also played hockey… except she was on another team. So anytime the two of us played against each other, we would just skate around the ice rink, talking, making plans with each other. Now, if you know either of our fathers, you would know how much that frustrated them. Often times there would be whistles blowing at us, and our fathers screaming “OFFSIDE!” from the sidelines, as we skated together. But, I didn’t know what that meant. So I just kept skating.
In baseball, I’m sure you could guess – I played just as well. Any time I wasn’t up to bat, I would sit and find slugs and snails and would put them all over my arms. Then I would go show all the moms who were watching at the side. They weren’t as excited about my slimy friends as I was.
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⇠ Definitely says Boys Hockey League, and honestly, I could have passed for a boy for most of my childhood. I had long, beautiful hair when I was little, and my mom thought it was a good idea to cut it off above my ears because it was unmanageable. I still give her grief for that.

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Often times my mom would leave my oldest brother, Kyle, in charge to watch all of us kids. And because I don’t like authority, and I was a monster, I didn’t want to listen to Kyle. So to stop him from being able to keep me contained, I would take all my clothes off so he couldn’t do anything. Sick… I know. I was just preparing him for when he has kids. But hopefully, they’re nothing like I was.

Speaking of keeping me contained… I was once on an In-School Suspension, for who knows what reason that time. During my suspension, I was put in the principals office to do my work. The principal left for a minute, so I took that opportunity to take a little break. I decided to go for a walk around the school, visiting my friends, the boys change room, and my younger sisters class. I walk down the hallway that her class was in, and I peaked my head in her classroom and called her name. Her class was working on some sort of assignment, but they were all up and in groups, so I wasn’t disrupting a quiet class (not that it matters). When I finally got Kealy’s attention, she immediately looked embarrassed and asked what I was doing. Clearly I had a mischievous look on my face and she knew I was getting into trouble.
Eventually my principal found me and turned my in-school suspension into a home suspension and called my mom to come and pick me up.

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Here’s a picture of my family being completely sick of my shit.

I have so many more stories that I could tell; These are just a few of my favourites, and I thought they gave a nice variety of what I was really like as a kid.
I’d just like to publicly apologize to anyone who had to babysit me or teach me as a child, besides the very few who I actually behaved for.
Stayed tuned for part two some day; filled with stories like the time I stood up in front of my class teaching them about “PEA-NUTS” and smacked a yard stick on someone’s desk.

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Frustration with God

I’d like to say this post it going to be an uplifting story about how God has placed an incredible opportunity in my path and that I have come out on the other side of a difficult situation, but it’s not going to be that… not yet anyway.
I’m still walking around in complete darkness; can barely see my own hands out stretched, let alone the plans that God has set in front of me.

I’m not denying that God has incredible plans for my life, and that He is going to use me to reach people that only I can reach. I don’t deny that He has placed me where I am right now for a purpose, and that I will come out of this storm rejoicing. But right now… I am frustrated. I am lost. I am confused. I am hurt. I am defeated.

I sit here at age 24, with my part time job, living in my mother’s house, with no car. I apply to 25+ jobs a week, some I get interviews for, but I always come up just that little bit too short. I pray constantly for God to show me where I’m supposed to be going. I pray that His will be done, and I pray courage over myself to go where He sends me. And yet… here I sit. Closed door after closed door.
Everyone around me is finding jobs they’re passionate about, buying houses, having babies (not that I want to have a baby right now), getting exciting promotions and opportunities in life, getting new cars, the list goes on… And here I sit.

Okay, so maybe I am supposed to be right here. Maybe this is where God wants me to be.
But why? Have I not suffered long enough? Is it not my time to have something great in my life? Is it not my time to feel secure and happy in my work place and in my living situation? Is it not my time to feel safe and loved and accepted for who I am in a church family? Or to be placed somewhere I can use the gifts You have given me to their full ability?
I feel as though I’ve been walking in circles for years. Getting so close to a break through. And then I’m right back where I started.
Of course my walk with God is not as perfect as it could be… but who’s is?
We all portray this “perfect” Christian life online. When things are good, we can’t wait to talk about it online and say what a great God we serve and how He’s such a wonderful provider. Which no doubt, He is. But when we’re actually in the storm, and we can’t see our way out, and God is seemingly silent, we would never dare to share that with the world.
Why is that? Because I know that everyone reading this has been in this exact situation. Whatever the details may be, there have been times where you just feel stuck, and you’re praying and asking God to show Himself, and you’re frustrated. Is it not then that we should be reaching out for support?
Of course, frustration with God is a result in lack of trust, or misunderstanding of Him. And it’s considered sinful nature; a byproduct of our own stubbornness. But that does not mean that most, if not all, Christians have dealt with frustration with God for one reason or another.
Are we ashamed to admit our frustration? Are we afraid to admit we’re going through turmoil for fear of judgement?

I often feel like Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Where she invites Jesus into her home and her sister sits and talks with Jesus and spends time with him, and Martha is running around and doing her best to host and serve Jesus. She gets upset, asking Jesus to make her sister help serve.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Often times I need to remind myself to just breathe. Take a second and soak up Jesus’ presence exactly where I’m at. No matter what’s going on around me. No matter what things I need to do. What bills I have to pay. I’m running around and trying to get my life where I want it to be, asking for guidance and opportunity, and I forget to take a second and just spend time with God exactly where I am. In my hurt and in my confusion, I can still have that time with God and He can still give me that peace and security that I’m looking for.
Maybe this is where He needs me to be. Maybe I am here for a reason. Or maybe I just need to be taught a lesson.

I stay hopeful. I stay confident that God is here walking beside me, even though I may not always see or hear Him. I believe that His timing and intentions are perfect.

Isaiah 26:3 
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Acts 1:7
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

Lamentation 3:25-26
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord

Currently listening to: 🎧 In Over My Head – Bethel Music
Every word in this song resonates so deeply with me right now. Just thought I’d throw this in, in case you’d like to take a listen.

The Story of How Elliot the Car was Stolen: A Memoir

About two years ago, I went through a traumatic experience. To some, they may not consider this traumatic; especially considering the amount of horrible things that happen around the world daily. However, to me, in my life experiences, this is by far the most scary thing that I have ever had to go through.
I was watching a video this past week about a break-in experience that somebody had and it triggered a lot of emotions and memories related to my traumatic experience. I realized I had never really told the story publicly, and I’ve also struggled lately with finding things to write about, so I’m going to share my story with you today.

If you know me, you’ll already know what I’m referring to. I tweeted about it briefly when it happened, and then again briefly a few months later. But other than that, I never really told the full story or talked about the effect it had on me.

It was July 2016 and me and a friend were going to Niagara Falls for the evening. She lived a few blocks away from me, and I drove to her house and parked out front on the road. I grabbed my wallet and locked my car doors and we took her truck to Niagara.
Skip forward to about 2:30am, we had finally gotten back into town. We were staying the night at her place, and by the time we got settled in and were ready to go to sleep, it was nearly 4:00am.
As the two of us were laying in bed, almost asleep, we heard a banging sound. The banging noise was consistent and strong, and sounded like it was right outside her window, which looked out to the road – about 10 feet away.
We both looked at each other, trying to figure out what the noise was. She reached for her glasses and started sitting up. The banging continued, still consistent in rhythm. As soon and she sat up with her glasses barely on, my body jolted up, and before I even looked out the window, I knew exactly what was happening.
“MY CAR!”, I grabbed her arm and I couldn’t breathe.
I looked out the window and saw a silhouette of a man climbing into my car, slamming the door, and immediately speeding off. It happened in what still feels like less than 1 second. Before I could even fully comprehend what was happening, my car was gone.
My car was old, small, and worn down. I still, to this day, have no idea how my car sped off so quickly.

I immediately started sobbing and hyperventilating. My friend tried to calm me down for a second and get me to call 911 but I couldn’t do anything but cry.
She called 911 right away for me and explained what happened, and gave them the information on where we were, what my car looked like, and anything else they needed.
The dispatcher told her that they have sent out police to look for it, and that a policeman would be coming to speak with us at her house shortly.
She got off the phone, and I still couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop thinking about who this person was, what he was capable of doing, what would have happened had I gotten outside before he was able to get in, my mind was racing.
My friend tried to calm me down and get me to breathe. I felt so violated and I couldn’t stop playing the image in my head of him getting into my car that I paid for, with my things inside of it, and driving away.
I eventually calmed down enough to lay in bed, eyes glued to the ceiling, exhausted from not only being out all night, but then being put in this fight or flight mode. My eyes were heavy, but any time I would close them, I would play the image in my head again, and again.

I eventually fell asleep, but was jolted awake when I heard knocking at the door. I grabbed my friends arm in complete panic, before I realized it was the police coming to talk to us. I shook my friend awake and clung to her arm as we walked to the front door together.
The police asked us some questions, and I was shaking the entire time. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what they asked or what they said to me.
Shortly after the police left, my friend drove me home. I didn’t want to leave though. I didn’t want to be alone. Or away from the only other person who was with me through it all.

The police had gone to my house as well and talked to my mom, as my car is under her name/address. So when I got home, my mom already knew. She told me that the police said they had found my car, but they had to back off because the speeds were getting too high and it was too dangerous for them to keep following them.
Again… my small, old, worn down car, was in a high speed chase with the police – so fast that the police had to stop because it was too dangerous. And I could barely get the stupid thing up to speed getting onto the highway. I will never understand.

After talking to my mom about everything, I went into my room, closed the door, sat on my bed and just stared at the wall. I felt numb. I couldn’t understand what just happened and again I was running through every possible scenario that could have happened – good or bad.
That night I had a really hard time sleeping. Any time I heard a door close, any sort of banging noise, any car that drove by my house a little too fast, any people I heard outside the window, anything – I instantly panicked. This continued for weeks after. The first few nights after I even slept with my lights on.
I kept thinking, if they could so easily broken into my car and drive off so quickly, imagine how quickly someone could break into my house. I couldn’t help but think the worst.
On the outside, I kept it together. I laughed it off and made light of the situation. But behind closed doors, I really was traumatized. I had never cried so much or been more jumpy/scared in my entire life, and yet all at the same time I felt so numb.

The police ended up finding my car a few days later. It was found totalled in a ditch and there was blood on the inside of my car – possibly from hitting their head or something after running it off the road.

There are still times where I get on edge if I hear a banging or a car door slam at night. I still get flashbacks from my car speeding off. I still think of the what if’s; If that had never happened, then this and this wouldn’t have happened, etc. It still effects my life fairly regular. Even if I don’t think about it daily, or even weekly. It’s still something that when I do remember it, it weighs pretty heavy on me. I would never wish something so violating and scary to happen to even my worst enemy.

Elliot was his name… a 2000 silver Cavalier. My very first car. He was a little ditsy, but he was cute. He drove me from A to B, but most times, even further. He was loud, but he was good to me. I had so many incredible memories with that car… the classic – driving around, windows down, blaring music with my best friend. Road trips. Coffee runs. Late night drives to clear my head. To and from work. Speeding tickets and all. He really was a good little guy.

I am aware that far more scarier and traumatic things have happened to people, and continue to happen to people every day, but I just thought I would share.
Maybe you can relate, maybe you found this interesting – a good story, perhaps. Or maybe it was just therapeutic for me to just talk about openly.
Who knows, maybe the person who stole my car will read this and feel bad and give me a new one…
Ryan-Gosling-Shrug
A girl can dream, right?

Living and Dating as a Femme Lesbian

I’ve been on a bit of a writers block for the last little while, so this post has been a long time coming. Someone suggested to me a few weeks ago that I write about what it’s like to date a girl. I haven’t dated many girls, so this may quickly turn into what it’s like to date the most perfect girl in the world (aka my girlfriend).
I’ve also had another topic on the brain for quite some time now and I thought it kind of goes hand in hand with this one, and that’s what life has been like for me as a femme lesbian.
I don’t totally know how to start this, so we’re just gonna abruptly jump in.

 

1. Sharing the Bill

Being two girls, we completely skip that unspoken talk of chivalry and awkwardness when the bill comes. It’s not assumed that only one of us is grabbing the bill, which means we both get the chance to treat each other, and also no one has to feel guilty or uncomfortable for not paying. Sometimes she gets the bill, and sometimes I do. And we both feel comfortable to let the other know if funds are low, or whatever the case may be, and it’s no issue.


2. Communication

Being able to communicate in any relationship is so important. With a woman, I find it so much easier to communicate and to bring up issues I may be having in life or in the relationship. I know that if I have an issue going on, I won’t be judged or told I’m being “dramatic” or “emotional”… even if I am being those things (which I probably am). As women, we just have to talk things through and sometimes we want advice and help, and other times we just need someone to just listen and support us. So being in a relationship with a woman just makes things so much easier… they just get it.


3. That Time of the Month

I didn’t say it was all good. With double the PMS, I’m sure you can assume how it goes at that time of the month. However, there’s no one to get squeamish or weirded out by it. And there’s always an extra tampon laying around.


4. Feeling Like a Real Team

I can’t speak for everyone else’s relationships, but I have never felt more close and connected to someone than I do now with the most kick-ass lady I could have ever asked for. We just get each other. We know how each other works – like we share the same brain wave. We support each other, we lean on each other, we keep each other on track. We share responsibilities, like cooking and cleaning. If one of us is feeling down or having a rough day, the other one is always ready to do whatever needed to help. We also have a mutual respect and support for each other.
And I know, I know… you can have all that with a man as well, and if you do – good for you! But I just know a lot of men aren’t always on the same page with women when it comes to this kind of stuff, and it’s hard to get them to understand how our brains work.
I’m so incredibly grateful to have someone who understands me, and a lot of the time, she even knows what I’m thinking before I do.


5. Every Night’s a Sleepover

By far one of the best things about being in a lesbian relationship is that every night feels like a sleepover with your best friend… because it is!
When our schedules are less crazy and we have a free night to do whatever, it’s usually spent putting a face mask on and watching our favourite TV show or a movie, and of course eating THE MOST snacks. Some nights we’ll even add wine to the mix.
Having a girlfriend and a best friend all wrapped into one is literally perfection.

 

This kind of leads me into the next thing I wanted to talk about, which is some of the unfortunate experiences I’ve had as a more feminine lesbian.
Before we get into it, I want to make it clear that I love who I am and this is not me complaining about my life or “how hard I have it”. I just want more people to be aware of the effects that stereotypes can have on people.

Being a more feminine person, people automatically assume that I’m straight. And when I do tell people I’m gay, people are either taken aback or they don’t believe me. It’s often assumed that Cass and I are just best friends when we’re in public together, because we are both fairly feminine. A lot of people have this idea in their head that lesbians have to look/act a certain way – and a lot of the times, people assume that all lesbians are “butch”, which is obviously not true. Lesbians comes in all shapes, sizes, styles, outward expressions, etc. Just like any other person does.
I also want to make it clear that I’m by no means saying that femme lesbians have it harder than anyone else. Obviously everyone goes through different struggles and faces different situations, but I’m just talking from my personal experience.

Being gay, you have to constantly come out to people. It’s not a one and done thing. We have to come out to strangers, to people we work with, to new friends… coming out is something that we will always have to do, or at least until straight is no longer the default.

As someone who doesn’t “appear” gay (whatever that means), I’m even more hesitant to come out to people, because I always get either a completely shocked reaction, or I get questioned and feel like I have to prove to people that I’m actually gay.
A lot of times even saying “my girlfriend” in a sentence is looked past… people almost always assume that I must be talking about a girl friend. There’s no way I could actually be dating a female.
Sometimes even the gay community can look past femme lesbians. Again, as there’s no “dead giveaways” in the way that we look, we can often be assumed as straight.
You know when VW drivers drive past each other, they give each other a nod. The same thing goes for the gay community. When you see fellow gays, you give a nod of support or as a silent “hey”. 90% of the time, when my girlfriend and I walk past a gay couple, or anyone for that matter, they don’t know we’re together – even if we’re holding hands. A lot of the time, people assume we’re just friends.
A few months ago, Cass and I were at a gay bar together for one of her friends’ birthdays, and we were dancing together and holding hands and this gay man came up to Cass and started talking to her and complimenting her and asked if she was single (his husband was with him, he was just drunk and having a good ol’ time), she said no and told him that I was her girlfriend – I was standing close to her, holding her hand, in a gay bar, and he was still shocked and didn’t believe us when she said that.
Not knowing whether or not I will have to prove myself to people when I come out to them, especially other gay people, really makes the coming out process even more uncomfortable.

And don’t even get me started on the amount of times I’ve had people tell me about their “experimental phase” in college – as if that has any relation to me being a lesbian.
rolleyes
Just because you made out with some girl at a party, doesn’t mean we have something in common. You don’t have to try and relate to me just because we don’t share the same sexual orientation.

I’ve also found that a lot of people don’t take me or my relationship seriously, because of the way I look. People have told me that there’s no way I’m gay because I don’t “look gay”. I’ve also been told that my relationship is probably just a phase. I’ve had people imply that my relationship isn’t serious or that we aren’t committed to each other. As if I can’t actually love someone… I must just be in it for the girl-on-girl action – which really makes my skin crawl and makes me feel sick. To think that people look at me as someone to fulfill their disgusting fantasy, instead of a human being in a committed relationship with the person they love, who also happens to be a female.
Can I just love in peace, without being questioned or made to feel like my privacy has been invaded just because I told you that I have a girlfriend? And since when is it socially acceptable to ask people about their love life and intimate details anyways? Just because I love a woman doesn’t mean those privacy boundaries go out the window.

 

As much as these things do effect my every day life, and I deal with the ignorance of people all the time – I love who I am and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I love being feminine, it’s a part of who I am. Getting my nails done or wearing lots of makeup doesn’t change the fact that I love women. People questioning me or assuming I’m straight also does not change the fact that I love women. I am who I am, and I am proud of who I am. And I hope that if you’re faced with similar situations that you will be proud of who you are as well – you don’t have to fit into society’s box, or what people think you should look or act like. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, because I am finally me. Unapologetically me.

If you have similar stories, or more reasons why dating women is awesome – let me know! I’d love to hear more. Thanks for listening!

 

 

Held to a Higher Standard

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Kingdom of God and what our purpose is here on this earth. I wonder what types of things God wants us, as Christians, to be focusing on.
Of course, the Bible tells us what God wants us to do with our time here on earth, but it can be vague and may not always translate well to this day and age.

I can’t help but think of social media and the effect that it has on all of us. Obviously, the Bible doesn’t talk about how to act on social media, and yet that’s such a huge part of our world now. It’s important to understand that everything we do is being watched through social media, and as Christians, we’re being watched every day by people who do not claim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Those people will be watching and waiting for us to slip up, for us to prove that God is not real, or that Christians are nothing but hypocrites. So, we are cautious of what we post, because we know people are watching. But sometimes, even though we post about being open with our faith, it can be to a fault.

We get so caught up in making sure our friends and followers know about our faith and where we stand on things, and maybe we look forward to our other church friends’ comments and likes, but we often disregard or maybe not realize that the things we post can actually push non-believers further away from God. We post things that we have such strong opinions on and say things like “I don’t care if you don’t agree, it’s wrong”, or anything else along those lines. And unfortunately, for anyone who doesn’t share the same opinion as you, a wall is now put up between you, leaving less space for you to be able to show them the love of God and to potentially witness to them.
Sometimes we hate the sin so much that we often forget to love the sinner in a real and genuine way.
You can argue that Facebook is free for you to post your opinions, but as Christians, we are held to a higher standard. We should always be representing Jesus in everything that we do. Jesus turned away no one, whether he taught that their way of living was right or wrong, he never turned them away and never made them feel less than.

 

Imagine if Jesus was one of your friends on Facebook.
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Facebook-friend-to-all.
What kinds of things do you think he’d post?

“Can’t believe Trudeau is changing the lyrics to the National Anthem. It was fine how it was. That guys an idiot.”
“All gender bathrooms? Ya right. Stay out!”
“Build the wall!”
“Speak English or leave this country!”
Or any other absolutely HORRENDOUS things that I’ve seen people of faith post about just in the last 2 weeks.

Seems really out of character for Jesus to be saying, doesn’t it?
Jesus shows nothing but love, even to those who are typically deemed unworthy. He was found befriending prostitutes and murderers. He spent time with the sick and the lame, when everyone else would run away from them.
So shouldn’t we be following in his foot steps and doing the same?

I heard someone say once, “Love is easy when it’s with people you agree with. It’s difficult and challenged when there are people we disagree with.” But that’s what God is asking us to do! Love people, even when it’s challenging. Truly, genuinely love them, as you would your closest friends and family… or sometimes even more than that.

I can’t help but think about what a difference we could make if everyone working for the Kingdom of God pushed aside their differences and opinions and just showed love to everyone. Regardless of who they were, how they lived their life, what list of things they have done wrong or are still doing wrong. Just love them. They too are God’s children, and are called to bigger and better things, just as you are! Give them the grace and kindness that Jesus has given you.

I’m not asking for you to change your opinions or beliefs on anything. I’m asking you to consider the people watching. The ones who don’t know God yet. The ones that only have YOU as their example of who Christ is.
Consider the impact you have on people and the potential damage, or restoration, that even just your posts on Facebook can have on others. Is it worth posting about? Is this helping anyone? Is this hurting anyone?
I know I am not the greatest writer, I’m not a theologist, a philosopher, and I’m definitely not a perfect human, but I hope that you take a minute and think about the impact you can have and do have on the Kingdom of God. Who are you affecting? Who is watching you? Act accordingly.
Hold yourself to a higher standard.

Hello, March

I cannot even fathom that we’re only 2 days away from March! It feels like just last week I was making resolutions and goals for the year ahead of us. And as it does every year, time slips between our fingertips and we realize we haven’t followed through with our resolutions and goals. We get caught up in what’s going on around us and the fast pace of life and we forget to focus on the goals we’ve set for ourselves, and we forget to focus on our own happiness.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for a new year to start fresh. We are actually able to press restart whenever we need to, and as many times as we need to. Whether that be the beginning of a new day, a new week, a new month, or even in the middle of your day when you’ve just had enough and you realize that everything you’ve planned to do is just going down the drain. You’re able to stop and refocus at any point.

When I’m feeling like my life is standing still – like I’m not doing anything to better myself or to work towards things that I need or want, the thing that helps me most to refocus and refresh is to throw on some worship music, make my bed, light a few candles, and start doing whatever I can to get inspired. Sometimes that means scrolling through Pinterest, looking at home decor or any of the other beautiful things there. Sometimes I’ll start writing – whatever comes to mind that day, or I’ll open my bible and start reading, asking God to speak to me. I also try and stay off social media during this time as it can often act as a distraction and can easily tear you down. In doing these things, it helps me to relax and puts me back in a positive, inspired mindset. It gets me back on track. Your list may look different than mine, but whatever it is that makes you feel good, take a few minutes to do that. I try and do it at least once a week, sometimes I may even need to do it once a day in order to stay focused.

I am someone who definitely gets stuck in a rut of doing the same thing all the time, and I have a hard time getting out. I often go day by day doing the bare minimum… I just exist. It takes a big change to get me out of that rut, and then after a few months, I fall back in. Every day I have to consciously pull myself out of bed and do something productive with my day. Some days are much easier than others, but every day I have to push myself. I’m getting better at realizing when I’m in that rut now, and I know the things that make me feel down and I know the things that make me feel motivated, which makes it easier for me to work towards pulling myself up.

I never used to be one to make resolutions, but I’ve realized that it’s good to hold yourself accountable for things, especially if those things are meant to better yourself. However, I do believe that resolutions are meant to be made all the time… not just once a year. I want to encourage you to make new resolutions for yourself daily. For example: Today I want to drink 2x as much water as I did yesterday. Make monthly resolutions for the bigger goals you want to achieve. Hold yourself accountable and watch as you reap what you sow into your own life.
Start small. Be reasonable. Make goals that are achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you have to reassess your resolutions and change them or tweak them, feel free to! It doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. I used to be so scared of failing that I wouldn’t even give myself the opportunity to succeed. That’s still something I’m learning and working on, but I’m getting better with it.

So as the snow is melting, the sun is starting to shine again and March is approaching, I encourage you to reflect and refocus. Take a moment and get inspired again. Reassess your goals, or if you didn’t make any, I encourage you to start! It’s so important to make sure you’re constantly growing and learning and making yourself the best you that you can be.

I know this post was kind of all over the place, but I just felt God telling me to make this post. I guess someone needed to hear it… and maybe that someone is just me. Who knows.

Finding Independence within a Relationship

Back with another vulnerable post! Posting about the personal details of my relationship was never something I saw myself doing, but I’m hoping to get some feed back from those of you who have gone through similar situations and how you’ve dealt with it… I know I can’t be the only one!

Dating is something I’ve never really done, especially anything serious. However, my girlfriend and I have been dating for a year now, we’re absolutely head over heals for each other, and it’s been the best year of my life. With that being said, we’ve run into a few speed bumps along the way, as every couple does. One of those being, the balance of independence in a relationship.

Cass has been in school for majority of our relationship. For the most part, finding time to be together has been pretty smooth sailing – especially considering we live in different cities and I don’t have my own vehicle. I’ve been pretty lucky that she’s been willing and able to pick me up whenever possible and that I’ve been able to spend almost every waking moment with her… and believe it or not – I don’t even get sick of her. 😉
I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with wanting to spend all your free time with your significant other. However, this week I’ve realized that I’ve really become quite dependent on being with Cass, and that is where it becomes unhealthy.

This past week was the week of our anniversary and also Cass’ birthday. It also happened to be the week of Cass’ exams for her first semester in Paramedics.
She’s been working extremely hard and been doing so well in her program and I’m so incredibly proud of her. With that being said,  I pictured this week to go much differently than it actually did.
I imagined the week to be full of quality time together, spending time doing the things we love and celebrating these two special occasions. However, I spent majority of it alone, while Cass was studying at school all day and night, and completing exams. I hate to admit that I spent a good chunk of my time this week selfishly crying, wishing she was at home spending time with me and celebrating instead.
Now that I’ve taken a step back, I realize how ridiculous that is. I expected her to push her studies aside, and potentially fail her exams – or not excel as much as she possibly could. I expected her to put her future on the back burner, in order to spend time with me on these two specific days, that there will be many, many more of, just because that’s what I wanted to do and what I had my mind set on. It’s completely unfair and selfish to expect that from her.

The last thing I want to be is the girl who clings to her girlfriends side and doesn’t allow her to have a life outside of me. I don’t ever want to stop her from learning and growing and succeeding in her life’s path. I don’t ever want her to feel guilty for bettering herself and working towards something she’s passionate about, just because she’s away from me and not spending time with me. Likewise, I don’t want to lose my own sense of self and stop doing the things that make me feel happy or productive or creative, outside of being with Cass.
Unfortunately, in the last week, I realized that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing and that I need to make a change.

I’ve spent some time thinking and in worship, and I’ll continue to do so in the next while. Though I’ve come to realize, like I said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to spend all of your time with your significant other… is that not the point of being in a relationship with someone? To grow through life together and be by each others sides through it all?  Even so, when you start to become fully dependent on that person to make up your happiness, that’s when it becomes a problem – to not only your significant other, who now has the pressure of keeping you happy, but you also lose a sense of self, which in turn can also hurt your relationship.

In the next few months, I’m challenging myself to become more creative, more productive, and more independent. I obviously don’t want to grow apart from Cass, and actually, I think by doing this we will only grow closer and stronger. But I want to also continue to grow better and stronger as an individual. I haven’t concluded exactly what that will look like, as it’s still something I’m learning and trying to figure out – I know I’d like to do more writing – but I’m hoping this is where you can jump in! If you’ve gone through a similar struggle, what did you do to reverse it? What do you do to feel more creative? More independent? What hobbies do you have? What keeps you productive? Let me know, as I’d love to hear your input.

Thanks for taking the time to listen! Until next time…