the 100 day project – 54-56

A few things this week:

1) This month was my first month hosting CMTO where I did not have a panic attack all week the week before. I owned it. I feel like I’m finally starting to hit my stride, and also dispel this horrible underlying feeling of impostor syndrome. I am starting to feel like Kyle made the right decision by handing over the chapter to me. And it feels really good.

2) This week, run days were really hot days. Part way through my runs, my shirt felt heavy and gross and sticky, and instead of enduring it, I took it off. Why? BECAUSE FUCK IT. Dudes take their shirts off all the god damn time, and I refuse to feel uncomfortable and too hot all summer long because as a woman I worry about my abs and love handles. Not that men don’t worry about those things too, but SO many of the dudes that I run with will take off their shirt on hot nights in the summer, and none of the women do. This summer, I am owning it. Instead of investing in whatever sports bras PLUS some technical tanks, it’s just cute sports bras all the way. It’s TITS OUT running this summer. (Not actually tits out, but you know what I mean).

3) I FINALLY got around to taking care of most of the little details that were making my room still feel un put together and look shabby. I made it out to IKEA for more curtains, got my copper curtain rods cut to proper length, and found some bench storage for my bay window. PHEW. Now I just need to set up my desk in one of the house office areas, and I’ll be good. We also had our housewarming this weekend, which was super fun and lovely. Hurray!

Vancouver pals would hate to hear me say this, but Toronto is really feeling like home these days. The kitties are settled. I love my house and roommates. I have a few amazing communities that I’m really a part of. And I’m getting to know my new neighbourhood. Once this job situation is tackled, I’m golden.

<3 <3

The end.

the 100 day project – day 53

I’m working on getting along with my mother this year. I have always had a fraught relationship with everyone in my family, and I do not have much of a relationship with any of them. Sometimes, I don’t understand how it’s possible that we’re actually related – if we didn’t look so similar, I don’t know if I would believe that we actually were.

My mother and I have never gotten along. Or I guess we got along marvellously when I was a child, and then slowly did not get along at all, as we realized that we had absolutely nothing in common. My mother was horrible to me during my teenage years. I know that most parents/teens have phases of not getting along, but my mom really lost it during a few of those years. She basically took out all of her aggression from a horrible failed marriage on me. And though the aggression eventually toned down, the continual criticism, lack of respect, and glowing favourtism of my brothers did not. The thing that makes this difficult to deal with though is not just that my mother is often horrible, but the fact that she is also so very broken. She wants so desperately for us to have a relationship, and it hurts her so very much that we do not. On top of this, she honestly does not understand how the things that she does are hurtful. She just doesn’t get it. And she forgets. With my mother, in her memory she praises me continuously and we always have a wonderful time together. In reality, even when I threw her a surprise 70th birthday party (cooking dinner for 10 of her closest friends, and bringing in a professional photographer, and decorating her apartment), the next day she couldn’t help but tell me all of the things that were wrong with it.

Earlier this year, the guilt/emotional abusiveness/craziness came to a head, when I snuck home for a few short days and didn’t tell her. I didn’t tell anyone in my family. I had 4 days at home, and I just wanted to soak in goodness and warmth and love and support, and I’m sorry to say that those are not things that I get from my biological family.

To this day, I don’t know how, but my mom found out. She found out, and not only that, she found out the airline that I was on and the day that I was leaving. Instead of calling me, or emailing me, or asking me what had happened, like a normal person she went to the airport and she waited. She waited for three hours, until she saw me checking into my flight, and then she walked up to me and started a fight, which ended with her screaming at me and calling me a liar, and telling me “goodbye forever!!” and storming off. This was followed by a call 30 minutes later, which I didn’t answer, where she left a message sobbing and wishing me “happy birthday for the rest of my birthdays” and that she’d always love me and blah blah blah.

I couldn’t deal with it anymore. And so I stopped living under any pretence that I would talk to her again, and just tried to let it go, like I have let go every other person in my family. This time, however, was different. This time, there was guilt. SO MUCH GUILT. And whether or not it was warranted, it was eating away at me. And so, with the advice of my therapist, I made a plan. A plan to call my mother for ten minutes, once a week, every week. And on this phone call, it was not my job to fix her, it was not my job to try to fix our relationship, or to try to make her understand how the things that she says hurt me. For these ten minutes, my job was just to be there on the phone with my mother. Not for her, but for me. Because I just can’t live with the guilt.

I don’t know if from an outsider’s perspective this makes me seem selfish. I haven’t gotten into a lot of the heavy details of our relationship, so it could very well come across as me being an ungrateful daughter who just doesn’t appreciate her mom. But this is the way it is.

It’s been a month so far of ten minute calls, and so far it works. So far it’s been positive, and none of the horrible things about our relationship have had a chance to sneak in. So far, it’s reasonable and it’s easy. I know that it might not always be this way, but all I can do is take it one ten minute phone call at a time, and hope that it continues to help us both.

The end.

day 49-52

I seem to have a million blog post ideas that I want to cover during the hours when I am not sitting here in front of my laptop, and then when it comes time to write, they all melt away into oblivion. Clearly I need to start taking notes.

This past week has been full of meetings, and productivity, and good talks, and hangouts, and dates. And I remembered that I love/hate dates so much because they are exciting and fun, but also confusing and horrible. Right? I hate having to think about this shit.

We’re ramping up for another CreativeMornings event at the end of the week, and it’s nice to be back at it after much to long of a break between events. It’s gonna’ be a good one.

What else… A friend/CMTO colleague is running her first half marathon in Calgary this upcoming weekend, and I sent her off with a card to open the morning of her race. I still can’t believe how emotional running races feels. We both almost started crying just by me handing her the envelope and saying what it was for. I’m so proud of her, and I wish so very much that I could be there to cheer her on in person.

Sometimes tiny gestures of kindness make all the difference in life.


the 100 day project – 46-48

Things that I love about my new house:

  1. The giant porch.
  2. The ’50s kitchen.
  3. The clothesline in the back yard.
  4. Bay windows everywhere.
  5. All of the birds chirping outside.
  6. My roommates
  7. Our magical induction stove.

Things that I love about my life right now:

  1. Running, and Parkdale Roadrunners in general.
  2. Gearing up for the next CreativeMornings.
  3. Reading more often.
  4. The almost summer feeling.
  5. The fact that I know so many really kind, loving and smart humans.
  6. Having crushes.

Things that I do not love about my life right now:

  1. The search for dream job.
  2. Undiagnosed health issues.
  3. How hard it is to find “the right” running shoes for my wide, flat, injured feet.
  4. The wait for real summer.
  5. Having crushes.

The end.

the 100 day project – 44/45

Ok. So let’s start off by saying that I am well aware that I am not following the actual protocol of the 100 day project. I have actually been preeeeeetty lazy about it. And honestly, the only thing that is really keeping me going at the moment, is the shame that I will feel if my friend Naben has to message me one more time telling me to stop being such a lazy asshole about writing.

To be fair (to myself) though, it’s not just laziness, but rather it is also the feeling of complete self indulgence and BORINGness that comes with writing shit about my own thoughts and feelings publicly every day. I know that anxiety, and sleeplessness, and the feeling that maybe I will be alone forever are somewhat universal emotions. But it also feels like at 32, these are things that should not be occupying a large piece of real estate in my daily thoughts. It feels like I should be more sure of myself at this point. At the same time, the more that I read about, and talk to, mentory types, the more that I think that the idea that anyone ever really feels “together” is a ridiculous illusion. Of at least there is a strong sense that any who is ambitious and always striving for more, will never actually feel the great relief that they have finally reached some plateau where things are exactly as they had always wished that they would be. When you have always wanted more, you will continue to always want more. That is the price of being an ambitious perfectionist. Right? Right.

The other price of that is also at times feeling like your work is trite tedium that noone could ever have any interest of reading (watching/listening to/paying you for). So in this regard, sometimes the struggle isn’t just to get the work done, but to keep getting it done despite a strong sense of self doubt in any of your skills.

Wooooo. And if that didn’t make tonight’s entry overly self indulgent and tedious, then I really have no idea what could.


the 100 day project – 40-43 – no sleep ’til ever

photo 2 (2)  

I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping over the years. Starting at the age of about 15, I’ve had on again off again severe insomnia, coupled with just a general inability to sleep all that well. I recently, finally, after years and years of talking to different doctors, was sent to a sleep clinic to see what’s up, and to try to find out if there was anything that could be fixed. At the sleep clinic, they hook you up to a bagiliion little sensors, and monitor every little thing to try to find out what’s wrong. In the morning, when the tech came in, all she said was “so restless.” “Yes,” I thought, “my sleep WAS so restless. It’s ALWAYS so restless. That’s why I’m here.” And this statement gave me comfort, because I thought if they could plainly see how restlessly I was sleeping, that there must be some thing that we could work on together. I thought wrong.

Today I went for my results, and they came back normal. Breathing – normal; heart rate – normal; brain waves – normal. Normal. Normal. But there is one thing that is still not normal. My sleep. I probably average 6 hours of very broken sleep a night. For about the past 18 years.

So when I got back these results that nothing is wrong, I just started to cry. It probably doesn’t help that I am actually really sick right now, so I just didn’t really have the capacity to keep all of my emotions about this diagnosis inside myself today.

I walked through my sleep habits with the sleep specialist, skimming my life for any other clues as to the reasons why I often have such fitful sleep. I get enough physical activity, I have a somewhat regular sleep routine, I don’t drink coffee after 3, I don’t drink alcohol that frequently on weeknights; blah blah blah blah. I’ve been through these lists so many times before. So the only thing that we came up with is that it’s probably related to my anxiety, which is not really what I was hoping to hear. I mean, I knew that it was HEAVILY affected by anxiety, but to discover that this is likely the only cause feels so incredibly defeating. Because I am working so hard to get that aspect of my life under control, but my sleep is currently just not getting any better. And the two feed each other in this marvellous dance of non-sleep.

ANYWAYS. So I’m seeing my GP about sleeping meds, and cutting back MORE on computer time pre-bed, and cutting out most alcohol, and maybe getting some blackout curtains, and continuing to work on anxiety, and we’ll see how it goes.

The specialist reassured me that at least I don’t have really severe sleep apnea, and yes, that is something that I am very grateful for, but at the same time, this diagnosis of ‘normal’ has not brought me any closer to finding sleep.

The end.

the 100 day project – day 39

This month, I have been totally slacking on CreativeMornings. I wish that it wasn’t true, but it is. The combination of two events back to back, and just a heavy month personally for a number of our org committee members, plus moving to a new home, just completely wiped me out. And i’ve been having a little bit of trouble finding my way back.

So tonight, I finally hunkered down and checked a few things off of my CMTO to do list, and just getting through those things rather than continuing to put them off and become increasingly stressed out about them, has already given me a new wind. It’s funny how that works.

I keep having to remind myself that at the moment, it’s all still a learning process, and I’m still finding my feet as a leader, and not only that, we’re still finding out feet as a chapter. It’s a time of a lot of personal growth, and a lot of figuring out the new balance of my life. It’s been a really incredibly amazing year so far, and it’s only going to keep getting better.

the 100 day project – day 37/38

Another weekend comes to a close. Did a lot of running, run cheering, hangouts, house organizing, and not a lot of all of the productive things that I told myself that I was going to do. In fact, none of them. Unless you maybe count getting a haircut.

I made some small steps forward with a crush that I have, who I will say no more about for fear of identifying them. But let’s just say that I am THE WORST chicken when it comes to crushes. And at least I am maybe starting to be a tiny bit less of a chicken. So there is that. SO VAGUE.

Crushes are the best/worst thing in the entire universe, no? So exciting and hopeful, but also completely agonizing and spirit-crushing all at once. The over-analysis of every single text message and interaction, going over every moment in excruciating detail to try to derive its meaning – even though in reality, there could actually be nothing whatsoever to excruciate over. THE WORST (/BEST)

the end.

Day 34

I got my hair cut today, and while I was waiting for my hair dresser to be ready for me, I picked up a magazine in her waiting area, and in it there was a female writer who talked about the trope or cliche of a woman writing about her feelings, or and both she and the author were so refreshed and pleased that she had never done so. While initially, i had felt a little bit embarrassed when I read this (because I most definitely AM one of those female writers), I now find it a little bit irritating. So what if she WAS ‘one of those women’? Would that make her writing any less valid or meaningful?

Reflecting, while the interview was trying to imbue the writer with a certain cache, it actually seems like the same old stereotype of women shaming other women – of adding value to themselves by denouncing and almost ridiculing any connection to that which is generally considered to be feminine.

I hope that this post doesn’t come across as bitter. It’s not meant to be so. I just wish that women didn’t feel the need to try to distance themselves from other women in order to feel professionally validated or powerful. In reality, we’re always more powerful together.

the 100 day project – day 33

Today I went to see a talk by Roman Mars of 99% Invisible, with some of the other women from CreativeMornings Toronto. It was pretty much the best ever. Roman Mars has such a gift for storytelling that shows the beauty and wonder in the everyday. He is such a gifted speaker, with a calm, silky, measured tone. He has a way of making one feel incredibly excited about, and interested in, a topic without becoming manic or dramatic in his manner of speech.

Anyways, it was just such a treat. The talk was put on by Format, so THANKS FORMAT.

This was followed by a few drinks and foods at Bar Raval with a couple of the lovely ladies from Parkdale Roadrunners, and holy shit is that place great. Really lovely, beautiful atmosphere, that has more of a european vibe. And also, HOLY HELL, the tomato toast. Tomato toooooooooooast!!! We ordered it based on the bartender’s recommendation and it was probably my favourite out of everything we had. And it was only 3.50. It took me back to spending long summer days out on the water at my friend’s lake cabin and running in briefly in the afternoon only to make a quick tomato and mayo on toasted rye sandwich. THE BEST. But this was better. The mushroom towers were also the most delicious.

FINALLY, I came home to find that my roommates had completely unpacked/set up all of the common areas in our house. So it finally is really starting to look a lot like a home. Hurrrrrraaaaaaaaay.

And now it’s time for sleeps.

The End.