The Smile is Real

Gather around friends, I have something to tell you. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been known as the “happy girl”, it’s never been a bad thing, it’s just always been how I’ve been recognized. BUT it always felt like a label that I kind of needed to live up too, “don’t be sad, that’s not you”, “don’t let anyone see you cry, you’re better than that” (ironically now I constantly cry) #internalscreaming.

To be fair (please read that like Letterkenny, please) no one ever pushed me to be like that, no one said I had to be that girl, but I put it on my own shoulders. I love being happy, smiling, laughing, being goofy, etc.. I’ve said it before, it’s so much more important to me that I am funny rather than pretty. I would rather make you laugh for days then be the stereotypical version of pretty, and to be crystal clear, the girls and boys who are pretty and funny, I am simply envious of you in the best way and I don’t think its wrong for someone to want to be both or to want to be more pretty than funny, but just for me personally, funny is my favorite.

Life isn’t always easy, in fact it is rarely easy for me but that hasn’t stopped me from laughing at least once a day and always wanting to be there for other people when they need a pick me up. It isn’t a chore for me to be happy, but sometimes it does take a bit of work. Even when things suck and the world feels like it’s shrinking in around you and you’re struggling for each breath, remember you’re not alone. Even the most happy people or the people who seem the most happy have bad days, but the good thing about the bad is that it fades and it helps you remember how lucky you are to have the good.

Now onto the cover photo! I love a good selfie, I love self-love, I love, love. Basically I love everything but oddly enough when I look at photos of myself I can tell when its a fake smile and a real smile. This photo that I chose today and that I took today, is a real smile. It feels good to really smile. Today wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t bad. I was able to wake up, go to work, talk to other human beings, laugh and make jokes, talk to my family, I have a lot of things to the thankful for and to be happy for and since I’ve started genuinely appreciating the little things in my life, my life has gotten so much more bright.

There are a lot of truths in the world, you’re going to be broken, you’re going to cry, you’re going to lose someone you love and you’re going to be rejected but with each harsh truth comes an even more powerful realization. Yes, but if you’re never broken you can never be re-built, You’re going to cry happy tears too and those will mean so much more. Losing someone you love meant you had the opportunity to love someone enough that losing them doesn’t have to mean forgetting them. Rejection brings you one step closer to achieving your dreams, every time.

So let yourself cry, let yourself break, let your guard down and let yourself be happy, truly, embarrassingly, cheesily (not a word) happy. You deserve it.

xx your gal, AL.

 

My Heart is Sad

First and foremost, RIP Heather Heyer, you did not deserve what you received. You deserved a life well lived, a life with your family, a life not ended by hate. For that I am sorry and I wish I could offer more than my thoughts and prayers, but for now that is all I have. I promise, I will do all I personally can to help spread love and not hate, to help others understand why this was unacceptable and to ensure you are never forgotten. Your father said you died doing what you loved, standing up for others and I will remember you anytime I take a stand.

I feel sick, I want to throw up. It is the most painful thing to see that this type of hate still exists and that enough people believe in it for a rally to even be started. The people of Charlottesville did not wake up thinking they had to fear for their lives, they did not wake up thinking that hate of that volume still existed and they absolutely did not wake up and ask for this to happen.

Men and woman neo-nazi’s who flooded the streets are the ones who should’ve been stopped. Yet police fairly calmly stood by and watched because that is their job, strange how at a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest their “job” all the sudden involved riot gear, pepper spray and aggression. Please do not pretend that this wasn’t an act of terrorism, please do not let this slide as just “freedom of speech”, no, this was an act of war. War against people of color, war against people who have helped to shape our lives, values and who have loved us even when we haven’t deserved it.

I am a very privileged person, I am a white middle-aged female who lives in Canada. I have a good job, a loving family and those are just some of the reasons why I can’t sit by and not say something about these events. A lot of times  the people who haven’t experienced racism or hate are the ones who stay silent. I don’t know if its out of fear or ego but its something that really needs to change. One of the many reasons that stories such as this keep appearing is because the events are seen as an attack against one group, not against an entire nation. But I cannot stress this enough, violence against one is violence against all and it cannot continue to happen.

You cannot teach hate and expect love to come. We must not let hatred take over and I know that is hard, especially in moments like this. I recently was talking to an old friend about how we both tend to be kind people, which can lead to being taken advantage of and we both agreed that we would rather be those people then treat others like they didn’t matter or like they weren’t worth their own lives. I believe that there are more people in this world with love in their hearts then there are with hate in their hearts and I believe that love will always win no matter how hard some people try to make it lose.

When I say hate is taught, I’m referring also too Donald Trump, who is a poor excuse for a President. I apologize to all the Americans who did not vote for him and are now stuck living in this nightmare. To the LGTBQ community who got pushed 10 steps back because of this “man”, to the soldiers who were fighting for freedom and now are being home and told  their not worth that same freedom. I’m not sure if you realized this, but if you look at the photos from the rally the young men with torches were dressed like their president, they were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and they were not afraid for their lives because they think that the color of their skin means that they are worth more than anyone else because that is something DT has endorsed. If you are a white male, you are a God and that is not true, don’t let anyone think that is true.

In moments like these, when I’m sick to my stomach I search for hope. I found my hope in the pages and pages of people expressing their pain regarding this event, pages and pages of people sending their love and offering to help. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “You came here today to hurt people, and you did hurt people, but my message is clear. We are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed.” He is right, they cannot succeed and will not. I wish so much that no one lost their lives yesterday, that no one lost their lives to hate ever, but that is not reality, not yet. One day there will be a world where hate was a thing of the past, a dark, embarrassing thing of the past. Until that day I will not stay silent, I will not allow someone to treated terribly because they are “different” and I will fight hate with love until we win and we will win.

Please continue to love, please continue to be strong and please don’t stay silent. The worst thing we can do in a time like this is let other people divide us out of hate. I leave you with a quote that is bringing a lot of people together today, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” – Nelson Mandela

xx your gal, AL.

 

Whats Your Number?

Hookay! So I just finished my second spin class of the day and I’m feeling kinda hyped. Therefore, please don’t judge me but this post might be all the over the frickin map.

I ain’t playing tonight guys, I have a real bone to pick, what the heck is the obsession with who people have slept with? Stay with me now. I mean, why are people so interested in the amount of people you have or haven’t slept with, the sex of said people and what said people look like? Could I say people one more time?

The issue I have with this is, it’s literally none of your business. That simple. Now, if you’re comfortable talking about who you slept with, and the 5 W’s, then you go for it, but don’t make other people feel bad or awkward because it isn’t something they want to get into. I know its 2017, but some humans still like having things kept private. Letterkenny said it best “It’s impolite to ask about someones sexual history.” Oh and the million other great lines they have.

Don’t. Get. Me. Wrong. You absolutely shouldn’t have to hide any of this information and you shouldn’t be judged for whatever the answers may be, but if you chose to not disclose this because it’s what you want, a-freaking-men. You go glen co-co.

The beauty of the world is that we all get to create our own versions of it. In my version, I am a superstar, badass, sweet as can be, don’t fuck with me, confident, mini hulk, who always has copious amounts of food and drinks to offer you. The reality is, sadly, slightly different, cause I’m poor, but I don’t let that bring me down. You are not what others make of you and frankly, what other people think of you is also, none of your business.

Live your life for you. If that means sleeping with a bunch of men or woman, as long as you are safe and it is mutually consensual*, then go for it. Same, same, if you are waiting until marriage to find that special someone, I deeply respect both of these types of people. If you have the confidence and the ability to live for yourself you will never regret a day in your life.

xx your gal, AL.

*Seriously, MUTUALLY, just because they can’t say no doesn’t mean yes and just because they said yes at first and then they changed their mind, also doesn’t mean yes, you Donald Trump worshiping fucktards. 

 

While I’ve Been Away…

I’m constantly stuck between wanting to be incredibly sweet and wanting to be a complete bad ass. This is becoming more and more obvious in my day-to-day life. I tend to lean more towards being sweet, because it’s easier for me, but also I tend to get walked all over because of it, which makes me want to be BA. Quite unsurprisingly, I reach the other side of the spectrum and I’m an unapologetic bad ass, feeling myself, until I say something that I think is maybe a bit too far and, once again, I’ve flipped the switch completely. I’m riding a rollercoaster of emotion every single day. Who am I? Why am I? What am I? Where am I? When am I… going to get it together? This is what I’ve been thinking about while I’ve been away.

This blog is supposed to be sort of a diary for myself. I’m not writing it because I want to make money, obviously, if I was, I definitely wouldn’t take weeks off at a time. I’m writing it because it makes me feel more relaxed to have my thoughts down on internet paper and I love the idea of sharing them with other people whilst on their own terms. You don’t have to read this, you don’t have to share this, but for some reason I find comfort in knowing that someone else knows the thoughts inside my head. I want to apologize for being away, but I can’t. I’m not sorry that I was spending time with my family or that I started a new job. I’m not sorry that I’m trying to figure out who I am and that sometimes that involves spending a lot of time alone and not responding to text messages or speaking to other people. It’s not because I don’t care, but it’s because I like to have time to myself, I like to know I can be by myself and I like to eat whatever I want without having to worry about how I look while eating it, because it is not pretty, but it is fun.

I do want to write more and I do promise that I will. If you choose to follow along I would be so happy because I love hearing about other people, the things they love, the things they don’t and the thoughts they never share. Like, do you believe in aliens? ghosts? horoscopes? God? Fight Club? Global Warming? Anything at all. I want to hear it all and I will probably share everything I think with you, whether you ask about it or not, but also I do take requests, just don’t request that I stop, that’s mean.

Thank you for reading along with me, for being with me and for caring about me. I care about you all dearly. Talk soon.

xx your gal, AL.

I’ve Been Away For Too Long

The little pink thing covering my camera is because since watching Snowden I’m truly terrified of someone watching me without my knowledge. I mean, they wouldn’t see anything cool, but like do I really want people watching me picking my nose or crying at videos of cute dogs? No, no I do not. That’s my time, not theirs.

Onto bigger and better things, I’ve been away for a while because I had to go to Calgary for my dad’s birthday, visit my old office family and then my little pup ended up getting hurt so shout out to my parents for covering an $900 vet bill, which I’ll never be able to be pay back. It was exhausting. But also great, I loved seeing my family and surprising my drunk dad when I arrived at 11pm, the cutest!

Any whom, this is actually just an update blog because I have some more stories and meaningful posts coming up for when I actually have some energy back. Praying that, that is soon!

I start a new job Monday, which I couldn’t be more excited about. Thanks to Office Family for giving me rave reviews! It’ll be nice to start getting out of the house and meeting new people whilst taking on a big challenge. I’m sure I’ll be writing all about it, but after I nap and get used to waking up before 9AM everyday. This is going to take a really long time for me to get used too. It’s literally 7PM and I’m exhausted on a Saturday.

I’m also trying to swear less, which has proven to be a bigger challenge then I ever expected. Please let me know what words you use when you’re trying not to swear? I need help!!! HELP!!! Who knew I was a sailor in a past life? Crazy.

xx your gal, AL.

Hello, I’m Average.

I read an article this morning on Psychology Today, about why being average isn’t actually a bad thing and although I don’t necessarily agree with how it was written, it did have some very valid points.

If you don’t want to read the article I can sum it up for you, basically, it’s saying that by all technicalities the majority of people in the world are average and roughly only 35% of people are above average in terms of, intelligence, creativity, happiness, leadership, all that jazz. This is actually something I have some trouble with so I’m going to come back to it later. Then the author says that psychologically speaking it’s not actually bad to be average because it means in most cases you will avoid psychological downfall or illnesses, so that’s cool I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing. But really what it’s saying to accept that you’re average, because most of us are. Boom. Doctored.

I’m average AF. Like in all areas, my body weight, intelligence, height, eye colour, creativity, personality, I mean it. When I say I’m average I mean there is not one single thing that I’m really good at. Now before you think I’m all down on myself, I’m not at all I swear. You see my problem is, I’m good at everything I try, except snowboarding, I’ve accepted that as well. BUT I’m not phenomenal at anything. Like if anything I would get a participation trophy in life because I’m not even doing great at that and we all have to do life. I’m that kid that shows up to soccer practice but is benched the whole time. I’m here and I’m okay and if it comes down to it, I’ll kick the ball but otherwise I’m good watching and just celebrating after with juice boxes and granola bars. I’m that average.

The thing I like most about being this way is that if by chance I do something really well everyone including myself gets to be surprised and proud of me. Its like I’m constantly on the Price Is Right and I’m betting $400 and someone always goes for the $401, like an asshole, but just once I’m the last to pick and I get to be the asshole so I win and I get to go up and meet Bob Barker (is that even this name? He was in Happy Gilmour, I know that) or Drew Carrey or whoever is doing that shit now, I mean I definitely won’t win the new car, but hey I got up there and that’s something. I’m killing these examples today, by the way.

Everyone wants to be special, because everyone is told that they are but why can’t we just be average? Whats so wrong with doing my absolute best and it still just being okay?

Lastly, let’s go back to my first issue with the entirety of the article. If you want to be exceptional at something, you can be. That is what I don’t get, they made it seem like it was always average, below average or exceptional, like there was no way to go from one to the other, which is BS. When I was little I had the worst personality, I was shy to the point where I wouldn’t talk to anyone and now I still have the worst personality but I’m not shy anymore, I was able to change that trait about myself and I’m sure if I tried I could change others.

The point of training and learning new things is to become better then you currently are at those things. You’re not spending $5000 on intense hockey lessons and camps just so you can never improve, unless your parents/you are below average and have money to blow, in which case, hit your girl up! Now, I’m not saying that you can’t love hockey and spend money on it just because it makes you happy, but I’m trying to give an extreme example so just bear with me.

Life is about doing things you love and I believe that you have the power to become more intelligent, happier, stronger, kinder, have a better personality, if you want those things. But if you don’t and you’re happy with who you are, that’s okay too! Unless you are a serial killer, in which case, Criminal Minds would tell me that is not okay, not okay. 

Anyways, in conclusion, Team Average isn’t so bad, I’m a huge spokesperson for us and we’re always looking for more members, so don’t be afraid of being average at something, we can’t all be Robert Downey Jr.*

xx your gal, AL.


*I wish we could though, omg how cool would that be? Iron man!

 

 

Anxiety Sometimes Wins

Imagine you’re stuck in a glass box and it’s filling up with water. You’re surrounded by friends and family and they are living their lives, talking, laughing and you’re screaming but they can’t hear you. Nothing bad has happened yet, but you know that eventually if you’re in the box long enough you won’t be able to breathe. So, you’re trying to ask for help but you’re not sure how someone could even help you, you see, the box is sealed, you know if water is coming in, there is a way for it to go out but you just don’t know what to do about it. That is what my anxiety feels like.

I don’t always know what is wrong and I can’t even explain what I’m feeling but it can completely freeze me and I’m stuck. Sometimes for a couple minutes and sometimes it can last days, that’s the thing about anxiety you can’t avoid it, but you can learn how to (kinda) live with it.

My first ever panic attacked happened a couple of months ago. I’m a bit of a prick so I think karma came back for me because I used to not understand what a panic attack was and I really underestimated how serious it is, then I had one and game changer.

I’m driving in the rain down highway 99, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong prior to me getting in the car. I’m not even driving my own car, I’m driving a car share and my dog is in the seat beside me. She starts climbing around because she’s nervous and whilst I’m trying to switch lanes and can’t see anything because of the fog she somehow gets behind my neck and this was the thing that initiated the attack. I don’t even know what happened but all the sudden I couldn’t breath, I was crying uncontrollably, I was screaming at my poor dog to move, I tried to rip off my clothing because I didn’t know what to do, I just knew something was wrong.

Now from the outside looking in, literally, like the cars surrounding me, I would’ve looked insane. There was dog in the hood of my jacket, I’m driving an old school Toyota, I’m ugly crying, snotting and screaming AND on top of all of that, I was trying to rip off my own clothing. This was in fact, not, my finest moment.

To me though, this was just so scary. It was the first time I’ve ever lost control of my own emotions and I didn’t know who to talk to about it so I messaged my friend, Dillon.* I was lucky, he was able to empathize with me really quickly and reassure me that I wasn’t crazy and he was actually the one who told me what I had was, a panic attack. Never in my life have I been so grateful for someone. He didn’t tell me how to fix it, he didn’t ask me a million questions, he just was there for me when I needed it. I don’t know if I ever said thank you, but thank you.

After this happened I tried to learn how to handle anxiety. I think I just thought I was super human and it wouldn’t affect me, fun fact, I was wrong. BUT I tried (almost) everything google suggested,

  • Meditation – my mind wonders too aggressively and I can’t mediate quickly, so this one didn’t quite work for me. Also, I tend to fall asleep and shockingly that isn’t the goal, weird right?
  • Yoga – again, I don’t have enough self-discipline, so unless I’m in a class I can’t follow through and I can’t afford the classes.
  • Natural Medicine – honestly, Bill Nye would agree with me, but this just doesn’t work, I wanted it too, but it doesn’t.
  • Running/Working Out – this one actually does work, but only when the anxiety doesn’t last too long. It’s a quick fix but not permanent.
  • Getting More Sleep – If you don’t see the problem with this one, you’re missing all the points. If I could sleep more I would, but I’m awake thinking about why I can’t fall asleep.
  • Planning for Anxiety – basically this is planning for the worst and trying to recreate the feeling of a panic attack. It’s supposed to train your mind to be more comfortable with it, but oh my god, nope.

What I’m saying is, the things that work for a lot of people, and I believe these things do work for a lot of other people, don’t work for me. The only thing left is getting medication for it, but I’m lazy and not too eager to spend that money yet therefore, I accept it.

SIDE NOTE: Someone once actually told me I don’t look like someone with anxiety. When I asked why they stated, I am always smiling and laughing, I seem very confident and comfortable in small or large crowds, I’m very independent and I just don’t fit what you would expect, but it can happen to anyone. Thats the point, it doesn’t discrimate, it just happens. Some of us and just more inclined to try and hide it than others. So try and be aware of how you treat people, its easy to not be a dick. Frankly, most people are fighting a battle you can’t even see, don’t make it worse by being an asshole. 

I did get a chance to speak with a professional regarding my anxiety and it turns out I’ve had it my entire life, I just wasn’t recognizing it as anxiety. It was just me being over dramtic, in my own words. Today, the power I have is simply finding comfort in knowing that it’s okay for anxiety to win sometimes, because it always goes away.

Sure, it sucks balls not knowing when its going to leave or why it’s there, but if all I have for now is the knowledge that eventually I’ll be okay, that’s going to have to cut it. Please know though, sometimes I’m off and I don’t feel great and I won’t be able to tell you why. It isn’t because I don’t want too, it’s just because I can’t. Not everyone will be able to understand this or stick around when its rough but being with someone who has anxiety is more and more common these days and I think its good that we’re all trying to gain more knowledge around it.

I still have a lot to learn, so if any of you have anxiety I would love to hear what you do to live with it and how it has affected you. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.

xx your gal, AL.

*Quick background on Dillon, we have only met once and he has been a constant friend to me since I moved to Vancouver. If you know Dillon you are one of the lucky ones.