Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dear Angela,

This note is to remind you, the next time you are looking at your body and not liking it very much, just exactly why your body is amazing.

First of all, go look at that photo of you from last summer, looking smoking hot in your bikini. Go, now. It's ok, I'll wait.


Now, think of all the things your body is capable of doing. It can swim. It can sing. It can snuggle, both cats, and people. It can make yarn out of fiber, and then make stuff out of the yarn. It can dance.

Next, when the Buts start (but I used to be able to do the splits, but I can't walk in high heels, but I'm fat, but I used to be able to deadlift 125 lbs.), remind yourself of a few things.

  1. If you really want to be able to do the splits, stretch more. That's how you got there the first time. Flexibility takes just as much work and practice as learning to spin, or rhumba, and you can do both of those things. Also, why, exactly, do you want to be able to do the splits?!
  2. You can sit (and do other things) very well in high heels. Why the hell does it matter if you can walk in them?
  3. Yes, you're fat. So? You're also healthy, which, really, is far more important. "Fat" is just a descriptor, like blue-eyed, or big-boobed. It's not a value judgement, and it says nothing about your character.
  4. This week alone, you lifted somewhere around 6000 pounds of boxes at work, 3700 of those in one day. That means you lifted about 300 boxes at 20 pounds each. You lifted them from over your head down to the floor, and vice versa. You hauled pallets around. You pulled around a pump truck. Maybe you could deadlift 125 pounds again right now. Maybe you couldn't. You haven't tried lately, so cut it out with being stuck in the past.

Telling yourself that you have no value because you don't like the way your clothing fits, or because things are saggy, or wrinkled, or whatever, is not useful. Your worth is not based on what you see in the mirror. You certainly don't base the value of anyone else in your life on they way they look, why are you doing it to yourself?

TL;DR: as one very awesome person once told you "Don't be a knob." And go look at that photo again.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

*Blows Off The Dust*

I've been inspired by a couple of people (Annika, and Jeff, mostly) who have started/ramped up their blogging to attempt to dust this off and do a bit of my own.

There will probably be stuff about my depression, my cats, my house, my relationships, and my crafting. So, much the same as stuff that winds up on other social media, but hopefully with a little more depth to it.

But, um, not today, because I should be doing work instead of blogging. Ahem.

Monday, April 08, 2013


There is something about the air after a thunderstorm.  It smells a little sharper; feels a little more electric.  

I missed the light show part of tonight’s storm, but even hearing the spectacular boom and crack of the thunder, and the cadence of hard rain on the GLT rehearsal space rooftop was enough to remind me just how much I love a thunderstorm.

I’m normally a water person.  I get recharged and do my best thinking near bodies of water: streams, waterfalls, the occasional lake, when I can get to one.  The first time I realized that it wasn’t just the water part of a good, violent thunderstorm that energizes me was when I was in high school.  A bunch of us crammed ourselves into someone’s station wagon and drove to Wasaga Beach on a whim, Depeche Mode’s Violator tape in the deck.  It was off season, so the beach wasn’t busy, but the weather was warm enough that we spent a good few hours there.  Just before sunset, I climbed up into one of the guard chairs and watched as a lightning storm rolled across the lake.  Dark and light, colour and gray, actual calm being chased by a true storm.  It was primal nature and it made me feel like I was buzzing and fizzing.  Restless.  Undone.

Of course, the rain part of a thunderstorm, especially one at the end of summer, can be just as powerful.  The summer before my third year of university was hot, and dry.  The day we finally got rain, a roommate and I were out riding our bikes, looking at apartments for September.  The rain, when it finally came, came in sheets with great fanfare.  The rain smelled electric.  The sizzling sound of it hitting the hot pavement was a quiet echo of the lightning splitting the air.  We got home, drenched, and then danced in the front yard out of sheer joy.

Years later, I lived on the 20th floor of an apartment building in downtown Toronto.  The balcony was solid concrete, deep and safe, with a wall of windows looking out it.  We faced Lake Ontario and the CN Tower, and my then-husband and I looked forward to shutting off the lights and sitting on the balcony together to watch a thunderstorm roll in off the lake.  We would watch the advancing curtain of water, and count the seconds between the light and the crack and the boom, taking guesses at how long it would take for the blast of air before the rain to reach us.

Now, when I can, I stand on my front porch, and I try to watch for the curtain of water.  I can still feel the sizzle, the zzt of the air, the electricity dripping from my fingers.  I miss my balcony, but I still count the seconds between light and sound.  I hope that someday I’ll dance on the lawn again, with wild abandon, and primal joy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I am going to go teach my former peers how to use the software I update every Monday with the numbers that everyone in the company uses to manage their headcount.  Because I am a rockstar.

Yesterday, I finished booking my Guild speakers for the year, and I got Amy Singer, the founder of to come talk to us in April.  Because I am a rockstar.

Today I am wearing heels, and an awesome dress, and eyeliner, and lipstick.  Because I am a rockstar.

Today I am not feeling like an utter fool for waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for responses from people who clearly are not going to respond in the way I hoped they would.  Because I am a rockstar.

Maybe, if I keep telling myself I am a rockstar, I will believe it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Last night I dreamt that my feelings were bleeding through, blossoming in bruises across my skin.

They started on my hips, wrapped around my groin and wandered, slowly, colourfully up my stomach.  Browns, purples, that sickly, awful green, spreading across my breasts until there was no pink left, except the bright, bright red of my nipples.

This morning I asked for peace, and for passion, with the understanding that I probably won't get it in the way that I think I want it.

I am tired of "bruises" that I did not ask for.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion

One of the places I am decidedly not stuck is in my personal-professional life.  I call it that because it's not the work I get paid to go to an office and do everyday, but work I do for my community, and work that feeds where I want to go on the professional side of my life.

I was asked by my friend Gillian over at Craftzilla Conquers the World to be a part of Ignite Culture: Guelph on June 21, 2012.  I was very honoured to be asked, and also very terrified.  Give me a script or a song and send me out in front of people, and that's just fine, or get me introduce somebody else and I have no problem with it.  But my own ideas?  Who would want to hear those?  As it turns out, I have an awful lot to say, which is why I'm talking so fast, as I had only five minutes to say all of it.  

The experience was wonderful due to getting some excellent feedback (I had one very pregnant woman walk up to me and say "I want what you have", which was an amazing and difficult and important moment for me), and getting the chance to make connections in my home arts community.  It also helped me to realized some of the stuff I talked about in yesterday's post - that I'm not invisible, and that I do have stuff to say that people want to hear.

Also, I managed not to completely dissolve into tears at the end.  Go me!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Last night I drove home under a full moon, and I thought about where I am in my life.

"It's been a rough few months." I think.  And then I think "Wait a minute, this time last year, I was in pretty much exactly the same place I am now.  What gives?  Why haven't I been able to progress in a year? What's stuck?"

Some things have changed.  I can deadlift 100 lbs. fifteen times in one work out.  This time last year I was barely able to use a 15 lb. dumbbell.  I've got a better sense of self - I've realized that people actually like me, and that I'm funny, and I'm a good friend.  It used to surprise me when people would want to spend time with me.  I told myself a story: that I was invisible, and unloveable.  So, that's changed too.

I think a part of that change, that rediscovered sense of self, has impacted how I feel about other parts of my life - or rather - how I want to change the way I manage the parts that I am unhappy with.

If I'm completely honest, I spend a lot of time blaming outside factors for my lack of forward movement. I was waiting for our beloved (ancient, incontinent) dog to pass before doing anything about moving to a new house.  I don't do a good job of cleaning the house we live in because my husband doesn't pitch in as much as I'd like him to.  My finances aren't where I want them to be because my husband and I don't share the same philosophy when it comes to money. You see where I'm coming from - I haven't taken adequate responsibility for my own stuff.

Is it true that it's harder to manage shared finances than just doing it on your own?  Sure. Do two people make more of a mess than one?  Probably. But, just because he buys a video game when I'm not expecting it, that doesn't mean I can go buy a dress.  Just because he doesn't pick up his pop cans, that doesn't mean I shouldn't wash the floor.

These are little-big things.  They are small things that can have a big, big impact when unhappiness around them piles up over days, weeks, months, years.

Then, there are big-big things.  We went through the fertility testing process.  Our options, at the end of it all, would mean that we would not have natural children of our own.  We discussed, and dismissed adoption.  Except that I can't really dismiss it.  I can't really let go of the feeling that I would be a good mother - that I want to have that chance.  I can't figure out yet if I can channel that into being a Big Sister - if being the cool "aunt" or the nifty lady down the block will be enough for me.  And if it's not, what does that mean for the path we're on?

So, I'm stuck.  Just as stuck as a year ago, albeit for different reasons.  I need to sort out what I can change - where I can unstick me.