Mind Full or Mindful?

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When I was with Mr. B, I was plagued by the constant need to know what was coming up next: Where was this going? How would we end up together? Don’t get me wrong, Mr. B ended up being a giant asshole. But maybe if I had slowed it down – just a titch – I wouldn’t have been so bat shit crazy when it all blew up in my face, hung up on a life that solely existed in my crazy girl brain.

I’m very aware of the fact that if I don’t slow it down, I’m going to miss my life. As fucked up and unpredictable it can be at times, it is also pretty exciting and magical at other times. Besides, it’s all mine!

So here it goes. For Month 1 – Cultivating Mindfulness, these are the only five things I am going to concentrate on. Nothing more; nothing less.

  1. Learn to meditate
  2. Practice daily gratitude 
  3. Move my body for 45 minutes each day
  4. Be conscious about everything I put into my body 
  5. Stay in the present – no planning for the future 

My Year of Self will also have three overarching rules, which will be followed no matter which month I’m in:

  1. Start and end my day by reading my me-mantras
  2. Carry new habits forward into next month
  3. Write every day – no excuses

The liberating part of this month is that I’m giving myself permission to let go of any pending decision making. Already with that, I feel so much lighter. Even this blog post – no editing! I’m just clicking Publish. #yolo

Current Status: in a hotel room munching on peanuts / never want summer to end / listening to Donatan Cleo feat. Enej – Brać 

 

Month 1: Cultivate Mindfulness.

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Today marks the official start of my Year of Self.

I’ve gone back and forth several dozen times on what I thought Month 1 ought to focus on. I was plagued by several persistent thoughts:

How will I organize all of this? Will I really be happier at the end of my Year of Self? How will I measure its success? What the fuck is happiness, really? And most importantly, is it self indulgent to write about my silly #firstworldproblems?

So, I made an executive decision: nap time. Somewhere between deep sleep and my dog Lola kissing me awake with her whiskers tickling my face, a really deep sense of calm came over me.

Month one would be focused on mindfulness. In order to set myself up for the rest of the year, I first need to slow it down and bring it back to the basics.

I also realized that writing about one’s relentless pursuit of happiness is not diminished in its value because of social status or privilege. Happiness is our common thread; our common pursuit.

I am appreciative of every writer who has taken the time to put pen to paper and share their own experiences. I have sifted through mountains of blogs, books and research, and it has all had a profound effect on my life.

That is what my Year of Self is about. Taking everything I know, learning what I can along the way, applying it to my life in some organized fashion and sharing it with whoever cares to read it.

Tomorrow I will outline the parameters of Month 1 – stay tuned!

Current Status: feeling hella proud to be Canadian / wondering why I’ve never put peanut butter in oatmeal before / listening to Emma Louise – Underflow

My (real) Year of Self.

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For the next year, I’m devoting each month to a different pursuit in my life. I will be blogging through each month as I work my way through the “mini goals” I set up for myself in relation to that particular month’s theme.

I have so many ideas of what I want to accomplish in my life, that I’m often paralyzed by my inability to get started on any of it. I’m frozen in my own indecisiveness; my perfectionism always grinding any progress to a halt.

One of the last times I felt truly passionate (about anything) was when I launched this blog. It was a labour of love (or rather, disdain at the time for Mr. B). It was when I thought I lost everything that I let my obsessiveness go. In retrospect I was a hot mess – subsisting off a steady diet of ramen noodles and jumbo boxes of wine – but purging my unfiltered thoughts into the world without a flying fuck about what anyone thought was thrilling.

It was at that time that I wanted to launch a “Year of Self” but never properly got around to it. I knew I wanted to focus on myself and stop being a basic bitch, but I never had a game plan.

Now I’m ready. 

Stay tuned for the unveiling of Month 1, in what I hope is a transformative year of my life.

Hello, 2016!

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If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you will know that I coined 2015 as my Year of Self.

It was far from smooth sailing. My bucket list remains virtually untouched. My me-mantras often shoved aside for instant gratification and deviant behaviour. There may or may not have been copious amounts of wine involved.

Despite some of these setbacks, I have used the last 12 months to figure out the type of person I want to be, without attaching myself to a significant other.

I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I’ve learned so much. Had incredible experiences. Fortified my relationships with family and friends. Travelled the world. Said “yes” as often as I could. Read, researched and written my way back to sanity.

I walk away from the Mr. B experience, thankful for it. What once started as a public testament to my asshole ex-boyfriend who drive-by dumped me the morning after New Year’s Day, has become so much more than that.

I leave 2015 on a high note, excited for everything to come. I feel that I am on the precipice of the rest of my life.

Goodbye, 2015.

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I would like to gracefully depart 2015 with a note for anyone who has recently had their heart broken.

Things probably seem pretty fucking shitty right now. You may still be struggling to dig yourself out of a mound of snotty Kleenex – or perhaps you’re not even pretending to try. Or maybe you are subsisting on a diet of ramen noodles and crushed dreams.

Whatever part of the process you are in, please know that all the Pinterest quotes don’t lie. Time really does take time.

Eventually you will look back on this time of your life and shake your head. You may even smile. Your life will unfold in unimaginable ways, if you just allow yourself the time to heal properly and then be brave enough to open yourself up again.

My life is so much bigger than it ever was when I was with him. My heart is full. And I don’t mean that I filled it with another man. I managed to stay single. I found my own happiness without building up my life around one human being.

So cry it out. Drink lots of wine. Eat ramen until you’re in a MSG coma. Surround yourself with friends and family. And when you’re ready, put your big girls pants on, take a deep breath and shake it off. As a smart person once said:

Bitch, be cool. Do you. This is life. Keep figuring it out.

The perils of modern dating.

The last time I actively dated as an “adult” was when I was 19 – a time when anyone who dated online was still considered a social leper and my prefrontal cortex was still not yet fully developed. (Any day now, brain…any day.)

Dating in your late 20s – after a decade of catapulting yourself into a steady stream of monogamous relationships – is a goddamn minefield.

Gone are the simple days of the crumpled note being thrown at you by the mushroom-cut heartthrob during recess: Do you like me? Yes? No? Maybe? (Check one.) And off you go merrily to the school dance…done and done!

With so many options literally at our fingertips, dating feels more like a game these days. Who can be the most aloof? Who can space out their text messages the longest to ensure an air of unavailability and mystery is always conveyed?

At the end of the day, this is the way I see it: I could opt out of dating completely and get a jump on adopting the inevitable thirty cats, or I can continue to awkwardly navigate through the complexities of modern-day dating and see how it goes?

Down the rabbit hole I go…

What is the best dating advice you’ve ever received? Help!

Current Status: terrified for my glycolic peel / attempting to put my Christmas tree up today / enjoying my 90’s hip-hop playlist

 

How long does heartbreak last?

…11 months for me, apparently. That is precisely how long it took to get over Mr. B.

I’m no longer angry; no longer sad; no longer thinking about it. I no longer wish horrible things upon him. (Not even continued premature hair loss; although pretty sure there’s no stopping now…)

How did I get here? I believe a big part of it was a lot of introspection; pouring my soul out to kind strangers on the Internet; copious amounts of red wine; the Domino’s pizza app; an amazing network of close friends and family who never tired of reassuring me of my own sanity; and good old fashioned…time.

But there was also another integral part to this process…I got burned by someone else.

Nothing serious; nothing that will make a lasting impression on my life. But the momentary surprise and disappointment was more fresh in relation to the progressively dulling pain of the Mr. B saga. For the first time this year, another person became the source of my frustration.

When I took a step back from the situation, I realized that somebody besides Mr. B was capable of hurting me. Which means that somebody besides Mr. B is capable of making me feel happy. (Disclaimer: I don’t mean happy in the sense of needing someone to complete my life, but rather, complement my already pretty awesome life. And eat pizza with me.)

Life is pretty good. Stay tuned.

Current Status: not sure if I’m digging the new Adele album / ecstatic to not be working tomorrow / queuing up a TED Talks marathon

10 Things I’ve Learned From Getting Dumped.

In the spirit of lists, and my infinite love for them, here are some pearls of wisdom I managed to extract from getting drive-by dumped earlier this year.

  1. Wine is your friend. Choose your poison wisely; don’t abuse it. But rest assured that a glass of Merlot will never kick your ass to the curb.
  2. All those stupid sayings about time healing all are true. One day, you will wake up and the first thought on your mind won’t be that smug bastard. Let time do its thing; Pinterest quotes do not lie.
  3. Safety nets are key. Your friends and family are wiser than you ever knew. Let them share their stories; it feels good to know others have come out on the other end to be the functioning members of society you know them to be!
  4. Exercise is a lifesaver. Once you’ve gotten your snotty face out of your pillow and dragged yourself back into society, going out and getting your ass moving is crucial. Better to be sad and fit, than sad and wallowing in sweat pants.
  5. You will be overly cautious with every new person you meet for awhile – and that’s okay. Eventually, your faith in humanity will be restored. Not everyone is an asshole; don’t worry.
  6. It will feel like a giant kick to the stomach when you learn about your ex’s new flavour of the month. Avoid the urge to social media stalk, and you will be rewarded in time. Out of sight; out of mind. As trite as they may be, clichés are clichés for a reason.
  7. You will be more self-critical than you’ve ever been. Were my thighs too fat? Was I not charming enough? Smart enough? Funny Enough? No. No. No. No. Be kind to yourself. Don’t let yourself fall into this pattern of self-criticism. Life happens; people change; relationships end.
  8. Not forgiving someone doesn’t make you a bad person. Yes, you need to move on. But you don’t necessarily have to forgive the douchebag who had so little regard for you.
  9. Kelly Clarkson is the ultimate break-up song go-to diva. Because Of You. Never Again. Since You’ve Been Gone. Miss Independent. What Doesn’t Kill You (Makes You Stronger). Play it loud; play it proud. Sing at the top of your lungs. No shame.
  10. You shall love again (probably). Unless you decide to become a crazy cat lady instead. But chances are, once you have adequately grieved and healed, your heart will pitter patter again at the sight of a handsome stranger. Don’t be a bitter bitch; embrace it when it comes your way.

And, because you all know I love my cheesy/inspirational quotes, I will end on this note:

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.”

 

Happy Anniversary, asshole.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the night I met Mr. B, subsequently launching me into a transatlantic  whirl-wind romance, culminating in the the shell-shock of dealing with the first heartbreak of my life.

I haven’t written for a while for various reasons. Reasons I’ve been mulling over and struggling with over the past few weeks. Extraneous circumstances rendering me unfit and paralyzed to continue transcribing the most intimate details of my life onto the computer screen, and out into the world. Those will be tackled another day; in another mood.

I changed the title of this post many times. Am I being too crass? Am I still the bitter ex-girlfriend who refers to her past flame only in derogatory terms? Perhaps. Definitely. I’ve wondered aloud before, whether getting over someone requires forgiving their actions. I surmised even back then, that perhaps some individuals do not merit forgiveness; that this is not a necessary component in moving on with one’s life. And I am still of the thought that this is true.

Despite all the anger and general ill will that I still harbour for Mr. B, I am also thankful (it took me an extremely long time to get to this conclusion). Bear with me here – hold back your groans – but, up until meeting Mr. B, I had never experienced the feeling of being sure, beyond a doubt, about wanting to be with someone. I took a chance; I fell in love. And now that I know what that feels like, I would prefer being alone to settling.

I don’t know exactly why I am thankful for this – seeing as this now means I may be facing a lifetime of solitary Friday nights at home chugging down boxed wine and forcibly cuddling my chubby cocker spaniel – but the irritatingly eternal optimist in me trusts in the timing of my life.

On a side note, true to my word, I hadn’t lurked Mr. B’s Facebook profile since I publicly denounced any intention of doing so, until a few days ago. Two observations that give me hope:

  1. I no longer get the “kicked-in-the-stomach” feeling when I see the smug bastard’s face.
  2. The hairline continues to recede at an alarming rate. And they say there’s no such thing as karma…

Hope all of you, my lovely WordPress family, has been doing well as of late. Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs and beginning to update all of you on my own happenings.

Current Status: obsessing over Downton Abbey / nesting on my couch / cooking lentils which will inevitably turn out mushy and inedible

The six-month mark.

Today officially marks the six-month mark of Mr. B walking out of my life, leaving me buried in a mountain of snotty kleenex and shattered dreams.

The past six months have been a mixed bag of highs and lows.

I have drunk more merlot than any functioning human being with a day job should be able to do; permanently stained countless pillow cases with mascara tears (note to self: invest in waterproof version); drafted dozens of scathing letters that never got mailed and made up a plethora of revenge fantasies that typically include me nonchalantly running into Mr. B with my new boyfriend. Liam Hemsworth. (I never said they were realistic.)

On the flip side, I have solidified some of the most important relationships in my life; ridden on the back of a bicycle at 2 a.m. down the streets of London laughing until I cried; watched the sun set over the breathtaking red landscape of the Grand Canyon; danced the night away with an Ed Sheeran look-alike under the Eiffel Tower and generally opened myself up to experiences I would have previously turned down in lieu of Skype dates and pining over my long-distance douchebag.

Most importantly, I’ve taken a step back and completely re-evaluated my life. Though initially very painful to let go of the idea of my future with Mr. B, rebuilding my own version of what I want for my life, albeit sometimes terrifying, has also been incredibly liberating.

Big changes/updates coming up. Some I am looking forward to sharing with you over the next few weeks, others I will surprise you with when you least expect them. *dun dun dun*

Stay tuned!

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”

Current Status: marathon watching Dragon’s Den / OD’ing on green tea  / mourning the dissolution of Bennifer