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

The three-month mark: Tips for surviving a breakup.

As I triumphantly glide past the three-month mark of the complete and utter mindfuck (excuse my French, thesaurus.com failed me here) that turned me into a ramen-eating, merlot-chugging, internet-sobbing shell of a human being, I feel like I am in the position to finally impart some wisdom upon those who may be going through a similar experience.

1) Block his social media accounts.
Facebook. Email. iMessage. Block this dangerous trifecta. And if your ex is a social media maven, throw Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn in there. This is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone who is going through a breakup. If you know there is no chance of reconciliation, walk away with your head up high and block off any means of contact.

Your ex isn’t going to give you closure; closure is something you find within yourself. And it’s definitely not going to be given to you in 140 characters
or less.

2) Delete the man’s number.
In my worst moments after the breakup, I had to restrain myself from texting Mr. B a string of profanities I would have later (or more likely, instantly) regretted. Don’t give the asshole the satisfaction. He no longer exists. Be a classy bitch. Make him wonder why he never hears from you again.

3) Immerse yourself in a new hobby.
Belly dancing? Yoga? Animal caricatures? Bemoaning your woes and spilling your heart out to your 300 new WordPress friends? Whatever. Throw yourself into something new. Turn a negative into a positive. After years of not writing, I found the words spilling out of me after my breakup. Get stubborn. Use this as an opportunity to really do something that you may not have considered getting around to while you were in your relationship. I get so much satisfaction in knowing that some of my best writing would never have come to fruition if it had not been for my brush with Mr. B.

4) Surround yourself with family and friends.
These people are your lifeline. Your safety net. Your sanity. Don’t shut them out and try and suffer alone. Let them spoon feed you oatmeal, refill your rapidly depleting kleenex supply and ensure your wine is glass is always full. Talk it out. You will learn about your loved ones’ own heartbreaks when you’re ready to stop sobbing. Newsflash: They all made it through. If your mom hadn’t survived her first heartbreak, your fine ass probably wouldn’t be here! You will slowly begin to realize that heartbreak is a universal emotion. Though painful, your story is not unique. Take a strange sense of comfort in this.

5) Get your ass moving.
I’m not saying you have to become a Crossfit fanatic (seriously, please don’t), but once you’ve crawled out of bed, get those endorphins pumping. Take your neglected pooch for a long walk or turn on your favourite bad bitch playlist and take a long run. Nobody ever regrets exercise. Nobody ever regrets looking like a goddess the next time she bumps into her ex.

6) Don’t rebound.
Trust in the timing of your life. Don’t force yourself into someone else’s arms just because it temporarily eases the pain. Handle your shit; tough it out alone. Rebounding is selfish if the other person genuinely cares about you, and painful if you somehow end up dating another asshole. Lose, lose. There is a common misconception that being alone equates to being lonely; this is simply not true. Learn to be an independent bitch, and when the timing is right, you will be that much more attractive to someone worthy of being your bae.

The anal retentive part of me feels the need to round this list out to 10, but the newly budding zen part of me is letting it go. I will be writing more regularly moving forward and am looking forward to providing updates on my Me-Mantras and 2015 Bucket List!

Current Status: channeling my inner Yoda / regretting the mound of Easter chocolate in my belly / binge watching The Mindy Project Season 3 (thank you, Netflix)

Finding my “joie de vivre.”

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During one of the the last few unsettling long-distance Skype calls with Mr. B, as I stressed about work/friends/family/whatever else was pissing me off on that given day, he asked me if I thought I had lost my joie de vivre. Out of all the conversations we ever had, this one consistently haunts me.

Irrational thought: Mr. B came to visit me after months of anticipation, and realized there was nothing special or exciting about me, consequently leading to dumping my boring ass out of the blue when he could no longer take the thought of waking up beside me for one more morning.

Rational argument: If Mr. B truly loved me, he would have been there through all the phases in my life. He would realize that despite going through a particular rough patch, I will always find my joie de vivre and I am everything but boring.

FYI: The above is a method I’ve learned from David D. Burns’ Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, a really helpful book that introduced me to the concept of cognitive therapy and provided problem solving and coping techniques for negative thinking. Worth the read!

I am taking things day-by-day. My reaction to my promotion was strange, but as the week wore on (and after much discussion with my befuddled friends) I realized I have time to figure things out.

They helped me realize that this promotion is not a prison sentence, it simply provides me with a lot more financial security, which will enable me to more fervently pursue my passions outside of work.

Childish thought/obnoxious moment: Have fun drowning in student loans, asshole.
#likeaboss #baller #yolo

I am always growing; always evolving. Mr. B may have thought I lost my joie de vivre, but I realize now, this is just the beginning for me. I will always ruthlessly pursue a big and full life.

Current Status: gagging on wet dog smell / Netflix binging / conflicted about battling St. Patty’s day bar crowds tonight

The three c’s in life: choice, chance, change…

…you must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.

After catching the red-eye home and begrudgingly re-entering reality (more on Vegas later, thank you for all the suggestions!), I got promoted at work. Pretty neat, n’est pas?

Most people would be filled with excitement, or at least a tiny feeling of accomplishment. Instead, I lost my mind in a bathroom stall.

What am I doing with my life? Why am I not any closer to fulfilling my dreams? Do I even know what they are? Am I just an overprivileged brat incapable of being content with a pretty comfortable life?

No idea. Laziness? Nope. Probably.

This was my Elizabeth Gilbert moment. Minus the voice of God whispering to me and the crumbling marriage. Okay. Perhaps not an apt comparison at all. Either way, it felt monumental.

Someone once told me it was not advisable to make any big decisions after travelling, but I actually feel like this may the best time to do so. I always feel most honest with myself when coming back from gallivanting across the world.

Have you ever made a life-changing decision after being abroad? Thoughts?

Current Status: missing the bright lights / working through my existential crisis / officially a Lena Dunham convert

Viva Las Vegas!

As you read this, I am cruising at 30,000 feet up in the air, somewhere between Toronto and Las Vegas, most likely sipping a stiff gin and tonic, and discreetly enjoying a cheesy rom-com on the tiny screen in front of me.

This idea came to fruition on a cold January night, as I exceeded my daily allowance of cheap merlot and self wallowing. I picked up my phone and drunk texted Miss E:

Me: LET’S GO TO VEGASSSSSSS!
Miss E: Done!

People, that is what a best friend does. She does not question. She just goes with it. We booked our flight the next morning

Context: Mr. B was adamant about never stepping foot in Vegas; he would not even entertain the thought of going in the distant future. (For no particular reason, he was just a stubborn asshole.)

It only seemed fitting to book this trip as an official launch to my Year of Self.

My reader therapists, wish me luck on the tables! If you never hear from me again, I won a jackpot (or drank too many bottomless margaritas). Any suggestions for what I should do while in Vegas? Good eats?

Current Status: cursing my poor packing skills / binge watching House of Cards / never using self-tanning lotion again