Monday, 13 February 2017

Food is good, I am great.

So I started this thing about a month ago that has me feeling the most healthy and body positive I've felt in years. It's called "listening to my body". 

I know that statement is brimming with pretentiousness, but I swear that this is something I had never really done until I started thinking about it. My body has been screaming at me to feed it what it wants and needs for a very long time and I have not so much as glanced over and rolled my eyes at it to at least let it know that I heard it but am SOOOO not listening. I've not only not given my body the love it deserves, but I haven't even been courteous enough to let it give me it's opinion. Turns out, my body is pretty smart, and ever since I've let her have a voice, I've learned to love her so much more, and I've stopped making her feel like absolute crap. 

As many of you know, I recently figured out there are quite a few foods/ingredients that were making me pretty sick, and so for the past month or so I have had to change my diet drastically just so I was no longer experiencing daily physical pain equated to the emotional pain experienced while watching a marathon of Nicholas Sparks films. I realized once I actually HAD to restrict my diet for health purposes (yes, I am that annoying gluten free person in the restaurant now), the pain was gone but I was.....starving. Not because there's nothing to eat outside of gluten, but because for years I had been living my life based on my list of good and bad foods, and the good "clean eating" foods list was pretty small. Especially since about 2/3 of what I considered "clean eating" wasn't food I enjoyed eating, it was just foods I have read would help me lose weight, or at the very least, not gain any weight.

Now, following my list of good/clean and "bad foods" worked for a while to keep my conscience feeling good, it made me feel like I was doing what I was "supposed" to so that I would eventually look like I was "supposed" to, but my body wasn't feeling quite the same (nor was it looking any different regardless of sporadic completion of fat burning workouts from pinterest). When I could no longer convinced myself that being hungry would just go away, I would make myself sick when I would finally eat until I was full and "let" myself eat what I wanted, and I was becoming even sicker when I was eating things my body didn't like but I continued to eat....because I was starving. And to top things off, I usually binged at night, so my blood sugar would spike to unimaginable heights and I would lay awake unable to sleep and start my day off exhausted, sick, and with a plan to restrict what I ate for breakfast and lunch to small servings to "make up for it". Not a very good cycle.

Plus, making big lunches for work was something I was not willing to dedicate time to in the evenings after work-- I was way too tired! Little did I know, my lack of nutrients during the day and binging at night was the absolute reason I was tired at the end of the day, not because I was such a hard worker (which obviously I am but I'm a firm believer you should never be too tired to take care of yourself). 

Flash forward to a gluten free, caffeine free, almost guilt free Hannah. An amazing woman who takes a solid half hour out of her evenings to make sure she won't starve the next day at lunch by actually packing a meal with her snacks, and feeds herself when she feels like eating. A woman who thinks about what to eat at meal times and when making the grocery list, not constantly throughout the day. A woman who sometimes eats a salad, sometimes brings some leftover pasta, and sometimes eats poutine when she forgets her lunch and enjoys every single bite without hopping on a stationary bike for an hour after. A woman who still sometimes over-thinks what she's put into her body and has moments where she wishes her hips were smaller or her stomach was flat. A woman who now craves fruits and fresh vegetables when she hasn't had enough and is still thoroughly astounded by this occurrence. A woman who sleeps through the night because I'm not starving and having to eat 3 meals worth of food right before bed!

So listening to my body is still something I'm learning about, but I am so proud of how it's felt so far. Nourishing my body has turned out to be pretty 50/50 with how it feels physically and how I feel emotionally about what I eat, but we can blame my misinterpretation of that on my math skills. I've un-followed all of the guilt inducing "fitspo" on my instagram and facebook and decided to be inspired by my damn self. I try new recipes because I like to cook, not because it'll make me skinny in 6 days. Food is good, but it will not run my life, so I am better-- I'm great. 

Enjoy your food, take care of your body, and don't forget to sparkle!


1. Clean eating [kleen ee-ting] (verb): The act of eating nothing with sugar, fat, oils, or salt (nothing tasty or comforting).
2. Supposed [suh-poz-d] (adjective): Assumed to be what one is to look or eat or act like in order to accepted by society as beautiful, fit, or healthy. Includes a long list of expectations in regards to shape and size.
3. Make up for it [mayk uh-p foh-r it] (verb): The act of exercising for long periods of time with the assumption that burning calories will cancel out eating the things you starved yourself of. Engaging in exercise out of guilt for not having time in a normal day to engage in exercise in days past.
4. Fitspo [fit-spoh] (noun): Pictures and posts of women with the genetics, time, and money to have six pack abs, round butts, and arms with no fat on them. [see supposed]. 
5. Listening to my body [li-suhn-ing t-oo m-eye bo-dee] (verb): A practise involving thinking about how I'm feeling and which foods will maintain or change how my body feels and operates. 
6. Bad foods [bad foo-dz] (noun): Foods that one actually enjoys: high sugar foods, fast food, carb heavy meals, large servings. Utter nonsense. Synonyms include: sometimes foods, night-out foods, FOOD.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Why I stand with the anti slut-shamers.



A word that we all use jokingly here and there when we quote mean girls and real housewives, and I'm happy to say as someone that works in a junior high, a word that is seemingly slowly exiting the average young woman's vocabulary, but a word that still mainly exists out of hatred and hurt. A word that I have absolutely vowed to take the negative power away from.

I already know what some of you are thinking: "oh, this annoying feminazi crap. I've heard it all before! The movement to stop slut shaming is just so women who like to sleep around can feel better about themselves!" Well, I'm here to offer a few different perspectives for you, as someone who has been called a slut a time or two, and experienced just what that does to a woman's life.

The first time I was ever called a slut I was ten years old. Yeah, I'm serious, ten. Like still rocking Lasenza elastic waist jeans and tee shirts that said things like "attitude" in sparkly letters, and getting called a slut. And no, it wasn't a joke. A girl at school called me a slut because I had crushes on two different boys in my class, and when the teacher spoke to us about the incident, I heard something even more horrifying: "well, my mom said thats what you call a girl like her." A girl like me? What the hell does that mean? A girl who wears aforementioned elastic waist jeans? I didn't even have a butt to fill them out! 

Ten years old..... yikes. You can imagine how that evolved for me into the sixth and seventh grade when my parents allowed me to "date", which of course at that age meant permission to awkwardly call someone's house phone once per day and stand next to them at recess without actually making eye contact or speaking. I hadn't even kissed a boy until I was in seventh grade, let alone slept with one! But hey, according to many girls and boys in my school, I was a total slut. So I was supposed to feel crappy for having a sexuality? For wanting to form relationships with the opposite sex? Well, I sure did feel crappy. And when someone feels guilty for having a normal and healthy sexuality, it opens a few dark doors.

At 15, I was still called a slut left and right (despite NOT having multiple sexual partners), so not only did I have that extremely inaccurate reputation with my peers, but other people started to notice. People even tried to hurt my younger sister and tell her what a slut I was, making up a bunch of stories of "slutty" things I'd done. It didn't stop there. Older men noticed. It even got to the point where a much older community member figured he could sexually harass me and not have me tell on him because of the shame I should have felt for being such a slut. Luckily, he did get his. I say luckily, because I know many sexual harassment situations don't end in the bastard getting what he deserves. Especially if the girl is a "slut"; she asked for it, she brought it on. I can tell you as a 15 year old who had had sex once, I sure wasn't asking for a married man in his 30s to proposition me for sexual favours. Nor did I ask for 80% of the cab drivers who drove me home from the bar in University to call me "sexy" just because I was in a short skirt, or my first land lord (who was well into his sixties) to ask if he could come over "for a drink" while my roommates were gone. Or my abusive ex to constantly hold my sexual history against me, reminding me that no one likes a slut and I was lucky he could even stand me.

Keep in mind, everyone has a different opinion of what a slut is. My catholic elementary school taught me that liking boys made you a slut (seriously?). My high school taught me that having sex with your boyfriend made you a slut (SERIOUSLY?). I've read articles that say the average canadian woman sleeps with 8 men, some that say 3, and some that say 20. We can't deem a certain way of women embracing our sexualities "bad", when "bad" isn't universal. Because somehow this label is cast on women not only unreasonably, but in a way that permits others to treat them like they aren't human. Sexuality is GOOD. Sex is not bad! It's human! Birds do it! Bees do it! I know you're singing right now! Why the hell is it ANYONE'S business who anyone else has sex with?! IT ISN'T! Even if a woman does have multiple sexual partners-- if she enjoys it why the HELL should that be anyone's problem? It sure ain't hers-- she's having a great time, honey! Shaming women, especially young women, about having and enjoying sex will make them try to hide it and when they are hiding it they can't ask for help making sure they're having safe sex so they end up pregnant or with an STI and DIE. Okay maybe not die, but still..... the shame causes issues, people!

So that is why I obnoxiously call people out for using this terrible word. That's why I will stop you mid-sentence or joke and loudly exclaim "don't slut shame" and let you go back to what you were saying. Because I was slut shamed, and had I not found the confidence to rise above that crap, I could have been in a lot worse situations than men making rude comments and asking for sex. And there are a lot of women I have met in my travels who did end up in those situations. My heart breaks for them, and for the people who have no idea what damage they did with their nasty words. So don't be a part of the problem. Let other women let that freak flag fly! Even queen Meryl is making it her own.


Oh, and don't forget to sparkle 


Friday, 23 December 2016



I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Yes, it's been quite a while, but what better time to give you a glimpse into my remarkable sparkling mess than Christmas!

Christmas, a time for spending time with the people you love, for giving, for hope and cheer, for bickering, for burning food, for emerging alcoholism. Christmas is my favorite mess of year. Especially as a new homeowner and with a wedding that I'm already planning way too early, this Christmas has been the most hectic and hilarious of all, so I thought this year, I would give a little advice on how to get through all aspects of the holidays in the most sparkling and remarkable way possible. Let's start with the most important part:

If you do Christmas right, you are bound to gain about 4-6 pounds over the Holidays. In the days leading up to Christmas, try to switch to gin and SODA's (not tonic-- that has calories) instead of cosmos in the evenings. Remember to pace awkwardly when receiving holiday phone calls from distant relatives and be sure to climb up and down the stairs in the process. Pro tip: If you make the phone call, especially in a house full of relatives, you are way more likely to feel awkward and pace around.
Now, if you're doing the cooking, just watch Jamie Oliver's Cracking Christmas ASAP. As a substitute you could read the Pioneer Woman's website. WARNING: Do not watch the show; her lack of personality and sense of humor is enough to make you never want to look at a panini press ever again. Die all of your cookies pink and buy edible sparkles so that everyone at your Christmas parties this year knows you have a signature brand of unnecessary but undeniably charming.

Stay away from HomeSense, The Bay, and girl you are not even safe at Canadian Tire. You WILL find expensive adorable Christmas decor and you WILL need to send 12 pictures of said decor to your fiance and he WILL have to threaten to appraise your ring to convince you that you don't need a 12 foot inflatable Christmas cupcake. Pink Christmas Lights, however, are a total need and not a want, so be sure to stock up on about 500 feet of those for indoor and outdoor. Switch out the sticks in the vase by your staircase for more expensive fake snow covered sticks and hey, throw some pinecones in there too. Tacky chic is not a thing and most likely if you bought that horrible glitter garland you thought would be a "funny but classic touch", you'll finally drive by the front of your house one day and realize that it was more like a classic case of Christmas vomit. Put up your tree November 12th so you can slowly decorate your tree at your own leisure, about 6-8 ornaments per day, shuffled 3-4 times to be spaced correctly. Should you have guests over before the holidays, call it shabby chic. Works every single time. 

Make sure you make a list of all the people you have to spend money on, then stare at it and sob for a good hour. Reward family members who actually told you what they wanted and weren't difficult by getting them a slightly cheaper version of what they wanted because you're a human being with mortgage payments and technically a plywood box wrapped in fuzzy blankets is still an ottoman. Give money to charity in the name of anyone who wouldn't tell you what they wanted because if they complain about that they are immediately a scrooge. Also apparently if you buy sketchy pink gas station wrapping paper sometimes you end up with paper that won't stick to tape and you learn you probably should have just sprung for a couple more bucks at Wal-Mart. Just heard that from a friend.
For your inevitable workplace Secret Santa situation you end up in, find out their favorite beverage. Deliver them this beverage, then go with the classically charming board game gift. It's a way to say; "Enjoy some time with your family, and also I am unaware of any of your personal interests."

Who is the joker that decided the way to celebrate the season of giving and love and joy and hope was to cram everyone in to close quarters and make them share a bathroom? Go for many walks, forget things at the grocery store, and be sure to use your newfound food intolerance's as an excuse to sit in the bathroom and scroll instagram. Do full makeup and hair because you need to take a lot of pictures, regardless of what comments your older relatives may make about you being on your phone and leaving glitter wherever you have flipped your hair; everyone will enjoy those memories for years to come, even if it's just a blurry picture of your cousin shotgunning a beer on the deck. And for the sake of the season pretend you all share the same political views. Please. 

Your attitude.
The Holidays, most importantly, are a time to be grateful. The fact that you have a house to decorate, food to eat, money to give gifts, a family to spend it with....these are all things that not everyone has. It it so important that no matter how annoying your relatives are or if your mom burnt the brussel sprouts (seriously why are you upset? That's the worst part of the meal) or your coworker got you a fruit cake, you remember you are so fortunate that you are participating in the season in any way. Be happy and grateful, and for god's sake don't forget to sparkle! 


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Mental Health

A lot of people asked me to write this post a really long time ago, and I've been struggling with it ever since. I'm thinking, "Do I really want people to know how I've struggled? What if people think this is a cry for attention? What if no one believes me? What if people think I'm a bad social worker?"

and then I realized.....that's why I need to write this post. 

I hear so much that mental health "is viewed differently these days" and that we are "conquering stigma".... yet people still feel like they can't talk about mental health and there is very good reason for that. Society knows depression and anxiety are extremely common, yet we tell people to "get over it", "just find something that makes you feel good/calm" or tell people they "don't really have it that bad". We know domestic violence is extremely complex yet we still shake our heads at the women who "don't just leave". We raise funds and awareness for veterans with PTSD but forget that other trauma survivors are still at war. We tell anyone who talked about suicide and didn't do it that they're "crying for attention". We tell kids getting bullied to "just ignore it" and wonder why they kill themselves or self-harm. Mobs of people speak ill of anti-depressants and the like and guilt people for doing what they can to feel better.

Yeah, and it's great we have #BellLetsTalk, but today I'm going to say thanks for your one day per year of 140 character mental health stats, and how about #LetsKeepTalking.

I have dealt with and still deal with my share of mental health challenges since I was a teenager, and I was extremely fortunate to grow up in a household where I was made to feel that things like depression and anxiety were normal and manageable. But for me, that sense of normal stopped every day when I walked out my front door. My "friends" told the whole school about my medication, and people whispered behind my back about how I was crazy or obsessed with my ex. Friends quickly stopped trying to hang out with me because I was a "downer". Teachers became frustrated with my lack of concentration or my superstar ability to bomb a test 100% of the time, even if I was doing well in class. No one made me feel normal. 

And you know what? I'm not angry. How could people make me feel normal if they didn't understand what I was going through? How could they relate if they had no idea what to relate to? And how could they ever learn if no one feels like they can talk about it enough to teach anyone? They couldn't have. And that's okay. That's what made me a person who made it my life's work to fight for people who feel trapped and hopeless. But it did not feel good. It felt lonely, and angry, and dark and cloudy. And that wasn't a choice. What I chose to do was find a way to start feeling better, and when I slipped up and had a bad day, when the days were still cloudy no matter how hard I tried, that wasn't a choice either. That's probably my favourite thing people say about mental health-- that it's a choice. Just go get some sunshine on your face and choose to have a good day. Just like if you're diagnosed with cancer you can just go on a nature retreat and come back and you're cancer free, right?

I hate to sound rude and sarcastic, but I want to stress the contrast here. Yes, an element of choice lies in taking the steps to be well, but no one who struggles with mental health, with any health in general, chose to be in the position where they have to take those steps. Lots of people don't always have to choose to be well, they just feel it, and that's where the misconception lies. If you've never had to make that choice, you probably figure it's as easy as you feel, and that totally makes sense. But no one wakes up one day and says "I would really really like to feel like I can't get out of bed and no one likes me today-- that will be great. Then tomorrow I'll schedule drinks on the patio with Jill." If someone thinks I chose to watch my mother get run over in front of me and chose to have trauma issues and flashbacks and control issues for the 4 years following, they must be into some weird masochistic crap in the bedroom, because I can't imagine anyone choosing that pain (but hey, whatever floats your boat, queen). If someone thinks I chose to be in a domestic violence situation, and I now choose to struggle in my relationship with my current incredible, loving boyfriend because of trust issues from that terrible past situation, they are very very wrong. I did not choose to feel the way I feel about the things that have happened to me in the past, nor did I choose to be anxious or depressed as a teen. But I do choose to do something about it every day, and today I choose to speak out and give courage to those who feel that they can't make that choice.

So let's answer those burning questions from before I chose to write this entry.
Do I really want everyone to know how I've struggled? The people who love me are proud of how far I've come, despite what I had to go through to get here. I love myself and am proud of myself too, and I wish at the time of going through every time I've felt down or unhealthy I could have read something like this to know that everyone struggles: it's just a matter of knowing when you're struggling
What if people think this is a cry for attention? I cannot change what people think, so to those who think I want attention, sure, go ahead and think that. It took a lot of courage to write this post, but I can understand that someone who hasn't lived my life might not get that. I didn't even want my own family to know that I felt this way for years, but I've realized that talking about it not only helps me, but inspires others who may feel afraid like I did. And maybe they aren't quite wrong: I'm here to give attention to the people who are feeling alone and messed up and completely hopeless. I'm crying out to bring attention to the "conquered stigma" that has a long way to go. 
......Though really if you'd like to give me attention go ahead and like some of my recent selfies I am KILLIN' IT lately. 
What if no one believes me? That's alright. Even the people who know me and love me would probably rather believe I haven't been through some of the things I have. So would I! But as someone who is part of this global movement to create change, especially regarding mental health and stigma, I like to think about which side of the issue I'd be on if I told someone I don't believe the problem exists.
What if people think I'm a bad social worker? They're wrong. I take care of my own mental health before and after I help someone to take care of theirs. I do not let my own experience solely dictate my practise, and all it has done is help to improve my empathy and my insight. I know that everyone experiences life differently, and not once have I assumed I knew how to help a client because I understood their experience; I know I don't. 

Like I said, I truly believe everyone is a little messed up in some way, some how. It's just a matter of accepting what makes me messed up and embracing and managing it. That's what I'm doing, and I hope to inspire many others to do the same, as well as help the people who have never struggled with their mental health to understand mental illness a little better.

This song is the song I have listened to a lot lately, and it speaks to me so much about my choice to face who I am and learn to manage what makes me want to turn away.

Take care of yourself, and take care of each other! Oh, and don't forget to sparkle. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Home Is Where the Mind Is

My dear readers..... I have no excuse. Well, I have a lot of them, but I won't go there. Except I started my career and whatever BUT THAT'S TOTALLY JUST WHATEVER NO EXCUSES......also moving home. Ah, home, what a great topic for this week's blog. I am on fire already.

There's been a lot of talk of "home" lately. I moved home until I can move into my very first home (that I own. Yeah. I know. Who let that happen) and left Calgary, a city that for five years I also called home. Home is a weird word for me, and it has always had a heavy meaning. It took several years before I called Calgary home because I felt like that was a betrayal to where I was from, and as much as my teenage self wanted desperately to forget my home town, I quickly became afraid to forget my roots when it was actually time to leave. The day I forgot to mention I'm from a town with the largest bronze horse and rider statue in the world was the day I really lost myself. Ok, not really, but this week I wanted to tell you a story about what my home is. Nelly Furtado, I'm talking to you, you free spirit.

A couple days after I moved back in with my parents, my mom played me a song called "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. Yes, I'm a bit behind on my country music, give me a break. But get this-- I started BAWLING. A nice girls day out for a shopping trip and I am ugly crying my mascara onto my shirt. And it wasn't because of my fond thoughts of the Ponoka Stampede or Superfoods closing down, oh no. I started thinking about the very first place I ever called home; I started to think about our farm. The tears were definitely welling at the mention of "her favourite dog buried in the yard", and then did those tears start strutting right down my face when I heard:

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it's like I'm someone else. I thought that maybe I could find myself.....

And that my friends, no joke this time, was when I realized I had forgotten to feel my home. With the mortgage papers and the house insurance and the time sheets and the never ending to-do list for my (hilarious yet genuine) attempt at preparing for adulthood I had completely forgotten to connect with who I was and instead was primarily defining myself by what I was doing. I've been excited, yes, but I've also been extremely overwhelmed and kind of lacking in the "taking care of/being myself" department. I'm pretty sure that for the past couple of weeks if I was asked to tell anyone about myself I would have started reciting my policy and account numbers instead of telling you about my love for music, my obsession with the colour pink, and my childhood playing outside until the farm yard light kicked on. There once was a time where the first thing I would tell someone about myself was where I was from-- where my home was. Luckily, the goddess of emotional wisdom Ms. Lambert slapped me in the face with those sappy lyrics and I remembered just exactly where that is. 

Yes, I do actually drive by my old house all of the time, and yes, I've thought about asking to just walk around a bit and sit on the swing set my Dad and Grandpa and Uncle built me that's still standing there. But I don't need that to feel my home. My home isn't what's under my feet, it's what reminds me where I come from that makes me feel like there is something under my feet. Home is the memories from the various other places we called home, too. It's my mom's favourite recipes and hearing my dad's laugh and dancing in the car with my sisters and seeing my brother in law's smile. It's the smell of my boyfriend's parents house and the way he looks at me. It's watching TV on the couch with my best friend. It's a canola field when the sun is going down. Soon, it will be the smell of my very own home. It will be the drive into my garage and the walk into my back door. The point is, I have to remember the things that make me up to feel whole. And those things, those memories, those places I come from and the feelings they give me, that's home.

So I drove out to see my very first home tonight, and on the way I stopped to take a breath (and a picture with my phone) and remember who I am. So now, as I sit here writing to you, I feel right at home.

Thank you for reading, for your patience, and for being a part of what makes me feel at home. Don't forget to sparkle!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Not So Guilty Pleasures

I’ve never really understood the concept of “guilty pleasures”, then again I’ve primarily experienced life in a world where videos of grown men singing and dancing to Ariana Grande and women in vans trying on Chewbacca masks get millions of views and comments like “oh you go girl! Express yourself! Go on with your bad self!” Plus, for some reason we let bronies be a thing (if you have the not at all guilty pleasure of not knowing what that is, spare yourself and don’t look it up) so I’m not really sure that we are guilting many people out of liking much anymore.

The concept of not being “allowed” to enjoy something based on who you are and what you are “supposed” to like doesn’t really take for me; I don’t allow any “supposed to” ‘s in my life for that matter, because nobody tells me what should make me happy except me. It baffles me that people are still made to feel like it’s weird to like anything (okay maybe except the bronies) in this century, but I understand not everyone has been freed from the unnecessary guilt and shame from society at large….so here I am to change the world one apparently odd interest at a time.

I am usually the first one to make fun of the extremely popular rambling list format of writing that appears all over my social media lately, but this week I’ve come around to see the merit in writing that way…..kind of. Here is my list of Not-At-All-Guilty Pleasures, or as the very popular entertainment websites would put it;

The 12 things I like and do not feel bad about whatsoever that I may not be supposed to like by traditional standards NUMBER 7 WILL SHOCK YOU and I've included relevant gifs …..list.

1.     Pop Music
I'm primarily into indie and alternative rock music both to listen to and to sing/play, so my friends are usually quite horrified and surprised when I throw on Drake's "One Dance" or only want to listen to "Work" by Fifth Harmony on repeat while we get ready to go out. I don't care if it's an intricate melody and I especially don't care that the lyrics aren't a modern contemporary classic, it makes me want to dance and liking one genre of music does not mean I have to sign up to hate another. In the same vain....


2.     One Direction 
You better believe I own One Direction merchandise (calendar, shirt, lip gloss), sing at least 5 One Direction songs to my boyfriend on any road trip, and cried my eyes out when my parents gifted me tickets to the One Direction concert on Christmas of 2014. I don’t care who their target audience is, I have been targeted and destroyed by their catchy boppy songs and will never apologize for that. 

3.     Creeping Hometown Instagram Accounts
I know for a fact I am not alone on this one, so let me free all of you fellow creepers from the shadows. I literally could write a list of 10 people’s pages I regularly look at but don’t follow. I mean, I don't know them well enough to follow them, I just know of them, and now know all of their favourite songs, friends, and staple wardrobe items. I am always terrified I will “meet” one of these girls for the first time in person and say, “your makeup looked flawless on June 23rd”.

4.     Not liking going to the gym
I hate exercise. It is not fun. It is hard and sweaty and make it so that I cannot breathe well. Side note: what is the deal with everyone thinking spin is fun? I went once and it's like an even sweatier club where your thighs are on fire and some crazy person with a microphone was yelling "I SEE YOU!" when I would stop and try to figure out what the hell everyone was doing with their arms and legs. I know that a young lady my age "should" exercise often and go win the cross fit yoga spin soul marathon challenge but I don't because my idea of being active is going for a nice long walk a few times per week, not lifting heavy things or not getting to sit whilst riding a bike. Also on the same note;


5.     Loving Carbs
Like, all I seem to read or hear about lately is that carbs are the devil and I should be counting my macros (whatever the hell that means) and to that I say: absolutely not. I do not in any way feel the need to cut carbs out of my life to be healthy. Have you ever had a carb-free cake? Does literally anything that tastes good not contain like 50g of carbohydrates? Yeah, I sit here and read health blogs on my tumblr and look up healthy recipes, but I do it with a large bowl of fettucini alfredo in my lap. 

6.     Going to movies by myself
Every time I tell someone that I do this they get really sad for me and seem like they need to fight every urge not to pat me on the back and say "you're not alone". No I am not alone but that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to like doing things alone. I am not weird for not wanting my friends to come to the bathroom with me and I am especially not weird for liking solo shopping trips here and there. Do you know how much easier it is to just do what you want now and then without having to have someone go with you? I want to go see that WWII history flick but no one will go with you? Problem solved, my friends. I go by myself and then there's no one to judge me for all of the extra candy I brought in my purse. I don't even want to know those macros.

7.     Doing that thing where someone asks if I’ve seen a movie and saying “yeah” hoping they move on from the conversation but then they don’t and I have to keep pretending I’ve seen the movie but my life is a total lie.
I have no idea why, but I do this so much, and I almost then challenge myself to see how much I can pick up about the movie just by what the person says about it to me. It's a real test in active listening, and I like to pretend it keeps my counselling skills sharp, but I have a feeling it won't count for my Social Work credits. The only person I will not do this to is my Dad, because he has incredible movie taste and if I say I haven't seen it he usually shows it to me and it becomes a new favorite of mine. Otherwise, there is a huge chance I haven't seen the film you're talking about and so far no one has ever been able to tell!

8.     Wearing “lots” of makeup
When I started wearing makeup (which was January of this year, I kid you not) I was so worried about making sure it "didn't look like I had makeup on" because I heard so many girls and guys saying so much about how girls look better with less makeup o" or that girls who liked to wear a lot of makeup were "cake faces". Well, I guess you better start calling me Buddy, because I am now a cake face boss. The more I have learned about makeup the more fun it has become for me and the more I love looks that require people knowing I have makeup on. I am over the nude eyeshadow and single coats of mascara, it's time for cut creases and filled in eyebrows for days. I am not sorry for loving to enhance my beauty.


9.     Pretending I’m in a music video 
This presents itself in one of two fashions, but always when in a car. The first being that when a song I like comes on and I am in the passenger seat, I will lip synch, throw my head around, somehow shake my ass even though I'm sitting, and do dramatic reaches to the drivers of the cars beside me, humiliating the driver of my own car. It is an absolute riot and sometimes the drivers in the other car are just as in to Ludacris as I am. The other way I like to do this is when it's a really slow, serious song on, and either as the driver or the passenger, I slow all of my movements down and gaze meaningfully ahead and out my windows as if the lyrics are directing my soul. It feels amazing, and I know I'm not the only one that does it!

10. Terrible gossip magazines
Do not even try to tell me you don't think Gwen Stefani wore it better than Lorde, I mean look at the percentages, she won by a landslide. I look through every single "Who Wore It Better?" and seriously consider that question as if my opinion matters, and then I usually give it aloud, regardless of being alone. I read all of the excerpts on celebrity weddings and feuds, and then I look in the next one to see the same stories and find the differences. For some reason I always save these gems up for when I'm in an airport but you best believe I am never bored on even the longest of flights when I have all of the trash mags to go through. Like did you see Leo DiCaprio running through the ocean with a water gun? Celebs! They really ARE just like me!

11. Taking absolutely everything that can leave a hotel room
Tacky? Maybe. Illegal? Well it better not be if I just paid $120 to sleep on a bed no better than mine at home and seriously how cute are those little ketchup bottles? This may be the reason they no longer give you robes in hotel rooms anymore and for that I apologize, but I will never stop hoarding hotel shampoos and condiments for as long as I live. Nothing feels more exciting than checking out of a hotel with all of that freedom weighing down my purse. "Did you enjoy your stay?" Oh, you bet I did. To the fullest, Dennis.


12. Crying
I love a good cry, and not so coincidentally I cry about a lot of seemingly not-sad things. Sad old man on TV? Open weeping. Ducks being cleaned with dawn dish soap? Bawling. Someone gives me a particularly touching compliment? Dramatic mouth cover. Marriage proposal on youtube? Boyfriend thought my lung had collapsed when he heard me from the other room. I also totally do that thing where I start crying and I'm like "oh boy here comes a good one let's think of ALL OF THE CRYING THINGS" and just start sobbing about anything from a fight with my mom when I was 14 to the fact that otters hold hands when they sleep. I am so over how being a "cool" or "strong" woman means you have no feelings; if I'm not cool then why do I have all of these miniature shampoos in my purse? And in case you're worried about this conflicting with my love of make-up, I do not wear waterproof mascara because I'm a champion diver, girls. 

There is too much going on in all of the other aspects of my life for me to be worried about what I enjoy, too.  If I was worried and guilty and secretive about the things I liked, I don't think I'd have the attention span to like much of anything. When I think about how many times I felt connected to someone or something just by hearing, "me too!" I wanted to give you that "me too" as you read, even if it's one just to keep to yourself. Thank you all so much for reading, please don't forget to suggest a mess, and of course, don't forget to sparkle!