Tag Archives: changing

A “Hello, How Are You?” Kind of Day

I feel like the change I’ve sought is finally starting to happen. The gears are shifting, things are falling nicely into place, money is sorting out, my body’s pain is settling down, and I’m even starting to feel like a “local” here.

It’s a big week for me, always is. Mother’s Day. It always approaches with a sense of dread. It’s different this year. I’ve upped and moved to a place I think my mom would’ve loved to live in. We came here on a “girl’s weekend” when I was in fourth grade, so, that’s odd for me in a way this week.

One of the first things I did here as a new resident was wind up having dinner with my two aunts, both visiting suddenly, who raised a glass of wine, toasted my mom, and said “Who would’ve thought we’d all meet here, now?”

That was back in March and I already feel a million miles away from who I was that week.

I’ve tried to keep my bitching to a minimum in all that time, but my body reacted horribly to the stress of moving, the sudden shift to a “walking” lifestyle, and working from home. Oh, and the small matter of riding my bike straight into a roadsign and getting whiplash. That was helpful. Suffice to say, in the coming weeks, there was a lot of pain, and a lot of worry.

But I kept my chin up and now, this week, finally, everything is settling down and I’m not so sore, and I’m more active, and it’s a good, good thing.

I’m glad I had that unexpected adversity, though. I think it needed to get worse before I would really appreciate it getting better.

Sometimes we can be very stupid humans that way. I know I can be a very stupid human. Sometimes, getting beat upside the head with lessons is the way to grow.

Sometimes, we forget how resilient we are. That too is a great thing to be reminded of.

I think all the little griefs and frustrations that sprung up in my first eight weeks here have served to remind me of why I needed this move in the first place.

I’m 10 weeks in, I have no life, I’ve only seen minimal parts of the city because I’ve been limited to days I feel good, and YET I don’t feel homesick for Vancouver.

Despite that, I have a trip home next month. I’m speaking at the 2012 Northern Voice Blogger’s Conference. I’ll be on a panel talking about how to write with authenticity. I’m speaking Saturday if you want to grab a ticket for the day, $40.

I’ll be in town for a few days, crashing at a couple different friends’ places. A foreigner in my hometown. A couchsurfer returns. That’ll be weird. And cool. Mostly weird.

Great blue heron fishing. Shot by me.

And I’ll probably cry on the ferry back to Victoria, and homesickness will likely hit me for the first time then. Because, honestly, Vancouver in the summer? Heaven on earth, man. That’s how ya do it. (But Victoria’s gonna be pretty killer too.)

The impending, inevitable bout of homesickness doesn’t matter in the long run, though, because I know this is the right place for me. It’s that gut-check level of intuition. I can’t explain it in words, how it feels, but I wake up and this place just feels right, for right now. And that’s all I need to know.

Monday, I got up, excited to see a big to-do on the beach road, but that was a bust, so, instead, I took a walk along the beach and spotted a great blue heron fishing. I stood there sinking into shoreline wet sand, snapping photos for an hour. It was fantastic. Then, I came home and worked.

Tuesday, I got up, worked for a couple hours, hopped on my bike for a great eggs Benedict breakfast in town, then cycled around to four different food shops (Chinatown and beyond) for all my favourite cooking stuff, and headed home for more work.

That’s two days in a row with the kind of balance I moved here looking for.

This is the first week where I’ve felt like I’ve had any of that going on. It’s something to aspire for. It’s where I’m headed. If I can have 2–3 workdays a week like that, it’ll be a great lifestyle over here, and I know it.

So, change. It’s like that snowball on the hill. Getting it going is ridiculously frustrating and labourious sometimes, but once you get the foundations, once you start moving it and pushing it, it slowly amasses more, and more, and then it has a momentum of its own. If you’re not from a colder region, here’s a video of making a snowman. All true.

And that’s what I’m imagining for my own change: The Snowball Grows. Now gravity is pitching in and my ball of change has begun to roll with a whole lot less of the grunt-work from yours truly.

It’s an exciting time.

Well, this wasn’t what I’d intended to write about but it’s a great snapshot of my headspace right now, I guess. I’d intended to tell you about my jade plant and how well it’s doing and how much it’s got me being pensive. But that’ll be for another day.

In the meantime, I’m doing well. Living life, working a lot, feeling better, getting my groove on, and thinking I’m getting closer to where I need to be.

That’s your update, kids. And, hey, it’s almost Friday! Happy weekend.

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Making Sense of the Madness

Hello, minions!

For some reason, there are more of you reading me than there have been in three or so years, and I’m feeling the pressure to post at least a couple times a week as a result, despite the fact that I’m swimming the seas of crazy in these moving days.

God forbid you not get your Vitamin Steff, even if it’s a cheap placebo, like this.

There are 21 days before my life gets the brakes slammed on and I go from the rat race to the slow pace of life on the other side of the Georgia Strait. (For non-locals, that’s the body of water separating Vancouver city from Vancouver Island. Who names an island and a city that’s NOT on the island the SAME? Oh, right. The fucking British.)

My voyage home from the island last weekend, the Strait’s incredible ACTIVE PASS, & the interplay of fog & sun.

Today, and for a few days now, I’m sick. I’m a mouth-breather who’s used half the Amazon to blow my nose since Saturday. I’m this close to buying shares in NyQuil, man, and dreaming of Prozac.

I have the remainder of my home to pack, my dad’s in the hospital, I have people I need to say goodbye to, a blog to nourish, and a job to work. If I’m not batshit crazy in 22 days, I might get over my sorta-atheism and be a believer. (But, you know, not likely.)

Oh, My. What a Load of Semantics!

I was thinking on the weekend that I realize now that there’s a difference between being UNHAPPY and being DEPRESSED.

After a long time of thinking I’d been battling depression, I’ve finally realized I was just unhappy and disliked where my life had wound up. I’m looking forward to seeing what finding my sense of self and rediscovering things I love — like strolling beaches, reading under trees in parks — and generally getting my life in balance does to change that.

In the meantime, my mind’s racing a million miles a minute with worries about my dad, who continues to be sick in the hospital, about whether all my furniture will fit in my new apartment, whether I’ll hate that I have less natural light in my new home, and all sorts of little things that are out of my power right now.

It’s times like these that being a thinker isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But then I take a breath, I remind myself what it felt like last Thursday to walk down the street to an amazing little stretch of shoreline, what the slower pace did for my mind despite the pressure I had to find a place, and I feel like it’s all going to be all right… in, like, seven weeks or something.

Still, I’m excited. Deep down, I know I need this.

T(w)o Blogs or Not T(w)o Blogs

Have I told you I’ll be starting a new blog?

Right.

I’ll be starting a new blog! Yeah!

Yes, this one will continue. I may even return to writing occasionally about sex and relationships again. Oddly, I’m getting emails from people, and they’re sort of disturbing in their neediness — like no one else is talking frankly about sex. And, hell, I’m not even doing it anymore.

I got tired of being perceived as a sex-blogger, but then my Twitter handle never lets me live that down, and I guess I could’ve changed it but on some level I suppose I want that identity. I’m not sure. It’s something I’ll be looking at and probably writing about once I’m on the other side, and that’ll be happening here.

For instance, today Canadian courts are deciding if HIV status should be legally required to be disclosed before sexual relations, and unlike a lot of people who are sex-positive writers, I say FUCK YEAH. And that’s something I should write about. Maybe if I weren’t sick and could string ideas together, I would. Maybe later.

But my new blog will be where I record my moving adventures, and where I write about the transitioning from an unwanted big city life to a smaller pace in a little city, and what it does for me. It’ll be where my photos of my explorations are shared, my observations, my visits to local businesses, and more will be found.

It does have a name but I need to buy the URLs later this week. It won’t be live until March sometime, I guess.

I Feel Like Listening to Sam Cooke

It’s safe to say that my life in Victoria will be about reconfiguring my world from ground up. A lot of change will come. I’ll be keeping an open mind on things to try — everything from yoga and Tai Chi to adventuring.

I almost left Vancouver 12 years ago. The jury’s out on whether staying was a smart choice, but I lean toward “no” on that one.

I get why people love this city, and I’ll always love it too. It’s my home. But I never asked for the world to move here. I never wanted to be one in a million– or one in 2.3 million. It’s not about ethnicities or cultures, it’s about crowds and capacities.

There was a day last fall when I was working on a documentary TV show (I’m a TV captioner) and it was in the Scottish Highlands and an artist was commenting, “I love the city but after 2 days, I’m done and I want to come back to my quiet and my country.” My heart went through the floor because I could imagine it, and I imagined loving it.

I enjoyed the dead of winter when I knew no one during my one year in the Yukon. I also enjoyed the summer when I had a litany of awesome friends and endless good times. A line from Robert Service hit home for me up there, “…the silence that bludgeons you dumb.”

I like that kind of silence, always will. And, despite considering the rest of Canada for my move, I just couldn’t leave this area — not yet.

The Final Countdown

Today, as planes drone overhead, queuing for the airport landings, and horns blare out on the street as some ignorant ass tries to make an illegal left off the highway, and rain threatens to fall, it’s a silence my soul longs for… and one I know is three weeks away.

I don’t know who I’ll be, how I’ll seem, or what my life will really entail six months from now, but I like the visions I get of what it might be.

And sometimes I think that’s all we can hope for in life — that we like the direction we think we’re headed in, and we like who we are when the morning breaks.

It’s safe to say I’m excited, under all my fatigue.

For now, it’s time to refill the coffee cup, edit this, then put one foot in front of another, remember to breathe, and remind myself I’ll live through this. Change is a-comin’.

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The Just-Before-Midnight New-Year’s-Eve Post

It’s one hour from 2012. It’s probably one of the last lazy, easy-to-schedule hangings with my best friend, whom I’ve lived within 10 blocks of for 12 years now, and called a friend for 20+.

It’s unsettling, the few “bad” things about moving. I’ll miss being close to my friend. The stupid small-talk bitching sessions are sometimes among the most cathartic to share with someone. POP! There’s a bitching session! Unleash! Unwind! Let go! Move on. There. Feels better, no?

My friend whining about work has been old for a while, but all night tonight it made me smile as he put out fires with over some asshat who kicked in a window at his coffee shop that his staff didn’t know how to deal with. Tonight, I was chill and mellow as he texted and chatted away, trying to solve the impending insurance emergency.

That’s New Year’s Eve for you. The winds of change…  if any are headed your way, this is when you hear them.

Three months from now, when I want to see someone, it’ll be people I barely know who fill the gaps. Hopefully they’ll become the people I want to see.

Three months from now, when I feel like grabbing breakfast, it’ll be completely different places. In fact, nothing I do now will be the same in three months.

It’s nerve-wracking at times because I know how much I’m invested in this choice to move and be living a different lifestyle.

But when I tried to tell my friend tonight how much I’d miss him, all he would say was, “You need to do this.”

And he’s right.

It’s funny, the people who knew me best, when I said “I want to move to Victoria and work from home,” all of them said “That’d be GREAT for you.”

It was work and people who only know me on the surface who said, “I dunno. Are you sure?”

But apparently friends and family I’d leave my life with, they think I “need to do this.”

One — a father with a couple toddlers and a great wife — is taking vacation days to help me move. I’m a lucky kid.

In ways, I’ve never let more than a few people prove their loyalty to me. I’m good at putting up walls. Dad owned a construction company. It’s in the blood.

Now, it feels weird. Who’s what to me now? I’m not really sure. Here’s where I find out.

It’s a good thing I’m not moving far from home. There’s a lot to not want to leave permanently…  people included.

Meanwhile: Happy New Year.

Change is afoot… if you want it. (Apologies to John Lennon.)

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Better-Faster-Stronger Steff, Day 1

If ever someone’s mentality was built for Kicking Ass and Taking Names, it’s mine.

On the outside, however, I’m more of a tribute to the StayPuft Marshmallow Man.

Inside, I’m G.I. Jane (with better writing).

Starting now, it’s onto Mission: Outside-Matching-In.

Found on MediaBistro.com, taken at a marathon.

I’ve managed to snooker a personal trainer who’s willing to make me into G.I. Jane–Librarian.  (But Imma be the Baby-Still-Gonna-Have-Back/Librarian Model, however. We likes a tushy.)

She works my ass out, I write about the whole experience, in short.

Meet Nik Yamanaka, my kicking-ass-and-taking-names trainer-extraordinaire from the Vancouver personal training firm Le Physique, located on the waterfront between Vancouver’s amazing Athlete’s Village and Granville Island.

Le Physique looks like a boutique gym, but it’s a place you go to be guided into a fitness program that is all about you. There’s a big difference between some quickie-certified “trainer” and a licensed kinesiologist like Nik, and I’m really thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her.

Someone like me, coming from a history of injuries, is right to be really scared (ergo cautious) about starting off a program of fitness. There’re a lot of little road-bumps I expect to crash-land into along the way — and that doesn’t mean I’ll have to stop the program; it means tweaking the program.

I’ve done it myself before, but it’s a lot more graceful (and less painful) when done with professional guidance.

There. That’s the deal, okay?

As this experiment goes on, I’ll be writing the real-deal experience from my side of the getting-trained situation.

Where are we at? Well…

Later I’ll measure myself, and those are numbers I’ll keep to myself, but for now I’m about a size 14–18, depending on who’s making the clothing and what it is, but usually a 16/14.

I’m 5’7 and I weigh 212. I was, at one time, more than 280 pounds. I say “more than” because there were several years I went without weighing myself and wearing a whooooole lot of Spandex-y leggings and muu-muu–y tops, back in my size-24 days.

The 68-pounds-at-least-lost is poundage I lost by myself, mostly without gym passes or trainers. During that time, however, I blew out my back and had to rehab my way through 10 months of oodles of pain, which taught me how to at least eat within my daily calorie limit and still lose weight without the endless cardio to compensate.

It wasn’t until I graduated from physiotherapy and started saw an ass-kicking kinesiologist for 4 sessions that my pain finally subsided and I regained strength of old.

Then I burned out on training, because I’d been doing 6–12 hours a week of working out for EIGHTEEN MONTHS. I’d been dumping cash I couldn’t afford into expensive rehabbing costs, chiropractic care that wasn’t effective, et cetera, for all that time, too, due to the high level of fitness I was pursuing.

What I never “got right”, though, was the food. Or the stretching. Or the precise technique.

Hmm. All I really got right was having the will to get it done. I worked through phenomenal pain. I screwed up a lot, sure, but I got it done, I proved a lot to myself.

The experience was really hard, though. Really, really, really hard. In every way.

It’s difficult to rectify why you’ve made so many grueling life-changes when all you keep being rewarded with are sports-related injuries, inflammation, and denied foods.

Then, it’s hard to get past the burden of being an emotional eater, like I often am, when this “healthier” lifestyle you’ve chosen cuts into enjoyment as much as the inactive life led before did — back when you got to eat at Dairy Queen.

Emotionally, starting this new journey with Nik has me coming from a place of fear. I think everyone knows what it’s like to worry that they won’t be able to measure up with what they once were — or, worse, that all their fears about how obsolete they are will be confirmed.

It’s the severity of that fear that changes for each of us. Me, it’s almost crippling at times.

Add to it the fact that I’ve  just gotten over six weeks of pneumonia, and, kapow! Scaredy-Steff right here, buddy. But here we go.

Fortunately, I have first-hand knowledge of everything I’ve been through and what it took to surpass.

I have the confidence of knowing that my trainer went to school for a good long time and understands not only the bio-mechanics behind working out, but the science behind sports eating (like, everything from portion-sizing for performance to what timely consumption of foods can do for us).

And, me, I have the eagerness to soak it all in. I want to learn why and how I paid so heavy a price as I bumbled through the loss of 70 pounds without any professional help.

In the end, I want to lose 50 pounds with Nik. The first goal is 35 pounds. I don’t remember the deadline we set for that, but, there you go: Numbers, since that’s all everyone cares about.

Get far enough on the journey and you realize numbers don’t mean jack when you’ve got the emotional issues kicking around still, so it has to be more than numbers.

So, for me, most importantly than the weight loss, I want to change my attitude about everything from what I’m capable of all the way through to how I feel about truly “healthy” food. I want to find the confidence and self-admiration I know I deserve to have, but that which the fat face in the mirror keeps me from really buying into.

In short, yeah, it’s about being better, faster, and stronger. It’s about saying I don’t want to experience crippling injuries or illnesses like pneumonia ever again. It’s about believing I deserve better than a life lacking energy or enthusiasm or a healthy body.

It was a baby workout yesterday, more for talking about process and where we’ll go with things. I’ll be a little less hands-on for Nik because I don’t need the motivation or constant overseeing others might require, and I do work really well alone — I’ve just done it kinda wrong and need to be righted upon my path.

Therefore:

I’ve been prescribed a cardio goal, a weight-lifting/plyometrics routine, and have been requested to resume my old rehab routine (which is about 30 minutes for a set) six days a week. I said I could handle it, and I know I can. I’ve also been asked to keep a food/activity journal that isn’t just a log of what I’ve consumed/burned, but also about the feeling that came as a result of each entry. I’ve done calorie-counting often, but I’ve never recorded how things made me feel before, and I’m curious if it changes the logging experience for me.

So, that’s where we’ve started.

Let’s see where the heck it all goes, shall we? Stay tuned. I’ll be doing weekly updates right here.

Le Physique is in Leg-And-Boot Square, in Vancouver’s False Creek. Nik Yamanaka is co-owner, and was the BCRPA Personal Trainer of the Year for 2008. Le Physique tailors a program to meet your abilities, goals, and lifestyle. They can’t do the work for you, but they can tell you the tweaks that will help you meet your best performance and give you the mental tools and simple practices that might help you attain the success you need. You can listen to Nik talking about training in this radio interview here. You can follow them on Twitter, too, by clicking here.

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Unbottled

I’m awash in lazy contentment like a kitty sprawled in a sunbeam. It’s been had a long week filled with accomplishments, lotsa physicality, and a whole lotta thinkin’ goin’ on.

Through it all, I’ve kept most of my stuff bottled up. Writing wasn’t on the landscape this week. Sometimes I put a lid on it all and let things simmer and meld for days on end, like an Italian slow-food-of-love cookin’ affair. Thought-stew. Stewing.

I’ve been organizing my home. Gruelling. 2 days, 48 flights of stairs, 14 Swiffer cloths, a roll of paper towel, a bunch of rags, 95 degrees, and a lot of elbow grease.

I’d actually written about what I expected of the experience, but got was so absorbed in my other work that I never edited or posted the piece.

This is how it began:

Big sigh. I’m on the verge of something I’ve wanted for a long time.

I’ll have the most space ever in all my storage areas. Nothing will be crowded anymore, anywhere.

I’ll have a cardio machine in a non-intrusive corner of my bedroom, my living room even more spacious for working out, and probably have the best floorplan I’ve ever had.

My bathtub works again and I haven’t seen a cockroach in two months. I even pad around barefoot sometimes.

I’m so fuckin’ thrilled I could cry.

Tomorrow starts the Great Ordering of the Steffiverse. Finally, chaos will be banished.

For someone who has a fear of clutter and a penchant for lapsing into mild-mannered agoraphobia, it’s been a hell of a few years on the home front.

My friends who’ve been by my side through The Decade From Hell can attest that my home has matched my life for much of that time. The more I’ve shed of worries, weights, and problems, the more my home has opened up and reflected my personality more than my drama.

And here I am, largely on the other side of that.

***

Basking in mostly order and slack today, I’m in the midst of defining what I want the future to be over the next year, as I figure out this massive application for a self-employment program I desperately want to take, deadline Thursday.

I’ve recently been putting the feelers out, talking to people, networking, all that. I’ve really been surprised in the last couple of days at just how many people have responded positively to requests from me to put in writing that they’d like to work with me one day soon, as required by my application.

Judging by the variety of people I’ve received letters from (and I only needed 2, have 10), it’ll be a really exciting 2011. If I do get accepted into one of the programs I want desperately to attend, I know it’ll throw doors open that only I can be responsible for closing.

I don’t have any doubt in what I’m capable of, I just question how well I’ll do at making that happen. It’s like writing — just because I can form an idea doesn’t mean I can translate it into words on a page, though I may try.

But in creating a new surroundings, I’m hoping to create a new mindset open to new possibilities and inviting of opportunity. It’s the proverbial “starting somewhere”.

***

Someone told me once that purging your belongings to create space is how you persuade the universe to gift you more. You know I’m not Frou-Frou / New-Agey Girl, but I do believe we have more power to create our life than we’re often led to believe, and in a less mantra-ish kind of way than necessarily espoused by pop-guru thingies like Eat Pray Love.

Photo by Ihtatho.

The reason it’s so important to me to get my home under control when it’s in a state of chaos, which was most of the time, is because I really feel it reflects who I am at any point in time. I really do. When it’s in chaos, I know I am too, and that inner-chaos is reflected everywhere around me, visually reminding me that I am actively failing at, well, just about everything.

So, I’m getting there. Every time I organize, there’s less to sort through. I don’t feel I’m done. I can live with less. Over time, I want to explore Less. For me, less will become more.

***

I saw a line on Facebook today — that repository of deep and meaningful [said dryly] social fluff — where someone proclaimed something like, “Don’t worry about people from the past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it into the future.”

I suppose that’s true of who I once was. There’s a reason that version of me didn’t survive. There’s a reason this version of me is in flux.

Simply remembering “there’s a reason” can be infinitely valuable, after all.

Though, I must say, sometimes it’s good to remember not everything needs a reason.

***

Sometimes, you know, I sit back and think, “Hmm, I’m glad I’m a writer. Maybe now I can find some sense [or pattern or direction or reason] in all of this.” I sit down, I write, and, yeah, at the end I’m just as lost as I was when I began.

Like now. I still don’t really have a handle on where my life is going. How could I possibly? I’m hoping. Like when I tried playing horseshoes last week, I had no fucking idea how I’d get the shoe around the peg, but I aimed and I hoped.

Life’s just like that. You can’t know. You can’t be sure. You can’t be decisive. Instead, you just roll with the waves as they land on you, and hope you catch the right breaks when they do.

That’s where I am. I know what I control, I know what I don’t. What I do control, I’m trying to rock. When it all comes down, I want to know I did what I could, and I did it as best I could.

Then we’ll see.

Then we’ll see, indeed.

***

I think September has often been the most change-inducing month in my years. Twice, I’ve kicked off September just being lucky to be alive, riddled with injuries suffered in motor vehicle incidents. Other times I’ve done wacky things like moving to the Yukon. Once I quit a job, told the boss to go to hell, and started the path for losing 70 pounds. Another time I blew my back out.

See? September’s a license to get wacky around these-here Steffparts.

But this year, I’m applying for something that could set me on a completely different path.

Last week, I laid the foundation by creating a new homespace that could allow for order, success, and new acquisitions.

This week, I lay a new kind of foundation in the hopes of gaining education. And other stuff.

Next week, who knows.

And that’s kinda what I love about it. September looms. A season of change. I’m ready for more.

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The Fear of Moving On


One of my guiltiest pleasures is my addiction to the CBS series The Mentalist. I’ve had a girlie crush on Simon Baker for 20 years, and there’s something about a smart, cynical, fun-loving, light-hearted genius crimesolver that taps into my childhood passion for Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. (We’ll get you yet, Bugs Meany.)

And you thought you knew me.

Somewhere deep in the caverns of my dust-ridden closet sits a box of past-life mementos that may, in fact, hold the “Police Kid” ID cards and badges my brother and I made when we were 7 & 9, in an effort to keep the order in our very boring white little verge-of-‘80s suburban ‘hood.

Ahh, me in my seven-year-old lisp: “Thtop, sthpeeding car!”

If I was a detective, I’d totally be a chill, happy, funny brainiac like Patrick Jane, not a coke-addled-and-moody one like Sherlock Holmes.

So, this morning I found myself wrapped in thought as my TiVoed episode closed out. Backstory? Baker’s character “Jane” turned to crime-solving after his wife and daughter were killed. This week is the first time they’ve opened the possibility of him moving on after his wife, when he finally feels the nebulous sparks of chemistry for a mysterious smart chick involved in the crime-solving.

Oh, how dramatic! That’d make an excellent TV show, huh? I know, it’s cliché. But I can’t be smart all the time, dude.

Naturally, the episode got me thinking about the idea of “moving on” in general.

Me, I’ve had me a little of that this month. In fact, my entire last 6 weeks has been nothing but movin’ on.

I’m never going to be able to make you or anyone understand how 2006 affected me, and on so many levels. God knows I’ll try.

To go from just being some chick trying to figure shit out to being a loudly lauded new sex-blogging voice and getting so much attention was the most surreal thing ever. And I was not my own woman. I was not strong enough to have the sense of self one needs when people start latching onto you for guru-like input into their lives.

It was fucking weird. I can’t possibly tell you. I’m totally fucked up, and you’re turning to me for insight? Yo, WTF?

Walking away when the shit got weird was the only thing I could do. The landscape of my life was more explosive than a wartime minefield. A girl makes her choices, a girl keeps on keepin’ on. That’s what to do when the going gets weird.

When the beginnings of success come so easily to you the first time, though, there SHOULD be this little seed of confidence that grows deep down inside. I did that. Me. I worked. I got results. Me.

I had the confidence but I also knew my life was a fucking mess.

When they tell you life doesn’t give second chances, they’re right. It doesn’t. We create them.

Sooner or later, I knew I’d have to take that second chance. But I had to have my shit together and feel comfortable with life before I got there… because, well, third chances? Good luck with that, chump. This ain’t baseball, there’s no three strikes.

Moral of that story? Don’t fuck up again, bub.

So, I spent the last year just treading water and enjoying a delightfully boring life after I finally got on a somewhat even keel again.

Then I lost my job.

And it made me happy. Worried, but happy.

And I figured, “Hey, well, if ever there was a time to get in the game…”

But getting in the game would require one major thing:

Finally owning that this meek little Mom-approved chick — raised uberCatholic, with Dad & family following on the wide web — had to come out and be public with sex-blogging identity, and use my real name. And, worse, my face. And, like, speak publicly. And stuff.

Moving on, for me, means swallowing whatever I once defined as “pride” and coming up with a whole new brand of it. For me, it means shutting up that meekness and stop my apologies for being blunt, honest, and irrepressible.

It’s all about putting my money where my mouth has long been.

It’s been a really tough and soul-searching move. Scary as all get-out, man.

Oh, I’ve been terrified. It’s the “real, whole life” version of jumping off that zip-line or standing in front of 150 people and saying, “Yeah, so, I’m a sex blogger and, like, I kinda nailed writing one of the best oral sex guides you’ll read online… and…”

But I did it. And I did the zip-line. And the speaking.

However hard it’s been… I’m real goddamned glad.

Open, honest, in-your-face living is easier once you get the hang of it. It means fewer apologies, more shared grins, and it instantly repels all the twats and asshats you used to secretly wish would fuck off.

Moving on from anything is hard.

The fear of the unknown and the infinite chance to fuck up is what daunts us all before taking on new phases, projects, or relationships in our life.

By moving on, we’re officially closing the door on that past, accepting it’s done, and embracing the future.

The devil you know,” though, right?

Whatever the hurts and failings and stupidities of the past, at least you know it and know you’ve faced/survived it. The future? Whew. Do ya got that in ya, punk? Well, do ya?

I remember my great friend Jon writing to say he was getting married, the big question got popped, she said  yes, and, dagnabbit, they was gonna wed. I wrote him back, “Geez, Jon… that’s awfully optimistic of you.”

Because it is.

Moving on, stepping forward, it’s all about optimism. Or at least the dream of it. The hope of possibility. It’s what we all want, right? The unscripted to get written with a side of awesomesauce?

But it needs that proverbial leap of faith, the big chance, the trip into the great unknown.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll fail.

That’s okay.

At least you’ll keep yourself warm with the smug satisfaction of being the one with the guts to make the play in the first place, while the pussies who won’t make that leap sit on the sidelines and jealously watch.

Do it. Move on.

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